Monthly Archives: March 2011

Thirty Days’ Prayer to Mary

Ever glorious and Blessed Mary,
Queen of Virgins, Mother of mercy,
hope and comfort of dejected and desolate souls,
through that sword of sorrow
which pierced thy Heart whilst thine only Son,
Jesus Christ, our Lord,
suffered death and ignominy on the Cross;
through that filial tenderness
and pure love through that filial tenderness
and pure love He had for thee, grieving in thy grief,
while from His Cross He recommended thee
to the care and protection of His beloved Disciple,
St. John, take pity, I beseech thee,
on my poverty and necessities;
have compassion on my anxieties and cares;
assist and comfort me in all my infirmities and miseries.

Thou art the Mother of mercy,
the sweet consolatrix and refuge
of the needy and the orphan,
of the desolate and the afflicted.

Look, therefore, with pity on a miserable,
forlorn child of Eve,
and hear my prayer;
for since, in just punishment of my sins,
I am encompassed with evils
and oppressed with anguish of spirit,
whither can I flee for more secure shelter,

O amiable Mother of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
than to thy maternal protection?
Attend, therefore, I beseech thee,
with pity and compassion to my humble and earnest
request.

I ask it through the infinite mercy of thy dear Son,
– through that love and condescension wherewith
He embraced our nature, when,
in compliance with the divine Will,
thou gavest thy consent, and Whom,
after the expiration of nine months,
thou didst bring forth
from the chaste enclosure of thy womb,
to visit this world
and bless it with his presence.

I ask it through the sores of His virginal Flesh,
caused by the cords and whips
wherewith He was bound and scourged
when stripped of His seamless garment,
for which His executioners afterwards cast lots.

I ask it through the scoffs and ignominies
by which He was insulted,
the false accusations and unjust sentence
by which He was condemned to death,
and which He bore with heavenly patience.

I ask it through His bitter tears and bloody sweat;
His silence and resignation;
His sadness and grief of heart.

I ask it through the Blood
which trickled from His royal and sacred Head,
when struck with His sceptre of a reed,
and pierced with the crown of thorns.

I ask it through the excruciating torments He suffered,
when His hands and feet were fastened
with huge nails to the tree of the cross.

I ask it through His vehement thirst,
and bitter potion of vinegar and gall.

I ask it through His dereliction on the cross,
when He exclaimed:
“My God! my God! why hast Thou forsaken me?”

I ask it through His mercy extended to the good thief,
and through His recommending His precious Soul and Spirit
into the hands of His Eternal Father before He expired.

I ask it through the Blood mixed with water,
which issued from His sacred Side,
when pierced with a lance,
and whence a flood of grace and mercy has flowed to us.

I ask it through His immaculate life,
bitter Passion,
and ignominious death on the cross,
at which nature itself was thrown into convulsions,
by the bursting of rocks,
rending of the veil of the temple,
the earthquake,
and the darkness of the sun and the moon.

I ask it through His descent into hell,
where He comforted the Saints of the Old Law with His
presence,
and led captivity captive.

I ask it through His glorious victory over death,
when He arose again to life on the third day,
and through the joy
which His appearance for forty days after gave thee,
His blessed Mother,
His Apostles,
and His Disciples,
when, in thine and their presence,
He miraculously ascended into heaven.

I ask it through the grace of the Holy Ghost,
infused into the hearts of the Disciples,
when He descended upon them in the form of fiery tongues,
and which they were inspired with zeal
for the conversion of the world
when they went forth to preach the Gospel.

I ask it through the awful appearance of thy Son,
at the last dreadful day,
when He shall come to judge the living and the dead,
and the world by fire.

I ask it through the compassion He bore thee in this life,
and the ineffable joy thou didst feel
at Thine Assumption into heaven,
where thou art eternally absorbed
in the sweet contemplation of His divine perfections.

O glorious and ever-blessed Virgin,
comfort the heart of thy suppliant,
by obtaining for me the graces and the favours
which I now most earnestly solicit.

(Here mention your requests)

And as I am persuaded my Divine Saviour honour Thee
as His beloved Mother, to whom He can refuse nothing,
so let me speedily experience
the efficacy of thy powerful intercession,
according to the tenderness of thy maternal affection,
and His filial,
loving Heart,
who mercifully grants the requests and complies
with the desires of those that love and fear Him.

Wherefore, O Most Blessed Virgin,
beside the object of my present petition,
and whatever else I may stand in need of,
obtain for me also of thy dear Son,
our Lord and our God,
a lively faith,
firm hope,
perfect charity,
the contrition of heart,
unfeigned tears of compunction,
sincere confession,
just satisfaction,
abstinence from sin,
love of God and of my neighbour,
contempt of the world,
patience to suffer affronts and ignominies,
nay, even, if necessary,
an opprobrious death itself,
for the love of thy Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Obtain likewise for me,

O Holy Mother of God,
perseverance in good works,
performance of good resolutions,
mortification of self-will,
a pious conversation through life,
and at my last moment,
strong and sincere repentance
accompanied by such a lively
and attentive presence of mind,
as may enable me to receive
the last Sacraments of the Church worthily,
and to die in thy friendship and favour.

Lastly, obtain, I beseech Thee,
for the souls of my parents,
brethren, relatives,
and benefactors both living and dead,
life everlasting.

Amen.

Hour of Mercy: Psalm 130 RSV-CE

130 1 <A Song of Ascents.> Out of the depths I cry to thee, O LORD!
2 Lord, hear my voice! Let thy ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!
3 If thou, O LORD, shouldst mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?
4 But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.
5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;
6 my soul waits for the LORD more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.
7 O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plenteous
redemption.
8 And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

Beware of Donald Trump

I’m too tired to document what I’ve got so far, so I’m just working in prophet mode here, but
a) There are rumblings that Donald Trump my run for President in 2012 as a Republican (he recently switched back to the GOP for the first time since 1999).
b) Recently, after a lifetime of being an outspoken liberal on every social issue (and demonstrating it in his personal life), Trump has suddenly announced his conversion to being pro-life and pro-family at CPAC, on _The Laura Ingraham Show_, and elsewhere. Yeah, right. We’ve heard that before from the Bushes and from Romney.
c) I read an alleged interview (this is the thing I’m particularly not up to documenting right now) with an unnamed White House “insider” who insisted that Trump is the only possible contender who has a chance of beating Obama in 2012, and something about the whole interview felt fishy to me.

Here’s why not to trust him:
a) He’s only claiming to be pro-life because he knows it’s the only way to get the GOP nomination.
b) He’s an ex-Catholic (I don’t know if I ever knew Trump was Catholic at all, but apparently he started out that way and, after his however-many divorces, he was last “remarried” in an Episcopal “church”), therefore apostate.

Here’s why really not to trust him:
He may not be a political insider, but he’s definitely part of the elite in this country, and in their back-and-forth control of the presidency, TPTB may want a safe “back up” to Obama in 2012. They may realize it’s already time for another Republican. I thought Dubya was the GOP’s Millard Fillmore, but Trump could be the perfect guy to fill that role. He’s the embodiment of the Rockefeller Republican (in every sense of what Rockefeller means), and I’m sure he’d be no enemy to the NWO.

Hour of Mercy: Psalm 102 RSV-CE

102 1 <A prayer of one afflicted, when he is faint and pours out his complaint> the LORD.> Hear my
prayer, O LORD; let my cry come to thee!
2 Do not hide thy face from me in the day of my distress! Incline thy ear to me; answer me speedily in the
day when I call!
3 For my days pass away like smoke, and my bones burn like a furnace.
4 My heart is smitten like grass, and withered; I forget to eat my bread.
5 Because of my loud groaning my bones cleave to my flesh.
6 I am like a vulture of the wilderness, like an owl of the waste places;
7 I lie awake, I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.
8 All the day my enemies taunt me, those who deride me use my name for a curse.
9 For I eat ashes like bread, and mingle tears with my drink,
10 because of thy indignation and anger; for thou hast taken me up and thrown me away.
11 My days are like an evening shadow; I wither away like grass.
12 But thou, O LORD, art enthroned for ever; thy name endures to all generations.
13 Thou wilt arise and have pity on Zion; it is the time to favor her; the appointed time has come.
14 For thy servants hold her stones dear, and have pity on her dust.
15 The nations will fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.
16 For the LORD will build up Zion, he will appear in his glory;
17 he will regard the prayer of the destitute, and will not despise their supplication.
18 Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet unborn may praise the LORD:
19 that he looked down from his holy height, from heaven the LORD looked at the earth,
20 to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die;
21 that men may declare in Zion the name of the LORD, and in Jerusalem his praise,
22 when peoples gather together, and kingdoms, to worship the LORD.
23 He has broken my strength in mid-course; he has shortened my days.
24 “O my God,” I say, “take me not hence in the midst of my days, thou whose years endure throughout all
generations!”
25 Of old thou didst lay the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands.
26 They will perish, but thou dost endure; they will all wear out like a garment. Thou changest them like
raiment, and they pass away;
27 but thou art the same, and thy years have no end.
28 The children of thy servants shall dwell secure; their posterity shall be established before thee.

Thirty Days’ Prayer to Mary

Ever glorious and Blessed Mary,
Queen of Virgins, Mother of mercy,
hope and comfort of dejected and desolate souls,
through that sword of sorrow
which pierced thy Heart whilst thine only Son,
Jesus Christ, our Lord,
suffered death and ignominy on the Cross;
through that filial tenderness
and pure love through that filial tenderness
and pure love He had for thee, grieving in thy grief,
while from His Cross He recommended thee
to the care and protection of His beloved Disciple,
St. John, take pity, I beseech thee,
on my poverty and necessities;
have compassion on my anxieties and cares;
assist and comfort me in all my infirmities and miseries.

Thou art the Mother of mercy,
the sweet consolatrix and refuge
of the needy and the orphan,
of the desolate and the afflicted.

Look, therefore, with pity on a miserable,
forlorn child of Eve,
and hear my prayer;
for since, in just punishment of my sins,
I am encompassed with evils
and oppressed with anguish of spirit,
whither can I flee for more secure shelter,

O amiable Mother of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
than to thy maternal protection?
Attend, therefore, I beseech thee,
with pity and compassion to my humble and earnest
request.

I ask it through the infinite mercy of thy dear Son,
– through that love and condescension wherewith
He embraced our nature, when,
in compliance with the divine Will,
thou gavest thy consent, and Whom,
after the expiration of nine months,
thou didst bring forth
from the chaste enclosure of thy womb,
to visit this world
and bless it with his presence.

I ask it through the sores of His virginal Flesh,
caused by the cords and whips
wherewith He was bound and scourged
when stripped of His seamless garment,
for which His executioners afterwards cast lots.

I ask it through the scoffs and ignominies
by which He was insulted,
the false accusations and unjust sentence
by which He was condemned to death,
and which He bore with heavenly patience.

I ask it through His bitter tears and bloody sweat;
His silence and resignation;
His sadness and grief of heart.

I ask it through the Blood
which trickled from His royal and sacred Head,
when struck with His sceptre of a reed,
and pierced with the crown of thorns.

I ask it through the excruciating torments He suffered,
when His hands and feet were fastened
with huge nails to the tree of the cross.

I ask it through His vehement thirst,
and bitter potion of vinegar and gall.

I ask it through His dereliction on the cross,
when He exclaimed:
“My God! my God! why hast Thou forsaken me?”

I ask it through His mercy extended to the good thief,
and through His recommending His precious Soul and Spirit
into the hands of His Eternal Father before He expired.

I ask it through the Blood mixed with water,
which issued from His sacred Side,
when pierced with a lance,
and whence a flood of grace and mercy has flowed to us.

I ask it through His immaculate life,
bitter Passion,
and ignominious death on the cross,
at which nature itself was thrown into convulsions,
by the bursting of rocks,
rending of the veil of the temple,
the earthquake,
and the darkness of the sun and the moon.

I ask it through His descent into hell,
where He comforted the Saints of the Old Law with His
presence,
and led captivity captive.

I ask it through His glorious victory over death,
when He arose again to life on the third day,
and through the joy
which His appearance for forty days after gave thee,
His blessed Mother,
His Apostles,
and His Disciples,
when, in thine and their presence,
He miraculously ascended into heaven.

I ask it through the grace of the Holy Ghost,
infused into the hearts of the Disciples,
when He descended upon them in the form of fiery tongues,
and which they were inspired with zeal
for the conversion of the world
when they went forth to preach the Gospel.

I ask it through the awful appearance of thy Son,
at the last dreadful day,
when He shall come to judge the living and the dead,
and the world by fire.

I ask it through the compassion He bore thee in this life,
and the ineffable joy thou didst feel
at Thine Assumption into heaven,
where thou art eternally absorbed
in the sweet contemplation of His divine perfections.

O glorious and ever-blessed Virgin,
comfort the heart of thy suppliant,
by obtaining for me the graces and the favours
which I now most earnestly solicit.

(Here mention your requests)

And as I am persuaded my Divine Saviour honour Thee
as His beloved Mother, to whom He can refuse nothing,
so let me speedily experience
the efficacy of thy powerful intercession,
according to the tenderness of thy maternal affection,
and His filial,
loving Heart,
who mercifully grants the requests and complies
with the desires of those that love and fear Him.

Wherefore, O Most Blessed Virgin,
beside the object of my present petition,
and whatever else I may stand in need of,
obtain for me also of thy dear Son,
our Lord and our God,
a lively faith,
firm hope,
perfect charity,
the contrition of heart,
unfeigned tears of compunction,
sincere confession,
just satisfaction,
abstinence from sin,
love of God and of my neighbour,
contempt of the world,
patience to suffer affronts and ignominies,
nay, even, if necessary,
an opprobrious death itself,
for the love of thy Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Obtain likewise for me,

O Holy Mother of God,
perseverance in good works,
performance of good resolutions,
mortification of self-will,
a pious conversation through life,
and at my last moment,
strong and sincere repentance
accompanied by such a lively
and attentive presence of mind,
as may enable me to receive
the last Sacraments of the Church worthily,
and to die in thy friendship and favour.

Lastly, obtain, I beseech Thee,
for the souls of my parents,
brethren, relatives,
and benefactors both living and dead,
life everlasting.

Amen.

The USCCB on Iraq and Libya: WHAT???

The USCCB Website has a whole directory of statements that the USCCB or its officers made regarding the Iraq War.  Most just state the moral considerations without issuing judgment, one way or the other.  In a February 2004 summary statement, “the bishops” state the following (quoting another document, but I clicked through the documents in the archive and couldn’t find this exact passage anywhere else):

Our bishops’ conference continues to question the moral legitimacy of any preemptive, unilateral use of military force to overthrow the government of Iraq. To permit preemptive or preventive uses of military force to overthrow threatening or hostile regimes would create deeply troubling moral and legal precedents. Based on the facts that are known, it is difficult to justify resort to war against Iraq, lacking clear and adequate evidence of an imminent attack of a grave nature or Iraq’s involvement in the terrorist attacks of September 11. With the Holy See and many religious leaders throughout the world, we believe that resort to war would not meet the strict conditions in Catholic teaching for the use of military force. These statements, along with educational and prayer resources, were disseminated widely and received considerable media attention. In addition, the leadership of the USCCB met with National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice on Iraq in May and September 2002, and March 2003. The USCCB also assisted with special papal envoy Cardinal Pio Laghi’s visit to Washington to meet with President Bush on March 5, 2003.

So, the most they would say on Iraq is that they questioned the moral legitimacy of the conflict, and they note throughout these statements the criteria that need to be met. They echoed with John Paul II the call for Saddam Hussein to disarm and cooperate with the international community. They recognized the threat he posed. They insisted that a US invasion of Iraq needed to have significant international support. Fine and dandy.
I’m mostly anti-war; there’s no secret of that. I battled my conscience over Iraq for years and decided that, even while there was some warrant, the case made for the war was the wrong one, the Vatican was clearly displeased with the war, and many of the methods employed in the war have been unjust.
The USCCB is notoriously anti-war, so in some respects it’s surprising they reserved judgment and did not make an overt statement against the war in Iraq–at least not at that point (2004).
So, cut to 2011, when Barack Obama decides Kennedy/Vietnam-style that he can just send troops into another country’s civil war without congressional approval. Cut to 2011, when Barack Obama, the president of Peace, Hope and Change, goes to war with absolutely no deliberation (Bush very clearly deliberated) and with not clear threat to US security. And, while everyone insisted a war in Iraq would be “for oil,” there is no clear link between Iraq and US oil (most of the oil we import actually comes from Venezuela), but there is a link with Libya (most European oil comes from Libya).

Now, noting that it is not an absolute judgment, the current head of the USCCB’s office for “justice and Peace” says that the invasion of Libya “appears to meet” the standards for Just War!!!

He says that the attack of a dictator on his own civilians is the same as an invasion–a principle many of us can agree with–yet why was no similar statement made about Iraq???

A friend’s Proposal to fix abortion, Social Security and Immigration in one step

Now, I consider illegal immigration a complicated issue.  I tend to be a Buchananite on most issues, including this one, although I understand certain reasons on the other side, particularly regarding the US’s unjust policy regarding refugee status.  I also understand the arguments about not breaking up families.  I believe that the worst thing about illegal immigration is how it hurts the efforts of those who have tried so hard to get into this country the right way, and, as John Paul II pointed out, illegal immigrants often come through the very channels through which drugs and guns are smuggled into the country as well.  I’ve said many times that I think so-called “amnesty” is like giving known plagiarists the right to graduate.

That said, my friend Ted Seeber, following up on Rick Santorum’s recent comments, has made an interesting proposal to fix Social Security, since the main problem with Social Security is that we’ve killed off our work force, and the system assumes population growth.

  • Theodore M. Seeber Step 1. Make FICA a flat tax on all earnings, with no cap. 

    9 hours ago ·
  •  

    Theodore M. Seeber Step 2. Raise retirement age for non-disability payments to 88. 

    9 hours ago ·
  •  

    Theodore M. Seeber Step 3. Make abortion illegal. 

    9 hours ago ·
  •  

    Theodore M. Seeber Step 4. Issue 12 million green cards for illegal aliens already living here, and 42 million green cards for new immigrants, to replace our working age population murdered by abortion. 

    9 hours ago ·

Justice basically involves doing evil to correct a worse evil.   It is normally evil to imprison another person, but not if the person is a criminal.  It is normally evil to take money from another person, but social justice involves taxing the rich to give money to the poor because the economic system is inherently flawed.

It has never occurred to me to link abortion to the immigration debate in the sense of filling the gaps left in our society by abortion kind of makes sense.  Forgiving the debt of illegal immigrants against society would, of course, be an act of mercy, and it would both replenish our population and work force as well as make some spiritual amends.  Of course, Ted’s not even talking about citizenship, just green cards.

I’m not so sure about the raising the retirement age to 88 part.  That would only work if they widened the standards for disability, and that will create a whole other mess.  However, people forget that, at the time Social Security was established, 65 was basically the average life expectancy.  It was never intended to be something a person lived on for years and years, but emergency coverage for a person who lived an extremely long life and had no other support.

Thirty Days’ Prayer to Mary

Ever glorious and Blessed Mary,
Queen of Virgins, Mother of mercy,
hope and comfort of dejected and desolate souls,
through that sword of sorrow
which pierced thy Heart whilst thine only Son,
Jesus Christ, our Lord,
suffered death and ignominy on the Cross;
through that filial tenderness
and pure love through that filial tenderness
and pure love He had for thee, grieving in thy grief,
while from His Cross He recommended thee
to the care and protection of His beloved Disciple,
St. John, take pity, I beseech thee,
on my poverty and necessities;
have compassion on my anxieties and cares;
assist and comfort me in all my infirmities and miseries.

Thou art the Mother of mercy,
the sweet consolatrix and refuge
of the needy and the orphan,
of the desolate and the afflicted.

Look, therefore, with pity on a miserable,
forlorn child of Eve,
and hear my prayer;
for since, in just punishment of my sins,
I am encompassed with evils
and oppressed with anguish of spirit,
whither can I flee for more secure shelter,

O amiable Mother of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
than to thy maternal protection?
Attend, therefore, I beseech thee,
with pity and compassion to my humble and earnest
request.

I ask it through the infinite mercy of thy dear Son,
– through that love and condescension wherewith
He embraced our nature, when,
in compliance with the divine Will,
thou gavest thy consent, and Whom,
after the expiration of nine months,
thou didst bring forth
from the chaste enclosure of thy womb,
to visit this world
and bless it with his presence.

I ask it through the sores of His virginal Flesh,
caused by the cords and whips
wherewith He was bound and scourged
when stripped of His seamless garment,
for which His executioners afterwards cast lots.

I ask it through the scoffs and ignominies
by which He was insulted,
the false accusations and unjust sentence
by which He was condemned to death,
and which He bore with heavenly patience.

I ask it through His bitter tears and bloody sweat;
His silence and resignation;
His sadness and grief of heart.

I ask it through the Blood
which trickled from His royal and sacred Head,
when struck with His sceptre of a reed,
and pierced with the crown of thorns.

I ask it through the excruciating torments He suffered,
when His hands and feet were fastened
with huge nails to the tree of the cross.

I ask it through His vehement thirst,
and bitter potion of vinegar and gall.

I ask it through His dereliction on the cross,
when He exclaimed:
“My God! my God! why hast Thou forsaken me?”

I ask it through His mercy extended to the good thief,
and through His recommending His precious Soul and Spirit
into the hands of His Eternal Father before He expired.

I ask it through the Blood mixed with water,
which issued from His sacred Side,
when pierced with a lance,
and whence a flood of grace and mercy has flowed to us.

I ask it through His immaculate life,
bitter Passion,
and ignominious death on the cross,
at which nature itself was thrown into convulsions,
by the bursting of rocks,
rending of the veil of the temple,
the earthquake,
and the darkness of the sun and the moon.

I ask it through His descent into hell,
where He comforted the Saints of the Old Law with His
presence,
and led captivity captive.

I ask it through His glorious victory over death,
when He arose again to life on the third day,
and through the joy
which His appearance for forty days after gave thee,
His blessed Mother,
His Apostles,
and His Disciples,
when, in thine and their presence,
He miraculously ascended into heaven.

I ask it through the grace of the Holy Ghost,
infused into the hearts of the Disciples,
when He descended upon them in the form of fiery tongues,
and which they were inspired with zeal
for the conversion of the world
when they went forth to preach the Gospel.

I ask it through the awful appearance of thy Son,
at the last dreadful day,
when He shall come to judge the living and the dead,
and the world by fire.

I ask it through the compassion He bore thee in this life,
and the ineffable joy thou didst feel
at Thine Assumption into heaven,
where thou art eternally absorbed
in the sweet contemplation of His divine perfections.

O glorious and ever-blessed Virgin,
comfort the heart of thy suppliant,
by obtaining for me the graces and the favours
which I now most earnestly solicit.

(Here mention your requests)

And as I am persuaded my Divine Saviour honour Thee
as His beloved Mother, to whom He can refuse nothing,
so let me speedily experience
the efficacy of thy powerful intercession,
according to the tenderness of thy maternal affection,
and His filial,
loving Heart,
who mercifully grants the requests and complies
with the desires of those that love and fear Him.

Wherefore, O Most Blessed Virgin,
beside the object of my present petition,
and whatever else I may stand in need of,
obtain for me also of thy dear Son,
our Lord and our God,
a lively faith,
firm hope,
perfect charity,
the contrition of heart,
unfeigned tears of compunction,
sincere confession,
just satisfaction,
abstinence from sin,
love of God and of my neighbour,
contempt of the world,
patience to suffer affronts and ignominies,
nay, even, if necessary,
an opprobrious death itself,
for the love of thy Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Obtain likewise for me,

O Holy Mother of God,
perseverance in good works,
performance of good resolutions,
mortification of self-will,
a pious conversation through life,
and at my last moment,
strong and sincere repentance
accompanied by such a lively
and attentive presence of mind,
as may enable me to receive
the last Sacraments of the Church worthily,
and to die in thy friendship and favour.

Lastly, obtain, I beseech Thee,
for the souls of my parents,
brethren, relatives,
and benefactors both living and dead,
life everlasting.

Amen.

Hour of Mercy: Psalm 51 RSV-CE

51 1 <To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to> after he had gone in to
Bathsheba.> Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy steadfast love; according to thy abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in thy sight, so that thou art justified in
thy sentence and blameless in thy judgment.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Fill me with joy and gladness; let the bones which thou hast broken rejoice.
9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners will return to thee.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of thy
deliverance.
15 O Lord, open thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.
16 For thou hast no delight in sacrifice; were I to give a burnt offering, thou wouldst not be pleased.
17 The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not
despise.
18 Do good to Zion in thy good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem,
19 then wilt thou delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be
offered on thy altar.

Thirty Days’ Prayer to Mary

Ever glorious and Blessed Mary,
Queen of Virgins, Mother of mercy,
hope and comfort of dejected and desolate souls,
through that sword of sorrow
which pierced thy Heart whilst thine only Son,
Jesus Christ, our Lord,
suffered death and ignominy on the Cross;
through that filial tenderness
and pure love through that filial tenderness
and pure love He had for thee, grieving in thy grief,
while from His Cross He recommended thee
to the care and protection of His beloved Disciple,
St. John, take pity, I beseech thee,
on my poverty and necessities;
have compassion on my anxieties and cares;
assist and comfort me in all my infirmities and miseries.

Thou art the Mother of mercy,
the sweet consolatrix and refuge
of the needy and the orphan,
of the desolate and the afflicted.

Look, therefore, with pity on a miserable,
forlorn child of Eve,
and hear my prayer;
for since, in just punishment of my sins,
I am encompassed with evils
and oppressed with anguish of spirit,
whither can I flee for more secure shelter,

O amiable Mother of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
than to thy maternal protection?
Attend, therefore, I beseech thee,
with pity and compassion to my humble and earnest
request.

I ask it through the infinite mercy of thy dear Son,
– through that love and condescension wherewith
He embraced our nature, when,
in compliance with the divine Will,
thou gavest thy consent, and Whom,
after the expiration of nine months,
thou didst bring forth
from the chaste enclosure of thy womb,
to visit this world
and bless it with his presence.

I ask it through the sores of His virginal Flesh,
caused by the cords and whips
wherewith He was bound and scourged
when stripped of His seamless garment,
for which His executioners afterwards cast lots.

I ask it through the scoffs and ignominies
by which He was insulted,
the false accusations and unjust sentence
by which He was condemned to death,
and which He bore with heavenly patience.

I ask it through His bitter tears and bloody sweat;
His silence and resignation;
His sadness and grief of heart.

I ask it through the Blood
which trickled from His royal and sacred Head,
when struck with His sceptre of a reed,
and pierced with the crown of thorns.

I ask it through the excruciating torments He suffered,
when His hands and feet were fastened
with huge nails to the tree of the cross.

I ask it through His vehement thirst,
and bitter potion of vinegar and gall.

I ask it through His dereliction on the cross,
when He exclaimed:
“My God! my God! why hast Thou forsaken me?”

I ask it through His mercy extended to the good thief,
and through His recommending His precious Soul and Spirit
into the hands of His Eternal Father before He expired.

I ask it through the Blood mixed with water,
which issued from His sacred Side,
when pierced with a lance,
and whence a flood of grace and mercy has flowed to us.

I ask it through His immaculate life,
bitter Passion,
and ignominious death on the cross,
at which nature itself was thrown into convulsions,
by the bursting of rocks,
rending of the veil of the temple,
the earthquake,
and the darkness of the sun and the moon.

I ask it through His descent into hell,
where He comforted the Saints of the Old Law with His
presence,
and led captivity captive.

I ask it through His glorious victory over death,
when He arose again to life on the third day,
and through the joy
which His appearance for forty days after gave thee,
His blessed Mother,
His Apostles,
and His Disciples,
when, in thine and their presence,
He miraculously ascended into heaven.

I ask it through the grace of the Holy Ghost,
infused into the hearts of the Disciples,
when He descended upon them in the form of fiery tongues,
and which they were inspired with zeal
for the conversion of the world
when they went forth to preach the Gospel.

I ask it through the awful appearance of thy Son,
at the last dreadful day,
when He shall come to judge the living and the dead,
and the world by fire.

I ask it through the compassion He bore thee in this life,
and the ineffable joy thou didst feel
at Thine Assumption into heaven,
where thou art eternally absorbed
in the sweet contemplation of His divine perfections.

O glorious and ever-blessed Virgin,
comfort the heart of thy suppliant,
by obtaining for me the graces and the favours
which I now most earnestly solicit.

(Here mention your requests)

And as I am persuaded my Divine Saviour honour Thee
as His beloved Mother, to whom He can refuse nothing,
so let me speedily experience
the efficacy of thy powerful intercession,
according to the tenderness of thy maternal affection,
and His filial,
loving Heart,
who mercifully grants the requests and complies
with the desires of those that love and fear Him.

Wherefore, O Most Blessed Virgin,
beside the object of my present petition,
and whatever else I may stand in need of,
obtain for me also of thy dear Son,
our Lord and our God,
a lively faith,
firm hope,
perfect charity,
the contrition of heart,
unfeigned tears of compunction,
sincere confession,
just satisfaction,
abstinence from sin,
love of God and of my neighbour,
contempt of the world,
patience to suffer affronts and ignominies,
nay, even, if necessary,
an opprobrious death itself,
for the love of thy Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Obtain likewise for me,

O Holy Mother of God,
perseverance in good works,
performance of good resolutions,
mortification of self-will,
a pious conversation through life,
and at my last moment,
strong and sincere repentance
accompanied by such a lively
and attentive presence of mind,
as may enable me to receive
the last Sacraments of the Church worthily,
and to die in thy friendship and favour.

Lastly, obtain, I beseech Thee,
for the souls of my parents,
brethren, relatives,
and benefactors both living and dead,
life everlasting.

Amen.

Hour of Mercy: Psalm 38 RSV-CE

38 1 <A Psalm of David, for the memorial offering.> O LORD, rebuke me not in thy anger, nor chasten me
in thy wrath!
2 For thy arrows have sunk into me, and thy hand has come down on me.
3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of thy indignation; there is no health in my bones because of
my sin.
4 For my iniquities have gone over my head; they weigh like a burden too heavy for me.
5 My wounds grow foul and fester because of my foolishness,
6 I am utterly bowed down and prostrate; all the day I go about mourning.
7 For my loins are filled with burning, and there is no soundness in my flesh.
8 I am utterly spent and crushed; I groan because of the tumult of my heart.
9 Lord, all my longing is known to thee, my sighing is not hidden from thee.
10 My heart throbs, my strength fails me; and the light of my eyes — it also has gone from me.
11 My friends and companions stand aloof from my plague, and my kinsmen stand afar off.
12 Those who seek my life lay their snares, those who seek my hurt speak of ruin, and meditate treachery
all the day long.
13 But I am like a deaf man, I do not hear, like a dumb man who does not open his mouth.
14 Yea, I am like a man who does not hear, and in whose mouth are no rebukes.
15 But for thee, O LORD, do I wait; it is thou, O LORD my God, who wilt answer.
16 For I pray, “Only let them not rejoice over me, who boast against me when my foot slips!”
17 For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever with me.
18 I confess my iniquity, I am sorry for my sin.
19 Those who are my foes without cause are mighty, and many are those who hate me wrongfully.
20 Those who render me evil for good are my adversaries because I follow after good.
21 Do not forsake me, O LORD! O my God, be not far from me!
22 Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!

Thirty Days’ Prayer to Mary

Ever glorious and Blessed Mary,
Queen of Virgins, Mother of mercy,
hope and comfort of dejected and desolate souls,
through that sword of sorrow
which pierced thy Heart whilst thine only Son,
Jesus Christ, our Lord,
suffered death and ignominy on the Cross;
through that filial tenderness
and pure love through that filial tenderness
and pure love He had for thee, grieving in thy grief,
while from His Cross He recommended thee
to the care and protection of His beloved Disciple,
St. John, take pity, I beseech thee,
on my poverty and necessities;
have compassion on my anxieties and cares;
assist and comfort me in all my infirmities and miseries.

Thou art the Mother of mercy,
the sweet consolatrix and refuge
of the needy and the orphan,
of the desolate and the afflicted.

Look, therefore, with pity on a miserable,
forlorn child of Eve,
and hear my prayer;
for since, in just punishment of my sins,
I am encompassed with evils
and oppressed with anguish of spirit,
whither can I flee for more secure shelter,

O amiable Mother of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
than to thy maternal protection?
Attend, therefore, I beseech thee,
with pity and compassion to my humble and earnest
request.

I ask it through the infinite mercy of thy dear Son,
– through that love and condescension wherewith
He embraced our nature, when,
in compliance with the divine Will,
thou gavest thy consent, and Whom,
after the expiration of nine months,
thou didst bring forth
from the chaste enclosure of thy womb,
to visit this world
and bless it with his presence.

I ask it through the sores of His virginal Flesh,
caused by the cords and whips
wherewith He was bound and scourged
when stripped of His seamless garment,
for which His executioners afterwards cast lots.

I ask it through the scoffs and ignominies
by which He was insulted,
the false accusations and unjust sentence
by which He was condemned to death,
and which He bore with heavenly patience.

I ask it through His bitter tears and bloody sweat;
His silence and resignation;
His sadness and grief of heart.

I ask it through the Blood
which trickled from His royal and sacred Head,
when struck with His sceptre of a reed,
and pierced with the crown of thorns.

I ask it through the excruciating torments He suffered,
when His hands and feet were fastened
with huge nails to the tree of the cross.

I ask it through His vehement thirst,
and bitter potion of vinegar and gall.

I ask it through His dereliction on the cross,
when He exclaimed:
“My God! my God! why hast Thou forsaken me?”

I ask it through His mercy extended to the good thief,
and through His recommending His precious Soul and Spirit
into the hands of His Eternal Father before He expired.

I ask it through the Blood mixed with water,
which issued from His sacred Side,
when pierced with a lance,
and whence a flood of grace and mercy has flowed to us.

I ask it through His immaculate life,
bitter Passion,
and ignominious death on the cross,
at which nature itself was thrown into convulsions,
by the bursting of rocks,
rending of the veil of the temple,
the earthquake,
and the darkness of the sun and the moon.

I ask it through His descent into hell,
where He comforted the Saints of the Old Law with His
presence,
and led captivity captive.

I ask it through His glorious victory over death,
when He arose again to life on the third day,
and through the joy
which His appearance for forty days after gave thee,
His blessed Mother,
His Apostles,
and His Disciples,
when, in thine and their presence,
He miraculously ascended into heaven.

I ask it through the grace of the Holy Ghost,
infused into the hearts of the Disciples,
when He descended upon them in the form of fiery tongues,
and which they were inspired with zeal
for the conversion of the world
when they went forth to preach the Gospel.

I ask it through the awful appearance of thy Son,
at the last dreadful day,
when He shall come to judge the living and the dead,
and the world by fire.

I ask it through the compassion He bore thee in this life,
and the ineffable joy thou didst feel
at Thine Assumption into heaven,
where thou art eternally absorbed
in the sweet contemplation of His divine perfections.

O glorious and ever-blessed Virgin,
comfort the heart of thy suppliant,
by obtaining for me the graces and the favours
which I now most earnestly solicit.

(Here mention your requests)

And as I am persuaded my Divine Saviour honour Thee
as His beloved Mother, to whom He can refuse nothing,
so let me speedily experience
the efficacy of thy powerful intercession,
according to the tenderness of thy maternal affection,
and His filial,
loving Heart,
who mercifully grants the requests and complies
with the desires of those that love and fear Him.

Wherefore, O Most Blessed Virgin,
beside the object of my present petition,
and whatever else I may stand in need of,
obtain for me also of thy dear Son,
our Lord and our God,
a lively faith,
firm hope,
perfect charity,
the contrition of heart,
unfeigned tears of compunction,
sincere confession,
just satisfaction,
abstinence from sin,
love of God and of my neighbour,
contempt of the world,
patience to suffer affronts and ignominies,
nay, even, if necessary,
an opprobrious death itself,
for the love of thy Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Obtain likewise for me,

O Holy Mother of God,
perseverance in good works,
performance of good resolutions,
mortification of self-will,
a pious conversation through life,
and at my last moment,
strong and sincere repentance
accompanied by such a lively
and attentive presence of mind,
as may enable me to receive
the last Sacraments of the Church worthily,
and to die in thy friendship and favour.

Lastly, obtain, I beseech Thee,
for the souls of my parents,
brethren, relatives,
and benefactors both living and dead,
life everlasting.

Amen.

Hour of Mercy: Psalm 32 RSV-CE

1 <A Psalm of David. A Maskil.> Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 When I declared not my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.
Selah
5 I acknowledged my sin to thee, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to
the LORD”; then thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin. Selah
6 Therefore let every one who is godly offer prayer to thee; at a time of distress, in the rush of great waters,
they shall not reach him.
7 Thou art a hiding place for me, thou preservest me from trouble; thou dost encompass me with
deliverance. Selah
8 I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
9 Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, else it will
not keep with you.
10 Many are the pangs of the wicked; but steadfast love surrounds him who trusts in the LORD.
11 Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

Lenten Poetry Series: Ben Jonson’s “Hear Me, O God”

Hear me, O God!
A broken heart
Is my best part.
Use still thy rod,
That I may prove
Therein thy Love.

If thou hadst not
Been stern to me,
But left me free,
I had forgot
Myself and thee.

For sin’s so sweet,
As minds ill-bent
Rarely repent,
Until they meet
Their punishment.

Who more can crave
Than thou hast done?
That gav’st a Son,
To free a slave,
First made of nought;
With all since bought.

Sin, Death, and Hell
His glorious name
Quite overcame,
Yet I rebel
And slight the same.

But I’ll come in
Before my loss
Me farther toss,
As sure to win
Under His cross.

How many “Spirit of Vatican II” Catholics does it take to change a light bulb?

Someone on FB asked, “How many Trads does it take to change a light bulb?”
Punchline was, “Change?!”
I responded with the following:

Over at the FSSP parish, when a lightbulb needs changed, the pastor says, “change it,” and it gets done. Over at St. Kumbaya Catholic Faith Community, the parish council has to meet to deliberate about whether to change the lightbulb, spending 2 monthly meetings arguing about making sure the process of changing the lightbulb isn’t offensive to women, minorities or non-Catholics and debating about whether it’s appropriate to employ migrant workers to change said lightbulb. Then they debate about whether the money should come from a special collection or the parish bazaar.  After two or three monthly meetings, they draft a 3-page position paper about the paradigms and hermeneutics of lightbulb changing, then decide they should leave it up to the finance council. The finance council says it’s up to the liturgy committee, since the lightbulb is in the choir loft. The liturgy committee meets and says the parish council should make the decision. Meanwhile the business-suit wearing nun who functions as “pastoral associate” takes it upon herself to replace the choir loft lightbulb with a disco ball. When parishioners express outrage at this to the pastor, he claims it was a decision by the parish council, who in turn blame the finance committee, who in turn blame the liturgy committee, who in turn blame the parish council.

Thirty Days’ Prayer to Mary

Ever glorious and Blessed Mary,
Queen of Virgins, Mother of mercy,
hope and comfort of dejected and desolate souls,
through that sword of sorrow
which pierced thy Heart whilst thine only Son,
Jesus Christ, our Lord,
suffered death and ignominy on the Cross;
through that filial tenderness
and pure love through that filial tenderness
and pure love He had for thee, grieving in thy grief,
while from His Cross He recommended thee
to the care and protection of His beloved Disciple,
St. John, take pity, I beseech thee,
on my poverty and necessities;
have compassion on my anxieties and cares;
assist and comfort me in all my infirmities and miseries.

Thou art the Mother of mercy,
the sweet consolatrix and refuge
of the needy and the orphan,
of the desolate and the afflicted.

Look, therefore, with pity on a miserable,
forlorn child of Eve,
and hear my prayer;
for since, in just punishment of my sins,
I am encompassed with evils
and oppressed with anguish of spirit,
whither can I flee for more secure shelter,

O amiable Mother of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
than to thy maternal protection?
Attend, therefore, I beseech thee,
with pity and compassion to my humble and earnest
request.

I ask it through the infinite mercy of thy dear Son,
– through that love and condescension wherewith
He embraced our nature, when,
in compliance with the divine Will,
thou gavest thy consent, and Whom,
after the expiration of nine months,
thou didst bring forth
from the chaste enclosure of thy womb,
to visit this world
and bless it with his presence.

I ask it through the sores of His virginal Flesh,
caused by the cords and whips
wherewith He was bound and scourged
when stripped of His seamless garment,
for which His executioners afterwards cast lots.

I ask it through the scoffs and ignominies
by which He was insulted,
the false accusations and unjust sentence
by which He was condemned to death,
and which He bore with heavenly patience.

I ask it through His bitter tears and bloody sweat;
His silence and resignation;
His sadness and grief of heart.

I ask it through the Blood
which trickled from His royal and sacred Head,
when struck with His sceptre of a reed,
and pierced with the crown of thorns.

I ask it through the excruciating torments He suffered,
when His hands and feet were fastened
with huge nails to the tree of the cross.

I ask it through His vehement thirst,
and bitter potion of vinegar and gall.

I ask it through His dereliction on the cross,
when He exclaimed:
“My God! my God! why hast Thou forsaken me?”

I ask it through His mercy extended to the good thief,
and through His recommending His precious Soul and Spirit
into the hands of His Eternal Father before He expired.

I ask it through the Blood mixed with water,
which issued from His sacred Side,
when pierced with a lance,
and whence a flood of grace and mercy has flowed to us.

I ask it through His immaculate life,
bitter Passion,
and ignominious death on the cross,
at which nature itself was thrown into convulsions,
by the bursting of rocks,
rending of the veil of the temple,
the earthquake,
and the darkness of the sun and the moon.

I ask it through His descent into hell,
where He comforted the Saints of the Old Law with His
presence,
and led captivity captive.

I ask it through His glorious victory over death,
when He arose again to life on the third day,
and through the joy
which His appearance for forty days after gave thee,
His blessed Mother,
His Apostles,
and His Disciples,
when, in thine and their presence,
He miraculously ascended into heaven.

I ask it through the grace of the Holy Ghost,
infused into the hearts of the Disciples,
when He descended upon them in the form of fiery tongues,
and which they were inspired with zeal
for the conversion of the world
when they went forth to preach the Gospel.

I ask it through the awful appearance of thy Son,
at the last dreadful day,
when He shall come to judge the living and the dead,
and the world by fire.

I ask it through the compassion He bore thee in this life,
and the ineffable joy thou didst feel
at Thine Assumption into heaven,
where thou art eternally absorbed
in the sweet contemplation of His divine perfections.

O glorious and ever-blessed Virgin,
comfort the heart of thy suppliant,
by obtaining for me the graces and the favours
which I now most earnestly solicit.

(Here mention your requests)

And as I am persuaded my Divine Saviour honour Thee
as His beloved Mother, to whom He can refuse nothing,
so let me speedily experience
the efficacy of thy powerful intercession,
according to the tenderness of thy maternal affection,
and His filial,
loving Heart,
who mercifully grants the requests and complies
with the desires of those that love and fear Him.

Wherefore, O Most Blessed Virgin,
beside the object of my present petition,
and whatever else I may stand in need of,
obtain for me also of thy dear Son,
our Lord and our God,
a lively faith,
firm hope,
perfect charity,
the contrition of heart,
unfeigned tears of compunction,
sincere confession,
just satisfaction,
abstinence from sin,
love of God and of my neighbour,
contempt of the world,
patience to suffer affronts and ignominies,
nay, even, if necessary,
an opprobrious death itself,
for the love of thy Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Obtain likewise for me,

O Holy Mother of God,
perseverance in good works,
performance of good resolutions,
mortification of self-will,
a pious conversation through life,
and at my last moment,
strong and sincere repentance
accompanied by such a lively
and attentive presence of mind,
as may enable me to receive
the last Sacraments of the Church worthily,
and to die in thy friendship and favour.

Lastly, obtain, I beseech Thee,
for the souls of my parents,
brethren, relatives,
and benefactors both living and dead,
life everlasting.

Amen.

Hour of Mercy: Psalm 6 RSV-CE

6 1 A Psalm of David.> O LORD, rebuke
me not in thy anger, nor chasten me in thy wrath.
2 Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are troubled.
3 My soul also is sorely troubled. But thou, O LORD — how long?
4 Turn, O LORD, save my life; deliver me for the sake of thy steadfast love.
5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee; in Sheol who can give thee praise?
6 I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.
7 My eye wastes away because of grief, it grows weak because of all my foes.
8 Depart from me, all you workers of evil; for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping.
9 The LORD has heard my supplication; the LORD accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies shall be ashamed and sorely troubled; they shall turn back, and be put to shame in a
moment.

Lenten Poetry Series: Joseph Mary Plunkett’s “I see His Blood Upon the Rose”

I see his blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of his eyes,
His body gleams amid eternal snows,
His tears fall from the skies.

I see his face in every flower;
The thunder and the singing of the birds
Are but his voice—and carven by his power
Rocks are his written words.

All pathways by his feet are worn,
His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea,
His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn,
His cross is every tree.

Fr. Corapi’s Accuser is a Nut

UPDATE: I deleted this post, because I am very dismayed at the actions Fr. Corapi has taken recently.  These actions have not negated the fact that I believe he’s innocent of the original allegations against him, but I did not want to be perceived as participating in his attempts to malign his accuser.  That said, many people are accusing me of having been against Fr. Corapi all along, so I am restoring this post to prove that I have supported him previously.  Secondly, the mental health status of his accuser says nothing about her accusations.  In his “Black Sheep Dog” posts, Corapi has claimed this woman is an alcoholic.  So what ? He reiterates the claim, which inspired this post, that she assaulted some of his employees, and claims there’s a police report.  So what?  Neither of these accusations necessarily negate the possibility that her claims are true.  He claims he has phone messages.  Again, the fact that she may be mentally unstable has nothing to do with whether she’s telling the truth.  And isn’t this the strategy in all such cases?  Isn’t it the classic sexual harrassment/rape/sexual molestation defense to attack the alleged victim’s character?  Again, I’m not making any judgements either way, just to say that his attacks on her character really are irrelevant to the matter.

Ok, I haven’t blogged about this yet, because it has been quite devastating to me.

In terms of contemporary “famous people” (as in, not including relatives, friends or dead saints and writers), the two people most responsible for shaping who I am today are Mother Angelica and Fr. John Corapi, SOLT.  I could name some others who would be in a top ten or twenty, but Mother Angelica, directly and through founding EWTN, helped me to appreciate the beauty of the real Vatican II.  As for Fr. Corapi, his influence has been more personal rather than intellectual.  Years ago, I found that one of the most effective treatments for my tendencies towards depression and despair is to turn on Fr. Corapi.  He really puts things in perspective.  Also, Fr. Corapi’s preaching, and his life story, and the stories he shares from his ministry, give a kind of reassurance about life for me.

In terms of the whole hermeneutic of discontinuity, Mother Angelica showed me how to understand Vatican II. Fr. Corapi showed me that there really are saints like the “old days.”  I listen to him, and I think this is what it would have been like to hear Vianney or Pio or Bosco preach.  I listen to his story, and I’m hearing a modern day St. Augustine.  I listen to his stories about people he’s encountered, and he reminds me that we should never look down on anyone because we don’t know the pain they’re in or the desire in their heart for God, and we should never put anyone on pedestals because we never know what sins are going on their heart.   So he also helps me with my own tendencies to maybe bit a little judgemental or prideful.  I often think of two equal and opposite stories: the night he got a call and ended up going to a bridge in the middle of the night talking a 14-year-old girl out of suicide, who had already been a prostitute and drug addict for 3 years; and the time he rescued a brother priest from a den of sin.  Carrying the unconscious, drugged up priest from the building, Corapi found a .45 Magnum in his face (“It wasn’t the first time I had a gun in my face,” he says).  He faced down the drug dealer and walked out.  His stories are so amazing that they either validate the stuff we read about in the lives of the saints or else they’re completely manufactured (though he has also responded to that criticism by saying, “You can’t make this stuff up!”)

Thus, it was very disturbing to me to read last week that Fr. Corapi has been suspended from his Order and the diocese in which he has faculties (namely, the home diocese of his order, Corpus Christi, TX) because of an allegation by a former employee.  Apparently, some woman who used to work for his media company sent a letter to Fr. Flanagan (founder of the Society of Our Lady of the Trinity) and several bishops (including the bishop of Corpus Christi and the bishop of the diocese where Fr. Corapi actually lives), accusing Corapi of having sex with her and multiple other women, and of being back on drugs.

Following the “zero tolerance” policy that the USCCB put in place in 2002, Corapi was put on administrative leave and suspended of his faculties.

Now, if “the Scandal” had at all been handled properly by the media, the Church, and the rest of us, more emphasis should have been placed upon the real cause of the Scandal:

Namely, ironically, bishops are overly concerned with avoiding scandal.

The problem wasn’t really whether bishops were or were not properly dealing with priests who were sexual predators.  Many bishops did try to deal with such priests in the best of their knowledge and abilities.   As many cases have shown, bishops often went to the civil authorities with no results because the civil statute of limitations had passed, or there was some other legal technicality.  Many bishops, like Cardinal Law, listened to the psychologists who told them the abusers were “cured” and able to go back in ministry.

The real problem was, and is, that bishops try to avoid “scandal” in the generic sense of the word.  Bishops are big on propriety.  That’s one trait the Church, and our culture, has inherited from ancient Rome.  In Rome, everything was about image.  There was no criminal law in Rome.  Roman civil law was voluminous and complex, but criminal law was mostly unwritten and mostly arbitrary.  If you disturbed the peace, you were guilty.  It didn’t matter if you were a mass murderer or a prophet: if you upset the cart, you died.  That’s why they killed Jesus.  He hadn’t done anything “wrong” except cause everyone to be upset.

Well, that’s often how bishops act.  A person is a little to prophetic?  A little too zealous?  Cut them off.  A *priest* is a little too prophetic or a little too zealous?  Pressure him, order him, and find some way to get rid of him if he doesn’t stop. Ship him off to the same mental hospital you just sent the pedophile to.  Someone comes to you with an accusation about a priest?  Well, start by blaming the accuser.  If the accusation is credible, then deal with it in whatever way best keeps things swept under the carpet, whether that’s transferring the priest to another diocese, shipping him off to a mental hospital, or whatever.  Someone’s sued the Church?  Settle.

That’s how bishops do things.  So, before, they erred on the side of inaction and offended justice to keep a sense of outward propriety.  After the Scandal, they came up with a “zero tolerance” policy which also offends justice while maintaining propriety.  Now, priests are guilty until proven innocent.

So a priest is accused of having consentual adulterous relationships with women (whether sex with a priest is always sexual assault is a matter for another day, though apparently the folks at SNAP think it is–but then it’s OK if the priest leaves the Church and “marries” the woman afterwards) and of doing drugs.  He’s accused, in short, of sinning.

There’s no accusation of abuse or molestation.  There’s no allegation of crime (other than whatever crimes may be involved in drug addiction). He’s not accused of being a threat to anyone.

Yet he’s completely removed from ministry because of this one allegation.  His reputation is forever tarnished because of one letter.

It’s been a week now.  If there were multiple women, as his accuser states, it would seem one would have come forward.  If he were on drugs, a simple drug test can prove that (as _House_ has shown us, a blood or urine test may be negative, but drugs can still be present in tissues and hair).

In a statement last week, Fr. Corapi denied the allegations wholeheartedly, and criticized the process of “zero tolerance” as being unjust and violating Canon Law (he is not the only one: both Bishop Robert Vasa and Archbishop Fabian Bruskewitz have taken a lot of heat for publicly opposing this policy and refusing to implement it in their dioceses).   Noting that he holds no anger against those who “pulled the trigger” in being obliged to implement this policy, Corapi asked for prayers for all parties.

This whole news last weekend was very disturbing to me.  The way I see it, every potential solution is bad, from here out, save for a miracle of complete exoneration (for example, Paul VI gave Padre Pio a blanket exoneration for all the many false accusations against him by saying, “I have never been badly disposed towards Padre Pio, but I have been badly informed”):

1.  The woman recants.  Well, as many of us are wont to point out, the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin’s accuser recanted.  Then, when he was dying of AIDS, the accuser said his story was true all along and he only recanted because of pressure from “the Church” (by which he probably means the Lavendar Mafia).  Even if she recants, people will still look askance at Fr. Corapi and presume this is another case of the Church sweeping it under the carpet.

2.  Same will happen if he’s exonerated, unless there’s some kind of incontrovertible evidence produced.

3.  If he *is* guilty, I wouldn’t be bothered by that so much.  I mean, he’s the first to say “Don’t put priests on pedestals.”  He’s had several years of being almost completely out of the public eye due to health problems.  He’s obviously under a lot of stress and pressure.   No, what bothers me is that he denied the allegation so emphatically.  A lot of people have noted how unusual that is.  Most people, even when innocent, hem and haw a bit.  No, what bothers me, if he’s guilty, is that he did deny it, so that’s a lie, especially when lying has been such a topic of conversation in Catholic circles lately.  That Fr. Corapi should fall back into sin wouldn’t invalidate his preaching: if anything, it would reaffirm his preaching all the more, since he preaches about the importance of repentance and holding each other up because we’re all sinners.  But if Fr. Corapi lied so publicly and blatantly, *that* would mean that nothing he says is credible.

And regardless of his guilt or innocence, it’s one thing when the man accused is a Joseph Bernardin or a Rembert Weakland or a John Geoghan.  When it’s a priest who is known for heterodoxy, liberalism, promoting moral licentiousness, opposing traidtion, etc., it’s kind of like, “He’s practicing what he preaches.”  However, when it’s a priest who is known for theological orthodoxy and presumed upright living who gets accused, it really challenges one’s faith. It’s even understandable with a case like Marcel Maciel or with the Fraternity of St. John (they were a group of Traditionalist priests who got their own order in Pennsylvania in the 1990s.  All the priests in the order had been rejected or kicked out by the SSPX because of their  homosexual inclinations, and they had been kicked out by the FSSP after that; they found a sympathetic bishop and swindled him into letting them have their own Society), where it’s not the “it’s OK to break the rules” kind of abuser but the “I’m doing this as a way of punishing you for your sins” kind of abuser.

But when it’s a priest who’s seemingly well-rounded, orthodox and properly compassionate, even fairly saintly, then that hurts.  It also makes one wonder if the saints we’ve heard were “falsely accused” really *were* falsely accused or if that was another case of the Church brushing things under the carpet.  Well, one easy answer there is that bishops don’t like people who rock the boat.  Padre Pio was accused because he rocked the boat, and the accusations were given support by some people in the Church because Padre Pio rocked the boat. John of the Cross rocked the boat, and that’s why he was locked in a church prison for 3 years while they hunted around for an allegation that would stick.  So that’s why we know those people were innocent.

I’ve been a very outspoken supporter of Fr. Christopher Buckner, who was suspended by Bishop Paul Loverde of Arlington in the spring of 2007 for vague allegations of “improper contact” with a parishioner way back in 1994 and has been in some kind of canonical limbo ever since: promises of a thorough investigation by the Diocese and Civil authorities resulted in what my mother in law described as a witch hunt, and apparently no positive evidence was found or else we’d have seen a complete criminal process and/or laicization process by now.

Instead, Fr. Buckner was, at last I heard, doing full time work in a soup kitchen.  Now, I’ve always admitted that I could see Fr. Buckner fitting the Maciel type, and I’ve discussed his case at  length here before, but it’s seeming increasingly unlikely since it’s been four years, and there has been no canonical or criminal action taken against Fr. Buckner.  Fr. Haley, whom Bishop Loverde also tried to silence for “rocking the boat” too much, has been in canonical limbo for almost 10 years (November 1, 2001), with a case that was supposedly sent to the Vatican for review back in 2004.

Thus, what I fear most in Fr. Corapi’s case is that he’ll end up like Fr. Buckner or Fr. Haley.  There are a lot of people who’d like to get rid of him, and this just gives them an excuse.  They can let this “process” linger for years, without any serious investigation, or even if they do a serious investigation, and it turns up nothing, they have no obligation or motivation to acquit him and return him to ministry.

That’s what scares me.

However, Bobbi Ruffatto, a Vice President of Corapi’s Santa Cruz Media has issued a statement that Fr. Corapi’s accuser is a disgruntled ex-employee who assaulted Ruffatto and another employee upon being fired and threatened in front of witnesses to “destroy” the priest.  Ruffatto also noted that, since Santa Cruz Media is a private corporation and not in any way affiliated with the Church or claiming a “Catholic” status, they are not under any obligations to suspend promotion and sale of Fr. Corapi’s videos.

UPDATE 2: Even when I first wrote this post, I was not precluding the option that Fr. Corapi’s accuser is mentally unstable *and* he is guilty of what she’s accusing him of. If the statements by SOLT are correct–and a reasonable person should presume they are–then that sounds like that’s exactly what’s going on.

Thirty Days’ Prayer to Mary

Ever glorious and Blessed Mary,
Queen of Virgins, Mother of mercy,
hope and comfort of dejected and desolate souls,
through that sword of sorrow
which pierced thy Heart whilst thine only Son,
Jesus Christ, our Lord,
suffered death and ignominy on the Cross;
through that filial tenderness
and pure love through that filial tenderness
and pure love He had for thee, grieving in thy grief,
while from His Cross He recommended thee
to the care and protection of His beloved Disciple,
St. John, take pity, I beseech thee,
on my poverty and necessities;
have compassion on my anxieties and cares;
assist and comfort me in all my infirmities and miseries.

Thou art the Mother of mercy,
the sweet consolatrix and refuge
of the needy and the orphan,
of the desolate and the afflicted.

Look, therefore, with pity on a miserable,
forlorn child of Eve,
and hear my prayer;
for since, in just punishment of my sins,
I am encompassed with evils
and oppressed with anguish of spirit,
whither can I flee for more secure shelter,

O amiable Mother of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
than to thy maternal protection?
Attend, therefore, I beseech thee,
with pity and compassion to my humble and earnest
request.

I ask it through the infinite mercy of thy dear Son,
– through that love and condescension wherewith
He embraced our nature, when,
in compliance with the divine Will,
thou gavest thy consent, and Whom,
after the expiration of nine months,
thou didst bring forth
from the chaste enclosure of thy womb,
to visit this world
and bless it with his presence.

I ask it through the sores of His virginal Flesh,
caused by the cords and whips
wherewith He was bound and scourged
when stripped of His seamless garment,
for which His executioners afterwards cast lots.

I ask it through the scoffs and ignominies
by which He was insulted,
the false accusations and unjust sentence
by which He was condemned to death,
and which He bore with heavenly patience.

I ask it through His bitter tears and bloody sweat;
His silence and resignation;
His sadness and grief of heart.

I ask it through the Blood
which trickled from His royal and sacred Head,
when struck with His sceptre of a reed,
and pierced with the crown of thorns.

I ask it through the excruciating torments He suffered,
when His hands and feet were fastened
with huge nails to the tree of the cross.

I ask it through His vehement thirst,
and bitter potion of vinegar and gall.

I ask it through His dereliction on the cross,
when He exclaimed:
“My God! my God! why hast Thou forsaken me?”

I ask it through His mercy extended to the good thief,
and through His recommending His precious Soul and Spirit
into the hands of His Eternal Father before He expired.

I ask it through the Blood mixed with water,
which issued from His sacred Side,
when pierced with a lance,
and whence a flood of grace and mercy has flowed to us.

I ask it through His immaculate life,
bitter Passion,
and ignominious death on the cross,
at which nature itself was thrown into convulsions,
by the bursting of rocks,
rending of the veil of the temple,
the earthquake,
and the darkness of the sun and the moon.

I ask it through His descent into hell,
where He comforted the Saints of the Old Law with His
presence,
and led captivity captive.

I ask it through His glorious victory over death,
when He arose again to life on the third day,
and through the joy
which His appearance for forty days after gave thee,
His blessed Mother,
His Apostles,
and His Disciples,
when, in thine and their presence,
He miraculously ascended into heaven.

I ask it through the grace of the Holy Ghost,
infused into the hearts of the Disciples,
when He descended upon them in the form of fiery tongues,
and which they were inspired with zeal
for the conversion of the world
when they went forth to preach the Gospel.

I ask it through the awful appearance of thy Son,
at the last dreadful day,
when He shall come to judge the living and the dead,
and the world by fire.

I ask it through the compassion He bore thee in this life,
and the ineffable joy thou didst feel
at Thine Assumption into heaven,
where thou art eternally absorbed
in the sweet contemplation of His divine perfections.

O glorious and ever-blessed Virgin,
comfort the heart of thy suppliant,
by obtaining for me the graces and the favours
which I now most earnestly solicit.

(Here mention your requests)

And as I am persuaded my Divine Saviour honour Thee
as His beloved Mother, to whom He can refuse nothing,
so let me speedily experience
the efficacy of thy powerful intercession,
according to the tenderness of thy maternal affection,
and His filial,
loving Heart,
who mercifully grants the requests and complies
with the desires of those that love and fear Him.

Wherefore, O Most Blessed Virgin,
beside the object of my present petition,
and whatever else I may stand in need of,
obtain for me also of thy dear Son,
our Lord and our God,
a lively faith,
firm hope,
perfect charity,
the contrition of heart,
unfeigned tears of compunction,
sincere confession,
just satisfaction,
abstinence from sin,
love of God and of my neighbour,
contempt of the world,
patience to suffer affronts and ignominies,
nay, even, if necessary,
an opprobrious death itself,
for the love of thy Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Obtain likewise for me,

O Holy Mother of God,
perseverance in good works,
performance of good resolutions,
mortification of self-will,
a pious conversation through life,
and at my last moment,
strong and sincere repentance
accompanied by such a lively
and attentive presence of mind,
as may enable me to receive
the last Sacraments of the Church worthily,
and to die in thy friendship and favour.

Lastly, obtain, I beseech Thee,
for the souls of my parents,
brethren, relatives,
and benefactors both living and dead,
life everlasting.

Amen.