A Blessed and Merry Christmas to All

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Remembering all the readers of this blog at the altar.  We celebrated Mass St. Mary Major’s today, in which Basilica is kept the relic of the crib of Bethlehem.  God bless you all. and Merry Christmas!

O Immaculata, what were your thoughts when for the first time you placed the Divine Infant on his bed of straw? What feelings inundated your heart while you wrapped him in swaddling clothes, held him to your heart, and nursed him at your breast?

You knew very well who the Child was, because the prophets had spoken of him, and you understood them better than all the Pharisees and the learned Scripture scholars. The Holy Spirit had given to you infinitely more enlightenment than to all the other souls together. Besides, how many of the mysteries of Jesus were revealed only and exclusively to your immaculate soul by the Divine Spirit that lived and operated in you!

Already, at the moment of the Annunciation, the Most Holy Trinity, through the ministry of an angel, had presented to you, in all its clarity, its plan of redemption, and had awaited your response. At that moment you knew perfectly to whom your consent was being given and whose Mother you were to be!

And there he was before you, in his newborn fragility.

What feelings of humility and love, and of gratitude must have filled your heart… while you marveled at the humility, the love, and gratitude that God incarnate showed you.

I beg you to fill my heart too with your humility, your love, and your gratitude.

 

—St. Maximilian Kolbe

The Mind of the Immaculate

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The Immaculate is a living ideal, a pattern of life to be replicated by our external comportment, and more importantly, by our interior lives. She lives enthroned, not merely in paradise, but in the hearts and minds of those who truly love Her. In this way She is alive and active in and through us, influencing directly the choices we make as a Mother who loves and nurtures us. This we must remember every time we think of Her. Here we will find true enlightenment and our feet will be led into the way of peace (Luke 1:79) to “the summits of our desired holiness,” to peaceful rest and blissful union with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But to achieve this our thought of Her must be prayerful and profound. This is only made possible by humble meditation and prayer. Continue reading

Defending Fr. Volpi Against Another Calumny

The blog Rorate Caeli has leveled a new accusation against the authority of the Institute of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.  In a recent post there, the blogger makes the accusation that the Apostolic Commissioner, Fr. Fidenzio Volpi, with the approval of Pope Francis, has engaged in the purposeful destruction of the Institute.

The latest “evidence” shown for this is Fr. Volpi’s alleged prohibition of a yearly Christmas Novena of Masses that had been offered in one of our contemplative houses for some time previously.  The blogger quotes an unnamed source, which he claims to be one of our former seminarians. Continue reading

The Creature Named Catholic Internet

I have expressed my concerns about Catholic Internet culture many times before. Mostly it appears to be a problem with some bloggers, who seem to transform into a fiend returned from the dead as soon as they sit down in front of a computer. But I am of the opinion that the problem runs much deeper than just some mutant bloggers.

Now, I don’t want to generalize. I am probably just from the wrong side of the blogosphere, and aware of my own shortcomings, but where I come from this is a widespread problem. So if this does not gel with your experience just forget everything I am about to say and don’t bother to finish reading. But if, on the other hand, any of this makes any sense to you, then read to the end and assess. Continue reading

Franciscan Conspiracy

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The latest conspiracy theory concerning the resignation of Pope Benedict goes like this: a group cardinals lobbying for Cardinal Bergoglio went to Pope Benedict and convinced him to retire because they had someone, very conservative (they said), waiting in the wings to take over.  It was all set, they told him.  He could go in peace.  But then as soon as the resignation was official they sprung Bergoglio as the real candidate.  And the rest . . .

As much as this satisfies the urge to have an explanation for something one does not understand, and while those who are likely to swallow this do so in reverence to Pope Emeritus Benedict, it paints him as a real chump—basically—as an idiot.  Not to mention that in collaborating in this plan he would have executed a deed that would have resulted in automatic excommunication of all involved.

Needless to say, the point is to demonize Pope Francis.

This is not “news,” my friends, it is something quite different.  Let it go.

William Doino on the Pope’s True Agenda

First Things just posted an excellent post by William Doino, “The Pope’s True Agenda.”   It is necessary reading, because it it is a well documented piece showing that Pope Francis doesn’t fit into any of the boxes partisans wish to put him in.  He is not a liberal, nor a conservative, but a Catholic.  Thank God for Bill Doino’s courage.

It strikes me as a bit ironic, especially among those concerned about orthodoxy, that even as people eschew labels and generalizations, they attempt to pigeonhole Francis.  I recently read a post by a well-known theologian, who while admitting he ordinarily argues against the use of labels, decided to use the tags “liberal” and “conservative” just one time in defense of Francis.  Continue reading