Tag Archives: Confession

Running over others on purpose

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This is the third maxed out size wise momma snapper turtle that I’ve seen in the last couple of weeks looking to find a place to lay her eggs crossing the road and ending up getting run over on purpose. I say that because people would have had to swerve to have their tires hit the ones I saw. And I did see one crossing the road in the middle of a lane and the knucklehead did just that, swerved so as to hit it with a tire. I hate that.

This ol’ gal didn’t look too badly damaged. I figured with a little help she could at least crawl to a place to lay her eggs and then die of an infection some weeks later. I stopped, as did a number of other vehicles on the side of the road, and we all got her safely into the ditch and crawling away. Huge turtle.

I’ve seen the same thing with Mountain rattlers, with the knuckleheads first running the snake over, then stopping and cutting the head and the rattler off. People can be so mean.

Stats have it that people who are mean to animals like this do exactly the same thing to the human beings around them, hitting them, smacking them down, yes, running them over on purpose. And they don’t have to start with animals, just go right to being violent with human beings.

Oh. I forgot. I was so busy being sanctimonious that I didn’t want to notice that my sins did that to Jesus. Sorry, dear Lord.

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“This is such a beautiful church!”

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That comment is to be heard frequently. I don’t know what people are expecting. Perhaps some unkempt nightmare? No. Not here. Parishioners love their little church and take care of it. In fact, we’re going to so some major (for us) renovations:

  • First off is the confessional. There will be no more possibility of face to face, with two windowed doors to two separate tiny rooms, the penitent side with a chair for the elderly and, of course, a kneeler. There will be a screen.
  • The entire floor will be redone.
  • All pews will be reupholstered.
  • There are plans to put in a marble altar, forcing the sanctuary to be redone, I’m thinking with an altar rail.

Meanwhile, other fixes are in the process, with windowed doors now going into the office area (I meet with people in other heavily windowed areas at the moment).

All is as it should be as we become ever closer friends with Jesus. The driving engine of all this in a time of crisis mind you, is the time we have for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The heaviest times for Confession are during Adoration and before the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Ah… That’s what’s being referred to! The souls of those who are drawn near to Jesus, those who make up the living Church. Yes, this is such a beautiful Church!

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REVIEW: My penance when I confessed today. Yep. That would be right.

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved…
From the desire of being extolled …
From the desire of being honored …
From the desire of being praised …
From the desire of being preferred to others…
From the desire of being consulted …
From the desire of being approved …
From the fear of being humiliated …
From the fear of being despised…
From the fear of suffering rebukes …
From the fear of being calumniated …
From the fear of being forgotten …
From the fear of being ridiculed …
From the fear of being wronged …
From the fear of being suspected …

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I …
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease …
That others may be chosen and I set aside …
That others may be praised and I unnoticed …
That others may be preferred to me in everything…
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…

/// Because Jesus, You are my All.

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1/3 kids in ER assessed as suicide risks: loss of identity, self-esteem because…

calvin and hobbes puddle reflection

  • The stats are stunning, with 1/3 of kids admitted to Emergency Rooms being assessed as suicide risks.
  • The stats are stunning, with that suicide risk stat being in direct correlation with the rise of kids with smart phones using social media.

Kids can be horrific bullies. Kids can be ultra-conformist. If insulted, it’s pretty much 100% certain that kids will take the insult to heart, including the bullies, who are, by the way, the most cowardly, the most projecting of themselves upon others: it’s not them with issues; it’s others! Kids without an identity apart from manipulated reactions to social media use are thus brought to the lowest common denominator of death. If you thought such drama to be limited to those we wrongly call “adults”, you’re wrong; it’s a power thing, even with kids.

Generally speaking, kids don’t have the emotional wherewithal to withstand this kind of assault, or the ability to assault from behind a little screen without having to answer to people right in front of you. That’s why we call young people minors, giving them a different status, limiting their participation in society in all sorts of ways and on all sorts of levels – or at least we used to do that.

But with smart phones, all bets are off. The put-downs, insults, threats and extortion, the sexting, the manipulation, the marginalization… it’s all there, just like with adults. We’re all subject to the weakness of original sin, but kids are less apt to be confronting the world with a full sense of identity and therefore reason and balance.

So, what’s the solution? Merely take away or limit use of smart phones? That’s part of it. The real underlying cause, however, is a lack of identity. Social media has become the identity of kids. But why?

People are seeking self-esteem in the face of a fallen human nature that is so easily manipulated particularly when we have no sense of identity, no base, no foundation, as it were, from which to interact with the world. And people fall, and as they fall, they are smashed down and mocked all the more by those who are just like them, only worse in bullying and cowardice. Seeking self-esteem, they make the absurd claim for themselves that what they do in leveling ranker and insults at others, in hurting themselves with immoral behaviors as manipulated by others, is to do the right thing, because everyone is that way, because in that way they are getting for themselves an identity, however cruel, however much this beats oneself up. “I’m me!” they cry in their self-provided self-esteem, beating themselves up, beating others up. And now they’re adults, they think, being able, however, not to act from any real identity, but in being all the more cruel with those with whom one has chosen to give one’s life in being in mere reaction to them, still defining one’s identity by way of reaction to another. How very mature!

So, again, what’s the solution to a lack of identity, to a lack of self-esteem? Religion.

There’s a politically incorrect answer: religion, which, as a virtue of justice, renders to God that which is due to God, our Creator. God expects us to use our free will to be His good creatures. To use our free will we have to have a base, a foundation of identity from which to act, and this is uncomfortable as people are used to having no identity, to being in mere reaction to others. We don’t like this because we are immediately confronted with the fact that in our weak human nature after original sin we have no way to establish an identity from which to act. For fallen creatures to all of a sudden be good creatures – still in all our weakness in this world – we need the intervention of our Creator, His forgiveness, and the wherewithal – in a bond of friendship, of humble thanksgiving with Him – to have an identity once again, a real identity, that of a creature walking in the presence of his Creator.

Religion: God so loved the world that He sent His only Son to stand in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, so that He might have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us, to re-establish us before Himself, thankful to Him for giving us our identity which we threw away with original sin and whatever of our own. Jesus rendered to His Father, on our behalf, that which God the Father is due. Jesus is religion Incarnate. That’s religion. That’s all it is. Nothing scary. It’s all Jesus. We have our identity in Jesus.

Self-esteem is no longer sought in reaction to others, which is entirely contrary to self-esteem, making oneself lose one’s self-esteem. Self-esteem in Jesus is now provided by Jesus forgiving us and establishing a friendship with us. He says: “I call you friends.”

We get self-esteem by going to Confession and being brought into this friendship with Jesus. Jesus Himself wanted it done this way. Sin offends both God and neighbor, no matter what, no matter how private – even the “privacy” of hiding behind a screen in social-media. Being reconciled isn’t just a matter of saying, “Sorry, God!” Jesus wants us to be reconciled with Himself and all of us. Saint Paul speaks of this as Jesus being the Head of the Body and we the members of the Body. The priest represents all the other members of the Mystical Body of Christ. When the priest gives absolution of sin in the first person singular – “I absolve you…” – it is Christ Jesus who is speaking, and we are reconciled to both Jesus and our neighbor.

Mind you, the guilt of sin being put aside, while that is a great thing, is only the tiniest part of the story in obtaining self-esteem and identity. The absolution brings about forgiveness by way of flooding the soul with sanctifying grace, with the friendship of Jesus.

Self-esteem? “Jesus, God, loves me!” “Jesus, God, loves us!”

Identity? “I am found by Jesus to be one in friendship with Him. He gives me the base, the foundation, to have an identity in Him. In His friendship I need not give in to the temptation to be in mere reaction to others, to the temptation to be down to the lowest common denominator of death. In Jesus, in His friendship, I can even do something good for others, helping to introduce them all the more to the liberty of wholesomeness, of integrity, of honesty, of goodness and kindness, of friendship with Christ Jesus, who will come to the judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen. Maranatha! Come once again to us, Lord Jesus!”

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That’s a bit counter-intuitive, isn’t it? Get self-esteem by confessing one’s sins? Yep. I love it. Christianity is full of irony, the wit and wisdom of Jesus. He loves us. Truly.

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Missionary of Mercy in 2019 rants on hateful pundits who condemn mercy

missionaries of mercy 2019 letter

Yes, I’m still a Missionary of Mercy. Yes, I still have special faculties that encourage especially priests to go to Confession with rather difficult sins. I think it’s a good idea. It’s done for the good for the Church. I thank Pope Francis for it.

Hateful pundits speak of statistics of Confessions of priests who have had the special faculties for absolution from the Missionaries of Mercy applied to them, saying that it’s all useless since these faculties are never used anyway. How do they know? Seriously. Do they have Satanic gnostic witchcraft seances, looking into crystal balls? Seriously.  There is something called the Seal of Confession. I, for one, take it seriously.

That there are haters is to be expected, but – oh my – look at the multitudes of gullible people who follow them. What the haters want is that no one but no one goes to Confession. I’ve heard the haters say that all Missionaries of Mercy are not priests. Really? The haters will have to answer for their statements stopping people from going to Confession. If the haters want justice and no mercy, they might well be on their way to getting what they want. That’s just too sad. I’ll happily grant them absolution if they properly desire it. Firm purpose of amendment is required, even for the haters.

For myself, I have not committed any sins against the doctrine or morality of the Church by utilizing these special faculties of the Missionaries of Mercy. I’ve not gone against justice, or anything that is good and holy with the special faculties the Holy Father has granted to me. And I don’t know of any Missionary of Mercy who has done such a thing.

In fact, these faculties are provided with the proviso that nothing in the internal forum will have publicly knowable, practical effect in the external forum. There is to be no internal forum solutions for “marriages”, etc., etc., etc. The Missionaries of Mercy are not agents of Amoris laetitia, which is merely, in the words of Pope Francis in that very document, just a volley in dialogue.

But, I’m all ears. If anyone has cogent arguments as to why Missionaries of Mercy are not validly ordained priests, or that being a Missionary of Mercy risks eternal damnation for such priests, drop a comment in the comments box.

To the rest of those who desire the Mercy of the Lord Jesus in a validly provided absolution in the Sacrament of Confession, don’t worry about what the haters say. Just go to Confession, and go to heaven. We’ve got to make it to heaven!

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The one thing necessary, saying, “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned…

Jesus crucified passion of the christ

Did not Jesus redeem us all? Does He not want that we also be saved? Were we not all in the peripheries of left and right until we assented to allow ourselves to be drawn by Him to the Cross when He was lifted up to that great height? Can we do that if we pretend that we’ve never ever been on the peripheries, that He never had to forgive us, that we were always correct even as we crucified Him? That we were always expert in prayer and fasting and almsgiving?

What does a good son of the Church say? He says:

“Jesus have mercy on me, a sinner.”

And then a good son of the Church says:

“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. My last confession was […]. I accuse myself of the following sins: […].”

That’s what a good son of the Church says. Yep.

A good son of the Church never says: “I’m so holy! I’m without sin!”

“If we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin. If we say, ‘We are without sin,’ we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. If we say, ‘We have not sinned,’ we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:7-10nab)

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Re-post for humility’s sake: “Saint and sinner: it’s both or neither one”

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Philomena with the anchor; Mary of Magdala with burial supplies

[[This was written in the days of “Holy Souls Hermitage.”]]

I just love that: the Virgin Martyr Philomena and the sainted penitent Mary of Magdala, together. This is the glory of the Church Militant, the Church Triumphant, and the aim of going through purgatory in this life instead of the next. Both knew themselves to be saints and sinners.

It’s not that Philomena didn’t know that she was totally weak and conceived in original sin, absolutely deserving of hell because of that. It’s because she knew that all so well, and was filled with such humble thanksgiving for Jesus, the greatest love of her life because of His grace, that she was able to persevere in being a martyr because of the virginity which she gave to Christ Jesus, knowing that He appreciates the utter agility of soul which goes along with this, one’s very life becoming an act of intercession for the entire Mystical Body of Christ. Having said that…

It’s not that Mary of Magdala wasn’t a saint, though knowing full well her “past history” not only of original sin, but she must have felt somehow besmirched by having been possessed by seven demons (though feelings don’t make you besmirched at all). It’s because she knew of her need all so well by the grace of Christ — the standard of goodness and kindness — that she was able not to look to herself and get depressed and despair, but was able to take up the invitation of the goodness and kindness of Jesus in order to be a great, great saint, for whose intercession we are all of us so very thankful, never forgetting, however, why she needed that invitation in the first place.

If one gluts oneself in sin, one no longer knows oneself to be a sinner. For the sinner, there seems to be no sin. For such a one, saintliness is out of the question. If you’re not a sinner, you can’t be a saint! That is to say…

If one easily, simply, fully accepts one’s weakness, that one would easily fall into sin (the possibility not being a sin) without the grace of Jesus, then one can know that one is invited by our Lord’s goodness and kindness to be a saint, that is, to be His good friend, as He called us in a creative act after the Resurrection.

So, saint and sinner: it’s either both or neither one. Confession brings all this home gloriously. When’s the last time you’ve been? It’s a great experience of our Lord’s goodness and kindness.

Just to be clear: When people say “I’m a sinner” and they are not, or “I am in the dark” but they are walking with our Lord, they are not calling virtue “sin”, but are merely saying that this is the way they would be if they were without Jesus’ grace, His goodness and kindness, His love and truth, His friendship, the indwelling of the Most Holy Trinity.

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Making an examination of conscience

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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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“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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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (itsy bitsy edition)

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Tromping across the mud to get these. It makes no difference in the bigger scheme of things, you say? Actually, the bigger scheme of things is for this kind of interaction with the Holy Family. We’ll all believe it the very nano-second we die and enter into whatever kind of eternity we’re going to enter into. And we will do that much sooner than later. And we’ll know that too as soon as it irretrievably happens. No going back. Time for Confession. See that? Pay attention to Jesus’ good mom and she brings us right to Jesus in the most important way possible. :-)

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“The cover declaration”: out of scope

chess board robert van der steeg impossible world

An instruction meant for just one reader: Counterintel is a kind of on-edge situational awareness. In the midst of exchanges intertwined with distracting complexities there is nothing that’s more of a gift than a gratuitous declaration or out-of-the-blue rather extraordinary demand or question. You can spot it a mile away as most probably a lie or a set up. Dig, dig, dig. It all turns out to be like BS in the snow. It’s own heat reveals it for what it is, just like a polygraph. No need for digging anymore with that which is so out of scope, especially when the examiner has reviewed all sorts of intel and so sees only further lies in the “explanations”:

dung snow

I have become aware of just such a case that came to me today from about 620.99 miles away as Air America flies, or 452.37 miles as Kryptos befuddles, or, more realistically, 855.39 miles as doubled up non-responsibilities oblige. That person knows who that person is. My only question is: Why?

For the rest of readers, let’s just say this: The best declarations having integrity are to be made in confession. No lying there. After all, God doesn’t lie about His forgiveness of us either. It’s not that a fresh blanket of snow covers over the BS with an absolution (as Luther thought) but rather that the BS is removed altogether, leaving us with the life of God so flooding into us that there is no room for guilt. We are left with purity of heart and agility of soul and the declaration that does not lie, namely, that, left to ourselves we are sinners and if there is anything good with us it is only by God’s grace. If one wants integrity, there it is.

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Father Patrice Chocholski and St Jean Marie Vianney on Confession

  • Penitent: “I’m not repentant.”
  • Vianney: “Are you repentant of not being repentant?”
  • Penitent: “Yes.”
  • Vianney: “I absolve you from your sins…”

I agree entirely. We are not our fallen feelings and emotions. Our Lord graces us to repent with an act of the will even over against fallen feelings and emotions. Just because we have a cross to carry with temptation and distraction doesn’t mean we can’t at the very same time love God and be great saints!

 

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Phones and Sacramental Confessions

cspan google ceo sundar pichai data collection

Everything is absolutely always and in every way collected. Turn off your phone, take out the battery and sim-card, and twice as much info is sent to google the second you turn on your phone. You can’t actually turn off your phone. There’s a second battery for emergency purposes. You can always call 911 regardless of no main battery and no sim card and no contract. Your phone always collects your location in extreme detail, such as logging when you are in your car or just stepped outside of your car. That google capitalizes on this is a bit over the top.

Anyway, certainly when your phone is on all speech is instantaneously turned into text and analyzed – for marketing, of course – and this works spectacularly. I mention one thing in a non-phone conversation and it instantaneously shows up in search results and especially in YouTube suggestions. Awesome, but a bit creepy and invasive. One objection I have is the storage on google-servers of privileged conversations.

  • Imagine: business deals and insider information. Lots of power and money there.
  • Imagine: attorney-client privilege. Lots of power and control there.
  • Imagine: doctor-patient privilege. Lots of power and messing around there.
  • Imagine: Counselor-client privilege. Lots of power of manipulation there.
  • Imagine: NSA, CIA, FBI et other alphabet agencies analogously making stuff available…
  • Imagine: Priest-Penitent Seal of Confession privileges…

There should be law regulating possession of a phone anywhere near a Confessional or anywhere near any Sacramental Confession wherever it is, both on the Confessor’s part and on the part of the Penitent. Pockets or purses don’t work. Really. Not.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Update on rosaries edition)

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These guys are withstanding the freezing Winter temps outside, surely for the upcoming feast of the Immaculate Conception this Saturday, December 8. I went to Confession, a kind of General Confession, with a really good priest. What a joy. Purity of heart and agility of soul in God’s good grace, in friendship with the Son of the Living God, is happiness; looking forward to heaven with the hope that is granted to us, is the way to go. So, a flower for the Immaculate Conception, who holds us in regard, that is, regarding us, beckoning us, to be disciples of her Son. After all, He forgave us really a lot…

pieta

Right after that, it was off to Charlotte to see the Bishop and the other priests of the diocese. The bishop offers his priests an Advent meal of fraternity each year out of his own pocket. Very pleasant. I gave out the handmade Rosaries for priests, and the Bishop took one with much appreciation, asking about those who made them. I said that I had a few left and that if he knew of any priests who might appreciate them he could have those too. He said he did, and it seems we had just the exact number needed for this region of the world. So, I was quite happy with that. Thanks to the makers of the unbreakable rosaries!

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Homily 2018 11 08 Jesus: on repenting

black sheep head white sheep

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Adoration, Confession, Peter’s Keys

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Our weekly Sunday morning holy hours 6:00-7:00 AM at Holy Redeemer sometimes have a quiet moment or two, during one of which I took this picture. We have the rosary or a chaplet, lauds, chants. After exposition, to make sure we have some quiet, I stay on my knees before the Blessed Sacrament for the first ten minutes. But after that, I go back to the Confessional. I mean, people kneeling before our Lord makes for a busy confessional. Always so very inspiring, making any priest, even me, happy to be one with Jesus in His priesthood.

I would just like to point out the bit of yellow that you see through the window on the outside of the door. That’s the flag of the Holy See, the Papal Flag. We have to remember, do we not, that the Holy Father, whatever anyone might think about him, whatever Jesus might think about him, still has the power of keys, still delegates such powers with the apostolic mandate of bishops, who still sub-delegate that to the priests.

I make no apologies for being in solidarity with the Bishop of Rome – the most attacked-by-Satan bishop in the world – praying for him. I always mention him during Mass (not all do, you know), and at the end of the intercessions, the bidding prayers. I mean, I have cloistered nuns who pray for my wretched soul. When I complain to them that they are getting me in trouble with all those prayers because Jesus will ask me what I actually did with all those graces, they instantly say that such trouble with Jesus is alright since – “Look at it this way” they say – just think of where you would have been if we weren’t praying for you at all. Oh my.

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Yom ha-Kippur-im for a Catholic Priest

Yom Kippur 2018 begins at sunset on Tuesday, September 18 and ends at nightfall on Wednesday, September 19. For the long explanation of this Day of Atonement the Jewish Encyclopedia has a pretty exhaustive article.

English language translation and centuries of derivative pronunciation produced what we pronounce today: a-tóne-ment. , as if a piano is being tuned. Let’s change the pronunciation to something more original for the translation and you’ll get the idea: at-óne-ment.

It’s a day that sets everything in proper perspective. We are sinners before God and man, and should we have a humble, contrite heart (honest integrity in this sorrow before God and man), begging forgiveness and a new beginning with a firm purpose of amendment, then conditions are right for being at one with God and neighbor. This is a day which, appropriately, follow in the wake of the Jewish New Year.

For this Catholic priest (with Jewish lineage), my Yom Kippur takes place every time I go to Confession. Indeed, every time I offer Holy Mass, it being that Jesus is, in Himself, both God and man, making at-one-ment ever so available in Himself.

Unfortunately, in 1973, another aspect of this day was added to living memory. On Yom Kippur a bunch of Islamicist countries attacked Israel when all of Israel was busy with fasting and praying and going to synagogue. Early on, those multiple unprovoked attacks claimed some “victories”, but Israel ended up with even much more. Israel, in a long process with the Camp David Accords, exchanged land for peace. But that, mind you, is an accord, a contract. No peace, the land goes back. It’s more like paying rent. Egypt dumped Russia altogether. Don’t mess with someone in the moment they are trying to make at-one-ment with God and neighbor!

And, by the way, whatever our non-Catholic Christians have to say about it, those who condemn Jewish interpretation of Yom Kippur (a collective noun), this day is not only about institutional atonement on so many levels and in so many ways (note the plural), not only about atonement for the people as a whole as it were, but also and in all of these other ways it is about personal atonement before both God and neighbor. It is honest, with integrity.

I have an idea: How about brainstorming about starting a project whereby Catholics, meaning ALL Catholics, laity, priests, bishops, archbishops, cardinals, the pope, all go to sacramental Confession on Yom Kippur regardless of Easter duty and regardless of any other Confession practice. This would not only be a statement about the gravity of the necessity of Atonement but also a huge move in demonstrating the oneness of the faith between Catholics and Jews, regardless of any veil mentioned by Saint Paul.

If everyone is going to Confession regularly do you think we would have the crisis we have today which went hand in hand with NOT going to Confession for decades. No, we wouldn’t.

For some reason, ultra-tradition-al-ism-ists on the Catholic side freak out about friendship with the Jews, but I should like to remind them of what I believe to be the greatest exclamation regarding atonement made by anyone anywhere, seriously:

I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen. (Romans 9:1-5)

Try to top that for anguish for atonement. This is stunning. And this is the Apostle to the Gentiles. Awesome, that.

SUBARU DECALS

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Sheriff’s Office in my Confessional?

img_20180817_160402021~22376981712527359524..jpg

I love it. This is no small feat. There are a zillion little churches throughout the county. The little church campus in Andrews can be a place where one finds drug drops, thieves, etc et alii. But nothing nor anyone of any stripe more than in any other place. So, we’re grateful. This sheriff’s check also happens up at our church in Robbinsville, sometimes not for a while, sometimes once or even twice a week.

I was surprised when I saw this card on my confessional chair, but then a parishioner confessed to putting it there, so to speak. It had been outside the external doors of the church. I’m happy to think that the parishioner thought that the best place for me to have a message delivered where I would see it right away is on my chair in the confessional. Indeed, I love being a priest. :-)

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For St John Vianney it’s all about Jesus

cure dars chapel john baptist

What’s that I hear? There are… are… are controverted issi-oos somewhere inside oneself, somewhere in the world, somewhere in the Church? Oh. That’s new. What a surprise.

Breathless argumentation which condemns all others to hell, all as heretics, all with simple emotional assertions on their own or simple emotional assertions shrouded lightly with – Oooo! – lots of verbiage…. all this breathless argumentation always and every time seems to forget entirely about Jesus. It is in this way that doctrine turns into ideology, meaning that it’s all about oneself asserting an assertion, any assertion, and whether right or wrong (that’s irrelevant as essentially important premises to the argument bite the dust and not essentially important premises are introduced as being totally decisive, ripping words and phrases out of context, which is pretext), it’s: “I’m right; you’re wrong. I’m justified; you’re not. I’ve condemned everyone to hell as a heretic and so that includes you too.”

The great thing about St John Vianney, as with any other saint, is that, for him, Jesus was of paramount importance, and more than merely paramount; for Father Vianney, Jesus was and is all important. It’s all about Jesus. He’s the One. He’s the only one. So, for him, it was all about him saying: “Father, please hear my confession.” And then he would hear confessions, confessions, confessions, confessions.

By the way, that picture up top is the chapel of Saint John the Baptist, the one who lost his head for a dance. Father Vianney literally knocked out the side of his parish church to build this side chapel to combat the brood of vipers in his mountain village.

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“Mandatory Reporting” of Abuse Confessed in Sacramental Confession

PADRE PIO SEAL OF CONFESSION

– Katherine Gregory, a political reporter for ABC News (that’s Australia Broadcasting, btw), headlines this: “Catholic leaders ‘willing to go to jail’ to uphold seal of confession and not report child sex abuse.”

Wow. So, that makes it sound as if priests want to protect child abuse. No. The vast, vast, vast majority of priests are honest, have integrity of life, and are offended by those who have betrayed Jesus Christ our Lord and God and all the rest of us priests and all members of the mystical Body of the Divine Son of God who will come to judge the living and dead and world by fire.

So, this is dishonest and manipulative reporting from the outset. Irresponsible. It represents hatred of God, hatred of neighbor and, as we will see, actually promotes the abuse of those who are vulnerable.

But I’ll tell you this, people are eager – so eager – to tell all priests to go to hell with absolutely zero due process. Like Judas betraying Jesus. It is what it is in this cowardly society of tender snowflakes in which we live. Are we brave? Honest? Do we have some integrity? O.K. Let’s actually take a look at the issues then, shall we? Here’s her article with emphases and [[comments]] by yours truly.


South Australia has joined the ACT [[Australian Capital Territory]] in moving ahead with laws to force Catholic priests to break the seal of confession, to report paedophiles to police. [[No one is ever forced to do the wrong thing like breaking the seal of confession. One can always choose to face the consequences like going to prison.]]

Other states are still deliberating over whether or not they will adopt that recommendation from the royal commission. [[Another has already gone along with this. All the others are expected to follow in short order.]]

But Catholic Church leaders have rejected the idea. Father Michael Whelan, the parish priest in St Patrick’s Church Hill in Sydney, said priests would not break the seal of confession:

“The state will be requiring us as Catholic priests to commit as what we regard as the most serious crime and I’m not willing to do that,” Father Whelan said. [[That’s just a lot of bluster. He is willing to do this, but in a more idiotic manner, as we will see…]]

The New South Wales Government has said it would respond later this month about whether priests would be legally obliged to report confessions of child sex abuse.

“I expect every jurisdiction in Australia now will follow that recommendation and I expect the church throughout will simply not observe it,” Father Whelan said.

Asked if the Catholic Church was above the law, he said:

“Absolutely not, but when state tries to intervene on our religious freedom, undermine the essence of what it means to be a Catholic, we will resist. The only way they [the states] would be able to see whether the law was being observed or not is to try and entrap priests.” [[That would be right. But confessionals have been bugged in New York by the FBI. I was personally asked by the Italian Department of Defense to do this for them. I did not do this! Communist China regularly sends agents to “confess” to, say, subversion, like planning something like the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. If the priest doesn’t immediately intercept the “penitent” and drag him to the police for torture and death the priest himself will be sent off to re-education and labor and prison camps where bad things like torture and death take place.]]

Father Whelan said he was “willing to go to jail” rather than abide by a law. [[But not really. Watch what he does:]] An alternative, if a priest hears a paedophile confess sins of child sexual abuse, would be to “stop them immediately”, says Father Whelan:

“I would say, ‘Come with me now, we will go down to the police station in order for you to show that you are remorseful’,” he said. [[Well, sugar. That’s the same as breaking the Seal of Confession. Even worse. This makes priests into Law Enforcement Officers because they are priests. I can see it now. The priest and therefore police officer with divine mandate causes a huge scene, tackling, fighting, hand-cuffing, pepper-spraying, tasering, and, if there’s resistence that turns into a life endangering fight (which it might at the first suggestion of a police station), shooting the guy until the threat stops. Yep. I can just see it now, all those priests so highly trained in interrogation and take down techniques, verifying IDs (impossible), arresting the worst criminals in society and singlehandedly bringing them down for a public interrogation, confession and absolution. That’s realistic. Not. Can you imagine? Does that also refer to anything else that would be against the law? Murder, theft, illegal parking? Where do we draw the line? Is any confession to be private?]]

NSW Labor senator Kristina Keneally, who is a scholar of theology[[!]] and a Catholic[[!]], said church [[definite article?!]] could not put itself above the law, but mandatory reporting was not the most effective way to prevent abuse. [[She sounds reasonable so far, but watch this, she’s going to capitalize on the suffering of real victims to get her ideology accepted:]]

“I would look to ordination itself, I would look to who we ordain,” she said. “I have no doubt that if more women and more parents were involved in the leadership of their Catholic Church, that the problem of child sexual abuse would not have been as big as it was and would have been dealt with far differently when it came to light within the institution.”

========= The rest of what follows are my comments:

Did you see the clever switcheroo in this last bit? What we’re talking about statistically is, say, a layman going to confession for committing abuse (pretty much 100% of that being incest) and whether the priest should bring that fact from the confessional to the police. But this politician all of a sudden takes the confessional out of the picture and implies that the whole problem rests with priests and that women and parents are always innocent. That sounds like guilt speaking, the ol’ projection of one’s own guilt trick. As it is, incest stats are staggering. The Atlantic has this:]]

“Here are some statistics that should be familiar to us all, but aren’t, either because they’re too mind-boggling to be absorbed easily, or because they’re not publicized enough. One in three-to-four girls, and one in five-to-seven boys are sexually abused before they turn 18 [[I think those gender-stats are in reverse…]], an overwhelming incidence of which happens within the family. [[“Overwhelming” – “Within the family”]] These statistics are well known among industry professionals, who are often quick to add, ‘and this is a notoriously underreported crime.’”

============ Some other points:

  • The priest has no right to what is said in Confession. This belongs to Jesus who shed His blood to forgive sin. If the priest betrays this it seems to me that he takes on the guilt of those sins himself. You won’t want to see the punishments he will receive in hell. If the State tries to get this information, recording this or whatever, it seems to me that the same dynamic holds. Whoever it is in the State doing this will take on those sins before God. Yep.
  • The Seal of Confession is absolute, between the penitent and God. What’s said in confession stays there.
  • The priest is not a law enforcement officer (and even if he was, he still wouldn’t have a right to this information).
  • There is often a screen between priest and penitent, and so the priest doesn’t know who it is anyway.
  • The mention of the crime may not be by the perpetrator, but by the victim, who is asking for advice on how to bring this to police and how to find some peace with God and neighbor.
  • If there is mandatory reporting for some sin, the result will be that either there is public confession of all and any sin or no confession at all. It is what it is.

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