Category Archives: Vocations

Our Courageous Seminarians: Happy to be called to the hell of Calvary in solidarity with Jesus. Beatitude!

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So many! Might you pray in solidarity with them as they follow our Lord’s call even while all of hell is unleashed? Here, then, is the prayer:

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In the midst of the present crisis we’re trying to do right by our Lord Jesus, building our own seminary to do this.

All our big donors for the seminary – who do their research – have said that things have changed because of the present crisis, saying that because of all the horrible news and the lackadaisical attitude to be found pretty much everywhere about faith and morals, from seminaries to priests to bishops all the way to Rome, they have changed their minds on their big donations.

Instead of donating what they promised, because, they said, we’re trying our best to do the right thing in every way, they are all going to double their donations. That means, from $500,000.00 to $1,000,000.00 for one donor, and so it went with the others.

Here in the diocese of Charlotte, we’re doubling down, entrenching with our Lord Jesus. More attendance at Mass. More Confessions. More Adoration. More vocations. And after that, more vocations again.

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Speaking against priests retirement assessment and what happened then

DONKEY FOX

Donkeys are often the Shepherds of Sheep because they kill the wolves.

This past weekend we started taking up a second collection for priests retirement, which is an obligatory assessment proportionally burdening parishes as stipulated by the “central administration” of Charlotte Diocese.

I told everyone that I totally DISagree with this collection as it should be totally unnecessary. “Just my opinion,” I said, “but I don’t think priests should ever retire. I think they should be martyrs.” My “tone” was that of encouragement for priests.

Of course there was laughter with that statement as I had preached rather ferociously about the present crisis. The laughter means that they agreed. ;-) But, of course, they know that such a grace is up to our Lord’s providence, so they contributed with generosity to the retirement fund. Priests are humbled with this lay led shepherding of the older donkeys shepherds.

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Knotted nylon rosaries for priests? Update: Encouragement for priests!

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This was made for me by a seminarian at a seminary where I was teaching a while back. He added the miraculous medal. He’s now a priest after the Heart of our Lord. I added the medal of Saint Benedict (gift from a cloistered Benedictine nun who prays for me).

I really like unbreakable rosaries as I’ve broken all other “unbreakable” rosaries. Also, I guess it’s the nylon, it doesn’t twist up into unknottable knots. Perhaps it carries the blessing of Our Lady Undoer of Knots. Anyway, I love everything about it.

To the point: A priest friend noted my EDC mention of this rosary and wondered where he could get one. I’m going to be brave and ask if anyone knows how to make such things and wouldn’t mind making such a rosary for a priest. Note the color! Note that the “Our Father” knots about twice as many twists as the “Hail Mary” knots. Don’t worry about medals. Priests know how to add their favorite medals or crucifixes.

I mean, we want to support good prayer of our priests, right? Even priests can be saints. Difficult to imagine that, I know, but it’s true. We need to help each other get to know Jesus through Mary all the more all the time. But if we can’t attempt such a rosary, perhaps a Hail Mary for him and all priests would be awesome: Hail Mary…

Update: We have a promise of a rosary or even a few coming up in a few days. This is great encouragement for us priests from the laity. This is much needed these days. So, thanks especially for that. In fact, this is what I’m sensing: the Holy Spirit is firing up the Mystical Body of Christ, more Mass attendance, more Adoration, more Confession, more personal support and encouragement. All priests thus encouraged are most thankful.

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Perfecting EDCC for priests: “car carry”

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EDCC (every day car carry) for a priest should include rituals new and old with useful quick reference pages for emergencies at the moment of death. I have a standing permission from the bishop to do house blessings as exorcisms of a place as long as it’s within the territory of my parish, which is gargantuan geographically, and also for elsewhere as long as the parish priest of that parish is good with it. Holy Water with the old blessings / exorcisms is a must not only for blessings and exorcisms but also for emergency baptisms, for the blessings of graves at burials.

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An epi-pen is a regular for the EDCC, as is THE EXTRACTOR. You can get one SAWYERs EXTRACTORs on Amazon for like 12 bucks. It’s a reverse syringe, so that pressing the plunger make for suction. There are different size cups depending on the kind of wound or snake bite. There are so many brown recluse spiders and timber rattlers round about, not to mention yellow jackets and such. This is extremely powerful, much better than anything else I’ve ever seen. I’ve used it really a lot, enough to wear one out, and these are heavy duty. I guess I either look for trouble or trouble searches me out.

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This rides around with me for any eventuality… as does this:

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A fire extinguisher? It’s pretty small, fitting into the passenger door bottle holder. I guess the reason is past experience with an el-cheapo car, which was leaking gasoline onto the red hot headers, so much so quickly that the gasoline was cooling the headers. I mentioned that I smelled gas to a truck driver and he took a look and said that I had a really good guardian angel, because there’s absolutely no way that a fire shouldn’t have immediately engulfed the whole car right through the so-called firewall. And here I had been driving around like that for quite a while. That was years ago.

On the floor of the back seat there’s all that’s needed for the day-off target practice…

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Perfecting EDC for a priest

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Starting with the lower left moving clockwise, not on the belt:

  • Unbreakable nylon rope knotted rosary with miraculous and St Benedict medals.
  • Purple stole for Confession and sacraments and sacramentals like exorcism.
  • Hospital I.D.
  • Bait wallet with a dollar bill and fake credit cards etc. I’ve been shaken down before. Not a pleasant experience. But I don’t want to be hamstrung without the contents of my real wallet. If this works until you can exit the scene, great. If not, it buys you precious seconds to put another plan into action.

Inside the belt also not carried on the belt (left to right):

  • Oleum Infirmorum (unseen: personal medicines)
  • Voice recorder, for when I can’t take notes but have to remember something, also for homilies at whatever of the churches on whatever day.
  • Pen, which goes on the shoulder pen pocket.
  • El-cheapo watch that no one would want to steal or be envious about.
  • Real wallet, which includes medical cards, credit cards, drivers licence, gun permit, car insurance and registration, USCCA insurance (I can’t recommend this more), enough cash for rubbish food if on the road way too long on any day, and for ammo for the days off.
  • Phone which also contains all medical indications such as conditions and meds taken and those that are essential and why and counter-indications for whatever might be done in an emergency situation.

Lower right corner:

  • Scapular of Mount Carmel (I have a super long and wild history with this). This goes  over the undershirt and under the 5-11 shirt.
  • Pyx from Lourdes given to all permanent chaplains by UNITALSI. Of course, I only have this when I’m carrying the blessed Sacrament. It hangs around the neck but the Pyx is placed deep in a very useful 5-11 shirt cargo pocket over the heart. Ritual books can also fit in these huge cargo pockets when visiting hospitals, rehabs, nursing homes, shut-ins. The 5-11 tactical shirts are the best clergy shirts I know.

On the belt, starting with the handgun:

  • Glock 19 Gen 4 with no backstrap, no Hogue grip, with tritium sights installed in Smyrna (this is something I’ve had to bring to the fore for real a number of times). I’m guessing I’m one of the most shot at priests. Nothing has ever connected. All it takes is once. Many have suffered that and are on their way… For them: Hail Mary… The Glock is chambered with 15 in the magazine. These are defensive rounds. The Glock is carried appendix, but outside which makes it possible. I don’t even know it’s there even after all-day carry, which is, in fact, all day, every day.
  • Keys by the zillions, which hang from the Serpa Blackhawk, the dreaded, hated, dangerous holster which I love to pieces as an aggressor simply cannot defeat it’s locking mechanism, but which is, relatively speaking, zero problem for the carrier.
  • Tourniquet. This is not just about guns. I’m often doing dangerous things with chainsaws and such. Also, the leg is such that if there were even a minor accident in the wrong conditions, compound fractures would be all too easy and multiple.
  • On the right side, a flashlight, really bright, also with strobe. Use it all the time.
  • Two mags situated for quick combat reload with full metal jacket. I mean, if you need this, someone’s wearing a ballistic vest, right?
  • Attached to the bottom of the mag carrier is a 2 1/2″ straight blade in combat position for the left hand but also available to the right hand. This is also opposite side appendix carry outside the belt, which makes it possible.

Just to say, I wear the 5-11 tactical shirt NOT tucked in, and so a multitude of sin is covered over, you know, like the love of God and neighbor in all good contrition covers a multitude of sin. ;-)

Then there’s car-carry EDC for a priest. More on that in another post.

Any suggestions most welcome.

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Whistle-blower Priest murdered?! Rejoice and be exceedingly happy…

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The other week when I snapped this picture of one of the doors of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome I very much noticed the grotesque nature of how martyrdom comes about: Yikes!

But now, not long after, I review this scene of the martyrs and call to mind the Beatitudes and so long to be with them, no longer seeing anything grotesque, no longer any shock. I only see their enduring love and oneness with the Truth, who is our Way and Life. I see that such love, given them by God as placed into tabernacles of the Holy Spirit is a love stronger than death, is enthusiastic to go to heaven even in the midst of torture and death. Such great love! Look at that! Such great love!

Then, last night, the special report below from Church Militant showed up at the very top of my youtube recommended-for-me list. The old television journalistic investigative reporter spirit comes to the fore for Michael Voris especially in this episode. Hats off to him. Spectacular work. Really well done.

I would add just one more thing to that report: there really are a lot of priests like the one spoken about in this special report. It makes me think that the author of a certain eleven page report is not wrong to have removed himself from availability to others to do him harm. Saint Thomas More insisted that we have to use our wits to stay alive, but if Providence provides that we be martyrs, well, that’s up to the Lord. This is well worth the watch. While I say “Yikes!” again for a moment, I then am again in awe of the martyrs, how they have a love which is stronger than death, the Love of our Lord, who is Himself the One, the only One, who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire:

After seeing this, I immediately called up the author of one of the “packages” I brought over by hand to be directly delivered into the hands of Pope Francis with particular oral explanations (which was done). I told the author of that “package” that he had better watch his back. We had a great discussion about heaven. I am heartened. I just now spoke with the author of the other “package” and told him the same thing. Both packages go the heart of the present crisis. They indicate that something must be done.

But, all the same, whatever way it works out, if it all comes to violence and martyrdom, rejoicing in Jesus’ Truth and Love stronger than death is always the way to go. Again, I am heartened by the witness of of the authors of my “packages.”  So, just to say:

  • Verbum Domini manet in aeternum.
  • Copiosa apud Eum Redemptio.
  • Misericordias Domini in aeternum cantabo.

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Homily 2018 09 19 Assessing Jesus, John

flautist

In this homily I went after the legitimacy of we, the great unwashed, assessing Jesus and John. Pfft. Like that‘s going to work. Pfft.

Jesus said to the crowds:

“To what shall I compare the people of this generation?
What are they like?

They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another,

♬ ‘We played the flute for you, ♬ but you did not dance. ♬
♬ We sang a dirge, ♬ but you did not weep.’ ♬

For John the Baptist came neither eating food nor drinking wine,
and you said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’

The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said,
‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’

But wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”

That Wisdom is God’s Love. God is Love.

That Wisdom is God’s Truth. God is Truth.

But the manipulators of political correctness unto themselves know nothing of God’s Love, of God’s Truth. So that can’t see anything of honesty and integrity of the lives of Jesus and John.

Here’s the deal: they cut off John’s head with their self-absorption; they crucified Jesus with their self-absorption. It all comes down to self-absorption.

To save us from self-absorption is why John pointed out Jesus; it’s why Jesus stood in our place, the innocent for the guilty, to have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. And we were oblivious. God loved us while we were yet sinners. Yep. The Light shining into the darkness. Thank you, Lord. You’re the One. You’re the only One.

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Review Board rejects Paul of Tarsus

Saint Paul Conversion Damascus Caravaggio

The vicious, murderous Saul, was graced with a vocation by Jesus. But Lord, he said, they will hold my past against me! I am evil and bad. Don’t worry, Jesus replied, I shall be with you. And so it was, Saint Paul would boast of his weakness so as to give Jesus the glory.

If we go before our judgment and Satan would be allowed to accuse us for all we have done, each one of us, and if God would judge us only on those accusations, whether true or false, out of context or not, we would all be going straight to hell. The faith is about mercy, about the Good News, the Evangelium, the Gospel, not about an uncontrollable lust to condemn all to hell with no chance of redemption, with no chance of salvation if they are not already mirror images of ourselves. The faith is not about only bad news confirming only bad news. Playing the part of the Accuser, damning others with no chance of redemption and salvation, is a rejection of Christ who redeemed all and wants that the many be saved. Jesus said that those who deny him before men He will deny before His Heavenly Father.

It’s time, I think, to re-publish something I came across back in the early 1980s at Father Paul Marx’ Human Life Center in Collegeville, MN (which later became Human Life International in Front Royal, VA), then operated by the famous R.M. I put this up on this blog a few years ago, and have used many times in my life.

A gate-keeper psychologist for vocations to the priesthood for a nearby Archdiocese (he hated that description of himself), passed this bit of parody below around to everyone, poking fun at those in his profession who had no faith whatsoever (slightly edited).

It demonstrates that if one is looking for something to condemn, one can find ten thousand examples even in the greatest of saints. And any one of those things is today way more than enough to have one sent off for an “evaluation” at, say, the homosexualist crusaders at Saint Luke Institute, the results of which evaluation are predetermined by the one who is paying (not by what is actually known about the subject). Dismissals from the clerical state are multiplied. When you have a troublesome priest like the one described below, they are literally cast out of the priesthood. Truly. Pretty much everywhere.

I mean, just imagine, there are those even among the cardinals of the Church who condemn our Lord as a failure for having died on the Cross. They say this with a reluctant and sad voice of a forced admission. For them, even our Lord should have been sent away for evaluation and then dismissed. Isn’t it true that those who only condemn have to look for more to condemn, even if it is not there? The following is a call for an examination of conscience for us all:

MEMO

To: Paul of Tarsus, Independent Missionary, Corinth, Greece
From: CYA Missionary Board

Dear Mr. Paul:

We recently received an application from you for service under our Board.

It is our policy to be as frank and open-minded as possible with all our applicants. We now have an exhaustive study of your case. To be plain, we are surprised that you have been able to pass as a bona fide missionary.

We are told that you are afflicted with severe eye trouble. This is certain to be an insuperable handicap to an effective ministry. Our Board requires 20/20 vision.

Is it true that you have a jail record? Certain brethren report that you did two years’ time at Caesarea, and were imprisoned at Rome too. You made so much trouble for the businessmen at Ephesus that they refer to you as “the man who turned the world upside down.” Sensationalism has no place in the missions. We also deplore your lurid “over the wall in a basket” episode at Damascus.

We are appalled at the obvious lack of conciliatory behavior. Diplomatic men are not stoned and dragged out of the city gate, or assaulted by furious mobs. Have you ever considered that gentler words might gain you friends? Why, we even read in one place where all men turned against you, those of like faith too. I am enclosing for your edification a copy of Dallas Carnegus’ book entitled, How to Win Jews and InfluenceGreeks.

Your ministry has been far too flighty to be successful. First Asia Minor, then Macedonia, then Greece, then Italy, and now you are talking of a wild goose chase into Spain. Have you not suspected that a nice cozy spot in some permanent location might do more good? Concentration is more important than dissipation of one’s powers. You cannot win the whole world by yourself. You are just one little Paul!

In a recent sermon you said, “God forbid that I should glory in anything save the cross of Christ. ” It seems to us that you ought also to give some glory to our heritage, our denominational program, the unified budget, and the World Federation of Churches. And by all means don’t forget the League of Consensus and the Society of Niceness.

It’s amusing to us how you say you do the work of an evangelist when there are just a few of you romping around the countryside. Our method is to spend months in promoting evangelistic campaigns. With a full house, there’s bound to be some action: your methods are too uncertain.

And who do you think you are in telling our church leaders that you long to impart some spiritual blessing to them! Are they not educated enough to have their own blessing? Frankly, Mr. Paul, it’s a trifle too humbling to have plain ordinary men like yourself stand on the same platform with our titled professionals.

Dr. Luke reports that you are a thin little man, bald, frequently sick, and always so agitated over your little church groups that you sleep very poorly. He states that you pad around the house praying half the night. A healthy mind and a robust body is what we expect and require.

You recently wrote to Timothy that you had “fought a good fight.” Fighting is hardly a recommendation for a missionary. No fight is a good fight. Jesus came not to bring the sword, but peace. You boast too that you fought wild beasts at Ephesus. What on earth do you mean?

It hurts me to tell you this, Paul, but in my 25 years of experience I have never met a man who is so opposite to the requirements of this Mission Board. If we were to accept you, we would be breaking almost every rule in modern missionary practice.

Mr. Heady High-Minded
Director of the MISSIONARY BOARD

That could be edited to include more, of course. For instance, one could say that Paul’s words against the rancor and violence of bullying homosexualist crusaders (Romans 1:18 to the end of the chapter) is not the inclusive way to go these days.

We could add another bit of sarcasm in reference to Paul’s condemnation of doing evil to achieve good, which was very much the modus operandi described in detail in the USCCB’s document on medical ethics.

I wonder if we could come up with a list of saints who were dismissed or discounted or ignored or despised by the world and, indeed, within the Church, but who became the greatest of saints. Oh, that’s right. It would be all of them.

But no, really, how about Saint Francis? Remember his conversation with Brother Leo on perfect joy? That would surely seal one’s fate in most seminaries as being against the super mansions that some of our bishops have built.

And then consider Saint Benedict Joseph Labre?

Saint Ignatius was hailed as insane by all during his visit to Jerusalem?

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Epicenter actual victim of the crisis: visions of evil priests and holy priests

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St Joseph Cupertino (marginalized until he got to heaven!)

Padre Pio was once smashed down by a vision of all the souls of priests who were saying Mass at that moment in an unworthy state, and this just as he was leaving the sacristy to say Mass himself. He blanched and, staggering, almost fell to the floor at the crushing horror of the scene placed before his soul. Our Lord wanted to share with him what our Lord Himself saw from the cross. This is the vocation of all priests, to be with our Lord, to be in solidarity with Him even as He is in solidarity with us. This is the Mass.

Meanwhile, yours truly, just minutes before Mass yesterday evening, got a call from […] Oh my! And then I heard the story and a way I could help. I was introduced to the epicenter actual victim of the crisis. I will today try to do something for him. This encounter is a nuclear explosion. This encounter is God’s doing and is wonderful in our eyes. Please pray that something absolutely fantastic and glorious happens today for the priesthood and the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I am heartened. It’s always heartening to be introduced to someone who has suffered and has remained faithful to our Lord under great duress through the decades. What faith! What character! What friendship with Jesus! I am heartened. Please say a Hail Mary for this intention: Hail Mary…

 

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Day Off: feast for this priest in a time of smashing priests down

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Happenstance stopping by at a friend’s house on the day off, I was immediately presented with rib eye with Bearnaise and mushrooms in a wine bath, with deli bread and Perrier to wash it down. And then dessert (there’s ice cream in there too):

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That’s really very nice altogether with the whole swirl of no due process for priests darkening peoples’ minds and souls. Really very nice altogether. Might your priest appreciate this support?

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The day this priest was accused of pedophilia: Introibo ad altare Dei. Accused priests, pay attention!

Mass Lourdes Pius X Basilica

Yours truly offering a Solemn High Mass with well over 7000 present in the Underground Basilica of Saint Pius X on 15 August 2008. The deacon and subdeacon are of course, now ordained for the FSSP. The vestments may well have been from Pius IX. The Missal is from yet another FSSP friend. I’m not FSSP, but I was the official[!] “Latin Mass” permanent chaplain in Lourdes since immediately after the famous 7-7-2007 motu proprio of Benedict XVI.

Sometimes we would have Mass in Saint Joseph’s underground church, sometimes on the top floor of the confessional building, sometimes in the top floor of the medical building, sometimes in an under-the-church-chapel of the Basilica of Saint Bernadette, sometimes in either of the two chapels at the front of the upper Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, sometimes in the crypt Chapel, sometimes in the side chapels of the crypt chapel, sometimes in the side chapels of the Rosary Basilica, sometimes in the basement chapel of the Chaplains House, sometimes, finally, in the upper Basilica of the Immaculate Conception over the Grotto.

The accusation came after a most glorious Mass in the upper Basilica of our Lady on a Sunday morning at which there were quite a number of individual pilgrims, groups of pilgrims and, to the point, large families of pilgrims in the pews, you know, with moms and dads and boys and girls kneeling before the Holy Sacrifice. Absolutely beautiful. I was, of course, the luckiest priest in the entire world to have this privilege of bringing the Mass of Tradition, of the ages, back to Lourdes after many decades when it had been banned. The pilgrims loved it. Besides being the “Latin Mass” chaplain I had also been a permanent member of the Italian Language Chaplains Group, and of the English Language Chaplains Group, and of the French Language Chaplains Group. But I digress.

After Mass I made my way back over to the Chaplains House, brought my vestments and Missal and such back to my room on the top floor. I would watch the rivers of pilgrims, by the thousands, coming down the small mountain in back of the Chaplains House, coming off the last stretch of the “Upper Stations.” Finally I went down to the dining room for lunch. It was a perfect summer Sunday. Because of my unique position of having been with so many language groups depending on their needs I could decide at which table to sit. This day there were a few empty places at the English Language Chaplains Group table, so I headed there. You have to know that on any given day there may be present any number of bishops and cardinals and politicians and dignitaries in that dining room.

Present at “my” table was a “Temporary Chaplain” who was single-handedly throughout the decades responsible for the erosion of the prayerful atmosphere at Lourdes, responsible for the destruction of the “Youth Mass”. Needless to say, he hated the Mass of 1962, of the Ages, of Tradition, with great passion. His hatred was always a subject of discussion at table. Not able to forbid the Mass, his plan was to attack me. As soon as he saw me he shouted out for all the dining room guests to hear that I was pedophile. The room, of course, went silent. I asked, “Why do you say that?” He said, thankfully, just as loudly for all to hear, as this was his point in his war against the Traditional Mass:

“I say you are a pedophile because you say that damned Latin Mass and we’ve gone beyond that and you scandalize children who attend that Mass giving them the impression that that Mass is good when it’s not because it’s destroying their character; it’s destroying their ability to look forward, to the future. They’re vulnerable at that age and you’re taking advantage of them by saying that horrible Latin Mass. Pope Benedict should be deposed. Damn him.”

With appropriate stares burning through that “Temporary Chaplain” from all present, the hubbub of the meal immediately picked up again and again it was a beautiful Sunday. I brush that kind of thing off like I brush away a mosquito. It’s annoying for about one second, and then one forgets about it. Whatever. It’s better if you don’t let it draw blood, perhaps infecting you, lowering you to that level.

I remember telling that story in front of a priest who was quite the ecclesiastical climber. He heard the whole story, but all he wanted to hear is that I had “been accused” so that he could smack me down and play the hero. That’s so disgusting. He immediately had me reported to my superior, who, also hearing the entire story, immediately threw me in a dumpster. That was literally the only place in the world I was allowed to exist with a blessing. Yep. They all said that it didn’t sound like a credible accusation, but an accusation is an accusation. That was it. Period. It happens all the time.

Seeing these antics and their anguish and their abuse of office and their climbing up on the corpses of their brothers whom they kill at will, I actually laughed, brightly grinning, even while out of the blue I was threatened with a law suit should I ever repeat how I was being treated. Well, I didn’t use any identifying markers in the story, did I? No. Again, lol, still today. Sorry, but I can’t be hurt. Jesus died for me. So, it’s like… someone else can hurt me in some way? No. That would be laughable. It is laughable. Pfft.

Note to my fellow priests who have been accused, whether you’re innocent or guilty. Our Lord also died for you and brings you His sanctifying grace. And then, after that, ecclesiastical ladder climbing over your corpses doesn’t really matter does it? No. Keep the faith. Or regain the faith. This life is short. Heaven is around the corner, much sooner than later. Remember, it’s all about Jesus. He’s the One. He’s the only One. It’s not about climbers climbing the ladder on mountains of dead priests that they’ve killed. Instead, it’s about Jesus. Only Jesus. He’s the One. He’s the only One.

By the way, I’ve since been able to climb out of the dumpster. And if anyone thinks that a post like this is a scandal about the priesthood and vocations, I say that such a person is utterly ignorant of the way things are. Jesus had his Judas, did He not, telling us also the way things would be should he call someone to the priesthood? Yes. This kind of thing doesn’t put off vocations. It inspires young men to fight the good fight. Why? Because it helps them to understand that it’s about Jesus. He’s the One. He’s the only One.

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By the way, that “Temporary Chaplain” gave me a donkey as a parting gift when I left Lourdes as I had originally planned before I even went there (I had asked for two years to hear the confessions of the millions of pilgrims – one year we had 12 million pilgrims). This was perhaps a year after his fake-news accusation. He still considers and always considered me a friend. He just didn’t like the Traditional Mass and was blaming the Mass for all of society’s ills. Typical. Anyway, here it is, part of my collection. BTW, the “A” stands for donkey in French, as the French name for donkeys begins with “A”. But we all know the meaning in English literature, don’t we? Yes, we do. Whatever. Jesus has also conquered stupidity. BTW, I always ask dying parishioners to tell Jesus that there is a donkey priest down on earth who needs His special help. They say that surely Jesus will respond that all priests are donkeys, so which one in particular was in need of special help? Hahaha. But I think Jesus will know exactly who the donkey priest is.

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Filed under Abuse, Father Byers Autobiography, Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis, Priesthood, Vocations

Speak Hear See No Evil

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This hand-carved version of monkeys imitating their human counterparts was seen at the rectory of another of our parishes in the region when some of us priests got together just to do it, you know, for ribeye and other grilled extravaganzas, along with some great conversation about – What else? – exorcism and all things of the people of God. It was not an evening of speak, hear and see no evil. Instead, all things were spoke, heard and seen with Jesus, for, as He said, where two or three are gathered in my name there am I in their midst. A very pleasant evening. I love being a priest.

Having said that, the monkeys are an incisive reminder that we can all fall into political correctness and just go along to get along, which is always hurtful to all of us. But when we laugh together at how weak we can be, imitating the monkeys imitating us, and therefore rejoicing in the strength and grace of the Priest of priests, the very Son of God, that is helpful to us all. Yes. I think so. I know so. I believe in One God, the Father Almighty…

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Happiness in the parish: Adoration, Confessions, Communion calls…

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My Confessor hates when I do this, but I know how weak I am. I’m still waaaaay overtired as I’ve been going non-stop after coming back from Rome. I knew early Sunday morning that if I didn’t get in my entire breviary I would miss saying even important hours like Vespers, so I did the whole thing during 6:00 AM adoration holy hour between confessions at the parish church before running up to Graham county for the first Mass at Prince of Peace in Robbinsville. As I say, my Confessor hates that. That’s not the way the breviary is to be said. But, it was a good thing I did it all at once. By the time all the Masses were over, and all the Communion calls and Anointing of the sick in the afternoon, I was ready to collapse. Which I did, in my chair, at I think 6:00 PM. I was out like a light. I didn’t move even once until 2:00 AM. I’m a very light sleeper, so this was crazy. I’m one happy priest.

I’m also happy to use a keyboard once again. I was doing all the posts on the blog while in Rome from my phone. I didn’t have a computer with me. I posted a lot during that second Missionaries of Mercy get together. That’s because it was all on the fly, most all posts being written beginning to end while on the bus or tram or subway or walking. Not great for situational awareness, but Italy, mind you, and in particular the big city of Rome, with characters from all over the world, and regardless of all the pickpockets, is so very calm and peaceful compared to my villages of Andrews and Robbinsville.

Anyway, this scene is next to me on the wall of the Confessional:

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  • I look Jesus in the eye as I give absolution.
  • I look at Mary in the eye as I give a penance.

I recall a story which Pope Francis has now told us Missionaries of Mercy for the second time in as many years. He said he knew an old confessor who would hear many hours of confessions every day, and afterward he would go to kneel before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and confess to Jesus that he was surely a terrible priest, for he had forgiven really very much sin that day, maybe too much, and he would ask Jesus for forgiveness, a bit tongue in cheek however, for he would then immediately add that it was all Jesus’ fault, for Jesus Himself had given us such a bad example on the cross: “Father, forgive them…”

Communion Calls for me are the highlight of my life. Many priests delegate these to others. I mean, I get it. They are all, without exception, in bigger parishes than mine and they can’t do everything themselves. Only I have that joy in regard to visiting all the shut-ins. Priests are best for this as priests can hear confessions and anoint those in danger of death. There are many saints among us. It is such a day-brightener for the soul to be with them.

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Picture of Fathers Day for Priests

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Fathers Day for Priests is the day they renew their promises all together with the bishop of their (arch)diocese in the Cathedral. The promises are all about renewing what their intentions were at the time of their ordination, that is, to be of service to Christ Jesus in His Priesthood, doing this through preaching the Word, through the Sacraments, through getting the members of the Mystical Body of Christ on their way to heaven. All of this is summarized in the photo above. Gotta love the shoes of the kid in the picture above (sent in by a reader).

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Jesus is delusional paranoid possessed. Damned if you do or don’t. Hah!

JESUS I AM

Jesus: “Why are you trying to kill me?”

Crowd: “You are possessed! Who is trying to kill you?”

Jesus: “I performed one work and all of you are amazed because of it.”

Stare at that for just a bit. See John 7:19ff. And this deadly death-mongering over-amazement in the all waaaaay toooo interesting Jesus was common. Can you think of other instances where Jesus is said to be possessed or delusional or paranoid, where He’s called names? It was common in His day. And it’s common today.

Here’s the deal: Jesus just said it like it was, and people said, effectively, “To hell with you, you damn preacher-man. We’re going to kill you. No one is trying to kill you! But we’re going to kill you.”

Interesting. Jesus is the most interesting Priest in the world. Kill Him!

Anyone who is at all trying to be at least a little bit faithful to the Most High should recognize this lockstep dynamic in his life and, because of that, in our lives.

I remember a scene at the Pontifical Josephinum Seminary up in Ohio some years ago when, sitting with a half dozen of the seminarians for lunch, someone asked a question which, to answer, I recounted an anecdote that went right to whatever point it was that was being made. Half-way through that historical account, one of the seminarians, to the embarrassment of the others, stood up and, with arms flailing, eyes wide, complained really quite loudly that this was all just too much, too impossible:

“No one can have that many experiences in his life. It’s just not possible. You’re making all that up.”

And here I thought that that particular account was really pretty boring, whatever it was. Anyway, off he went, effectively killing me off, so to speak. I then told the remaining seminarians something which I have repeated a thousand times to others:

“You’ll all have a wildly interesting life, from one moment to the next, if you are always faithful to goodness and kindness and justice and truth and mercy. If you don’t compromise Jesus, if you don’t spit on Him so as to think you are protecting yourselves in all of the damned if you do, damned if you don’t situations you will certainly come across almost on a daily basis, He will take care of you. There is always a third option besides compromising non-negotiables in one direction or the other. That third option is being faithful to Jesus.”

I mean, examples are rife, and can be had in daily rounds to Catholic hospitals for instance, all damned if you do, damned if you don’t situations, not because of doing anything special, but because others among one’s fellow priests have given in, compromised in non-negotiables of life and death, of goodness and kindness and justice and truth and mercy. “How dare you not compromise! How dare you simply do the right thing!”

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t situations are the usual fare that our fallen human nature puts before all and sundry who might simply be faithful to the Most High, such as Jesus and all the rest of us who are drawn to Him in friendship, knowing His forgiveness. That friendship puts an edge on all interactions, providing us with grace that we might be instantaneously indignant that we would be asked to compromise doctrine or morality for the reason that such compromise would be offensive to Mary’s Son, Jesus.

This is so true and it happens so frequently – quite a constant really – that one could easily blurt out with Jesus – “Why are you trying to kill me?” – to which exclamation, of course, the bewildered response would be: “You are delusional, paranoid, possessed! Who is trying to kill you?” And then they go on in their blurred existence to marginalize and damn whoever it is that is simply trying in some way to be faithful on the non-negotiables, such as goodness and kindness and justice and truth and mercy. One’s situational awareness comes to expect the worst while believing the best, an oft betrayed naivete in which one rejoices, the cause of laughter, you know, with Jesus, who loves the humor. Situational awareness concerning the damned if you do or don’t crowd is consonant with love:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 nab).

Situational awareness concerning the damned if you do or don’t crowd is consonant with light:

“The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be” (Matthew 6:22-23 nab).

But to the compromised, love and light seems to be delusional, paranoid, possessed, dark, suffering, distressed. Um…. no.

“But what do you do in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation? What do you do? What do you do? What do you do? This isn’t right! We’re entitled! We have rights! We’re… we’re… we’re… you know… us!”

There is always a third option. Be faithful to Jesus. And then rejoice that you are said to be delusional, paranoid, possessed.

For myself, I never would have had any care about damned if you do or don’t situations, ever, in life, had I just compromised, had I just ignored situations. But that is soooo boring. I would rather have a wildly interesting life following the most interesting High Priest ever, Jesus, Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire, delusional, paranoid and possessed that He is. Amen. Hah!

There are many times that commiserators or Job’s friends would think are occasions of distress and sorrow and darkness and confusion, but don’t realize the enthusiasm and joy by which one stands next to Jesus, gaping with Him at whatever damned if you do or don’t situation has come up on whatever given day, and then elbow Jesus in the ribs (watch out for the wound though), and ask Him how He’s going to deal with this most absolutely impossible situation, only to watch Him ably turn the tables, every time. Every time.

I remember one particularly absolutely impossible situation and, with a smirk, was doing just this, asking Jesus how He was going to deal with this situation, thinking this was wonderful entertainment which He was happy to provide. He’s always the one and only Priest, happy to be the Priest for us in whatever situation should we want Him to be there. But this was an absolutely impossible situation. Hah! I was really enjoying it. What happened is that the person forcing the impossible situation implicated himself (a bishop of a far-away place, actually), smacking himself down, and then cleared the way to a solution in which the angels could rejoice. And you don’t want to offend angels! I am amazed to this day, but not tooooo amazed. Jesus is the One. He’s the only One. It’s all about Him, He who is delusional, paranoid, possessed. Thank you, Jesus.

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Fr Byers is escaping his priesthood

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Seen a gazillion feet up along the top of the mountain chain roads on Communion Calls. It’s all so very beautiful that it must be an escape from reality!

As long time readers know, I remain always fascinated with Mountain Life, perhaps because I feel at home, perhaps because I grew up this way. I love everything about nature, and I love that Jesus goes after all of us everywhere who have a fallen human nature, whether in city or country, on whatever continent in whatever culture or language or politics. What’s there that is not priestly about wanting to be part of that in whatever way in whatever place? But that bit about escaping the real drama of the priesthood is the judgment I hear frequently enough from some priests and some laity, that I am somehow misplaced in this paradise, that I have unused and even buried talents, blah, blah, blah. It is to laugh.

I wonder if the attitude behind such statements betrays a certain prejudice against those who live in these backsides of the beyonds. The locals are absolutely amazing, each a treasure in God’s eyes, entirely having histories with which I am already familiar with coming from a place very much like here. All the good things. All the bad. And those who are not local, oh my, so many of them I wouldn’t say are somehow more special, but so many of them do have rather, shall we say, unique backgrounds, having some of the most unique talents one would ever find anywhere, including all that which regards science, communications, military, intelligence services, finance and, yes, crime at very refined and very non-refined levels.

So, if it’s the not the area, not the locals, not the transplants, then what would it be that would have people say frequently enough that I am somehow escaping my priesthood or, diversely, that I am misplaced? Perhaps it is the opposite of what people might themselves expect.

Here’s the deal: I love it here, as I love being a priest everywhere and in every way. Not all priests are like that and perhaps it is refreshing to see that, so refreshing that it is somehow held to be something special about yours truly as a priest, so much so that I must not really belong here because that attitude is so unusual and so useful. But, I protest, loving the priesthood is just the normal Father Joe Schmoe priest thing, isn’t it? Aren’t all priests to be that way? And isn’t that something that has to do not with any particular priest, particularly me, but with Jesus the High Priest Himself? He’s the One. He’s the only One.

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Peripheries are beautiful. Where are backsides of the beyonds? Violence?

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Gorgeous! Stecoah Gap, just one of the places where the Appalachian Trail crosses a major, that is, actual two lane road[!] somewhere in the backsides of the beyonds in one of the three counties of my parish. Within living memory, what is today a two hour trip here, say, from the greater metropolitan Asheville, would take, back in the day, many days or even a week or two of grueling travel on a one lane, merely oil sprayed gravel road everywhere destroyed by tree roots bringing it up and pot holes and total washouts bringing it down. Even in my tenure at this parish in our own time I learned the advantages of carrying a chainsaw with me, having used it on seven different occasions to remove trees from the roads in the middle of nowhere with no cellphone signal available. Three different roads I travel regularly have been totally taken out with multiple landslides or have been buried with landslides. One of them, still closed, needs the entire mountainside to be secured. That’ll take a good year or so.

Visiting priests tell me that they appreciate the beauty. They also tell me that, in their opinion, almost no priest would ever want to be here, that is, in the imagined opinion of those straw men, about as far away as is physically possible from everything and everyone. Maybe “big” parishes have a draw, I don’t know, as in power or ladder climbing, or money, being someone. Of course, I wouldn’t want to put that judgment on my fellow priests. Those are, again, all straw men. I’m guessing that what they would really be saying is about greater opportunities for service. But what someone actually does is, of course, arbitrary, regardless of where they are. I can’t imagine not loving everything about the mystical body of Christ wherever our Lord is to be found.

At any rate, having grown up in the backsides of the beyonds in the North Woods of Minnesota I feel right at home. Here’s a google map image of my stomping grounds. Long time readers might guess that it is across this body of water that I was the target of incoming rifle fire on multiple occasions with perhaps a dozen shots or so on each occasion (all 300 yards), not far from where our entire family was shot at a half dozen times with I’m guessing just bird-shot bbs of shotguns, the distances starting at just 200 feet and ending at 350 feet, firstly in the trees above us, then right at us. The spray was then hitting us, but we were far enough away that there was no penetration. But you could feel it hit through Winter coats. My mom was hit in the head a couple of times. “Ow! Ouch!” she exclaimed. But she did have a polyester hat on, typical of that time. My dad said, “Don’t run, just keep walking really quickly.” A psychological ploy. For my part, I turned and faced our attackers, saying that I was going to go and deal with them right then and there, with no weapon. I was only twelve years old. My dad insisted that that was a really bad idea.

pond

Hey! Just like big cities! So, where are the peripheries, in the country or in the city? Cities can be glimmering, shining. The country can be stunningly entrancing. Pope Francis speaks of the darkest of existential peripheries. Where are those?

Here’s the deal: People are the same at any time, in any place, in any culture. All need the goodness and kindness and truth of the Lord Jesus. Just like me.

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“Jesus Confesses” – Giving my cynical Internet Stalker profiler guy a chance to come clean with the mafia

Jesus confesses

This was a gift from the artist who wants to remain anonymous. So, I’ll claim the copyright on this, lest it be misused to hurt the Church. (C) 2018 George David Byers. Hey! Note the flag of Saint George!

I have much to say about the above drawing. I’ll bide my time. I have to rush off to do some Missionary of Mercy stuff.

For now, I’ll leave you with some words of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who is a canonized saint. And then some words of Hilaire Belloc. And then an invitation regarding some Racketeering and Corrupt Organizations (RICO).

“Jesus is the Word Made Flesh. Jesus is the Bread of Life. Jesus is the Victim offered for our sins on the Cross. Jesus is the Sacrifice offered at the Holy Mass. For the sins of the world and mine. Jesus is the Hungry, to be fed. Jesus is the Thirsty, to be satiated. Jesus is the Drunkard, to listen to him. Jesus is the Drug Addict, to befriend him. Jesus is the Prostitute, to remove from danger and befriend” (Mother Teresa: Meditation in the Hospital [summary]).

To put it in the words of Saint Paul: Jesus became sin for us.

Anyway, on to the irony without which there is no Christianity:

“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).]

Now, for RICO and my Internet Stalker guy: I need some help, some advice, and you really a quite clever. Prove your good faith. Help me figure out how to bring about in a way that actually might work for all involved what Pope Francis wants to do with the medicinal penalty of automatic / declared excommunication for the RICO crowd.

  • How do you move from a State conviction to an excommunication, you know, legitimately?
  • How do you have, say, Missionaries of Mercy, lift declared excommunications and absolve crimes without making penitents and the Missionaries of Mercy into targets because, you know, they know too much? I would hate to leave this to anyone else either in Rome or in whatever local church as becoming a target should be a volunteer mission (as in Missionaries of Mercy).
  • How does one sweep for listening devices, it being that the FBI, CIA, DEA, BATFE, DOJ, et alii, really really really would like to listen in on such confessions and have been known to bug confessionals previously (twice that I know of in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York)? This being for undeclared excommunications.

Just to say, the Italian Military liaison to the Holy See actually invited me to be appointed to a parish in Southern Italy admitting to the possible bugging of my Confessional in that parish for the purpose of going after the RICO crowd, admitting as well that if I didn’t play the game of absolving a local mafia guy by insisting he first go into hiding elsewhere I would most likely be shot right through the confessional screen by that mafia guy who was simply using the confessional to put the local priest (to whom all things come) under the seal of confession.

Here’s the deal. Interest has been growing in this topic of late in and around D.C. and North-East Virginia. I’m guessing something has been put in front of Pope Francis. I’m guessing he wants to present something to the Missionaries of Mercy after Easter this year. I’m guessing it will be insufficient. I’m guessing I would like to work something up a bit more nuanced from the confessor’s angle and send this in beforehand.

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Jesus goes to Confession

confessional jesus

A very sweet, nice image from, I think, the Baltimore Catechism. Fine. There is some correct theology there. Good. Jesus is making happen what He commanded His Apostles and their successors in Holy Orders to do. Great. But there is more.

Here’s another image, more recent, which emphasizes that the priest is acting in Persona Christiin the Person of Christ, for the absolution of sins:

confession jesus

That’s um… nice too. I like it. But, well, sheesh… there is so much more to what is happening in Confession that people really should realize, so that they have more of a sense of how deeply and completely they are forgiven even if their fallen human emotions still weigh them down with a guilt which isn’t there (which is a cross we sometimes carry, a cross which we are commanded to carry by Jesus, a cross which doesn’t hold us back spiritually, just the opposite).

I would like to see an image, a line-drawing say – even from someone thinking they have no talent for drawing faces, hands and such – of Jesus going to Confession to a priest, and perhaps in a more traditional Catholic setting, something like the photo below, but with an adult Jesus, with His wounds, going to Confession to the priest:

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Here’s the deal: Jesus walked among us so that He could stand in our place (or kneel in our place, or be crucified in our place), the Innocent for the guilty, so that He would have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. Effectively, He was taking our place, not only for original sin but for all of our personal sins, however hidden, however embarrassing, however shameful, confessing them, as it were, as if those sins were His own sins: “I did this…. I said that… I thought the other thing… I omitted doing…” And, by the way, Jesus got a penance, a big one, being tortured to death, the Innocent for the guilty. And He did His penance. Why? Because He really does, in fact, indeed, love us.

To be Christian we have to have a sense of what to us in this world seems to be such biting irony,  mercy being founded on justice, mercy and justice being one in God. Otherwise, we are a train-wreck:

  • Mere mercy cut off from noticing the above mentioned justice brings us instantaneously to the darkest of existential states of cynicism and doubt.
  • Mere justice which doubts even the possibility of mercy is a crushing darkness throwing us into the most existential peripheries of dark bitterness.

We’re just not strong enough to bear such horror, as it is untruth, for mercy is founded on justice and Jesus does bear the wounds which give Him the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. Does He love us? Does He forgive us? Yes.

Do we, in our weakness, want that our weakness goes away already in this world? Yes. And it doesn’t happen because, in justice, we have to suffer all the effects of original sin, even while carrying the grace of Christ within us, while we are in this world. To be free of the effects of original sin we have to be in heaven, where there will be no more weakness of mind, weakness of will, emotions all the hell over the place, no more sickness, no more death. Jesus isn’t going to throw away justice, for then He would also be throwing away mercy. Jesus instead lets all our weakness teach us how to be in humble thanksgiving to Jesus. Jesus doesn’t want that we beat ourselves up. He wants that we accept the forgiveness, but as mercy founded on justice. It is hurtful to have false expectations, as in “no more weakness in this world,” “no more cross,” “a method of salvation I came up with so that I can ditch that dumb Jesus with His dumb mercy founded on His dumb justice.” But, as said in the bulleted points above, that leads to an impossibly heavy, crushing darkness which throws us into the most impossible self-made peripheries, having us think we are outsiders. No. That’s not the way. Jesus is the Way. He’s the only Way. Jesus is the One. He’s the only one.

Let’s watch Him, let’s listen to Him confess all our sins. Let’s watch Him do His penance for us. We imposed our misery on ourselves. Jesus doesn’t like that. He came among us to take that misery away. We’ll see that especially in heaven. But we can already get a sense of His love for us here, even amidst all the chaos within and without. It’s like Saint Therese said, it’s not necessarily a jump up and down peace, but a peace bound by love which enables us to go on. We gotta be little children. Little. Children. Look at Jesus, in wonder, as He confesses our sins.

I would love to have a line drawing of this, even one with little talent.

And more, how about a little boy or girl watching Jesus go to Confession, with mouth agape in thankful wonder and surprise and joy.

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Caving to my Internet Stalker extortion deadline. Arise! Let us be going! Look, my betrayer is at hand!

gethsemane sleeping apostles

Here are some snipits of some missives from my Internet Stalker guy:

“I shall soon stop writing to you. But before I do I would be grateful if you would be so kind as to correct your statement that you attributed to me. Saying that I said ‘all priests should resign in protest at Pope Francis’. You know I never said that. This is a false allegation and I would request that you withdraw it. If you refuse to correct that statement then I shall consider my next step which is to […] I give you one week to correct the injustice of your false statement.”

First of all, I don’t know who you are, Mr Internet Stalker guy. It’s pretty brave of you to make demands by way of extortion with your “next step” when you don’t even identify yourself. How can you be offended when you don’t even say who you are?

And, previously:

“You said that I said all priests should resign in protest at pope Francis. Now why would you say that? You know it is a lie. Why would you lie? You know I never said that. Are you used to lieing?”

I like that spelling of “lying” by this super-intelligent guy, who writes “lieing” so as to emphasize the word. He’s trying to speak both to the Apostles sleeping (in context, as we’ll see) and to untruth. Anyway, we continue, and this time he is denying he could be the Internet Stalker guy. Going back in time with his comments:

“Your stalker guy must be very bad to demand that priests should resign in protest at pope Francis. Who would suggest such an evil notion?”

Who indeed? We continue, going back to his original demand (though not his first comment by far) that all priests in good standing resign in protest against Pope Francis. Let’s see what he says. I’m skipping the parts in which he attacks Pope Francis since error has no rights and my Internet Stalker as an Internet Stalker has no rights. [My comments in red]:

“Hi, I have read a bit about about your background. This helps me in making comments. I should be more understanding. You were probably born after Vatican II. [That’s just baiting. Instead, see: My Internet Stalker Guy apparently doesn’t know this about Jesus and me. Anyway, I find it interesting that he doesn’t say that he’s read my entire blog since inception, which would be assumed to be the case in regard to an Internet Stalker guy, but rather that he’s read about my background, which assumes other sources of information. That I find most interesting. It really is quite revealing.] So you have no idea how far the Church has drifted from its core ethos. [He speaks of the Church as no longer being in touch with “its (sic) core ethos,” thus revealing himself to be a heretic. “Ethos” refers to mere human custom. And that is exactly what some of his comments reflect. But, instead, the Church as the Church is always the Immaculate Bride of Christ. Period. If you can’t distinguish between some in-name-only members of the Church and The Church, or between some non-infallible dialogue and ex-Cathedra pronouncements, you are just another hypocritical protéstant.] Nevertheless. It is a fact that Francis is changing Church dogma, which he has no right to do. [My Internet Stalker, heretic that he is, claims that Pope Francis can actually change the doctrine of the Church, change the truth, which the Pope has not done. The Pope has spoken about “dialogue” which is not teaching. That the Pope cannot change dogma (if he did he would make himself God, but God cannot change the truth either) is a matter of faith essential to being Catholic. It’s called infallibility.] […] Tell yourself I’m right. [Umm… No. Your tantrums do not the truth make. Might does not make right.] You are leading the good life as a pastor. [Wow. What sarcasm about Jesus who would have his priests be pastors. This is hatred of Jesus and the Church. So, I’ll say this: I do love being a priest. But that’s not what he especially means. He wants priests to resign in protest against Pope Francis. For my Internet Stalker, priests in public ministry in good standing are necessarily hypocrites because to remain in public ministry means that one has not made enough waves so as to be forced to make a resignation or worse. That’s the only honest thing to do for the Internet Stalker guy as we’ll soon see.] But are you really, really following Christ? Are you not just swimming with the tide? Why don’t you support Fr Wineandy? [Father Weinandy was forced to resign. And, at any rate, I have supported Father Weinandy, and this guy has researched this if we are to believe him. See: Father Thomas Weinandy: Thank you! Hoping Pope Francis reinstates you, a post which I’ve written about at some length here: My internet stalker’s impossible litmus test: damned if I do, damned if I don’t. So, obviously, supporting Father Weinandy is not enough. Resignation in protest against Pope Francis by all priests in good standing in active ministry is the only way for my Internet Stalker.] Are you looking for a comfortable life?. Are you like the Apostles who when Christ returned the third time found them still sleeping? Are you sleeping like them? [If you think he’s being a bit repetitive here, it’s for a reason. He’s reminding me of the title of my blog, which are the words of Christ in reprimand to the sleeping Apostles: “Arise! Let us be going!” My Internet Stalker guy is making me out to be some sort of Judas for still being in public ministry and loving being a priest, purposely continuing to sleep, as it were, making me not just a drowsy Apostle, but Judas himself. My Internet Stalker guy doesn’t realize that the words which immediately follow this admonition of Christ to the Apostles are about Judas: “Look! My betrayer [Judas] is at hand.” My Internet Stalker guy makes himself the voice of Christ, Christ Himself. But it is Judas who makes himself Christ by raising his heel against Jesus as Jesus said at the Last Supper. But Jesus is the one to crush the head of Satan with His heel. But Judas thinks that Christ is Satan. Meanwhile, Judas is possessed by Satan at the Last Supper. The ironies are rife.] Don’t defend or support a bad Pope [Such commands! I guess for my Internet Stalker guy the Pope is the High Priest paying off Judas whom he supposes to be me if I keep on sleeping on purpose:] just because he was nice to you.” [So, I’m to direct my priestly efforts against Pope Francis until I am forced to resign in protest against Pope Francis. Otherwise, I’m to be condemned as a hypocrite, a sycophant, someone looking for thirty pieces of silver, for the Pope to be nice to me. If you didn’t know, hypocrites and sycophants, who for the sake of human respect effectively deny Christ will be denied by Christ and condemned to hell. But, perhaps, now, in stepping back from all of this, perhaps Judas and my Internet Stalker are the same. After all, he wants to effectively kill me off, and this is, in fact, what his threat is all about, to effectively kill me off. Not with blood mind you. But he’s stated his other means to do this, to take me out by other means, indirectly, but effectively, his extortion.]

In another place my Internet Stalker speaks of supporting the office of the papacy but not the Pope. But this is also a heresy, for the office is founded on the very person of the Pope. What that means is not that the Pope can be fallible regarding dogma, the claim of my Internet Stalker, nor that I would necessarily support some claim made by the Pope that is in itself not a dogmatic assertion but a mere volley in a mere dialogue. What I mean by the ways and means of infallibility is that the Person of the Pope, by divine intervention, will not survive in whatever way an attempt made by the Pope to change the doctrine of the Church (as Pope Benedict has so eloquently laid out for us). To pray for the Pope, to defend his person, is always a good thing, but supporting the Pope is precisely what is forbidden by my Internet Stalker.

If anyone wants to know what I think about Papal Infallibility, all you have to do is read what I wrote about it with extreme precision: Papal Infallibility: The Gospel Truth (Matthew 16:19 and Matthew 18:18)

And if anyone wants to know what Pope Francis thinks about Papal Infallibility, all you have to do is read what I wrote about that with extreme precision: Pope Francis gets it right about Absolute Truth

I find the ranting of my Internet Stalker against the person of the Pope to be rather interesting in the wake of the shot over the bow, the assassination of Pope Francis’ incredibly competent “Front of House” receptionist and the child in her womb at the time of Italy’s gay union/marriage referendum the other year.

If my Internet Stalker is who I think he is (a self-admitted contraceptor or by the way), whether a guy in politics, whether someone tasked with profiling, I’d say he’d better know that he is now being profiled by others in politics, by others who supervise such profiling. This goes doubly if my Internet Stalker guy is just your run of the mill average Joe Schmoe.

My suggestion to my Internet Stalker guy is this: even though I’ve fulfilled your extorted demand abundantly in this post and already in others, go ahead and do what you threatened to do anyway. But make sure to associate your actions with your full name and plenty of other distinguishing, unmistakable, inescapable identifiers so that what you intend to do can be traced back to you personally by those who do such tracing for a living. So far, you’ve revealed only that you are a coward, hiding behind pseudonyms. Typical. And note that I have baited you pretty intensely so as to find out who you are, and that is certainly the right of the victim of stalking.

I call you friend, Mr Stalker guy. Christ Jesus also called His betrayer friend, but He also let Judas hang himself. I’d rather you not do that, Mr Stalker Guy. I’d rather you find out that you are not Christ Jesus. I’d rather you find out that Christ Jesus is the One, the only One. I’d rather you come out of the darkest of existential peripheries and know what it means to be a true friend of the Most High. I’d rather you pray for and support Pope Francis.

Arise! Let us be going! Look, my betrayer is at hand!

P.S. As a side note to all this silliness I should provide some background to the title of this blog. It came about when a previous blog (holysoulshermitage) was forced to be shut down altogether by someone in Rome who was offended by the hard truth that he saw there. At the time, I had requested to do some writing after many years of pastoral ministry all over the world, as well as many, many years of academia and teaching all over the world. Being a hermit (really a hermit, with no income other than gifts) by request has its difficulties. Being silenced by a bully immeasurable adds to those difficulties. I not infrequently took to finding culinary delights in unexpected places:

DUMPSTER DIVING

I’ve done that flip many times. I was really good at it. It’s like an extreme sport. I love extreme sports ever since I was a kid. So, mind you, I’m not complaining!

At the time, it was a quiet time. The providence of God, really. Perhaps His permissive will, but He arranged it all. There were some difficult times. But it was mostly a happy time. Especially because I was able to write something about the Immaculate Conception, and for that I’m grateful to Jesus and His dear Mother. What I wrote is the gem of my life, and that was their gift to me, especially at that time.

It is this…

which is based off of this…

Anyway, His Holiness intervened on my behalf. No more dumpsters. It is this favor which my Internet Stalker has pointed out in his missives, precisely this favor which has set the sights of my Internet Stalker against me. I guess he wants me back in dumpsters. Remember what he commanded me?… “Don’t defend or support a bad Pope just because he was nice to you.” But if I was back in a dumpster, perhaps I could write more on our Lady. At any rate, this bitterness of my Internet Stalker is especially interesting in that the one and only thing my Internet Stalker has commented on in a positive way about me regards my disagreement with the policy that does not afford due process to priests. But even with that he says that he was only beginning to think I was right. After all, he affords me no due process: I am guilty of supporting the person of Pope Francis and after that all is lost and I’m hopeless. I’m beginning to think that my Internet Stalker is the one who had me silenced to begin with for the very reason that I support due process for priests. That was precisely, exactly what the silencing was about at the time. Interesting.

At any rate, I’ll tell you this: I would rather live in a dumpster and be faithful to Jesus (and write about Mary) than to do the wrong thing and go to hell. It seems this Internet Stalker guy has been playing the vulture overhead, surveying my blogging for very many years indeed, waiting to take revenge for my promotion of due process for priests like Father Gordon MacRae (About, at TheseStoneWalls). Interesting.

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By the way, there are many, many other things I have not commented on regarding the missives of my Internet Stalker guy for the reason that if I did, I would fear attorneys of some rather strident ultra-traditional-ism-ists who seem to think that they somehow stand in the very place of Sacred Tradition and so are ready to litigate anyone who crosses their paths. Not because I’m afraid of them, but I’m busy being a priest. The Internet Stalker guy is a distraction which he will have to answer for. Yet, I have to take care of him as one of my flock as well. He volunteered to be part of my flock. Am I not to search out the sheep who are in the darkest of existential peripheries?

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Filed under Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis, Priesthood, Vocations