Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ignatius Gathered A Body Of Mystical Men

St. Ignatius of Loyola spent part of 1523 and 1524 in the Holy Land. He had to leave it sooner than he hoped due to the difficult political situation. After returning from the Holy Land hefound himself in Alcalá. Here he not only gave his spiritual exercises but also explained Christian doctrine. Here he used the expression “Spiritual Exercises” for the first time. During this time he attracted large crowds wherever he went and a few of his listeners became his companions. He and his companions were jailed by the Inquisition for almost two months under suspicion of being Alumbrados, members of movements who claimed direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The Inquisition found no errors in what they taught but ordered them not to wear their pilgrims’ robes and not to teach on matters of faith and morals until they had completed their studies. They continued onto Salamanca to study where they were again imprisoned. Their notes were examined, these notes would eventually become The Spiritual Exercises. Again they were acquitted. Ignatius went to Paris to study. During these student days Ignatius gathered a body of mystical men around him who were united by love of Christ and each other. On August 15th 1534 in Paris, Ignatius and his first companions took private vows of poverty and chastity. Due to the pressure of his studies there is discussion among commentators about whether or not his mysticism died somewhat. Certainly it was not a time as rich in divine favors as Manresa or later in Rome. Ignatius says he prayed for shorter periods during his student days but he prayed seven hours a day at Manresa so it is not known what he means by shorter periods. Due to health problems he returned to Spain in April 1535. On June 24th 1537 Ignatius and other companions were ordained though they did not celebrate their First Mass for a long time afterwards. During his time preparing for priesthood he received many spiritual visions and supernatural visitations and deep assurances from God about certain matters. It was similar to what he experienced in Manresa.
Link (here) to read the full homily by Fr. Tommy Lane

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Between Myth and Martin

In an op-ed piece that has appeared in dozens of US newspapers, leading Jesuit Fr. James Martin claims that it is a “myth” that “there is biblical consensus on the story of Jesus' birth” and that it is a “myth” that “Jesus was an only child.” 
Link (here) to the full piece at Catholic Culture.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Eve

SHADOWS of the Christmas-tide  
That creep o'er mount and moor, 
What secret message do ye hide
For rich man and for poor? 
Adown yon cloud-lit western sky
On the sands of the desert shone the star
That led the Kings from the East afar;
And the desert sands we must cross like them
Ere our star will rest over Bethlehem. 
Where the winds weird fancies weave,
The day is hasting on to die,
Tho' it be Christmas eve!
And sorrow sighs its old, sad sigh,
And patience seems as vain
To pluck the dart from the bleeding heart
Of poverty and pain;
O shadows of the Christmas-tide,
Why have ye come again?
O shadows of the Christmas-tide!
On a midnight once of old
Your serried ranks were scattered wide
O'er Juda's storied wold;
And the tidings ye were bid to bear
To hovel and to hall,
To every soul on whomsoe'er
Your blessed shade should fall,
Told how, within a manger there
With no royal diadem,
But poor and lorn, for us was born
The Babe of Bethlehem!
O shadows of the Christmas-tide,
Your tale of love proclaim!
O shadows of the Christmas-tide,
That break on mount and moor, Tho' ye may not the morn abide
Your words shall yet endure! The blessed light ye usher in
Shall fill sad eyes with hope, And overthrow the reign of sin,
And the gates of peace reopen
Till the faltering feet of the world begin
To follow, shepherd-wise,
To that cave of old by the midnight wold,
Where the waiting Christ-child lies!
O shadows of the Christmas-tide,
When will the day-star rise?

Link (here) to The Apostleship of Prayer's 
Messanger of the Sacred Heart

Friday, December 16, 2011

Millions Of Jesuits Working Undercover

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments as follows:
On December 9, the Catholic League filed a formal complaint against attorney Rebekah Nett for the anti-Catholic comments made by her and her client, Naomi Isaacson. Subsequently, Isaacson, who is also a lawyer, has made more Catholic-bashing remarks. We are now filing a complaint with the Minnesota Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility against her. Below is an excerpt of her bigoted comments as reported in the Pioneer Press.
  • She calls U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Nancy Dreher "Popess Dreher" and "a secret Catholic Knight Witch Hunter."
  • She calls U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis O'Brien a "dastardly Jesuit."
  • She calls the court-appointed bankruptcy trustee a "mindless numbnut [who] would follow church orders with a vengeance."
  • She accuses judges and trustees of conspiring to liquidate the company's assets "for pennies," saying the proceeds will go "to members of the Catholic Church."
  • She refers to a contempt-of-court order by Judge Dreher saying, "We may as well flush her papal bull order down the toilet."
  • She says the court "is an arm of the church to force the minority to be converted or face the consequences just like during the Dark and Middle Ages."
  •  She calls one trustee "Grand Inquisitor."
  • She calls the attorney representing the U.S. Trustee Program a "Papal Drummer."
  • She says Judge O'Brien converted the case to Chapter 7 "on papal orders."
  • She accuses the Church of bringing illegal immigrants to America "so their population can outrun that of the Protestants and they can turn the country into another Spain."
  • She says: "The Catholic Church has millions of Jesuits working undercover around the country to fulfill the church's agenda. They give orders, pull the strings, and their puppets like Nancy Dreher jump like zombies."
Both Rebekah Nett and Naomi Isaacson are unrepentant bigots. They should be disbarred.
Link (here)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Prevalent Intemperance

The Montagnais Mission.
This was centered at Tadoussac, and ministered to the Montagnais, Bersiamites, Porcupines, Oumaniwek, Papinachois, and other tribes of the Lower St. Lawrence and the Saguenay. Tadoussac had, from the earliest historic times, been a favorite harbor and trading-station for the French; for, being at the junction of two great rivers, it was convenient as a place of assembly for the natives of the lower country. The first priests in the district had said mass there; but it was not until 1640 that a Jesuit mission was formed by Father Jean du Quen, its sphere of influence soon reaching to the upper waters of the Saguenay, Lake St. John, Hudson Bay, and the coast of Labrador. Du Quen was actively assisted by Charles Meiachkwat, a Montagnais convert, who erected the first chapel, became a catechist, and made extended tours through the neighboring tribes. In time, there were associated with Du Quen, Fathers Buteux and Druillettes. Protracted missionary tours were made by them, with results which were considered satisfactory as compared with other missions; although they had serious difficulties to contend with, in the prevalent intemperance which the fur trade introduced among the natives, the belief in dreams, the laxity of morals, and the wiles of medicine-men, or sorcerers, as they were called by the Jesuits.
Link (here) to The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fr. Ulf Jonsson, S.J. On Tomas Tranströmer

Tomas Tranströmer,
L’Osservatore Romano has published an article in praise of Tomas Tranströmer, the winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize for Literature. Father Ulf Jonsson’s tribute to Tranströmer’s work follows an assessment written by Claudio Toscani in the newspaper’s October 8 edition. Father Jonsson, a Jesuit philosophy professor, says that Tranströmer’s writings “are permeated with a sense of mystery and openness to the infiniteness of another world, shining through his metaphors taken from everyday life.” The newspaper’s tributes to Tranströmer echo its praise of the 2010 laureate, Mario Vargas Llosa, and stand in contrast to its criticism of the 1997 and 1998 laureates, Dario Fo and Jose Saramago. 
Link (here) to Catholic Culture

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Jesuit Vocations

the 35th General Congregation of the Society of Jesuits blames the culture’s, “Exaggerated individualism and consumerism” for the disappearance of the Jesuits.
Link (here) to the Cardinal Newman Society.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Liberation Theology Without Mass On The Sabbath

....placing the French priest and Sacramental theologian Fr. Louis-Marie Chauvet in dialogue with liberation theologians such as (discredited) Jon Sobrino and with feminist theologians such as Susan Ross in order to examine how Chauvet's thought can be brought to bear on the concerns such thinkers bring to the table; I also analyze Sunday celebrations in the absence of a priest from the perspective of Chauvet's theology.
Link (here) to Marquette educated Timothy M. Brunk's dissertation 
Now you can make a connection to American Jesuit Fr. Francis Xavier Clooney's and his book (here) 
After a little digging, I would be interested in your assessments. 

Jesuit Gold In The Mojave Dessert?

First White Men in Pinon Hills
The first known (recorded) white man to appear in the Mojave Desert was Francisco Garces in March 1776. Garces was a Spanish Franciscan priest who followed the old Indian trail along the Mojave River looking for a route from Arizona to Northern California. This trail was later known as Fort Tejon Road.
Jesuit priests discovered gold in the 1700s somewhere between Littlerock and Pinon Hills. When the priests were recalled in the 1730s they caused a landslide which covered the mine. Some claim that it was one of the richest gold mines in the southwest. It has not been rediscovered since.
Link to the full article (here)
Picture is of the Mojave Desert

Sacred Cows Make The Best Hamburgers

A few weeks ago there was a flurry of news around the rather sensational comments made by Fr. Gabriele Amorth, on the diabolical influence in both the Harry Potter series and in the practice of yoga. See for instance the version given at UCA News (a Catholic website in East Asia). I do not know Fr. Amorth, and could not discover on the web an exact transcript of his remarks, and so have been hesitant to comment. Many have, and there is no lack of comments about his comments, on the web.
Many are merely repetitive and seem singularly ill-informed. Some come from more educated Christians who refer to the Church’s record of suspicions about yoga – as in Cardinal Ratzinger’s 1989 letter worrying about the indiscriminate borrowing of Asian spiritualities, or the Vatican document, Jesus Christ, the Bearer of the Water of Life – while some come from thoughtful yoga practitioners who, whether Christian or not, fail to see what Satan has to do with yoga. 
Enough has been said, it seems. But I have been asked both by friends and relatives, and by Hindus in India, about the meaning and significance of the attack on yoga. I think it simplest to make a short series of comments, sketched here and none fully developed (we are at the end of the semester, after all…) First, mere recriminations against the religion of another are just about never acceptable or useful.
No Catholic likes it if the Eucharist is written off as merely “priestcraft” or “patriarchal machinations” or even the venerable “hocus pocus,” and it is hard to imagine that it helps in any way to burden the millennia-old theory and practice of yoga with the deadly charge of being Satanic. 
And it is a really bad idea to insult a nearly billion Hindus – who see Hinduism as having a special affinity to yoga – by charges of Satanism that echo centuries of heated Christian attacks on Hinduism, and
I hope Church leaders in Rome have instructed Fr. Amorth not to make such sweeping charges. Second, if one is a professional exorcist, one may indeed see everything in light of that profession, and so it is not surprising that Fr. Amorth sees the devil at work everywhere; 
perhaps it is his default explanation of the woes that afflict us. Others might appeal to literary or philosophical measures of worth, but the exorcist sees things in his own way. To others this will seem odd, exaggerated, and this is all the more reason to be careful when speaking to a wider audience who do not share one's profession or expertise, but see the world through other legitimate lenses.
Link (here) to read the entire post by Fr. Francis Xavier Clooney, S.J. 
The Standard of Satan by St. Ignatius of Loyola, S.J. (here)
The Standard of Christ by St. Ignatius of Loyola, S.J. (here)
More on the Two Standards (here) (here) and (here)
Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J. on Yoga (here)
Fr. John Hardon, S.J. on Yoga (here)
Sacred Cows Make The Best Hamburgers (here)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Jesuit And The Egyptian Coptic Christians

From the Letter of Father Claude Sicard, S.J. Missionary in Egypt, to his Royal Highness, the Count of Toulouse.

The Superior of the Monastery, having been notified of our arrival, came to receive us with great demonstrations of friendship. He first conducted us to the Church of the Holy Virgin, to perform our devotions. It having struck twelve, the monks, as well as ourselves, were still fasting. They were then in the Fast which precedes Christmas. During this Fast, as well as in the others, of the Apostles, and of the Holy Virgin, and of that which precedes the Festival of Easter, they neither eat nor drink any thing until afternoon, except on Saturdays and Sundays, when they are allowed to take some nourishment in the morning.
I thought it necessary to conform entirely to their manner of living, for the purpose of gaining their confidence and attachment. This I did, and found the benefit of it ; for the conformity of my life to theirs dissipated that natural distrust which the monks and strange priests entertain, and by degrees I found myself enabled to speak with them on all their spiritual needs, as soon as I learned them.
Our prayers having been finished, they conducted me to the Refectory. The Benedicite having been said, they served to us a large bowl filled with soup, made from lentils, stuffed with bread. This single dish comprised all our meal. While we were at table, there was a reading, which was composed of a little collection of monastic rules, which they pretended were given by the Holy Virgin to Saint Macarius the Younger. The meal being finished, we said the Pater in Coptic. This prayer alone is their Benedicite and their ordinary grace. All having left the Refectory, those who were thirsty went to drink from the bucket of one of the neighboring wells. I saw in their kitchen three large stone pots, which are all the cooking utensils they have. They answer the purpose very well, and last for ages. This kind of stone is called baram, and is common in Upper Egypt.
Since we are speaking of the grand meals of these good monks, I will add, that, in the evening, they served up as a collation for us a little plate of wild marjoram pounded up, and another of the skins of sugar-cane, which was very insipid. They gave also sometimes, to vary their collation, onions, cut up or steeped in salt water. The odor of this is detestable to those not accustomed to it. They never drink wine, and rarely coffee.
They lie down entirely clothed, their bed being formed of the mats spread on the floor. We must acknowledge that the life of these good monks is very frugal and austere; but the remarkable fact is that they are strong and robust, large and fat, and full of health. In thinking of the austerity of their life, I could not but deplore their misfortune in being born in schism and heresy, in which they are passing their lives. At the same time I compare their hard and mortified manner of life with that of a great number of Catholics, who, so thoroughly enlightened lightened that they are the luminaries of the faith, nevertheless pass their lives in continual softness, so contrary to the spirit of the Gospel, which is our only rule of action. I do not know which is the greatest evil, that of those or of these.

Link (here)
This is just a portion of the Jesuit missionary Fr.Claude Sicard who traveled through Egypt between 1708 and 1712.

Some back ground on the Monks (here)
Photo credit (here)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fr. William Clark, S.J. On Fordham's Sr. Elizabeth Johnson's Discredited Book

Sr. Elizabeth A. Johnson, CSJ
The Board of the College Theology Society wishes to express to our membership our sadness and grave concern in response to the statement released on October 28, 2011 by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine regarding the case of Professor Elizabeth Johnson. 
The Committee on Doctrine has chosen to publicly criticize and discredit—not once but twice—a work by one of our most esteemed colleagues without entering into a process of dialogue with her about the issues being raised. 
Sister Elizabeth A. Johnson, prepared a substantive response that repudiated the criticisms of her work as unfounded, and requested that a formal dialogue beestablished between her and the Committee on Doctrine to discuss the range of theological issues raised by their initial Statement issued March 24, 2011. 
Her request was not granted; instead the second statement not only repeated the previous characterization of her work without engaging the issues she raised in her response, 
but also raised new criticisms of Dr. Johnson’s retrieval of female metaphors and symbols of God as foundwithin both biblical texts and classic texts from our Catholic theological tradition.
Link (here) to the full statement of The College Theological Society. 
You can read the full list of signers of this letter as well.

William Clark, Ph.D., S.J.
College of the Holy Cross
Worcester, MA
Board Member

Homosexual Couple Harbored Jesuit Priest Daniel Berrigan Who Was On The Run From The FBI

Theologian William Stringfellow was a semi-closeted gay man. Anthony Dancer points out that even his awakening as a Christian was, by Stringfellow’s own account, through “an unusually close friendship with another fellow”—surely loving, if not necessarily sexual. Though he never made his own homosexuality explicit in his writing, he did write and speak on the topic, always denouncing the idolatry of both homophobia (as we now call it) in churches and the “ostentation” of gay culture, which too often encourages assuaging loneliness with lust and promiscuity. Though in opposing ways, both ways of obsessing about homosexuality distract people from the gospel’s call for equality and love. Dancer does an excellent job of showing how sexuality was a central concern in Stringfellow’s life and work, even while he always handled it with a light touch. Stringfellow met the poet Anthony Towne in 1962, and within months they had moved in together. 
Five years later, Stringfellow’s poor health forced them to “immigrate” from New York to a quieter homestead on Block Island that the couple called, fittingly, Eschaton. It was there that they harbored the Jesuit poet and activist Daniel Berrigan after his participation in the illegal burning of draftcards at the Cantonsville Nine protest against the Vietnam War, and it was there that the FBI finally caught up with him. 
There, also, Towne died of a sudden illness. Stringfellow’s 1982 book, A Simplicity of Faith, is a tribute to “my sweet companion of seventeen years” that, again, refuses to label their love homosexuality as such—it was just love.
Link (here) to read the full article at Commonsqueal

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Rebellion Manifesto Author, "All Alone"

Stéphane Hessel
Despite evictions around the country, Occupy continues actions on a daily basis around the USA and the world. Religious organizations and spiritually-interested institutions are a part of Occupy,
but one thing I have noticed in New York City at Occupy Wall Street is the relative absence of Catholic pastoral workers and other Catholic-identified leaders.
I wonder if this is the case in other parts of the USA and around the world. This morning, for example, I was at a meeting of Occupy Faith NYC, a collection of leaders from many religious traditions and social justice organizations in support of Occupy Wall Street, and out of approximately 45 in attendance, there were just a few from Catholic churches or organizations.
Link (here) to America to Tom Beaudoin's full post
Is Stéphane Hessel, Tom Beaudoin's real spiritual director? Read more (here) and (here)

Fr. John Becker, S.J. And King Lear

Fr. John Becker, S.J.
The Rev. John Becker, S.J., sat at the front of the classroom, paperback in hand, glasses pushed to the end of his nose. As he spoke, he looked intently from one student to another. “This semester, I am going to teach you how to read 'King Lear,'” he said. “It may be Shakespeare’s most difficult play. But it has a powerful message to tell.” When we were done reading “Lear,” the priest promised, we would not only understand it, but we would have learned the secret of understanding any thing written in English -- anything, that is, with a meaning to discern. And we would love Shakespeare. At the time, I don’t think any of us understood what Father Becker meant. But the things he started teaching us that day made him the greatest English teacher I ever had. That was in 1974 at Saint Ignatius, the all-boys Jesuit high school in San Francisco. For several weeks, Father Becker sat patiently with our class as we read “King Lear,” line by line -- out loud. Whenever we came to a word or phrase he suspected we did not understand, he would look with mock ferocity at one student and jovially ask another on the other side of the room to explain what it meant.
Link (here) to Townhalls, Terry Jeffrey

At Fairfield University

Mark Jordon
For the 100 or so theologians, members of the clergy, women religious, students and others who braved the heavy snow Oct. 29 to attend “The Care of Souls: Sexual Diversity, Celibacy, and Ministry” conference at Jesuit-run Fairfield University, the day was packed densely with history, stories and plenty of questions. It was the final event of a four-part series of talks titled “More Than a Monologue: Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church.” 
The series aimed at expanding the conversation on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues within the Catholic church. “Unfortunately, any speech about Catholicism, sexuality and clerical power is so vexed, so scandalous, that I can’t begin the meditation without underlining three more cautions against misunderstanding,” said the first speaker, Mark Jordan, a professor of divinity at Harvard University Divinity School. 
“First, I’ll be talking about the configuration of power in relation to sexuality within ecclesial systems, not about all of the individual lives under those systems. It is, of course, possible to lead a Christian life of unstinting love, of vivid witness, of embodied grace under the present system of Roman power,” Jordan said. 
“Second caution: I want to talk about this clerical power as homoerotic. By this I don’t mean to imply anything about the sexual acts, real or fantasized, of those who participate in this power,” he said.  
“This form of clerical power seems to me the object, and the instrument, of sharp longing, of desire. “Third and final caution: I speak of the configuration of homoerotic power in the Roman Catholic clergy at particular times and places. There are partial repetitions across church history, I think, and there are striking structural similarities across church cultures in a given time. But if we know anything about the Catholic church, it is that it is not one thing. It is a complex network of thousands of different communities.”
Link (here) to The National Catholic Reporter.

Mark Jordan taught previously at the University of Notre Dame and at Emory University. His interests include the rhetoric of Christian ethics, the history of sex and gender, the limits of theological language, and the ritual creation of religious identities. His books include The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology (1997), winner of the 1999 John Boswell Prize for lesbian and gay history; The Ethics of Sex (2002); Telling Truths in Church: Scandal, Flesh, and Christian Speech (2003); Rewritten Theology: Aquinas after His Readers (2006); and Recruiting Young Love: How Christians Talk about Homosexuality (2011).

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Having A Ball At Georgetown University

LGBT at Georgetown
Georgetown University promotes a “Genderfunk Drag Ball” described in these terms: 
“No matter gay, straight, or bi, lesbian, transgender life, only you can say you’re born this way. Uncap the lipstick, break out the fishnets, draw on the 'stache, unleash the chest hair, and redefine gender in your own way… Challenge yourself, challenge the binary.”

This screen shot of Georgetown University's web site shows how the homosexual agenda is openly promoted at America's oldest Catholic university.

Link (here) to TFP Student Action

Fr. James Schall, S.J. On The Meaning Of Christmas

But what about this “putting Christ back into Christmas?” When I first entered the Society of Jesus,
the custom of most Jesuit houses was to treat Advent as a period of expectation, of penance.
My own family had always put the tree up in mid-December, if not earlier. Anticipation was the mood. As novices, our first Christmas did not begin till Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. The celebration was after the event, not before. The twelve days of Christmas were in fact counted. We did not take down Christmas decorations till the Octave of the Epiphany.

Link to the article (here)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fairfield Theologian And The Fake Mass

photo (source)
In addition to the two "More Than A Monologue" conferences at Fordham and Fairfield, two other conferences were held in the series at Yale Divinity School and Union Theological Seminary, 
which included a fake Mass without a celebrant which organizers called a “CatholiQ Eucharist” (the “Q” apparently means “queer”).  
In the video of the Fairfield conference, Fairfield theologian and lead conference organizer Paul Lakeland defended the simulated Mass and activist Sister Jeannine Gramick also lent her support by citing the alleged practices of very early Christians.
Link (here) to the Cardinal Newman Society to read the full report.
Blogger Note: Paul Lakeland is a former Jesuit


Fr. Michael Pierce,S.J.
So J-school was fine, and the fact that Marquette was also a Jesuit school made it OK with my parents — my uncle Michael (Fr. Michael Pierce, S.J.) even had some classmates who taught there. The reach of The Society is a long one, which is why, as one of my European history professors once put it, 
"There are only three things you need to know about European history: The nobility is always corrupt, the middle class is never ready to take control, and the Jesuits are always being expelled" 
Link (here) to read the full article at

Dr. Smith, S.J.

"Every dimension of health care has to be accountable," says Walter Smith, a Jesuit priest and president of the nonprofit Health Care Chaplaincy in New York, which conducted the review and provides chaplains to area hospitals. "Creating a strong research foundation of what chaplains do in the clinical setting will mark the coming of age of health-care chaplaincy as a profession," he says. With a $3 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation—whose late founder was an investor interested in the intersection of scientific research and spirituality—the Health Care Chaplaincy will oversee six national research projects on professional chaplains' role in health and palliative care, Dr. Smith says.
Link (here) to the Wall Street Journal 

Fr. Zen. S.J.

Fr. Hugo Enomiya-Lassalle (☸ November 11, 1898—July 7, 1990) was a German Jesuit priest and Sanbo Kyodan Zen master, a Dharma successor of the late Yamada Koun Roshi. As a missionary in Japan, his initial interest in Zen practice stemmed from his desire to better understand the Japanese people, who he began working with in 1929 when he established a settlement in the Tokyo slums to care for the poor. He quickly realized that Zen was one of the key ingredients that permeated the Japanese arts and also Japanese thinking. Appointed as vicar of Hiroshima in 1940 he was wounded in the nuclear blast of 1945 and returned to Germany shortly after. In 1946 he had audience with Pope Pius XII, with whom he spoke of his intention to build a cathedral in Japan dedicated to the idea of world peace. His vision came to fruition in 1950 and the cathedral was completed in 1954, dedicated as the Memorial Cathedral for World Peace. Memorial Cathedral for World Peace, at Naka-ku Hiroshima Japan, design by Togo Murano in 1954. Despite the unpopularity of such a position, Lasalle urged other Christians to practice Zen meditation, stating that kensho was not inherently Christian or Buddhist. He did not find it to possess any religious connotation at all, in fact. Lassale began his Zen training with Daiun Sogaku Harada, the forefather of what would come to be a unique strand of Japanese Zen – the Sanbo Kyodan. After undergoing the Harada-Yasutani koan curriculum he was in 1978 acknowledged as a Zen master in the lineage by Yamada Koun Roshi, a successor of Haku’un Yasutani Roshi. He spent the final years of his life traveling widely, leading sesshin for Christians throughout Europe. He is remembered as a quiet and unassuming man with a laissez-faire approach to leadership.
Link (here) Sweeping Zen

Saturday, December 3, 2011

St. Francis Xavier, S.J. On His Astonishing Missionary Work

The Body of Saint Francis Xavier, S.J. at the Basilica of Bom Jesu in India
After explaining the Creed I go on to the Commandments, teaching them that the Christian law is contained in those ten precepts, and that every one who observes them all faithfully is a good and true Christian and is certain of eternal salvation, and that, on the other hand, whoever neglects a single one of them is a bad Christian, and will be cast into hell unless he is truly penitent for his sin. Converts and heathen alike are astonished at all this, which shows them the holiness of the Christian law, its perfect consistency with itself, and its agreement with reason.
Link (here) to Rorate Caeli

St. Francis Xavier, S.J., Divine Mercy And The Converts Of Yamaguchi, Japan

A portion of a letter from St. Francis Xavier, S.J.

Before their baptism the converts of Yamaguchi were greatly troubled and pained by a hateful and annoying scruple---that God did not appear to them merciful and good, because
He had never made Himself known to the Japanese before our arrival, especially if it were true that those who had not worshipped God as we preached were doomed to suffer everlasting punishment in hell. It seemed to them that He had forgotten and as it were neglected the salvation of all their ancestors, in permitting them to be deprived of the knowledge of saving truths, and thus to rush headlong on eternal death.
It was this painful thought which, more than anything else, kept them back from the religion of the true God. But by the divine mercy all their error and scruple was taken away. We began by proving to them that the divine law is the most ancient of all.

Link (here) to St. Francis Xavier:Letter from Japan, to the Society of Jesus in Europe, 1552

Photo is of the Yamaguchi's St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, it was completed in 1998. Located on a hilltop overlooking central Yamaguchi City, the striking modern design replaced an earlier church built in 1958 that mysteriously burned down in 1991. Link (here) more pictures as well.

Jesuit Parish Built Upon The Location Of A Former Protestant Church

St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church
The first Jesuit-founded St. Francis Xavier Church was on Elizabeth Street and the Bowery, purchased from a Protestant congregation. After it burned down, lots were purchased on W. 16th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues but the new church, built in 185l, proved too small for the growing number of the faithful. It was gutted in 1889; the rebuilt structure now houses a Jesuit residence on an upper floor and the parish’s boys’ high school — which counts among its Xavier-educated alumni major CEOs, top Fortune 500 executives, TV newscaster Al Roker and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Link (here) to read the full interesting article.

Ice Cream And Pizza

Fr. Craig Hightower, S.J. the Director of University Ministry at Gonzaga University, reportedly anchored the panel, and gave a Jesuit interpretation of sex in college by saying that “the Catholic Church is not a rulebook, but more of a recipe book. It provides different ways to combine ingredients, but, much like ice cream and pizza, you can’t always combine certain ingredients.”
Link (here) to the Cardinal Newman Society

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Straight From The Devil

Boston College Professor and author Peter Kreeft told a group of 500 at the Bishop O’Connor Center in Madison that pro-abortion Catholics have done more damage to the Church than the sex abuse scandal, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. Kreeft’s speech was focused on whether Catholics could be liberals and quickly turned to the issue of abortion where he  said, “A Catholic cannot be today what is called a liberal about abortion. That’s obvious. That’s a ‘duh.’” But a question from an audience member had Kreeft elaborating further:
During the Q&A, an audience member brought up the Kennedy political dynasty and how a group of leading theologians and Catholic college professors had met with Kennedy family members in the mid-1960s and came up with a way for Catholic politicians to support a pro-abortion rights platform with clear consciences. Kreeft said these Catholic advisers “told the Kennedys how they could get away with murder.” Kreeft then made one of his boldest comments of the evening, suggesting the theologians who first convinced Democratic politicians they could support abortion rights and remain Catholic did more damage to the Catholic Church than pedophile priests. “These were wicked people. These were dishonest people. These were people who, frankly, loved power more than they loved God,” Kreeft said. “Sorry, that’s just the way it is. In fact, I’d say these were even worse than the child molesters — though the immediate damage they did was not as obvious — because they did it deliberately, it wasn’t a sin of weakness. Sins of power are worse than sins of weakness. Cold, calculating sins — that’s straight from the devil.” A few minutes later, the talk over, the crowd gave him a standing ovation.
 Link (here) to the Cardinal Newman Society
Who is Peter Kreeft referring to? 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Catholic "Counter-Revolution." The Sacred Heart

Jean Cottereau, nicknamed Jean Chouan
The War of the Vendee brings to the screen the powerful and largely unknown story of the valiant, six-year struggle of the people called the War in the Vendée ( Guerre de Vendée ) in a small section of western France to restore their Holy Religion and their King". 
In 1793, after enduring three and a half years of mounting persecution of the Church by the architects of the French Revolution, a small band of faithful peasants and nobles began a Catholic "counter-revolution." 
Steeped in the influence of St. Louis de Montfort, and wearing their rosaries and emblems of the Sacred Heart, their sacrifices resulted in countless martyrdoms — and ultimately won the restoration of religious freedom for all of France.

They Revile And Persecute You

"That fat priest whose name you asked is the Abbe Gudin, a Jesuit, obstinate enough — perhaps I ought to say devoted enough, — to remain in France in spite of the decree of 1793, which banished his order. He is the firebrand of the war in these regions and a propagandist of the religious association called the Sacre-Coeur. Trained to use religion as an instrument, he persuades his followers that if they are killed they will be brought to life again, and he knows how to rouse their fanaticism by shrewd sermons. You see, it is necessary to work upon every man's selfish interests to attain a great end."

French Jesuit, French Prophecy: The Orval Prophecy

The prophecy of the Solitary of Orval. The conclusion has been supposed to imply a prediction of the end of the world; and, by the calculation of the number of as many moons as are mentioned, that event would thus take place within a period of fifty years from the present time. But it does not appear absolutely to follow that the " wall of fire " placed before the comprehension of the inspired Solitary, that he should see no more, should be referred to the " end of all things," because he has exclaimed just previously—" But all is over!" This expression he has already used before in a different .sense. Any disquisition, however, upon the uncertain fulfillment of a very uncertain prophecy, would be again a discursive ramble, that would lead us much too far out of our beat.
The other French prophecy, to which allusion has been made, professes to be only of a much later date. It is said to have emanated from a Jesuit priest, who died towards the end of the last century at Bordeaux, in the "odour of sanctity," and to have been communicated by him to a novice residing with him in an establishment of the Jesuits at Poitiers, some time previous to the outbreak of the first French Revolution. It is supposed to have been transcribed and preserved by the novice, who after wards became himself a Jesuit priest, and by him to have been given into the hands of several persons, who still possess it, or who may have in turn given circulation to it.
Not much importance was attached to it until the events of the Revolution, which confirmed so many of its predictions, were accomplished; and again, since the events of the present year, it has been called to men's minds. Like the Orval prophecy, its predictions, as regards what is now past,
have been wonderfully distinct, and, relative to the events of this present year, no less so. With respect to its existence previously to these latter events, the writer can also give testimony, as in the case of the Orval prophecy, that it was transcribed as far back as the year 1836, from the mouth of the superieure of a convent in Lyons, who testified that she had heard it from the novice to whom it was first delivered. The authenticity of its prophetic revelations can thus be proved as far as regards the present day. It bears, in many respects, a great analogy to the Previsions of the Solitary of Orval, and the predictions it delivers coincide in most respects with the latter: but it contains distinct references to other events, of which the Orval prophecy makes no mention. As the revelation also of a holy church- man, prophetically inspired, its contents naturally refer, in a great measure, to the state of the church, or perhaps even to the condition of the order of the Jesuits alone. The whole is necessarily couched in mysterious language in this respect: and it ought, perhaps, to be premised that the "counter-revolution" alluded to refers to the triumph of the priesthood in general, or, as was before said, of the Jesuit order. The portions of this prophecy which have fallen into the writer's hands refer only to the events immediately following the fall of Napoleon; although he has been assured that, in other copies, it goes back to circumstances antecedent to the first Revolution.
"There will then be a reaction," says the portion now before us, "which shall be thought to be the counter-revolution—it will last during some years, so that people shall suppose that peace is really restored: but it will be only a patchwork—an ill-sewn garment. There will be no schism; but still the Church shall not triumph. Then shall come disturbances in France : a name hateful to the country shall be placed upon the throne. It will not be until after that event that the counter-revolution shall take place. It will be done by strangers. But two parties will first be formed in France, who will carry on a war of extermination. One party will be much more numerous than the other, but the weaker shall prevail. Blood will flow in the great towns, and the convulsion shall be such that men might think the last day to be at hand.
But the wicked will not prevail, and in this dire catastrophe shall perish of them a great multitude. They will have hoped to have utterly destroyed the Church; but for this they will not have had time, for the fearful crisis shall be of short duration. There will be a movement when it will be supposed that all is lost; but still all shall be saved. The faithful shall not perish ; such signs will be given them as shall induce them to fly the city.
During this convulsion, which will extend to other lands, and not be for France alone, Paris shall be so utterly destroyed, that when, twenty years after wards, fathers shall walk with their children, and the children shall ask, ' Why is that desolate spot?' they shall answer, ' My children, here once stood a great city, which God destroyed for its crimes.' After this fearful convulsion, all will return to order, and the counter-revolution shall be made. Then shall the triumph of the Church be such that nothing like it shall be ever seen again, for it will be the last triumph of the Church on earth."
Link (here)
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (here)

"Socialism Opposes Traditional Religion"

Liberalism originally came from the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, while Socialism had evolved even beyond that. Socialism was a broad movement which, generally, called itself  “progressive.” It was active in those places where industrialization had taken place. Along with England, France, and Germany, Bohemia would be included in such a description. 
Socialism opposed traditional religion which it linked to a feudal, class-divided world that was soon to be just as forgotten as the sick old empire itself. 
The individualism of “personal salvation” had been replaced, so the thinking went, with a concern for humanity itself. Trade unions were organized around the ideas of Karl Marx and others. Religion was the opium of the people.
Link (here) to read the full article by Fr. Brian Van Hove, S.J. entitled, The 1920 Czechoslovak National Church and Rome.

Between Sardinic And Sarcastic

I get the whole "plural you" and "singular you" and the "formal you" and "informal" you from studying French and Spanish, but I still think the translators could have given us both a literal translation and an understandable one by simply saying, "God, you who see..." Or "God, who sees..." Nothing would have been lost and intelligibility would have been gained. It would have helped people to participate fully, actively and consciously, as the church desires.
Link (here) to read the full piece by Fr. James Martin, S.J. at In All Things

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

St. Stanislas Kostka, S.J. "I See The Most Blessed Virgin With The Angels"

A.d. 1569.
The young Stanislas, being drawn to embrace the religious life, and to enter into the Society of Jesus, and finding his father utterly unwilling to give his consent, after two years fell ill, and appeared to be at the point of death. The consolations of religion were denied him, for being placed in the house of a Lutheran no one was willing to call a priest to give him the Viaticum. Then full of deep sorrow, the youth addressed himself to St. Barbara, the patroness of the dying, beseeching her to obtain for him the Holy Viaticum, that he might die a good death. His prayer was heard. Full of confidence he slept, and during his sleep two angels appeared to him, from whose hands he received what he had begged for—the Bread of Life, the Most Holy Body of the Lord. At the same, time the Most Blessed Virgin, whom he loved tenderly, appeared to him, and revealed to him that he should not die then, but that he should enter into the Society of Jesus.
As soon as his health was restored he hastened to the Provincial of the Jesuits in Vienna, who, however, fearing the displeasure of his father, refused his request. The Saint, putting his trust in God, and taking advice from his confessor, left Vienna in a pilgrim's garb, wandered to Augsburg, and after that to Dillengen, where resided at that time Blessed Peter Canisius, Provincial of the Order, and begged of him to be received. The father did not at once grant his request, but admitted him on probation. Stanislas undertook all the menial offices which were put upon him with such sweetness and alacrity that the novices were astounded. Three weeks after Peter sent him to Rome, to the General of the Order, St. Francis Borgia, with the request that he should be allowed to enter the Order according to his desire. Here he threw himself at the feet of the holy Francis, who gave him the much-coveted habit on the feast of St. Simon and St. Jude.
And now he entered into the duties of his state with all the fire and energy of a burning love of God. But never was his face so lighted up with holy joy, never did his love of God appear more intense, than when he assisted at Holy Mass. After Communion be would fall into an ecstasy, and then such blissful words would come from his lips that even the fathers who had grown gray in the ways of holiness were never tired of listening to him.
This love of Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament not only gave him an unalterable peace, of which nothing was able to rob him, but it seemed to overflow on all who came near him. A novice, who could not attain that inward peace, applied one day to the holy youth, begging him that he would pray for him. 'Come,' said he, 'and let us go into the church, and pray before the Most Holy Sacrament.' Scarcely had they approached the altar and begun to pray when the heart of the novice was filled with consolation and peace.
The venerable father of the Order had the greatest joy in this holy youth, but he soon found that the flower was ripe for heaven, and would speedily be called there to unfold its fullest beauty. Stanislas himself had an anticipation of his early death, saying that he hoped to be called to heaven on the feast of the Assumption of his dear mother Mary that he might celebrate it there with the holy angels. His prediction no one would attend to, seeing that he gave no signs of illness. But on the eve of the feast of St. Lawrence he sickened; and on entering the infirmary he signed his bed with the sign of the cross, and with an expression of joy exclaimed, 'If it be God's will that I should rise again from this bed, His will be done; but believe me, I shall never again rise therefrom.' His sicknesss was a tertian fever, without apparent danger. On the 14th of August he lost consciousness a little after midday. When it returned he asked for the Holy Viaticum. For the last time he received the Body of the Lord, lying on the ground, after which he was anointed. When he had passed some time in prayer he asked for a crucifix, and, after kissing it, cried suddenly, 'I see the Most Blessed Virgin with the angels;' and so he fell asleep on the 15th of August 1568, in the eighteenth year of his age.

Link (here) to read the original contained in the book entitled, Legends of the Blessed Sacrament by Emily Mary Shapcote

Fordham Law Students For Reproductive Justice

Students at Fordham University complain that the Catholic school won't prescribe birth control at its campus clinics — and that this policy isn't made clear to incoming students. Now they're hosting an off-campus clinic as an alternative. Bridgette Dunlap of Fordham Law Students for Reproductive Justice writes in a statement,
Fordham University prohibits the prescription of contraception in its health centers and the distribution of condoms on its campuses. Students who purchase insurance from Fordham incur a $100 "per condition" deductible to see an off-campus doctor for birth control; for students who learn of the school's policies only after visiting a Fordham health center, this may be in addition to the cost of an annual exam at Fordham. Fordham administrators and health center staff say there is a health exception to the undocumented prescription ban, but in practice students have been turned away even with records of serious medical conditions.
Link (here) to Jezebel to read the lengthy story.

Monday, November 28, 2011

"I Will Be Propitious To You In Rome."

The Vision of St. Ignatius at La Sorta
I was able to visit St. Peter's Basilica and the tomb of Blessed John Paul II, as well as to buy some souvenirs. I had "Pranzo," the large midday meal, with Cardinal Raymond Burke, a great friend of the Apostleship of Prayer who always includes our annual leaflet in his Christmas cards. Our meetings began on Tuesday and I was busy with those through Saturday when we met with Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, the General of the Jesuits and Director General of the Apostleship. On Saturday night we went to a place that figures into Jesuit history--La Storta--where 
St. Ignatius had a vision of the Father placing him with the Son who was carrying His cross. He heard the words, "I will be propitious to you in Rome." As we celebrated Mass in this tiny chapel, we offered our work to the Father with the Son, praying that the Holy Spirit would continue to guide us and the Apostleship of Prayer around the world. 
We were grateful that God had been so "propitious" to us during our meetings.

Link (here) to the full blog post by Fr. James Kubicki, S.J.  at his blog Offer It Up

The Jesuit College Of Quebec

"(W)ith the Approbation of His Excellency the Governor, there is a School opened in the Jesuit College, by Patrick McClement, where he teaches English in the best Method, with Writing, Arithmetic vulgar and decimal, the Extraction and Use of the square and cube Roots, Book-keeping, Mensuration of all Manner of Superficies and Solids, &c. &c." Quebec Gazette, Sept. 5, 1776 
The Jesuit College of Quebec Collège des Jesuites est 1635
This advertisement marked the beginning of Patrick McClement's short career as the first government authorized paid lay teacher in the province of Quebec. Although discharged soldier John Fraser had probably been teaching there for several years, McClement was the first to receive the governor's approval. After the Conquest of 1760, religious communities such as the Ursulines, the Jesuits and the Sulpicians re-established their schools. And a number of laypeople, mostly male anglophone Protestants, established private schools to teach boys subjects as varied as first-language literacy and dancing.
Link (here) to read the full story at The Gazette