Monthly Archives: February 2013
Games of chance (card games, etc.) or wagers are not in themselves contrary to justice. They become morally unacceptable when they deprive someone of what is necessary to provide for his needs and those of others. the passion for gambling risks becoming an enslavement. Unfair wagers and cheating at games constitute grave matter, unless the damage inflicted is so slight that the one who suffers it cannot reasonably consider it significant.
When I bet (which is rarely) I generally fix the limit at one pint, which I nowadays set at £4.
Whilst I have not made any bet on the next Pope (which I, and everyone else, could do in perfect good conscience, see above), I must say I am tempted to add one (or two) pints to the event.
Paddy Power has, as I write, here the betting page about the new Pope. Surprisingly for me, Turkson still leads the race. I am not a bookmaker, but I suspect what the people at paddy Power want is an army of people putting their three or five pound for the excitement of the “Black Pope”. I honestly think the odds are too much in the bookmaker’s favour.
If memory serves, the day Pope Benedict resigned Paddy Power had Cardinal Scola 11 to 1. I missed the occasion to bet then, because I simply forgot. A couple of days later (when they had started to read the Italian newspapers) Cardinal Scola was quoted a disastrous 11/7, basically an invitation to give them some money with which you don’t know what to do.
But today is different, with bets on three Cardinals offering interesting quotes: Ouellet at 7/1, Bagnasco at 9/1 and Scola already improving to a more inviting 4/1.
I am pleased to see “hug a heretic”/”protect-a-fag”-Schoenborn is in eight place, at a rather sceptic 20/1. Whilst the man is my nightmare scenario, I frankly do not think he has any chances in the real world; that is, outside of dissident wannabe catholic rags like the “Tablet” and, obviously, homos. A category, this one, which one would think will be totally absent from the Conclave, though recent events actually do not invite to much tranquility in this respect.
Other bets are either funny or meant to take money out of the uninformed. Richard Dawkins is at… 666/1, which is a very evident Christian joke on him (though with much truth in it). Still, if Paddy Power were to really take real money for real bets on him, this would seem to me a criminal abuse of public credulity.
Almost funnier is Archbishop Mueller at 200/1, and it’s fair to say this yogurt will get sour. Even Bono has a quote of 100/1, and one wonders how much money Paddy Power makes on bets like these, and how drunk are those who make them.
Cardinal Policarpo (already tired and emotional on so-called wymyn priests; then forced to retract but, it is fair to say, still a disgrace to his habit) is given at a sporty 100/1, and so is a funny guy some people believe to be a Catholic, Cardinal Lehmann, one of the many Germans Cardinals who lead you to doubt of the mental sanity of the Popes who gave them a red hat.
Cardinal Murphy- O’Connor is given at 150/1, but he will get zero votes as he cannot take part to the Conclave himself. Even Archbishop Vincent “Quisling” Nichols, one who would have loved to see himself all in red entering the Sistine Chapel, is given better chances, though his name is clearly there because he is known by hearsay to most Brits who have no clue how his chances stand (answer: not much better than Dawkins’).
Sadly, Cardinal Burke, who is a real tough guy, is nowhere to be seen; which means either Paddy Power are scared of taking bets or, more probably, he is nowhere as far as election chances are concerned, too.
I will monitor the situation carefully in the days leading to the conclave, as the odds might also be an indication of how the perceptions have shifted. IN case of Bagnasco’s victory, it would be beautiful to have the Brunello bottle paid for by Paddy Power. Bagnasco is, among those given as papabili (again, Burke is nowhere to be… read), my very first choice, followed by Scola. I very much fear the election of Ouellet, who in my eyes would be another Pope Benedict; which, if true, would – I think – spell disaster.
At 7/1 he might be a good bet, though I am sure it would be a sad victory.
Interesting Huckabee quote from Jill Stanek’s blog:
I’ve never been so shocked in my life… to see speaker after speaker go to the podium in Charlotte at the Democratic National Convention and all but give a rallying cry (that) the single most important thing to them in all of America was not a stable economy, was not a secure border, it was not that we had peace within our country and that we were protected from enemies around the world.
It was not that we stop terrorism. It was not that we had an education system that gave our kids the opportunity to become independent and self-sufficient. It was not that we would have a food supply system that would allow us to feed ourselves and not be dependent on some foreign country.
It was not that we would have our own energy resources where we could take care of ourselves and not be slaves to some Middle Eastern tyrant who takes our money by the wads and then turns around and spends it to use against us to murder us and kill us in the name of a perverted faith. No, that wasn’t the most important issue.
The most important issue was: “I want to be able to take the life of my baby and I want someone else to pay for it.”
The Yad Vashem Shame Reblog
It is very embarrassing to say “we got it so wrong we should all resign and apply for a job at McDonald’s”. Particularly when the people in question lead the Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum visited by people from all over the world.
Therefore – and in order to avoid having to resign – the responsible for the museum have decided to back pedal a bit at a time, in order to look less ideologised, blind and stupid when the time comes to say “erm, aah, well, actually….”.
For the moment they limit themselves to show the arguments of the thinking minds together with those of the liberals; but frankly, everyone knows the game is up.
McDonald’s awaits. Perfectly honourable profession. Much better than working at the denigration of such an excellent man, one of the key people in the XX century, and one who saved the backside of so…
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The amount of wishful thinking Catholics are capable of can at times only be called staggering.
The last one I have read about is that the Blessed Virgin might have appeared to the Holy Father requesting that he steps down. Allow me to share with you a couple of thoughts about this theory.
1. The thinking here seems to be “I do not agree with the Pope’s decision. The Pope can never do something wrong. Therefore, it must have been told by the Blessed Virgin”. If you ask me (which you do, because you are still reading…) there is a good deal of Clericalism here, and – hoping not to be offensive for anyone – more than a hint of Papolatry. When Protestants mock us for such outlandish ideas, I can’t say they are wrong.
2. It appears more than a couple of people were not paying attention when the Holy Father issued his historic statement on the 11 February. In it, the Holy Father speaks clearly of his lack of spiritual energy.
Such a heavily loaded statement cannot be simply ignored. It is inconceivable that the Pope would not know that to have to cope with age is rather common for a Pope. Therefore, he is humble and honest enough to tell the real reason of his abdication. Again, it is staggering even after the Holy Father says in the plainest words imaginable what the reason for his abdication is, there are those simply unable to deal with brutally straight facts.
3. Let us now assume (which we should not do, unless we want to take the Blessed Virgin as hostage for everything we cannot explain or approve) for a moment that the Blessed Virgin really appeared to the Holy Father requesting that he steps down: would this not be an extremely offensive statement towards the Holy Father? In this constellation, it is clear Pope Benedict is both completely useless and dangerously stubborn, to the extent that no less than an apparition of the Blessed Virgin becomes necessary to move him to do the right thing. It is also – always if you ask me – doubly insulting, because it also presupposes the Pope is utterly unable to see the reality around him and make important decisions for himself.
4. The Pope is almost 86; had a number of bypass surgical operations; is obviously becoming more and more frail, and has been for a while. It is not clear to me why Heaven should feel the need of anything so extreme as a Marian apparition to, erm, well, terminate his employment contract in the usual manner.
Summa summarum, it seems to me at times Catholics are more than a bit carried away, to the point of ever theorising Marian apparitions no interested party has mentioned or even hinted at.
Personally, I would suggest a more robustly realistic approach, based on the simple reality that an indecisive Pope has recognised he is not fit to lead the Church in these turbulent and utterly disturbing times. Once again, we should admire his honesty and courage rather than recur to supernatural events to explain what we do not approve.
A Pope can abdicate.
Get over it.
It might be good to review again Andrew Klavan’s lesson about how to behave during an Islamic massacre..
Not entirely reverent, but rather well-made video about how to become Pope.
(P.s.: I didn’t know one needs to be a bishop to become Cardinal. Actually I thought this is not a requirement).
We are now informed that, in an unprecedented decision, a Swedish council has decided that a mosque in Stockholm can install speakers on its minaret to call its people to prayer. The speakers will be audible within (unless it is a typo) two kilometres, which covers the territory of a small-ish city. Whilst It might be true that the local community is composed prevalently of Muslim immigrants, two km of radius is an awful lot of space, so this should be fun for a lot of people.
One sees here political correctness at work. Sweden certainly has laws concerning sound pollution & Co., but it was evidently decided a local community can make its own rules. One wonders, then, what prevents this community from having its own laws in matter of pork eating, alcohol drinking, honour killing, infibulation, and the like.
Political correctness does not think logically. Actually, it does not think at all. Its only aim is to please minorities whilst letting another minority of PC-nutcases look good, and expecting subservience (which they generally get, particularly in Sweden) from the herd.
The sublime irony of this is that PC at some point turns against those who have promoted or tolerated it. Countless non-Muslim Swedes will now be forced to hear the Lamentations of the muezzin very early in the morning, which should make for a good start of the day.
Believe it or not, Sweden is a country where men pay the same as women (that is: a lot of money) to go to the barber, because it is considered “discriminating” to make different prices for men and women. So you see the local eunuchs have a certain practice in political correctness already, and are already – and deservedly so – paying the price of their own effeminacy.
They had it coming, and I hope they’ll have fun.
I have this from Reuters and I cannot imagine this is a misunderstanding or an unchecked news. The famous explosive report is then destined to remain under key, and for the eyes of the next Pope only. Clearly there is the fear that the most interesting details may be (cough: will be) leaked.
Personally, I think it would have been much better that the Cardinal had been able to have access to the document before the Conclave, and I cannot see the damage from leaking as so big as the damage from not letting the Cardinal know what’s going on before taking such an important decision like the election of a new Pope. As they say, at some point oportet ut scandala eveniant.
In any case, I always thought it wise to think carefully before taking an important decision and then stick to it.
The “aggiornamento” reblog…
From yesterday’s SSPX communique’
“doctrinal mutism is not the answer to this “silent apostasy”, which even John Paul II denounced already in 2003.”
amidst a Church in crisis and a world which distances itself farther from God and His law with each passing day.
…waiting for the day when an open and serious debate will be possible which may allow the return to Tradition of the ecclesiastical authorities
If I understand correctly, the chap in white with the long hair is a Catholic priest, and this horror was set in scene in a real Catholic Cathedral.
In other words, this is not a movie, or a joke. This is supposed to be the real thing.
Welcome to the Church of Paul VII.
In case you want more, here is another video about the same exercise. Note how after (or during?) the “concert” what is supposed to be…
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Lately, at a Novus Ordo Mass in the Home Counties, a rather disturbing homily.
The priest first gets all excited talking of the role of the women in the Gospel; then he says that as the church grows, we have now a “growing awareness” of the role of the women within the Church; then goes on saying that he hopes in future the church will continue to “grow in awareness ” and “better reflect” it in the way she “considers the role of women within the Church”.
I cannot avoid thinking that if the Bishop gave the order that ” by every homily suspected of heresy the priest will be punished with ten strokes irrespective of whether the heresy was there or not” we would have a remarkable clarity in the statements from the pulpit, and there would be no danger whatever of the faithful being confused. Alas, my suggestion being of questionable legal feasibility I am afraid we will have to live with the stink of heresy in the church as long as a certain category of priests live.
In this case, the shepherd informed his flock of the following:
1) Jesus wasn’t much grown in awareness. Actually, he seems to have had a lot to grow in awareness.
2) For 2000 years, the Church’s awareness was also rather dim. I suspect the Holy Ghost was on the phone and couldn’t intervene.
3) But now, now finally we are “growing in awareness”. We woke up from our Gospel-induced slumber and now start to see clearly what Jesus could not see.
Obviously, dear shepherd stopped short of looking for big trouble. He went around the real topic for a couple of minutes, without ever mentioning it. He hinted at “changes” the “growing awareness” might introduce, but kept the emergency exit conveniently open and didn’t really say *that*.
The result was clear: the audience was under the impression the priests wants *that* kind of change but obviously can’t say it openly, and the priest was the progressive hero of the community without risking his job.
I think the thing with the caning should be attentively considered.
The King of Bahrain has donated 9,000 square metres of land to the Vicariate of North Arabia for the edification of.. a Catholic cathedral!
With 9,000 sm (around 100,000 sf) land at its disposal, the new Cathedral won’t dominate the landscape (I think there will have to be all the ancillary buildings, the parking lots, ways in and out, the distances from the neighbouring plots, and so on), but it will be certainly impossible to ignore. I truly hope a very traditional building style will be chosen.
Whilst I will charitably assume (nice as I am) that the King has donated the land to the Church out of a spirit of sincere admiration for Christianity, my less idealistic side leads me to believe this is part of the “charm offensive” presently put in place from all the regime of the region, aimed at making the region not only fairer for the natives, but more attractive for foreigners.
A wise move, if you ask me. It is beautiful to think that, if this is done properly, thousands of immigrant Catholic workers will have the opportunity to attend in a big church, hopefully very Western in its style, able to let them feel at home.
A “thanks!” to the King of Bahrain is certainly in order.
During his last Sunday as a Pope, the Holy Father has indirectly – but clearly enough – defended his decision to abdicate. Once again, he has said he cannot do his job properly any more, and a life of prayer is now both more fitted to him and – which I am sure was the paramount consideration in his decision – more salutary for the Church and faithful.
There are around voices that say this was a mistake (sometimes, a big or catastrophical one) and the Holy Father should have done strange things, like allowing the Church to remain without an effective guide, permit that internal strife of all kind tears the shop apart (a frequent result of weak leadership, as the Vatican itself now more than eloquently shows) and in general see the detetioration of the Church in the West continue.
In the immortal novel I Promessi Sposi, Alessandro Manzoni puts in the mouth of Don Abbondio (the weak and cowardly priest who had consented not to celebrate a marriage because of pressure from a local warlord, animated by the most scandalous motives) the unforgettable words: “Il coraggio, uno non se lo puo’ dare”. It is difficult to translate into a foreign language the particular way Italians stress a point, but a fair translation might be “with courage it is so, that one can’t give it to oneself”; whereas probably the beauty and drama of the original are lost, but the basic message remains.
Don Abbondio has become in Italy the epitome of the weak, self-centred, cowardly priest interested more in living a quiet and -in those times – comfortable and privileged life than in fighting for Christ as a good priest, at the cost of his life if needs be. His words express a simple concept, well clear to us soft and understanding Italians: you can’t ask from people that they just become who they are not. Don Abbondio must choose between a defiance of power that (he thinks, being cowardly) might mean death, and a compliance allowing him to go on – or so he thinks – with his quiet life of comfort and privilege.
Now, whilst I do not want to draw too near a comparison between Pope Benedict and Don Abbondio, it is clear that neither of them is a Horseman of the Apocalypse. Old, peaceful, not cut for war, and unable – like everyone else – to completely change what he is, it simply cannot be asked of Pope Benedict that he jumps over 86 years of his life and starts to live and act according to a freely chosen new persona. It just does not work that way.
With courage – or with the will to be a strong, energetic, willful Pope, leading the Church with a firm hand and expecting to be obeyed – it is so, that one cannot give it to oneself.
Courage, the Holy Father has gathered enough – very probably more than he ever could in his life – when he has decided to abdicate, full knowing the fans of the “dying Pope circus” (so popular only a few years ago, and so beloved by the media, and so obscenely convenient for heterodox Cardinals and Bishops) would be incensed at him depriving them of another year-long media show.
Not only he had courage, but if you ask me he took what is – with Summorum Pontificum – the smartest decision of his reign.
A Pope is, in fact, there to reign, not simply to talk. His duty is to give orders, make unpleasant decisions, displease an awful lot of people and upset many more, defy secular powers whenever necessary, and defy the stupidity of the world every single day. It takes energy and courage to do so. Pope Benedict never had the second, and is rapidly losing the first. Nor could anyone expect of him that he suddenly transforms himself into a different person overnight. God can cause such tranformations, of course, but they are very rare. Normally, weak people won’t be able to give themselves the courage they lack.
Don Abbondio tries to get away with his weakness, and is in serious trouble when his behaviour comes to the ears of his superiors. Pope Benedict, far braver and more honest, realises he can’t be any good for the Church as an even weaker Pope, and draws the consequences. From a weak Pope you can really not expect more than this.
Not only, therefore, I think that His Holiness’ decision should be respected, but I think that the courage necessary for such a step should be recognised and duly appreciated.
The alternative would have been another year-long power vacuum. But as power, like nature, has horror vacui, this vacuum would have been filled by people who have never been elected Pope, and taking all decisions with very little of the (earthly) responsibility.
A Pope is a King, not an exposition item for the joy of the TV channels. We need him strong, alert, and full of energy. Weak Popes of the “harmless great-uncle”-type only benefits the local hierarchies and the Vatican power groups, particularly if they aren’t orthodox.
With courage it is so, that one cannot give it to oneself.
The most remarkable trait of V II prelates seems to be that very few of them manage to know Catholic teaching with the same level of expertise of, say, a thirteen-year-old boy circa 1953.
The last one to make an ass of himself is Cardinal O’Brien.
His words according to the above mentioned “Homograph”:
“In my time there was no choice and you didn’t really consider it too much, it was part of being a priest. When I was a young boy, the priest didn’t get married and that was it.
“I would be very happy if others had the opportunity of considering whether or not they could or should get married.
“It is a free world and I realise that many priests have found it very difficult to cope with celibacy as they lived out their priesthood and felt the need of a companion, of a woman, to whom they could get married and
raise a family of their own.”
Yours truly, who was never married and – sinner as he is, of course – never found it so difficult to cope with celibacy (particularly after seeing some of those who are married; but that’s another matter entirely…), is rather stunned at these affirmations for the following reasons:
1) Last time I looked, it was de fide that a priest cannot marry. One can become priest when he is already married (look at the Anglican converts: for the Church they are no priests, and therefore they can become priests whilst being previously married) but no one can marry after he has become a priest. One of us two is wrong, then, and I think it’s the one with the funny hat…
2) “It is a free world”. What on earth does this mean. Freedom isn’t anarchy or licence; celibacy isn’t more or less difficult under Cameron than under Mussolini; I do not know of many contemporary priests forced to take orders in a dictatorship and now finding it difficult to cope with celibacy because there is freedom.
3) “In my time there was no choice”. Well neither there is now, actually.
4) “You didn’t really consider it too much”. What? The man took a solemn vow of celibacy and now he tells us that was something one just didn’t think about? And then they say today’s youth is irresponsible? Who made this man Cardinal? (Answer: John Paul II…).
5) “companion etc”. Look, I though that a priest was married to the Church? That the celibacy is what allow himself to be completely dedicated to his life of service without having extremely time-consuming (and emotionally exacting) distractions like, erm, “a woman to whom they could get married and raise a family of their own”? That this dedication and self-sacrifice is exactly was makes the priest respected in his community, and trusted to care for Christ and for his sheep above all else? Am I wrong?
6) “found it difficult to cope with celibacy aas they lived out their priesthood”. Oh for heaven’s sake. Are we talking of men or children? You make choices like a man, you carry on with your life and the choices you have made like a man. Can a soldier say “I am tired of Afghanistan”?
7) “I would be very happy etc..”. Dear Cardinal, the opportunity is already there. Either one wants to become a priest, and then he cannot marry. Or he wants to marry, and then he cannot become a priest. A priest can never, could never, will never “have the opportunity of considering”. Once a celibate priest, always a celibate priest and no, the “free world” is nothing to do with it.
In this very matter, it is refreshing to read that a couple of very good priest bloggers have become rather impatient with the Cardinal’s remark. I understand them very well, then the Cardinal lets all celibate priests look like people who didn’t really think about it, have no clear idea why they are celibate, and should well reflect a bit whether to have the “opportunity to consider” wouldn’t be a fine thing indeed.
For one, Father Ray Blake has a rather explicit post on the matter. Among the commentators, EF Pastor Emeritus – another excellent priest and blogger – is no less explicit. Third is Father Hunwicke, a convert from the Anglicans (and therefore, crucially, not a priest when he married), who says it very beautifully with the words: “Wherever did the Cardinal, whom I greatly respect, get the idea that priests like me are allowed to make up our own mind about getting married?”
Interesting question, actually.
Wherever? If you ask me, from the madness called Vatican II, that wanting to “renew” everything ends up wanting to demolish, sooner or later, everything. That’s where.
Lately heard at a Catholic Novus Ordo Mass.
I confess to almighty God
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned,
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do;
therefore I ask blessed Mary Ever-Virgin,
all the Angels and Saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.
And no, I am not kidding.
I often have the impression that God is allowing the Church in the West to go to the dogs to punish Her for the arrogance and ungodliness of most Conciliar Fathers, all of them coming from the (un)civilised West and all of them trying to blandish the Western masses.
In this perspective, I cannot avoid theorising that John Paul I would have been a great Pope, and The Lord took him away from us to allow the Church to pay the price of her own madness to the last penny. It is, in this perspective, as if the Lord would say: ” You made such a devastation of the Faith, and you now hope to get away with it with only fifteen or twenty years of suffering? Not so fast, boys….”.
Idle thoughts, I know; but thoughts with a certain logic to it, I think. We have seen in the history of the Church that whenever the Bride behaves very badly, the Bridegroom punishes her in an exemplary manner. The Great Schism, the Heresies of the XVI Century, even the traumatic Sack of Rome in 1527 can, I think, safely interpreted in this way. In modern days, the election and long pontificate of JP II led to a strong growth in Africa and Asia, but with a clear decay of Catholicism in the West. Wherever you look, society was so different then from today, and in 1978 you could still have called – abortion and all – Europe “Christian”, at least compared to today. As we write the year 2013, Catholicism is growing fast elsewhere, but is possibly in the eve of a big persecution in the West.
Live by the V II madness, die by the V II madness. The sins of the V II generation have fallen, and will probably continue to fall, upon the children and grandchildren of those who thought Christianity could be made conveniently sexy. This has happened already in form of countless broken families, rampant materialism, and advance of aggressive secularism; and this will continue to be the case – unless something intervenes – either in form of persecution or, if we manage to escape the latter, of even more lost souls caused by rampant heathenism and acceptance of every abomination. Asia and Africa might in fact be spared, and will – even with all the problems caused by Vatican II, like bad liturgy – actually continue to grow and possibly lead the charge for the Reconquista of the Western world to Christianity. They also are the continents whose clergy generally refuse to appease the secular sheep, which is probably why their sheep tend not to be very secular.
Again, idle thoughts; but if they make any sense at all, one wonders where we are now in the process. If the Lord in His infinite goodness has decided the impiety of V II has been paid harshly enough, we might slowly start to see Popes and attitudes of a different kind. If it is decreed in Heaven that the price of rebellion shall be paid in full, the decomposition of Catholicism all over the West will go on, and lead to even more devastation.
Our Lady of Quito said that the recovery will happen when everything seems lost, and one might argue in countries legislating in favour of abortion, euthanasia, and sodomy very much has been lost already. Still, no one would say the Church is in such bad shape that all appears lost, and there is reason to be afraid we have, by far, not seen the worst.
Only imagine what the election of a so-called “Benedict clone” would lead to, with the German bishops attacking Catholicism for the next fifteen years, undisturbed, and Vatican Archbishops going around asking that life be made “easier” for sodomites living in sin and scandal…
It doesn’t bear thinking.
Thinking of the coming conclave, this actually scares me not a little; but who knows, perhaps the Lord has decided in His mercy that we have paid a steep enough price already, and will move the Cardinals to sincere prayer and a courageous choice. This would be very difficult, though, as more than a few Cardinals must be afraid of the consequences for themselves if a strong and orthodox Pope is elected, and very many of them are, if looked closely at, part of the problem. This conclave is very important because it is fair to say the Church is more attacked now, and the situation has become far worse in the West, than in 2005. A great chastisement has been going on, and continues to cast his shadow all over the (un)civilised West.
Please Lord, please give us a strong, orthodox Pope.
The “Anglican orders are null and void” reblog…
Rorate Coeli has a beautiful detail that will make you smile; very fitting for a Monday.
When in Westminster Abbey for the Evensong (about which I have written here), Pope Benedict wore a stole made for Pope Leo XIII.
Now, Pope Benedict is profound and intelligent enough not to wear a stole from a Pope who has been dead these more than 100 years simply because he likes the look of it. No, this stole was certainly a willed, conscious, tribute to a particular Pope in a particular circumstance.
Leo XIII is, as I have repeatedly stated on this blog, the Pope of Apostolicae Curae (please see link under “Church Teaching”). With Apostolicae Curae, Pope Leo XIII has not (importantly) decreed, but he has repeated the nullity of Anglican orders.
What a pleasant, saucy old German Pastor we have ; )
There was a time when the reaction times of the Church was very slow. A heresy would pop out somewhere in Europe and it was year before a meaningful reaction came. Still, the apparent slowness was a result of the slowness of the communications of the time, and the difficulty in getting and checking information. The slowness of movement also made the rest, with travel slow, expensive and dangerous in a way we today can not even easily imagine.
It is, therefore, understable in those tomes the Church reaction to worrying and ptentially heretical development was measured in years.
Please compare, though, with the world of today. A bunch of heretic German clergymen defies the very foundation of sound Catholicism on both contraception and abortion, and the news is all over the panet in a matter of hours. Never could heresy spread so easily and so fast, never was it -because of the unprecedented global interconnection – so important that heretical movement of simply confusing statements be stopped as fast as possible.
What is there to stop the relevant deciders from acting? Do they have the need for months of verification, waiting for carefully selected people to travel to Germany, comes back hopefully alive, and report about what thwrey themselves have heard? Nowadays heretical statements can be read not only from verbatim reports in the newspapers – which, if not denounced as wrong in a matter of hours, can be safely considered truthful – but in many cases can even be read in the web site of cardinals, bishops and bidhops’ conferences themselves! What is there to proof?
Then there is the extreme multiplying factor of social networks: an heretical statement will nowadays be retweeted with extreme rapidity, spreading like wildfire exactly among those most interested in reading, spreading and manipulating heresy.
What does the Vatican do to react o this? Nothing.
For example, the Pope has a twitter account followed by a vast number of people. If a heretical statement starts to spread, nothing is better than Twitter to stop it from spreading. Two or three strategic twits explaining in few statement what the Church teaches, and announcing further action in the matter would immediately alert the Catholic world that a problem has been seen and corrected for the moment, whilst further meaures will be taken in due time (which means: very soon).
The sad reality of our days is that Twitter is used to post pious platitudes instead, perpetuating the Vatican II image of Popes without power or bite.
If you think, though, that the Vatican is slow because the Pope and the Cardinals are old, You should think again. When they want, the reaction is rather fast, and rather sharp. Cue the rather whining press release of today, with which Vatican officials openly complain about attempt made by the press to influence the workings of the Conclave. Whilst it is not said explicitly, it is obvious the crux of the matter is the loud cry to adk hat Mahony and Daneels (Mahony at the very least) be asked by the Pope to please “renounce” to take part to the Conclave; a cry which started to mount only in the last days, and took a couple to get traction in the first place.
You see, then, that the old men in the Vatican are alert at all times, and not shy of a fast reaction when they consider the matter burning.
Heresy and open disobedience are, therefore, not burning issues and not worthy of prompt actions. Calls to disallow the one or other cardinal from taking part to the conclave are. The German bishops are openly simoniacal like a man, and several monhs later we are still waiting from a reaction from the German Pope; a reaction which, in this like in too many other matters, will now never come.
Welcome to The wonderful world of Vatican II, and let us truly pray the next Pope will be a holy man of action.
I have renounced to write yesterday about the latest antics of that heretical troop we insist in calling German Catholic Clergy, because my doctor would not have approved; but the life of a blogger is such that he cannot escape the adrenaline and the anger (because he reads the news aggregators, and therefore all the heretical filth lands on his computer screen at some point), and will have to report on the very worst of what is happening around us.
Today is one of those days, and it is another day when the culpable inaction of the present Pontiff comes to light in its entirety.
The German bishops, united in counsel and heresy, have now decided a raped woman can receive the so-called “morning after pill”. The poor
men are confused or, more probably, disingenuous, and they still think or say they think that, for some reason we don’t know, an embryo isn’t an embryo until they say it is, and therefore the destruction of said embryo isn’t abortion until they please to call it so. En passant, they forget the Church is against contraception, too; but they are way past these minutiae, aren’t they now…
This is grave enough. This would also, of course, call for a prompt intervention of the Pope. Actually, it is fair to say the first duty of every Pope should be to prevent these situations to arise, and to correct the mistakes and punish those responsible when they do. As widely expected, we have seen nothing of the sort, once again reinforcing the impression that this papacy is a replay of Pope Paul VI’s one, plus Summorum Pontificum.
Alas, worse has happened since. Not only has the Vatican simply not acted – which was largely to be expected – but the present head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Bishop Carrasco, even agrees with them.
In doing so, Bishop Carrasco goes not only against logic, common sense and basic Catholicism, but he even openly contradicts a formal paper of his own organisation on this matter, published in 2000.
The text of this instructive document is published in its entirety at the end of this message for future reference, and because it is very sound reading.
Bishop Carrasco is obviously Pope Benedict’s choice for the job, exactly as Archbishop Paglia and Archbishop Mueller are. It is difficult to find another modern Pope so catastrophically wrong in his appointments, and it is even more difficult to find a justification for his inaction after his appointees, for whose action he will have to answer one day, conduct attack attacks to fundamental tenets of the Catholic church undisturbed. This, obviously, in addition to the attacks already daily moved to Catholic truth from the German clergy, from bishops and Cardinals he either appointed or allowed to remain in place unpunished and even undisturbed.
The sad reality, that I do not read often around the Internet but I think should be said, is that this Pope is the son of the same rotten Vatican II climate which produced the Muellers and The Meisners, the Lehmanns and the Zoellitschs, and the Woelkis of the world. You can take Pope Benedict out of Germany, but you can’t take Germany out of Pope Benedict. The proof of this is in front of our very eyes, with the offensive of the German clergy becoming now outright shameless, in the knowledge nothing will happen in Rome, where a Pope is still in charge, and therefore still responsible.
We can be accessory to other people’s sin by silence, which means that a terrible responsibility rests on the shoulders on this Pope; a responsibility that cannot be excused with an impairing disease, and therefore cannot be excused at all; then last time I looked, weakness in front of the enemy wasn’t a virtue.
I do not agree with those who mourn the end of this papacy. If you ask me, this papacy can’t end too soon. We need a strong Pope, which even the presently reigning Pontiff had at least to good sense to acknowledge.
We might, of course, end up with what they call a “Benedict clone” (God forbid!), and if things go really wrong we could even end up with a worse one (God forbid even more!). But I never thought that one should be satisfied or appeased with leaders being mediocre, just because they could be worse.
The German clergy has polluted the Church in the last fifty years. It is time this influence is stopped.
Please Lord, please give us a strong, orthodox Pope.
As is commonly known, the so-called morning-after pill recently went on sale in Italian pharmacies. It is a well-known chemical product (of the hormonal type) which has frequently – even in the past week – been presented by many in the field and by the mass media as a mere contraceptive or, more precisely, as an “emergency contraceptive”, which can be used within a short time after a presumably fertile act of sexual intercourse, should one wish to prevent the continuation of an unwanted pregnancy. The inevitable critical reactions of those who have raised serious doubts about how this product works, namely, that its action is not merely “contraceptive” but “abortifacient”, have received the very hasty reply that such concerns appear unfounded, since the morning-after pill has an “anti-implantation” effect, thus implicitly suggesting a clear distinction between abortion and interception (preventing the implantation of the fertilized ovum, i.e., the embryo, in the uterine wall).
When you write a blog, you learn a thing or two about human nature.
I should not need to say that I am very much (at least in this) like Darcy in Pride and Prejudice: my good opinion, once lost, is lost forever.
The basic thinking behind this is that adults rarely change, and they never change because I would want them to. Besides, life’s too short to waste time with idiots. Therefore, if I decide that Caius or Titius is an idiot, I will not revisit my assessment in three weeks’, or three months’ time.
Surprisingly, people continue to write posts (long ones at times) that land in my garbage can without even being seen by me. I must miss many of them, because I very rarely look in my garbage can; but whenever I do, I see people who have written recently (the garbage can not only has an automatic catch, but also a self-cleaning function) for reasons it is impossible for me to fathom. Perhaps they want to attract the attention of my garbage can, thinking it smart to be read by it; in other cases I suppose alcohol plays a role. Then there are those who write messages asking to be “readmitted”, which is plain stupid, or spitting the worst insults, which is mildly amusing as it gives me double joy to can it.
It is as if they liked to exist in my garbage can. It takes all sorts, I suppose…
Therefore, two words of advice: if I have already kicked you out, I will not allow you to get back in, and if you write a comment on my blog, chances are I will never even know you have written it, as my garbage disposal service works far more frequently than my visits into the forum can. If after reading this you still want to waste your time, be my guest…
Of course, every now and then it may happen that something goes wrong, and the one or other perfectly innocent message has been captured by my “spam and idiot protection service” by mistake. Alas, being rather forgetful I might not remember to check the spam folder, and therefore your message might get lost forever.
Please don’t be offended if this is the case; I am sure everyone of you can easily realise whether his message was intentionally canned or not.
Whilst I value intelligent conversation on this blog, this blog is like the reception room of my house: if anyone behaves in a way I don’t like, he’ll be kicked out without compliments, and not be readmitted back. The life of a Catholic blogger – particularly of an emotional guy as I am – provides one with more than enough adrenaline as it is, and I personally have no inclination whatever to have further anger with the wrong kind of people commenting on this blog.
I write this also because the amount of messages has increased in the last months, and with them the number of messages my esteemed readers never get to see. Therefore, I will in future have to make more extensive use of the spam function, with an increased danger of good messages being “caught in”.
With all this said, i think the quality of the message I publish is on average very high. I take it as a great compliment made to my insignificant, but passionate, blog, and thank you for contributing to make of this little effort, as I hope, a good use of your time.
Cardinal Schoenborn Reblog
My six readers are certainly aware (they should be at least, as the post is prominently displayed in my right hand column) that the heresy in Austria has been going on pretty much undisturbed for now far too long.
I do not report about the minutiae of this endless non-story, as the only thing worth nothing is the absolute inaction of Cardinal “I support Medjugorje” Schoenborn, here and there interrupted by some positive non-action like pointing out to the rebels their careers might suffer if they continue rebelling. Their careers might suffer? You don’t say? Ah, there must really be some smart people at work in Austria. It must be the mountain air.
It has now transpired the Vatican itself has finally moved with devastating energy, and is going to fall on Father Schueller with all the weight and the lethal energy of a timid pussycat. The meowing is, in…
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It is so beautifully un-PC I must have it on my blog.
“If heretics no longer horrify us today, as they once did our forefathers, is it certain that it is because there is more charity in our hearts? Or would it not too often be, perhaps, without our daring to say so, because the bone of contention, that is to say, the very substance of our faith, no longer interests us? Men of too familiar and too passive a faith, perhaps for us dogmas are no longer the Mystery on which we live, the Mystery which is to be accomplished in us. Consequently then, heresy no longer shocks us; at least, it no longer convulses us like something trying to tear the soul of our souls away from us…. And that is why we have no trouble in being kind to heretics, and no repugnance in rubbing shoulders with them… It is not always charity, alas, which has grown greater, or which has become more enlightened: it is often faith, the taste for the things of eternity, which has grown less…”
Henri de Lubac: Further Paradoxes (Newman Press 1958) and reprinted in Paradoxes of Faith (Ignatius Press 1987)
Fair Warning: If you think it inappropriate to discuss leaks from the Vatican, click away now…
Disturbing rumours from the Vatican in these anyway rather disturbing times.
It appears (but… I wasn’t there) that the report recently given to the Holy Father concerning the “Vatileaks” scandal contains prudently worded but clear references to what in common parlance is called a “gay mafia” operating within the very Leonine Walls. In addition, members of this group would be currently blackmailed by what in common parlance are called their lovers.
The allegations about the content of the report are now made by the biggest Italian newspaper, “Repubblica”, after already the “Corriere della Sera” had heavily hinted at the matter in the past. “Repubblica” claims sources near to those who wrote the report. I do not like “Repubblica” as a newspaper, but cannot imagine they would publish the rumours without being very sure of what they do.
The report seems to describe an environment characterised by infighting groups, of which the above mentioned homo mafia is the truly disturbing element.
Now, it is common for every organisation made of humans to have different groups thinking in different ways (say: Cardinal Bagnasco does not like Berlusconi and threw him out of the window; but Cardinal Sodano thinks he is the Church’s natural ally) and being human they can be certainly forgiven if they tend to entrench themselves a bit in their own positions; but to have a group of people acting in concert not to pursue what they think is the best policy for the Church, but to cover and aid each other in what concerns their common perversion is utterly disturbing.
We will probably never know whether this report is – as also rumoured – what moved Benedict to decide it was time to abdicate; I personally thinks the decision was taken before, and the Vatileaks scandal forced him to wait a bit longer; but certainly, the report must have definitely persuaded the Holy Father that he did not have the strength (both physical and of character, I think he is too harsh with himself when he says “spiritual”) to add this battle to the many Catholicism is now called to fight all over the West (sodomy, euthanasia, abortion, secularism and militant atheism come to mind).
It is certainly disconcerting that a Pope should leave in the moment when war must be waged. Does the report contain names, dates, facts? And if it is so, how can it be possible to go away hoping that one’s successor cleans the mess one hasn’t cleaned? On the other hand, if one partout does not have the energy to fight this fight (and Pope Benedict never had the energy to fight any meaningful fight; just think of the Wagner episode in Linz…) it is certainly better to abdicate and hope the next Pope is fit for purpose.
In a development of the latest hours, La Stampa informs us the dossier will now be made available to the Cardinals in the conclave. Whilst the Vatican (obviously) denies the rumours of sexual impropriety among high ranking officials, this move would seem the way Pope Benedict has assured that whilst he does not act, his successor will have to. This very proper cleaning of dirty laundry within the family of the Cardinals will make sure the necessity to get a strong man able to clean the mess is forcefully stressed, and remains in the mind of every Cardinal.
Let me say once again before I close that I have obviously not read the document, and it could well be in the end that this devil is not as bad as he is represented. Still, everyone who follows the affairs of the Church knows very well that homosexual infiltration is ripe at many levels of the Church, and should not be surprised to know that the filth has paved its way to the Vatican.
If you let the smoke of Satan enter the temple of God, be prepared for Satan to get to work with it.
Please Lord, please inspire the Cardinals to give us a strong Pope!
The concrete possibility that a Black Pope be elected moves me to some considerations that you may perhaps find of interest. Let us see them.
I. If such an event happens, it is extremely improbable that Turkson will be the first Black Pope. At least a couple of dozen Popes came from Africa already, from regions with mixed populations of Whites and Blacks. It does not appear realistic to think they were all white. If we have no record of the skin colour of most Popes of the first centuries it is not because they were all chosen among the Whites, but because nobody was interested in a Pope’s skin colour.
II. If you like trivia and superstitions, you might like to know in Italy (where I and many others have never read them, nor do we plan to) it is widely believed Nostradamus prophesies the end of the world during the reign of a Pope both black and choosing the name Petrus. In the second matter, perhaps I am confusing with St. Malachy, but again the element of “he has said it” remains. Cardinal Turkson if of course black, and his baptism name is Peter. I refuse to believe even one Cardinal would allow himself to lend any credence to a superstition, but if Turkson gets elected expect a lot of gloomy faces, particularly if he were to keep his baptism name as Pope…
III. Were Cardinal Turkson the chosen one, Conservative Catholics the world over would have great fun for many years. Imagine the pinko/sodo/liberal press having to attack a Pope who happens to be Black! Imagine the shock of the liberal masses at discovering Black Africans take Christianity seriously! The horror!
IV. All the daily accusations to the Church of being backward would have the rather embarrassing difficulty of explaining why this so backward organisation is so enlightened in matters of skin colour. Not an easy one, this….
We shall see. Exciting and perhaps dangerous times are upon us, and in Italy the excitement is compounded by the upcoming elections.
If you can’t wait,what you can do is pray…
Reblog of the day
The staunchest Catholics are critical of certain popes of the past. The Colonnas and Caetanis of the world, the greedy ones like Benedict IX, the warriors like Julius II, the scheming fornicators like Alexander VI are heavily criticised.
The staunch Catholic knows that he can do this because his faith in the Church, or the validity of the Church’s role and message, do not depend in the least on how good – or bad – the Pope is. Like something else, bad popes simply happen.
The same happens when the criticism concerns popes of a more recent past. There’s nothing easier than to find around the Internet a rather sharp criticism of the long-deceased Pope Paul VI or of his predecessor, Pope John XXIII.
Exactly the same process is now occurring for the last deceased pope, Blessed John Paul II. Treated in life like a pop icon and the undisputed…
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Father Lombard informed everyone today there are going to be no news in the matter of the SSPX, and the file will be transmitted to his successor.
It makes sense and in fact, a last – minute agreement wouldn’t have been smart. The SSPX priests who would have had to approve might have felt they are put under pressure (“accept this now, now! Or face tough action from the next Pope”), and the Pope himself would have exposed himself to the right remark that he acts now to escape from the unavoidable polemics following such an act.
Perhaps it is now the time to say that this almost messianic expectation of an agreement isn’t healthy. On the contrary, it creates a climate by which an agreement is seen more and more as indispensable, irrespective of its content. Besides, an agreement now might as short-lived as the rest of this papacy.
In my eyes, those who love the Society should train themselves to the exact contrary: resignation that they will die before an agreement is reached, and tranquil confidence an agreement will come when both the time and the content are right.
Fellay & Co. know what they are doing. They will not endanger the organisational autonomy of the Society or its doctrinal integrity, but will work an pray for the end of this unsavoury situation as soon as possible.
Good day! May I introduce myself? My name is Grima, Grima Wormtongue, and I am at home in most fora and blogs, particularly the conservative ones.
I feign a sincere interest for orthodoxy, and will miss no occasion to tell you how much I care.
This will allow me to express – in those conservative fora where openly progressive positions would be mercilessly attacked – an utterly heretical agenda – because between you and I, this is what I am – under the cloak of love for orthodoxy.
I am permanently “worried” of “schism” if Popes were to insist on the restoration of proper Catholicism. Actually, my presence is made most clear by the use of this very word. Whenever women priests, contraception, abortion or homosexuality are discussed, I will piously oppose any tightening of screws with my pious concern that more souls might in this way go away from the Church. You see, in this way I subtly make us – the heretics – the metre of what can or cannot be done, should or should not be said. It is great fun to observe how the conservative forum readers always take the bait, and do not even think of questioning my motives. Ah, how many times I have enjoyed this little game, coming down heavily on the defenders of Catholicism with my “worries”. I never attack them openly, you see, as this would alienate me the big troops of the orthodox; rather, I depict the tragic consequences of every attempt to return to sound Catholicism in such frightful terms, that my opponents (whom I never openly call so, but are really the enemy) look by contrast like dangerous children playing with fire.
This method of ” condemnation by contrast” I use at every occasion. My extremely pious harmlessness will let you appear violent, my ostentatious love of peace a warmonger, my insisted “pastoral concerns” an insensitive train wrecker. All the while, though, I will appear as one of yours, merely a better one. Oh, the fun I have!
If anyone were to show he can see through my little game, I would show one of my specialities, in which I have achieved a high level of proficiency: passive-aggressiveness. You should see me answering to my opponent that I am hurt, but not really offended (because he is so insensitive); I might even, in that fake-humble way of mine, forgive him and thus firmly take the moral high ground; in the worst cases I will even inform him I will pray for his intentions, which never fails to achieve some results.
Irascible people are also a favourite weapon of mine. I will provoke them in a polite, but very open manner, thus causing a tsunami of accusations to be moved against me; this is my moment, and I will instantly jump on the cross and nail myself to it, showing to all the forumists my outstretched arms and loving, if atrociously suffering, attitude.
I never attack openly. If I don’t like your arguments (which I won’t) I’ll say it is “sad” you think so. My every move will be aimed at letting you appear a bully, then since childhood I never could stand on my own, or accept a fight like all the other boys did. In time, I learned to fight with the weapons of a woman; you won’t fear my fists, but you will soon notice my nails aren’t fun, either.
This is how I fight my fight on the Internet, as sneaky and subtly as I do in life. I never manage to con the awake and alert ones, but I will manage to influence enough of the others to make it worth my while.
There are many Grima Wormtongues on the Internet. Look a bit closely and you’ll discover we are everywhere.
Next time you are on a Catholic forum or blog, say hello to Catholic Grima.
The Schoenborn Reblog..
One might agree that 600 odds churches are an awful lot for a city of 1.3m inhabitants, even if these inhabitants are – nominally, at least – very largely Catholic.
Still, it can’t be denied the newly announced project to reduce them to around one-quarter smells of decline, or better said decay. One could also say there was obviously a time where there was need for all the 600-odd churches; but that was before the “spirit” began to “inspire” the Church and, therefore, does not count.
The official mantra is that every one of the surviving churches will have several priests and several
masses a day; but a moment of logic reflection will lead us to conclude that the situation will not be a long-lived one, with the structure already downsizing in prevision of the decline in both priests and mass attendance to be expected in the years to come…
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I herewith declare very openly that I wish the next Pope to be Italian. Like most Italians, I regard an Italian Pope as something natural, and fitting. Italy has given the papacy a great number of excellent Popes, and one can legitimately say the Country has served the Church well. Besides, I can’t escape the impression Italians are more likely to have that common-sense approach, the so typical attitude you see in the population, traditionally hard on the defence of the rules, and soft with human weakness. I might go as far as to say that Italians have been so frequently in charge in the last centuries, because the traditional character traits make them so eminently suited for the job.
In short, what the Duce called “un popolo di poeti, di artisti, di eroi, di santi, di navigatori, di trasmigratori” is also, and blessedly so, a people of great Popes.
It is difficult to explain this to a foreigner living abroad, but I am absolutely confident this subtle difference, this “Italian approach” is very evident to every foreigner who has lived in Italy for some years. Italians have a no-nonsense approach given to them in the cradle, nurtured from the earliest years and underpinned by a remarkable similarity in the way they see life and in the values they share; all of this, make no mistake, shaped by a Catholicism utterly without religious rivals worthy of mentioning from time immemorial. It is the kind of mentality that mocks, say, even (for an Anglo-Saxon; Italians wouldn’t say “even”) vegetarians as funnily pathetic nutcases, but has a kind and soft approach even to the people it mocks. It is also, put in a different way, a sure-footed instinct for what is relevant, and for leaving aside inflexibility and exaggerations.
Just to make an example – I do not say it to criticise anyone; merely to point out differences in mentality and culture – on a well-known religious blog run by a priest I have read this question:
Do insect products count as meat products, and therefore prohibited on Fridays and other days of abstinence. I have heard of some instances where it may be used in artificial color products. Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
I needed a couple of seconds to digest the question, and to even understand what was meant by it, so much is the question away from our thinking. Mind, I am sure the person who posed the question is a sincere Catholic; but in a circle of Italians this would have caused a burst of hilarity, and would have been remembered for years afterwards. Even the most orthodox Popes of the past (like Pius X or Pius XII) have probably spent an entire life without the question ever coming to their consciousness, and would have been rather worried for anyone having such problems.
This is exactly what I mean for sure-footed instinct: an orthodoxy that is, naturally, never Puritan, or lost in little details, or over-preoccupied, or over-complicated. Not so, alas, in countries where Protestantism plays or has played a role; so much so, that the question above,which sounds disturbingly ridiculous in Italy, would probably appear rather natural, if a bit on the picky side, in countries more influenced by a rigid Protestant culture.
Obviously, in the strange and disturbing times we live in even an Italian Pope could get it completely wrong, and you only need to search on this blog “Archbishop Paglia” to become fully aware of what kind of people are at present walking down the extremely beautiful corridors of the Vatican. Still, ceteris paribus I’d say the Italian would be the safer bet.
And now that I have finished to anger the vast majority of my seventeen readers, the only thing that remains to do is to look for a good trench and bury myself within .. 😉
From the always excellent Ars Orandi, a treasure trove of Catholic wisdom and beauty – not only the texts are excellent, but the magnificence and quality of the images published is simply way above what I have seen anywhere else – a short but extremely fitting excerpt from Dom Guéranger.
You can do much worse than visit this exemplary blog regularly.
The Liturgical Year
by Dom Guéranger, O.S.B.
The prophet, speaking to us in God’s name, assures us that, if we sincerely desire our conversion, we shall find mercy. The infinite distance which lies between the sovereign holiness of God and the soul that is defiled by sin is no obstacle to the reconciliation between the creature and the Creator. The goodness of God is omnipotent; it can create a clean heart in him that repents, and where sin abounded it can make grace abound more than ever sin abounded. The word of pardon will come down from heaven, like plentiful rain upon parched land, and that land will yield a rich harvest. But let the sinner give ear to the rest of the prophecy. Is man at liberty to accept or refuse this word that comes from heaven? May he, for the present, neglect it, in the hope that he will give it a welcome later on, when his life is at its close? No; God says to us by the prophet: “Seek ye the Lord, while He may be found; call ye upon Him, while He is near.” We cannot, therefore, find the Lord just when it suits our fickle humour; His nearness to us is not always the same. Let us take heed; God has His times; the time for mercy may be followed by the time for justice. Jonas went through the streets of the proud city, and cried out: “Yet forty days, and Ninive shall be destroyed.” Ninive did not allow the forty days to pass without returning to the Lord: she put on sackcloth and ashes, she fasted, and she was spared. Let us imitate the earnest repentance of this guilty city; let us not set divine justice at defiance by refusing to do penance, or by doing it negligently. This Lent is, perhaps, the last God’s mercy will grant us. If we put off our conversion, God may refuse us another such opportunity. Let us meditate upon these words of the apostle, which repeat the truth told us in today’s Epistle: “The earth that drinketh in the rain which cometh often upon it, and bringeth forth herbs, meet for them by whom it is tilled, receiveth blessing from God; but that which bringeth forth thorns and briars is reprobate, and very near unto a curse, whose end is to be burnt.”