Wednesday, May 24, 2023


"We believe that Bishop Dave has received his recompense for his life and his ministry...We know that he is in heaven. Let us ask for his intercession..." 

- Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, at a novena for the recently murdered Bishop David O'Connell, quoted in Angelus, the official publication for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Mar. 10, 2023, Vol. 8 No. 5 (and also here on CNA). 

I didn't know that an individual bishop could canonize another one, all by himself. 

He can't of course. 

It appears that Archbishop Gomez has fallen victim to the mostly post-Vatican II penchant to place loved ones in heaven...and immediately. 

While that may make us feel better - which is what Archbishop Gomez may have been trying to do - it is probably the most uncharitable thing one (a Catholic) can do. 

As Catholics we believe the following:

Those who die in God's grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ. They are like God for ever, for they "see him as he is," face to face. - Catechism of the Catholic Church, Par. 1023

The key words are "perfectly purified," and only God can know that. 

In fact the command to "judge not" (Mt. 7:1) goes both ways. 

While we "use" the command to "judge not" mostly (and often wrongly) [1] to admonish others not to judge the sinfulness of others, we are also not to use it to judge the rightfulness of others - such as placing the dearly departed in heaven because he or she was a really good person, or we because we really liked him or her, or because we just really want to feel better. 

Other than canonized saints - which is an act of authority to "bind and loose" possessed only and ultimately by the Successor of Peter - no one can say what Archbishop Gomez said...about anybody. 

In fact, given what we Catholics believe about the Four Last Things (Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell), by believing or "placing" a departed soul in heaven, we may be uncharitably condemning that soul to a much longer term in Purgatory. [2]

Curiously, the Angelus article titled "Mourning a peacemaker," featured a picture of a crowd gathered in the parking lot of a local church on the second night of a novena organized by members of the Knights of Columbus "to pray for the repose of O'Connell's soul..." 

The picture includes Archbishop Gomez, rosary in hand. 

There is no point in praying for the repose of O'Connell's soul if, as Archbishop Gomez declares, O'Connell is already in heaven and we are to pray to him for his intercession. 

Just more confusion in the name of "charity." 

What a shame. 


[1] While we can, and must, judge acts as to their sinfulness or rightfulness, we are not to judge "hearts" as "the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7 ) 

[2] See: "Greater than Any Pain of this Life: The Hard Truth About Purgatory" at

Thursday, February 23, 2023


I believe it was Ash Wednesday, 1983. 

I was living and teaching in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, and was living through a particularly challenging time. 

So Ash Wednesday, that year, had a more than normal personal meaning to me. 

In those days I used to ride my bike to and from my job at a local Catholic high school, about a 7 mile ride each way. 

That afternoon, which was particularly hot, and which was in what we call the "dry season" in the tropics, I saw smoke rising in the direction towards which I was pedaling home. 

As I came down the hill which sloped toward the beach near my home, I saw that the entire area around the place where I and a friend lived had been burnt black. 

There was about a hundred yards between the paved road and my home that was a dirt road. 

I slowly pedaled down the dirt road while the smoke rose from the burnt black tangan-tangan "fields" on both sides. 

It was hot, smoky, and dead. As close to a reminder of Hell as I wanted to get. 

Today, my former home is still pretty much surrounded by Tangan-Tangan fields. And every time I visit I remember that Ash Wednesday, when, like my life at that point, everything around me had been burned to a smoking ruin. 

However, thank you Jesus, He raised me from both the ashes on my forehead and the ashes surrounding my life and home. 

It was a good lesson as there would be more fields of ashes to navigate as I grew we all do. 

Keep the faith.

Sunday, February 12, 2023


I was struggling to title this post - which might become a series. 

So I think I'll call it "stuff that bothers me," though at this point in my life, I am willing to just put up with it and keep my head down. 

The latest thing to jump out at me is the way lay "readers" read at the Mass. 

I'm not sure if they're told to do this or they just like to do it, but they portend to be public speakers instead of readers. 

I say this because these "readers" feel they must look up from the reading and directly look at the congregation at the end of each sentence - or close to it. 

It is not the reader who is "proclaiming" - but the Word of God that is being proclaimed. 

In fact, the reader who looks up from the reading and attempts to directly engage the congregation by looking at us distracts from the Word of God and makes him or herself the focus. 

Just read the Word of God and sit down. 

In fact, it would do all of us well to revisit the venerable Catholic practice of CUSTODY OF THE EYES.

Sunday, December 11, 2022


SOME THOUGHTS on the Baker Mayfield 98 yard drive with two minutes to go and no time outs after joining the Rams less than 2 days earlier. 


Much is being made about this. And much should be made about this. It was a great lesson on many levels - and for me, a great reminder of great lessons that I have repeatedly learned the hard way. 

The first is “it isn’t over until it’s over.” For the Raiders, the game ended when their punt miraculously stayed in bounds as it rolled to the Rams 2 yard line. They were jumping around and hugging each other as if they had just won the game. And apparently in their minds, they did.  

The second is “never give up.” And the Rams didn’t. And I would speculate that the real reason they didn’t give up was not because of any great ideal or pep talk from the coach. The Rams, last year’s Super Bowl champions, had lost 6 straight games and had lost most of their star players to injuries. I think at this point they were thinking “well, we tried.” 

But that night they had a new guy on their team who couldn’t afford to lose, who couldn’t afford to say “well, I tried.” And that was Baker Mayfield. 

Mayfield had been a highly touted #1 draft pick in 2018. But by Thursday night, he was on his third team in 4 years, and like a lot of #1’s before him, appeared to be headed towards early retirement, lost promise, and obscurity. 

In fact, after being placed on waivers by the Panthers, his second team, only the Rams showed interest, and they only showed interest because their whole roster of QB’s had been injured or otherwise proved ineffective, and they basically had no one. 

This brings us to the third lesson, which is rooted in the second (never give up) and that is “sometimes the stars align.” It’s sort of the opposite of “when it rains it pours,” or “when it’s bad it’s really bad, and when it’s good, it’s really good.” 

I learned this especially in business. There are days (weeks and months) when no matter what you do everything goes wrong. And there are days (weeks and months) when you do nothing different or special and everything goes right. I could write a book about this, but for now, the real lesson is “just stay in the game,” and stay long enough to “catch the wave.” 

I think the Rams, as a team, had given up when that punt rolled down to the 2. One could see it on the coach’s face. He wasn’t rallying his troops. His facial attitude was “we just got to get through this season.” And you could see it again on his face a few minutes later when the impossible happened: total shock and surprise. 

Meanwhile, there was one man on the team who couldn’t afford to “just get through this season.” Baker Mayfield knew he had one chance, one chance to live up to his previous promise, and this was it. Talk about a guy falling from grace. From a 2018 #1 pick to a washed up quarterback 4 years later who was placed on waivers and the only team that picked him up was a team that had lost all its quarterbacks and was just trying to limp home. 

In fact, I think they let Baker play that night, even though he hadn’t had time to hardly open up the Ram’s playbook, let alone know it, because the Rams, at that point, had nothing to lose. Their season was over. So it was a sort of “why not.” 

It’s not that Mayfield did anything spectacular in that final 98 yard drive with no time outs to win the game. He was even intercepted on his second play of the final drive - but saved by a penalty on the other team. And then saved again when an impetuous Raider did something stupid which gave the Rams 15 yards they very much needed. But Mayfield needed to win, and needed to win much more than rest of his team. 

And that’s why “the stars aligned.” When you are down and out with nowhere to go and the only direction you can look is up because you are flat on your back, that’s when you choose to get up or get lost. Baker chose to get up. And in so choosing, “the stars aligned.” 

Lots of success books are full of this stuff. They speak of this “law of success” or “law of attraction,” or stuff like that. But there is no magic formula. Someone still has to make a decision, and beyond that, “stay in the game” long enough for “the stars to align.” i.e. go through the valley of death, this “vale of tears” (as the Salve Regina puts it), in other words “be willing to suffer.” 

The real lesson though is to know that your good fortune, when you win - as Baker and the Rams did Thursday night, is to know that you won, not because the stars magically aligned, but because you stayed in the game long enough for them to do so. And that you will do it the next time when everything is dark and going wrong…again. 

As Winston Churchill once said: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”  

Thursday, December 08, 2022


Today is December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and time for my sometimes annual mini-rant about translations, and in this case, a particularly terrible translation in that it kicks Mary out of the plan of salvation. 

For years, probably since about 1970, the Gospel reading for Mass on this day (Lk 1: 26-38) did not use the words "full of grace" - which is the very basis of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception - but used  "favored one," or "highly favored," or something like that. 

The New American Bible, the translation in standard use in the United States, and the translation that every Catholic school kid is stuck with, still uses that language

And coming to her, he said, "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you."

Sometime in the mid-1990's, Pope John Paul II issued an instruction to fix that language, at least in the Lectionary, and so now we hear "Hail, full of grace" on the Holy Day set aside to specifically recognize and honor She who was and is "full of grace" from the moment of her conception. 

However, the language of the First Mass Reading on this day was never fixed and Genesis 3:15 still reads: 

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.”

Again, this was a circa 1970 invention and prior to this "updating" - made possible by the elimination of Latin and the vagaries of new vernacular translations - the faithful at Mass, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, heard:

inimicitias ponam inter te et mulierem et semen tuum et semen illius ipsa conteret caput tuum et tu insidiaberis calcaneo eius

I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.

There are two significant differences between the translation we heard today and the ancient one: First, there is "she" not "he." And second, the modern translation has Jesus and Satan striking at each other in what appears to be a battle of equals whereas the ancient text, in Latin (the Vulgate) has Mary CRUSHING a powerless Satan, i.e. Satan can only "lie in wait for her heel.

The Mary of the Vulgate, and the translation we heard for nearly 2000 years, is a much more powerful Mary, and said power underlies the reason for so many of her titles, including "Co-Redemptrix." Perhaps this is why - in the then-spirit of post-Vatican II ecumenism and wanting to get along with non-Catholics -  our own Catholic leadership got rid of the "she" in Genesis 3:15. 

Scholars debate whether the "ipsa" in the Vulgate can be translated as "he" or "she," however, there is no debating the language Pope Pius IX chose to employ and define in Ineffabilis Deus

Hence, just as Christ, the Mediator between God and man, assumed human nature, blotted the handwriting of the decree that stood against us, and fastened it triumphantly to the cross, so the most holy Virgin, united with him by a most intimate and indissoluble bond, was, with him and through him, eternally at enmity with the evil serpent, and most completely triumphed over him, and thus crushed his head with her immaculate foot.

It's curious, but since about 1970 when our Church leadership functionally dumped Mary as "Satan's head crusher," Satan has found his happy way back into the highest halls of power in our Church. 

However, as if to "fight back" against the MODERNISM which has eviscerated Mary in our modern translations - and even on the very day we honor her in a special way - Mary, a few days later in the liturgical calendar (Dec. 12) appears in Mexico and gives us her real name: 

"Te Coatlaxopeuh” ("she who crushes the stone serpent").


Sunday, June 26, 2022


 (Copied from my Facebook post on Jun. 26, 2022)

Been sort of trying to avoid the war in social media right now re "the decision." But came across an article the title of which reminded me of the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw the news: "The Left has Done This to Themselves." 

The gist of the article is that Clinton had it right when he maintained abortion should be "safe, legal, and rare." Most Americans agreed with him and Roe stayed out of trouble. 

However, "Catholics" Pelosi, Biden, Andrew Cuomo, and the late Ted Kennedy (aka "the lion of the senate) among other "Catholics" in Congress pushed for legal abortion procedures that included "ready to be born" children to be drug out of their mother's wombs, stabbed in the back of the head, and have their brains sucked out (aka "partial birth abortion"). NOTE: Our own "Catholic" governor testified at a public hearing in favor of killing children, already born, who survived abortions. 

Footnote: "Catholics" is in quotes because the real bad actors are their pastors and bishops who in most cases let them do what they did, and in some cases, even taught them how to do it. See: The Hyannisport Prescription

And Americans were not willing to stomach that. 

However, more to the point, and to my thought on this was that if the pro-aborts would have just let Mississippi have its way in the Dobbs thing, the matter would have never gone to SCOTUS and Roe would have remained safe. 

The case in Dobbs in Mississippi was clearly a "walk into this" taunt. The pro-lifers were just looking for a legal challenge that would go to SCOTUS, and the pro-aborts gave it to them. 

It very much reminded me of the Apuron thing here in Guam. Had it not been for "the Diana" and the rogues in the chancery who threatened to sue everybody, the whole thing would have died quietly and Apuron would have lived happily ever after. 

It's a case of choose your battles. Well that's all folks. Love your families. You never know how long you will have them. Peace and Courage.

Tuesday, May 03, 2022


 Frontpage Magazine published "Is Francis Really the Pope?" (May 2, 2022). 

It appears that the question is more motivated by Francis' "teaching" since taking the Chair of Peter rather than the still questionable events that brought him there. In other words: "Is Francis a bad pope?"

The history of the papacy is fraught with “bad popes.” Most famous were the Borgia and Medici popes, but several hundred years before them, around the turn of the First Millennium, there was what came to be known as “The Iron Age of the Papacy,” during which there were about 24 popes in 94 years because they kept assassinating each other. I’ll post a link to an article I wrote about it in the comments.

The good news about previous “bad popes” is they were too busy stealing, killing, and fornicating to teach anything. Not so Francis who oft appears to be rewriting the Catechism during off-the cuff rants on airplanes; which, other than a formal proclamation “ex cathedra,” would be official heresy and which would probably bring about the end of time since Jesus promised that “the gates of hell would not prevail,” which from one angle means that Jesus would show up before Satan prevailed over the Chair of Peter. 

However, “who am I to judge?” 

As a Christian, I am required to believe that nothing, good or evil, happens without God’s permission (see Book of Job). And if Francis is causing confusion and other not-so-good stuff, then his papacy has lots of biblical precedent where, in dealing with the waywardness of the “chosen people,” God gave said “chosen” the leaders they deserved...and usually asked for. 

In other words, at best Francis is simply a Latin American Jesuit come to the big city, and at worst, he is God’s justice for the millions and millions of Catholics who for decades have long since turned back to the fleshpots of Egypt.


Wednesday, March 09, 2022


The Gospel for Saturday, March 5, 2022, in the Ancient Rite (TLM) was the account from Mark of Jesus walking on the water (Mark 6:47-56). The same story appears in Matt 14.22-33 and John 6.16-21.

As usual, there are differences in the Gospel accounts, and some "anti-primacy of Peter types" like to stress that Mark and John do not mention Peter walking on the water to Jesus, as does Matthew. 

However, as is well-known, John's Gospel is not considered one of the "synoptics" because John had an entirely different aim in writing his gospel. So no surprise that John's Gospel leaves out details that the synoptics do not. 

And as for Mark, it is well-known that Mark was Peter's "secretary" and it can be easily understood that Peter, in dictating to Mark, did not want to highlight himself in any way.

Friday, March 04, 2022


Catholic websites and sermons are overflowing with "prayers for Ukraine"...but no "prayers for the conversion of Russia."

I am old enough to remember when prayers for the conversion of Russia were said at the end of every Low Mass after the St. Michael Prayer. Collectively known as the Leonine prayers or "prayers after Mass." 

I also remember every family rosary, in my youth, including "for the conversion of Russia" in the intentions. 

In 1965, hot on the heels of Vatican II, the Church officially suppressed the "prayers after the Mass" and the prayers for the conversion of Russia. Some thought it was because we didn't want to make the communists mad at us.

Saturday, February 26, 2022


The statue of Our Lady of Fatima outside the National
Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Nose and hands broken
off. Dec. 7, 2021.

 It is quite clear that Russia is the aggressor and is waging an unjust war as defined by the Catholic Church. However, as Catholics, we are bound to believe that nothing happens, even evil, without God's permission. And sometimes God permits evil for His higher purpose.

For example: permitting an impenitent man steeped in a life of mortal sin to become ill or severely hurt in order to occasion the opportunity for the man to amend his ways, or at least perhaps to cripple him to the point that he is no longer able to persist in the mortally sinful acts that are dragging his soul into Hell.

Throughout the history of God's Chosen People, God permitted his "chosen" to be captured, enslaved, and sometimes killed off to within a breath of a remnant, and all by unjust, unbelieving, and brutal, worldly aggressors. (Think of what the Romans did to the Jews in Jerusalem in 70AD. And all prophesied by Jesus, Himself.)

Our Lady at Fatima warned: "War is punishment for sin." 

World War I was, up to then, history's most brutal, costly, and non-sensical war. And Our Lady, appearing at Fatima in 1917, warned that if we did not cease sinning and do penance that a worse war would come. The world ignored her and so came World War II.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021


There were the usual responses. 


 I left the following comment. 

The words of the Hail Mary don’t “pray to Mary,” the words ask her to pray for us. “Pray for us now and at the hour if our death.” They are the same words we use to ask others to pray for us.


I was moved to share the following thoughts after I read this article: A letter to the parents who keep bringing their disruptive kids to Mass, week after week.


As one of the parents of 11 children, and who, for the most of our child-rearing years, attended Mass in a small chapel of maybe 20 people max, (where any noise was easily a distraction) we had a strategy. It was my job to take the disruptive child (usually the youngest) outside. Sometimes I'd miss the whole Mass. But not for long. The child usually settled down about year 2. 

But here's the deal. The Mass we went to did not have constant sound, external stimulation, guitars, lectors, amplified singers, drums, moving around, etc. It was 90% absolutely silent. If you've guessed this was the Latin Mass, you are correct. 

The lack of all that external stimulation had a quieting effect on my children, even as infants. Somehow they intuited that something special was going on and they learned to be quiet...because QUIET is what surrounded them. 

We had and still have 2 special needs children. One of them, Number 10, was extremely rambunctious. He was always on the move. But about age 2, he became absolutely quiet and even "contemplative." 

(As a P.S. William had been born with a nasal defect which caused him to snore loudly. Since William knew he could not make noise "in church," he would "deal with it" by just going to sleep. His snoring was so loud that I often had to pick him up off the floor and take him outside. This became a bit difficult because I was the "organist." LOL.)

William with his Icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary
at Latin Mass. ca 2012. 

I gave William an icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary and he would hold it against his chest at every Mass and was absolutely still for the more than hour long Latin Mass liturgy. 

As soon as Mass was over, he was up and running out of the church and it would take most of his brothers and sisters to catch him as he ran around the church yard. 

For nearly 30 years we went to Mass with up to 11 children. But for a few instances when we had to take the little ones out of Mass, they all learned to "respect" the Mass because they were surrounded by "respect," which was absorbed by them as silence. 

Let's stop blaming children and families. And families, let's stop making excuses for our noisy children. If you take them to a noisy place, they're going to be noisy. Sorry if you are unable to find a Mass where silence reigns. I understand how hard it is today. Every available second seems to be drowned in sound.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...