Category Archives: Catholicism

Manliness and a Perfect Funeral

http://jenniferfitz.com/manliness-and-a-perfect-funeral/

A beautiful tribute to my beloved John.

grayscale photo of wheelchair

Photo by Patrick De Boeck on Pexels.com

Matthew 23

We learned of the allegations against Fr. Flores at our local Latin rite parish, at the end of Mass, and we were just gobsmacked in disgust and bewilderment.  Last week, before I learned of this, I was in a discussion about priests and them not understanding women and children and family life, thinking of a particular homily Fr. Flores said that showed zero understanding of the disabled or families with children, and then this matter came to light.  SIGH.  Finding myself, yet again, trying to explain these situations that I am tired of explaining.
I have been reassured that seminaries are vetting such matters so much better when I asked how are parents supposed to trust our children at convents and seminaries, thinking of the orgies my uncle witnessed at Spring Hill College in the 1960s and he withdrew asap…this priest is a young priest…what are we supposed to do?  This is the fourth? priest in 4 parishes who has engaged in such behavior at parishes we have attended in the last 18 years–and they were all younger priests. The formation problems have not been resolved–apparently, one of the priests at his seminary agrees there needs to be major reform. The seminaries are NOT doing their jobs–but the question is– can they?!  How am I supposed to explain, yet again, to my children and try to comprehend this evil!
This is why we need married or widowers as priests you know, like the original 11. Old enough to have figured yourself out, have a wife to guide and support you in the realm of women and children, and old enough to stand up to sin when you see it. Old enough to have the wisdom the young need, to counsel through the ins and outs of life. The Rock the Church was built on was St. Peter, a married (possibly widower, but St. Clement said married, and either way, he had a wife!) fisherman, accustomed to constant hard work and intimately aware of the family life and knew how to preach on it, with the wisdom of his wife and children and his mother-in-law. That’s the Rock.
Also, he was directly counseled by Our Lady: the daughter, the virgin, the cousin, the wife, the mother, the widow–the spectrum of woman’s experience, including as well the wives of the apostles (why are they denied?) and other female relatives and friends. Are pastors and bishops and the Pope listening to women representing the fullness of the female experience and directly referencing their voices when they consider the implementation of policies, disciplines, and doctrine? (Hint: largely, NO.)
I think women being priests is as ridiculous as men being nuns, but I do think it should be a requirement for such visible counsel, as it is directly mirroring what the Church had, from the beginning–the Church is the Bride of Christ, not the Groom. And from the Beginning, before the Fall even, God said it was NOT good for the man to be alone.  If a priest is truly a celibate, he should be required to have his mother (and father) live with him in the rectory or another female relative and her family. You know, like Jesus did? If He chose to need it, why do we think priests, who are supposed to act in the person of Christ, do not?
And, yes, of course, I am praying for everyone involved–St. Mary’s pastor Father Wilson was breaking down in tears and shaking horribly when he bravely told us from the pulpit–versus NEVER telling us like in other parishes. Pray for him and for all the priests who are having to deal with this. He has consistently encouraged everyone to call the police right away if they have been victims of abuse and has signs up everywhere with that information and with the phone numbers–his leadership should be modeled by anyone who runs any organization with children.
My late husband wrote this 8 years ago with similar thoughts.
adult alone anxious black and white

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

ecumenism v. orthodoxy

C. S. Lewis observes of ecumenism, even in his day, that those who speak most of being “ecumenical” are more likely to fight, while those who speak of being orthodox relative to their specific denominations are more likely to actually find agreement with one another and discuss things.  (John snippet)

“And you, yourself, a sword shall pierce”–the role of the Presbytera, and a case for married priests

The Church needs more married priests, but not for the reason people think.
One of the reasons the Western Church moved to mandatory celibacy was that it simplified things.
It has always been the case that ordination is an impediment to marriage. Once a man is ordained a deacon, he becomes a spiritual father to his community (in the East, deacons are called “Father,” as well).  Except for very rare extenuating circumstances, if a married, ordained man is widowed, he is not permitted to remarry.  Even while his wife lives, a married priest and his wife are expected *at least* to abstain from marital relations before celebrating the Liturgy (incidentally, fasting from sexual relations was part of the traditional fasting rules for laity, as well), often, and always in the Roman sui iuris church, married priests are required, or choose, to practice perpetual marital continence.
In the east, the wife of a deacon is called a “deaconess,” and the wife of a priest is called the “priestess” (or sometimes “Sister” or “Mother”).  Usually in Engish, the original language of the autocephalic church is used (such as “diakona” or “presbytera” in Greek).  The wife participates in her husband’s ministry (1 Cor 9:5).
As his wife, she is his confidante and supporter.  As the traditional observance of Sunday includes a community gathering after Divine Liturgy, the wife of the priest is to be the hostess of that gathering, mirroring her husband’s role in the liturgy.

(unfinished piece by John)

Ornan’s Threshing Floor and the Baptism of the Lord

Ornan the Jebusite offers his threshing room floor for sacrifice

Ornan the Jebusite offers David his threshing room floor for the sacrifice

In Acts 2, the early Church shared everything, even though they were being taxed by the pagan government.  In Second Kings and First Chronicles , David and his people suffered horribly because he took a census, described as “A satan–rose up against Israel, and he incited David to take a census of Israel.” In other words, the devil cajoled David such that trusted his own wisdom over that of God’s and doubted His Providence.  Given 3 choices, he chose to be punished by God for 3 days until he made the atonement.  Because of the generosity of a stranger, Ornan the Jebusite, who gave him the land, including his threshing room, and freely offered to pay the entire atonement, at the very spot that would house the Temple in Jerusalem, David and his sins for presuming God had not granted enough for the people, were atoned.  Interestingly, David turned down Ornan’s offer for it to be free, wanting to pay from his own stores.

Consider Matthew 3: 7-12:

7 But when John saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his place of baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit worthy of repentance. 9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax lies ready at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

11 I baptize you with water for repentance, but after me will come One more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in His hand to clear His threshing floor and to gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Jesus came when a “census of the whole world” was being done by the secular, pagan government and offered His Life, once and for all, in atonement for our sins and for the whole world, essentially paying the price for our taking a census, of saying, no God, there isn’t enough, we can’t provide for all, which is blasphemy, as He does indeed provide for all. That pride and greed is essentially where all the other sins come from.

It’s Caesar we worship when we refuse to help each other, saying it’s the government’s job or those in need should have planned better (taken a census) instead of our very duty as followers of Christ is to trust Him and do whatever *He* tells us. Read Matthew 25 for those responsibilities. No, I am not even talking about immigration matters, though that certainly is part of it. Asking myself how many times I have “taken a census” to avoid helping someone or put someone down, period, is a good examination of conscience.

Published on John’s Facebook page on October 6, 2018

Went to Confession today. Didn’t want to be a “10 minute Confession,” so I prayed a long time about it–including my post about the Saints last night–and I talked about my existential doubt/Dark Night, my doubt of the Church, and rash actions committed because I was really angry at God and didn’t realize it. Father said to pray the Glorious mysteries and focus on the third. Didn’t even say that Penance till later this evening, but when I came out of Confession, I sat down, rejoined the people saying the Sorrowful Mysteries in church, and felt a deep sense of God’s Presence to a level I haven’t felt in a long time, and didn’t think I’d ever feel again now that I ‘m in the last stages of the Dark Night. I felt so overwhelmed by JOY, by LOVE, by PEACE, that I practically felt like a Charismatic. I thought of Joy Davidman Lewis’s famous description of her conversion:
“All my defenses—the walls of arrogance and cocksureness and self-love behind which I hid from God—went down momentarily. And God came in.”

selective focus photo of brown and silver rosary

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Image

Our Lady as Widow

It was my consolation from God on the night my husband died, to realize that of all the titles I had heard of Our Lady, widow was not one of them, but now I know intimately the pain she must have felt at St. Joseph’s death. I suddenly realized every time Jesus refers to a widow and/or an orphan, He refers to His Mother and Himself.   I found this article very helpful:

“The experience of Mary and her times of loneliness that arose from the circumstances of her life as the mother of Jesus is a reminder that Mary’s life was real and truly human.

She knew what it meant to be isolated, to fear, to experience terrible anxiety, loneliness, and hurt. For all her sinlessness, Mary’s life was filled with the faith-demanding events just mentioned. There likely were many more.”

happydeath