The Spirit(s) of the Synod

That Pope Francis would have executed the synod in the manner in which he did was predictable from many things he has said over the course of his papacy, including Evangelii Gaudium, esp. 32-39. From what he says there, especially about the “conversion of the papacy,” it seems he is not adverse to critique, as long as there is ultimate unity with Peter and under Peter (cum Petro et sub Petro).

One ought to make a distinction between legitimate but respectful criticism from those who are genuinely concerned about the preservation of the deposit of faith, and the radicalizing tendencies of certain factions who will use anything to promote their own interests. One group uses Francis’ openness to sinners as an excuse to justify the unjustifiable, and the other is bent on using the synod to prove that everything since Vatican II was a mistake. Continue reading

Catholic Encampment 2011

This year’s Catholic Encampment for fathers and sons will be conducted at Camp Canonicus, Exeter, Rhode Island, not far from the Griswold friary:

Friday, September 9 – Sunday, September 11

Click image to link to Encampment Page that includes the encamplment flyer, registration information and the registration and release form.

The image in the side bar has the link also and will remain there for the duration.

One Heart, Seven Swords: Many Hearts, One Sword

This will be my only communique for the week.  I just arrived in Maine, NY at our retreat house, and in the morning I will begin my yearly five day retreat, in solitude.  Thank God.  Please pray for me.  I will pray for you.

SF asked a question in the comment section of my recent post:  The Spirit of Mary Victrix.  It is the second time it has been asked—I received an email with the same question from someone else:

Fr. Angelo, can you explain this part of your post: “The enemies of Mary are, in a sense, transfixed with the same sword that has pierced Her heart. Her apostles know the point of that sword all too well, with memories both bitter and sweet. It is swordplay that is well-landed upon both friend and foe.”

Here is what I answered the first time it was asked:

I think of St. Luke’s (St. Simeon’s) reference to the secret thoughts of many laid bare by the piercing of Mary’s Heart (Lk 2:35).  It is a question of compassion, i.e., whether we will open ourselves to it our not.  We make ourselves vulnerable as She was when allow Her to pull down the wall that separates us from God.  When that wall comes down, the ones that separate both friends and foes come down as well.  The price of unity is paid for in the coin of compassion, and that means sorrow.  Hence it is both bitter and sweet.

Some times we write about what we know.  But sometimes we risk writing about what we do not know about what we know.

If that sounds like a bit of mystification, it is because I am mystified.  There is something there to learn, and I still have to learn it.

I would just add that when I said that the “enemies of Mary are, in a sense, transfixed with the same sword that has pierced Her heart,” I meant to say that we all suffer and largely for our sinfulness.  Our sins constitute the sword that pierced the Heart of Our Lady.  Suffering sometimes brings even the hardened to their knees and it is an opportunity for them.  Their response reveals the secrets of their hearts, especially insofar as they are challenged to accept the Mother in order to rise in compassion and generosity.  Her friends suffer also, and sometimes—all too often—with as much reticence as those who are far away from God.  That reveals their hearts too.

Over and out.

Marian Militancy

And now for something completely different.  Here is my conference to the Fathers and Sons for the Summer Encampment.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Spring Encampment Success

See new image gallery on the Encampment website for a look into the father and son weekend.

Here is my homily from opening night of the encampment:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Check out the website for details on the next encampments as well. For the moment that really consists mostly in the dates and example schedule. I will soon have the registration page back up with the specifics.

Friends of the Cross

St. Louis de Montfort on a theme closely related to both Lent and chivalry:

Friends of the Cross, you are like crusaders united to fight against the world; not like Religious who retreat from the world lest they be overcome, but like brave and valiant warriors on the battle- field, who refuse to retreat or even yield an inch. Be brave and fight courageously.

You must be joined together in a close union of mind and heart, which is stronger and far more formidable to the world and to hell than are the armed forces of a great nation to its enemies. Evil spirits are united to destroy you; you must be united to crush them. The avaricious are united to make money and amass gold and silver; you must combine your efforts to acquire the eternal treasures hidden in the Cross. Pleasure-seekers unite to enjoy themselves; you must be united to suffer.

Quite a different standard than that of the chivalry of the world.

Off to help preach a retreat to post-abortive women with the Sisters of Life. Please pray for the 23 women and for those conducting the retreat this weekend. Theme for the retreat:   In the Cross is Salvation.