Tết Offensive and… being overweight? Thanks for correcting my world-view.

tetoffensiveinhuevietnam

It’s now been more than a half century since the Viet Cong set about killing everyone they could, men, women, children and babies during the Tết Offensive of 1968.

While studying in Rome half that time ago, I lived at the same residence for priests as a Vietnamese fellow, a devout Catholic who understood and lived the faith and who today is a priest.

It was then that I had already for some years been taking a certain medicine to keep myself alive, a medicine I take to this day for that reason, a medicine which also guarantees weight gain. I had always been thin as a rail, but now I had been putting on the kilos. Because of that, I had given up on jogging around Rome.

Meanwhile, this Vietnamese fellow, named after the great Saint Ambrose, had seen many of his fellow countrymen hunted down and tortured and killed. He knew how to run, not jogging, mind you, but running in the sense of escape. Around trees. Over and up cliffs. Though destruction.

While walking around or sitting at table his fists would be un-clenched, and then ever so slowly, over minutes, crushingly clenched. It was quite notable, but I’m sure it was just second nature to him. It was fearful to watch, as it seemed his tendons would rip away from his bones, or the bones would break under the strain.

I asked him about it. Not quite isometrics, he explained. These exercises had brought him into perfect physical condition through the years. He insisted that I start doing the same, reprimanding me for starting to become overweight. But just as running for him was not about jogging, losing weight had nothing to do with any sense of good health. It was about an immediate ability to get away from fiendish violence. He asked me:

“If you are heavy, how are you going to escape when they come?

He inscaped into his words all the horror of what happened during his own escapes when they would come to kill. He had stories to tell backed up with horrific scars. Underlining this, he then asked:

“If you are heavy, how are you going to help others escape?”

He asked that with the urgency and anguish of one is actively watching people die because of my not being able to help them. This isn’t one of those “eat your vegetables before dessert because don’t you know there are people starving on the other side of the world” platitudinous reprimands. No. Let me repeat that he asked with the urgency and anguish of one who is actively watching people get apprehended and tortured and killed because of my not being able to help them.

“If you are heavy, how are you going to help others escape?”

This was one of those moments when my entire world view was readjusted, when I knew I had been so utterly out of touch with reality.

Thanks, Father Ambrose, for opening my eyes a little bit more.

tetoffensiveinhuevietnamruins

I’ll spare you the pictures of the mass graves…

This doubles for natural disasters, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, terrorism near you, by the way…

By the way, thanks to our Vietnam Veterans for winning that weeks long battle.

P.S. For those who say: “Yes, and transform dieting into fasting as a spiritual thing because the body is to be the temple of the Holy Spirit like the saints say!” Fine. All that. Yes. And I confess I am miserable at all that. Can I just blame my medicine? I mean, at least I’m not gaining even if not losing weight. I could do better. To such enthusiasts with spiritual things I say this: Father Ambrose is helping us to escape our half-measures. The Body of Christ is not just the Head of the Body, Jesus, but the rest of us as the members. Being in good shape is not just about respecting God’s creation and God’s redemption of us in Christ Jesus, merely putting the body into submission because that’s a nice thing to do for God, but it is also about the charity we have for one another in Christ Jesus (see 1 Corinthians 9:22-27).

His urgency and anguish was of one who was actively watching people die because of my not being able to help them:

“If you are heavy, how are you going to help others escape?”

Indeed. And so…

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (My favorites edition)

flores - holy souls lilies

Yes, that’s the hermitage in the background for those of you with discerning eyes. These flowers are no more, as one of the mountain dwellers (not the neighbors to the hermitage!) has literally gone our of “their” way to destroy them all. Too bad, that. These would come out around August 15, a particular feast day.

Meanwhile, on another feast day in mid-February, say, February 11, these guys are sure sure to make an appearance on the other side of the world in a certain grotto of the Hautes-Pyrénées:

flores-lourdes-grotto-ice-roses

Meanwhile, sometime during any springtime on Mount Carmel, one is bound to see a zillion yellow flowers, say, around Passover and Holy Week/Easter. I put these up because of a somber occasion the other day, Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is every day as far as I’m concerned, and I’ve been offering lots of Masses for a certain M.G. and a certain A.G.

It’s because of what’s happening in those videos that I put up flowers for the Immaculate Conception…

Which brings us to today out front of the rectory with the Guadalupe Superabundant Rose bush, which is getting itself ready for good times to come, even in the midst of the absolutely frozen temps of these days in these USA:

img_20190131_075519419~22374985943606709413..jpg

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Copping an attitude with “dirtbags”: We’re keeping track of all y’all.

police lives matter

Joe Gamaldi, president of the Houston Police Officers Union, speaks reality after five officers were wounded, two critically, and for one of them, the third time he has been shot.

“Now I want to speak on behalf of the 5,200 brave men and women who work in the Houston Police Department and the other 800,000 police officers who are working these streets every single day, are putting their lives on the line. We are sick and tired of having targets on our back. We are sick and tired of having dirtbags trying to take our lives when all we’re trying to do is protect this community and protect our families. Enough is enough.

“And for the ones who are out there spreading the rhetoric that police officers are the enemy, well just know we’ve all got your number now and we’re going to be keeping track of all y’all and we’re going to be making sure we’re going to be holding you accountable every time you stir the pot on our police officers.”

Why is it that some mayors of some cities go out of their way to make sure that peace officers have no way to protect themselves, and have policies that would forbid them from constraining individuals appropriately when the safety of whoever is at risk?

But calling murderous violent criminals “dirtbags”? I like it!

Calling criminals like ISIS “animals” just doesn’t cut it. Saint John of the Cross says that sin makes us to be less than animals as we don’t do what we should even while animals do what they should do. So, it’s not fair to insult animals by calling criminals “animals.”

Just call ciminals “dirtbags.” Great!

Are they redeemed by our Lord. Sure. Are they saved? Dunno about that. Whatever about the state of their souls, what they present on the outside = “dirtbags.” Should we go out of our way according to our circumstances to introduce people to Jesus. Sure. If we have those circumstances, our Lord expects it. Jesus loved us while we were yet sinners, while yet criminals, while yet… wait for it… dirtbags. Our Lord is very good and kind.

Having said that, I also hope our LEOs have all the tools that they need for certain circumstances:

fargopolicedepartment

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That’s the dems for you: Let’s burn kids alive and say it’s all good as it’s ISIS!

isis burning children

ISIS burning kids alive as young as three years old.

Oh! Tsk tsk! says Ilhan Oman. Be lenient with ISIS.

ilhan omar

Oh. I forgot. What difference does that make anyway because after all Cuomo is celebrating infanticide in New York.

Speaking of New York, there’s Nancy Pelosi: 9-11 was no big deal, not terrorism, just an incident.

september 11 2001 twin towers falling

Hillary Clinton on Benghazi deaths of our diplomats: No big deal. What difference does it make?

benghazi

And now the Dems want God out of oaths. How quickly we forget. Jesus’ mom doesn’t forget.

pieta

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Making an examination of conscience

lourdes confessional

For some, an examination of conscience refers to the idiocy of rationalizing all sin because we all know that actual sin, purposely done, cannot be forgiven (which is untrue).

Some tone that idiocy down a bit, fooling themselves into thinking they are sincere by way of mathematics, so that if they cut down on sin from one confession to the next it’s all good (which is untrue). We have to have a firm purpose of amendment. Otherwise we give ourselves a licence to sin.

Some tone that idiocy down a bit, citing statisticians who say that whatever it is that is on any list for an examination of conscience is “normal” behavior, and therefore is all good (but with a fallen human nature, this is no way to come up with a standard).

Some tone that idiocy down a bit by concentrating – oooh! – really intensely on various points that they are “working on” or “struggling with” so that they work themselves up into emotional anguish about that particular thing: “I was impatient.”

Here’s the problem with all that: All of that refers to self, how one perceives oneself; it’s all about pride, one’s pride being hurt by one’s sin. The anguish is all about one’s pride, about one’s self.

And that leads to a total misunderstanding of Confession: If I can only go to Confession, then I’ll be good again, and then, after Confession, God will love me again because I’ve made myself so lovable. How can He resist?! And then I can congratulate myself again because now it’s all good.

The dirty little secret is the pride of thinking that one is in control even of God’s love. How bad is that? And stupid? Illogical! God loves us while we are yet sinners: that’s how He can forgive us in the first place, right?

When we are forgiven in Confession, the point is not to congratulate ourselves, but rather, with the grace of forgiveness coming from God, now to continue with humble thanksgiving from the one Confession to the next.

But then one’s examination of conscience has to be change, so that one puts oneself in humility before God, recognizing that He has loved us so much as to stand in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, therefore having the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. Quietly before Him, humbly thanking Him for this redemption, for this invitation to salvation, with no fear of actually seeing real sin, that is, offending God’s love for us (forgetting about us offending our pride!),  it is then, with the Standard of Goodness and Kindness and Truth shining upon us that light will be cast on our sins and we will see ourselves for who we are with ourselves, with others, and before God. We will be sorry to God. That’s a huge difference. It can be the difference between heaven and hell.

But you have to know: Jesus loves us so very much.

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Adoration and chapel veils? Illegal!

img_20190127_061108421_burst000_cover_top~27821017740174507748..jpg

The veils have been multiplying over time. I never said a word. I recall Father Z put up a number of post about veils. He’ll make a comment one way or the other and then say that he’s now backing out of the room slowly… slowly… RUN!

But it’s not that way here. I guess because I’ve simply never said anything. This wasn’t so much a thing that started up here as much as it was brought up from Mexico with our immigrant community. But I can’t really say immigrant so much as time goes on, as lots of kids have now been born here, and have grown up here, fully citizens. So nothing “illegal” as some might strangely say, not with the veils, not with the people.

It’s this kind of scene pictured above that is so very different from what we see in the mass media.

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Fingerprints DNA Chips and Biometrics: “Who are you, anyway?”

donkey hoof

No one believes the passport. After hours with ID experts of whatever country, the frustrating question to me is always, simply, and only, if politely: “Who are you, anyway?” After some hours, they let me go, exasperated. It’s not that I do bad stuff. They’ll just call me up, demanding that I make an appearance at whatever embassy or consulate. So, how to identify me for sure? It’s a hassle.

Fingerprints

It’s not that my fingerprints are absolutely unusable. I think I have three that are still there in trace form, kinda, perhaps. But according to the most recent scanning, not even that, not really. She predicted they would be rejected by the SBI. Life is what it is and can be pretty rough on fingerprints. Fingerprints can also be lifted, manipulated, transferred.

Deoxyribonucleic acid, also known as DNA

Ever since I was a teenager I’ve been giving DNA cheek swabs. I mean, was I at risk of being confused with someone else (ask I, tongue in cheek). The purpose way back in the day had everything to do with identification and nothing to do with genealogy. But this was always just an American thing as far as I know, and yet, once the signature is established, that can be uploaded in databases easy peasy and a new DNA test would confirm the match on the database. Oh wait! That wouldn’t work either. Hack that database (by way of an insider, because, you know…) and replace your DNA with a guy with a clean record. That’s re-uploaded to databases all around. A check to the database for ID shows nothing untoward and you’re good to go. Then, when your DNA is investigated, it comes up unregistered and it just looks like someone made a mistake. Of course, if you’re re-tested and there is other DNA, like blood, at a scene, you’re done in.

Chips!

Same problem as the DNA switcheroo. “They’re unhackable!” blah blah blah. That makes no difference. You can establish a code’s presence wherever by way of hacking. If you have the code, you can transfer that to your own chip and you’re good to go.

Biometrics…

I’ve got my Gold Star ID Driver License with the picture being taken with, you know, biometrics: twelve points on the head/face all interrelated with each other as far as distances and depths. Great. These are used everywhere for a long time for airport security and what-have-you. This seems to be the answer. Unless, oh, I forgot, for the really desperate cases of ID fraud, go cross eyed for the picture, and otherwise do a bit of nip and tuck and get well placed injections at the conveniently located NCPS adjacent to Liberty Crossing Campus.

Comment:

People are so anxious about who they are. What if it were to be said that Christ is the Head of the Body and we are the members of the Body and that in heaven – please God we make it there – we will rejoice in the good we see in others because that good will be our own good because that good will be God Himself. That kind of disarms all the flutter about ID and such doesn’t it?

People are so weird in this world. They will be quite surprised at just how much God’s ways are above our ways, that love and truth and goodness and kindness and integrity is not the same as political correctness and subterfuge and deceit and conceit and cynicism. God is love and in that love we can rejoice. We find our identity in Him, creatures with their Creator.

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Fingerprints and nobody: “Everything about him is wrong.” Spy vs… himself.

I’ve seen almost no movies in my life. I have seen the above clip on YouTube. I applaud the quick-thinking question of The Equalizer: “‘We’ who?” and again “‘We’ who?”

And while the Russian spy playing a detective later states to his partner in crime about Robert McCall – “Everything about him is wrong” – that is the very thing that McCall is thinking about the Russian spy guy: “Everything about him is wrong.”

Here’s the deal: Sometimes there are things people say – or don’t say – that simply cannot be categorized as being “misspoken” or which are simply not intentionally not fulsome.

I’ve met people like this, perhaps more than has been the experience of others, perhaps because of my own weird background and perhaps because I come across as being a simpleton (not that I’m not) and naive (not that I’m not) and so am not worth the effort to try a little more (not that I am).

Some few people I’ve met right around the world have said things that scream, unbeknownst to them, that they were role-playing. Even worse, some few among them didn’t care that they were found out in that role-playing, and simply continued like it was all good.

Perhaps an example is in order. For instance, in one of my far-flung assignments that have taken me right around the world a number of times, I ran across a guy who said that the reason he never had a police check run on himself – virtue signalling guy that he was – was that when he himself was administering police checks on other people he didn’t have available to himself a fingerprint scanner for himself, “you know, one of those gadgety box things” he added. So, even though he could run police checks on others he couldn’t have that done for himself, but, you know, only because they didn’t have a fingerprint scanner gadgety box thing, as if having your prints run and having a police check done on your name are the same things, one dependent on the other. Um. No.

fingerprint scanner

If you didn’t follow the logic of that, don’t feel badly. There are so many things wrong with that assertion that it’s difficult to know where to begin. That’s not the way things are done on so very many levels regarding common sense and policy and – in that particular far flung place – local, state and federal law. And that’s true with just about everything that guy said. It’s like, that was the worst role-playing ever to have been witnessed upon the face of the earth, ever… Ehhh…vur

Just in case it isn’t obvious, let’s draw out a just a few points:

  • You don’t administer your own fingerprint scanning, a conflict of interest thing.
  • You don’t run your own fingerprints, a conflict of interest thing.
  • If you were trained in to do up fingerprints and/or run them, that would mean that you were actually law enforcement, but if that were true, you would have had to have had some kind of serious, thorough law enforcement check, including fingerprints run everywhere with all agencies, and so, in that case, why would you fake it that you never had your prints run and never had a police check?
  • Just because you’re not running fingerprints for anyone doesn’t mean you can’t permit your name to be investigated with a police check.

the doughnut cheltenham

Whether this guy was law enforcement – he did like Doughnuts (see above) – or was faking it, or even faking like it could be legitimately faked, is messed up in any case. Why bother with mind games? That guy claimed to have connections with a certain intel crowd in his country, as if, it seems to me, that would give him a pass, you know, like the virtue-signalling Snowden or the virtue-signalling Strzok, but I think that was just cover for his belonging to another agency between whom, as we say, there is no love lost.

pine gap surveillance australia

Whatever the case, he didn’t get anywhere with anything. What was scary – if anything can be scary – was his utter disregard for coming up with a credible story. He just didn’t care, because, surely, he’ll just bully his way through to a particular occupation and it would all be good. I wasn’t going to let that happen inasmuch as little me could do anything to make sure it didn’t happen. It was all too Camp Swampy:

you know what this is

Of course, nothing is at is seems.

another view

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FSSPX Nazis and Paul Touvier: neo-Nazi hunters get a photographic hint

auschwitz

The FSSPX will not praise this post. I know. I know. They will say that Paul Touvier was just a simple, innocent, poor, homeless man to whom they provided shelter in all Christian charity, nice guys that they are. First of all, they will surely mock me because I suppose I’m what they call a Novus Ordo “priest.” So, let me establish some street cred with all that which is Traditional. Maybe that will help some to listen to reason.

Street Cred?

Immediately after 7/7/7, when I was a “permanent chaplain” in Lourdes for a couple of years, already in August of 2007, before the official “start date” of Summorum Pontificum, I was able to reintroduce the Traditional “Tridentine” or “Gregorian” or popularly called “Old Latin” Mass – becoming the “Latin Mass Chaplain” as they called it, an office which has remained even after my two year request to be chaplain came to an end (so that I could go back to teaching in seminaries, which I did). The FSSP took over. Great! Here’s a picture of my replacement and a younger version of myself.

lourdes traditional mass chaplains

August 15 2008 was the high point, a Solemn High Mass in the Pius X Basilica with more than 7,000 people assisting. The deacon and subdeacon are both priests in the FSSP, NOT to be mistaken for the FSSPX:

Mass Lourdes Pius X Basilica

I would also assist others with the Traditional Mass. Below is soon-to-be Raymond Cardinal Burke in the Upper Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

cardinal burke lourdes

As I’ve said elsewhere, I think I could count on one hand those who have suffered more for the promotion of the Traditional Mass as desired by then Pope Benedict XVI. My interest in bringing all that is traditional back to Lourdes had devastating consequences for me.

The only comment I saw from the ultra-tradition-al-ism-ists for all this was that, of all things, I was to be condemned because my French accent wasn’t what the French would like to hear. Really? Really? See: Chaque fois que j’ouvre ma bouche il est demandé «Est-ce que vous êtes Belge?»

lourdes

Father Byers is a Jew and therefore has no credibility?

The other thing that the FSSPX will dismiss me outright for is that my mom is a Jewess as was her mom and grandma. Who know’s what happened with any relatives in Treblinka. Would the FSSPX put Jesus the Jew and the Immaculate Conception, a Jewess, in the ovens, or gas them, or put bullets in their heads? Jesus asked Saul: “Why are you persecuting ME?”

FSSPX Nazis?

The video above is… is… eye opening.

So… naive, stupid, whatever negative you want to say, that was me at that time, really until quite recently, like just the other day when I was disabused of my idiocy. I saw something – that video above – that shocked me to the core. I didn’t know this. It’s been in the news forever. I guess I just don’t pay attention. All I had heard during those years until now about Nazis in France came through the filter of the rationalizations that the ultra-tradition-al-ism-ists in France had all lined up in support of the Régime de Vichy as headed up by Maréchal Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain.

lourdes market and

[Now, why would I include that picture just above? The Vichy-ites know, don’t they? I mean, I don’t know. I haven’t been in Lourdes for ten years. I know nothing.]

But now I hear the rest of the story. The FSSPX had been immersed in protection of Paul Touvier while he was on the run from the courts, from justice. In the end, despite their efforts, Paul Touvier was found with the FSSPX, was brought to trial, and was convicted of many crimes against humanity, helping the Nazis to accomplish the “Final Solution” of killing all Jews everywhere. He was unrepentant to the end, and lived as a monstrous full-on Nazi and his entire family with him.

And to think I wanted to help the FSSPX out in being regularized with Rome back in the day. Bloody hell. I simply didn’t know. After my stint in Lourdes, one of the greatest philosophers gaining fame in France at that time wanted to offer me a full month or two or three of bringing me, at his expense, all around France, to all the monasteries, which, I’m quite sure, would have included the building owned by the FSSPX, including where Paul Touvier had been housed before he was finally arrested. I should have said yes. I wouldn’t have continued in my naive ignorance until now. I’m sure I would have heard all the stories.

Instead of these FSSPX guys being arrested for aiding unrepentant criminals, what did they do? As it is said: A Tridentine Requiem Mass was offered for the repose of Paul Touvier’s soul by Father Philippe Laguérie at St Nicolas du Chardonnet, the Society of St. Pius X chapel, in Paris. I have nothing against prayers for anyone, but I have to wonder if this was accompanied by a statement of the FSSPX condemning themselves for protecting an unrepentant genocidal racist and ultra-violent death monger from going to trial. I wonder if the FSSPX recommended at that Requiem that some of their own members should be tried for conspiracy, for aiding and abetting.

I would like the names of anyone still alive who aided and abetted Paul Touvier in the FSSPX. I want the names of the priests. I want to see them tried in a public trial by the Holy See, and, if found guilty, I would  like to see them dismissed from the clerical state. And then I’d like to see them go before criminal courts, however old, however sick.

A reader might be tempted to remind me that I am a Missionary of Mercy and shouldn’t be such a hypocrite, that I should extend mercy to such people, and that I only do this because, although being a Catholic priest, I am also Jewish on mom’s side. Instead, here’s the truth about mercy: it is founded on justice. Forgive them in sacramental confession? Sure. But that doesn’t preempt the tribunals from carrying out earthly justice.

Here’s the deal: If you just “let it go,” what happens is that the message is sent that no one cares about murder, no one cares about genocide, that killing at will is just fine and dandy. Just “letting it go” invites the disgusting, filthy, neo-Nazis to do it all over again.

So, I want names.

Anyone?

Crickets…

Yep.

You can drop comments with names and proofs. Don’t worry, I won’t let them through moderation.

And if you’re tempted to just send me a link to the WayBackMachine which has an archived copy of the Angelus commentary, don’t bother. I’ll put it here as illustrative of what I have said above.

Arrest in Priory Reopens Debate on Catholic Aid to Nazis

(RNS) — The arrest of a pro-Nazi French militia leader in a priory operated by followers of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre has touched off new debate about the role of Roman Catholic clergy in protecting war criminals.

Paul Touvier, 74, was head of intelligence for a pro-Nazi militia in Lyons during World War II. He was arrested when France was liberated in 1944, but he escaped. He was convicted in absentia and sentenced to death for war crimes in Lyons in 1945 and in Chambery in 1947 but managed to hide out until those sentences expired in 1967.

French President Georges Pompidou pardoned Mr. Touvier in November, 1971, but the public outcry was so great that the alleged war criminal again dropped out of sight. He was formally charged in 1973 with crimes against humanity, an offense to which the statute of limitations does not apply in France. The search for Mr. Touvier began again, and he was arrested May 24th at the St. Francis Priory in Nice.

Charges of Catholic collaboration to protect Mr. Touvier were aired at the time of his presidential pardon in 1971. Several prominent French people, including Christian existentialist philosopher Gabriel Marcel, had signed petitions for Mr. Touvier’s pardon as a result of a nearly 20-year campaign coordinated by Monsignor Charles Duquaire of Lyons.

Pierre Merindol, a journalist who has specialized in the history of the Lyons Resistance, has alleged that Cardinal Pierre-Marie Gerlier, the wartime archbishop of Lyons, may have been involved in hiding Mr. Touvier. According to the journalist, the cardinal helped to shelter Mr. Touvier in fulfillment of a promise to aid anyone who helped to prevent the shooting of 42 French hostages by Nazi soldiers who wanted to retaliate against a Resistance attack.

Today’s hierarchy has claimed no involvement with Mr. Touvier or with the priory where he was being sheltered. Cardinal Albert Decourtray of Lyons said the matter “is not within my purview but within that of my country’s judicial system, in which I have confidence.”

Comment: [[ Their comment ]] Despite the fact that most newspapers made a link between Mr. Touvier and the Society, there was in fact no connection. It is true he was taken prisoner at our priory, but he was merely let in by the prior as an act of charity to a homeless man. Since Archbishop Lefebvre’s father died at the hands of the Nazis in a prison camp, that should be evidence enough that the Society does not and has not ever condoned the practices of the Nazis.

On the other side of the question, I for one am tired of this Jewish conspiracy to wipe every living former Nazi off the face of the earth. Why don’t they just leave them to die in peace? It’s been about 45 years since World War II and still they hunt them down, as if they were guilty of ongoing crimes for all those years.

https://web.archive.org/web/20070928040757/http://www.angelusonline.org/print.php?sid=831

=============

As I say, it’s that kind of dismissive attitude that invites more violent genocide: “All those millions of Jews? Who gives a crap? Let’s do it again!”

No, no. These monsters should be brought to trial wherever we find them, even if they’re with the FSSPX.

I have no doubt that ultra-tradition-al-ism-ists everywhere will be scornful and mocking, but, truth be told, I’d like to put their faces in the corpses of all the millions and millions and millions who were exterminated, you know, one by one. I’d like to see if they survive in their haughtiness that proclaims… you know… that since it’s been a while, it’s all good.

Let me tell you, hell is for eternity, and not a moment of it is good, ever, not even after  a while.

Moreover: “Salvation is from the Jews” – Jesus

Moreover: Jesus, Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.

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Filed under Intelligence Community, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Terrorism

PLO, Iran-Contra, CIA, Main State, “Shadow”, me: today’s 1985-1986.

PLOIf it were up to me, I would forget about this rubbish. But I am reminded of it continuously by various and sundry. You’ll remember late 1985 through 1986 as the time of the Iran-Contra “affair”. Earlier on in 1985 I was making my way down to Managua to deliver some medicines to the Catholic clinics and take care of some other administrative details for the Sisters of Saint Agnes, specifically Sister Raymond, who had taught many of the upper echelon of the Sandinistas, including Danny Ortega.

She had been disgusted with Somoza and was naively hoping for better from the new Marxist regime, but came to her senses right quickly. She provided a “tour” if you will, of what was actually happening in the “war zone” on the eastern side of the country and what the puppet activist groups – like Kellogg Company – were actually doing in the western side of the country, from the far North to the far South. She let me know who the ideological intelligentia and propagandizers were and… and… what the difference was among the clergy, from the smash-down-“the-people”-in-favor-of-Marxism-priests-and-bishops, to just good and faithful bishops. Good bishops were Cardinal Obando y Bravo in Managua, and Bishop Salvador Albert Schlaefer Berg in Puerto Cabezas (Vicariate of Bluefields). One other bishop was bland. The rest were weak, and therefore conformist to the powers that be, therefore communists. I was later able to gain insight into the drama of the politically correct puppet-of-a-Nuncio who rebelled against Pope Saint John Paul II for years and years and years and years. Sickening, that corruption.

Anyway, before moving out into the war zone, it was while I was still in the city Managua for some weeks that the PLO safe house was in direct view. Most terrorist groups from around the world had, surprise surprise, safe houses in Managua. *Shocking* how terrorism and Cuban-Russian Communism go hand in hand. It was at this time that the Sate Department and CIA came strongly into direct contact with me, basically forcing me into a meeting with then Number Two at the U.S. Embassy in Managua, the top Drug Czar of Latin America, later Ambassador to Jamaica (rather significant, that), and now…

Long time readers will remember that there is someone I call my “Shadow”, who stole my identity a lifetime ago so as to entrench in arms-transfers under my name, a clean name providing him unquestioned movement both in the USA and internationally. It was within hours of my contacting CCS in Main State the other week that he called me to subject me to three hours of ranting on wanting to kill Jews. There was a topic he brought up so breathlessly and with such great anger that I couldn’t get a word in edge wise. In the midst of his diatribes against Israel and wanting to kill Jews – vicious, really – he brought up, of all things, how bad the CIA and the Mossad have been, in his opinion, in various countries of Central America, including Nicaragua. He’s done this previously, especially insisting on the presence of the Mossad to the South of the USA border. But this time it was a little different. Now he’s speaking about how terribly evil the Catholic Church and the USA are to complain about the Russian influenced regime of Danny Ortega, for, according to my “Shadow”, Danny hasn’t done anything wrong, is not doing any wrong, and can do no wrong, ever. He’s breathless, angry, urgently emotionally involved.

Do I need to actually begin a list for him? Should I say what I saw in Nicaragua already some 34 years ago on that “tour”? But things are much worse today, and Danny Ortega is the instigator of much much more evil actions than ever, going out of his way to kill Catholics in their parish churches, ripping open tabernacles to throw the Blessed Sacrament under foot. That takes a certain mania, a special kind of darkness. But my “Shadow” knows all that. Obviously, he knows I’m a Catholic priest (and Jewish as well).

But, in thinking back, I recall that those were the years of his arms transfers to the Sinaloan drug cartel, you know, during the years of Fast and Furious type activities. So what would his interest be with the PLO and the CIA and the Mossad down in Nicaragua at that time? I’ll have to think about that… Oh! I know!

Pre-Iran-Contra, that is, Part I. From HaAretz.

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Chaque fois que j’ouvre ma bouche il est demandé «Est-ce que vous êtes Belge?»

ziggurat 3

Pretending to learn “French”, again. Sigh.

When this American was living in France I discovered that no one speaks French on account of the fact that every citizen of France is actually from Belgium. The greatest insult the French can cast on anyone whomsoever is to ask them with mocking, sarcastic tone: “Are you from Belgium?” They all insult each other in this manner all the time, the North the South, the East the West, the center not holding.

It’s the difference in accent. For instance, English speakers anywhere pronounce “Bernadette” as do the Parisians, but those around Lourdes make for another syllable at the end, extremely well pronounced, as in “Bernadett-euuuh.” And then they both condemn each other as being from Belgium. No one speaks French in France.

It’s a losing battle, trying to learn French again. Maybe I should just learn some Belgian stuff, like Dutch, you know, with Brabantian, West Flemish, East Flemish and Limburgish – and hey! – if one crosses the street to the North, why not throw in Papiamento, maybe a couple of dozen low-Saxon dialects, some Frisian and a few dozen West Frisian dialects – and hey! – another few dozen Lower and central Franconian dialects – and hey! – why not add Yiddish? The question – « Est-ce que vous êtes Belge ? » refers to the mixing of French and any number of dozens and dozens of other dialects. Instead of making one’s identity more easily known, it all becomes murkier, and with such smack downs through the centuries, cutting one town off from another, what with devastating plagues and wars.

And if I did learn any of that, would that satisfy the one asking: « Est-ce que vous êtes Belge ? » Everyone calls French the “Diplomatic language.” Uh huh. Tongue in cheek, making for yet another dialect. It’s no mistake that the likes of Michael Edwards, from England, is a most influential member of l’Académie française.

The arrogance of weirdness of language differences, insisting on attacking communication so that there is no love lost, isn’t about this or that human being being cut off from any mere human being – not just that. All such Tower of Babel smashing down of others is really about shaking one’s fist at God.

God the Father speaks Himself in one Word, now Incarnate among us, who would like to reveal the Father to us, according to the will of the Father. But will we hear that communication, that “language” provided by the grace of God? We can ask God for humility. We can ask our angels to teach us humility.

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Child Protection Training: No! Kaboom!

Paraphrased from the above short video from Zero Dark Thirty:

  • “Procedures only work if you follow them every time.” – Security guy
  • “No, no. This guy’s alright. Heck! He’s a CIA asset.” – CIA gal
    • [Kaboom! One of the worst suicide bombings against a Military FOB.]

Let’s draw a make-pretend analogy:

  • “Procedures only work if you follow them every time.” – Child protection officer
  • “No, no. I’m alright. Let me just bully my way through.” – Virtue signaler
    • [Kaboom! One of the worst devastations against any parish and diocese.]

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The real blasphemy behind Ronald McDonald crucified

Oded Balilty / AP

This is in an Israeli Museum, whose disclaimer is that it was just part of a loan from another museum in another part of the world. Of course, that rather singular piece may well have been the purpose of getting a loan of lots of stuff from that other museum. It’s surely not a mistake, like they didn’t know about it. There have been some protests.

But let’s think about this. Whatever of some of Jesus’ followers throughout the centuries, Jesus, at the very least, for Jews, is a Jewish good guy, right? Spectacularly truthful, spectacularly good and kind, spectacularly forgiving, spectacularly in-your-face in the correction of hypocrites while NOT being a hypocrite Himself.

So, I don’t think the artist has anything against Jesus. I do think that there is a protest about the hypocrisy of some individuals who call themselves Catholic or Christian for that matter. Indeed, there are those like Martin Luther, whose anti-Jewish ideology was arguably as bad or worse than that of Hitler. For Luther to use the Cross to smack down Jews is the ultimate hypocrisy. I agree.

However, I think that using Jesus Himself, who is innocent of the hypocrisy, as the object of one’s scorn, is to take on the very hypocrisy that one says one despises.

So, let’s do a test – and mind you, while I’m a Catholic priest I am also Jewish – what if the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem and say, the one is Washington, D.C., were to transform their museums and paint all pictures of victims as Ronald McDonald, because, after all, they were innocent and Jewish, like Jesus, right? I would be outraged if anyone did that. That would be horrible. A travesty. Sooo very disrespectful. Uggh. So, what about the treatment of the Jewish good guy, Jesus, tortured to death by the Romans because of…. wait for it… because of the sins of us all, from Adam until the last man is conceived?

As I say, those who take on the hypocrisy of the hypocrites are as hypocritical as those they despise as hypocrites. How about leaving the innocent out of it, and offering a critique of those who are hypocrites? I have. I do. At risk to myself, mind you. And with great effect, mind you. How is that? Because I say all the time that I am a repentant hypocrite, just another of all of us. Without Jesus, I myself am just another hypocrite. Hypocrites, repentant or not, know other hypocrites.

Having said all that, what’s going on? I think the artist and museum and whoever agrees with such blasphemy in all laughter and high five-ing BUT – unbeknownst to themselves, are looking for deeper realities in the followers of Jesus. They have already seen the hypocrites and dismissed them. Great. But they want to test and push and see if anyone anywhere has anything of Jesus about them. Whether they realize it or not, they want to see all the love and truth and goodness and truth and kindness and truth and forgiveness and truth that our Lord has to offer also in His followers. They are fascinated by Him, drawn in by Him, want with all their hearts and souls and minds and with all the strength they want to know if Jesus is the One, the only One, the Messiah, the Suffering Servant, the Divine Son of God coming into the world to take away our sins by standing in our place, the Innocent of the guilty, so that He might have the right in justice to have mercy on us. And we all – all of us – obliged. We all pushed Him right to death.

Here’s the deal:

  • All people on earth have the right – the absolute right, mind you – to have the fullness of the love and truth of Jesus proclaimed and demonstrated to them, for, after all, Jesus did redeem all of us and wants that we be saved.
  • If we do not witness, people are absolutely going to push and shove, baiting, until they find that it’s all true, that Jesus lives and is with His true followers who are NOT hypocrites. But push and shove they will.
  • How can we blame anyone for such “art” when at the same time we are not witnessing to Jesus as we should and as we are indeed able by Jesus’ grace… should we choose to take that up and live as Jesus’ good friends.

So, does this artwork make me angry? No. I am saddened by it, saddened that there are those who do not know His love and His truth and His goodness and His kindness, noticing that we need salvation so much as not to see the Savior Himself. What I am angry about is that there are those who are in a position to witness widely but choose not to present the truth, but rather only political correctness. If you want to know what the real blasphemy is, that’s it, right there. Do you think Jesus is upset with the Ronald McDonald crucified thing in Israel? I think rather that He is angry that some of His own priests and bishops are total F***-ups. What? Not nice of me? Here’s what’s not nice, if you’ve forgotten:

When I published the following linked rant, I thought surely I would be silenced and worse. But, no, that didn’t happen. It’s hard to argue against the truth.

Update: Martin Luther: “We are at fault in not slaying the Jews.” The Holy See: “Let’s celebrate his life!” J’accuse!

Permit me to put up the video I made some ten years ago in Jerusalem. Don’t think I don’t know. Don’t think I don’t care.

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Homily 2019 01 21 Respect Life! Yikes!

visitation from peregabrielcom

We had a big crowd for the closing day of the novena sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. At the end, Holy Mass was offered for a very specific intention, that respect for life would increase, respect for life from natural conception to natural death. A homily, a sermon actually, was encouraged. It’s a bit longish, but has a certain ferocity about it. It’s a bit of a fright when the role Satan has had in the culture of death is described. It’s a bit of a fright when the provenance of the entitlement mentality gripping the nation is presented. Yikes!

There are a thousand stories to recount, and there’s so very much more to say on any and every level, but you can’t say everything in one homily.

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Shadow-dog Guard-dog Surveilling

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Yesterday, just down the street, multiple law enforcement agencies were at one of the many smallish assisted living homes for hours on end. There looks to have been a drug dog as well. And then the Parole Officer’s vehicle arrived. Yikes! I have no idea what was going on there, but I’m guessing that there may have been some home invasion activity. I mean, what better place to get prescription pain killers from defenseless elderly people?

Meanwhile, in my own neighborhood, copper junk was found strewn about, obviously someone cutting across yards with a haphazard armful of copper rubbish stolen so as to sell at the various junk yards, which pay top-dollar for copper.

Meanwhile, Shadow-dog is playing Guard-dog. He’s sitting on the back steps entrance into the house looking out into the back neighborhood and streets for anything suspicious. I thought he might be wanting to come in – as it’s really cold out – but no.

I tried to distract him by making all sorts of noise, but no. He did look at me once for a nanosecond as if to say, complaining: “Oh, keep quiet! Don’t you see I’m trying to protect you?” I mean, if you could have seen the look. He was very much at attention. A picture hardly conveys this. He’s not just sitting there. It’s like the whole city could vaporize in front of him so much explosive energy does he have. Very, very impressive.

  • “Goooood Shaaaadooow-daaawwwg!”
  • “Oh, keep quiet!”

And then, an analogy:

  • “Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to…”
  • “Just say the Angelus!”

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (frogmen edition)

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Frogmen were a kind of early version of the Navy SEALs, a “can do” crowd trained up to do anything anywhere under any conditions, water or not. It’s January. It’s waaaay below freezing. Those pictured above are nevertheless prompt to do the necessary in springing up in impossible conditions to do the necessary right outside the church, that is, to honor the good mother of Jesus, the Immaculate Conception, who is *The Warrior* over against the enemy, Satan, as we read in Genesis 3:15. Nature is obedient. We have some difficulties with that. We are instructed by nature. Indeed, “Creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the sons of God” (Romans 8:19). By the grace of God we can, despite all our weakness and temptation and darkness also put into action such prompt readiness for all that is good and holy under any and all circumstances.

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On Ravens, the Holy Spirit and OCD

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Racing along the highway with The Bread of Life, Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, while going from nursing home to shut-ins on Communion calls the other day, this raven decided to do up a bit of photo-bombing. I just wanted to get the snow-capped ridges.

He’s empty-beaked. In this case, I’m the raven of Elijah the Prophet’s fame as I’m bringing the Bread of Heaven to the great prophets, that is, those friends of Jesus in the parish.

And this got me to thinking about the Holy Spirit and the Carmelites who speak of Elijah as Our Holy Father Elijah just as the Benedictines speak of Our Holy Father Benedict. My mind wandered, as it tends to do, to the way of prayer, so to speak, of the Carmelites, and to someone who was refused entry into a Carmelite prayer group because he couldn’t make all the meetings because of his pastoral duties, namely, Karol Wojtyła.

When interviewed as Pope John Paul II, he was asked about how he goes about praying. His answer was, in great Carmelite fashion, to say that one would have to ask the Holy Spirit, who, as it were, transported his soul to the needs of the world such as they are on any given day.

Not so diversely, one may recall that any cloistered nun of any contemplative order may answer to say that such a vocation has one accompany Jesus’ good mother in her maternal concern for the members of the Body of Christ still battling away in this ecclesia militans, in this Church militant, and so are transported in their intercession whithersoever such a good mother would have them go, so to speak.

 

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Ultra Super Wolf Blood Moon (twice)

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Sorry, I guess the phone camera moved slightly and got a double digital exposure while trying to collect more light.

wolf angry

Werewolves and lunatics… a commonality among diverse and disparate cultures geographically and across the millennia. Interesting, that. I recall also that The Woman clothed with the sun stands upon the moon. Haha.

guadalupe-

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“When Hell freezes over…”

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  • In the summertime we hear: “It’s hot as hell!”
  • In the wintertime we hear: “It’s cold as hell!”

In all actuality, one or the other physical torment of hell would be a relief, a distraction from what hell is really all about, which is the intellectual frustration of pretending that one wants to be there, but not really, for all eternity, and which is the spiritual frustration of trying to escape God’s goodness and truth and love, to which the writhing worm that doesn’t die shrieks: “Noooooooooooooooooo!”

It’s better to just go to Confession. “Yeah! Sure! When hell freezes over!” Don’t think hell will be so easy as all that. No, no. Really, just go to Confession, and go to heaven.

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Homily 2019 01 20 Τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοί, γύναι; Οὔπω ἥκει ἡ ὥρα μου. John 2:4. *The* Wedding. Priests are married.

wedding of cana mosaic lourdes rosary basilica doors

These are the massive central portals to the Rosary Basilica in Lourdes, in front of which the candlelight rosary procession is led nightly in Lourdes, France. The artist attempts to get us to understand that the two scenes are one by distributing the jars of water now turned to wine at the Wedding in Cana on both sets of doors. He also has us pointed to where the real “Wine” is to be had, as well as Mary’s solidarity with Jesus at His Hour, where she is to intercede for us in the redemption of the image of God, as Genesis has it, one man and one woman for marriage and family.

Τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοί, γύναι; Οὔπω ἥκει ἡ ὥρα μου (John 2:4).

  • Mary’s statement: “They have no wine.”

After all, we have to celebrate the image of God as to be found in marriage and the family when the Redeemer of the image of God within us is present. All the Sacred Scriptures point to this. She, who is the Mother of the Redeemer of Genesis 3:15, knows she can go to her Son who is set for the rise and downfall of many in Israel, He who is the Light unto the Nations.

  • Jesus’ title for His mom: “Woman”

Some think that this is an insult. Since when is being a woman an insult?! Anyway, this is the epic title of the Woman in Genesis 3:15, the War Hero over against Satan, and the Immaculate Mother of the Redeemer, the War Hero by way of her maternity of “her Seed.”

Then we see the Woman below the cross who, already having given birth to the Head of the Body, Jesus, becomes mother also to the members of the Body, that is, by way of her perfect intercession for us under the cross, with all the “birth pangs” as it were that that entails. This is when all of hell is broken out. This is when she is successful in the battle with her Seed, her Divine Son, Jesus, who crushes the power of Satan over us and is crushed in His human nature for us.

Then we see the Woman in the Apocalypse, the Woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under he feet, and crowned with twelve starts, she, again, depicted as victor over Satan by way of her maternity.

For Mary to be entitled Woman is not an insult!

  • Jesus’ question: “What is that to me and to you?”

That question refers to both Jesus’ good mom and Jesus. Jesus wants to draw out the truths that are taking place. The Vulgate gets it exactly right: “Quid mihi et tibi est?” “What is that to me and to you?” It’s a real question, seeking the deeper truths to be spoken publicly. Great!

The Holy Spirit inspired the words to be the way they are. If we rewrite the Scriptures, bad things happen. Thus:

The Catholic NAB translates this if not with true malice, then with sheer incompetence: “Woman, how does your concern affect me?” That makes it sound like Mary just wants more alcohol for everyone, and that Jesus couldn’t give a hoot about anyone there, so that He wants to point out her stupidity publicly.

The KJV is even worse: “What have I to do with thee?” It’s like these rebels are having Jesus disowning His mother. That’s bad, really evil.

One of the Spanish translations simply has “déjame,” “Let me take care of it” (which leaves Mary out of it altogether. No good, that. And that’s only if we give it the far-fetched best sense, which would otherwise be: “Leave me alone!” Sigh… The Lectionary version we had was this: “¿Qué podemos hacer tú y yo?” That puts way too much emphasis on stuff to do instead of what the real question was about, namely, the explication of the deeper realities at hand.

  • Jesus’ hint for the answer: “My hour is not yet arrived.”

His Hour is when He is on the Cross on Calvary when all hell is broken out and the battle is on, when Mary’s hour of intercession for us is to be in full operation.

Let’s do the analogy: Cana has a wedding banquet. The Last Supper is Jesus’ wedding banquet. His vows refer to the epic battle for our souls mentioned above: This is my body given for you in sacrifice, the chalice of my blood poured out for you in sacrifice.

If Jesus wants Mary to make the realities of our salvation more apparent by this question, if Jesus wants to point out that we are to celebrate such a marriage at Cana because Jesus is set to redeem all marriage and the image of God within us by way of His own marriage with His Bride the Church at the Last Supper and then on the Cross, then we understand Mary’s “response.” She simply has to turn and say to the servants: “Do whatever He tells you.”

We priests and bishops MUST understand this, that we are married to the Church by way of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that we offer, by way of the wedding vows that we recite in the first person singular: This is my body… my blood. And we have to be just that ready instantly to lay down our lives for the flock just as Jesus, that is, by way of the love and truth and goodness and kindness of Jesus granted with sanctifying grace.

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Filed under HOMILIES, Jesus, Marriage, Mary, Priesthood, Vocations