Putting the pedal to the metal, the price of gas here in these USA is racing to be as expensive as the price of gas in France. Here’s a meme that’s been making the rounds sent in from “Tiny”…
A thief in Paris planned to steal some paintings from the Louvre. After careful planning, he got past security, stole the paintings, and made it safely to his van. However, he was captured only two blocks away when his van ran out of gas.
When asked how he could mastermind such a crime and then make such an obvious error, he replied, Monsieur, the reason I stole the paintings is because…
I had no Monet…
to buy Degas…
to make the Van Gogh.
I had De Gualle to do it and…
I had nothing Toulouse.
I recall standing outside the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia, which boasts of artists’ names engraved along the tops of the façades of the buildings, such as, “RAPHAEL, MICHAEL ANGELO, BELLINI, TITIAN.” Yes. You read that correctly.
Full disclaimer: The only reason this is at all funny to me is because I recognize myself as being not only the most un-well-read of clergy ever to have been ordained, but also the most uncultured. That’s not to fault my most cultured teachers in this small world of ours who think to have seen potential in me and went way out of their way to show this north-woods-boy the museums of the world, not the obvious ones, but small, out of the way, holding world class treasures that were on “Tours”. Fascinating how styles of art reflect the meanderings of philosophy and theology and economics and psychology and whatever of any age and culture.
There’s humor, and then there’s irony, and both together. Chesterton and Belloc have it that you can’t be Christian without a sense of irony, ironic humor or humorous irony, such as justice and mercy kissing upon the Cross of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If you get this, because you stand with the Living Truth, you are filled to overflowing with joy in seeing life through death and the power of a soul that magnifies the Lord:
That short animated video from NASA demonstrates what’s happening tonight up in North America, Eastern Standard Time.
Super = closer than farther, making the moon appear to be quite a bit larger to us here on earth.
Flower = when, in the Northern Hemisphere, flowers are in bloom (a bit hemispherist!).
Blood = the color thereof, because we’re so dramatic when it comes to astronomy. It’s just atmospherics, I know, but it’s still rather dramatic that the shadow this earth casts is blood red.
This isn’t the solar eclipse – sun to moon to earth – that took place on Calvary as our Lord died on the Cross. This is a lunar eclipse – sun to earth to moon. A dear reader asked me for an analogy using this event. Let’s see, our Lady, clothed with the sun, stands on the crescent moon…
Can we stand with our Lady in the light of the Son?
In thinking about this I do have a story about how I was compared to a jackass by a certain rather influential priest while in Italy. He was standing in the shade of a carport whilst I was standing in the sun.
O, Giorgio, che fa un asino nel sole? (Oh, George, what does a donkey to in the sun?)
Padre, un asino fa un po di ombra nel sole. (Father, a donkey makes a little bit of shade in the sun.)
Hai raggione, Giorgio, asino che sei. (You are correct, George, donkey that you are.)
This made for a round of laughter amongst other ecclesiastics, who were happy both to witness my progress in Italian after having just recently arrived, and to see my willingness to have myself condemned as a being a mere donkey.
It was not yet known that I love donkey history, such as donkeys always being in the midst of the Holy Family from Nazareth to Bethlehem to Egypt and back, and then with Jesus going into Jerusalem to be crucified, every donkey also having his hour.
When we choose to be donkeys, standing in the Light of the Son, we clearly see the blood shadow we have cast upon the universe, not suppressing the truth of who we are before God. It is then that we are brought into the midst of the Holy Family. We have all of us crucified, shed the blood of the Son of the Living God with original sin, our own sin. His dear Mother stands next to Him, she being clothed in the grace of God, “the rays of the sun”, of the Son. We can choose to remain in the shadows (look at how shadowy is that moon under her feet), or we can, by grace, come into the light, becoming the children of God, donkeys that we are.
Methinks it’s good to be a donkey in the sun, in the Son.
Today, Tuesday, is the “Day Off”, nothing epic planned. I’m still recovering from Sunday, 12 December 2021, the Feast Day (somewhat displaced) of our Lady of Guadalupe. Awaking at 1:37 AM on Sunday, I opened the church 4:30 AM for the singing of las Mañanitas for an hour, then Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament for an hour. Everyone stayed for both hours! Thank you, dearest Mother Mary, for leading everyone directly to your dear Son. Really a lot of young men from the region, many kneeling on the floor for both hours. Do you want to do up some evangelistic outreach? Try Jesus with His dear mama. This is the most we’ve ever had so early in the morning in all the time I’ve been in this parish. Meanwhile, hidden from view in this picture:
That statue is temporarily from the shrine just outside the church.
Inside the church, on the other side, as always:
Then, racing across the mountain, Adoration again, again with Confessions before Holy Mass:
Then, racing back to the other side of the mountain, more Confessions and Holy Mass in Andrews, and then Communion Calls everywhere, even the Rehab/Nursing Home.
A thanks to the latter, which tweaked the rules in favor the patients and visitors and the sometimes too petite nurses: the patients can stay in their rooms and close family and clergy can visit in-room. Otherwise, oh my, getting the patient into a wheelchair when that might well be somewhat inappropriate for the patient’s health, and then bringing them outside or into a big common-area… too much. But now it’s better.
[[[ This is a guest post of Aussie mum. We all owe her a debt of gratitude. Hail Mary… ]]]
Our Lady of Guadalupe, “Ahh… a close up of her face”.
Yes, the gentle face and compassionate gaze of a true mother looking upon her children, her Immaculate Heart the complete opposite of the malicious heart of Pachamama. It therefore startled me when I discovered that the month of August dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is also dedicated to her antithesis.
The Mother Earth fertility goddess, a demonic construct mocking our Blessed Mother, has been given various names in different parts of the world. She (Mother Earth) is best known in Latin America as “Pachamama” (translation: “World Mother”) in the Quechua language of the Inca, and “Tonantzin” (translation: “Our Mother”) in the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs, and is associated with the Sun-god with whom she supposedly brings forth and maintains creation.
In addition to the dedication of the whole of August to Pachamama in lands once hers and now seemingly hers again, her son and husband, the Sun-god Inti, has also returned to the region. He features on the current coat of arms of Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador, and on the current national flag and state ensign of Argentina (see link below) and Uruguay; he also appears on the traditional, but not current, flag of Peru.
We are told in the 3rd article linked to above (sciencemag) that recent archaeological discoveries in Mexico are “testimony to an industry of human sacrifice (on a scale) unlike any other in the world”. Surely today’s abortion industry is “an industry of human sacrifice”, and given its slaughter of 40,000,000 to 50,000,000 infants globally per year (WHO stats) it functions on a scale greater than that of the Aztecs and Inca combined. Cannibalism also accompanied human sacrifice, at least in the Aztec Empire, and such goes on in our world today as well but now it is aborted baby body parts cannibalised for research and for use in manufacture (e.g. vaccines, face creams).
Clearly, barbarism is not confined to the past. In fact it is a recurring theme throughout history. We are trapped in a fallen world under demonic headship unless we are incorporated into Christ and remain faithful to Him, which explains why human sacrifice and its associated cannibalism disappeared from Latin America after the Catholic religion was introduced there in the 16th century, only to resurface in our modern world in the form of the abortion industry and its spin-offs as adherence to the Catholic religion wanes world-wide.
Because our world is now post-Christian, immersed in the culture of death as was pre-Christian societies, “modern” men and women tend to take a sympathetic approach to the horrific religious practices of the Inca and Aztecs. The following snippets of an extract from Lehigh University re the film “The Other Conquest” is a disturbing example. “… blood was seen as especially pleasing to the gods, especially blood from the heart, … many of the ritualistic practices involved the cutting out of hearts, and almost all of the practices resulted in cannibalism of the victim … This was an important and irreplaceable aspect of the culture … To be chosen as the sacrifice was an honor and a type of heroism … Carrasco’s subtle references to the Sun God and the Mother Goddess, as well as the dramatic ritualistic sacrifice scene, seem less abrupt and confusing when a viewer can understand them within the organizational framework of a well organized and methodical ancient religious tradition. The Aztecs were not the hateful barbaric cannibals a top-level knowledge of their religion can paint them as. Rather, they were an organized group who committed some unorthodox practices based on their highly revered religious traditions.”
It therefore comes as no surprise that modern man, wishing to defend the indefensible, also portrays the overthrow of the Aztec Empire by Catholic Spain in a most cynical light. They don’t want to know what really happened when the Spanish arrived – the replacement of false religion and its culture of death with the true religion and its culture of life – and incorrectly claim (1) that the natives didn’t really convert to the Catholic religion but embraced the Virgin Mary as just another iteration of Mother Earth, and / or (2) that all religions are basically the same and so it makes no difference which one is followed.
Actually, the post-Christian world is worse than the pre-Christian in that pre-Christian societies had no previous contact with the Catholic religion but our modern world has and yet it prefers idols of one kind or another. No wonder our Blessed Mother exhorted: “Do not offend the Lord our God any more because He is already so much offended” (Fatima, October 1917), and made clear that her divine Son requires reparation for sins committed against her Immaculate Heart (Fatima, July 1917). How incensed He must be when men and women who have the opportunity to know and love His Mother are instead indifferent, ignoring her suffering united to His on Calvary – such immense suffering endured for our sakes – and yet are open to honouring an horrific Mother Earth fertility goddess. As we all know Pope Francis even welcomed the Pachamama idol to Rome (Oct, 2019); two months later he denied that Mary is Co-Redemptrix (Dec 12th 2019, Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe).
Oh, how we need to pray for Pope Francis. Not even the most corrupt popes of the past went this far!
Medieval Times (late 5th to the end of the 15th century) showed us that Christendom – a Catholic civilisation – is attainable, while Modern Times (16th to the 21st century) shows us what happens when the Catholic religion is widely rejected.
The following events stand out as marking the beginning of our times:
(1a) 1517 Germany – the Protestant Reformation, a revolt led by Luther sparking a world-wide Religious Revolution that would replace the Church with the anti-Church if it could.
(1b) 1517 Turkey – the Abbasid Caliphate replaced by the Ottoman Caliphate, making Turkey the centre of the Islamic world with a bridge into Europe via Constantinople (Istanbul).
(2) 1519 Mexico – the beginning of the end of the Aztec Empire as the Spanish arrived under Cortez, finding a level of barbarity they could neither understand nor tolerate. Conversion to the Catholic religion would overcome the deeply ingrained culture of death but most of the conquered population were resistant to converting.
(3) 1531 Mexico – God’s response to (1) and (2) above: He sent His Mother into what had been the heart of the Aztec Empire (Dec 9th) as the Woman of the Apocalypse, “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet …” (Apocalypse 12:1). Her appearance was miraculously pictured upon Juan Diego’s tilma and she directed that she be called “Holy Mary of Guadalupe” (Dec 12th).
Note: What the native people “read” in the picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe and a summary of the surrounding events can be found at:
The most obvious reason for the appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe is that she came to convert the Aztecs, and that is certainly true. Their “‘reading’ of the Sacred image brought whole tribes from all over Mexico, led by their chiefs and rulers, to be received into the Faith. And so it happened that the worship of pagan idols was overcome” and “more than 8,000,000 natives in seven years (were converted) to the Catholic Faith.” (Father Rahm cited in Thomas Mary Sennott, Acheiropoeta: Not Made by Hands: Miraculous Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe .., p. 27). However, there is much more to Our Lady of Guadalupe’s appearance:
– It was the one and only time in history that the Mother of God has appeared as the Woman of the Apocalypse, and as such it is of particular universal significance;
– It stands at the head of other Marian apparitions of world-wide import that followed (Rue de Bac, 1830; Lourdes, 1858; and Fatima,1917);
– And unlike pictures painted to commemorate other Marian apparitions, science – for all its supposed brilliance and authority – is unable to explain how the original was made (it has no brush marks), why it has lasted (its “canvas”, a tilma made of fabric that decays within 30 years) or how its visual effects are accomplished.
Moreover, the original picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe has miraculously lasted throughout Modern Times (just on 5 centuries) to date, suggesting that what she came to do is not yet complete. Could it be that Our Lady of Guadalupe and Our Lady of Fatima “bookend” Modern Times; that is, that Modern Times is the battleground upon which the triumph of her Immaculate Heart will stand?
I have not yet explained how the Reformation, Islam and all four apparitions mentioned above are linked, but I have taken up so much space already in the comment box and am very unwell presently, so I will have to leave it at this for now.
Dearest Aussie mum. Thank you so much for this. We pray for your health and strength. I am distressed at the words “very unwell.” You give us much encouragement with the clarity of your faith. We look forward to a continuation of this your heroic effort.
Sorry, I guess the phone camera moved slightly and got a double digital exposure while trying to collect more light.
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.
The route of the Guadalupe procession has passed by the rectory since before it was the rectory. In this picture you can see the police bluelighting the procession (second car).
Although we had arranged for the bluelighting long before the procession, and we do this every year, and the police are super-willing to do this for us, somewhere, somehow, the request got lost in the bureaucracy and I had to call 911 in the midst of an altercation that threatened to turn into a major crime scene. Our True Blue arrived pretty quickly after that, all apologetic that they hadn’t known earlier.
And then there was a second incident. A particular vehicle with an elderly couple drove by, looking pretty perturbed by the procession, but drove on. But then the same vehicle, this time with the middle-aged son, came back. He looked terribly frustrated at seeing the blue lighting. Ha ha. Those blue lights have a great calming effect! Anyway, we all arrived safe and sound.
We then blessed the shrine and had the second Mass of the day. The first was at 6:00 AM after las Mañanitas at 5:00 AM. We didn’t place the new statue in the shrine yet as there is still a bit of work to do on it.
But there were even more flowers in Church for Mary:
John leaped in the womb for joy in the womb of his mother Elizabeth at the presence of Jesus in the womb of Mary, who herself gave voice to the joy of Jesus.
John was clothed in camel hair. Super penitential, right? Yes. Dour? Not at all. It’s called not taking oneself seriously, freeing one up to be joyful in Christ Jesus our Lord.
It’s not that John, the greatest of prophets, didn’t have to learn anything:
Let it be for the sake of the fulfillment of all righteousness…
As the Master, so the disciple: yes, you’ll have to get your head cut off… Blessed is he who is not offended by me…
And with that, John, not taking himself seriously, faced his death with joy, dancing for joy as much as he could in his chains, in a dungeon. Perhaps you dance like John?
Meanwhile, we build shrines to the saints (like this post), not to say that we wouldn’t have handed the sword to the soldier of Herod who cut off John’s head, for we would all do that given the circumstances and our own idiocy, but rather to say that, with God’s grace, of which they spoke, we can repent of our celebrations of the ways of this world and learn to rejoice, to dance for joy, to leap for joy at the presence of the Lord Jesus in our lives. Perhaps you dance like this with Jesus…
I dance like a donkey. I admit that we might be a bit dour when we start on this epic spiritual journey, playing the part of the ass of a donkey, so to speak, still taking ourselves a bit too seriously, but then we are introduced little by little to the joy of recognizing the presence of the Lord Jesus with us, and then we also dance for joy, even helping others to do the same. A good friend saw this donkey the other day and couldn’t resist getting it for me, donkey that I am… Ha ha ha…
Meanwhile, I’m sure that Saint John Vianney’s condemnation of the ludicrous dancing in Ars won’t come my way for me being happy to dance for joy in the Lord no matter what. The patron saint of priests, for the dedication of the Baptist’s chapel in his little parish church quipped that “John lost his head for a dance”. Sure. But there are different kinds of dancing. John was also happy to dance with abandon before the Lord, as did David. There’s a long and happy tradition of dancing in Judeo-Catholic life.
It is said by the students of the Tilma that Our Lady of Guadalupe is dancing. Perhaps you dance like Jesus’ good mom:
Even Laudie-dog, Break-dance-dog, demonstrates her joy. Perhaps you dance like Laudie-dog:
Hey John, they’re gonna cut your head off…
Oh, O.K. I guess I’ll have to dance like a chicken with my head cut off…