A Clean Slate For Christmas

Saturday, December 17, AD 2016

 

My bride and I went to Confession today.  As always, I felt after Confession as if a ton of weight had just been taken off my shoulders,

 

Here is the formula that I have followed for Confessions since childhood:

Bless me Father for I have sinned, it has been ____________ since my last Confession and these are my sins.

I then recite my sins.  I follow the rule of three B’s in Confession:

Be Blunt

Be Brief

Be Gone

I say my sins, with no attempts to minimize or justify, no matter how it shames me to do so, and sometimes I do feel great shame, which I suspect is a good sign.  I end my recital with the statement that these are all the sins I can recall but that I am truly sorry for those I cannot recall.

After the priest absolves me, and what a wonderful word absolve truly is, I say an Act of Contrition:

O my God I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest of all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the Pains of Hell, but most of all because I have offended Thee my God who art all good and deserving of all my love.  And I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life, amen.

If any of you who read this have been away from Confession, please go before Christmas.  Welcome Christ this year with a clean slate.

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5 Responses to A Clean Slate For Christmas

  • We should all go to confession frequently. Ideally, there would be confession before every Mass both during the week and on Sunday. Generally, this is not the case in most Novus Ordo parishes. It should be.

    Christ came to help us improve our lives spiritually here on earth and be with Him in heaven after we died. The two biggest helps to accomplish these goals are Confession and Holy Communion. At our Church the extracurricular activities, there are 103, take up far more time than the essentials of Confession and Holy Communion. The Catholic Church needs to evaluate how well it is accomplishing Christ’s mission and get back to the essentials.

  • A good reminder. I was taught in Catholic school that saying an Act of Contrition before reception of Holy Communion is helpful for venial sins.
    I wish more churches would have available detailed examination of conscience pamphlets that are specific to adults, teens and younger children.

  • I took a screen shot of this. Wish I had seen it before Christmas, as I’ve not taken Communion for quite some time (although I attend Liturgy.)
    .
    I found a place to go to Confession, I think, so after the first of the year, I will get to it.
    .

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Confession

Saturday, April 23, AD 2016

come let us reason together

 

 

 

As faithful readers of this blog know, I have never been a fan of Michael Voris, but I must say bravo to his response to an alleged smear attempt by villains, (the New York Archdiocese has denied the allegation of Voris), within the Church:

 It involves the sins of my past life all committed prior to my reversion to the Catholic faith. We have on very good authority from various sources that the New York archdiocese is collecting and preparing to quietly filter out details of my past life with the aim of publicly discrediting me, this apostolate and the work here.

I have never made a secret that my life prior to my reversion was extremely sinful. I have said many times — in public — that I was in a state of mortal sin, and had I died, I would have been damned. I also revealed these sins were of a sexual nature and that they occurred over a prolonged period of time. I did not reveal the specific nature or details of the sins, because when I returned home to the Church, I did not think that a full public confession of details was necessary in order to start proclaiming the great mercy of God.

Perhaps that was a wrong assessment. I don’t seriously know. Perhaps along these years I should have been revealing of greater detail. That, I now think so, but more on that in a moment.

Whatever the matter, I will now reveal that for most of my years in my thirties, confused about my own sexuality, I lived a life of live-in relationships with homosexual men. From the outside, I lived the lifestyle and contributed to scandal in addition to the sexual sins. On the inside, I was deeply conflicted about all of it. In a large portion of my twenties, I also had frequent sexual liaisons with both adult men and adult women.

These are the sins of my past life in this area which are all now publicly admitted and owned by me. That was before my reversion to the Faith.

Since my reversion, I abhor all these sins, especially in the world of the many many other sins I have committed having nothing to do with sexuality. I gave in to deep pains from my youth by seeking solace in lust, and in the process, surrendered my masculinity.

Many of you know the story of my mother’s prayers and sacrifices and pleading to God on my behalf that I give up my sinful life and return home to the Church. As a last resort, she prayed to be given whatever suffering needed so that I would be granted sufficient grace to revert. It was shortly after that prayer that her very early stage stomach cancer was detected, which she died from a few years later.

During the last year of her life, I began to change by beginning to frequent the sacraments more often. When my mom died, I pledged at her coffin that I would change. I said, “Mom, what you went through for me, you will not have gone through in vain.” I returned fully and completely to the Faith and close to two years later, I began this apostolate.  

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17 Responses to Confession

  • In order to be open and honest about ourselves and our weaknesses, we have to actually trust God. We know the devil is wily and have complete confidence that he will come against us in a myriad of ways…whether we try to keep a secret or openly share our struggles, that ancient still-vigorous foe will find a way to snare us and incite others against us.
    Michael is a strong example of a man first snared by pride and self will who by the grace of God sees, admits and repents – now himself out there like a human fleece, in love and trust.

  • I have never had much use for Voris, but when I read this I knew he was a stronger man than me.

  • Good post, Don! I saw a similar one at the blogsite of St. Corbinian’s Bear. I posted this comment there:
    .
    I have always thought that Michael Voris had been homosexual or done homosexual things, and frankly, I never gave a damn. So freaking what! I am a drug addict and an alcoholic (recovering). How the heck is my past any better? Or the past of any of us? The Big Book of AA says on page 69:
    .
    “We all have sex problems. We’d hardly be human if we didn’t….”
    .
    Anyone out there without sin able to cast the first stone? Therefore, as for Michael Voris, Acts 10:15 and 11:9 applies:
    .
    “What God has cleansed, you must not call common.”
    .
    Regarding the Archdiocese of NY, now that its plans of calumny are laid waste, of course it denies a conspiracy to defame and ridicule Michael Voris and CMTV. 
    .
    PS, I think some things Michael Voris has gotten into – like geocentrism – are nonsense and I do not always pay attention to him. But he is a good man and his Apostolate is doing the Lord’s work.

  • Why shouldn’t Michael show his evidence? Why does Michael get a pass? So far we have seen unsubstantiated accusations. This is not an attack on Michael but a plea for fairness.

  • I assume that if he has evidence it will be forthcoming.

  • All things are possible with God. It’s amazing the lengths to which God will go to recover one of his lost sheep, and the people he puts in our lives to make that happen. Mrs. Voris was another St. Monica. Thank you Donald for this story.

  • I thank God that He is my judge, and not man.

    For God knows our hearts.
    Man needs evidence. Man can not fully understand the heart. Man is insufficient and unable to hold a suffering heart in it’s sinless hands, and the one who took upon our sinfulness is the only one who knows the penitent’s heart.

    Henry. Pray no man asks you for evidence for your repentance. Pray.

  • Henry…his evidence may well slander various third parties. I doubt Mr. Voris will alow that, but….in the future, some may come forward voluntarily.

  • “Regarding the Archdiocese of NY, now that its plans of calumny are laid waste, of course it denies a conspiracy to defame and ridicule Michael Voris and CMTV.”

    The Archdiocese has denied it though it is possible that it was not officially sanctioned but planned by officials of the diocese without higher approval.

    A difference without distinction in the end.

  • I still don’t like the guy, but you know, if angels in Heaven rejoiced over his return to the fold, I can’t really be a jerk about it, can I?

  • Lot’s of folks have known about Michael’s past for a long time. It was inevitable that it would become public. But there remain mysteries about him, e.g., why he will not speak out about Pope Francis questionable theology and generally confusing statements. Despite this weakness I think Michael does good work and will pray for him as well as all good Catholic bloggers.

  • Michael, you wish that Voris complained…more? I never expected to hear that.

  • Pinky–

    Yes, about Pope Francis.

  • It seems rather doubtful to me that Mr. Voris would come forward with such a confession if something compelling was NOT in the offing. Also, this type of thing, the repenting of past sexual acts, especially if they be homosexual, is hardly in vogue today.
    Were he to wear his folly as a banner, he would be loudly acclaimed in the US Church.

    The overall account rings with a deeply pained and heartfelt candor—Does one talk of one’s mother’s death, and a vow to amend one’s life over her casket, as a light matter?
    I think not.

    His church ideas aside, I rather now have a new-found respect for Mr. Voris.

  • Well, I actually watched the video in question. I do recommend it…the story of his mom’s prayerful sacrifice is good. The boy seems strongly determined to persevere in truth.
    .
    I liked the way he calls out Satan in the end, reminding how the evil one strikes at the heal the BVM, while she will crush his head.

  • Regarding the Voris situation:

    I do not say this is always the case, but tarring a person is an effective means of silencing them. “Outing” is often done by the very pink brigade themselves, when the opportunity presents itself.
    ….
    I was shocked a few years ago when a teacher and a friend at a well-known Jesuit university was rolled-up and sacked for propositioning a male student. I had never known his possible furtive orientation,.. but this is a reason why you don’t go drinking with your students (of any sex, I would think).

    However, the hypocrisy and the zero-to-60 speed of the dismissal in mid-semester, even, was breath-taking, as well as the lightning-quick broadcast to other schools by the quite-hypocritical lavender mafia. However, after all, he was a very conservative philosophy teacher, and this was the chance to permanently tar his reputation. A little bit like what it sounds like was in the offing against Voris? Let us just say, it is a familiar technique.

    One Jesuit called me after the incident, deeply troubled about the whole thing. “Do you know Fr. G. was jumping up and down on a couch in the community rec room, exulting about the dismissal of Dr. Z, shouting over and over again, “We finally got the bastard, we finally got the bastard!” I nearly dropped the receiver, speechless.

    “The end justifies thee means.” –Trotsky

  • God doesn’t make mistakes. God doesn’t make junk.

Confession! What a Relief!

Tuesday, December 9, AD 2014

 

 

My bride and I just went to Confession, and once again I pitied the poor priest who had to hear my lawyer’s confession!  I have never been to Confession without feeling a great sense of relief.

 

Here is the formula that I have followed for Confessions since childhood:

Bless me Father for I have sinned, it has been ____________ since my last Confession and these are my sins.

 

I then recite my sins.  I follow the rule of three B’s in Confession:

Be Blunt

Be Brief

Be Gone

I say my sins, with no attempts to minimize or justify, no matter how it shames me to do so, and sometimes I do feel great shame, which I suspect is a good sign.  I end my recital with the statement that these are all the sins I can recall but that I am truly sorry for those I cannot recall.

After the priest absolves me, and what a wonderful word absolve truly is, I say an Act of Contrition:

O my God I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest of all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the Pains of Hell, but most of all because I have offended Thee my God who art all good and deserving of all my love.  And I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life, amen.

If any of you who read this have been away from Confession, please go before Christmas.  Welcome Christ this year with a clean slate.

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4 Responses to Confession! What a Relief!

  • The average person’s attempt to recall their many offences against God’s commandments for any given time as they prepare to enter the confessional surely falls short of being a complete summary. That is why it is good to add at the end of our error report, “for these and any other times I have failed to be faithful to God’s love I am sorry and ask forgiveness”.
    If there is ever a time to be very personal with our Father God it is in the confessional. Our relationship with the Almighty, with the exception of the Eucharist, has no closer personal connection than this. A married couple to have a successful and happy union must share completely the intimate details of their lives with each other. How much more so should we be willing to “tell all” to one who is to judge and determine our eternal fate? It is for his sake that we be honest with him since he already knows every detail and desires hearts that are truly open to his mercy and love. We may think we are only talking to the priest when participating in the sacrament of penance but we are really talking to our Father and he answers through the duty of the confessor.
    Holy Mother Church understands this and provides some cover for us at Mass.
    It is important to note that the words of contrition which we recite at mass are very significantly complete as to encompass any and all manner of sin one might bring before God to seek forgiveness. What else is there beyond those “….in my thoughts and in my words¸ in what I have done and what I have failed to do.” This would include all sins which were both thoughtfully or thoughtlessly committed and acts which were both thoughtfully and thoughtlessly committed as well as those imagined only and those willingly carried out. But the confessional is the place to be open hearted without fear and this is for our sake if we are to be honest with ourselves as well.

  • Great idea to post this “how to”. I am sure it along with that great comment will help lots of people

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Advent and Confession

Tuesday, December 10, AD 2013

The confession of evil works is the first beginning of good works.

Saint Augustine

 

 

I went to Confession with my bride tonight.  I always think we must give an interesting contrast to the priest as we confess seriatim.  My bride is one of the saintliest people I have ever encountered.  Her confession must be a breeze!  While I am a fairly typical attorney, with all that implies!  (I suppose I am not quite as bad as Charles II.  When the Merrie Monarch was on his death bed he was received into the Faith by Father John Huddleston who had helped care for him during Charles’ escape after the battle of Worcester.  He was told By Father Huddleston that he must confess all his sins.  Charles looked at the elderly priest and said “Ah, Father, I doubt if either of us have sufficient time for the recitation of all my sins!”)

I have never confessed without feeling that a mountain of sin has been lifted from my shoulders, as indeed it has.   In A Christmas Carol Scrooge announces after his conversion that he feels as giddy as a schoolboy, and that Is always my mood after Confession. I wish the whole world tonight might feel precisely the same giddiness.

In Confession I have always observed the rule of the three B’s:

1.  Be Blunt.

2.  Be Brief.

3.  Be Gone.

It saves time, especially if one attempts to prepare a mental list of sins beforehand.  I always end my confessions with the formula that I am truly sorry for any sins that I cannot recall.

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4 Responses to Advent and Confession

  • Ditto, Don. Every time I leave the confessional I feel as though a great weight has been lifted. Also, the three B’s are great advice.

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  • Donald—thank you for this reminder. I will look forward to my Advent confession, as a fellow sinner at the bar, with the joy of Zechias.

  • This weekend as we were traveling through a city we stopped to make a visit and see the renovation of the Cathedral. The beige painted bas relief had all been restored to life like tones – beautiful! When we walked in in we were pleased to see 3 confessionals with lines of penitents at each one. We took the opportunity and confessed. You could say we were also renovated and all the “beige” was returned to life like tones. What a wonderful blessing to be a Catholic.

Various & Sundry, 9/4/13

Wednesday, September 4, AD 2013

The Priest’s Side of the Confessional

When Simcha Fisher wrote last week about reasons to go to Confession, someone protested that Priests would be feel burnt out from hearing too many Confessions.

Well scratch that excuse off the list because Priests actually get quite a lot out of administering the Sacrament.

Permits for Baptism

Elaine mentioned this in the comments of yesterday’s post.

A few weeks ago my office in Rolla received a phone call from church members who expressed concern about the Park Service requiring permits for Baptisms in the rivers of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Yes, you read that correctly, the Park Service was actually requiring churches and pastors to get a permit in order to perform Baptisms.

After learning of this ridiculous rule, I immediately contacted Bill Black, the Superintendent of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. In a letter, I expressed my serious concerns about the permit requirement and need for a 48-hour notice. I told Superintendent Black that the permit requirement would hurt church ceremonies that have happened in our region for generations and the condition also would infringe upon the religious liberties of the families living in the Eighth District.

The Superintendent reversed this silly rule, but this is just the beginning.

Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens to Promote Obamacare in Maryland

And just when the thug Ray Lewis was no longer a member of the team, now there’s another reason to despise the franchise located 35 miles to my north.

It’s the first official partnership formed with a sports franchise to encourage participation in President Obama’s signature healthcare law.

The White House had sought national partnerships on ObamaCare with the NBA and the NFL, but both leagues backed away under pressure from congressional Republicans.

Obama’s Last Intervention Has Really Worked Out Well

Hey, remember our last efforts at helping out that Arab Spring? The results aren’t so hot.

Yet now Libya has almost entirely stopped producing oil as the government loses control of much of the country to militia fighters.

Mutinying security men have taken over oil ports on the Mediterranean and are seeking to sell crude oil on the black market. Ali Zeidan, Libya’s Prime Minister, has threatened to “bomb from the air and the sea” any oil tanker trying to pick up the illicit oil from the oil terminal guards, who are mostly former rebels who overthrew Muammar Gaddafi and have been on strike over low pay and alleged government corruption since July.

As world attention focused on the coup in Egypt and the poison gas attack in Syria over the past two months, Libya has plunged unnoticed into its worst political and economic crisis since the defeat of Gaddafi two years ago. Government authority is disintegrating in all parts of the country putting in doubt claims by American, British and French politicians that Nato’s military action in Libya in 2011 was an outstanding example of a successful foreign military intervention which should be repeated in Syria.

The Buck Stops Way, Way Over There

Every now and then I reflect on what a cowardly, petulant individual we have in the White House, and I just weep.

Enough of Woody Allen Catholicism

Pat Archbold thinks it’s time we have a bit more John Wayne and little bit less Woody Allen.

Alert Jody Bottum

Even noted non-social conservative Ace of Spades is getting sickened by the bullying of Christian businesses.

But what we see here in Oregon — as we saw earlier in New Mexico, and as we will see everywhere, unless we do not pass a law sharply delimiting people’s right to sue people for unamerican, subversive crime of nonconformity with the current temporary government’s ephemeral cultural allegiances — is the attempt of a group of people who have long contended that they merely wish to be left alone to live their lives in peace suddenly feeling a little power and deciding that now that they have a short-term burst of political muscle, they may now indulge in the bullying and coercion they once thought was kind of a bad thing.

Northern California County Votes for Secession

Not gonna happen, but still amusing.

Jack Won’t Be Back

Nicholson is done with acting. While many will no doubt remember him most for scenes from The Shining and A Few Good Men, this is my favorite Nicholson role.

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17 Responses to Various & Sundry, 9/4/13

  • Paul Z. or Don,

    As an off-topic inquiry…what ever happened to the contributors section of TAC?

  • Re the “baptism permits” story: it’s not uncommon for parks or other facilities open to the public to require advance notice or permission to stage events like weddings, family reunions, etc. simply to prevent conflicts — what if two or more groups show up at exactly the same time wanting to use the same location or facility? Logically, one could apply the same system to church groups gathering for baptismal ceremonies and it would not be inherently wrong — as long as it was fairly and consistently enforced.

    That said, it does appear that the NPS was engaging in some selective enforcement of this policy, especially since these baptisms (as far as I can tell) are probably not much bigger than a typical swimming/float party on any given weekend, and don’t last nearly as long.

  • Pat Archbold thinks it’s time we have a bit more John Wayne and little bit less Woody Allen.
    Generally a good idea.

  • “Not gonna happen, but still amusing.”

    Such movements are beginning to spread in the country as red rural areas sicken of being governed by blue cities. I would keep my eye on this movement, especially as blue states continue down the path of bankruptcy in more ways than one.

  • My excuse is I don’t want to bore the priest with my sins. I have to admit that I am not that good at being that bad anymore.

  • Such movements are beginning to spread in the country as red rural areas sicken of being governed by blue cities. I would keep my eye on this movement, especially as blue states continue down the path of bankruptcy in more ways than one.

    The rigidities of the political order given the evolution of settlement patterns in this country have left a number of states in the following condition:

    1. They are demographic behemoths; and

    2. The are assemblages of incompatible components, and one portion of the state is functionally a tributary of the other.

    Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Florida, Texas, Illinois, Arizona, Nevada, California, and Hawaii all have one or the other problem; Maryland suffers a variant of the latter problem and Minnesota, Utah, Colorado, Washington state, and Oregon may end up in that zone in the coming decades.

    A repartition of territory is very much in order, but it would require multiple constitutional amendments passed in series and a difficult deliberative process.

  • All that would be necessary would be Congressional approval and approval of the old state and the new state as the creation of West Virginia demonstrated. Difficult but not impossible, especially under crisis conditions and with the Republicans in control of Congress and the White House. I can think of a few states in the South where Democrats might be in favor of such a division.

  • The Priest’s side of the confessional:

    The Church forgives sins. The state prosecutes crime. This is the essence of the principle of separation of church and state. The men ordained to the Holy Priesthood still retain their citizenship as ordinary persons and members of the state. Ordinary persons who are citizens and who are not called to a vocation to serve the Catholic Church as priests remain ordinary citizens, members of the state and are called laity.
    It is a crime to allow a baby raping murderer to live and breathe his crime every moment of his despicable murderous life in prison. It is a crime to expose the warden, his family, the guards, the doctors and nurses and the contractors who serve in the prison to the murderous rages of the capital one murderer. The homicidal maniac must be taught that he is going to be put to death by the very power of attorney and the virtues, especially of JUSTICE that he rejected.
    These are the marks of a civilization and the reverse of: “Do unto others as you would be done unto.” It is not the job of the priest, or bishop or the Catholic Church to execute capital one punishment, which is the temporal punishment due to capital one homicide. It is the job of the state to prosecute and punish capital one homicide and execute the temporal punishment.
    A truly penitent murderer will have expired with grief at the thought of his crime against God and man. Therefore, the state must deny the murderer time to relive his crime. The state must enable the murderer to repent of his crime. The Catholic Church must forgive the crime and pray for the murderer’s soul.
    So, the USCCB has rightfully come out against capital one punishment. The laity and the state must do its job of prosecuting capital one homicide. Thomas More, now Saint Thomas More told his executioner to do his job well and not be afraid.

    P.S. Yesterday, I was excoriated in public for not being pro-life, perhaps because I have not done my job as well as I might, but because I know the catechism of the Catholic Church calls for the execution of capital one punishment, the death penalty, for the takers of innocent human life. For the state to allow homicidal maniacs to survive their victims is nothing less than human sacrifice. The killer has taken the life of his victim. Now, he must live it. The victim is dead.

  • The state can only ban capital punishment by banning homicide.

  • I was thinking of something more comprehensive and flexible. An alternative might be for states to reconstitute themselves as confederations. The state would remain as a data collection unit and as a unit for Congressional representation. There would be a common constitution and some portmanteau bodies to propose constitutional amendments, interpret that document, and administer elections which cross internal frontiers. Otherwise, the components of a confederated state would have separate law codes, separate governments, and lead separate lives. There might be a number of candidates for this institutional form, among them Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Illinois (!), Arizona, Nevada, California, Hawaii, &c.

    You could append to that an innovative use of the practice of interstate compacts. Two adjacent states are reconstituted as confederations and then one component of each is associated through an interstate compact which creates a municipal corporation; New York, Washington, and Philadelphia would be the obvious candidates for that. Alternatively, you might set up spare regional governments of small states in New England or the Plains, or the Mountain West. The regional governments could handle lumpy public works and the governance of the medical profession, the public universities, and some watersheds. Greater capacity at the periphery = less excuse for centralization.

  • Art, funny you should mention Illinois as a possible candidate for “confederated” statehood. The biggest problem I see with the Chicago/Downstate divide is NOT that city and rural people “can’t get along,” or that Chicagoans despise Downstaters or vice versa.

    The biggest problem is simply trying to apply one set of laws and rules to such divergent environments. I see this not only with the “big” laws like gun control, but with all sorts of “smaller” regulations governing significant details of daily life, business, etc. A law or rule drawn up with the needs of urban or suburban residents in mind simply may not work in a rural environment.

    Here’s just one example: A couple of years ago the state proposed new regulations for nursing homes that would require at least 20 percent of each resident’s hands-on care to come from licensed RNs. Hiring RNs is not a problem for Chicago area or suburban nursing homes; most of the “better” ones already meet or exceed that standard. Downstate, however, it’s a big problem because there just aren’t enough RNs to go around and most of them will choose to work in hospitals for better pay and benefits rather than in nursing homes. I talked to several nursing home administrators who said it was well nigh impossible to hire RNs for any position below administrator once you got south of Springfield or Champaign. The rule was proposed with good intentions, but it just would not have “worked” outside of the Chicago metro area, and was eventually dropped. And as I said, that’s just one of many examples. It got me to wondering if it wouldn’t just be easier to have separate statutes and administrative codes for each region… which is basically what you are suggesting here.

  • John Wayne at least in the movies, believed in Victory. We did not pray for peace at Lepanto but Victory. We celebrated Victory at the end of WWII. Appeasement is a measly peace.
    Constantine did not hear or see “In This Sign coexist ” It was in this sign Conquer- a word that is anathema to today’s thinking.
    Yes evil is happening but nor to us, not to us.
    If we think not “getting involved in the middle east will keep the peace we haven’t learned much.
    We can cry peace peace but there is no peace.
    St Francis went into the sultan’s tent for purposes of evangelization. He survived. The Franciscan protomartyrs however died at the hands of the religion of peace. That war continues today.
    I don’t think of bombings or air strikes but an action much more personal and directed (Special forces?) against the strong men, perhaps a deterrent to other strong men. Are we considering that?
    At one time President said out loud that we would get the perpetrators-find out who they are and get them– I think that should be our public aim- not threatening bombings over the heads of the populace, but let it be known that we aim to find the perpetrators and get them in as surgical an operation as we can.
    hand wringing and mumbling doesn’t deter anyone.–and first of all we have to get over the stateside partisanship and realize that we have enemies that want to put an end to our partisan ways permanently

  • I think Elaine has it right. Requiring a permit to make private use of public property is not a violation of religious freedom. If the permit was denied, it would be a different story.

    Even noted non-social conservative Ace of Spades is getting sickened by the bullying of Christian businesses.

    A business refused to serve gays but when gays and their allies boycott the same business it is objectionable. Mayeb the compromise is that businesses that don’t want to serve the general public need put up signs in their window saying who they do not serve.

  • Mayeb the compromise is that businesses that don’t want to serve the general public need put up signs in their window saying who they do not serve.

    Most already do.

    They say “we reserve the right to refuse service.”

    Incidentally, it’s not that they “refused to serve gays.” It’s that they refused to take actions which could be interpreted as endorsement of homosexual activity.

  • Such signs would have no legal significance to help the owners of the business and would be taken as an admission of an intent to discriminate.
    In another victory for the glorious cause of forcing people to knuckle under to gay activists, a cake store is going out of business:

    “A follow-up to the story of the New Mexico photographer who lost her court battle after refusing to take a job at a gay wedding. Different state and a different trade this time but a similar result potentially: The business owners in this case said no when a lesbian couple came into the shop looking for a wedding cake. The latter filed a complaint with the state under the relevant antidiscrimination law and an investigation, which could have taken up to a year, was launched. The bakers, having already been targeted for a boycott by opponents and likely fearing the expense and aggravation of a long court battle themselves, decided to close the shop and move operations into their home, which presumably renders the business “distinctly private” and therefore beyond the reach of the state’s public accommodations law. (Does it?)

    Watch the extended interview with them about what they’ve gone through, paying special attention to the bit in the middle about “mafia tactics” by some gay-rights supporters. Two interesting wrinkles to this case vis-a-vis the New Mexico one. First, remember that Dale Carpenter and Eugene Volokh argued on the photographer’s behalf that, because photography is an art and inherently expressive, forcing her to cover an event to which she’s morally opposed necessarily violates her right of free expression. The same isn’t true, wrote Carpenter, of “more mundane and generic services (like cake-baking).” Presumably he’d agree with the gay couple, then, that the bakers have no right to refuse service. I’m not sure I grasp the distinction, though: In both cases, the business owners are being asked to celebrate an act to which they conscientiously object by producing a beautiful product in its honor. What’s more expressive, framing a shot of a married couple posing or crafting an elaborate cake to glorify the occasion? I’m not sure that there’s more artistry in photography in this case.

    Second, note what the guy says in the clip about how they’ve made cakes for this couple before. They don’t refuse to serve gay customers, they refuse to serve gay weddings specifically. The same is true, I assume, of the New Mexico photographer. That’s a potential line of attack for social-conservative pols as they start to push back against cases like this — this isn’t a categorical refusal to serve a minority group, it’s a religious objection to serving at one particular type of event in which that group participates. That may not help them legally but it’ll help in the court of public opinion, where the majority in support of religious exemptions in situations like this is already overwhelming. I’d be surprised if we don’t start seeing legislative hearings about it, whether in Congress or at the state level, sometime next year.”

    http://hotair.com/archives/2013/09/03/oregon-bakery-closes-doors-after-state-investigates-over-refusal-to-cater-same-sex-wedding/

    The only right, beyond abortion, that most liberals hold sacred is their right to compel you to agree with them.

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Various & Sundry, 8/29/13

Thursday, August 29, AD 2013

The Misery of Being Merely Upper Middle Class

Allison Lynn has written a book called The Exiles that just has to be satire. Sadly, it is not.

As it happens, the book is entirely serious about the dire fate of the merely wealthy, the most pressing social issue of our time. The Exiles is littered with references to how impoverished Emily and Nate are—“who cared if Nate was financially undesirable, as economically impaired as she was?” (Emily is an advertising executive before taking maternity leave and deciding not to go back, because she realizes that she has turned into “a potato chip marketer, pregnant by the only pauper on Wall Street.”)

When their Jeep Grand Cherokee—a six-year-old car they have to park in a discount lot in Manhattan, can you imagine!—is stolen with, tragically, Emily’s new pair of TOD’s loafers inside on their first day in Newport, the family’s lives spiral out of control. Without credit cards, they’re forced to live on room service and the mini-fridge of their three-star hotel. Now they are “officially the have-nots”—a status that Emily is terrified of, having grown up as the child of a professor and been forced to eat sandwiches made with generic peanut butter.

Throughout the book, the pair bemoans their minor misfortunes, like the fact that they had to purchase a used Bugaboo from their friends and “the shame they’d shared after the transaction.” Nate and Emily nickname the stroller Ollie, “for Oliver Twist, the haggard little orphan boy. Since then, whenever Emily saw an industrial Stokke on the street—a Norwegian import far more technical than even a new Bugaboo—she’d glance pleadingly at Nate and joke, in her best cockney accent, ‘Please, sir, may I have some more.’ ”

I’m A Bad, Bad Boy

Speaking of satire that isn’t but sure sounds like it, Donald has already written about the ridiculous Slate article implying that all of us who send our kids to private school are eeeeeeevil. Ken at Popehat has a great takedown of her idiocy. Jeff Goldstein has more.

Ten Reasons to Get Thee to a Confessional

Simcha Fisher lays out the reasons why you need to get to Confession.

I Resemble that Remark

Fr. Z on the same theme. The Holy Spirit has said the same thing to me as his reader.

North Korea Still Being Run by an Evil Tyrant

Isn’t it precious to see a son follow in his father’s footsteps.

Hyon Song-wol, a singer, rumoured to be a former lover of the North Korean leader, is said to have been arrested on Aug 17 with 11 others for violating laws against pornography.

The reports in South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper indicate that Hyon, a singer with the Unhasu Orchestra, was among those arrested on August 17 for violating domestic laws on pornography.

All 12 were machine-gunned three days later, with other members of North Korea’s most famous pop groups and their immediate families forced to watch. The onlookers were then sent to prison camps, victims of the regime’s assumption of guilt by association, the reports stated.

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4 Responses to Various & Sundry, 8/29/13

  • “The Exiles is littered with references to how impoverished Emily and Nate are—“who cared if Nate was financially undesirable, as economically impaired as she was?” (Emily is an advertising executive before taking maternity leave and deciding not to go back, because she realizes that she has turned into “a potato chip marketer, pregnant by the only pauper on Wall Street.”)

    When their Jeep Grand Cherokee—a six-year-old car they have to park in a discount lot in Manhattan, can you imagine!—is stolen with, tragically, Emily’s new pair of TOD’s loafers inside on their first day in Newport, the family’s lives spiral out of control. Without credit cards, they’re forced to live on room service and the mini-fridge of their three-star hotel.”

    I recall the sage words of my father, “A lot of rich people are nuts.”

  • “Hyon Song-wol, a singer, rumoured to be a former lover of the North Korean leader, is said to have been arrested on Aug 17 with 11 others for violating laws against pornography.”

    Wow. How lucky is Dennis Rodman he wasn’t still over there?

  • I can sympathize with the characters in The Exiles. My grandfather came to this country in the 1920’s with little more than the clothes on his back, a house in New England, a Jeep, and a job. And like the fictional characters in the story, he had to survive the first three days without the Jeep.

  • volokh.com ran a headline “It’s a Been a Hard Day for Distinguishing the Satirical Pieces from the Real Ones” listing the Slate piece and this:
    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2013/08/obama-promises-syria-strike-will-have-no-objective.html

Top 15 Misconceptions About Catholics

Tuesday, April 20, AD 2010

Karen L. Anderson of Online Christian Colleges wrote a timely piece on the many myths, misconceptions, and outlandish lies told about Catholics:

With nearly one quarter of the U.S. population Catholic, they make up a huge part of society and the largest Christian denomination. Yet with so many, how is it they are so misunderstood and characterized by films, television shows, etc.?

Failing to do the proper research explains a great deal of it. With a simple search on the internet, we were able to find many interesting answers to the top 15 misconceptions about Catholics. They are both from official sources, reporters, academics, and more.

1. Priests Are More Likely to be Pedophiles : The most dangerous of all myths concerning Catholics, this can lead to many negative and unfair consequences. Recently in a book entitled Pedophiles and Priests, an extensive study – and the only one of it kind – took a look at the pedophile statistics of over 2,200 priests. It found that only 0.3% of all Catholic clergy are involved in any pedophilia matter, guilty or not. This number is actually very low and according to Counter Pedophilia Investigative Unit, who reports that children are more likely to be victims of pedophile activity at school with nearly 14% of students estimated to be molested by a member of the school staff.

2. Everything in “The Da Vinci Code” is True : Even author Dan Brown himself doesn’t agree to this. In this free film from Hulu, Mr. Brown admits to writing his novel as a step in his own spiritual journey. As he confesses to being swayed by his extensive research, the experts behind the research weigh in with facts. Simon Cox is the author of “Cracking the Da Vinci Code” and tells more about his work in this documentary. If you don’t have 90 minutes to view it, you can get the real story behind Opus Dei, the villain organization in the novel, from ABC news.

3. Women Are Oppressed in the Catholic Church : Although women are still not eligible to become priests as explained by Pope John Paul II, they were still acknowledged as valued members of the church as far back as 1947. In a Papal Directive from then Pope Pius XII, he expressed his admiration of women “to take part in the battle: you have not sought to do so, but courageously you accept your new duties; not as resigned victims nor merely in a defensive spirit.” Also, in 2004 then Pope John Paul II historically appointed two women theologians to the International Theological Commission and named another as the president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

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12 Responses to Top 15 Misconceptions About Catholics

  • The dificulty in the myths in the article are not the fact that they are misconceptions of the Roman Catholic Church. The turly sad part is that many so called members of our Church add to these misconception by 2 basic means. They do not correct these myths when asked by friends or others who are inquisitive either from lack of knowlegde or feeling this is not their right to do so and the second most problem and perhaps the worse is that many so called “catholics” beleve the crticisms are correct.

  • I would also say 9, 12 and 15 are odd; never heard them before….

  • #1: The book looks only at data since 1982. As we’ve seen in another recent TAC post, we have far more incidents prior to 1982. The John Jay study, which goes farther back, concludes that a shocking 4% of priests were reported to have sexually abused children. The second link you posted says that 1-5% of teachers sexually abuse or harass children. Harassment is more common than sexual abuse so the prevalence among teachers is probably less than 2.5%. But then you have to take out the women teachers who are must less likely to sexually abuse students. It also might to useful to compare the prevalence of sexual abuse of boys only. Priests are more likely to abuse boys and teachers are more likely to abuse girls. Bottom line is that you need more data but it’s certain that among pedophiles, priests are outliers. Even if abuse isn’t any more prevalent, why boys instead of girls? I think it’s entirely possible that the priesthood attracts sexual deviants.

    #3: And some black slaves were allowed to sleep in the master’s house. Crumbs do not disprove oppression. If we’re going to completely honest with ourselves, I think we have to admit that the Church denies women opportunities that are open to men. We don’t have to get all defensive over that fact. Christ denied women opportunities that he gave to men.

    #5: The Immaculate Conception refers to the conception of Mary, not Jesus.

    #8: I’m unclear of what you’re saying here. Catholics were once required to abstain from meat on ALL Fridays. Catholics must still abstain from meat on Fridays of Lent but in the US, bishops allow Catholics to give up something else on Fridays outside of Lent.

  • RR,

    #3. She never claimed nor said that.

    #5. I corrected her post, thanks!

  • You can always count on restrained radical to bash the Church for no apparent reason.

  • Is the reason not apparent? I’m a closet Episcopalian. Which reminds me… there’s an interesting piece in the New Yorker on the debate over women bishops in the Church of England. Full article requires a subscription. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/04/26/100426fa_fact_kramer

  • I think that a lot of these misconceptions come from different places. The Dan Brown stuff is probably more common among evangelicals and conspiracy-types, two crowds that probably don’t have much in common. Ditto for the claim of oppressing women, which would come from feminist atheists and faithful Protestants.

    The supposed conflict between faith and reason in #4 is the one that irritates me the most. It’s so patently wrong! I attended a lecture on data visualization (of all things) last week, and the instructor went off on a tangent about the persecution of Galileo. For whatever reason, we get tarred by the same brush as evangelicals about science, then tarred by evangelicals about Mary. Oh well. As Chesterton said, if you’re being accused by everyone of every possible error, you may be perfectly correct.

  • Yes Pinky, Chesteron really had a unigue use of words and as far as 9 is concerned ,they probably never heard of Hilaire Belloc..”wherever the Catholic sun doth shine there’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I always found it so Benedicamus Domino “

  • Number 9 was news to me. Wine is even part of our sacramental life, unlike those denominations that use grape juice. I’ve never heard a stereotype about a sober Irishman, a teetotaling Italian, or a Mexican refusing beer, so I don’t know where the myth of Catholic avoidance of alcohol comes from.

  • Too often Catholics get lumped together with puritan Protestant Creationists. And too often it’s Catholics who do it.

    Catholics can drink, smoke, believe in evolution, dinosaurs, the big bang, aliens, believe that you can be born gay, reject intelligent design, and celebrate Halloween.

    Here’s a couple others:

    Catholics are anti-sex or Catholics believe sex is purely for pro-creation.

    Catholics believe being gay is a sin.

  • Catholics believe engaging in homosexual sex is a sin. Whether people are in their “being” gay, that is that it is genetically determined, is far from scientifically proven. But if so, it would be like alcoholism. There would be a genetic predispostion to sin which in itself would not be sinful but which, through grace, could be overcome.

Works of Penance, Frequent Confession, Mortification, Almsgiving

Wednesday, February 17, AD 2010

Works of Penance, Frequent Confession, Mortification, Almsgiving is by Father Francis Fernandez Carvajal from his series on meditations In Conversation with GodDaily Meditations Volume Two: Lent and Eastertide, 1.2:

True conversion is shown by the way we behave.  We show that we really want to improve by the way we do our work or our study.  We show it by the way we behave towards our family; by offering up to God, in the course of the day, little mortifications which make life for those around us more pleasant, and which make our work more effective.  We can also show it by making a careful preparation for and going frequently to Confession.

Today God asks us also for a rather special mortification, which we offer up cheerfully: it is fasting and abstinence, which strengthens our spirit as it mortifies our flesh and our sensuality.  It raises our soul to God.  It gets rid of concupiscence by giving us the strength to overcome and to mortify our passions, and it disposes our heart that it may seek for nothing except to please God in everything.9

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4 Responses to Works of Penance, Frequent Confession, Mortification, Almsgiving

  • A friend who belongs to Opus Dei turned me onto these books during Advent at an Opus Dei Men’s reflection. I can’t say that I have read them everyday, perhaps 85% of the time since.

    Amazing. That’s all I can say. I take them to Mass with me and read them after the after Mass prayers. What a fantastic help. The insights and lessons are inspired. What a great place to get perspective from the Communion of Saints, the Popes and the Magestirium.

    I recommend In Conversation with God to anyone and everyone who wants to increase their faith and understanding (in that order).

    We are dust but if you own these books they won’t get any dust on them.

  • AK,

    I agree.

    The In Conversation With God series has brought me ever closer to God. It is worth someones while to pick up the book and start reading.

    A great way to do something for Lent!

  • Tito,

    I never thought about the statement from your last sentence until this Lent. We all give something up and when we think of it or desire it we turn to God; however, I don’t know too many people who DO SOMETHING for Lent as opposed to NOT doing something. Sure, we may give the money we save from our habit, whether it be beer, chocolate or whatever, but that is not necessarily the same as DOING something.

    I think it is helpful, and these books are great for it, to add something to our spiritual life during Lent and God willing it will become part of us in Easter and beyond.

  • AK,

    I remember the “spirit of Vatican II” rage of “doing” something for Lent instead of “giving” something up.

    In the end I decided to do both (just to be safe!)

    😉