Sed Contra


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Saturday, November 30, 2002

Tonight we lit the first purple candle above the wreath on the dining room table. The wreath arrived from the woods yesterday and now the whole dining room smells of evergreens and moist earth. Advent, the season of expectation and hope and preparation arrived tonight...and this year there is a new little girl, my goddaughter, to help share the season so we are even more glad than usual.

I thought I would post up some stuff I got on Advent from Our Sunday Visitor's Revised Catholic Encyclopedia:

Advent comes from the Latin term used in a secular context to denote the coming or arrival of the emperor, this four-week liturgical season inaugurates the entire liturgical year. The General Norms for the Liturgical Year and Calendar, issued by the Holy See in March 1969 as a result of the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council, offers this description of the season: “Advent has a twofold character: as a season to prepare us for Christmas when Christ’s first coming to us is remembered; as a season when that remembrance directs the mind and heart to await Christ’s Second Coming at the end of time. Advent is thus a period for devout and joyful expectation.”

There is evidence from the mid-fourth century on concerning some period of preparation for the Christmas-Epiphany celebration. Length and emphasis varied from place to place. Some regions kept a relatively long Advent (from St. Martin’s feast in mid-November); others, a rather brief one. In Rome the season evolved to a four-week preparation whose focus was on the joyful celebration of the Lord’s incarnation. In Gaul there was a longer, heavily penitential season emphasizing the Lord’s glorious advent at the end of time as Lord of history and judge of the universe.

Roman practice from the twelfth century, codified by Trent and enhanced by the greatly enriched lectionary of Vatican Council II, combines these different emphases. The violet vestments (with rose as an option on the third or “Gaudete” Sunday) and the preaching of John the Baptist bespeak the penitential aspect which invites the people to reform. The First Sunday of Advent is clearly centered on the Lord’s Second Coming, and the Preface used until December 16 emphasizes this theme. The Gloria is omitted, as during Lent, but for a somewhat different reason, as the official commentary on the revised Calendar notes: “So that on Christmas night the song of the angels may ring out anew in all its freshness.” On the other hand, there is a clear note of joyful expectation: The Alleluia is retained before the Gospel and the Te Deum in the Liturgy of the Hours. There has been no mandatory Advent fast since the 1917 Code of Canon Law. During this first period of Advent, the readings from the prophet Isaiah continually speak of God’s visitation, consolation and redemption of His people, while the corresponding Gospel selections portray Christ as the fulfillment of the prophetic promises.

From December 17 on, there is a notable shift in emphasis as the events immediately preceding the Lord’s birth are presented in the Gospel readings (Mt 1 and Lk 1), while the first readings proclaim the more important messianic prophecies. At Evening Prayer throughout this second phase of Advent, the Great “O” Antiphons are sung: a skillful and poetic compilation of messianic themes set to melodies of incomparable beauty.

In addition to the prophet Isaiah, the liturgical “guides” for this season are John the Baptist (who makes his appearance in the lectionary midway through the Second Week of Advent) and, as one might expect, the Blessed Virgin Mary (who figures prominently in the final week of the season).

Questioning the concept of "sexual orientation"
The following was written by one of my correspondents. I have refrained from attaching his name to it out of consideration for his privacy. But I found in his witness to his journey, and the questions they have brought him, a profound insight on truth - DCM.

For a long time I accepted the notion of sexual orientation. The beginning of the end for me was when I started surfing the net and became aware of the vast range of perversions that are out there. What about sado/masochism? Is that a sexual orientation? What about foot fetishes? Are they sexual orientations? Are they genetic? Can you imagine a foot fetishist proclaiming "This is how God made me, and how he wants me to express love?" Can you imagine them founding a church for themselves? What is the difference between a sexual orientation and a fetish? I have never seen that issue addressed, because I don't think its possible to make a distinction.

It started to dawn on me that the whole notion of sexual orientation was just a rhetorical manoever,a strategem for legitimating homosexual behavior, and that once it had done its work, the door was open for every possible form of "variation." There is no way to draw the line. Once you separate the affective and the reproductive ends of sex, all bets are off, everything is permitted. You end up with a kind of free floating eroticism that can attach itself to anything. I once met a man online (a professor at a major university no less) who told me his most satisfying sexual experiences occurred while beating young men. And he had met hundreds of young men over the years who wanted to be beaten. At some point, even genital intimacy becomes optional. It is just one boring, interminable pursuit of a sexual high. Human beings are reduced to serving as means to that end. Sacrifice the reproductive purposes of sex, and you end up scrapping the unitive as well (unless you regard beating and shoe-licking as loving acts).

I had to ask myself, "Am I prepared to accept this?" Fortunately, the answer was no. It was just a matter of time before I had no choice but to admit that the Church's teaching was the only alternative to total social and sexual insanity. But now I have to deal with the spiritual affects of believing a lie for twenty years, and that is the tough part.

Keep the Faith

Bishop refuses to transfer priest who has acted out with adults
After outcry from concerned Catholics, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has rethought plans to assign a priest who has a history of being arrested for homosexual conduct with adults to a Hartford church.Had his transfer to St. Kilian parish gone through, it would have marked the third time Father Thomas Walker was sent into a situation where Catholics who described themselves and their parish as traditional or orthodox had challenged the closing of their parish. Former Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland had approved the first two assignments.

The priest's latest reassignment would have occurred under the watch of newly installed Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, who is more traditional in many devotional and theological matters than the liberal Weakland was. No announcement was made at St. Kilian. The announcement in Nativity's bulletin said simply that Walker, Nativity's associate pastor, would be transferred on Jan. 12 to St. Kilian because St. Kilian's pastor was going on a six-month sabbatical.

Milwaukee County Circuit Court records show that Walker, 57, pleaded no contest in February 2000 to soliciting a male undercover police officer for a sex act and paid $1,007 in fines and court costs. The offense occurred Nov. 8, 1999, outside 215 W. Oregon St. Walker also paid a $265 forfeiture of a disorderly conduct citation he received on June 23, 1989 - barely one month after his ordination - for his actions in the Underwood Parkway in Wauwatosa, according to Wauwatosa police. A community newspaper at the time reported that the offense was for indecent activity. Police periodically have cracked down on homosexual solicitation and related activity in the parkway. Walker could not be reached for comment Friday.

I admit I am of two minds about this story. First, kudos to bishop Dolan who decided not to simply shuffle another priest with a troubled history of sexual sin to yet another parish. I agree completely that repentence and conversion and turning are Christ are definitely possible - and should even be expected. But it is too much I think to assume they have taken place. If Father Walker is finally placed in another parish, and I pray he will experience the conversion of heart and habits that will allow this, the archdiocese needs to acknowledge that he does so as a new man and, should he still act out, probably find him him a ministry other than that of parish priest.
Just big toddlers
One of the ways God teaches us a lot of the time, if we are open, can be through our relationships with kids, both our own if we are blessed enough to have them, or others if we are blessed to have other children in our lives. Lately I have been reflecting a bit on what one of the kids I know has been teaching me about pride and humility.

There can be a lot of pride in me sometimes, like I suspect there can be in all of us. Almost all of us like think of ourselves as "adults" and contrast that with being children. No one likes to think of themselves as little more than adult toddlers, but in one sense I suspect that, in God's eyes, that is what we tend to be - that the only folks who genuinely get to "adult" (or, in the context of the Velveteen Rabbit "real") are the Saints (both those the Church recognizes and those only God knows).

My own goddaughter, just past one year old, has just started trying the walking thing and she falls on her butt a good deal. In much the same way I, and maybe a lot of others folks, do in the spiritual life as well. Watching her fall and lose some patience with herself (she knows she can do this if she gets her hips under her like they need to be) and yet watching her get up again and again, trying, is a great education in perseverance, hope and expectation as she gradually learns the balance and skills she needs to walk.

Watching her interact with her parents, my friends, at these times also educates me. What sort of parents would my friends be if they said, "well, that's it kid, you tried 500 times to walk and you can't so I guess you are no kid of mine! We won't have any non-walkers in this family!" Well, if human parents, who are fallen, can treat their kids rightly, how much more rightly will God treat us if we but call out to Him? Don't you think God, just like my friends, delights every single time we rise and try again. Just in rising..just in letting Him pick us up, we show Him how much we love Him.

I guess my point is that we all have things in our lives, sins, that we wish weren't there and would love to see go away. From what I have read about the relative emptiness of confessionals around the country, maybe a lot of us have just given up confessing those sins and resolving to eliminate them. But just as God means for my goddaughter to one day walk and not crawl, so too does He mean for me (and all his other kids) to reach spiritual maturity and adulthood - and would delight in helping us as well!

Friday, November 29, 2002

Roman Catholic Faithful protests my bishop
According to a press release in my inbox this morning, the group Roman Catholic Faithful plans to protest Arlington Bishop Loverde's handling of the Father Haley mess:

Stephen G. Brady, president of the Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc., (RCF) headquartered in Petersburg, IL, announced that RCF and its supporters would be conducting a public demonstration at the offices of the Arlington Catholic Chancery offices located at 200 N. Glebe Rd. The protest is scheduled to begin Monday, December 2, at 9:45 a.m. The action is being taken to show support for Fr. James Haley, who alleges he is being retaliated against by his bishop, Paul S. Loverde, for providing evidence that three priests in separate incidents stole church collections, impregnated a married parishioner and collected homosexual pornography.

Now I have to say that gut inclination is to attend. Sometimes grievous wrongs need to be addressed at the street level in order to help spur the process toward righting them. And I think it worth noting, as I have before, that while Father Haley might have violated some of the straying priests' privacy when he found out what they were up to, the fact is that they were doing those things and that the wrongdoing he discovered was true. I guess I can understand if +Loverde might have chosen not to single out Father Haley for praise, lest he start an avalanche of priests spying on one another, but I am not sure Father Haley's punishment makes any sense either.

So will I go? I don't know....One problem is that I am working on Monday. But the deeper problem is that I am not sure a protest will necessarily help. I mean if Bishop Loverde had a pattern of ignoring priestly abuse and shutting up priests who confided such wrongdoing, maybe a protest would be a appropriate. But as far as I know this is one case and I am not sure that I know enough of the whole story to form an opinion yet. For sure, I have Father Haley's side of the story. But what about the Bishop's? Also, I am a little curious about why a group from the Midwest finds it necessary to protest something in Arlington, particularly as this has not been shown to be a pattern - at least not yet. Maybe if there were a bunch of Arlington Catholics who needed help in mounting a demonstration, maybe, but that does not sound like what this is. Anyone with more information about the situation is free to enlighten me.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Another silly Archbishop
Not a Roman Catholic this time, an Anglican.

LONDON, Nov 25, 02 ( - The new Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, says there is a case for "acknowledging faithful same-sex relationships." In a BBC documentary, "An Archbishop Like This," to be broadcast next Sunday, Archbishop Williams says the Bible doesn't forbid all homosexual activity. He says, "If the Bible is very clear-- as I think it is-- that a heterosexual indulging in homosexual activity for the sake of variety and gratification is not following the will of God, does that automatically say that that is the only sort of homosexual activity there could ever be?" He continues, "What about those people who-- with prayer and thought and seriousness and adulthood-- say 'I've never known anything different'? What are we to say to them?"
The Archbishop said he didn't want to talk about gay marriage as that "isn't appropriate language" but he said he could "see a case for acknowledging faithful same-sex relationships."

Well, one the thing the Body of Christ should not say is that on account of your temptations you are somehow a different order of creation, which is what I infer from the Archbishop's comments. I think we need to be clear. There are no "homosexuals". There are men and women, created by God with the bodies of men and women, with all that implies, who are attracted, for whatever reasons we don't understand entirely (though we gain more understanding every year) to their own sex. Yielding to those attractions and temptations makes them participants in a behavior, it does not make them entirely different creatures for whom the behavior should be evaluated in a different moral light. We need a major revival of Christian anthropology, and the Archbishop probably should take the first seat in class.

Although, to be fair, this line of thinking has been around since at least when I was a gay activist, seventeen years (or so) ago. Most often going back to St. Paul's writing in the first chapter of his letter to the Christians in Rome, interested party exegetes interpret Paul as condemning same sex sexual relations among men and women who would not otherwise be inclined to pursue them. Thus, the argument flows, had Paul known there were some who were "homosexual" in orientation, he might not have condemned their sexual expression so readily. Or, he might have after all, as writes Thomas Schmidt in Straight and Narrow: Compassion and Clarity in the Homosexual Debate (Intervarsity Press, 1995).

Paul's profound analysis of the human condition in Romans 1 finds in homosexuality an example of a sexual sin that falsifies our identity as sexual beings, just as idolatry falsifies our identity as created beings. Homosexual behavior is "revolting" not because heterosexuals find it so - they have their own dirt to deal with (2:22) - but because it epitomizes in sexual terms the revolt against God. It is sinful because it violates the plan of God, present from creation, for the union of male and female in marriage.

In my own case what I found among the weakest points of the "gee if Paul only knew" argument is that it pretty much ignores the witness of the body and, particularly since I was the one trying to be convinced, my body. Essentially, I don't think its an accident that I am a guy and that, as a man, I have the body and bodily abilities and features that I do. I think my body has purposes and, just because the effects of the Fall and circumstances might prevent the exercise of those reproductive purposes, that doesn't mean those purposes were not designed or intended from the beginning. What it comes down to is that I don't believe that, just because I experience a degree of Same Sex Attraction, that I a different order of creation from a man who does not. I think I have for more in common with him than not, and I think it a tad demeaning to suggest that my actions, sexual or otherwise, need to be studied in a different moral light.

Die Another Day can Wait Another Day
Well, I went to see the newest James Bond flick, Die Another Day, recently and I have to confess it left me less than excited, and I have been trying to figure out why. It's not that I am not, or at least have not been, a fan of the genre. I have enjoyed other Bond films in the past and have enjoyed this year the other entries into the field, XXX and The Transporter. But DAD just didn't have it, I didn't think.

A buddy of mine who also found the film lacking thought it might be because this is the first Bond film where we see him get caught, and imprisoned, and abused. "Part of the appeal of Bond is that he is superhuman," my buddy complained. "He is never supposed to get caught, at least not in the sense of caught so he cannot escape."

Maybe. I am sort of under the impression that maybe the character is just old. No, I am not suggesting the actor(s) are too old, but that the character is too old. James Bond is a character from another time and place, a time when there was a cold war and very easily defined and understood enemies and battlefields were defined by Iron Curtains, Treaty Organizations and Pacts. Bond just hasn't seemed to have been updated very well.

I mean take for example the bad guys in this film. It's axiomatic to note that Bad Guys are tougher to come by for movies since we are buddy buddy with Moscow and the former Eastern Bloc countries are clamoring to get into NATO. But still, the North Koreans as bad guys? Another buddy with whom I saw the picture leaned over to me and whispered, "they look too well-fed to be North Koreans." Indeed. But the spirit of cinema detente still dominates, the bad guys cannot be just run-of-the-mill North Koreans. But renegade, patricidal, North Koreans. One such and a traitor to Bond's organization must wear the black hats for the film and its a stretch to say the least.

Actually, it is more interesting to note who were NOT the bad guys. I mean call me jingoistic, but may I suggest that if the movie had cast Bond and company against a renegade mid-east sheik or two who were intent on blowing up things in the West and killing a whole lot of people, that it might do a whole lot better at the box office. But then, that scenario might have been just a tad too realistic for the movies.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Mary Stachowicz contra views
Apparently, the death of Mary Stachowicz, a 51 year old Chicago woman who was murdered after she dared share her opinion that homosexual sex was wrong with 19 year old janitor of the funeral parlor where she volunteered, has not quite got everyone's empathy. One James Wagner in the November 20th entry of his blog had this to note:

The woman who did such great evil is dead, but unfortunately the evil and the church and the society which creates it is not, and it will continue to destroy Nicholas Gutierrez and many others. I shake, safely sitting here at home, fully understanding, and fully familiar with, the horrible impact her words must have had for a man already so terribly damaged by his society, and his own mother.

His partner in sodomy only asked how he could contribute to the alleged murderer's defense fund.

There is abroad in some corners the absurd notion that if only people could be made to shut up about sodomy being wrong then it would, somehow, become right. We see this up in Canada where a piece of legislation has been introduced that would make it a crime to even identify sodomy as wrong (the opposition party is fighting it).

But the fact is that no matter how many people are convinced or forced to shut up about sodomy being wrong, it will remain wrong. The "wrongness" if you will of all sorts of different things remain written on the human heart and cannot be expunged by means of ideology even from the practitioners of those things themselves. Have you ever wondered, for example, why it was in the arguably two U.S. cities most friendly to actively homosexual men, New York and San Francisco, and the really pervasive bathhouse and S+M culture and bars appeared? There is a an extremely poignant line from a play whose name I am blanking out in which the protagonist wanders into a back room in a bar and begins to have someone try to have sex with him. "No, you don't understand," he cries, "I can't DO that."

So the sad thing is that if the alleged murderer, Nicholas Gutierrez, killed Mary Stachowicz in an attempt to quiet his own misgiving about his sexual life, there is every reason to believe he failed to do so. One thousand bishops, or theologians, or politicians, or commentators could meet every day for one thousand years to declare solemnly each day that sodomy is ok, and that would not make it so.

One note, contrary to some folks who are apparently eager see Gutierrez, if he is guilty, executed for his crime, I am not one of them. There is already one person dead in this situation and I cannot see the usefullness of there being another one. Also, I going to start praying that heaven favor Gutierrez with the grace of repentence for both killing Mary Stachowicz and any sexual acting out he might have done.
Lest anyone retain the notion that Courage only gets criticism from the Left
Courage is an international ministry of support that helps men and women living with same sex attraction to live chaste lives and deepen their discipleship to Christ. Readers familiar with my book Beyond Gay will be somewhat familiar with the group, which is growing more widely known every day. Apparently, it needs to become even more widely known.

A sympathetic reader has forwarded me an email, from a correspondent in Tampa, Florida, critical of Courage that reads, in part:

Courage purports to be an organization that encourages homosexuals to live according to the Lord's teachings. What it really
does is give homosexuals a forum to air their sick perversion in the name of "recovery." In many cases these groups degenerate into "dating pools." Homosexuals tend to destroy everything when let into any kind of organization. Look at the priesthood.
The Church did not see the need for such organizations before the advent of Vatican II. That is because there was no need and there is still no need. There are confessionals where homosexuals may, if they must, describe in salacious detail how they spend their evenings. At least then they may receive the type of rebuke they deserve instead of some New Age group hug ministered by a Voice of the Faithful reject. I pray that you will have the presence of mind to disavow any relationship you may have cultivated with Courage or its participants.

I am responding to this publicly because, since the author's email was not forwarded, I cannot respond privately but I shant write anything here that I would not have written privately.

First of all, Courage really is a group that seeks to help men and women living with SSA to grow in Christ and live chastely in accord with the teachings of the Church. The Goals of Courage, which were written by Courage's very first lay members in the early 1980's, are public. They are:

1. To live chaste lives in accordance with the Roman Catholic Church's teachings on homosexuality.
2. To dedicate one's life to Christ though service to others, spiritual reading, prayer, meditation, individual spiritual direction, frequent attendence at Mass and the frequent reception of he sacraments of penance and the Holy Eucharist.
3. To foster a spirit of fellowship in which all my share thoughts and experiences, and so ensure that no one will have to face the problems of homosexuality alone.
4. To be mindful of the truth that chaste friendships are not only possible, but necessary in a celibate Christian life and in doing so provide encouragement to one another in forming and sustaining them.
5. To live lives that may serve as good examples to others.

Now, I don't know where the writer from Tampa was forming his impression of the organization, but these Goals are really what Courage is all about. Honest. I have never known a Courage group to have ever become anything remotely like a "dating pool," just as I have never known anyone who has felt the need to deliver any "salacious" details of their sins, sexual or otherwise, into a confessional. The vast majority of Courage groups are chaplained by a priest faithful to the magesterium and a solid Catholic. For many Courage members, this priest is also their confessor, although many others enter into the sacrament with their spiritual directors. None of them are "Voice of the Faithful" rejects, whatever that means.

Anyway, for what it's worth.

Sunday, November 24, 2002

Another Adoration Chapel....
This one in Long Beach, Mississippi, bolding mine:

If you drive by St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Long Beach, you'll notice a few additions. Sunday, Bishop Rodi made some special dedications and blessings at the church. "I kind of feel like the Lord has given me his Eucharist heart. I've wanted this for a long time," parishoner Sharron Rowe said.

Bishop Rodi celebrated the eleven thirty mass Sunday morning to a standing room only crowd at the church. After mass Bishop Rodi, stood under the crucifix in the new chapel, and used holy water to bless the chapel, as a place of penance, a reminder of our baptism, and a symbol of reconciliation. "Through our adoration of your son present in the Eucharist lead us with a closer union with the mystery of redemption," Rodi said.

"In the chapel the presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, and we have a view of the ocean, and a view of nature, so god is present I hope in so many forms," St. Thomas pastor Fr. Louis Lohan said.

The perpetual presence of the Eucharist in the chapel's tabernacle requires that someone by watching over it. More than 500 parish members have signed up to pray one hour each week, watching over the chapel. "It's going to be open twenty four hours, seven days a week where people can come in, meditate and pray," Lohan said.

And it's not just for church members, but everyone in the community. "We live in such a busy noisy society that it's going to be a real blessing, 24 hours a day we have a room of prayer where we can come and just be with Jesus," Rodi said.

"We plan to have somebody in there all the time, in prayer, and I think it's a wonderful thing for our community that somebody will be praying constantly, but it is open, open to everybody," Lohan said.

And along with the new chapel St. Thomas also has a new 12 thousand foot parish life center, and a place among the other nine historical landmarks in the city of longbeach.

Cost for the new chapel and life center was $1.8 million. Church leaders say the support from the parish has been outstanding, and they only owe the bank about $200,000.

Thank you, Father
The Web site _ _ was launched three months ago. Since then, it has drawn more than 25,000 visitors worldwide, ranging from second-graders at a Louisville parochial school to people from Chicago, Los Angeles, Poland, Tanzania and the Philippines.

Nearly 2,500 messages have been posted since August, with people thanking individual priests for teaching their children, taking on tough urban assignments or visiting the sick at all hours of the day.

"We honestly did not know what to expect," said Joe Lilly, one of the site's founders. "We set it up as a nice little thank-you to priests in the Archdiocese of Louisville. We had no clue it would gain worldwide attention."

To their credit, they do say that the best way to thank a priest who had touched your life in a meaningful way is by dropping a card or telling him in person. But, for those who want to use that seems to have gotten some folks' attention. Actually, I wonder if this might be as popular as it is because some (many?) people don't feel comfortable telling a priest how much their ministry has meant to them?
Praying in the Prescence of Our Lord With Dorothy Day
David Scott, my former editor at Our Sunday Visitor and OSV Press itself have done the Body of Christ a great kindness by drawing together some of the writing of Dorothy Day, one of the founders of the Catholic Worker Movement and a woman Father Benedict Groeschel has called "a devout gadfly" and putting them into a little book suitable for use in an adoration chapel or really anywhere that one happens to be. The book is called Praying in the Presence of Our Lord With Dorothy Day.

As I think I might have written previously, I love Dorothy Day not because I necessarily think that she had all the answers to the different levels of dilemma that bedevil the Church or society at large. Nor is my affection for her rooted in having taken up wearing sandals or marching on picket lines. Rather I love Day for many of the same reasons I love Mother Teresa; they allowed their experience of Christ to lead them out into world and lives of people around them. For neither Dorothy Day nor Mother Teresa was the fact of Christ, His Life, His death on the Cross, His resurrection, His presence among us hidden beneath the veil of consecrated bread and wine, something meant for their lives or families or communities alone. They accepted the charge of Christ to be among a world that needed Him, and needs Him still, and I find that attitude splendid, as bracing as some of the mornings we have been having lately in Arlington, Virginia.

Anyway, I have been spending a little time each night with Day's writing in the little book and pondering the way Day baffles the current polarity in which so much of the Church in America finds itself. She believed strongly in the notion of social action based on faith, yet recognized that action had to be deeply rooted in experience gained of Christ in prayer. She wrote eloquently of the beauty of the Mass and the teachings of the Church, and yet would not let that fear that beauty might be somehow disrupted stop her from inviting the homeless (or "bums" as they used to be called) in for prayer or Mass and coffee afterward. For neither Day nor Mother Teresa was there orthodoxy without action, nor action without orthodoxy.

Anyway, given that November is the month of the Saints, to which we are all called, I thought it might be edifying to share some of what Scott has collected from her writing on the Saints:

On the Scene in All Bad Times: I always like to read about the saints. In all bad times of luxury and corruption in the Church, there was always a St. Francis, a St. Anthony, a St. Benedict, a Vincent de Paul, a Teresa, and a Therese on the scene to enliven history. - June 1974.

'Cranks' and "Trouble Makers': We all talk about the saints and are thrilled by the idea of sanctity, but the question is, how would we react to a St. Francis, a St. Benedict Joseph Labre, a Cure de Ars. Human respect is one of the greatest stumbling blocks. I repeat: we would not recognize the saint if we met him the street corner today. He would be 'the crank,' 'the unbalanced,' 'the trouble maker' etc.

How Much Has God Given You?: St. Augustine had some good advice about voluntary poverty which enables us all to do the works of mercy. "Find out how much God has given you, and from it take what you need; the remainder which you do not require is needed by others." The superfluities of rich are necessities of the poor. Those that retain what is superfluous possess the goods of others.

Everyone is Child and Lover: This blindness of love, this folly of love - this seeking Christ in others, everywhere, and not seeing the ugly, the obvious, the dirty, the sinful - this means we do not see the faults of others, only our own. We see only Christ in them. We have eyes only for our beloved, ears for His voice.

This is what caused the saints to go to...extremes... The Saints rose above the natural, the human, and became supernatural and superhuman in their love. Nothing was difficult to them, all was clear, shining and beautiful on the pathway of love.

What mother ever considers the ugliness of cleaning up after her baby or sick child or husband? To the saints everyone is child and lover. Everyone is Christ
. - June 1944.
Dear Faithful readers, sorely abused as you have been!
First of all, there is no excuse for my not having posted anything in well over a month. I have not meant to neglect the site and have only done so because I have been overwhelmed by a number of things going on in my own life. However, I am still interested in keeping it going and maybe sharpening its focus a bit. I will be posting more up today and tommorrow and thank you for your patience and greater faithfulness as readers than I have had as the blogger.

David Morrison