Friday, November 24, 2017

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Birdmen from space and Thanksgiving Day

birdmen from space
land in peace, then declare war -
Thanksgiving Day

Pax et bonum

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Mall Santa Blues

I admit it.

I have a bit of a temper - especially when I feel used or mistreated, and when there's time for what I'm upset about to fester.

It just usually doesn't happen with my gig as a mall Santa. (Mind you, I've been doing this for more than a decade.)

This year's problems began as we approached the season. I had signed my contract long ago. I was waiting to hear from the manager to set schedules and to get into the changing room to make sure the costumes were set.

I waited and waited through October and into November, but no word.

Finally, I came home to find a message from the regional manager on our answering machine. I called him back immediately, and he said he was going into a mall and would call me back in half an hour.

I waited.

No call.

I waited to see if he would call the next day.


A weekend intervened. Then I had other activities keeping me busy or getting home late.

Finally, after a week, I called him again.

He said the local manager would call me the next day to set schedules.

Of course, I got no call.

I was so ticked I was weighing calling yet again, or just saying forget it for this season.

Finally, two days before we opened, the regional manager called to ask about my availability. He mailed me a schedule for the three Santas working at our mall later on - with no one assigned to open on Wednesdays.

But the hours on the schedule differed from the ones we had discussed. I e-mailed him back immediately to get a clarification.

He never responded.

Finally, I went on the mall website to check the hours they listed. This resolved my question - but I also discovered that my first shift included a pet night that would keep me two hours beyond my scheduled time. No one had told me about having a pet night, and if I hadn't looked on the mall site I wouldn't have found out until I showed up for my shift.

I worked that long shift - 9 hours - then came back on Tuesday night for my evening shift. That was fine, but when I got home there was a panicked message on our answering machine from the local  manager asking if there was any chance I could do the opening shift the next morning as no one had been scheduled. I called back to say I would do it to help out, and she said she had managed to get one Santa who was dealing with health issues and who had to drive a long way. I said given his situation I would do it.

I showed up to open - which was scheduled at 11 - and one of the security guards made a comment that I was late. I wasn't - I still had a half hour to go, plenty of time to get suited up, so I was puzzled. I later learned that the supervisor the night before had put up a sign saying that Santa would be there at 10, and that some people had complained when there was no Santa there at 10.

Once my shift started, the local manager admitted that she did not know the schedules of the Santas as the regional manager had not sent them to her and was not responding to her requests.

At that point I asked if and when we would be doing Santa Cares, a program for special needs children that we had run before outside regular hours (my concern was as a church musician there was one Sunday I was absolutely not available). She informed me that it was this Sunday - when I was the only scheduled Santa - and that it was running from 8-10 a.m. I pointed out that my shift begins at 11, and that the program normally runs the two hours before that time - 9-11. I asked what I was supposed to do between 10 and 11 as the mall would not be open (plus, that would mean I'd be there from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.). She tried to contact the regional manager - no luck. I pointed out that if I hadn't asked I would have planned on showing up at my scheduled time, and that if they tried calling me in a panic when I didn't show on Sunday at 8 I would have been at church.

As I was leaving after my shift, I asked her if she'd gotten a clarification about the time, and she said that she had not , but when the regional manager got back to her she would have him call me.

I'm not holding my breath.

Meanwhile, I went on the mall website when I got home. Sure enough, they are publicly promoting Santa Cares as running from 8 - 10, so I suspect that's when it will be.

I'm irate right now. I'm tempted to say I will do the Santa Cares, as I would not want to disappoint those children and their families, but that they should find another Santa to take my place after that as I was quitting. I certainly have opportunities to play Santa for organizations and private events - I've had to turn some down because of my mall shifts.

Good thing I have a day or two to calm down.

Pax et bonum

Sweet and Sour Lentils

Being a vegetarian, I don't eat turkey at Thanksgiving. One of the foods I substitute is Sweet and Sour Lentils - something that has become a Thanksgiving tradition in our family.

2 cups of water
1 bay leaf
salt to taste
1 cup washed lentils
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons cider or pineapple juice
3 tablespoons brown sugar or honey
3 tablespoons vinegar

Bring water to a boil, add salt, bay leaf and lentils. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Stir and mix well. Cook until lentils are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.

Pax et bonum

Monday, November 20, 2017

Prayer for the Canonization of Blessed Solanus Casey

Canonization Prayer
O God, I adore You. I give myself to You.
May I be the person You want me to be,
and May Your will be done in my life today.
I thank You for the gifts You gave Father Solanus.
If it is Your Will, bless us with the Canonization of
Father Solanus so that others may imitate
and carry on his love for all the poor and
suffering of our world.
As he joyfully accepted Your divine plans,
I ask You, according to Your Will,
to hear my prayer for… (your intention)
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“Blessed be God in all His Designs.”

The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron
Archbishop of Detroit
May 2017

Pax et bonum

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Santa season begins! (A Mall Santa's Prayer)

A Mall Santa's Prayer

As I hold each precious child
let me treat each one
with the love and care I'd show
Your most holy Son.

Pax et bonum

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Blessed Solanus Casey

now Solanus
Casey, holy doorman,
may you inspire us always to
give thanks.


Blessed Solanus Casey was officially beatified today. Alleluia

Pax et bonum

Appaloosa 2016 - Hillbilly Thomists - Wild Mountain Thyme

Pax et bonum

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Many Miracles of Solanus Casey

He is the patron I took when I professed as a Franciscan in 2011.

The Many Miracles of Solanus Casey: Many people have begged Fr. Solanus Casey for healing, during his life and after. Learn about the miracles that have led to his beatification.

Pax et bonum

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Thorny Grace of it - Brian Doyle

I just finished The Thorny Grace of It by Brian Doyle, and really enjoyed it.

Doyle, who sadly died earlier this year after a battle with cancer, was a gifted essayist, and this collection of essays about being Catholic was not only well-written, but also rang true. He was devout, a committed Catholic, but was willing to address the reality of living out his faith, warts and all. He did so in a positive way, finding the light in even the darkest moments.

I want to find more of his work. I'm sorry that he died so young (60).

If you like short essays and a look at being a Catholic husband, father, and writer today, I recommend it.

Pax et bonum

Franciscan Quotation

I will go anywhere and do anything in order to communicate the love of Jesus to those who do not know Him or have forgotten Him. - St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

Pax et bonum

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Franciscan quotation

Beauty awakens the soul to act.

- Dante Alighieri

Pax et bonum

Friday, November 10, 2017

Ho Ho Ho

The season is almost upon us!

Pax et bonum

Amish Romance

Pass by the bookshelves in supermarkets - or the "Christian" shelves in bookstores - and you will notice a lot of Amish looking women on the covers.

I've been noticing these books proliferating in recent years. I read only one - a suggestion from a very religious student - but I have occasionally skimmed through some I've picked off shelves.

Some things are consistent about them:

They are clean. They avoid foul language and descriptions of sexual activity.

They are not graphically violent. People seek peaceful, respectful solutions to problems.

The characters are chaste. They avoid sex before marriage. They do not cohabit. They remain faithful to their spouses.

There's no confusion about gender or gender roles. Men are men, women are women, and they show respect for each other.

Family is important. The couples - married - work together to provide for their children and support each other. They have children if they are capable of doing so. They welcome them. They don't keep putting them off until they have all the "things" they want first.

Divorce, when it does come up, is viewed in a negative light and not as an easy out rather than dealing with problems.

The characters are religious in positive ways. Their faith nurtures and sustains them. While they live in the world, they are not controlled by the often selfish, self-centered values of that society.

Those are general observations. There may be some books that stray away from those traits - after all, I have not read a significant number of them - but I suspect they don't stray too far.

I've been thinking about why they have become so popular, especially among women.

Could it be that those women at some level recognize that they've been sold a bill of goods by our consumerist, self-centered, oversexed culture? Could it be that these women are longing for a more stable world where they are treated with respect and dignity? Could it be these women dream of dating and romance being about life-long love and not immediate-gratification lust? Could it be these women sense that a life focused on marriage and family and children are normal, natural, and good for you?

The thing is, such a reality is available for them. They can choose to live that way. There are such men out there. I see so many Christian enclaves developing where men and women work together to live out their faith. I teach at a school that was created by such people who wanted to provide a solid Catholic environment and education.

Here's hoping that the readers of these books don't settle for just fantasizing about such things while reading these novels.

Pax et bonum

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Franciscan quotation

I shall never rest until I am hidden and enclosed in that divine heart wherein all created forms are lost, and, so lost, remain thereafter all divine; nothing else can satisfy true, pure, and simple love. - St. Catherine of Genoa

Pax et bonum

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Franciscan quotation

I believe no happiness can be found worthy to be compared with that of a soul in Purgatory except that of the saints in Paradise; and day by day this happiness grows as God flows into these souls, more and more as the hindrance to His entrance is consumed. - St. Catherine of Genoa

Pax et bonum

Abortion Increases Risk of Women’s Mental Health Problems (report)

More evidence, but it will likely be ignored by progressives and the main stream media.

New Report: Abortion Increases Risk of Women’s Mental Health Problems: The abortion industry and its medical and media allies constantly repeat the refrain that abortion is safer than childbirth and that it is an overall health ...

Pax et bonum

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Franciscan quotation (St. Charles Borromeo)

"Be sure that you first preach by the way you live. If you do not, people will notice that you say one thing, but live otherwise, and your words will bring only cynical laughter and a derisive shake of the head."
- St. Charles Borromeo

Pax et bonum

Friday, November 3, 2017

So ... Hillary allegedly stole the Democratic nomination?

The latest accusations are that the Clinton campaign basically hijacked and rigged the Democratic nomination process, which, if true, means she essentially stabbed Bernie Sanders in the back. Looks as if Donna Brazille's new book is going to top the best seller lists - if the NY Times and others bother to list it.

Now I'm not a Democrat, but if I were, I probably would have voted in the primaries for Bernie. Not because I agreed with him on all issues, but because I did not trust Hillary. These new accusations basically confirmed that I would have made the right choice.

Pax et bonum

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Franciscan quotation (Divine Comedy)

“Consider your origin. You were not formed to live like brutes but to follow virtue and knowledge.”

- Dante (Secular Franciscan) The Divine Comedy.

Pax et bonum

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Franciscan quotation

As in heaven Your will is punctually performed, so may it be done on earth by all creatures, particularly in me and by me.
- Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
Pax et bonum

The Divine Praises (and inappropriate language)

Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true Man.
Blessed be the Name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be His Most Precious Blood.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most Holy.
Blessed be her Holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her Glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints. Amen.

The Divine Praises have been a part of my prayer life for a while now.

Often associated with Benediction services - I do say it then - I've made recitation of it as a part of my morning prayers each day, and as a prayer that I recite at Mass after Communion (along with the St. Michael Prayer and the Hail Mary).

Apparently it was originally composed in the 18th Century as a way to make reparation for profane or blasphemous language. I did not know that, but given my ongoing fight against the use of foul and  offensive language, it makes my use of the prayer even more appropriate.

And now knowing this, maybe I should recite it whenever I'm tempted - or give in - to using insulting or sarcastic language. After all, when I speak unkindly of or toward others I am insulting Our Lord as well.

I recommend daily recitation of this prayer - and especially when moved to be less guarded in what we say.

Pax et bonum

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Franciscan quotation

Any old woman can love God better than a doctor of theology can. - St. Bonaventure

Pax et bonum

Federal Heartbeat Bill: Ban Abortion Once Heartbeat Is Detected

This would be wonderful!

Federal Heartbeat Bill would ban abortion once a heartbeat is detected

Pax et bonum

40 Days for Life - one early Saturday morning

I was outside Planned Parenthood shortly after 7 a.m. this morning holding up my 40 Days for Life sign ("Pray For An End To Abortion") saying a rosary when a driver pulled up to me.

Not know what to expect I said good morning through his open window.

He greeted me back, and said that abortion is wrong (phew), but it won't change until the government does.

I agreed that the government has to change, but noted that the current administration is cutting back on Planned Parenthood /abortion funding, and we have a chance to change the Supreme Court.

He thought it was good to cut their funding, then repeated the government has to do something.

I said that I thought Planned Parenthood is getting scared they will lose funding and that the laws will change, and that I'm more optimistic.

He said that's good, then drove off.

Several other people drove or walked by and gave a thumbs up or waved. Only one person gave me the finger.

A woman walked behind me. I said, "Good morning." She responded in kind, then asked what my sign said. She walked in front of me, read it, and commented that it would be good if we could get rid of abortion. We chatted for a moment, then she wished me well and turned to leave. I said "God bless." She nodded, then continued down the street.

As staff arrived at the clinic I turned my sign toward them. I kept smiling - and hoping that their hearts will be touched. I prayed for them.

I'm optimistic.

I sense things are slowly changing.

Pax et bonum

Nani Chineke (ft. Fr. Tansi Ibisi, CFR)

Lovely - and inspiring.

Pax et bonum

Friday, October 27, 2017

Franciscan quotation

Men do not fear a powerful hostile army as the powers of hell fear the name and protection of Mary. - St. Bonaventure

Pax et bonum

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Franciscan quotation

"You cannot please both God and the world at the same time, They are utterly opposed to each other in their thoughts, their desires, and their actions." - Saint John Vianney

Pax et bonum

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Franciscan quotation

Those who are called to the table of the Lord must glow with the brightness. - St. John of Capistrano

Pax et bonum

Monday, October 23, 2017

Our God Is Good

Rock of Faith - my group - will be leading the congregation in this hymn November 12. 

Pax et bonum

Franciscan quotation

You have the Testaments, both old and new,
and the shepherd of the church to be your guide;
and this is all you need to lead you true.

- Dante, The Paradiso, Canto V (John Ciardi translation)

Pax et bonum

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Crisis Pregnancy Centers Deserve Support

One of the ways to counter abortion - and the frequent charge that pro-lifers only care about the unborn children - is by highlighting and promoting the many health centers and crisis pregnancy centers

There are so many people doing good work, promoting life, supporting women and children, even in the face of violence and threats.

Pax et bonum

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Planned Parenthood, "Pro-Woman" When It Supports Sex-Selection Abortion?

It's about profits, not women or real health care.

How Can Planned Parenthood be Pro-Woman When It Supports Sex-Selection Abortions?: Planned Parenthood wants you to think it is the champion of women. But if it achieves its goals, there may not be very many women left to champion. Last year

Pax et bonum

Blogs are dead?

I keep seeing people comment that blogs are dead. Indeed, other forms of social media seem to have supplanted them.

But then I see people still posting. Some combine them with other media - links to Twitter or Facebook, for example.

Blogs still provide an outlet for sharing thoughts and creativity and spirituality.

I will keep blogging

Blog's not dead.

Pax et bonum

Friday, October 20, 2017

Suspicious Package Left Near Pro-Lifers Praying Outside Abortion Clinic to Scare Them Off

I wonder if a pro-choicer will face arrest?

Suspicious Package Left Near Pro-Lifers Praying Outside Abortion Clinic to Scare Them Off: A suspicious package was found near a 40 Days for Life prayer vigil Friday in Dallas, Texas, prompting pro-life advocates to call the police and the bomb squad.

Pax et bonum

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Franciscan quotation

“Be sure that you first preach by the way you live. If you do not, people will notice that you say one thing, but live otherwise, and your words will bring only cynical laughter and a derisive shake of the head.” - St. Charles Borromeo

Pax et bonum

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Catholic Bishop: You Can’t be Catholic and Support Abortion

I've been saying this - as have a number of bishop and theologians.

Catholic Bishop: You Can’t be Catholic and Support Abortion: From our Catholic readers around the world, but especially in the United States, one of the biggest complaints we often hear is that fellow Catholics do not follow ...

Pax et bonum

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Franciscan quotation

“If a tiny spark of God’s love already burns within you, do not expose it to the wind, for it may get blown out… Stay quiet with God. Do not spend your time in useless chatter… Do not give yourself to others so completely that you have nothing left for yourself.” - St. Charles Borromeo

Pax et bonum

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Franciscan quotation

Be a Catholic: When you kneel before an altar, do it in such a way that others may be able to recognize that you know before whom you kneel. - St. Maximilian Kolbe

Pax et bonum

My Heart Beats Too (Pro-life)

Pax et bonum

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Independent Christian Films and Outsider Art

I've been somewhat critical of independent Christian films like War Room and Facing the Giants and God's Not Dead. I don't hate them - I even like many of them - but they often have poor production values, weak plots and character development, and uneven acting; they allow message to overwhelm good storytelling.

But, as I said, I still like many of them. Given the moral dreck Hollywood tends to put out - even when it tries to make religious/faith-based films (Gods and Kings, the misguided remake of Ben-Hur, and so on) - I'd pick the flawed but well-meaning films. And there are even some good ones lately - like Risen.

Then it dawned on me - many of these movies are akin to outsider art (also called self-taught art, folk art, or naïve art).

These self-taught outsider artists have something to say. Some have mental illness or various mental disabilities, and art is a way they try to express their thoughts and feelings. Some are perfectly normal people who just seek ways to give vent to their artistic sides though they are not formally trained - think of Grandma Moses.

Some of these independent Christian films have a lot in common with outsider art. Good people are trying to communicate with the world though they lack polished film-making skills - or lack the money to make better movies. But their flaws are sometimes part of their charm.

They are not alone in this. There have been "outsider" film makers since the dawn of movie-making. Some even become cult figures like Ed Wood (about whom a funny tribute film was made starring Johnny Depp as the cross-dressing Orson Wells fan!).

And as these Christian film-makers keep making films, some of them are getting better.

I'd still prefer quality films with religious themes - and there have been many (The Song of Bernadette, The Mission, Babette's Feast, and so on). But I'll still buy tickets for the outsider films and appreciate them for what they convey, just as I sometimes enjoy outsider art.

Maybe some day one of the Christian directors will even get to declare, "Perfect."

Pax et bonum

Christ Have Mercy - The Thirsting

Not my style of music normally, but powerful message.

Pax et bonum

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima

In honor of the 100th anniversary of Mary's last apparition at Fatima, we are watching The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima.

Although it's a little "Hollywoodized" (The  Gilbert Roland character, for example), it is still sincere and respectful in away that so many more modern Hollywood "religious" movies are not.

Yes, there are the earnest independent Christian films, but the preach dominates and they lack the qualities of good movie storytelling.

This 1952 movie holds up well. The plot is well crafted, the acting and dialogue are fine, the characters are believable. And it successfully conveys a message of faith.

(We also own and like the more recent - and "artsy" - The 13th Day, but were in the mood for the older film.)

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Pax et bonum

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Paradiso (Dante)

After my detour with contemporary Catholic fiction (Motherless), I've returned to more nourishing spiritual and literary fare - Dante's Paradiso. I'd already read the Inferno and Purgatorio, so it's time to finish.

After that? Hmm. Maybe something by Joseph Pearce.

Pax et bonum

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Franciscan quotation

“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.” - Pope St. John XXIII

Pax et bonum

Monday, October 9, 2017

Franciscan quotation (Columbus)

No one should fear to undertake any task in the name of our Saviour, if it is just and if the intention is purely for His holy service. - Christopher Columbus

Pax et bonum

Pretty dog at pet blessing

Ignore the fat guy - great looking dog!

Pax et bonum

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Franciscan quotation

More and more, Francis harbored within himself a profound instinct that the saving plan of God, as revealed by the child-Savior born in Bethlehem, was to touch every part of the created world. - Father Jack Wintz, O.F.M.

Pax et bonum

Focus on the Good, the True, the Beautiful

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. - PHIL 4: 8

God has created an incredible universe, and has blessed our lives in so many way. Yes, pain and sorrow exist, but we have a choice what we focus on and how we deal with it.

I remember the mother of a high school friend. She was dealing with illness - I'm not sure of the nature of it, but she was bed-ridden much of the time, and they even set up her bed in a first floor room that I think used to be an enclosed porch with windows on three sides so she did not have to go up and down stairs, and so she could be with her family and friends.

She never complained about her illness. She always seems to have a smile and a positive, encouraging word. We teens used to go to visit her, to pour out our latest woes, to listen to her funny and uplifting stories, or simply to sit with her. She made us feel better.

And then there's St. Francis. He could have railed against the corruption in the Church or in his society. Instead, he sang praises to God for the sun the moon, the wind, and even Sister Death.

Francis did not ignore what was wrong. But rather than just criticizing and entertaining others with sarcasm and clever put downs, he went lovingly among the outcasts and lepers to take care of them and give them comfort. And he choose not to feed his mind and soul with what was sinful and dark and which could tempt him.

So, we too need to focus on the Good, the Beautiful, the True. I know I need to question what television shows and movies I watch, the music I listen to, the materials I read. I need to keep asking myself if God came right now, would He be happy with what I choosing to spend my time with?

Instead, I need to turn to things that are nourishing for my soul and mind, and that won't open the doors of temptation and of distorted thinking and morality. And in my writing, even when I do decry what is wrong in the world, I need to ask myself, "Is what I am saying for the greater Glory of God"?

Yes, there is room for - even a need for - John the Baptists crying out in the wilderness, but that must be done with love. The goal is not simply to tear down, but rather, to point to salvation.  

And even when we do speak out, we must never be blind to the many gifts with which God has blessed us, and to let praise ever be in our hearts and on our lips.
The Canticle of the Creatures
By St. Francis of Assisi

Most High, all-powerful, good Lord,
Yours are the praises, the glory, and the honor, and all blessing.

To You alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no human is worthy to mention Your name.

Praised be You, my Lord, with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Son, who is the day and through whom You give us light.

And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor;
and bears a likeness of You, Most High One.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
in heaven You formed them clear and precious and beautiful.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather,
through whom You give sustenance to Your creatures.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night,
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.

Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains and governs us,
and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs.

Praised be You, my Lord,
through those who give pardon for Your love,
and bear infirmity and tribulation.

Blessed are those who endure in peace for by You,
Most High, shall they be crowned.

Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death,
from whom no one living can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin.

Blessed are those whom death will find in Your most holy will,
for the second death shall do them no harm.

Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks and serve Him with great humility.

Pax et bonum

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Franciscan quotation (a prayer of St. Francis)

May the Lord bless you.
May the Lord keep you.
May He show His face to you and have mercy. May He turn to you His countenance and give you peace.
The Lord bless you.

-- St. Francis

Pax et bonum

Friday, October 6, 2017

Franciscan quotation ( a prayer of St. Francis)

Prayer before the San Damiano Crucifix

Most High, glorious God enlighten the darkness of my heart. Give me true faith, certain hope and perfect charity, sense and knowledge that I may carry out Your Holy and true command.  

- Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi to discern God’s will

Pax et bonum

Senate Introduces Pro-Life Bill Banning Late-Term Abortions After 20 Weeks

This bill is not perfect - it still permits the execution of children conceived in rape, even though they are not at fault - but it is a step in the right direction.

Senate Introduces Pro-Life Bill Banning Late-Term Abortions After 20 Weeks After House Passage: Now that the House has passed a pro-life bill that bans abortions from after 20-weeks of pregnancy up to the day of birth, the Senate plans to follow suit. ...

Pax et bonum

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Franciscan quotation

In the hour of farewell, or, better, of leave-taking, I repeat once more that what matters most in this life is: our blessed Jesus Christ, his holy Church, his Gospel, and in the Gospel above all else the Our Father according to the mind and heart of Jesus, and the truth and goodness of his Gospel, goodness which must be meek and kind, hardworking and patient, unconquerable and victorious. - Pope St. John XXIII

Pax et bonum

Brother Sun And Sister Moon (St. Francis)

St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us.

Pax et bonum

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Franciscan quotation

If there be a true way that leads to the Everlasting Kingdom, it is most certainly that of suffering, patiently endured.  - Saint Colette of Corbie

Pax et bonum

House Passes Bill Banning Late-Term Abortions After 20 Weeks

This is a welcome vote - but now it must make it through the Senate. I am less optimistic about passage there due to some Republicans who are coopted.

House Passes Pro-Life Bill Banning Late-Term Abortions After 20 Weeks: The House of Representatives today approved a pro-life bill that bans abortions from after 20-weeks of pregnancy up to the day of birth.

Pax et bonum

"Motherless" - well-meaning, but ...

I'm reading Brian Gail's Motherless, the middle book of his trilogy (Fatherless, Motherless, Childless).

I'm at the point where I'm reading to finish it because I started it, not because I have a driving desire to find out what happens.

The book has it's merits, and it is addressing important moral issues, but like too many "Christian" movies, those issues are front and center instead of good storytelling.

There are some interesting characters, but too many of them run together and too many plot situations are strained to make the moral points.

Moral issues - faith struggles - can be dealt with in good fiction - Dostoyevsky, Graham Greene, and Michael O'Brien come to mind.

I wanted to like this book.

I will finish the it, but I don't know if I will go on to Childless.

Pax et bonum

Monday, October 2, 2017

Franciscan quotation

I care not where my body may take me as long as my soul is embarked on a meaningful journey. - Dante

Pax et bonum

President Trump expected to sign bill banning abortions after 20 weeks

Such abortions are truly barbaric - and that's saying a lot for a procedure that is by its very nature barbaric.

President Trump expected to sign legislation banning abortions after 20 weeks

Pax et bonum

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Franciscan quotation

“God is the love that moves the sun and stars.” - Dante

Pax et bonum

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Franciscan quotation

“... all things created have an order in themselves, and this begets the form that lets the universe resemble God.” - Dante 

Pax et bonum

On Being Snarky

One of my failings (there are many, mind you) as a Franciscan is my sarcastic/snarky side.

I grouse and crab and criticize so easily here, and on Facebook, and especially on Twitter.

I have a tendency to comment or reply with some snide remark even when I don't have to, and sometimes even when I was not part of the original discussion.

Not only is this not very Franciscan, it is not in keeping with G. K. Chesterton's style. He argued and debated often, but in a way that did not attack or demeaned the opponent. Yes, people did grow angry, and some were quite vicious when they did so, but that was on them, not instigated by him.

I have been trying to catch myself. I have been trying not to jump in or to make harsh comments, but have not always succeeded.

As with so many of my other failings, I need to avoid situations that encourage me to fall, and to ask God's help.

Pax et bonum

Friday, September 29, 2017

Franciscan quotation

"Let us love our enemies, bless those who curse us, pray for Those who persecute us. For love will conquer and will endure for all eternity. And happy are they who live and die in God's love." - Blessed Franz Jagerstatter

Pax et bonum

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Franciscan quotation

“Charity is the measure by which Our Lord judges all things.” - St. Padre Pio

Pax et bonum

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Achilles clerihew

gave most Trojan foes the willies.
But Paris said, "He's no big deal.
I just told him to heel."

Pax et bonum

Monday, September 25, 2017

Franciscan quotation (St. Padre Pio)

You must not be discouraged or let yourself become dejected if your actions have not succeeded as perfectly as you intended. What do you expect? We are made of clay and not every soil yields the fruits expected by the one who tills it. But let us always humble ourselves and acknowledge that we are nothing if we lack the Divine assistance. - St. Padre Pio

Pax et bonum

Parishioners Refuse To Stand During The Our Father

"I support their right to protest." - Lucifer

Parishioners Refuse To Stand During The Our Father

Pax et bonum

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Remember, God is watching ...

"... conduct yourselves in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ ..." (Philippians 1: 27)

I look at the hate-filled protests and violence - even acts committed by those in the name of "love" or "rights," and I think of God.

He is watching - not to judge, but in sorrow.

Imagine the pain we are causing Him as we do foolish and hurtful things to ourselves and others.

Forgive us, Lord.

Pax et bonum

Saturday, September 23, 2017

9 facts you need to know if you’re considering an abortion

Please, read the following before you do anything -

9 facts you need to know if you’re considering an abortion

Pax et bonum

Franciscan quotation (St. Padre Pio)

The prayers of the Saints in heaven and of the just on earth are a perfume which never will be lost. - St. Padre Pio

Pax et bonum

Friday, September 22, 2017

Franciscan quotation

We must not be wise and prudent according to the flesh, but, instead, we must be simple, humble and pure. - St. Francis of Assisi

Pax et bonum

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Being back in school ...

Except for the Franciscan quotations, I have been posting little of late. Being at a new school with a new curriculum means lots of reading and lesson planning, and I find myself with little time or mental energy. Sigh.

On a positive note, it's a wonderful school, with great students. I am enjoying it. The spirituality there is incredible.

Now, back to getting ready for the day!

Pax et bonum

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Franciscan quotation

Prayer is the raising of the mind to God. We must always remember this. The actual words matter less. - Pope St. John XXIII

Pax et bonum

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Franciscan quotation

Take care to have around you people, whether clerics or laymen, who are wise, upright, and loyal, and free from covetousness. Talk with them often, but shun and fly from association with the wicked. - King St. Louis

Pax et bonum

Monday, September 18, 2017

Franciscan quotation

As in heaven Your will is punctually performed, so may it be done on earth by all creatures, particularly in me and by me.
- Saint Elizabeth of Hungary

Pax et bonum

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Franciscan quotation

Many apply themselves to prayers and offices, and practise much abstinence and bodily mortification, but because of a single word which seems to be hurtful to their bodies or because of something being taken from them, they are forthwith scandalized and troubled. These are not poor in spirit: for he who is truly poor in spirit, hates himself and loves those who strike him on the cheek. - St. Francis of Assisi

Pax et bonum

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Franciscan quotation

There are many who if they commit sin or suffer wrong often blame their enemy or their neighbor. But this is not right, for each one has his enemy in his power,—to wit, the body by which he sins. Wherefore blessed is that servant who always holds captive the enemy thus given into his power and wisely guards himself from it, for so long as he acts thus no other enemy visible or invisible can do him harm. - St Francis of Assisi

Pax et bonum

Mason Proffit - Sweet Lady Love / Terry Talbot & John Michael Talbot

Pax et bonum

Saul Alinsky - with a nod to Lucifer and Hell

Saul Alinsky, the father of community organizing whose writings and tactics influenced political parties - he taught methods to demonizing foes, destroying them on a personal level, and taking adversarial approaches just to name three tactics - and even some of the social justice programs of the Catholic Church (Call to Action, for example) and other churches said in an interview shortly before he died:
ALINSKY: ... if there is an afterlife, and I have anything to say about it, I will unreservedly choose to go to hell.
ALINSKY: Hell would be heaven for me. All my life I've been with the have-nots. Over here, if you're a have-not, you're short of dough. If you're a have-not in hell, you're short of virtue. Once I get into hell, I'll start organizing the have-nots over there.
PLAYBOY: Why them?
ALINSKY: They're my kind of people.
His last book Rules for Radicals, contains the following epigram:
Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins — or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.
The rules:
      1. "Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have." Power is derived from  main sources – money and people. "Have-Nots" must build power from flesh and blood.
      2. "Never go outside the expertise of your people." It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone.
     3. "Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy." Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty.
    4. "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules." If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.
    5."Ridicule is man's most potent weapon." There is no defense. It's irrational. It's infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.
    6."A good tactic is one your people enjoy." They'll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They're doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones.
    7."A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag." Don't become old news.
    8."Keep the pressure on. Never let up." Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new.
    9."The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself." Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.
   10."The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition." It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.
   11."If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive." Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog.
   12."The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative." Never let the enemy score points because you're caught without a solution to the problem.
   13."Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

You see in these rules the roots of many of the tactics used in everything from community organizing to political campaigns - just think of how Rules 5 and 13 applied to the most recent Presidential election, for example.
In the book he also says "The third rule of ethics of means and ends is that in war the end justifies almost any means...." - clearly out of synch with Catholic teachings. Yet so many in the Church embraced his tactics.  Sad.

Pax et bonum

Friday, September 15, 2017

Franciscan quotation

“Every grace granted to man has three degrees in order; for by God it is communicated to Christ, from Christ it passes to the Virgin, and from the Virgin it descends to us.” - St. Bernardine of Siena

Pax et bonum

Rock of Faith God of Wonders 2016

Pax et bonum

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Franciscan quotation

“In things of beauty, he contemplated the One who is supremely beautiful, and, led by the footprints he found in creatures, he followed the Beloved everywhere.”   - St. Bonaventure (of St. Francis)

Pax et bonum

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Franciscan quotation

"While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart."  - St. Francis of Assisi

Pax et bonum

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Franciscan quotation

The devil is afraid of us when we pray and make sacrifices. He is also afraid when we are humble and good. He is especially afraid when we love Jesus very much. He runs away when we make the Sign of the Cross. - St. Anthony of Padua

Pax et bonum

Monday, September 11, 2017

Franciscan quotation (Chaput/Michelangelo)

For Christians, art is a holy vocation with the power to elevate the human spirit and lead men and women toward God. - Archbishop Charles Chaput

Pax et bonum

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Franciscan quotation (St. Bonaventure)

Chastity without charity is a lamp without oil. - St. Bonaventure

Pax et bonum

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Franciscan quotation (St. Francis - peacemakers)

They are truly peacemakers who are able to preserve their peace of mind and heart for love of our Lord Jesus Christ, despite all that they suffer in this world. - St. Francis of Assisi

Pax et bonum

Is It Ever Okay for a Christian to Judge Someone? | ChurchPOP

Is It Ever Okay for a Christian to Judge Someone? | ChurchPOP

Pax et bonum

Friday, September 8, 2017

Franciscan quotation (Padre Pio)

Keep your eyes fixed on Him who is your guide to the heavenly country, where He is leading you. What does it matter to you whether Jesus wishes to guide you to Heaven by way of the desert or by the meadow, so long as He is always with you and you arrive at the possession of a blessed eternity? - Saint Padre Pio

Pax et bonum

Misericordias Domini / Les Pauvres de Saint-François

Tres bien!

Pax et bonum

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Franciscan quotation (St. Clare)

Place your mind before the mirror of eternity! Place your soul in the brilliance of glory! And transform your entire being into the image of the Godhead Itself through contemplation. - St. Clare

Pax et bonum

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Franciscan quotation (Fr. Bodo)

Both in art and in nature one is moved to awe before the created thing and the mind and heart that created it - and awe is the prelude to admiration or adoration. One admires the human artist; one adores the Divine Artist. And from adoration flows all prayer. - Father Murray Bodo O.F.M.

Pax et bonum

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Franciscan quotation - a Blessing from St. Francis

A Blessing from St. Francis

May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May He show His Face to you and be merciful to you.
May He turn His countenance to you and give you peace.
May the Lord bless you.

Pax et bonum

Monday, September 4, 2017

Franciscan quotation

The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis. - Dante

Pax et bonum

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Franciscan quotation

“Let us thank God that He makes us live among the present problems. It is no longer permitted to anyone to be mediocre.” - Pope Pius XI

Pax et bonum

Father Kupaun Book: Informative, but ...

For school, I read The Miracle of Father Kupaun: Priest, Soldier, and Korean War Hero by Roy Wenzl and Travis Heying.

I had heard a little about Father Kupaun before, but did not really know much. The book certainly filled in details about his actions during the war, his death, and how he affected a number of people. He came across as a good man worthy of admiration. Certainly inspiring.

Should be officially recognized as a saint? I don't know. I leave that to the Church to decide.

I do wish the book had been better written, though. It's repetitive at times, and the interweaving of the stories of his two possible miracles becomes irksome after while; it would have been better just to tell each of the stories straight through.

If you want to know more about him, the book is a good start. Just don't expect a great read.

Pax et bonum

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Franciscan quotation (St. Charles Borromeo)

“Be sure that you first preach by the way you live. If you do not, people will notice that you say one thing, but live otherwise, and your words will bring only cynical laughter and a derisive shake of the head.”  - St. Charles Borromeo

Pax et bonum

Friday, September 1, 2017

Franciscan quotation

Beauty awakens the soul to act. - Dante

Pax et bonum

A response to Father Martin from Cardinal Sarah

A response from Cardinal Sarah to Father Martin.

Worth a read.

Pax et bonum

Three Clerihews (Clare, Moses, Trump)

Too sick to attend, St. Clare
miraculously saw the service as if there.
Because of that vision
she's now the patron saint of television!

If Moses
really supposes his toeses are roses,
then I'd be inclined to think
he's had too much to drink! 

Allegedly President Trump
called the White House a "dump."
If true, we presume he meant the facilities
and not his own policies.

Pax et bonum

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Franciscan quotation

Our labor here is brief, but the reward is eternal. Do not be disturbed by the clamor of the world, which passes like a shadow. Do not let false delights of a deceptive world deceive you. - St. Clare of Assisi

Pax et bonum

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Franciscan quotation (Archbishop Chaput)

We've all had friends tell us "I'm spiritual, but not religious." By that they usually mean they find purpose and communion with some higher power without the baggage of a religious tradition or other people telling them what to believe. This may sound appealing. But it isn't Christianity. - Archbishop Charles Chaput O.F.M. Cap.

Pax et bonum

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Franciscan quotation

All past persecutors of the Church are now no more, but the Church still lives on. The same fate awaits modern persecutors; they, too, will pass on, but the Church of Jesus Christ will always remain, for God has pledged His Word to protect Her and be with Her forever, until the end of time. - St. John Bosco

Pax et bonum

Pope Francis Derangement Syndrome

Various commentators have claimed that there is a "Trump Derangement Syndrome." Those suffering from this "syndrome" hate President Trump. They focus on what they regard as bad things he's done, and indeed seemingly give a negative spin to everything he does.

And the media, which he has repeatedly attacked, has stoked the fires with misreporting, bias, and outright lies.

Now I do admit I disagree with a number of things that Trump has said or done, but I'm also willing to admit when he is right. Of course, the minute I defend him in any way, or seek to refute misinformation about him, those suffering from TDS go after me.

I see a similar tendency toward negativity among some people toward Pope Francis. He is attacked, called a heretic, a bad Pope, and so on. There seems to be a Pope Francis Derangement Syndrome.

Part of the problem is misreporting in the media. He also has a tendency to speak off the cuff, which lends itself to misunderstanding. He does lack the poetic eloquence of Pope St. John Paul II, and the academic verbal precision of Pope Benedict XVI. And his focus is more pastoral than theological.

Sometimes he merits questions, even criticism, but the attacks, the snide comments, cross the line.

Here's a couple of examples:

This is what is so disturbing about Francis. His willingness to take something that is sacred and turn it into something that profaned God. A Jesuit should never have been made pope. The S in SJ, stands for Satan. SJ is Satan's Jesuits.
I think Pope Francis as a Jesuit should clarify whetehr (sic) he supports the views of these leading Jesuit schools. Will he make a statement? I don't believe he will, because he doesn't seem to want to provide leadership for the Catholic flock.

It is now clear to all objective observers that the two “synods on the family”, held in 2014 and 2015, were intended from the beginning to try to force changes in Catholic teaching on marriage and the family. The process culminated in the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, promulgated by Pope Francis in April 2016, which contains numerous heretical proposition.

Faithful Catholics must prepare themselves for the inevitable escalation of this new assault on the Church, in which her own ill-catechised and malformed youth will be used against her. Those who control the mechanisms of power in the Vatican have given ample of proof of the extent to which they will go to spread their own perverted and distorted “gospel”, in the place of the true gospel revealed once and for all by Our Lord Jesus Christ.

I try to be more Franciscan in my approach. As Pope, he deserves respect.

St. Francis in his Admonitions talked about respect for clergy, even those guilty of sin.

"26. That the Servants of God should honor Clerics.

Blessed is the servant of God who exhibits confidence in clerics who live uprightly according to the form of the holy Roman Church. And woe to those who despise them: for even though they [the clerics] may be sinners, nevertheless no one ought to judge them, because the Lord Himself reserves to Himself alone the right of judging them. For as the administration with which they are charged, to wit, of the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which they receive and which they alone administer to others—is greater than all others, even so the sin of those who offend against them is greater than any against all the other men in this world."

I think that Admonition is something more of us needs to heed when it comes to Pope Francis.

Pax et bonum

Setting up (school year begins)

I've now spent a couple of days in my new classroom, arranging desks, putting up pictures and posters, organizing the files and the desk. I still have a couple of days left - including copying stories and materials for the opening day.

It's strange after years at one school and in one classroom having to start over.

At this school, it's more than just setting up my room. I'm teaching new courses, new grade levels, under a very different educational system - Catholic Classical Liberal Educations (Liberal as in broad, not political). A very different approach, requiring some creative thinking. I'll be able to use some of my old stories and materials, but in different ways. Most of the stroes and materilas, though, will be new.

I'm both excited, and nervous.

Classes start next week.

St. John Bosco, pray for me.

Pax et bonum

Monday, August 28, 2017

Franciscan quotation

If young people are educated properly, we have moral order; if not, vice and disorder prevail. Religion alone can initiate and achieve a true education. - St. John Bosco

Pax et bonum

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Franciscan quotation

“Act today in such a way that you need not blush tomorrow.” - Saint John Bosco

Pax et bonum

Friday, August 25, 2017

Franciscan quotation (King St. Louis)

The first thing I advise is that you fix your whole heart upon God, and love Him with all your strength, for without this no one can be saved or be of any worth. - King St. Louis, Advice to his son

Pax et bonum

St. Louis IX - Advice to his son

King St. Louis IX - a Secular Franciscan - penned the following letter of advice to his son:

1. To his dear first-born son, Philip, greeting, and his father's love.

2. Dear son, since I desire with all my heart that you be well "instructed in all things, it is in my thought to give you some advice this writing. For I have heard you say, several times, that you remember my words better than those of any one else.  3. Therefore, dear son, the first thing I advise is that you fix your whole heart upon God, and love Him with all your strength, for without this no one can be saved or be of any worth.  4- You should, with all your strength, shun everything which you believe to be displeasing to Him. And you ought especially to be resolved not to commit mortal sin, no matter what may happen and should permit all your limbs to be hewn off, and suffer every manner of torment , rather than fall knowingly into mortal sin.  5. If our Lord send you any adversity, whether illness or other in good patience, and thank Him for it, thing, you should receive it in good patience and be thankful for it, for you ought to believe that He will cause everthing to turn out for your good; and likewise you should think that you have well merited it, and more also, should He will it, because you have loved Him but little, and served Him but little, and have done many things contrary to His will.  6. If our Lord send you any prosperity, either health of body or other thing you ought to thank Him humbly for it, and you ought to be careful that you are not the worse for it, either through pride or anything else, for it is a very great sin to fight against our Lord with His gifts.  7. Dear son, I advise you that you accustom yourself to frequent confession, and that you choose always, as your confessors, men who are upright and sufficiently learned, and who can teach you what you should do and what you should avoid. You should so carry yourself that your confessors and other friends may dare confidently to reprove you and show you your faults.  8. Dear son, I advise you that you listen willingly and devoutly the services of Holy Church, and, when you are in church, avoid to frivolity and trifling, and do not look here and there; but pray to God with lips and heart alike, while entertaining sweet thoughts about Him, and especially at the mass, when the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ are consecrated, and for a little time before.  9. Dear son, have a tender pitiful heart for the poor, and for all those whom you believe to be in misery of heart or body, and, according to your ability, comfort and aid them with some alms.  10. Maintain the good customs of your realm, and put down the bad ones. Do not oppress your people and do not burden them with tolls or tailles, except under very great necessity.  11. If you have any unrest of heart, of such a nature that it may be told, tell it to your confessor, or to some upright man who can keep your secret; you will be able to carry more easily the thought of your heart.  12. See to it that those of your household are upright and loyal, and remember the Scripture, which says: "Elige viros timentes Deum in quibus sit justicia et qui oderint avariciam"; that is to say, "Love those who serve God and who render strict justice and hate covetousness"; and you will profit, and will govern your kingdom well.  13. Dear son, see to it that all your associates are upright, whether clerics or laymen, and have frequent good converse with them; and flee the society of the bad. And listen willingly to the word of God, both in open and in secret; and purchase freely prayers and pardons. 14. Love all good, and hate all evil, in whomsoever it may be.  15. Let no one be so bold as to say, in your presence, words which attract and lead to sin, and do not permit words of detraction to be spoken of another behind his back.  16. Suffer it not that any ill be spoken of God or His saints in your presence, without taking prompt vengeance. But if the offender be a clerk or so great a person that you ought not to try him, report the matter to him who is entitled to judge it.  17. Dear son, give thanks to God often for all the good things He has done for you, so that you may be worthy to receive more, in such a manner that if it please the Lord that you come to the burden and honor of governing the kingdom, you may be worthy to receive the sacred unction wherewith the kings of France are consecrated.  18. Dear son, if you come to the throne, strive to have that which befits a king, that is to say, that in justice and rectitude you hold yourself steadfast and loyal toward your subjects and your vassals, without turning either to the right or to the left, but always straight, whatever may happen. And if a poor man have a quarrel with a rich man, sustain the poor rather than the rich, until the truth is made clear, and when you know the truth, do justice to them.  19. If any one have entered into a suit against you (for any injury or wrong which he may believe that you have done to him), be always for him and against yourself in the presence of your council, without showing that you think much of your case (until the truth be made known concerning it); for those of your council might be backward in speaking against you, and this you should not wish; and command your judges that you be not in any way upheld more than any others, for thus will your councillors judge more boldly according to right and truth.  20. If you have anything belonging to another, either of yourself or through your predecessors, if the matter is certain, give it up without delay, however great it may be, either in land or money or otherwise. If the matter is doubtful, have it inquired into by wise men, promptly and diligently. And if the affair is so obscure that you cannot know the truth, make such a settlement, by the counsel of s of upright men, that your soul, and the soul your predecessors, may be wholly freed from the affair. And even if you hear some one say that your predecessors made restitution, make diligent inquiry to learn if anything remains to be restored; and if you find that such is the case, cause it to be delivered over at once, for the liberation of your soul and the souls of your predecessors.  21. You should seek earnestly how your vassals and your subjects may live in peace and rectitude beneath your sway; likewise, the good towns and the good cities of your kingdom. And preserve them in the estate and the liberty in which your predecessors kept them, redress it, and if there be anything to amend, amend and preserve their favor and their love. For it is by the strength and the riches of your good cities and your good towns that the native and the foreigner, especially your peers and your barons, are deterred from doing ill to you. I will remember that Paris and the good towns of my kingdom aided me against the barons, when I was newly crowned.  22. Honor and love all the people of Holy Church, and be careful that no violence be done to them, and that their gifts and alms, which your predecessors have bestowed upon them, be not taken away or diminished. And I wish here to tell you what is related concerning King Philip, my ancestor, as one of his council, who said he heard it, told it to me. The king, one day, was with his privy council, and he was there who told me these words. And one of the king's councillors said to him how much wrong and loss he suffered from those of Holy Church, in that they took away his rights and lessened the jurisdiction of his court; and they marveled greatly how he endured it. And the good king answered: "I am quite certain that they do me much wrong, but when I consider the goodnesses and kindnesses which God has done me, I had rather that my rights should go, than have a contention or awaken a quarrel with Holy Church." And this I tell to you that you may not lightly believe anything against the people of Holy Church; so love them and honor them and watch over them that they may in peace do the service of our Lord.  23. Moreover, I advise you to love dearly the clergy, and, so far as you are able, do good to them in their necessities, and likewise love those by whom God is most honored and served, and by whom the Faith is preached and exalted.  24. Dear son, I advise that you love and reverence your father and your mother, willingly remember and keep their commandments, and be inclined to believe their good counsels.  25. Love your brothers, and always wish their well-being and their good advancement, and also be to them in the place of a father, to instruct them in all good. But be watchful lest, for the love which you bear to one, you turn aside from right doing, and do to the others that which is not meet.  26. Dear son, I advise you to bestow the benefices of Holy Church which you have to give, upon good persons, of good and clean life, and that you bestow them with the high counsel of upright men. And I am of the opinion that it is preferable to give them to those who hold nothing of Holy Church, rather than to others. For, if you inquire diligently, you will find enough of those who have nothing who will use wisely that entrusted to them.  27. Dear son, I advise you that you try with all your strength to avoid warring against any Christian man, unless he have done you too much ill. And if wrong be done you, try several ways to see if you can find how you can secure your rights, before you make war; and act thus in order to avoid the sins which are committed in warfare.  28. And if it fall out that it is needful that you should make war (either because some one of your vassals has failed to plead his case in your court, or because he has done wrong to some church or to some poor person, or to any other person whatsoever, and is unwilling to make amends out of regard for you, or for any other reasonable cause), whatever the reason for which it is necessary for you to make war, give diligent command that the poor folk who have done no wrong or crime be protected from damage to their vines, either through fire or otherwise, for it were more fitting that you should constrain the wrongdoer by taking his own property (either towns or castles, by force of siege), than that you should devastate the property of poor people. And be careful not to start the war before you have good counsel that the cause is most reasonable, and before you have summoned the offender to make amends, and have waited as long as you should. And if he ask mercy, you ought to pardon him, and accept his amende, so that God may be pleased with you.  29. Dear son, I advise you to appease wars and contentions, whether they be yours or those of your subjects, just as quickly as may be, for it is a thing most pleasing to our Lord. And Monsignore Martin gave us a very great example of this. For, one time, when our Lord made it known to him that he was about to die, he set out to make peace between certain clerks of his archbishopric, and he was of the opinion that in so doing he was giving a good end to life.  30. Seek diligently, most sweet son, to have good baillis and good prevots in your land, and inquire frequently concerning their doings, and how they conduct themselves, and if they administer justice well, and do no wrong to any one, nor anything which they ought not do. Inquire more often concerning those of your household if they be too covetous or too arrogant; for it is natural that the members should seek to imitate their chief; that is, when the master is wise and well-behaved, all those of his household follow his example and prefer it. For however much you ought to hate evil in others, you shoud have more hatred for the evil which comes from those who derive their power from you, than you bear to the evil of others; and the more ought you to be on your guard and prevent this from happening.  31. Dear son, I advise you always to be devoted to the Church of Rome, and to the sovereign pontiff, our father, and to bear him the the reverence and honor which you owe to your spiritual father.  32. Dear son, freely give power to persons of good character, who know how to use it well, and strive to have wickednesses expelled from your land, that is to say, nasty oaths, and everything said or done against God or our Lady or the saints. In a wise and proper manner put a stop, in your land, to bodily sins, dicing, taverns, and other sins. Put down heresy so far as you can, and hold in especial abhorrence Jews, and all sorts of people who are hostile to the Faith, so that your land may be well purged of them, in such manner as, by the sage counsel of good people, may appear to you advisable.  33. Further the right with all your strength. Moreover I admonish you you that you strive most earnestly to show your gratitude for the benefits which our Lord has bestowed upon you, and that you may know how to give Him thanks therefore  34. Dear son, take care that the expenses of your household are reasonable and moderate, and that its moneys are justly obtained. And there is one opinion that I deeply wish you to entertain, that is to say, that you keep yourself free from foolish expenses and evil exactions, and that your money should be well expended and well acquired. And this opinion, together with other opinions which are suitable and profitable, I pray that our Lord may teach you.  35. Finally, most sweet son, I conjure and require you that, if it please our Lord that I should die before you, you have my soul succored with masses and orisons, and that you send through the congregations of the kingdom of France, and demand their prayers for my soul, and that you grant me a special and full part in all the good deeds which you perform.
36. In conclusion, dear son, I give you all the blessings which a good and tender father can give to a son, and I pray our Lord Jesus Christ, by His mercy, by the prayers and merits of His blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, and of angels and archangels and of all the saints, to guard and protect you from doing anything contrary to His will, and to give you grace to do it always, so that He may be honored and served by you. And this may He do to me as to you, by His great bounty, so that after this mortal life we may be able to be together with Him in the eternal life, and see Him, love Him, and praise Him without end. Amen. And glory, honor, and praise be to Him who is one God with the Father and the Holy Spirit; without beginning and without end. Amen.

--- Some good advice for all of us!

Pax et bonum

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Franciscan quotation

Christ's kingdom doesn't come because of an inexorable, impersonal force. It comes because God builds it with our hands. Christian hope compels us to be faithful to our spouses and care for our children, to feed the hungry and welcome immigrants, to visit prisoners and sit by the dying right now. - Archbishop Charles J. Chaput.

Pax et bonum

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Franciscan quotation

The true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries, not innovators, but traditionalists. - Pope Saint Pius X

Pax et bonum

No, Jesus Did Not Learn to Overcome Prejudice from the Canaanite Woman | ChurchPOP

Good response to some troubling - and wrong - tweets.

No, Jesus Did Not Learn to Overcome Prejudice from the Canaanite Woman | ChurchPOP

Pax et bonum

Monday, August 21, 2017

Franciscan quotation

Holy Communion is the shortest and surest way to Heaven. There are others, innocence, for instance, but that is for little children; penance, but we are afraid of it; generous endurance of the trials of life, but when they come we weep and ask to be spared. Once for all, beloved children, the surest, easiest, shortest way is by the Eucharist. It is so easy to approach the holy table, and there we taste the joys of Paradise. - Pope Saint Pius X

Pax et bonum

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Franciscan quotation

“A belief in the immortality of the human soul, of the survival of the person beyond death, is one of the most important expressions of human hope.” - Father Benedict Groeschel

Pax et bonum

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Franciscan quotation

“If you do not know your own dignity and condition, you cannot value anything at its proper worth.” – Saint Bonaventure

Pax et bonum

We don't need no stinkin' trial (Charlottesville)

Some facts are clear.

James Fields, a troubled 20 year, was in Charlottesville to be part of the White nationalist protest when he drove down a street at a high rate of speed striking vehicles and people and killing Heather Heyer. He then backed up, fled, and was later arrested. Among the charges he is facing is second-degree murder.

Many on social media have already convicted him of murder.

Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.

It's as if some folks would like to save time and money and not bother with a trial.

I think it likely he will be convicted of crimes - such as fleeing the scene of an accident - and face jail time.

But ...

The investigation has not been completed. He has not been tried.

Now after the investigation it may be found that he did indeed maliciously, deliberately drive into that crowd. If so, the murder charge will likely hold up.

On the other hand, the investigation may reveal that he did not do it deliberately and intentionally.

There are reports - including allegedly some video footage and pictures - that seem to show he was driving slowly down that street and only sped up after his care was attacked. There is the possibility that he panicked, hit the gas, and that led to the tragedy. And when he did hit the vehicles and people, his car was also under attack, so he fled, perhaps fearing for his life. Indeed, initial police reports describe him as scared. Scared because he got caught? Scared because of what happened? Or scared because he felt threatened?

And remember that he is a troubled 20-year-old. Twenty-year-olds notoriously show poor judgment and self-control.

In other words, the investigation might reveal mitigating circumstances that, if true, could potentially lead to conviction on lesser charges.

There's no excuse for racism. Showing up to take part in a White Nationalism protest was inexcusable.

But I used to be 20, and I know I did and said stupid things. Nothing on the scale of evil that Fields has reportedly done - I never voiced hatred for any race. ethnicity, or religious group, for example. I did, however, show poor judgment at times. I did take part in marches and protests, and they could have turned violent.

I'm not justifying anything he did. I do think he needs to be tried. And I think the movement he's part of needs to be denounced and opposed (nonviolently).

Still, I think we need to wait for the investigation to be competed and the evidence to be revealed before we try and convict him. I refuse to hate him, call him names, or slap a label on him.

Otherwise, aren't we acting with the kind of prejudice - pre-judging - and hatred we condemn him and the White Nationalists, KKK, and neo-Nazis for doing?

Instead, we need to pray for Heather Heyer, for the other victims, and, yes, for James Fields.

Pax et bonum