Canada, the tree-huggers to the north, in always greater efforts to be communist and woke, have changed out the crown topping off their coat of arms so as to remove crosses and fleur-de-lys and replace them with maple leaves and a [tender] snowflake.
Fail. This is as much of a fail as to replace BC (Before Christ) with BCE (Before the Common Era). The Common Era is only Common, or Catholic (Universal), because of Jesus. :-)
In the case of this crown, the maple leaves can represent patriotism, which is a Christian virtue to be sure, while the snowflake looks to be for any reconstruction, intents and purposes to be a fleur-de-lys, a lily, seen from the top. Moreover, this particular one, with a jewel in the middle, a seventh point of perfection and fulfillment of the six pointed Star of David, refers specifically to Christ Jesus our Lord, Son of David, Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception. :-)
This is the Morris (RIP) Rose, provided by a dear loved one of Morris, specifically for “Flowers for the Immaculate Conception”.
I’ve rarely put up a Flower for the Immaculate Conception, of late. That’s not right. Apologies to our Lady. I am weak.
It takes much spiritual strength to give flowers to the Immaculate Conception. How can any of us dare to give her a gift when, by our sin, we have crucified her dear Son? Instead of returning to Calvary as did John, I just run away like the rest.
I need to take my own advice and just admit that I am too weak. That, of course, opens me up to turning to a strength provided in Jesus, her Divine Son.
Perhaps if all goes well today’s homily will be published in these pages. John 14:1-12. Can you guess wherein this will be a homily on the Immaculate Conception?
Speak for yourself, Elon. Here’s the deal: Such mind games are successful for those given over to Satan’s chaos to which we are given if we are not anchored in the stability of the Eternal Living Truth who is Love, God, whose creatures we are, made to live in that Living Truth, that Love. Smarts lack discernment if there is a lack of unmanipulatable Living Truth, Living Love. That Truth and Love brings us Wisdom, which cuts through mind games, however clever. The reason for this is the stability of a living bond in love, in truth, with the living God. That bond is stronger than any mere mind games. This is not a fine line, a guess. There is no starker differentiation than between Living Truth and vacuous lies. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God.
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered in accordance with the 1962 Missale Romanum has not been available for some time in my parish. And, to my knowledge, references to any TLM in this parish have been removed from any internet sites providing logistics regarding the same. I deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause to any of Christ’s faithful. Nos cum prole pia, benedicat Virgo Maria.
Although I am nothing and nobody, a simple parish priest in an extremely remote parish which is most probably the smallest parish in North America if not the world, and this in a Church of – what? – 1.3 billion souls, there seems to be a rather anomalous and most intense and particular interest coming from the Cardinal Archbishop Prefect of the Dicastery of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in the Roman Curia, not to mention also coming from the Archbishop who is Apostolic Nuncio to these United States of America in Washington, D.C. Whatever. See the paragraph above.
And, yes, those are flowers for Mary Immaculate that you’ll see in the extreme lower-left of the picture up top. For you, Mary. That picture, from another life, long ago – which very-longtime readers will recognize – is not also a prophesy, at least that’s not what’s intended! I love my parish. I love being a priest.
In other words, Jesus suffered terribly for this wretched sinner to keep me as His priest. If any way I’ve ever gotten myself out of the way to clear a way for His Priesthood, that’s all His grace. Non sum dignus. This has all taken really of lot of intervention with Jesus by Mary Immaculate. Flowers for you, Mary. Non sum dignus.
Before the artic blast that going on this week, mid-October, the tomatoes got harvested, green or not. They can ripen inside just fine. If left on the vine during repeated hard freezes they would just get destroyed on the vine, right? Lots of tomatoes go to my favorite hospice patient at home. Everyone there loves tomatoes.
Meanwhile, changing seasons in the weather, in just getting older, with my guardian angel trying to bring me to the next step in the spiritual life…
Meanwhile, some currents running deep have been otherwise going on within me, and, as you may have noticed, a step away from the blog to get a breather has been accomplished, doing me lots of good.
There’s been plenty of bonfires in the backyard, mountains of things thrown out, the floor throughout the rectory found and swept and mopped[!].
The upshot of all this is that I’m getting slowly psyched up to the popular version the thesis. I know this has been years, and it’ll still take quite a bit of time just to get arranged, but all this is necessary.
Meanwhile, racing about for things like Communion Calls and Last Rites. Yesterday, three of the latter on the epic “Day Off,” with some hundreds of miles. I love being a priest.
τὸν μὴ γνόντα ἁμαρτίαν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἁμαρτίαν ἐποίησεν – He who knew no sin was made sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21).
In Saint Paul’s shorthand speech, Jesus became sin for us. Ooo! That sounds scandalous! Heretical! Bad and evil! But Jesus stood in our place, Innocent for the guilty, so that He could have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. And Mary Immaculate stood in perfect solidarity with Jesus. Mary became sin for us with Jesus. Ooo! That sounds scandalous! Heretical! Bad and evil. But I say that this is Mary Immaculate’s glory. To those who cannot bear such reality, I say, grow up and see the suffering, witness Mary’s maternal intercession, the sword of sorrow piercing her soul that our thoughts may be laid bare. Grow up and lay aside all cowardice. Rejoice that we have such a good Mother, such a Holy Redeemer in her Son.
Rumors fly as they do, even across oceans do they fly. It seems that I have been denounced to the highest of ecclesiastical tribunals in an attempt to destroy my priesthood. It seems that I am a blasphemer when it comes to praising the perfect condescension of Jesus and His dearest Mother, that κατάβασις (katabasis = going down) of mercy founded on justice. It seems that I have been labeled as a blasphemer. Will I be put under some kind of interdict, suspended in some way, perhaps dismissed from the clerical state, or – hey! – even excommunicated?
Long time readers may remember when a top canonist of the Roman Rota, a friend, wrote up an interdict against me on behalf of co-conspirators at the Pontifical Seminary at which I was teaching and at which I was very active on the formation team for both philosophers and theologians. But that was humor.
My crime then was to be chaplain for the philosophers and not the theologians in the 2010 Mud Bowl extravaganza.
But the present denunciation against me is deadly serious, enough to rip me out of the priesthood.
What’s the kerfuffle about, really? Surely it’s about my praise of Jesus and Mary. But I am also a thorn in the side of some members of the Church for a number of reasons. Any and all of these, take your pick:
I think the Traditional Latin Mass is a valid and licit expression of the Roman Rite
I think the Hegelian-Rahnerian methodology of the Synod on Synodality is itself heretical
I think the encouragement of same-sex unchastity and any unchastity leads souls to hell
I think that the idol worship of demon idols such as Pachamama (Francis) or Nian (Cupich) or Ganesh (spreading in India with impunity) et alii is a direct violation of the first Commandment
I think Sacred Tradition is univocal and provided supernaturally by the Holy Spirit to each sanctified soul and is not passed on by hand, but only quasi per manus, almost as if by hand (Trent). Sacred Tradition is not a tree or the roots of a tree, dynamic, growing. No. Tradition is absolute. Truth is absolute. God is Truth. God is absolute. Sacred Tradition is not something dictated by freakoids in the Roman Curia, not even by the Pope, not even in ex-Cathedra pronouncements. No. Sacred Tradition (traditiones) is the living faith provided in sanctifying grace and the indwelling of the Most Holy Trinity. Idiot human beings don’t do that. Infallibility is not equal to Sacred Tradition.
I think contraception, abortifacients, procured abortion, infanticide, euthanasia are all intrinsically dishonest, and, as with Ad tuendam fidem, with Ratzinger and JPII, I hold these to be definitive, infallible teachings of the ordinary magisterium of the Church.
I think murdering babies in the womb for research, development, testing of “vaccines” is the utilitarian murder of the least of the brethren, of Jesus.
I think that the money laundering and, therefore, the consequent financing of international terrorism is directly opposed to the mission of the Church. I agree with Jesus: you cannot serve God and mammon. I am working to bring the criminals down, hard.
I am Catholic and love being a priest of Jesus Christ and a son of Mary, Mother of priests. I know she suffered a hell of a lot for me, and I thank her for that and I praise her for that. That’s the problem.
My being denounced came about just days before my surgery, and, now starting my recovery, this is my new distraction. It’s about the wonderful statue of Mary with infant Jesus that is making its way to all of the parishes of the diocese.
I mean, that face of Mary. She sees the problems at hand. Finally, someone does. Great! And Jesus entirely exudes confidence that whatever it is she wants in her maternal solicitude for us, she’s going to get it.
But here’s what I said in the original post which I took down so that I would have to time to put up this response before being smacked down hard, it being that I was busy getting cut wide open and am now recovering. This is what was so very offensive:
“This is the Pilgrim Virgin Mary of Charlotte Diocese making her way throughout the parishes during the 50th anniversary of this relatively young diocese. She’s now at Holy Redeemer in Andrews, NC. Another priest gave her the title: “Our Lady Most Patient with Father Byers.” Hmmm. I think I like “Our Lady Most Snarky” better. Whatever it is that she’s plotting, it’s Jesus who will make it happen. Totally.”
Our Lady is most patient with yours truly, but her patience extends to many more souls than just myself. This is why I mentioned the snarkiness of her expression, you know, like she’s plotting something, of course for our good, and Jesus will make it happen.
I’m guessing the problem people had, why they think I’m a blasphemer, is my usage of the word snarky.
Sigh… You try to speak in the now enculturated language of fairy tales, on the level of little children, and this is what you get. Gunned down. So, fine. Some explanations are in order.
It all starts with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Alice in Wonderland) penned in 1865 by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll. Lewis was a devout lifelong stratospherically high-church Anglican, a believer. His protagonist, Alice, is the original one to “go down the rabbit hole”. She meets up with all sorts of allegorical, anthropomorphic creatures, human adults if truth be known, who express their opinions (also by way of the manner in which they live) about the philosophies and political idiocies of the day. Alice struggles to stay herself even as she meets up with adults who have become all too self-absorbed in the myriad ways fallen human nature goes about this in unrepeatable circumstances.
Then, eleven years later, in 1876, Carroll writes The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits. This is about a bunch of seasoned guys from all types of professions who get together to traverse the waves to an island where their hunting of the Snark might well be successful. The chapters of poetic verse are called fits appropriately enough. The Snark isn’t much described other than that it is seems to be a dark figure, mysterious in a most sinister sort of way.
While they hunt, it seems that a Snark is spotted, and one of the crew dies in his attempt to get close. He had seen the Snark falling from the heights. The crew member dies a most calm and peaceful death. He simply disappears. All gone. The end.
People asked Carroll who or what the Snark is, and he would never let on. Well, to me, sorry, but this is obvious, and if you have to be told you won’t understand it anyway, but I will tell you, since it is too painful for this mystery to go on. Fallen society has made it quite impossible to crack the mystery today.
The Snark, par excellence, is Jesus Christ, and, of course, His blessed Mother with Him. Yes, the monstrous Snark, so evil in every way, in fact, a projection, in our perception, of the evil within ourselves, which we try to kill, pretending to be our own saviors. We spend our lives doing this, going inside ourselves, travelling the world, hunting, hunting, hunting the dreadful Snark, Jesus Christ, who takes upon Himself all the punishment of our sin – He was made sin for us – and we mock Him as the criminal, the One who enslaved all in sin from Adam until the last man is conceived. And when we finally meet up with Him, like that crew member who dies, He falls from the heights to the depths, and it is there, far below the Cross, that we behold His Mother looking upon us, and we understand: He is God and she is His Mother. Both bloodied, both looking like criminals, monstrous. But then we understand a smidgeon of such love.
We die to ourselves and we ourselves gently just disappear as Snark hunters. We take our place with Mary and John and are now also in solidarity with Jesus. In our own way, we become just a little bit of The Snark. But Jesus and Mary are the epitome of being the Snark. Only they can bear the weight of all our darkness, all our sin which we project unto them. They are so good to us, so kind.
As a clincher, I should mention that the epic poem, The Hunting of the Snark, was published far and wide with multiple printings, all by itself. But that was not at all the case when this poem on The Snark was to be given to children, specifically “to those who love Alice” (of Alice in Wonderland fame). When The Hunting of the Snark was given “to those who love Alice” those children were also given a lengthy Easter Greeting also penned by Lewis Carroll. It was all about the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who triumphed over sin and evil, He having forgiven us our sin wrought in all our idiocy.
People dismiss Carroll’s writings as mere fantastical nonsense literature. That is because they don’t see the irony, the humor which Chesterton would later say is so necessary for Christianity itself. Irony is not nonsense. It is essential to life and breath. Irony is our hope. It is justice and mercy meeting upon the Cross. It is Christ being made to be sin. And Mary with Him. It slams us to our knees.
I believe that Lewis Carroll opened the floodgates of this kind of literature for those to come, say, C.S. Lewis and The Chronicles of Narnia, or J.R.R. Tolkien and his works on Hobbits and Rings and Middle Earth. I say the same for the more outlandishly wonderful works of G.K. Chesterton such as The Ball and the Cross. But most of all, most of all, it is the summary of irony by Hilaire Belloc which most rings absolutely true with The Hunting of the Snark. You are reading about Jesus Christ on the Cross:
“To the young, the pure, and the ingenuous, irony must always appear to have a quality of something evil, and so it has, for […] it is a sword to wound. It is so directly the product or reflex of evil that, though it can never be used – nay, can hardly exist – save in the chastisement of evil, yet irony always carries with it some reflections of the bad spirit against which it was directed. […] It suggests most powerfully the evil against which it is directed, and those innocent of evil shun so terrible an instrument. […] The mere truth is vivid with ironical power […] when the mere utterance of a plain truth labouriously concealed by hypocrisy, denied by contemporary falsehood, and forgotten in the moral lethargy of the populace, takes upon itself an ironical quality more powerful than any elaboration of special ironies could have taken in the past. […] No man possessed of irony and using it has lived happily; nor has any man possessing it and using it died without having done great good to his fellows and secured a singular advantage to his own soul.” [Hilaire Belloc, “On Irony” (pages 124-127; Penguin books 1325. Selected Essays (2/6), edited by J.B. Morton; Harmondsworth – Baltimore – Mitcham 1958).]
/// That last bit about no man possessing irony and using it ever living happily? Yep. But mere happiness is one thing. Joy is another, in the Holy Spirit. It would be a great privilege to be penalized even by Holy Mother Church because of thanking Jesus and Mary for their sufferings for us. But my priesthood? That can never be taken away. It is a sacrament lasting forever. I have no fear. The Great Snark, and the Mother of snarky priests watch over me, having me die to my wretched self, but living for them.
The denouncement of blasphemy against me is so dark that I have to do this:
And if I’ve been beating down the wolves in this post, it is only so that they will turn into the sheep of the Lord’s Little Flock. It would be a joy to go to heaven together. Amen.
The picture above is out front of the rectory. That’s Jasmine, which most often has five petals, or even six. Almost exclusively the Jasmine out front next to our Lady has four petals, little white crosses. Mary stood next to the Cross in solidarity with Jesus. Mary is the Immaculate Conception.
Meanwhile, underneath those particular Jasmine, is Brakeman, which a master welder friend made and later gave to me. Here’s a previous picture:
As you can see, he’s made out of parts of brakes. His nickname is Adam, who put on the brakes for mankind with his original sin, darkening himself, attempting to hide from God. And if you think he looks quite monstrous, well, we have no idea how awful sin is, how much it destroys us.
Corrupt Catholic priest Father Martin Luther, of Reformation Rebellion fame infamy, held that Redemption wrought by Christ Jesus does not redeem us, but merely covers over our corruption in sin like a blanket of snow over a heap of manure, for eternity, so that, he says, God the Father is pleased to see us because God the Father is tricked into thinking that the glistening snow He sees, Christ’s grace, is really how we are, though we are not. We are manure and we remain manure in heretic Martin Luther’s view.
Meanwhile, the truth of our Redemption in Christ Jesus is that we are made to be members of the Body of Christ, and Christ Jesus is not a heap of manure. Jesus provides that we are drawn to Him in sanctifying grace, and we are, indeed, sanctified, becoming tabernacles of the Holy Spirit. In this world, we still bear the weaknesses consequent to original sin, weakness of mind and will, emotions all over the place, sickness and death, suffering the violence of others. But all those things will fall away upon our entrance, please God, into heaven. We must have hope! Martin Luther purposed his hopelessness to insult our Redemption in Jesus and to mock God the Father.
What’s the real analogy of that picture of Jasmine up top? It’s that although we, the sons and daughters of Adam, are so weak, we nevertheless have hope, for Christ’s grace does sanctify us, and we can, in humble thanksgiving, make brave and, say, as the littlest of children, give flowers to Jesus’ good mom, the Immaculate Conception.
Sprucing up the shrine in honor of our Lady of Guadalupe continues.
Meanwhile, back at the driveway garden…
There are boulders heading up the driveway garden which need to be cemented together for safety’s sake, and to provide a proper platform. I’d like to move the statue of the Immaculate Conception from the front steps to there, providing greater visibility.
I wonder if there are year-round flowering bushes (not too large, say, a few feet tall) which could be planted as a backdrop. Any ideas?
It just strikes me that if there is such enthusiasm in this dark world to honor Jesus’ good mom, what will it be like in heaven to, say, plot with Jesus an occasion to honor His good mom.
The gist of the conversation was that Jesus’ Little Flock is everywhere and the wolves in sheep’s clothing can’t do anything about it, it being that Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Jesus’ Little Flock know Jesus, listen to Jesus, follow Jesus. And Jesus’ Little Flock want priests to follow Jesus.
To my fellow priests, and there are many good priests:
Our vocation was not to accept any heretical teaching in any seminary but rather to follow Jesus who is living, unmanipulatable Truth.
Our vocation was not to collect money for any malicious financial prestidigitations of any bishops conference, stealing money from Jesus’ Little Flock and giving it to the abortion industry around the world, but rather to follow Jesus, who was Himself in the womb for nine months.
Our vocation – get this – was not to any bishop, so that the bishop becomes a god in his own right, creating his own truth and morality and liturgy, but rather to Jesus, so that although we will respect and obey whatever bishop, we also do this by was of Galatians 2:11, helping our bishops get to heaven by our own following of Jesus with no mediocrity, even if we’re punished right out of active ministry by those same bishops for whom we were providing the greatest respect and obedience by, as it were, laying down our lives for them, reprimanding them as they stand condemned for following not Jesus, but the world, the flesh and the devil. The greatest charity is to remain with Jesus, who is God, who is love.
I’ve always said that the one preoccupation of a priest is to get his own little hell out of the way of Jesus, the One Priest, doing this by following Jesus. Jesus is One Good Shepherd.