11 July 2015

Coffee Cup Browsing (Saturday)

Climate scientists experiencing psych problems. . .unsurprising given that they spent their days spinning wild speculations based on computer models that defy reality. 

Now it's a mini-ice age??? I thought the Science Was Settled!

Does the U.S. need a national exorcism? No. We need five or six.

After the Charleston massacre, B.O. said that it was in our power to stop mass killings, i.e. more gun control. Actually, it was in his power to stop Dylann Roof. And he didn't.

Why hasn't B.O. commented on the murder of Kate Steinle by an illegal alien? Good question.


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10 July 2015

Coffee Cup Browsing (Friday)

Fail-to-launch young men and their revenge fantasies. . . 

Pay the fine for UnGood Thoughts or lose your house!

If "sanctuary cities" can defy federal immigration law at will, why can't cities or states defy the Supreme Court decision that invented a right to SSM?

Another data breach. . .21 million federal workers' info now in the hands of China. . .we're in the very best of hands.

Pope Francis trolled by Commie dictator: "That's not right," says the Pope.

15 religious movies to get that Avengers/Minions/Jurassic World taste out of your mouth.

Oregon allows 15 y.o.'s to get tax-payer funded sex-change surgery w/o parental consent.


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09 July 2015


A Big Acrylic Thank You to MMF for the paint! And be assured of my prayers for you and your family at Mass.

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Coffee Cup Browsing (Thurs)

Pope Francis in Ecuador to priests:  "You did not buy a ticket to get into the seminary. . .You did nothing to 'deserve' it."  BOOM!

The Everybody Gets a Trophy Generation is failing out in college. Mom, dad, you gotta let Little Timmy and Susy learn to lose.

Is you state, county, or city a "sanctuary" for illegal immigrants?

Big Surprise: GOP-run states are solvent. Dem-run states? Not so much.

IRS/DoJ/FBI colluded to prosecute conservative groups. 


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08 July 2015

Coffee Cup Browsing

My NDS seminarians can tell you that I harp on clarity, concision, and precision to the point of being obsessive. 

Christ didn't die on the cross to teach us how to be nice.

EU is committing suicide. . .I say, "Kudos!"

Imagine that. . .Hillary is scripting a "grassroots" movement that will "spontaneously" praise her when her media shills show up.

Why are women more likely than men to believe in astrology

Jimmy Carter *feels* like Jesus would approve of same-sex "marriage."
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07 July 2015

Coffee Cup Browsing

Should the Church stop signing-off on civil marriages? I've thought about it, but the consequences aren't clear.

The New Totalitarianism. . .not really all that new. 

Same-sex "marriage" will lead to polygamy. None of the arguments against polygamy can survive given Kennedy's invention of new civil right to dignity.

Hillary herds her media sheep with a rope. . .literally, with a rope.

SSM is not like divorce

Einstein can't be wrong about relativity! The science is settled! 

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05 July 2015

When I am weak, then I am strong

14th Sunday OT
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
Our Lady of the Rosary, NOLA

God sends a prophet to His people, “rebels who have rebelled against [Him].” These rebels – “hard of face and obstinate of heart” – have turned away from their Father, shaming themselves in disobedience and bringing upon themselves the inevitable consequences of their sin. Ezekiel, the prophet God sends, knows that he will not be welcomed among his kin. He knows that his proclamation to the nation – “Return to the Lord!” – will not be well-received. This is an old problem. Some six-hundred-plus years after Ezekiel's death, Jesus will say, “A prophet is [honored] except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” Why is a prophet sent by God honored everywhere except in his own native land? For a prophet to speak with authority, for him to be heard by God's people, he must be truly “other than” those to whom he preaches; that is, a prophet must be “set aside” in his family; somehow an alien in his own hometown; an odd sort of animal in the ambling herd. Familiarity breeds contempt. Who listens to and believes a prophet who grew up in the neighborhood just like everyone else? If you and I, the Church, will be prophets/witnesses sent by the Father to invite the world to return to the Father, we must be “set aside,” “other than,” the odd animals in the ambling herd. But being the ones set aside is dangerous business, even a deadly business.

I'll just say it straight out: nobody likes a prophet. Think about what prophets are sent to do. Basically, God looks at His people and sees them being disobedient – they are stealing from the poor, cheating on their spouses, killing one another, ignoring their religious obligations, worshiping foreign gods, and just generally pretending they do not have a covenant with the Lord. Seeing all this, the Lord calls out a prophet, someone who is given a vision of the His plan for humanity and sent to the people to tell them that they are on the wrong path. Every prophet has an amazingly simple mission: go among the sinners, call them sinners, and warn them that the clock on God's wrath is ticking. Repent or face the consequences. Over and over again, we know, that God's people (that us, too) have treated prophets with contempt. When we aren't ignoring them, we kill them. If we don't kill them, we dismiss them as religious-nuts. The reason we do this is obvious. Where the prophet sees sin, we see personal choice. Where he sees disobedience, we see liberty and license. Where he sees injustice, we see opportunity. He says we're wicked; we say we're just doing our own thing. He says we're had better repent or else; we say, “Don't impose your religion on me, buddy!” 

Scripture reveals that prophets are unpopular b/c they show us what we could be with God while we are busy being nothing more than what we want to be without God. Now, lest any of us here think that being a prophet is optional for Christians, let's set the record straight: it isn't. If you are baptized, you are a priest, a prophet, and a king. You offer sacrifice for others in prayer; you hold yourself and others up to God's plan for humanity; and you work in service for the cause of justice. Being a prophet is not optional for us. It's who we are. And it means being the odd animal out when the herd is heading toward the cliff. It means standing up and yelling, “STOP! We are racing to our deaths! Turn around before it's too late!” The men and women of Nineveh heard Jonah and turned around in time. But Nineveh is the exception to the rule. In every other case of prophetic intervention, the herd stampeded on, ignoring the warning signs, and God allowed them to suffer the consequences of their disobedience. Foreign invasion. Exile. Enslavement. And death. Every time the nation turned its face from God and worshiped its own will in violation of the covenant, God gave them a warning and a way out. And every time – excepting Nineveh – the nation chose to spit in God's face and do its own thing. Decline and destruction followed. 
We are prophets. Not b/c we are especially moral. Not b/c we have some special vision from God. Not b/c we are uniquely attuned to hear God speak. We are prophets b/c we have directly experienced the power of the Father's mercy to free us from sin and death. We are prophets b/c we have directly experienced the divine love that binds all of creation in being, and we have sworn to be witnesses to that love in word and deed. We are prophets b/c we strive to be perfect as our Father is perfect, to be righteous not self-righteous, to be bearers of His invitation to the world so that no one is left out of the heavenly party. And as prophets, we will not be particularly popular. In 2015, not many already in the Church and many who are, not many are eager to bend an ear to hear the truth of God's plan for humanity, a plan for our eternal happiness. You don't have to search long or hard to see or hear the depth and perversity of this nation's disobedience. From abortion to Wall St greed; from racism to consumerist waste; from lawless politicians to a scandalous Church; from the desecration of marriage to murder, we are a nation in rebellion against God. And He sends His prophets out into the nation to bear witness. Not to His anger and wrath. But to His abiding love and boundless mercy.

We are prophets. What do we say? What do we do? Many Catholics believe that last week's Supreme Court ruling imposing same-sex “marriage” on the nation is just the first step along a long road of trouble for Christians. That's not true. The Court's decision is actually one of the last steps on that road. That decision was as inevitable as the rising sun and long in coming. We can imagine the last few steps: polygamy, incestuous marriages, and, finally, the elimination of civil marriages altogether. Actually, we don't have to imagine them. All three of these have already been proposed. What do we say? What do we do? As witnesses to God's abiding love and boundless mercy, as prophets, where do we go? We say what we have always said. We do what we have always done. We go where we have always gone. We speak about Christ and his sacrifice for sinners. We do the good work that God has given us to do. We go to work, to school, to church, out in public, anywhere we have ever been before. We are prophets, and prophets bear witness. We cannot bear witness with our lips sealed shut in fear. We cannot show others the miracles of faith while hiding from uncomfortable confrontations. We cannot abandon our works of mercy and at the same time claim to be witnesses to mercy. Nothing has changed for the Church or her prophets. Nothing. Our Lord still reigns. And our work remains unfinished.

There is a dread temptation poking at us right now. I've heard it. I've felt it. The spirit of despair is urging us to just surrender to the inevitable victory of sin, and run off to a mountain somewhere. This is not an option for us. Too many out there need us. Too many out there have yet to experience all that Christ has freely died to give us. Yes, get ready for some hatred, some foul language flung our way. Get ready for some lawsuits and fines. Prepare yourself to lose some friends. I've lost several already, including my two best friends of 25 yrs. We will not see the kind of persecution that our brothers and sister are experiencing in Syria and Nigeria. Americans are too well-armed! Perhaps you believe that none of this affects you. Well, you don't have to join a side in this Culture War. You will be drafted. The spirit of rebellion that pervades our nation will not tolerate fence-sitting. There can be no neutrality. If you don't care, you will be made to care. As a friend of mine says, “Acceptance is no longer enough. You must approve and applaud. Anything less is hatred.” As so many US bishops have made perfectly clear, Catholics cannot and will not approve or applaud this latest step along the road to national destruction.

To prepare yourself as a witness to God's abiding love and boundless mercy, remember Paul writing to Corinthians, “I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
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Strength Made Perfect in Weakness

From 2009. . .a new homily will be posted by 5pm today.

14th Sunday OT
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
Sisters of St Mary of Namur, Forth Worth, TX

Prophets are a cheap and abundant source of nonsense these days. Every sort of weirdo has a theory, a revelation, a scheme, or a vision from Beyond. No wonder, really. Can we say that the fabric of our faith is as tightly knitted as it needs to be to keep us cozy in this winter of spiritual chaos? When the foundations of all that we believe start to throw us about, most any voice in the racket sounds like a voice of authority. Persistent sexual scandals, financial malfeasance, abuse of power, dissent and rebellion—and all of these just within the Church!—all of these potholes on the Way jolt our certainties and sometimes they even bump us into despair. In these moments of upheaval there always seems to be a guru, a savior, or a prophet just outside our purview who's all too willing to speak up and promise to lead us back to whatever it is we think we need to be safe—health, wealth, sanity, wholeness, or holiness. Usually, if we succumb to fear or anger or the need for a show of defiance, and we buy the snake-oil, usually we end up defeated and more beat-up than when we begin. Beware self-anointed prophets bearing pricey prophecy! Being “hard of face and obstinate of heart” is easy. Humility, right reason, and holy obedience is difficult—not impossible!—just very, very difficult.

The prophets that speak to us this morning are well-known and reliable: Ezekiel, Paul, and Christ himself. No doubt they look the part of a prophet, like men who have spent too much time in the deserts of foreign lands. They certainly sound like the prophets we are used to hearing. The self-anointed prophets of postmodern Western culture could be wearing lab coats, three-piece suits, habits or clerics, or even casual sportswear; they could be sporting advanced degrees in physics, medicine, genetics, or theology; they could sound like gurus, even reasonable scientists, hawking new cosmologies, novel technologies, fresh political solutions, or global spiritualities. They can all name our worst fears, our deepest angers, our most pressing anxieties. They can speak a word to calm our stormed tossed spirits. What they cannot and will not name is the Love in our souls. What they do not speak is the Word. They do not and will not say, “Thus says the Lord God...” And these differences make a great deal of difference.

Ezekiel is consumed in the voice of God. Paul is struck blind and pierced by a thorn in his flesh. Jesus is spurned in his own hometown, ridiculed as no one other than “the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon.” Ezekiel is sent to the rebellious Israelites to reteach the Good News of an ancient love. Paul is sent to the Gentiles with the Good News of the Father's mercy. Jesus is sent to the whole of creation as the Good News himself, the very Incarnate Word of divine love and mercy. All three prophets are sent to accomplish one mission: to speak the Word to God's people, and in so doing, bringing them all back into a covenant; reminding, renewing, and revealing the foundational promises of the Creator.

Look closely at what the prophets in scripture actually do and do not do. They do not create. They point to the Creator. They do not invent or innovate. They point to the Inventor, the Innovator Himself. They do not preach revolution and rebellion for the sake of novelty. They call us to revolutionize our hard faces and cold hearts. They rouse us to rebel against the slavery of alien philosophies and foreign gods. They do not urge God's people to abandon His promises of liberation in favor of worldly guarantees, the empty pledges that prop us up with domination, wealth, prestige, violence, and oppression. God's anointed prophets give voice to and work for the least against the most, for the worst against the best, for the lowest against the highest. When the most, the best, and the highest are where they are b/c they have stepped on and broken the least, the worst, and the lowest, God's anointed prophet will speak His Word of justice and demand a righteous revolution. Not something as mundane and temporary as a government program or a social action agency. Not something as ultimately useless as a financial entitlement or a paper-weight patch on the justice system. God's anointed prophet will first demand that the hard face and cold heart of injustice be melted in the overwhelming Love that gave His creation life! Then this prophet will say, “Thus says the Lord God: you will not treat my beloved children as things, as slaves; you will not use my children as disposable means to your selfish ends; you will not love simply for worldly gain, pretend faith for public praise, nor spread hope to hide your oppression. You love b/c I loved you first!”

As men and women baptized into the life, death, and resurrection of Christ Jesus, we have vowed to be faithful to God, just to our neighbors, hopeful in crisis, loving to all, joyful even as we weep, and as eager to show mercy as we are to seek mercy. The key to our lives as prophets is not scientific novelty, theological innovation, philosophical nuance, or even spiritual practice. Our prophetic key is humility—the certain and daily-lived knowledge that we are creatures of a loving God, wholly dependent, utterly reliant on the Love that gave us and gives us life. There is no other source of identity for us. No other means of doing what we have vowed our lives to do. Ezekiel is consumed in the voice of God. Paul is plagued by a thorn in his flesh. Jesus himself is rejected by his hometown folks. Their humility fuels a righteous fire for God's justice not a self-righteous grudge against the status-quo. Self-anointed prophets in lab coats, suits, or vestments might tempt us with a genetic or economic or religious utopia, but we know that any prophet who will not and cannot say, “Thus says the Lord God...,” we know that they are false prophets.

Our Father's gifts are sufficient for us, for our power as His prophets is made perfect in humility. 

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