A Catholic Blog for Lovers

A celebration of beauty, truth, and goodness, and, of course, love...and perhaps a little nastiness

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Saturday, August 31, 2002
In defence of Rowan Williams

Michael Coren
National Post

Saturday, August 31, 2002

It really is quite extraordinary that people who regard themselves as Christians, and thus the last to falsely judge and harshly condemn, are sometimes the first to caricature their ostensible opponents. I write in this case of the ugly and largely erroneous comments made about Rowan Williams, the man about to become Archbishop of Canterbury.

I don't know him, and some of his actions in the past certainly seem to be cause for concern. But he's been labelled "a curse" by one Christian group in Canada, rejected as "a faithless liberal" by another. Crude, rude and untrue. The latest attack on him is because he was recently installed as Druid in his native Wales.

The misunderstanding of this obscure ceremony would be funny if it weren't so tragic. Anybody who makes their mark in the world and spent a wet weekend in Swansea is made a Druid. Before I'm attacked by the powerful Druid lobby, I admit it: I'm being flippant. But flippancy is what the reaction to all this deserves.

Rugby players, actors, prelates and politicians of Welsh stock have long been given the nationalistic honour of being made a Druid. It has little or nothing to do with pagan antics, and tea and scones are served rather than virgins and babies. As an evangelical Christian I am genuinely pained by the fact that these attacks on Williams make us look very foolish indeed.....

....The Anglican church has been in a bit of a mess for quite some time. It has also produced some of the best minds and souls we have, and in people such as John Stott, Michael Green and Nicky Gumbel is still so doing. The church annoys and delights. As has, and will, I suspect, Rowan Williams. One thing is certain. The man will be difficult to ignore.


I recall several years ago, I received a letter from Touchstone magazine (a journal I have subscribed to over the years and have mostly liked). The letter announced that a large donation had been received and that because of this they could expand their issues and services.

Not long afterwards, it seems to me, Touchstone began to feature more and more of Leon Podles writings (and he usually seems to dominate the musings on Touchstone's Editors' Mere Comments section).

I believe Mr & Mrs Podles have been blessed to have abundant financial resources (and have contributed generously, for example, to the production - at least here in Baltimore - of Hayden's Creation), and now I am wondering if he isn't the one who donated so generously to Touchstone and now writes a lot (a very lot) for this journal (I am letting my subscription lapse, in part, because of what I perceive as the overly harsh and negative tone of most of Mr Podles' musings). I am not sure there is anything "wrong" if my suspicion is correct and maybe the editors of Touchstone would have given such a large space to Podles even if there were no such donation - if indeed it was Podles who gave it in the first place.

But if he did and thus got more space and carries more weight....


ONION is not Nihil Obstat??????

Nihil Obstat has already eliminated ONION as a suspect in being the real Nihil Obstat. Has Nihil deceived us?

ONION: disguised as my brother's Havanese, MaƱana, mysteriously working online

Friday, August 30, 2002
Catholicism Rules!

If you go to Father Nektarios' blog, Orthopraxis, you may find that he writes, it seems, much more about Catholic things than about Orthodox things, despite the blog's description as a "weblog of American Orthodoxy". I am very fond of Father Nektarios and have had a nice correspondence with him. He kindly links to my website and blog. But I find some of what he writes a bit out of line.

For example today he has a photo of the new cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, with this introduction:

"It cost $193 million...seats 2600 people...is 58,000 square feet in size...and will offer 6,000 crypts beginning at $50,000 each (for those that can afford them)...and was shepherded by a prince of the church charged with racketeering... What does the common man receive?"

I was not aware that Cardinal Mahony was charged with any crime to date.

I laugh a bit, too, since Father Nektarios could have written pretty much the same thing about the newly rebuilt Orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow! The Patriarch Alexei, who consecrated it, is known to have worked for the KGB. The Moscow Patriarchate has been "accused" to trafficking in tobacco and alchohol sales. The economy of Russia is not good and there is much poverty and yet the Cathedral cost, I believe, at least $120,000,000.

And in its own way it is just about as "beautiful" as the new Cathedral in Los Angeles (it is baroque with art that is not authentically eastern but largely westernized).

Another false accusation?

Judge voices concerns on suit vs. priests

Will EWTN cover this one?
Consecration this coming Monday

New York Times on new Los Angeles cathedral

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on August 29, 2002

Workers put finishing touches on interior of Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on August 29, 2002

Thursday, August 29, 2002
Good News for Critics of I.C.E.L.

For those who have bemoaned (as I have) the quality of the English translation of the Liturgy of the Roman Rite, there is more good news. A new executive secretary for the International Commission on English in the Liturgy has been appointed, Father Bruce Harbert (former Anglican and now Catholic priest).

There's been a good bit about ICEL in the Catholic press of late. Here's a sampling:

The outgoing chairman of the bishops' board, Bishop Maurice Taylor's Letter.

Some of the changes at ICEL in the London Tablet.

Two National Catholic Reporter pieces from this week's online edition:

Liturgical language struggle takes turn to traditionalism

NCR Editorial: Fearful ideologues ambush liturgical reform

BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY TO ME: a fine article by Father Harbert on the ICEL translation of the Roman Canon. Excellent! Thus my strong feeling that this appointment is good news indeed.

P.S. I am struck by the old guard at ICEL - at least from what I have read so far - at how little they acknowledge the inadequacies of the original translations, which are so (justly) criticized by such a broad spectrum of Catholics.

Today's Feast: The Beheading of John the Baptist

Pierre Puvis de Chavannes: The Beheading of John the Baptist, 1869

For the Voice

By a friend of mine, Lisa B.

Herod, you deemed that he would die
A headless corpse on a cry
Of spoiled lust and fervid lies
For blood soaked oath
You comprised

You chose the favor of the men
The comfort of the viper's den
O'er the voice that howled apart
You took his head
But not his heart

A bather blessed, you soak in sin
Succumbing for a churlish spin
A turn of hip and winsome smile
From the depths
of human wile

Herod, Herod, must you fall
With scented skin and vitriol?

The voice who called you loved you so
Unlike the whore, the Romeo
Who spent the poison of the young
To flirt with ruin now undone

By the very one you spurned
When you struck his servant down
The former of your fickle soul
The kin of John, the just Surround

Symmetry was thus denied
Listing favored to abide
We fools of quisling's line!
Who love the toast more than the wine

Backslapping pawns, backstabbing king
You will not win the reckoning
The game is finer than you know
The victory more than rodeo

The calf you slew to court renown
Is God's garnet in the crown
He formed so fond for you to wear
The mark of love turned to dare

From a child of Satan's hand
A mission born of contraband
You do not know, or do you still
The choice you made for worldly will?

The Feast of the Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist
August 29, 2001

A Crisis of Fidelity: Interview with George Weigel on "the scandals"

Dissent got American Catholicism into this mess. Only fidelity (and a few new saints) can get us out.

'A Crisis of Fidelity': George Weigel on Renewing the U.S. Catholic Church.

Wednesday, August 28, 2002
More Welcomes to St Blog's

The road to holiness
join my journey - joachim, ocds
Rerum Novarum - Shawn McElhinney
Oblique House - Ellyn vonHuben
Brumley's Blog - Mark Brumley
Rosa Mystica - Chris Lugardo
Meet Joe Convert

Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan installed as Archbishop of Milwaukee

Report on evening Vespers of yesterday

Report on today's Installation Mass

Dolan sure looked upbeat and happy! He spoke of "the scandals" and he spoke of "fidelity" and he seemed confident that Christ lives in His Church. (And, amazingly, EWTN carried the Installation Mass held in the newly renovated cathedral of Milwaukee).

Ad multos annos!

A Privilege!

Words of wisdom from the remarkable Father Vincent McNabb, O.P. 1894-1943:

The unique Father Vincent McNabb O.P. so admired by Chesterton, Belloc and countless others

"You and I are in the Church. Some of us are grateful to God that we were within that Church within almost a few hours of being born. And we have lived long years in that Church and never with a sense of disappointment, save at our own failures. It has been everything to us. It has been Christ to us.

All its great sacraments that we have received have been instituted by Him with such a fitness for us that sometimes we wondered if they had not been made especially for us, and its organization, God's special mercy to us. How we should thank God that He instituted Peter as a Rock on which His Church is built, and the successors of St. Peter to carry on that work of the Church, and for the bishops and clergy. I speak, not as one of them and the most unworthy, but as one who, from childhood, has received those mercies and as one of a family who stood morning by morning at the altar.

I will not say, my dear brethren, that it is a great duty to have continued loyally to the Church; it is a privilege."

(from the last sermon preached by Fr Vincent McNabb OP at St Dominic's)

The Conquest of the Bride

A selection from Hans Urs von Balthasar (a poet-theologian):

THE LORD TO THE CHURCH: "...You can no longer conceal the disgrace of having failed totally, of having lost the game for good. People's distress may still fill a couple of your bombed-out churches... But just wait for the day of prosperity to return and you will be more forgotten than a corpse of a thousand years. You have not recognized the signs of the time. The rushing stream of love that you once released over a thirsty world (the slave raised up a hopeless eye, women lifted their veils, all the disinherited felt the breath of a more-than-earthly mercy): this rushing stream, I say, is now dammed up.

Your administrators stingily dole out through well-run pipe-systems and institutions the precious liquid of my grace. The bark of the tree which once blossomed in the wild has now turned to cork. You have become such an established household that even the catastrophic storms of the times, and persecution rattling at your gates and windows, can hardly awaken you from sleep, and a slap in your face can elicit from you but an embarrassed smile. Disgrace covers the length of you, all the more poignantly as you try to deny it, pretending nothing is amiss.

So there you stand, my Bride, truly a sign over the peoples at which fingers point, a widely known but little loved sign. Your failure redounds to me, since on your account my name, too, is blasphemed among the heathen...."

Here is the full chapter from The Heart of the World, The Conquest of the Bride.

A Christic hymn of surpassing beauty," exclaimed the renowned Jesuit theologian, Karl Rahner, about this work of von Balthasar. Von Balthasar wrote more books than most of us could read in a lifetime! And his books - profound, searing, enlightening - are often enough simply BEAUTIFUL. His great theological enterprise finds expression in the most beautiful language and poetic beauty. This meditation distills the inner meaning of the Last Hours of Jesus: the sacred Triduum of Death and Burial, the mystery of Holy Saturday - as Christ addresses His beloved Bride. This book speaks especially to those more poetically inclined and who seek to meet Christ anew and to explore, prayerfully, THE EVER-GREATER LOVE OF HIS HEART.

Order it now from Amazon: The Heart of the World

Tuesday, August 27, 2002
Augustine of the burning heart

Oldest surviving image of Augustine of Hippo from the sixth century at the Lateran in Rome

I am posting this piece on Saint Augustine early since I will be having overnight company and won't be able to post this until later in the day tomorrow, August 28, the Feast of Saint Augustine.

Today was the feast of his mother, St Monica. How fitting to keep together the mother of many prayers and tears and the son who benefitted so magnificently from this mother's love and perservance!

I love St Augustine very much, and consider him the greatest of the Fathers of the Church! Certainly the most quotable of the Fathers, and the one whose actuality is most alive today, it seems to me anyway. His "Confessions" are still read and wrestled with by many. (I don't know any other work by any Father that approaches the abiding popularity of the "Confessions").

I love him for his account of his own conversion: that dramatic scene in which he hears that child's voice singing out: "tolle, lege" "take, read" - and how, in the midst of his anguish and divided heart, he opens the Letter of Paul to the Romans and reads: "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ and take no more account of the flesh and its lusts" and the Holy Spirit, through the Word of God listened to in faith, gives the gift of a new heart, integrated in Christ.

I have often, in my own struggles and with my own divided heart, gone back to this scene and prayed for a Word that would be effective and transforming as it was for Augustine.

I love him for his profound insights into Christ and the Church. Augustine seems to live in the Scriptures, and this Word informs his vision and his every word. Augustine seems to have been so influential in the unfolding of the Catholic vision of the sacramentality of the Church and its historical incarnation. I am not an "Augustine scholar" but have read enough to sense that Augustine's Trinitarian, Christological, ecclesiological vision has had a profound impact, especially in western Catholic thought.

He is known, too, as "the Doctor of Grace" and he seems more than most Fathers, if not all Fathers, more explicitly tied to the actual words of the Scriptures, especially the epistles of St Paul and St John (with the possible exception of the golden-mouthed John Chrysostom).

I even love him, in a way, for his "errors" and some opinions ultimately rejected by the Church! He demonstrates that no one saint or doctor can be the sole norm or sole teacher - but that the Church's teaching gleans the truth from all, and rejects what is distorted and false even.

Augustine wrote his "Retractions" and revised often. Some of his teachings have not been healthy for the Church - e.g. von Balthasar critiques his beloved Augustine quite harshly for his teaching that one can only hope for oneself...(and this was accepted in the west for centuries - until St Thomas Aquinas, I believe). And his teachings on predestination and the number of the damned has not been received by the Catholic Church as such. (Yet I admire St Augustine for *dealing at all* with these themes, prominent in St Paul and elsewhere in the Scriptures).

According to Romano Guardini, Augustine needs St. Thomas Aquinas for the balanced catholic vision. Augustianianism can tend to a type of "fideism" that doesn't give "secondary causes" sufficient room in God's Plan. But his fire, his warmth of faith, his personalism, his absolute centering in love, is a needed corrective in any attempt to have a full Christian vision of Reality. I suspect that Thomas quotes Augustine more than any other source, outside of the Scriptures themselves.

Ah, the quotes of Augustine! I know of no other writer who can say so much in so few words - and sear the heart as well.

Many of us are familiar with his memorable phrase, so profoundly true:

"You have made us for yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you."

One of my favorites of Augustine is this, spoken as a commentary on the scene of John's Gospel in which the woman is caught in adultery and brought to Jesus. Augustine comments, after Jesus had invited those who were without sin to cast the first stone, and each had left, leaving just Jesus and the adulterous woman face to face:

"Relicta sunt duo: miseria et misericordia."
"Just two remained: misery and mercy."

And the daring, startling words::

"Ama Deum, et fac quod vis."
"Love God and do what you will."

Augustine cherished his friends and knew how to know God's love in their midst. Again, he says it incomparably:

"I confess that I give myself entirely to the love of my friends, tired as I am of the troubles of this world. In this I am perfectly at ease, for in this common love I experience God in whom I trust and in whom I take my rest in peace."

"Happy are those who love you, my God, and their friend in you. Such a one is the only person who never loses those who are dear, for they are all loved in you, my God, and you are the God who id never be lost".

Finally Augustine gives such perspective on suffering and the inevitable trials of life in another favorite quotation of his that has nourished me over the years:

"Let no day go by in which I do not bless you...if we do not cease to praise him, even though we seem to be faring badly in a day of sorrow, yet all will be well for us even then in our God."

And this most famous selection from The Confessions:

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.

Dear St Augustine, for these - and countless other words - glory to you and to the One who enflamed your heart, and be sure of forgiveness for any excesses and errors as well.

Ora pro nobis, saint of the burning heart!


The critics were right after all....

It just dawned on me that those who criticize Pius XII for not doing enough and for his "silence" consider him, in part, responsible for the deaths of millions of Jews.

Along the same lines, it seems to me, that Rod Dreher (and perhaps his defenders to some extent) uses the same logic on our current Pope - that he is, in part, responsible for the sexual molestation of perhaps thousands of young people. He didn't do enough. He didn't "speak out." He didn't..... didn't... didn't.... and thus we can lay part of the blame on him for the catastrophe that has befallen us.

So John Paul II joins Pius XII now in the annals of infamy.

At least that's the way it looks to me right now.

Fine Reflections from a "newbie" of Saint Blog's

Shawn, at Rerum Novarum, has some good words about the current discussion around Rod Dreher's WSJ article, "The Pope Has Let Us Down." Of course, it's doesn't hurt that Shawn has a few kind words for me included! I have an easily bribed heart! But then didn't La Madre (Teresa of Avila) confess that she was so sensitive that she could be bribed by a sardine! Oh, how I love her.

There are many fine things being written on numerous blogs and I hope you check them out (and you can even use my own Listing to find them). But don't miss Shawn's.

Behind every great man.....

Monica and her son Augustine, "the son of so many tears"

Today the feast of the mother; tomorrow the feast of the son.

Monica, Augustine's mother, has found a special place in the life of the Church and especially with so many mothers who weep for their own sons and daughters....

Saint Monica, pray for us and bring those tears of so many to your son and with him to Our Lord Jesus Christ, who rejoices more over the one who returns than over the ninety nine who never strayed....

Let angels rejoice today!

Monday, August 26, 2002
More Comments on Rod Dreher, etc.

Father Jim Tucker, in his excellent blog, Dappled Things, has what seems like an apologia for Rod Dreher's public criticism of the Pope.

In part, Father Jim writes:

The Church needs a healthy dose of internal critique, and there's no reason why Supreme Pontiffs should be exempted from that criticism. Certainly, it should always be done with charity and respect, but nowhere is it written that one cannot vocally disagree with points of papal governance. To think otherwise is seriously to misunderstand the nature of authority in the Church.

I myself do not question the accuracy of this statement. For example, I myself have questioned Pope Paul VI's mitigation of the fasting and abstinence obligations for Catholics as well as several other pastoral strategies of this (great and good) Pope. I do not, for example, question someone's right to criticize the immense numbers this current Pope has beatified and canonized (though I myself appreciate this greatly). One can criticize numerous pastoral decisions of this and any Pope.

But to me, anyway, what Rod Dreher does is quite different. He actually places blame, in part, on the Holy Father for the sexual molestation of our children. This is outrageous to me and unconscionable. It is to miss the vital links in the Catholic chain and, despite Father Jim's comments to the contrary, I do believe it indicates a failure to grasp the fulness of Catholic ecclesiology, in which Bishops are not "vicegerents of the Pope" or "local representatives of the Pope" but are the "vicars of Christ" and the successors to the apostles in their own local Church. (The Pope intervenes only on occasion and when absolutely necessary, for the most part, in the history of the Church). Be that as it may, I find it obnoxious to reads words such as these in an outlet of the mass media, the Wall Street Journal:

Even if it has been possible to believe that John Paul had been ignorant of the rape of children, the worst of all scandals, that is obviously no longer the case. The situation of Catholics in Boston is enough to make one weep. Cardinal Bernard Law claims to have offered his resignation, only to have it refused. Rome allows him to remain in office, though his mendacity and corruption are there for all the world to see, and the credibility of the church in Boston is destroyed.

Who keeps him there, and why? Who retains in office a host of American bishops defiled by their indifference to the victims of depraved priests under their authority? Who could remove them with a stroke of his pen? It is hard to judge John Paul, because we don't know what he's had to fight behind the scenes. Still, I find it impossible any longer to give him the benefit of every doubt, as is the custom of many papal loyalists. John Paul must bear partial responsibility for the catastrophe that has befallen us.

When it comes to priestly pederasty, many American bishops have rejected moral law; thus, Catholic families have been attacked. The pope , alas, has no authority to obstruct the culture of death in the world, but that is not true within the church. Unless he takes dramatic action to restore the church to holiness--starting with deposing this legion of bad bishops--his criticism of modern society will ring hollow in the heart of this faithful American Catholic. And that is painful beyond words to say.

I do not deny Rod's right to speak thus. But I think it is overly judgmental, overly harsh, and implicates the Pope in a horrendous crime through a false and inaccurate understanding. I also think it is a real slap in the face of this great and suffering Pope, despite all the good and generous language preceding (which I deeply appreciate). And Rod calls into question for himself (and others?) the credibility of the Pope's critique of modern society and says these words will "ring hollow" from now on. Those are tough words and go deep. Beyond mere criticism of pastoral directives of a Pope! It critiques the very integrity and the authenticity of the Pope's pastoral love - in a way beyond acceptable criticism, or so it seems to me.

I do not think Rod a bad Catholic and in fact, I presume he is a better Catholic than I am. But I think he has spoken too harshly and even cruelly and has damaged, in some way, the cause of Christ and His Church, at least as I see things.

P.S. I notice Rod calls himself a "faithful American Catholic." I hesitate to call myself that but hope and pray I am, at least, a loyal Catholic, who yearns with all his heart and soul to be faithful.

Prophets of Gloom

From the great Opening Address of the Second Vatican Council by good Pope John

Blessed Good Pope John XXIII

In the daily exercise of our pastoral office, we sometimes have to listen, much to our regret, to voices of persons who, though burning with zeal, are not endowed with too much sense of discretion or measure. In these modern times they can see nothing but prevarication and ruin. They say that our era, in comparison with past eras, is getting worse, and they behave as though they had learned nothing from history, which is, none the less, the teacher of life...

We feel we must disagree with those prophets of gloom, who are always forecasting disaster, as though the end of the world were at hand.

I fear these prophets of gloom are still quite "alive and well" and darkening our world and diminishing our hope and the joy of our faith....

"From sour-faced saints, O Lord, deliver us!" (Saint Teresa, La Madre)

Damned if you're laity; damned if you're bishops, damned if you're (most) priests

Does anyone else see the contradictions in these two selections?

Leon Podles, on the Touchstone Editor's Comments, disses both laity and bishops and is now telling us that the bishops must regain the trust of the laity. Does that mean they, too, must become entertainers (such as the priests he also disses often), since he disses the laity and says all they want is entertainment to avoid boredom.....

Guess logic doesn't matter or appropriate nuancing when you're mad as hell and dissing everything and everyone....

Podles writes a few days ago:

The laity wants a laugh a minute or pop psychology or maudlin sentimentality instead of the Gospel and the priest gives them what they want. When the allegations of criminal sexual misbehavior come, the laity leaps to the defense of their entertainer priest, fearful that the worst thing in the world threatens them: boredom.

And more recently:

There are borderline cases, and Zero Tolerance will almost certainly be rejected by the Vatican, but American Catholics have lost their ability to trust the bishops to apply common sense and equity to difficult cases. Nothing will work until the bishops regain the trust of the laity.

Dancing bishops?

Sunday, August 25, 2002
Holy Father, you have let us down!

My meager response to Rod Dreher's article in the WSJ

He's 82 years old. His body is stooped. He can't walk well or far. His body aches in its stiffness. His hand shakes. Often he drools. His words slur. But he keeps on giving everything he has - without counting the cost - in the service entrusted to him by the Crucified and Risen Lord. He prays long and hard that God will guide him in his shepherding of the flock entrusted to his care. He decides according to his best instincts, based on faith, long experience, and a profound understanding of the real place of the Petrine Office in the Church and world.

He has just come home from what may he his last visit to his beloved homeland. Millions of his fellow Poles joined him in prayer and expressed their undying love for him and he for them. This scene brought tears to the eyes of many (including mine, including Rod Dreher's). He gave thanks to God and prayed again for all who were present and those who were absent.

Home now, someone brings him some well known newspapers from around the world. He opens one and these words leap out at him: "The Pope Has Let Us Down". If Rod Dreher were present with the Pope he would have to say: "Holy Father, you have let us down" if he is, and I think he is, a man of integrity. "Holy Father, yes, you have let us down!" "Yes, we love you and think you are a saint and even a great Pope. But you really have let us down and you, in part, Holy Father, are responsible that our children were molested. Your words, wonderful and beautiful as they are, ring hollow now, Holy Father, since you show you really don't care enough and don't act as you should and you abdicate your own responsibilty. And we the faithful suffer. Because, in part, of you.

Yes, Holy Father, you have let us down."

And the Pope bows his head even more than it is already stooped and says with Peter: Depart from me, O Lord, for I am a sinful man!

And he remembers words spoken to Peter:

"Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go. He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, "Follow me." " - Jn 21: 18-19

And then he remembers that Peter was crucified upside down and knows that by taking up the office of Peter he will be the scorn of many, and even the object of criticism by the faithful, even of good and noble souls...and that can hurt and wound the heart even more.

Yes, the Pope has a heart like you and me. And, yes, some say to him: "you have let us down." For good reasons, perhaps, from the "filters" by which they view reality.

But, for me, anyway, I feel far more that I have let the Pope down and have not become the saint he continually challenges me to be by his words and incomparable example - more powerfully and more poignantly now than ever. I have often thought we are unworthy of such a gift as has been bestowed by God on us through this Pope.

Holy Father, you have not let me down. You have continued to amaze, surprise, challenge, comfort, inspire, open vistaes, and call me to transcend myself in the service of Christ and His Church. I have let you down. But I will try, Holy Father, and will express my undying love for you and gratitude to you. You have touched my soul more, perhaps, than any living person in my lifetime. I am privileged to have lived during your pontificate.

And, yes, to hear you criticized does hurt me (isn't that what love is about at least in part?). But the more you are criticized, the more I will love you and pray for you and give thanks for you.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for giving us Karol Wotyla as Successor of Peter, as Bishop of Rome, as Pope, and as our Holy Father. Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift! - 2 Cor 9:15

Viva il Papa! Long live the Pope! JP2, we love you.......

On The Threshold

Simone Weil, died on August 24, 1943 at the age of 34

Sorry I missed the anniversary of this unique person and unique witness yesterday. She still speaks to numerous souls to this day. Here's a short but favorite quote from her:

"I have always remained at this exact point, on the threshold of the Church, without moving, quite still...... only now my heart has been transported, for ever, I hope, into the Blessed Sacrament exposed on the altar."

Rod Dreher's Article Online

Rod's much-discussed piece from the World Street Journal in now online - The Pope Has Let Us Down.

God willing, I hope to have a few comments on it as soon as I am able. I agree with much of what Rod writes and disagree strongly about some other things.....

In the meantime, you may appreciate Dylan's God has let me down! on his blog (link to that specific blog doesn't work so go to his blog and scroll down to find it and in the journey down you may see lots of good stuff!).

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