Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (retreat edition)

Being on retreat doesn’t mean not being fiery. And it certainly doesn’t mean not giving a flower to the Immaculate Conception. Those pictured are just outside the door. Meanwhile, the remainder of hurricane Michael is passing over. For us here that means some gentle rain.

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Update: Donkey wannabees

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These guys pass by the rectory. They’ve been geared up in these patriotic days. Alloy wheels aren’t quite the old wooden models, but – Hey! – you do what you can do. These are mules out front, with the body of a horse and the ears of a donkey. Donkey wannabees.

Update: I passed by the wagon train in Andrews NC some months ago. I remember locking eyes with one particular gentleman. I remember being distressed for him. No reason that I knew about. Meanwhile, the guy who fixed my tire the other day told me about this guy who was riding the wagon train as the last thing on his bucket list before dying of cancer.

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Mysticism mist then schism

The only way to overcome false mysticism of mist then schism is to be grounded in the true mysticism of the Incarnate Word.

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Ultra-clericalistic notes on the retreat. Mysterium tremendum et fascinans.

img_20181009_204643232~26310944525712038803..jpgI don’t drink at all. Because I carry. But, hey! I’m on retreat. I was still wanting to celebrate the *Justice*. So I Kaved in, so to speak.

Meanwhile, as I listen to stories of my fellow priests and share a few of my own, I am heartened at what a great diocese we have here in Charlotte. There are so many good and holy priests. Such good laity. A good and holy bishop who prays for us, has time for us. I had an hour and forty minutes with him the other day.

Our retreat director, a church history prof and a student of all things Ratzinger, is hitting all the right notes. I’ve heard only good reactions.

Meanwhile, there is all the right sort of clericalism going on, you know, besides talking shop, lots of adoration and getting guys up to speed on the Low Mass[!] For instance, tonight, before confessions, we have a super-clericalized meal planned: massive steaks, baked potatoes, wine (I might have to Kave in again).

And before us all in all this is what the retreat director has been putting before us:

Mysterium tremendum et fascinans.

When’s the last time you’ve been on a good spiritual retreat? With Confessions, Adoration, no apologies for being Catholic?

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Click click click… I’m late

So I went to see an old friend. He pulled this out…

And put this in…

Gotta wonder how long these plugs are good for…

That made me late for the retreat. But we’re on God’s time all the time. How could it be otherwise?

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Retreating: Duc in altum!)

Seen at the retreat.

All the priests of the diocese are here.

This is a great location in the church to make a thanksgiving

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You know when obfuscation is afoot… (Pope Francis’ advisers on crisis)

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Both “packages” delivered to the Holy Father have had their effect with the Holy Father. I am most grateful for the results that continue to be seen regarding both. However, sometimes those who advise the Holy Father are specialists at spinning. That’s most unfortunate. They do not serve the Holy Father well.

As the Holy Father has now ordered to be bandied about, there is a mea culpa in the works for the upper echelons. I wonder how that will really work. It seems that the announcement was written by someone quite at the center of things who himself has plenty for which to say mea culpa. If I am correct about who this is (there are certain turns of phrase), well then, as he has done for very many years in cooking the books and being thick as thieves with the worst of the worst abusers of power, he has redirected the crisis to other than what it is, making it seem like a pedophilia crisis instead of a homosexualist bully crisis. So, what I would like to see is the following:

  • Start with in interrogation of all those who have worked in the abuse office in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since it started some decades ago, and ask about cooking the books.
  • Continue with decisions of dismissal from the clerical state wrought against priests who have suffered the books being cooked against them, and take a look at the ultimatums those priests were given, such as (1) leave the priesthood or (2) stay in the priesthood but be locked up under the care of those who rape priests in their clinics with plethysmography and porn. This ultimatum was given many times.
  • Close down all “treatment” centers to which bishops send priests which promote self-abuse and homosexualism, then dismiss from the clerical state all priests and bishops who have sent priests to such gateways to hell.
  • Do a full investigation on kickback schemes that give the money of the faithful to risk retention groups which insist on immediate settlements with no attorneys with (cough cough) service fees being given to bishops and chancery officials. Dismiss from the clerical state all priests and bishops who have participated in such racketeer influenced corruption.
  • Dismiss from the clerical state all priests and bishops who have ensured that priests are not named defendants so that they cannot possibly enjoy due process, claiming that their Judas-esque practices are wrought for the good of the Church (pro bono ecclesiae).
  • Dismiss from the clerical state all priests and bishops who have scandalously pushed homosexualist ideologies, smashing down faithful priests and bishops who desire to speak of the beauty of the image of God in one man – one woman marriage and family.

But instead, if it goes the way that a certain person would like it to go (who’s not assigned to Rome as his main occupation by the way) it may be that we will only get an over-generalized non-personalized non-particularized expression of regret blaming people for complaining: “I regret that you stupidly suffered conflicting emotions because of your own stupid immaturity regarding our power.” Something like that. I hope not.

The consequences. Oh, I’m sure that young seminarians, who have nothing to do with any of this rubbish that all went on before they were born, will be blamed for everything: We’re going to be really tough on seminarians, those bad and evil seminarians. Listen, when I was a seminarian way back in the day, there were some bad seminarians, sure, but they were SO OBVIOUS. The problem was the super gay protecting staff, faculty and administration and the bishops who protected them.

The consequences. Oh, I’m sure that priests who have nothing to do with any of this rubbish will be treated like trash. Just like bad cops are hated most by good cops, so the vast majority of priests are upset with the Judas-priests. But all are lumped together so that good priests are punished but, actually, the bad priests slip through. Meanwhile, the Holy See and the bishops are off the hook because of deflecting so well.

The consequences. Abuse of power continues and it only gets much, much worse, so that seminaries are turned into treatment centers where candidates are trained into sin. Truly. This is the direction this has been going for some decades.

Solutions. It’s all about Jesus. Priests and bishops, from the top down, all of them, all of us, have to get to know Jesus. THE ONLY WAY TO GET TO BE FRIENDS WITH JESUS IS TO GO TO CONFESSION. PRIESTS AND BISHOPS MUST GO TO CONFESSION REGULARLY

I would make this a rule in universal law. If priests and bishops do not go to Confession at least a couple of times a month they are to be dismissed from the clerical state. Period. Honestly, that would pretty much bring all B.S. to an end. Jesus would reign among His priests. All would be right with the world.

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We won.

We won.

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Coincidences

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These visits to the blog (the top one being interesting) came in immediately after I sent an email to a particular person of a particular service of a particular country. Perhaps it comes from a person (same provenance) who has everything to do with that particular intelligence community person of that particular intelligence service of that particular country, that is, regarding a very particular aspect of the URL visited which I know he knows about (because I told him) though it is not directly spoken about at that particular URL. But, whatever, it’s all just a coincidence. It means nothing. In mentioning this to a priest friend, with me rejecting that it meant anything, he said that, no, he doesn’t believe in coincidences, that such a thing is purposed. Hmm…

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Army: Land Navigation Pace Counter

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Once in a while a guy shows up in the parish wearing just such a rosary around his neck, skulls and all. He just said it was interesting to have skulls. Meanwhile, the priest friend sending in the picture of this rosary said that they are actually US Army Land Navigation Pace Counters:

“When you’re in the field, you count pace by your steps, and when you’ve traveled a certain distance you pull a bead back to show you’ve gone a mile or five miles or whatever. The beads grip the cord to you can keep track.”

  • Favoring the USMC, I’m going to poke fun at land lubbers using the word navigation for anything. ;-)
  • I need verification from any member of the U.S. Army as to the veracity of the assertion for the skulls. I’m thinking skulls are not used. He says he heard this said while he himself was a Boy Scout way back in the day.

Meanwhile, we wouldn’t want anyone to have the idea that one is pelagianistically pacing one’s journey to heaven because of saying prayers. We don’t acquire heaven. Salvation is a gift. We are drawn into true prayer by the grace of Jesus at Mary’s intercession.

Meanwhile, I have no problem with calling to mind our demise because of sin. It’s helpful to have a humble and contrite heart while thinking of the goodness and kindness of Jesus and Mary, neither of whom knew the corruption of the tomb though incomparably they knew the pain of death. We thank them.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Flowers of violence edition)

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Wild flowers near the hermitage. Beautiful, eh? Just behind them, between them and the trees you see in the background is a marsh that’s, say, four feet deep at the deepest and maybe ten feet deep when the drainage is in proper order.

It’s said that some old guy was murdered and thrown in there long, long ago. And then there’s the kid that was killed just there, held under water by his “friends”, but he escaped their grasp only to be held under a second time, and then a third time, and didn’t come up again, though it was, of course, as all such things, declared to be a suicide, you know, because we’re all nice people and those kinds of not-nice things don’t happen around here.

Meanwhile, flowers for the Immaculate Conception grow in abundance, not as if they ignoring such gratuitous violence and the denying of it, but so as to say that Jesus came into this world so as to make all things new, taking all that violence on Himself.

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Meet rehab nursing home coloring book real life heroine Emelene

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The old crayon coloring activity. Fine. This is by an ancient of days lady called Emelene. She’s legally blind, ever so frail, and goes about in a wheelchair. She colors with crayons not because this is where’s she’s at in her psyche, but because it’s where she’s at in her spirit.

Emelene has a ferociously incisive wit. She’s not full of herself. She participates in the ever so dumbed down activity of coloring for the sake of others less fortunate than herself, making their time with the crayons an enjoyable experience. She’s their friend. She’s my heroine. I am inspired.

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In the late 1960s and early 1970s I used to visit Saint Joseph’s Nursing Home when I was a little kid so as to be inspired by “old folks” and to give them a bit of distraction from an annoying little kid like me who arrived on his little bike. Doing that took the mystery out of nursing homes, kind of. It’s only now, witnessing the incredibly strong spirit of Emelene that I now have zero fear of going to any rehab-nursing home as a resident. For that I thank her.

I’ve always been the one to think that being the martyr, laying down one’s life for one’s friends is the way to go, especially for a priest. However, Emelene has shown me how to lay down one’s life for one’s friends right where one is in the most utterly mundane of circumstances. I mean, juxtapose those: crayons and martyrdom. Emelene, my heroine.

Remember, Jesus’ love and truth and goodness and kindness is stronger than death, stronger than any circumstances of having a failing body while being totally young at heart.

Meanwhile, I’m the chaplain on a rotating schedule at the rehab-nursing home. We have a bible service. There’s Scripture, a bit of a homily from the preacher-man, and a bit of singing. Emelene plays the hymns on the piano from memory.

Meanwhile, a new resident came in her wheelchair, a good friend. I was again inspired. She jumped right in and helped pick hymns to sing which Emelene immediately played. Old time hymns, mind you, all 1800s style sung in a way and played in a way that I dare say hasn’t been heard for a good half century. Much has been forgotten. This was a super cool experience. It brought tears to the other residents. Again, inspiring altogether.

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Homily 2018 10 04 Lambs and wolves

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Wolves are scary. As a youngster I remember walking back home from the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in the parish for miles along a forest gravel road in the north woods of Minnesota and about halfway I heard what could only have been a wolf (LOUD!) obviously with rabies screaming and crying and shrieking and hoooowling and hooowling as it traveled parallel to me, instigating me to ask my guardian angel that I be invisible in every way to that wolf so that I might get home safe.

Jesus said that He would be sending out his disciples as lambs in the midst of wolves. So what are we to think about that? Wolves would nip at a hoof of lamb and toss it spinning into the air, bleating helplessly. They would then each take a hoof and the nose and pull it apart, gorging themselves.

Question: How do we prepare for such encounters? Disguise oneself as a wolf? Be all tactically prepared, as if that would save us analogously from the spiritual pitfalls associated after original sin with the world, the flesh and the devil?

Answer: Just be the lamb to whom Jesus provides a love stronger than any pitfalls, a love stronger than death. I want to go to heaven. That‘s what’s important. How about you?

Be the lamb!

And be that lamb in the midst of the wolves!

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Brett Kavanaugh likes Bud? Donkeys agree.

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FBI report: *Justice* Brett Kavanaugh

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Having gone through so much, so very much, for me there is only one question remaining for which I demand an answer, and it is urgent, and I want verification. My end of the world question is this, and I will put money up for whatever the answer is:

“What is the favorite beer of *Justice* Kavanaugh?”

I would like to offer him the all time favorite toast of my own father:’

“May the most that you wish for be the least that you get.”

If you’ve had more than one beer, you might have to think about that, but that’s what makes it a great toast.

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Homily 2018 10 03 Jesus’ hard sayings? No, we spit on Him and He instructs.

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Sorry, I guess I’m rather ferocious in this homily.

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Bugs in Presidential alert TEST of National Wireless Emergency Alert?

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Two phones I saw today. Notice any differences? Did it work for you?

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (nevertheless flowers were found ed.)

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Two of tiniest lilies I ever saw…

On the day off, when only mushrooms and lichen and moss could otherwise be found.

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Holy Spirit Hermitage Baldacchino[!]

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This was seen at the neighbors to the hermitage on the day off. You remember the fuller baldacchino…

Holy Spirit Saint Peter Window

We are to be temples of the Holy Spirit, formed into the image of Jesus so that through, with and in Jesus we go before the Father.

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Day Off: Scoping & best dq to date. Automated course: pulleys, ropes?

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Just prior to my going farther up the mountain – where one finds Holy Souls Hermitage – I put up a target for some vet friends, Army above and Air Force below, so that they might set their scopes a bit more accurately.

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Then it was time for me to throw out a few rounds from the Glock 19 before the retreat begins in another handful of days for all the priests of Charlotte Diocese.

  • Five targets for the FBI course went up at all their various distances. That netted an “instructor” level result.
  • Three targets all seven yards out then went up for the pre-2001 Federal Air Marshal tactical pistol course. This netted my best disqualification yet. 100% accuracy for all seven stages (with my 4.7 times smaller than regulation targets), all under time except stage six. Drat! The two sets to that stage (spinning from 180 degrees with holstered cover to hit three targets three yards apart  in 3.5 seconds. One set was 0.11 hundreds of a second over, and the other 0.32 hundreds of a second over.

Not quite getting it perfect and still not cold barrel keeps the challenge there. That challenge keeps going even when 100% and all under time is achieved every session since it’s a perishable skill. As the neighbor says: only God is perfect.

I wish I could get the description and timings for all stages of the SEALS TPC. Anyone? I won’t publicize it. Surmisings of a few stages are guessed at on the internet but that’s it. If you drop it in the comments box I’ll be able to copy it without letting it through the moderation queue.

Meanwhile, texting back and forth with number two guy above, he’s talking about jacking it up a level by building me an automated course on the cheap, with strings and pulleys and ropes that can be randomized. Timer would be counterproductive. That sounds waaaaaay out of my league, but surely a huge challenge. And that’s why it’s good for the day off, right?

 

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