Friday, March 30, 2012

Paul Ryan: A Man for All Seasons

Last night, The World Over Live on EWTN offered up an unusually good interview from the normally inconsistent Raymond Arroyo; though most of the credit should be given to the super-smart and super-talented Republican Representative Paul Ryan. One of the most interesting moments occurred when Ryan said that the budget plan proposed by Mitt Romney is “very close” to his own. And today, with Ryan endorsing Romney, I think that is all the conservative credentials Mitt needs. With this in mind, Ryan, a self-professed practicing Catholic, should be heralded even more for having the courage to support a non-Catholic candidate (who is by far the most qualified) when there are also two Catholics, who have made no secret about their religion, also in the running.

*Skip though the first-half of the show to see the segment with Ryan.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Holy Father and the Cult of False Idols

At the last Mass of the Holy Father in Cuba, one image from the television coverage impressed me above anything else: looking out over Revolution Square in Havana, from the vantage point of the large altar area where the Pope stood, off in the distance, the camera took in an immense mural of Che Guevara. When at UC Berkeley, I got continually annoyed having to see his face on everything from t-shirts to bumper stickers. Later I learned, that like most secular idols, Guevara was one of the most over-touted and despicable personalities in history, for many of the key moments in his life have remained purposely fuzzy; as the image overpowered the true person behind the hype and propaganda. Here, I am reminded of the endless softball questions thrown to Obama during his 2008 campaign and the vault full of documents that to this day he refuses to release. Though what is truly remarkable about Obama is that he was able to present an already solidified mythic image before he had actually achieved anything. Because even though many pop idols have a sketchy claim to fame, the lore of Obama was conjured up from near nothingness; a couple of mediocre self-serving books and a short stint in local and national politics.
On a polar opposite plan are many of our contemporary heroic Catholic religious and saints who have been fully vetted by a suspicious media and by the Church's own scrupulous examination processes. Their images do not need propping up or governmental propaganda apparatuses to remain fully relevant. Interestingly, Pope Pius XII sustains a major following despite a flood of particularly nasty fantasy-filled books and negative press. Of course, the current Holy Father is also a prime example, as after his election the international media stalked down almost everyone he ever spoke to as a child and adult and scoured through decades of written material hoping to find any hint of scandal. Despite their efforts, they emerged empty-handed. While the same so-called media repeatedly failed to do even the most miniscule amount of investigative journalism when it came to Obama. But this pseudo-religion, that is essentially Marxist, as it contends to sustain state-driven symbols as new gods, is destined to fail. These false idols are pap to the populace and are largely distractions manufactured to confuse and obscure; and the list is endless from degenerate music-queens to criminalized sports stars and hollow ganster martyrs. But there is always hope: the Holy Father, on his way to Mexico, stated: “it is evident that Marxist ideology as it was conceived no longer responds to reality.”

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Pope and His New Weapon of Choice

Pope Benedict, seen leaving for his visit to Mexico, is photographed for the first time in public using a cane. The dichotomy is incredible: between the humble Holy Father visiting a country, now terrorized by fully-loaded drug cartels, with only a little stick. The Good Shepard lives.

The Pope vs. the Mexican Drug Cartels

Pope Benedict does not waste time. Before his plane even landed in Mexico, he had this to say to the reporters on his flight: “It is the responsibility of the church to educate consciences, to teach moral responsibility and to unmask the unmask this idolatry of money that enslaves man, to unmask the false promises, the lies, the fraud that is behind drugs.” As Mexico is being transformed into a narco-state, the Pope sets the agenda for his visit from the get-go. The man is fearless. Please let us all pray for the safety and health of the Holy Father during his travels.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

St. Joseph's Day 2012

One of my favorite pictures of St. Joseph from my personal collection.
Happy St. Joseph's Day to everyone.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Obama Campaign Goes Irish

Saw this bizarre item on Obama's 2012 campaign site. Apparently Obama claims some Irish heritage as he showed up with a few long lost Irish relatives today at a D.C. bar to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. I will not get into how the Day has become an excuse for millions to get drunk on disgusting green beer. That is another article. I don't have a problem with his Irish roots, but what I find disturbing is the use of the shamrock on a Obama election t-shirt. Notice that one shirt is a the traditional three-leaf clover which St. Patrick used to teach the pagan Irish about the Holy Trinity. On the other shirt, is a four-leaf clover. Is Obama perhaps insinuating that he is the fourth person in his new sacred- quadrangle? He and his followers are purposely using traditional Christian iconography to insert himself into our consciousness. Reminds me of his icon-like poster from the 2008 campaign. The guy will leave no stone unturned in his battle for power.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Saint Patrick: One of My Favorite Italian Saints

Saint Patrick was Italian (Roman) not Irish. The Apostle of Ireland, Patrick was born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the year 387. Patrick's parents were styled Calphurnius and Conchessa. His father belonged to a Roman family of high rank and held the office of decurio in Gaul or Britain. Conchessa was a near relative of the great patron of Gaul, St. Martin of Tours. The father of St. Martin was a Roman tribune. With this in mind, I think we should now have some vino and pasta on St. Patrick's Day.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Obama or Mao: Who Has the Bigger Ego?

This picture strikes me as very creepy: Obama reading to kids a book about himself. Wow. Major sick-narcissism at work here. Reminds me of this Maoist Era cartoon-poster of the Chairman with adoring children. Very weird and very scary.

Fr. John Corapi and Fr. Donald Calloway: Divergent Commonalities

Before his well-publicized trials that unfortunately played out in front of the world, I was quite the admirer of Fr. John Corapi. Regardless of what he may or may have not done, the story of his conversion will always be a powerful testament to the loving power of the Lord's forgiveness. At about the same time as Fr. Corapi was going through his tribulations, I met a dynamic young priest who in many ways reminded me of him. I saw the same passion in his homilies and spiritual talks, the same sort of prodigal-son background, and the same adulation from the public. If you are not familiar with Fr. Donald Calloway's story, in brief: he came from a broken home, got into drugs, crime and promiscuity; all at a very young age. He had a St. Paul conversion, became a Catholic, and then entered the priesthood eventually becoming a father with the Marians of the Immaculate Conception (MIC.) He has written several books including his biography “No Turning Back.”
The main difference I see between the two men is in their divergent religious lives. From what I understand, Fr. Caropi entered the Society of Our Lady of the Trinity (SOLT) when the order was still a fledgling congregation just starting to develop. He was given a rather wide bit of leeway and functioned as almost a free-agent priest. It seems that he rarely if ever lived in community. Never being under the direct supervision of a superior. Hence, this is where his problems arose. On the opposite spectrum, Fr. Colloway has always lived with his community even though he maintains a strenuous speaking schedule that looks to be not as jam-packed as Fr. Corapi's when he was still in his heyday. That also may be a clue to why Fr. Corapi floundered as he neither had the support nor the direction from a community and he often had to muscle through a tasking non-stop travel schedule that probably left little time for prayer.
Fr. Calloway seems to have been able to strike a balance between his public-life and a religious centered existence where he can still rejuvenate his inner spirit. Fr. Calloway is also the Vocations Director for the MIC. This added duty must help him to stay grounded and keeps him continually tied with his community. For exceptional souls, such as Fr. Corapi and Calloway, must be given special direction. For example, St. Bernadette of Lourdes often endured harsh even sometimes cruel treatment from her superiors and fellow sisters, but those examining her cause for sainthood often mentioned her persistence in the religious life as one of the primary impetuses for her eventual canonization. Her seclusion in the religious life kept her humble. In contrast, Melanie, one of the two seers from La Salette, stumbled from one religious order to another eventually ending up a rather sad figure; corrupted by a curious world. These men need the same type of structure. Unfortunately, Fr. Corapi tried to do it on his own.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Biden and the Joker: Cousins?

According to Saint Jerome: “The face is the mirror of the mind, and eyes without speaking confess the secrets of the heart.”

Another Reason to Dis-like Tom Hanks...

I for one did not need another reason to dislike Tom Hanks, ever since he starred in the horrendous film adaptions of Dan Brown's insipid novels “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels and Demons.” But now, the actor is narrating a particularly scurrilous propaganda piece hoping to help Obama get reelected. As a so-called “artist” Hanks is stepping right into the same trap set by the likes of Hitler, Mao, and Stalin who also cohered the artistic community to fall behind their social transformation programs. In those regimes, art ceased to be art and became mere tools of the state. We must resist these political propaganda pushers and hit them in the only place they can feel: their bank accounts. Please boycott anything this man puts out there. That is the only way they can ever be stopped.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

TV Review: Person of Interest

I primarily turned on the CBS Thursday-night crime-drama show “Person of Interest” to see one of my favorite actors: Jim Caviezel. Caviezel is most famous for his portrayal of Jesus in Mel Gibson's “The Passion of the Christ.” Before that film, I had never heard of him. He later had some more excellent roles in “I Am David,” “Bobby Jones,” and “Outlander.” I recommend all of these films, but only for adults and teens. And this brings me to the heart of why I am liking the show “Person of Interest.” For it is aimed primarily at adults, as the show relays more on character development, complex stories and less on violence and sensationalism. For this reason, I also have become increasingly tired of another show I usually watched: “Law and Order: SVU.” That program I liked mainly for the acting of the usually great Mariska Hargitay. But over the years, SVU has gotten bloodier and increasing lurid. They also often take cheap shots at the Church and political conservatism. The two heroes in “Person of Interest” only want to see the innocent saved and the guilty punished. Now, the show is not without violence as the character played by Caviezel often looses it and ends up killing some of the bad guys. But I still like the two character's complete selflessness and sort of monastic orderliness and silent confidence. I recommend the show, but not to children as the show is often violent and the subject matter too sophisticated for young people to appreciate.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

San Francisco: A Catholic Guide to the City of Sin

Some may be surprised to learn that San Francisco, which is often more remembered for it's liberal present and bohemian past, has a rich Catholic tradition. Although, Los Angeles is now the largest city in the State, when LA was still a backwater, San Francisco was regarded as the Paris of the West. For this reason there are relatively few impressive Catholic structures in LA and a number of historic churches, shrines and chapels in San Francisco. Here are some of my favorites:
Saint Ignatius:
650 Parker Ave. (Across the street from Christo Rey.)

Carmel of Christo Rey:
721 Parker Ave. (Across the street from Saint Ignatius.)

Notre Dame des Victoires:
566 Bush St. (Downtown.)

Legion of Honor Art Museum:
100 34th St. (Lincoln Park.)

Mission Dolores:
3321 16th St. (Mission District.)

Shrine of Saint Francis and The Porziuncola:
610 Vallejo St. (North Beach.)

Chapel of The Sisters of Perpetual Adoration:
771 Ashbury St. (Haight-Ashbury District.)
Saints Peter and Paul:
666 Filbert St. (North Beach.)