Jun 142017
 

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This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 30 April 2017 to 14 June 2017.

The Weekly Francis is a compilation of the Holy Father’s writings, speeches, etc which I also post at Jimmy Akin’s blog.

Daily Homilies (fervorinos)

Letters

Regina Cæli

Speeches

Papal Tweets

  • “Humility and tenderness are not virtues of the weak, but of the strong.” @Pontifex 8 June 2017
  • “Each one of us, as a living member of the Body of Christ, is called to work for unity and peace.” @Pontifex 9 June 2017
  • “Life can survive only because of the generosity of other lives.” @Pontifex 10 June 2017
  • “The Feast of the Most Holy Trinity invites us to be a leaven of communion, consolation and mercy.” @Pontifex 11 June 2017
  • “The Church shines forth when she is missionary, welcoming, free, faithful, poor in means and rich in love.” @Pontifex 12 June 2017
  • “In his passion, Jesus took upon himself all our suffering. He knows the meaning of pain, he understands and comforts us, giving us strength.” @Pontifex 13 June 2017
  • “There is much need of prayer and penitence to implore the grace of conversion and an end to the many wars throughout the world.” @Pontifex 14 June 2017

Papal Instagram

Jun 122017
 

Some years ago David Athey sent me his first book Danny Gospel, which I reviewed here. Almost a decade has past and I can still remember that book vividly. As a constant reader books usually get lost in the fiction fog for me over time.

So when he wrote to tell me his third book was available I immediately bought it. Joan of the Everglades.

He described it as “comedy-thriller with a nod to Chesterton.”

Joan Dior is an edgy teen artist who finds a corpse in a Florida lagoon, vows to find the killer, and becomes the target of a billionaire and his death cult who believe they have regrown the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.”

Joan and her best friend, Mia, along with their two guy friends, Dontey and Rico, get drawn into the middle of the Everglades and must battle not only the cult but also giant pythons, alligators, and a Komodo dragon … during a killer storm … while methane gas bursts into hellish flames all around them. Good times. Everyone will probably die. Unless . .

His first novel reminded me of Flannery O’Connor, but his latest brings me more to the mind of Walker Percy with a dose of C.S. Lewis style allegory. As a comedy I was amused throughout, especially with the “Dear reader” notes intertwined. It works quite well as a thriller as the story briskly moves along and surprised me several times along the way. A thoroughly enjoyable read.

My only complaint is that as it moved to the final chapters dealing with Joan and Mia, I was wondering about the reactions of the characters setup in the first half dealing with spiritual welfare. Although thinking back, maybe this was a feature – not a bug in that there is a very connected point to this setup.

Jun 072017
 

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This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 8 May 2017 to 7 June 2017.

The Weekly Francis is a compilation of the Holy Father’s writings, speeches, etc which I also post at Jimmy Akin’s blog.

Daily Homilies (fervorinos)

Homilies

Messages

Regina Cæli

Speeches

Papal Tweets

  • “I thank God for parents who strive to live in love and keep moving forward, even if they fall many times along the way.” @Pontifex 1 June 2017
  • “Through the darkness of today’s conflicts, every one of us can become a bright candle, a reminder that light will overcome darkness.” @Pontifex 2 June 2017
  • “Let us promote with courage all necessary means to protect the lives of our children.” @Pontifex 3 June 2017
  • “Let us allow ourselves to be humbly led by the Holy Spirit in order to avoid taking the wrong road and closing our hearts.” @Pontifex 4 June 2017
  • “We must never forget that the natural environment is a collective good, the patrimony of all humanity and the responsibility of everyone.” @Pontifex 5 June 2017
  • “Let’s always remember that our faith is concrete: the Word became flesh, not an idea!” @Pontifex 6 June 2017
  • “The Church needs everyday saints, those of ordinary life carried out with coherence.” @Pontifex 7 June 2017

Papal Instagram

Jun 012017
 

On Thursday, the NBCUniversal cabler unveiled the fifth edition will be titled Sharknado 5: Global Swarming. The tagline is also Trump-inspired: “Make America bait again.”

Both stem from a social initiative launched in April to crowd-source ideas for titles and taglines from users via Facebook.

Syfy has also revealed the guest cast on tap for Sharknado 5, which includes model Fabio playing the pope (sorry, Jude Law). Musician and actress Charo will portray the Queen of England, and Chris Kattan is set as the English prime minister.

Other guest stars include Tony Hawk, Clay Aiken, Olivia Newton, Bret Michaels, Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Greg Louganis, Tom Daley, Porsha Williams (The Real Housewives of Atlanta), Dan Fogler and Game of Thrones’ Ross Mullan. Today hosts Al Roker, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb will appear as themselves.

Reality keeps intruding on writing satire.

Now all they need in this movie is someone playing President Trump to round it out.

Donald Trump withdrawing from Paris agreement will be like slapping the Pope in the face, Vatican says

A withdrawal “would not only be a disaster but completely unscientific,” said Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, head of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which has hosted numerous international conferences on climate change. “Saying that we need to rely on coal and oil is like saying that the earth is not round. It is an absurdity dictated by the need to make money.”

Well at least we have not met peek strawmen.

Then Mark Shea posted Trump Flips Off Francis, Trumpian Catholics Cheer. For Christmas I am thinking of setting Mark a set of fine brushes, because I have stopped reading what he writes since everything is broad brush. I love Mark like a brother and miss his podcast being five days a week. Still posts like this, as if a campaign promise Trump made was anything about flipping off the Pope. Plus even if you accept climate change, or whatever they call it this week, – this toothless accord does nothing but increase bureaucracy and make people feel good. The whole outcry over this to my skeptical mind is more about virtue signalling than actually addressing what they say they care about. But I guess I am just not falling in line with jet-setting yacht-owning environmentalist warriors.

May 312017
 

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This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 16 April 2017 to 31 May 2017.

The Weekly Francis is a compilation of the Holy Father’s writings, speeches, etc which I also post at Jimmy Akin’s blog.

General Audiences

Letters

Regina Cæli

Speeches

Papal Tweets

  • “God makes His most beautiful flowers grow among the driest stones.” @Pontifex 18 May 2017
  • “Let us seek to always hold high the “tone” of our life, remembering the goal and glory for which we exist, work, struggle and suffer.” @Pontifex 19 May 2017
  • “Peace must be built on justice, on integral human development, on respect for human rights, on the protection of creation.” @Pontifex 20 May 2017
  • “Mary teaches us to place our hope in God even when all seems without meaning, even when He seems hidden.” @Pontifex 21 May 2017
  • “We are called to live not as one without others, above or against others, but with and for others.” @Pontifex 22 May 2017
  • “Dialogue allows us to plan for a future in common. Through dialogue we build peace, taking care of everyone.” @Pontifex 23 May 2017
  • “讓我們與中國天主教徒一同祈禱,將我們託付於聖母瑪利亞,好使我們有足夠的恩寵藉著耐心和愛去克服一切困難。” @Pontifex 24 May 2017
  • “Let us pray with Catholics in China, entrusting ourselves to Mary, for the grace to endure patiently and overcome challenges with love.” @Pontifex 24 May 2017
  • “With the Ascension of Jesus, we participate in the fullness of life with God. Let us carry this in our hearts in our daily lives.” @Pontifex 25 May 2017
  • “The future of our societies requires concrete action in favor of life on the part of everyone and especially institutions.” @Pontifex 26 May 2017
  • “Let us pray for our Coptic brethren in Egypt who were killed because they did not want to renounce the faith.” @Pontifex 27 May 2017
  • “I encourage everyone to engage in constructive forms of communication that reject prejudice towards others and foster hope and trust today.” @Pontifex 28 May 2017
  • “The motherly presence of Mary reminds us that God never tires of lowering himself in mercy over humanity.” @Pontifex 29 May 2017
  • “Christian joy comes from the Holy Spirit, who gives us true freedom and the gift of bringing Jesus to our brothers and sisters.” @Pontifex 30 May 2017
  • “Let us learn from the strong and helpful faith of our Mother Mary in order to become living signs of God’s mercy.” @Pontifex 31 May 2017

Papal Instagram

May 312017
 

People are pondering the meaning of the word in the Pope’s latest tweet.

What is covfefe and exactly how does it relate to God? Is this an aspect of his mercy or something else? Latin scholars we reached to told us that this is not ecclesial Latin or in fact any form of Latin.

In the aftermath of this mysterious tweet four Cardinals came forward asking that the Holy Father immediately provide a definition for this word as their was no footnote and this is causing confusion to the Twitter faithful.

May 302017
 

I have been thinking about some of the changes in church architecture coming up on the twenty years I have lived in the Diocese of St. Augustine. The downtown parish where I came into the church looked like everything I had come to exspect what a Catholic parish would look like from Hollywood. I had found it accidentally when driving around I spotted the Catholic bookstore sign and so bought my first Catholic books there. When my wife and I walked into the church afterwards I was totally struck by the beauty of the high altar, stained glass, and statues.

I soon learned that this was not the normal state of things regarding church building architecture in my diocese. Seemingly the majority of parishes I encountered were of the ubiquitos clamshell design. Nothing uplifting about them as they could be converted to civic auditoriums overnight. When I saw one parish close to me was rebuilding, I was happy until I found out the clamshell design was being replaced by another larger clamshell. The other parish close to me when they started building their new church building, was also of the same design. Having been to many parishes in my city this is the dominant design. As much as I dislike this design, another parish went for the design with a altar in a center with a runway up to it. I guess the common factor was to make sure people were staring at each other.

Since I now go to daily Mass at a typical clamshell church I started taking a new route into where I go to work. Because of this I found a new parish I had not been aware of. A somewhat large cruciform shaped building traditional in design. I had been wanting to check it out, but there daily Mass is after the time I need to be at work. So last week when I had a day off ofter a week of travel I finally got around to visiting it. The daily Mass was held in a chapel behind the main church. I have seen this type of design in many parishes. I imagine this arrangement is for cost savings regarding heating and A/C.

The interior of the church was as I hoped it would be based on the exterior. Fairly beautiful and you could actually recognized things in teh stained glass and not the abstract blobs I have found prevalent. The chapel was packed with people and they had a beautiful bust of Pope Saint John Paul II. The Mass was said reverently. After Mass the priest asked me my name and welcomed me. Now as an introvert, this can be unnerving to me. Still I actually did feel welcomed as something more than some fake sense of community. At the daily Mass I have been attending I haven’t had one word from any of the priests there. This was especially disconcerting since the pastor had given my wife Last Rites. This same priest had told me my wife looked fine, a week before she died. So I guess even introverts such as myself desire some level of acknowlegment.

So this parish was a nice surprise. Still in the last ten years the new parishes I have visited have all been of cruciform design. One of the new parishes is not only beautiful, but had a liturgy to match. So this is all a good development and I have seen other parishes stuck with the clamshell making changes they could like moving the Tabernacle from a side chapel to the center. So the microcosm that I see in my diocese seems to be for the good. I do wonder if this is a trend nationwide or not?

In other news I am now singing with the choir at the Latin Mass I attend. They must be desparate since they asked me to join even after they heard me sing. Still I do love to sing and I did have four years of choir in High School which was initially quite accidental. I sing so much better when I have confident voices around me to keep me in tune. Plus the acoustics of this wooden church are spetacular.

May 172017
 

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This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 27 April 2017 to 18 May 2017.

The Weekly Francis is a compilation of the Holy Father’s writings, speeches, etc which I also post at Jimmy Akin’s blog.

Daily Homilies (fervorinos)

General Audiences

Homilies

Letters

Messages

Prayers

Regina Cæli

Speeches

Papal Tweets

  • “With Mary, as a pilgrim of hope and peace I travel to Fatima tomorrow.Let us see in her that everything is God’s gift and He is our strength” @Pontifex 11 May 2017
  • “I ask everyone to join me as pilgrims of hope and peace: may your hands in prayer continue to support mine.” @Pontifex 12 May 2017
  • “Here in Fatima, I give praise to Christ, our peace, and I implore for the world concord among all peoples.” @Pontifex 12 May 2017
  • “Whenever we look to Mary, we come to believe once again in the revolutionary nature of love and tenderness.” @Pontifex 13 May 2017
  • “Fatima is more than anything this mantle of Light where we take refuge when we ask the Virgin Mary: “show unto us Jesus”.” @Pontifex 13 May 2017
  • “Let us all ask for the gift to understand God’s word.” @Pontifex 14 May 2017
  • “Let us ask for the grace to follow Jesus faithfully, not in words but in deeds, and to have the patience to carry our own cross.” @Pontifex 15 May 2017
  • “Jesus asks to be looked in the eye, to be acknowledged, to be loved.” @Pontifex 16 May 2017
  • “Our hope is the Lord Jesus whom we recognize as living and present in us and in our brothers and sisters.” @Pontifex 18 May 2017

Papal Instagram

May 112017
 

One of the developments of the last two Presidential Administrations has been the use of Religious Sisters to support their goals.

President Barack Obama said that the Affordable Care Act—AKA Obamacare—would not have been enacted had it not been for Sister Carol Keehan. She was at the signing center for the “Affordable Care Act” and was given the pen the President used to sign the bill. She did not hold out for the traditional 30 pieces of silver.

“And it’s true, I just love nuns, generally. I’m just saying,” said Obama.

That love did not apply to the Little Sisters of the Poor or other religious groups as the so-called “Contraception Mandate” was forced on them where multiple accommodations led to no real accommodation and only to the courts where this is still not resolved.

Recently on May 4th.

President Donald Trump invited members of the Little Sisters of the Poor on stage ahead of his signing of a religious liberty executive order Thursday.

“We know, all too well, the attacks against the Little Sisters of the Poor,” Trump said, “Incredible nuns who care for the sick, the elderly and the forgotten.”

So finally the problems the Little Sisters of the Poor had has been resolved. Well not really. The Executive Order is weak sauce and the problem should have been taken care of at HHS where the “Contraception Mandate” was created as an interpretation of ACA.

So again we have Nun Props for a President to use. (Yeah I know their Sisters, but Nun Props flows better). I felt embarrassed for the Little Sisters of the Poor being used for a photo op. Time will tell if the actual problem gets fixed, but so far President Trump seems to like the idea of appearing to want to protect Religious Freedom over actually doing something. Yeah typical politician.

May 102017
 

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This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 4 April 2017 to 10 May 2017.

The Weekly Francis is a compilation of the Holy Father’s writings, speeches, etc which I also post at Jimmy Akin’s blog.

Daily Homilies (fervorinos)

General Audiences

Homilies

Messages

Regina Cæli

Papal Tweets

  • “Let us allow ourselves to be surprised by the newness that Christ alone can give. May his tenderness and love guide our steps.” @Pontifex 4 May 2017
  • “In every age, the Risen Christ tirelessly seeks us, his brothers and sisters, wandering in the deserts of this world.” @Pontifex 5 May 2017
  • “Rejoice! Hidden within your life is a seed of resurrection, an offer of life ready to be awakened!” @Pontifex 6 May 2017
  • “Let us be challenged by the words and actions of Jesus, and welcome his call to a life that is fully human, happy to spend itself in love.” @Pontifex 7 May 2017
  • “May Jesus, who vanquished the darkness of sin and death, grant peace to our days.” @Pontifex 8 May 2017
  • “Everyone has something to give to society; no one is excluded from contributing to the good of all.” @Pontifex 9 May 2017
  • “God is greater than nothingness, and a lit candle is enough to overcome the darkest of nights.” @Pontifex 10 May 2017

Papal Instagram