July 20, 2015

Darkness Falls

This blog will go dark. I will keep the lights on for a few weeks more, but the switch will be flipped sometime in August.

I have been reevaluating priorities and have determined this blog is not one of them. As much as I would like to continue writing, there are so many more who do so with greater clarity and Catholicity than I could ever do.

Thank you to all who have visited, and especially to those who kept coming back.

I sincerely hope some of what I have written has caused at least one Catholic couple to pause and rethink divorce as a cure to marital difficulties...if so, then this blog has fulfilled its purpose and I can leave contented.

Thank you all again.

God's Blessings to all...

July 14, 2015

On the September 2015 Visit to the USA of Pope Francis, Part II...

I hope he stays away from the USA come September.

I don't want him here...not now. I don't want him making a fool of himself and the Catholic Church, catering as he has been elsewhere to the modern world - and a mostly socialist one at that. He and his trip will do nothing for the USA but provide fodder for the 24 hour news cycle.

He will be lauded and applauded; he will be fawned and fondled over. Catholic youth will rush to get a selfie portrait. He will undoubtedly get photo ops from faithful Catholics like Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden. At a photo op with the press, He will most likely be handed an "abortionfix", a crucifix made from abortion instruments in the shape of a cross upon which hangs the Corpus of Christ, smile benignly and mutter something that sounds vaguely like "Who am I to judge?".

On his "Smell the Sheep With Jorge Tour" to the poor areas of New York and Washington, DC, with Cardinals Timothy Dolan and Donald Wuerl in tow, he will stop and shake hands with the homeless and the helpless, bewailing their lack of monetary relief from the likes of the Koch Brothers, Donald Trump and the Republican members of Congress. Later on, during his walk down Michigan Avenue, he will invite some homeless men and women to serve Mass and be EMHC's at the Papal Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

I grow weary of the man... Not of the Office of the man, mind, but of THE MAN. I would take a bullet for him any day, come to his aid if he were accosted on the street, even change the tire on his Papal VW Bug-mobile. But I cringe every time I see his smiling face blaring (yes, blaring...not glaring) at me in the news.  He is quick to:

  • meet world leaders who like nothing of what he represents of Catholicism, and bewails the gutting of Mother Earth by greedy corporations (and nothing on the gutting of the priesthood of the past 50 years)
  • bemoan the plight of the poor put there by mean and selfish rich people, but then goes on multiple World Tours staining Mother Earth with his carbon footprint (but would never stain his Papacy by saying a Tridentine Papal Mass)
  • surround himself with clerics of questionable moral character who openly wish to change Catholic Doctrine, and then vilify mainstream Catholics who hold fast to the traditions of the Church, like praying Rosaries for his intentions (but would never vilify those who cater to his vision of Catholicism)

Yes, I grow weary of Pope Francis, THE MAN.

I rather wish he would just pick up the phone, dial up His Excellency Bernard Fellay and invite him to come dine with him. They will, over dinner, come to an agreement on the reconciliation with the SSPX and announce same at an after dinner impromptu press conference.

Or perhaps even do what I wrote of last February...

But, as he won't do any of what he should, I truly wish he would just stay-the-hell home.

Maybe he can write an Encyclical on The Restoration of the Tridentine Mass or a Papal Bull on The Necessity For All Clerics To Wear the Cassock, or even a Papal Bull on The Wonders and Glories of Devotion to Mary, the Mother of God. 

Or, better still (and something that would cement forever his place in Catholic and World history), in fulfillment of Our Lady of Fatima's directive, Consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart in union with all the Bishops of the World, thereby correcting immediately all that he has spoken out against since his election to the Chair of Peter. 

And he won't even have to leave Rome to enjoy the perpetual notoriety that would bring to him and his Papacy...

                          Oratio pro summo Pontifice

V. Oremus pro Pontifice nostro N. 

R. Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius. [Ps 40:3]

Pater Noster, Ave Maria.

Deus, omnium fidelium pastor et rector, famulum tuum N., quem pastorem Ecclesiae tuae praeesse voluisti, propitius respice: da ei, quaesumus, verbo et exemplo, quibus praeest, proficere: ut ad vitam, una cum grege sibi credito, perveniat sempiternam. Per Christum, Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Copyright 2015 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

July 12, 2015

Reflections On An Anniversary (of sorts)...

Although it could have been a day or two earlier, July 12th marks the fifth year of my voluntarily leaving the family home to give a still-much-loved someone her "space". I did not realize at the time that I would never again sleep under its roof, talk more than a few days-worth of words to a third of my children and be mostly estranged from over half. My naivete was at its greatest apogee; my own ideal (and not the Catholic ideal) of "...wuv, tru wuv..." was still extant. I was mere days away from letting the whole of our marital problems be placed upon my shoulders alone, but more importantly, on the verge of accepting defeat of myself, my marriage and the Sacrament of Matrimony.

At some point over the next few weeks, however, the proverbial line-in-the-sand was drawn, and not by human hands. The realization (and this was the Grace of the Sacrament coming into play) finally dawned of the import of what was going on and the ease with which I was participating in it. The silent voice of Grace was attempting - and perhaps for the last time - to strengthen my weakened Free Will. It wasn't a Saul moment - more just a slow re-awakening - but it nonetheless translated into one simple statement: "Choose now: Your will or Mine?"

It's obvious by now what choice was made and - despite the continued personal missteps and mistakes - one never regretted. The acceptance of the marital Cross - the entire Cross, not just the portion that I chose - was now fully embraced. The true meaning of love - Our Blessed Lord's love, the non-reciprocal love He gave from His Cross - was now also fully embraced. No...not so much embraced as remembered, in the words spoken 22 years earlier: "For better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; til death we do part."

What has the past five years wrought?

  • Broken and fractured parent-child relationships;
  • Strained Spousal relations;
  • Severe financial stress;
  • Children in direct conflict with the 4th Commandment;
  • Reason being subdued by Passion;
  • Forgiveness being replaced with hardheartedness;
  • Documented errors ignored and personal frailties highlighted.

It gets worse, as most any divorce Respondent, Catholic or not, will tell you. And it does, believe me, and let no one tell you otherwise. If any do, run away from them as you would any other near occasion of sin. They are and will ever remain, a danger to you and to your vocation...it will be hard enough for you keep unchaste thoughts from invading your mind, as it has been for me. Huh? What?!? Yes, my Friends...it may be a continual temptation for you. For even though the heart may be closed to all but your first spouse, after having drunk the wine for years or decades, do you not think such temptations won't be there?  That you won't ache for a warm body - any warm body? Thankfully, it hasn't happened. But don't be naive. Don't be foolish. Don't be stupid. Read and take to heart this 2014 post by Fr. Peter Carota: 10 Traditional Catholic Practices To Get Out Of Habitual Sin Especially Of The Flesh

You are and will remain a weakling if you try and carry this particular Cross alone, devoid of any help from the One Person who knows about pain, misery, weakness, unjust accusations, unrequited love, etc. He only requires that you silently give. And then give more. And then give more still.  And when that giving and the ensuing silence becomes overwhelming; when you're on the precipice of discouragement; when you think He can't possibly be listening; you will look over and there He will be, helping you up, assisting you in carrying your Cross  - Him, Simon the Cyrene, to your Scourged Christ. Think it not a proper analogy and maybe even scandalous?  It remains a truth nonetheless, for once the marital Cross has been fully accepted and embraced - as did Our Lord His own of Redemption - it becomes a very apt analogy. You may then truly walk - in imitation of His - your own Way of the Cross. For you, and for your spouse, children and marriage. Could He not be more pleased?

So, where is it all now, after 5 years? It's still a struggle some times. At other times, not so much. Most always the stress still affects me. I've gone from no kids living with me, to two, and now back down to one. That in itself is a far cry from the earlier years when I had none, and a distinct privilege I never thought I would ever have again.

I have three years to go until my youngest turns 18, graduates high school and this madness ends. I will be then a fairly young 65 years old and - by modern standards - able to retire and live comfortably for whatever remains of my life. I can travel, go anywhere I want when I want and be mostly debt free. I will be able to live in subsidized housing, have subsidized medical care and subsidized cell phone. My burial plot is bought and paid for, my funeral arrangements planned and set, down to the wording on the headstone. I will have smooth sailing for whatever life I have left. Awesome, right?

Not really...I would give it all up in a heartbeat to get my family back. The broader question really becomes, for those contemplating divorce:

Are you willing to put yourself through all what I am presently experiencing, or, would you rather fall on your knees before the Altar of Christ, and selflessly renew the vows you made years or decades before? 

I sincerely hope and pray that all spouses in marital trouble hear what I did (albeit before the divorce line is crossed):

"Choose now: Your will or Mine?"

Copyright 2015 David Heath - All Rights Reserved