Members of the Cosa Nostra were united in their disappointment that the Vatican has not changed their stance concerning the sinfulness of murder, theft and prostitution.
“It’s a real cultural problem.” said a spokesman for the Bocce crime family. “Don Giuseppe was saying just the other day that the church’s stance unfairly stigmatizes people whose culture, tradition and inclination. has steered them in this direction for centuries.”
“It’s a terrible disappointment.” said Fr. Mel A Stophilies of Angel of Light Parish and the unofficial chaplain to the Polenta family. “Why just the other day Dona Polenta was talking about how Pope Francis’ attacks on the mafia had affected her 14 year old grandson who has dreamed of entering the family business since he was five and has just started his career as a runner: ‘Does the Vatican understand what his can do to a 14 year old just staring in the rackets? It can destroy him'”
At the business of Dino and Luigi Vercotti they echoed this statement noting that on the local level their priest have been more supportive.
“At our parish they have been much more caring toward the women in our business just trying to make a living.” Said Dino Vercotti in between answering calls for appointments, “In fact our parish priest Fr. Heretic has been using a more compassionate translation of scripture where Jesus tells the woman caught in adultery in John 9:11: ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now that’s not sin any more.’ It’s really made both our girls and their customers feel better about themselves.”
In Philadelphia some locals still expressed hope that the Vatican will see the light on these things.
“If the church is going to be part of the world and not hated they need to change with the times and recognize that the acceptance of things like adultery, theft and the occasional murder (as long as it doesn’t cross the wrong racial lines) is where society is.” said Fr. Morty Sine “After all if they took those lessons to heart have spent hours filling in and delivering ballots in the wee hours after election day? If they hadn’t done that Rome would not have been able to celebrate the election of only the 2nd Catholic president of the United States.”
“After all one man’s sin is another’s way of life.” said Fr Terr. I know our parish has greatly benefited from the support we have given the local families and I’m sure eventually the Church will see the advantages of such an arrangement.
Simon (Peter): Whoa whoa whoa whoa. What are you doing?
Matthew: You want me, to join you?
Gaius:Keep moving street preacher.
Simon (Peter):Do you have any idea what this guy has done? Do you even know him?
The Chosen, Season 1 Episode 7
Today is Ash Wednesday and it’s worth repeating the point I made last year about my favorite old testament passage from the Prophet Joel which is the 1st reading at every Catholic Mass today (and which I want to be the 1st reading at my funeral when the day comes).
Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.
Perhaps he will again relent
and leave behind him a blessing,
Offerings and libations
for the LORD, your God.Blow the trumpet in Zion!
proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
Gather the people,
notify the congregation;
Assemble the elders,
gather the children
and the infants at the breast;
Let the bridegroom quit his room
and the bride her chamber.
Between the porch and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep,
And say, “Spare, O LORD, your people,
and make not your heritage a reproach,
with the nations ruling over them!
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’”Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his land
and took pity on his people.
Joel 2 12-18
This is for my money the most hopeful passage in the entire old testament and the perfect prestaging for the coming of Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, not only because of what it says but because what it doesn’t say. It doesn’t say…
Even Now….unless you’ve had an abortion
Even now….unless you’ve cheated on your spouse
Even now…..unless you are a thief
Even now…..unless you are a drug dealier
Even now…..unless you are a murder
Even now…..unless you are a terrorist
Even now…..unless you are an atheist
Even now…..unless you promote sodomy
Even now…..unless you’ve sold your soul to the devil
and it’s worth noting that there is no political connection
Even now…..unless you voted Trump
Even now…..unless you voted Biden
Even now…..unless you stole an election
Even now…..unless you rioted
Even now…..unless you’ve been cancelled
Even now…..unless you’ve cancelled someone
Even now…..unless you’ve pushed transgerderism
Even now…..unless you’re transgender
Even now…..unless you’re a communist
Even now…..unless you’re a fascist
Even now…..unless you’re Antifa
Put simply if at whatever place you happen to be in the now you choose to Turn to God with your whole heart you will be shown forgiveness and mercy.
This is actually where we are every single day of our lives, but every Ash Wednesday the church explicitly reminds us of this remarkable fact.
Apathy in the face of tyranny turns out not to be a German or Russian characteristic. I just never thought it could happen in America.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the memorials of the righteous, and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’
Thus you bear witness against yourselves that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets;
Jesus Christ, Matthew 23:29-31
In the sermon on the Mount one of the hardest but most important charges Christ give is this:
Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
Now this command refers to the state of one’s soul and in accompanied by the injunction in the Our Father (also known as the Lord’s Prayer) to forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Or to put it simply, if you want to be forgiven, forgive.
This came to mind as I finished my piece on courage and freedom being the exception and not the norm and it got me thinking about something.
There was a time I had thoughts of being able to earn a living as a blogger commentator perhaps even breaking into media. I had one local Fox appearance, a NY Post Op Ed. Had been credentialed press for several events, the tip jar was rocking and things were on the rise.
All of it seemed to crash and at once, it took years to get me back to where I am today and I recognized that I’d likely never be able to much more than I am today. That’s fine, I’ve done things and seen things that most people in their lifetime have not and it’s been a great thing to share my thoughts with you who have kept the bills paid around here with perhaps a little extra to spare each year.
But what if I had made it, broken into media with a good paying gig or as I considered back in my twenties, gotten into government and perhaps even as far as congress. What if I was in the place those in the state legislagtures, or the courts or the congress or the media are today when the axe is falling down and the choice is being made?
Robert Ingersoll once said of Abe Lincoln:
“If you want to find out what a man is to the bottom, give him power. Any man can stand adversity — only a great man can stand prosperity. It is the glory of Abraham Lincoln that he never abused power only on the side of mercy.”
There are a lot of folks in media who are making six figures or more, who have comfortable lives, who have children who have a chance to live in comfort because of their jobs.
There are a lot of folks in politics who are making good money, who have the potential to make a lot more when they leave, who have the chance to see that they and theirs are comfortable for the rest of their days.
There are a lot of folks in entertainment and academia who are in the same boat. They are comfortable, they are honored, they are given deference.
And for every one of those people who have made it there are hundreds perhaps thousands of those who are striving for that brass ring.
Now comes the day of testing. They are being told that unless they play ball, unless they tow the line giving exactly the message that is desired by the deep state all of those things are going to be taken from them, and any secrets they have will be exposed. They will go from having the potential for anything they want at any time to being at best a regular nobody or at worst a criminal to be punished.
Cue Henry Hill
It’s the last line in that speech that says it all.
I’d like to think that given the choice of doing the right thing or protecting my prerogatives and my family’s prerogatives I like to think that the way I was raised and the way I raised my children and that I could do this and my family would be willing to endure the loss of income, of position, prestige and the scorn of those around me, but thanks to a merciful God to whom I daily ask “Lead me not into temptation” I don’t have that choice, or to put it another way, all I’m risking by speaking the truth is to remain the average working still that I am while being online by people who don’t know me and will never meet me and perhaps treated in a condescending way by some folks I know.
I’m likely old enough and grounded enough to handle that.
But would I with money in the bank, a bigger mortgage than I have now, with kids going to expensive schools and a chance for them to be set for life, would I have the courage and character to risk all that for the truth to face the fate of Henry Hill who ended his speech saying:
Henry Hill:I’m an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my live like a snook.
Good Fellas 1993
Would my faith and trust in God be enough if I had that much to lose? Remember there’s a reason why Christ said how hard it was for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
That’s why I’m going to do my best not to judge those who did not come through on any level. I suspect many of them in their own minds and hearts are already judging themselves because cowardice is as C. S. Lewis said:
Cowardice, alone of all the vices, is purely painful – horrible to anticipate, horrible to feel, horrible to remember
So instead I will try to take to heart these words from Our Lord:
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy
As a person who needs God’s mercy may I take that command to heart
Screwtape: Look, you must think of your man as a series of concentric circles, his will being the innermost, his intellect coming next and finally his fantasy. You can hardly hope at once to exclude from all circles anything that smells of the enemy…
Wormwood:You mean the Germans?
Screwtape:No NO! Not them you fool! I mean the REAL enemy!
The Screwtape Letters Focus on the Family
Given what I’ve been seeing and hearing from some of my brother Christians I think it’s incumbent to remind people of something.
Christ came to save us from the clutches of the enemy.
The enemy he was referring to is Satan, not the Democrats, not the deep state and not Biden or Harris as the song notes
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, let nothing you dismay.Remember Christ our savior was born in Christmas DayTo save us all from Satan's power when we have gone astrayOh tidings of comfort and Joy, comfort and joy.Oh tidings of comfort and joy!
It is for the redemption of our sins allowing us eternal life, not relief from the effects of the sins of others than Christ came in the world lived and died.
If you are counting on God saving us from them you are likely to be as disappointed as the Zealots who expected the messiah to bring down Roman Rule.
While it’s true that the enemy had some influence on those who did it, the fraud and theft of this election is the work of man. It’s up to men to make it right.
God can provide virtue to such men, and their Guardian Angels might prompt them to do so, but in the end, men they must make that call.
There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?”
He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.”
But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
A few months ago the house next door (You know the one Pauloworked so hardon) was bought and a new neighbor moved it. She is a statuesque black woman with three kids from age 9 -18 who was working from home even before the covid stuff took place.
My wife and her hit it off as did we. I liked seeing her boy riding his bike in the neighborhood playing with other kids, we found ourselves talking and chatting all during the summer about the plans for our homes, what going on with our kids etc.
About 5 months ago a Black Lives Matter sign went up in front of her house. I don’t know how familiar she is with the actual origins of the movement but as she moved from the south shore it was not odd to think a person from there would be politically to the left. I didn’t like it but it’s her house and what she puts on her property is her business. I wanted a Trump sign long ago myself but my wife has for years told me no political signs in the yard and that’s not a hill to die on (see tip #15) anyways these days a flag is as good as a Trump sign and frankly any person who knows, reads or googles me knows where I stand as I’m not particular shy about it.
Well Wednesday night the blizzard came, I drove home at midnight from work doing 30 on the highway and was relieved when I saw my wife’s car in the driveway since as a nurse she would have had to do a double if her relief didn’t make it in, The next morning the snow was still falling but all of us had to be to work so we started outside shoveling while my son with the bum leg got out the snow blower. The blower died after two minutes and no amount of tinkering could make it go for more than 10 seconds and there was still a bunch a lot to do and we all needed to leave
Enter our new neighbor. She said bluntly, to DaWife: “Don’t worry about it, do enough to get your cars out and I’ll snowblow the rest.
Sure enough when I got back home after working my to midnight shift everything I didn’t get in the back and all of the fount was snowblowed out which means that I actually have a day off today rather than a day of shoveling before me.
I’ve been very angry about this election, I’m angry about the theft of it (that theft isn’t from Trump it’s from me and 80 million others like me) I’m angry about the openness of said theft and the cowardice of those unwilling to call it out, I’m angry at the courts and the legislatures who have the power to stop it from I’m angry at the thought that I don’t know if my vote when cast actually is being counted for the person I’m voting for and as a Computer Science major, someone familiar with higher level math and as a Sicilian I’m particularly angry at those those who insult my intelligence by pretending or insisting it didn’t happen while the mathematical, statistical and physical evidence is in front of my face.
But I know this much, The Christian charity that my neighbor showed me yesterday demonstrated that while she may have a “Black Lives Matter” sign next to her front door, she decided a pair of old white Trump supporters mattered enough volunteer a hand to help us out in a moment that we needed it.
That is exactly the message of hope that I needed to see and the type that gives a devil like Screwtape fits:
The great thing is to direct the malice to his immediate neighbours whom he meets every day and to thrust his benevolence out to the remote circumference, to people he does not know. The malice thus becomes wholly real and the benevolence largely imaginary. There is no good at all in inflaming his hatred of Germans if, at the same time, a pernicious habit of charity is growing up between him and his mother, his employer, and the man he meets in the train.
Charity to those around you that you actually meet. As as long as I live in a neighborhood, a city and a country where stuff like this takes place (and I suspect it takes place a lot more than people realize) then regardless of how things turn out over the next four years (and how angry it makes it) American at it’s heart and in its soul will be OK.
(Jesus) said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”
This week at mass the first two signs of a healthy parish were in evidence.
As people went up for communion there were some who approached with crossed arms receiving a blessing instead showing respect for the presence of Christ by publicly admitting that they were not properly disposed to receive as per the 1st sign of a healthy parish.
But the 3rd sign of a healthy parish was also present as we left as the father of that boy held back to ask our priest if he had time to hear his confession.
I and others have often done the same both after a Sunday mass and in the gap between the two daily masses (offered at 7 AM & 8 AM Mon-Thurs). Invariably (although once in a while when there is a family waiting for a baptism the confession has been quick) our pastor has agreed which can be a handy thing because the only thing more reliable than his agreement is that if you turn up for confession at the usual time (3:15 or so on Saturday before the 4:15 mass) you will find a line.
This is very much in line with the sermon that was preached today where Father noted that all people need to be saved from their sins by God and the sacrifice of Christ. As he put it:
Go to a convent and the oldest and most devout nun you there will be in need of the saving power of God.
If such as John needed the Baptism of Christ for the forgiveness of his sins how much more you and me?
Furthermore a good priest who regularly hears your confession is in a good position to be a life coach steering you away from thing that are a danger to your soul.
I have known parishes where the priest will go the entire hour confessions are offered without a person coming or with maybe one or two regular penitents. This is always a sign of danger. Pride is the 1st of the deadly sins for a reason.
Find a parish with a line for confession and a priest always ready to hear one and you will find a parish that will be around for many years to come.
Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.“
There are many blessings that come from attending Mass and the pleasures are amplified when there are so many signs of a parish that is strong and healthy in plain view. In between other subjects I’ll be touching on some of these things this week.
The first sign is something that might not be obvious even to a catholic but leaped out at me yesterday.
Due to COVID restrictions have the pews in the church are unused (closed off with police tape) so when DaWife and I arrived we ended up sitting in the very front pew of the church (something she absolutely hates). A pew that is a tad unusual and different than most, it’s used as a handicapped friendly area. A pew which had been in front of it was removed to fit self propelled and standard wheelchairs so the kneeler is a full yard in front of where you sit.
This had significance today because due to a commitment yesterday I was not in town for confession so when it was time for communion I went up with crossed arms and instead received from the priest, host held in his hand, the following blessing:
May the blessing of almighty God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit descend upon you and remain with you all day long.
One can choose to remain in a pew of course but doing this not only gives the benefit of a blessing but also demonstrates respect for the Holy Eucharist for as St. Paul tells us:
For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes. Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.
1 Cor 11:23-29
Because I did not receive myself instead of kneeling I sat and watched those who went up to receive. In the front row I had a very good view of everyone particularly because of the COVID restrictions that allow only a single file.
Quite a few people bowed or keeled before receiving (not to give homage to the priest but to Christ who they acknowledged as present in the Eucharist) but there were quite a few, in fact rather a lot who like me came forward with crossed arms getting the same blessing as me.
Many of course where children who had not received their 1st communion but almost as many were adults young and old, who for whatever reason either missing confession or breaking the one hour fast before receiving or whatever other reason understood they were not properly disposed for the Eucharist.
I was impressed, that act, particularly by the young because it would be SO easy to remain in the pew, instead each made a public act acknowledging
The reality and significance of the Eucharist
The necessity of being in a proper state to receive Christ in the Eucharist
Their current state of being unworthy, for whatever reason to receive it
These things reflect
The acknowledgement of Christ in the Eucharist
The holiness of God and the respect he deserves
The conscious of sin and the need to repent of it
The value of the blessing of the Lord
A parish full of people who see these things is a parish well catechized and a well catechized parish is a healthy one.
(Oh and the Priest found time to give me confession after mass but more on that later this week.)
Bearing in mind our nation’s challenges and the need for wise, moral, civic leadership, the USCCB is offering an electronic Election Novena to help Catholics form their consciences as they prepare for the upcoming election.
For nine consecutive days, Monday, October 26 through Tuesday, November 3, participants will be encouraged to pray one Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be for the day’s intention. A closing prayer for elected leaders will be offered on day 10, Wednesday, November 4. On this page, you can find the daily intentions, signup to receive the novena intentions daily by email, and download graphics for each day’s intention for use on social media.
I love when Catholic Bishops act like Catholics:
Here is the Day 1 Monday Prayer intention:
As we prepare for the national & local elections, in the midst of a global pandemic, may our political engagement be guided by our Catholic Faith.
We are really faced with a cruel dilemma. When the humans disbelieve in our existence we lose all he pleasing results of direct terrorism and we make no magicians. On the other hand, when they believe in us, we cannot make them materialists and sceptics. At least, not yet. I have great hopes that we shall learn in due time how to emotionalise and mythologise their science to such an extent that what is, in effect, belief in us, (though not under that name) will creep in while the human mind remains closed to belief in the Enemy. The “Life Force”, the worship of sex, and some aspects of Psychoanalysis, may here prove useful. If once we can produce our perfect work-the Materialist Magician, the man, not using, but veritably worshipping, what he vaguely calls “Forces” while denying the existence of “spirits”-then the end of the war will be in sight.
CS Lewis The Screwtape Letters #7
You know it would be a lot easier to talk all those people who absolutely insist that you can’t be a Christian in general or a Catholic in particular and be for Trump if you didn’t have a bunch of devil worshipers openly trying to hex him.
Some users, however, took things well beyond the sarcastic remark or celebration of the diagnosis, directing foreign language curses and images of Satan toward the president in his sickness.
and frankly that’s the mild stuff.
Others broke the template, forwarding similar comments and curses in a variety of other languages publicly asking for the “Lord Satan” to empower them to “vanquish the enemies of our freedom and well-being!”
“This curse carries the power of a thousand witches you will never find peace or happiness you will be cursed for centuries,” one user wrote, attaching images that appeared to be of a voodoo puppet doll burning. “The ancestors of each witch will follow you until the end of time old man.”
Now remember this is being done openly on a public platform for all the world to see.
Frankly anyone who is surprised by this hasn’t been paying attention. I submit and suggest this has been the left for a very long time.
Closing thoughts. These best counter to this stuff is of course prayer. There will be a public Rosary at my parish that I’ll be a part of next Saturday at noon and on the 24th we will be having a special mass Saturday at noon to pray for the country ending with a Eucharistic Procession I would suggest the same for your local parish.
But more importantly all of these people need to be prayed for. It’s very likely that many of them have nobody to pray for them and we must not forget that the love of God for them still exists and Christ died for their sins as much as anyone else. Thanks to these events we know who these people are and can give their guardian angels a welcome boost through prayer.
The best way to beat the devil is to deprive him of souls. Pray for these people and help deprive him of theirs.
Overslept today after putting in some extra time at work and I have to go in early today as well so no time to post so here are some very quick thoughts.
A Quick reminder, remember when the media was united in declaring the Tea Party and the various Tea Party protest a bunch dangerous violent agitators?
You can count the number of Tea Party events over the year that became riots d on the fingers of one hand, in fact you can likely do so on the thumb of one hand or no hands
I think the Nancy Pelosi Salon story combined with the news concerning city gyms in SF offer the best single chance for her GOP challenger in decades.
People don’t like be played for fools and even leftists know that if they punish her on election day they’ll get the seat back fairly quick.
When I was younger I was always amazed at the rise of the Nazi’s in Germany and the Communists in Russia (although less so the latter given serfdom and the Czars). After watching the left over the last several months and the reaction of the public I am much less amazed.
The smartest thing our enemies ever did was to go after our colleges. People are so much easier to buy.
If I was the Pope I would order a coordinated set of Eucharistic Processions led by the local Bishops or Cardinals of sees in October in Reparation for sins. I’d Choose Saturday October 17 the feast day of St. Ignatius.
Either we believe in the Power of Christ in the Eucharist or we don’t, if we do let’s not be shy about it.
Finally a reminder that tomorrow’s Podcast will be at 11 AM rather than at 3 PM.
This is because the Trump Economy is so bad that I have to work on my day off along with going in early yesterday and today to keep up with all the work we don’t have because the Trump economy is so bad