Sunday, July 22, 2012


Our sweet Bogey from less than a month ago
A few days ago I had to change the profile on this blog to read "I live in Brooklyn, New York with my husband and 4 cats" to "I live in Brooklyn, New York with my husband and 3 cats."  We lost our precious Bogey, pictured at left, last Tuesday.  He had been diagnosed last January with pleural effusion, which means fluid on the lungs.  It got quite bad the last few weeks, and we had him operated on this past Tuesday.  He died shortly after the surgery.  He was only 7 years old.

For those who have never loved an animal, you will have no idea what I'm talking about.  But for those who have had their hearts stolen by one of God's beautiful creatures, you will know intimately the pain that I feel in my heart. 

I have had more than one person say to me that it is just too painful to lose them, so they refuse to have another cat or dog because they can't stand to go through the pain again.  They so want to avoid the inevitable pain that comes from losing what they love that they will give up the joy of love itself.  And that is a terrible mistake. 

Everything in this life, including our own lives, is temporary.  Because of sin, everything in this world will die and fade away.  Everyone you love is going to eventually betray you if in no other way than that they are going to die and leave you, if you don't betray them by dying first.  And it will hurt, you will feel like your heart is being torn out of your chest.  In fact, the deeper you love, the more brutal the pain.  That is the price of love in this world, and there is no escaping it, except, of course, if you choose not to love at all.  But if that is the path you have taken, you have not only rejected love, you have rejected life itself.  As Simon and Garfunkel sang back in the 60's, "I am a rock, I am an island, and a rock feels no pain, and an island never cries." 
Our Blessed Mother Holding Her Dead Son In Her Arms,
who died a bloody painful death to save us
The symbol of Christianity, true Christianity, is Christ on the cross, with his arms outstretched, completely naked (we added the loincloth out of modesty), completely vulnerable, shedding his blood so that we can be saved from eternal death.  This is the truest picture of love that the world has ever seen or will ever see.  If Christ had shied away from the pain, we would all be eternally condemned.  Our Lord not only had to suffer the physical pain of the crucifixion, he had to suffer rejection and hatred from the very ones he was dying for.  If our Blessed Mother had not been willing to open her heart, if she had not been willing to suffer the sword that pierced her heart as Simeon had prophesied, Christ could not have become man and poured out his human blood to save mankind.  If we are not willing to love, which means opening our heart to suffering, there can be no life. 

Bogey at the top of the cat tree
with his friends, Cagney and Emily
To choose to avoid the suffering that comes from loving an animal is not a sin.  But if we choose to avoid the suffering that comes from loving other human beings, who are made in the image of God and for whom He died, then we have sinned and cut ourselves off from life itself. 

There was a beautiful movie made back in the mid 1990's called "Shadowlands", based on the true story of C.S. Lewis and his wife, Joy.  Joy was an American who had fled to England to escape an abusive, alcoholic and adulterous husband.  She asked "Jack" to marry her so that she could have English citizenship and stay in the country.  He married her as a favor with no intention of ever being a real husband to her.  Shortly after they were married, she was diagnosed with inoperable cancer.  He suddenly realized he loved her and took her and her son into his home and took care of her.  His love for her grew very deep. 

Below is a scene from the movie where Joy discusses her impending death with Jack.  She tries to tell him that the joy they feel in being together cannot be separated from the pain he will endure when she dies.  As she says, "the pain then is part of the happiness now.  That's The Deal"  To reject the pain means also to reject the happiness.

After Joy dies, Jack struggles with his grief, getting very angry at God, unable to deal with the great loss and pain he is feeling.  Finally, the wisdom of what Joy tried to explain to him begins to break through.  He realizes that to reject the suffering also means to reject the great happiness he felt with her.  Below is the last scene of the movie in which Jack explains that he understands what Joy tried to tell him.  When he was a young boy and his mother died, he just hid away from both the love and pain he felt for her.  He chose "safety."  As a man, he chose love, which means he chose suffering. 

The good news is that as Christians, we can take this further.  The suffering we feel now is a part of the unending happiness we will experience with our Saviour for all eternity.  Our suffering now is what will lead us into an eternity of complete happiness and bliss.  The last chapter in the last book of the Bible, Revelation 21, gives us this preview:

1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For the first heaven and the first earth was gone, and the sea is now no more.
2 And I John saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice from the throne, saying: Behold the tabernacle of God with men, and he will dwell with them. And they shall be his people; and God himself with them shall be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and death shall be no more, nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be any more, for the former things are passed away.
5 And he that sat on the throne, said: Behold, I make all things new. And he said to me: Write, for these words are most faithful and true.
A New Heaven and a New Earth
As we say in the prayer at the end of the Rosary to our Blessed Mother, "To Thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears."  As our Lord told us in the sermon on the mount, "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted."  Unless we are willing to mourn on this earth, to experience and even embrace our suffering just as Christ embraced His Cross, we cannot experience the comforting love of our Saviour in heaven.   If you run away from your suffering, which is your cross, you are also running away from your reward in heaven.

That's the deal.

Thank you Bogey, for sharing your sweet life with us.  Rest in peace, my little prince.

Bogey with his friend Cagney

The End of Christendom

I very seldom watch network or cable TV anymore.   Most television programming is now awash in the morals of our time - acceptance, nay promotion of homosexuality and promiscuity, emphasis on the superficial and trivial (e.g., "Jersey Shore"), lack of family and traditional values, vulgar and profane speech, complete de-emphasis of and even mocking belief in God and religious life, etc. etc.  And almost everything has an either implicit or explicit sexual overtone in one way or the other.  The vast majority of media is both post-Christian and anti-Christian.  To watch TV or listen to contemporary music, movies, etc. is to immerse ourselves in the way of Satan and of death. 

It's difficult to say whether our entertainment is a reflection of our times or our times are a reflection of the "entertainment" we allow into our hearts, minds and souls.  It's probably a mixture of both.  Nevertheless, it is a fact that western society is no longer governed by Christian values and morals, and those who do try to live by Christian values are now social outcasts.  I once again turn to Michael Voris on an episode of The Vortex who explains this far better than I can.  You can watch the episode here and/or read the transcript (once again with my comments).   

Wake Up and Man Up!  
Hello everyone and welcome to The Vortex where lies and falsehoods are trapped and exposed. I’m Michael Voris coming to you from St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.  
Wake up Catholics. Wake Up! Do you not see what is happening around the world? Pay attention to these prophetic words ..  
“The world in which we live is the battleground of the Church. I believe that we are now living at the end of Christendom. It is the end of Christendom, but not of Christianity. What is Christendom? Christendom is the political, economic, moral, social, legal life of a nation as inspired by the gospel ethic. That is finished. Abortion, the breakdown of the family life, dishonesty, even the natural virtues upon which the supernatural virtues were based, are being discredited.

This is how modern society
views Christianity
Christianity is not at the end. But we are at the end of Christendom. And I believe the sooner we face up to this fact, the sooner we will be able to solve many of our problems. Thirty or forty years ago [now more like 60 to 70 years ago for us], it was very easy to be a Christian. The very air we breathed was Christian. Bicycles could be left on the front lawns; doors could be left unlocked.  
Suddenly, all this has changed; now we have to affirm our faith. We live in a world that challenges us. And many fall away. Dead bodies float downstream; it takes live bodies to resist the current. And this is our summons. We will have to begin a different church.

American "Christianity" has become like an
empty, hollow church with nothing to offer
We are for a moment on a trapeze. We are in between the death of an old civilization and culture and the swing to the beginning of the new. These are the times in which we live. They are therefore wonderful days; marvelous; we should thank God that we live in times like this.”  
Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen first uttered those words in 1974. And 38 years later they contain in them a greater urgency than even that giant among bishops may have ever thought possible. The “new church” that Sheen speaks of that we need to begin is only New in the sense that the thoroughly protestantized Catholic Church that has been around for the past 50 years or so is the old church.

Protestantized "Catholic" Church of
 St Peter’s in Boerne, Texas, near San Antonio 
What needs to be resurrected is a ferocity about the faith – an unapologetic Apologetics .. a refusal and rejection of all that is not solidly Catholic in every corner of the Catholic world. This includes cowardly approaches to the Faith by those charged with transmitting and defending it.

If your parish is slowly sapping your faith and the faith of your children .. leave it and get to one that actually nourishes you.  
It is a spiritual felony for leaders to slowly starve their people of the full and authentic truths of Christ made present in the Magisterium of the Church. And it therefore makes accomplices of all inside the Church who continue to peddle this soft glad handing girly approach to the faith .. being afraid to call out leaders who betray the faithful by word or deed .. active or passive.

Too many in the Church .. vast numbers .. feed off a bureaucracy that is corrupt or morally complicit in the downfall of souls. Those who know will not speak out for fear of their own loss of income or standing or prestige. And as the moral and spiritual rot continues to creep along .. they continue broadcasting or writing books or blogs supporting the very bureaucracy sucking the life out of the Church. They aim their barbs and criticisms at enemies of the faith outside the walls .. which takes not the least bit of courage .. but refuse to talk about what they KNOW going on inside the walls – the refusal to allow the Latin Mass to expand for example .. the continued allowance of employment of heretics in universities .. of pastors being allowed to stay pastors as they preach a false gospel of silence on the most pressing issues of the day.

All of this and much more they KNOW and refuse to breathe a word about any of it .. they refuse to sound a call to arms and hide behind lofty sounding terms like Prudence and Charity and Unity. To do so would cost them their speaking engagements and acclaim of ignorant sheep and ability to host radio shows and author books. They will not tell the whole truth and therefore are accomplices in degradation of the Church.  
They are not so much allies as they are parasites. Archbishop Sheen again is instructive here: "A Catholic who does not strive to spread his Faith is a parasite on the life of the Church."  
How can someone claim to be spreading the faith, particularly those with a platform to do so, when they refuse to confront the very forces INSIDE the Church preventing the spread of the Faith .. weak and cowardly bishops, modernist staffers in chanceries and high level offices pushing perverse notions of the Church’s teaching in areas of social doctrine and sexual morality.

The Church of Nice crowd never wants to talk about these people .. the wolves in sheep’s clothing. Meanwhile .. because the wolves are allowed to roam free .. the Church continues to be weak and the world grows more evil as a consequence. Indeed .. the only avenue left for a corpse is to go along with the flow.  
The authentic Church must become a Church of ferocious resistance and great saints .. unafraid to say ALL that needs to be said. How long do the parasites think the host will be alive to feed from? GOD Love you, I’m Michael Voris
Family and friends mourn victim of
Colorado shooting
As the Venerable Archbishop Sheen said in 1974, Christendom - the political, economic, moral, social, legal life of a nation as inspired by the gospel ethic - has ended.  This can be seen most vividly in the horrendous shooting in Colorado, in which a man walked into a movie theater and shot 12 people to death and injured scores of others.  The movie that was showing promoted dark themes and violence, and in fact the title is "The Dark Knight."  Such an incident would not and did not happen while we still lived under Christendom.

 We live in a spiritually dead world that is headed over the cliff into total destruction, and unless we separate ourselves from it and turn to the saving truth of Jesus Christ, the fullness of which can only be found within the true Catholic Church, we will die along with this world.    Times have never been more serious than they are right now, and the stakes - our spiritual eternity - have never been higher.  There is no more time to play games.  We must take a stand and as Michael Voris says here, "The authentic Church must become a Church of ferocious resistance and great saints .. unafraid to say ALL that needs to be said."

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