Tag Archives: Vocations

You are a donkey but you carry Christ

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“Asinus es, sed Christum portas.”Saint Augustine

The Palestinian donkey above, near the hermitage yesterday, guards the herds from predators, as donkeys do. He sports the Cross of Christ well.

I should always like to be the guard-donkey priest that carries Christ, The Priest.

DONKEY FOX

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Poetry by six year old Gordon J MacRae

scot beer

Father Gordon J MacRae, troublemaker that he is, since he was a six year old, composed and broadcast this poem out loud, before God and everyone:

Isn’t it nice that we have faces
They contain my favorite places
Eyes to see
Ears to hear
Nose to smell and
Mouth for beer

Wow. At six years old! I love it.

It’s reminiscent of SCOTUS Justice Brett Michael Kavanaugh’s love for beer. ;-)

BTW, there’s no yearbook for six year olds, nor any Senate Committee by which he might defend his reputation against, say, Voice of the “Faithful.”

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Ensuring Low Mass rubrical precision at diocesan priests’ retreat with a Glock

Some practice altars were set up to refresh the exactness of rubrics of the guys for low Mass.

It’s surprising who was assisted on this or that point. It’s always good to have other sets of eyes for that which is important.

When teaching a seminarian the low Mass back in 2010, he was cautioned that should he mess up on this or that rubric he might hear a gun get racked in the congregation as a warning to stay awake. There are those who get apoplectic with an honest mistake. When he made a mistake I would imitate the sound of a gun being racked. There was laughter all around.

He’s now a priest. He was with us sharpening up his rubrical precision. Upon a miniscule mistake I tapped my holster… click… to laughter… bringing things full circle.

One of the vicar foranes of the diocese, himself expert with guns, asked for the Glock and – ensuring it was empty of any possible magazine and any possible chambered round – waited for the next small slip up so as repeatedly to make the tell-tale racking sound with the slide multiple times, again to the laughter of all.

A good time was had by all. Newly scheduled low Masses are being added around the diocese. I love this diocese.

By the way and just to say, I once asked an FSSP priest if any of their members would make a breathless correction if anyone made an honest mistake. He said never. Not in the seminary. Not after ordination. Breathlessness is only for those who don’t know Jesus.

To the point:

  • All things liturgical are NOT about all things liturgical.
  • All things liturgical are about Jesus Christ, King of kings, Lord of lords, He who is the Prince of the Most Profound Peace.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mysterium tremendum et fascinans.

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

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Homily 2018 10 04 Lambs and wolves

wolf angry

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

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

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

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

Be the lamb!

And be that lamb in the midst of the wolves!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Speaking against priests retirement assessment and what happened then

DONKEY FOX

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Perfecting EDCC for priests: “car carry”

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

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

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

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

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

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Perfecting EDC for a priest

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

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

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

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

Lower right corner:

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

On the belt, starting with the handgun:

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

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

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

Any suggestions most welcome.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Homily 2018 09 19 Assessing Jesus, John

flautist

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

Jesus said to the crowds:

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

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

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

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

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

But wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”

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

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

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

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

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

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Review Board rejects Paul of Tarsus

Saint Paul Conversion Damascus Caravaggio

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

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

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

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

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

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

MEMO

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

Dear Mr. Paul:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mr. Heady High-Minded
Director of the MISSIONARY BOARD

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

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

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

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

And then consider Saint Benedict Joseph Labre?

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

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Epicenter of abuse victim: we laughed and gasped the better part of an hour

consecration-

Thanks for the prayers that I asked for yesterday. I finally got to talk with the epicenter guy himself. I laughed with our Lord and gasped with our Lord for the better part of an hour. We could have continued talking for days non-stop. This was one of the most inspirational, hilarious, sad, ironic, enthralling, joyful, gasp-filled conversations I’ve ever had.

mother teresa-

When you speak with someone who knows Jesus as a friend, a close friend, who has suffered terribly for Jesus, been betrayed for Jesus, slandered for Jesus, right through the decades, who knows what it is to remain entirely faithful through adversity, joyful through adversity, you’re immediately a life-long best friend with such a person, because the truth that you instantly recognize is an un-manipulate-able Living Truth, Jesus, who is always present with His close friends, because the enthusiasm you witness to in that person is that of one who rejoices in the just triumphalism of the Divine Son of God: Do not fear! I have overcome the world! That kind of person cannot be dragged down by the demonic darkness, cannot be made cynical by the “powers that be,” cannot be made to be someone who is not a close friend of Jesus. What an honor to speak to him! What an honor to be able to help him later today… Please offer a prayer to this end… Hail Mary…

john paul ii be not afraid

I’m still laughing out loud in agreement with comments and sentiments he shared, with stories he told. They resonated in my soul to the Nth degree. We know a lot of the same people. Hah!

FBI CITIZENS ACADEMY

For instance, there’s a successful FBI intervention that he spoke about. I know an FBI agent involved with that case, who had told me some of the methodology. That brought a lot of things full circle and told me something about all those involved, both not far from where I am and in more distant places where epicenters have still been exploding for all these decades.

This was all just stunning. I mean, it was all a sad and terrible topic, yes, but, I must say, in contrast, the grace of Lord, if taken up, conquers all. I wish everyone knew this fellow’s joy and freedom in the Holy Spirit, his faithfulness to the Lord Jesus. Perhaps, someday. Perhaps someday soon. Here we have honesty, integrity, goodness and kindness. I’m still laughing out loud. Instant friendship. I love being a priest. What a privilege to meet such great people. What a privilege to do some small thing to help him out. To do something for this guy is for me to be able to say thank you to Jesus.

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

joseph cupertino mass

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Mass Lourdes Pius X Basilica

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Speak Hear See No Evil

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

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

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Humanae vitae: two priests met me in my diaconate summer in 1980s and…

spy vs spyTwo priests from further out east in these USA had heard of my parochial experiences with Humanae vitae. Apparently, this was becoming a thing. A “reputation” and all that. That’s always something to be avoided. It is what it is, for good or bad, truthful or something less than that. They came to pay me a visit – a long day-trip, that – and expressed to me their utter disdain for the appointments I had been given for my diaconate summer (though I do not question the bishop’s wisdom in this matter of appointments in the least).

Satisfied that they had a good understanding of the way things were, but wanting to ascertain this for themselves, they proceeded, after returning to their diocese out east, to make a call to the vocation director in my diocese at the time. They had heard that if someone wasn’t for women’s ordination and against Humanae vitae, there was no way he was going to be ordained in that diocese, at least if the vocations office had anything to say about it. This was news to me, but, hey, anything is possible, right?

One of them made the call and pretended to be a young layman expressing interest discerning a vocation to the priesthood. As they suspected, the conversation very quickly turned to thoughts about women’s ordination and Humanae vitae. Taking a line of fidelity to Christ and the Church for the good of all, he was forthwith put off from any further contact with the vocations office of the diocese with the good wishes being given to him that perhaps he might come around to playing out life on the right side of history.

The result of this phone call was then reported back to me. I guess they thought that knowledge is power. Something like that. The thing is, God is really smart, with lots of knowledge, lots of power. God’s the One in charge of things. Whatever we think about we do, God is the Lord of History.

I asked an old Monsignor about them and he said that, yes, they were in fact priests from out east and were quite the renegades on behalf of the good. I recall being quite inspired by all this. Perhaps some might think role playing in this way is not to be done, but…

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