And a Bishop Williamson follow-up…

9 03 2008


Some of you may know that the good bishop spoken of here is in a good deal of trouble right now, not that  he cares or anything. I just find it interesting that the death of Western civilization in his eyes entitles him to say/believe anything he pleases. I suppose this is the danger of saying , “The problem with this society is…” It can lead to all sorts of slippery slopes.

Follow-up from last week’s post

6 03 2008


From the Lion and the Cardinal:

A priest recently told me that a Catholic must keep his priorites in the following order: God first, family second, everything else third. Trite but so true. Historically, religious affiliation has, for most men, been determined by ancestry. It is not the best reason, because ancestors may have been wrong; but it is the second-best reason. In abandoning this reason for religious affiliation, has society moved up to choosing religion for the sake of God, or down to choosing religion for the sake of neither God nor family? Everything I observe indicates the latter.

In other words, religiosity in America is like moss on stone: widespread but with shallow roots. Food for thought.

Darn gringos!

4 03 2008


On a Catholic radio show, many people, including the host, chimed in on how they were unnerved by news of the exhumation of Padre Pio on the fortieth anniversary of his death. While they understood it on the intellectual level, they still found the idea unsavory.

Attitudes like that make me all the more pessimistic about the fate of the Church in this country. People can hoot all they want about how great it is to be Catholic and be triumphalistic about doctrine and apologetics. But when the rubber hits the road, and you have to whip out all of the blood and guts of the real Catholic Faith, people hesitate and are almost horrified by the ancient traditions of the Church.

One would wonder what the first inclinations of American Catholics would be when witnessing a martyrdom. I remember the case of Blessed Miguel Pro who was executed by the Masonic government in Mexico. I think his own family whipped out handkerchiefs to soak up the blood. “First class relics,” they thought.

Only proves one thing: Catholicism in this country doesn’t come instinctively for most. Hence, I suppose, my sometimes profound distaste for it.

How to make an idol

3 03 2008

thoth2.jpgOr: Fr. Ficino plays with fire

For a few years now, my admiration of paganism has become almost obsessive. My exposure to the idea that Catholicism is just a veiled form of paganism dates back to my youth. Of my mother’s eight brothers and sisters, three of them became evangelical Protestants shortly after coming to this country. The youngest, my tía Ale, married some evangelical guy from Michoacán (or “Michigan” as we affectionately call it thinking that it just might fool some people), and went off with him. They got a small house outside of Hollister nestled in a walnut grove. My new tío Paco was a cool enough guy. He took us kids walking through the countryside around the banks of the San Benito River. We picked tule and pretended to fight with it, and we saw crashed cars abandoned in a creek. We once played at a local park rolling down hill, and I got really sick to my stomach and he made a tea out of yerba buena, which settled my stomach as if it never happened. Read the rest of this entry »