Catholic Bandita http://www.catholicbandita.com It is not by chance that in the old popular Mexican language, a mad person was called bandito, that is, blessed. - Cardinal Barragan Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:14:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 If you find yourself unable to carry the cross, perhaps it is too light http://www.catholicbandita.com/if-you-find-yourself-unable-to-carry-the-cross-perhaps-it-is-too-light/ http://www.catholicbandita.com/if-you-find-yourself-unable-to-carry-the-cross-perhaps-it-is-too-light/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:14:57 +0000 http://www.catholicbandita.com/?p=9396 I am still thinking, on this Feast of St. Paul of the Cross, about Cardinal Dolan’s remarks today in which he said that some people are “unable to live up to” Church teaching. I imagine that a lot of kids in New York are going to be telling their parents now that they are “unable” […]

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St. Paul of the Cross

St. Paul of the Cross, pray for us.

I am still thinking, on this Feast of St. Paul of the Cross, about Cardinal Dolan’s remarks today in which he said that some people are “unable to live up to” Church teaching. I imagine that a lot of kids in New York are going to be telling their parents now that they are “unable” to honor their parents, or that they are “unable” to keep from stealing candy bars from the food mart, or that they are “unable” to stop gossiping about their friends.

That makes me sad.

A reader takes issue with my criticism of Cardinal Dolan’s remarks. “Not everyone is a saint,” I am told. True, not everyone is a saint, including myself, but everyone is called by God to become a saint, according to the Church, therefore everyone can become a saint. Everyone. And it does not depend on Cardinal Dolan’s golden tickets of salvation to Willie Wonkie’s Heaven Factory that he may be planning to pass out. It requires, rather, a conversion of heart to our Lord. Even if Cardinal Dolan manages to continue to hold up the canonization cause of Archbishop Sheen, it will not keep Archbishop Sheen out of heaven, and even if Cardinal Dolan tells “Joe the Barmaid” that he who calls himself a “she” and has sex with boys will be able to get to heaven if Cardinal Dolan provides the golden ticket, it will not make it so.

Certainly, our bishops can “bind and loose” on disciplines. A cancer patient need not ask Cardinal Dolan for an excuse note to refrain from fasting during Lent. This dispensation is provided for specifically in Church teaching, that those who are sick (and certain others) need not fast during Lent. Cardinal Dolan may also “bind and loose” to a certain degree on how many Latin Masses are offered in his diocese, or “bind and loose” where two completely different doctrines may be applicable in the same situation. Doctrines are for everyone, however.

Banker Sam with his millions may find himself “personally unable” to carry the cross of matrimony after divorcing his wife who has been left in a vegetative state after a car accident, but his duty to her under God remains the same, no matter what the judge down at the courthouse says. If Sam divorces her and remarries without an annulment, he may not receive Holy Communion because, objectively, he has abandoned his wife. The same holds true for Mary the airline stewardess whose husband was unfaithful to her. If she divorces him, she is still married to him in the eyes of the Church, and she must remain celibate for the rest of her life….unless the Marriage Tribunal were to decide that the marriage was never valid to begin with, in which case Mary was objectively never married and she can then marry someone else for the first time.

Everyone is required to “live up to” the Catholic Faith. No one is exempt from the call to sainthood. People who see this as lacking in compassion have no idea what Jesus has done for us on the Cross. When we bear a cross of suffering and hardship in life, He gives us the grace to bear it. It is in our crosses where we meet Jesus in His love for us. He poured Himself out for us, and our cup runneth over with Him only when we first empty ourselves to receive Him in that pouring out.

Anyone can say that they know Jesus. Certainly, He welcomes all to His supper, but what good is it to welcome those who are already full? They have no desire to be filled with Jesus if they are already full of worldly things that satisfy their bellies. They do an injustice in coming to the table completely full and pretending to be receiving Jesus when they are not actually receiving Him. They may as well be dropping Him on the floor as receive Him in the Eucharist because there is no emptiness there for Him to fill. It’s all a show so that they can “feel welcome.”

Is that what Cardinal Dolan wants? I find that hard to swallow.

If you find yourself unable to carry the cross, perhaps your cross is too light. It is not a coincidence that the African bishops are stronger defenders of doctrine than Western bishops are. You see, in Africa, their crosses are generally heavier. In Africa, they are dying for the Faith. They are emptier vessels, having no fluffy cushions to sit on, so they are more hungry for our Lord, perhaps. When you are called to die for the Faith and are willing to do so, you will naturally find it more difficult to fudge on doctrine. Heavier crosses require a more serious decision about whether you want to be a Christian. If your decision to be a Christian means that you could die, you will find only seriously committed people professing to be Christian. If your decision to be a Christian means that you might have to give up your illicit sexual practices, you might claim inability to do that, because you’re all about what feels good instead of about what God expects from you. If you are about what feels good to you, your cup is full of the world, and Jesus won’t have anything to pour Himself into. Your appearance at Communion, then, is only for show or to make you feel better. Those who desire first and foremost to feel better won’t get anything out of the Eucharist. What’s more, those who receive while in state of mortal sin are piling sin on top of sin. God judges that, though I cannot.

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Cardinal Dolan says some are ‘unable to live up to’ Church teaching http://www.catholicbandita.com/cardinal-dolan-says-some-are-unable-to-live-up-to-church-teaching/ http://www.catholicbandita.com/cardinal-dolan-says-some-are-unable-to-live-up-to-church-teaching/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:07:24 +0000 http://www.catholicbandita.com/?p=9394 During the Obamacare debate, Cardinal Dolan said to Catholic News Service: “You can’t compromise on principle.” In the matter of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Pat Archbold very rightly calls Cardinal Dolan’s decision not to condemn the decision to allow “gay identity” groups to march in the parade and his decision also to be Grand […]

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dolan

During the Obamacare debate, Cardinal Dolan said to Catholic News Service: “You can’t compromise on principle.”

In the matter of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Pat Archbold very rightly calls Cardinal Dolan’s decision not to condemn the decision to allow “gay identity” groups to march in the parade and his decision also to be Grand Marshall of that same parade: “total capitulation to gay identity groups.

During the Synod, Cardinal Dolan praised the African bishops in Catholic media for drawing the Western bishops back to the truths of the Catholic Faith.

Today, I am very disappointed to hear him say on ABC News that some Catholics are “unable to live up to” Catholic teaching.

With all due respect to Cardinal Dolan, they are not unable, as the Scriptures attest. No one is unable to live the Gospel. NO ONE.

I had some nice things to say about Cardinal Dolan in my interview today (recorded yesterday) with Brian O’Neil of WLEA radio in New York. I don’t regret what I said but I do wish Cardinal Dolan were not so flip-floppy, depending on which reporter he’s talking to, apparently.

My interview, embedded below, discusses the Synod.

 

 

 

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Happy Feast of St. Paul of the Cross! http://www.catholicbandita.com/happy-feast-of-st-paul-of-the-cross-2/ http://www.catholicbandita.com/happy-feast-of-st-paul-of-the-cross-2/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:02:54 +0000 http://www.catholicbandita.com/?p=9391 Today is the Feast Day of St. Paul of the Cross, Founder of the Passionists. If you are faced with any kind of suffering in life (and this would include everyone at some point or other), you should get to know St. Paul of the Cross whose life’s mission included love of the Cross wherein […]

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St. Paul of the Cross

Today is the Feast Day of St. Paul of the Cross, Founder of the Passionists. If you are faced with any kind of suffering in life (and this would include everyone at some point or other), you should get to know St. Paul of the Cross whose life’s mission included love of the Cross wherein we find our Lord’s Suffering and redemptive power.

Passionist Nuns:

When our Founder, St. Paul of the Cross, was but twenty-six years of age, God revealed his life’s mission through a number of visions. One morning in the autumn of 1720, he was returning from the Capuchin church where he had attended Mass and received Holy Communion. Suddenly, in spirit, Paul saw himself clothed in a rough woolen tunic; it was black, and over the heart he saw a white cross beneath which was the Holy Name of Jesus. At the same moment, an interior voice said: “This signifies how pure and spotless that heart should be which bears the Holy Name of Jesus engraved upon it”

A long tradition in the Passionist congregation tells us that the Mother of Jesus herself came to St. Paul of the Cross and showed him the Passionist habit. She revealed that God wished him to found a new religious Institute whose members would be clothed in black as a sign of mourning for the suffering and death of her Divine Son. That experience gave meaning to Paul’s future life and all the sufferings to come.

The Passionists:

Paul wrote the Rule for his yet unfounded community in 1720 committing himself and his future followers to remembering the Passion of Jesus. This was not meant to be merely a historical remembrance but a lived experience.

I am a Passionist Oblate Associate, offering up my sufferings daily for the intentions of the Passionist Nuns of St. Joseph Monastery.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from St. Paul of the Cross:

“Build an oratory within yourself, and there have Jesus on the altar of your heart. Speak to Him often while you are doing your work. Speak to Him of His holy love, of His holy sufferings and of the sorrows of most holy Mary”

“From this valley of tears, turn your gaze continually to God, ever awaiting the moment when you will be united to Him in heaven. Often contemplate heaven, and fervently exclaim:
‘What a beautiful abode there is above! It is destined for us!’

“Oh my God! teach me how to express myself. I wish that I were all aflame with love! More than that: I wish that I could sing hymns of praise in the fire of love, and extol the marvellous mercies that uncreated Love has bestowed on us! Is it not truly a duty to thank God for His gifts? Yes, for sure, but I know not how. I wish to do so, and I know not how. To faint away with the desire to love this great God more and more is little. To consume ourselves for Him is little. What shall we do? Ah! we shall live for that divine Lover in a perpetual agony of love. But, do you think that I have said enough? No; I would say more if I knew how.
Do you know what consoles me somewhat? To know that our great God is an infinite good, and that nobody is capable of loving and praising Him as much as He deserves.”

“Have you ever noticed rocks in the sea, beaten by the tempest? A furious wave dashes against the rock, another and yet another does likewise, yet the rock is unmoved. But look at it after
the storm has subsided, and you will see that the flood has but served to wash and purify it of the defilement it had contracted during the calm. Hereafter I wish you to be as a rock.
A wave dashes against you? Silence! It assails you ten, a hundred, a thousand times? Silence! Say, at most, in the midst of the storm, “My Father, my Father, I am all Thine! Oh dear,
O’ sweet will of God, I adore Thee !”

“The statue must be chiselled with very sharp tools before it is fit to be placed in the grand gallery.”

Today, I profess my gratitude in being a Passionist in which I have learned, and learn more as time goes on, that the greatest joy and comfort for mankind, especially those who suffer greatly, truly is in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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VIDEO: Archbishop Kurtz explains what we all really need to learn from the Synod http://www.catholicbandita.com/video-archbishop-kurtz-explains-what-we-all-really-need-to-learn-from-the-synod/ http://www.catholicbandita.com/video-archbishop-kurtz-explains-what-we-all-really-need-to-learn-from-the-synod/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 03:01:45 +0000 http://www.catholicbandita.com/?p=9388 Archbishop Kurtz does this bishop thing pretty well, huh? He explains here what (I think) we would all do well to learn from this Synod. As a lay person, I bring my own personal perspective into things. As a bishop, he has to make us see the big picture that covers everyone and he does that […]

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archbishop_kurtz

Archbishop Kurtz does this bishop thing pretty well, huh? He explains here what (I think) we would all do well to learn from this Synod. As a lay person, I bring my own personal perspective into things. As a bishop, he has to make us see the big picture that covers everyone and he does that really well. I have been rather frustrated at times because it’s only natural to want to hear my own personal situation reflected in that ‘big picture’ message, so my humility muscle that is rather flabby has gotten some exercise in being patient with Archbishop Kurtz. Really, he’s done a lot in bringing me peace in all of this, though it’s been painful at times…but see, that’s the point I’ve been making. There is redemption in suffering provided that we align our will with God’s will, and God really does want me to be patient with our bishops, as well as with the Pope. In trying to work on that in myself, I have not been disappointed because Archbishop Kurtz is himself a good model of patience and obedience.

Also, I’m trying really hard not to engage in any flattery here. Really. I mean every word. Forgive me if tomorrow I blow up at him on Twitter. I am an impatient Passionist, which is kind of yucky, isn’t it?

Video via Catholic News Service:

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Why ‘No Communion for the Divorced and Remarried’ is a Religious Freedom issue http://www.catholicbandita.com/why-no-communion-for-the-divorced-and-remarried-is-a-religious-freedom-issue/ http://www.catholicbandita.com/why-no-communion-for-the-divorced-and-remarried-is-a-religious-freedom-issue/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 00:46:30 +0000 http://www.catholicbandita.com/?p=9385 It has escaped me why no one, to my knowledge, has mentioned this, but then I realized that I have not mentioned it, either, so maybe I should. “No Communion for the Divorced and Remarried” is more than a spiritual issue. It’s a religious freedom issue, as well. Though the Church does not make decisions […]

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Religious Freedom

It has escaped me why no one, to my knowledge, has mentioned this, but then I realized that I have not mentioned it, either, so maybe I should. “No Communion for the Divorced and Remarried” is more than a spiritual issue. It’s a religious freedom issue, as well. Though the Church does not make decisions on doctrine for political reasons (the Holy Spirit guides the Church), it is sure that Satan would use any change in this doctrine against the Church politically.

First, it’s important to understand the distinct difference between the Catholic Church and the vast majority of other ecclesial communions (protestants). Unlike protestant churches which allow divorce in some circumstances and rely on the state for the issuance of “writs of divorcement,” to use a biblical term, the Catholic Church never allows divorce. Rather, the Church will issue her own declarations of nullity in cases where it is deemed by the Marriage Tribunal (not civil authorities) that particular marriages were never valid to begin with. Catholic Church law on marriage is completely separate from civil law, so much so that if a state were to ban marriage outright, the Church would still perform marriages secretly and have the same processes that we have intact today.

Because Church law on marriage is separate from civil law, Catholics must necessarily walk in two different realms at the same time: civil law and Church law. Perhaps this is easier for me to understand because I am one of those people you hardly ever hear about. That is, I am divorced according to the state but still consider myself to be married because the Church says that I am still married. Again, there is no divorce in the Catholic Church. I am objectively married, though the state says that I am divorced. Unfortunately, many people cannot seem to (or refuse to) mentally grasp the reality of these two statuses being held at the same time. Even many Catholics think of their divorces as a “failed marriage.” They don’t consider themselves to still be married to their spouse because they accept what the state says as the reality of who they are: divorced. The actual, objective reality is that they are still married in the eyes of God. It is the state alone which decrees that they are “divorced.”

The law teaches. The example of this I usually give is seat belt laws. Most people in the United States did not usually wear their seat belts before seat belt use became mandatory. Once seat belt use became mandatory, it took some time for people to get accustomed to using seat belts, but most have become accustomed to it, myself included. Whereas before the mandatory seat belt law, I rarely used my seat belt, now I never fail to use it. The law teaches. In like manner, when the state tells you that you are “divorced” and especially when the culture widely accepts divorce and remarriage, it’s harder to live your Catholic Faith than it would be if the whole country followed Church law alone. People who have obtained a civil divorce, maybe even for a valid reason, have a hard time accepting that they are still married in the eyes of God because the state and our culture have such a powerful impact on our thinking processes. The truth is that if you have your mind set on the state more than on the will of God, you have become an idolater.

If we, as a Church through our bishops, accept the “divorced” status as a “failed marriage,” then the Church will have become an idolater of the state. Personally, I live in tolerance of a state system where I am deemed to be “divorced” even though the Church says that I am objectively married. But this tolerance that Western culture has accepted, of these two different realms of Church and state law, has devolved beyond tolerance on the part of those who hate the Church’s influence on people. Law is now being used to attack religious freedom, even to the point of people believing that a few elites in our federal courts can redefine “marriage” as something different than what the people themselves have voted on. Wherever we accept the state’s status as the objective reality of our condition, we are idolizing the state. If the Church allows the divorced and remarried to Holy Communion, it will amount to the Church bowing her knee to the state on someone’s marital status.

Satan will shove himself through any door that we open. Certainly, he would shove himself through this door, as well. We should certainly not base our doctrine on what is “safest” politically for the Church. Rather, we should listen to the Holy Spirit and do as God wills, regardless of the consequences. Still, it should be pointed out that there is definitely a religious freedom issue involved here, as well. Do we bow to the state’s definition of “who” someone is and what their marital status is? Or do we stand for tolerance between the Church and civil systems, as it currently stands in regard to civil divorce.

Also, I should point out that I obtained a civil divorce only after been urged to do so on three separate occasions by the Church. Despite three times urging me to divorce, no one instructed me that I would still be married in the eyes of the Church and that I would be obligated to remain celibate or to obtain an annulment before considering marriage again. Thankfully, I am quite well-catechized and desire always to follow Church teaching, so I knew this information on my own. I would ask, however, that before we talk about streamlining the annulment process, and particularly before we discuss allowing the remarried to receive Holy Communion, we be sure to inform people considering divorce that they will still be considered married in the eyes of the Church. We should not leave people to find out after the fact that they have bitten off more than they can chew. I’m sure it would prevent some divorces if people knew these things beforehand.

To the protestants, I say, why do you allow the state to decide your marital status? If your churches believe divorce can be valid, why do they not issue writs of divorcement instead of relying on the state to determine that?

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