Saturday, February 03, 2007


says Matthew Fox, along with some other stuff that is equally audacious given he is no longer a member of the Church he disses. Check it out at YouTube. He is concerned with the Pope's interest in "going to Prada" which he seems to think has replaced the preferential option for the poor. The "preoccupation with sexual morality that has been driving this Vatican for 25 years" has to go according to Fox. This "burdensome and excessive preoccupation with sexual morality that has been driving this Vatican for 25 years in fact [is] dysfunctional."

When he said that last bit I started to speculate on his sex life, and then remembered I needed remain above going there.

While you are listening to his rant, take comfort in his wrinkles. He isn't going to be around spewing this garbage much longer. In the meantime, the video clip is an ad for an upcoming Canadian broadcast of more of the same. Canadian Catholics have my sympathy.

Hat tip to a reader for the link.


I've been looking through the short accounts of these at the website to see if any involved levitation. I got about half way through the list to the Island of La Reunion. Most of them involve bleeding hosts, or hosts that turn to flesh, or wine that turns to blood. Some levitated.

This one involves a levitation of sorts, though it's a bit more than a couple of inches.

This one, too offers a host that is suspended.

Here's another levitation.

This one flew.

This one, while not a levitation, is certainly dramatic.


is on the web. I see they are coming back to Akron once again, this time for a Lenten Mission at St. Mary's. It's a shame this church isn't located in a safe neighborhood instead of an inner city parish. Nothing would persuade me to venture into St. Mary's Parish after dark without a cop in tow.

Looking for information on the parishes taking part in these retreats...

Several of the retreats are listed simply by city. There is little information available for searching on the web. Why isn't more information given as to the location of these retreats? Among those which do offer a location:

Sts. Cyril and Methodius, Sterling Heights, Michigan. This appears to be a Macedonian Orthodox Church. At least there is a church by that name listed on the Macedonian website.

Benedictine Monastery in Still River. I found a Benedictine Abbey in Still River, Massachusetts. There is a quote from Fr. Leonard Feeney on the index webpage. This appears to be the St. Benedict Center dressed up in its new clothes. Maybe there is another Benedictine facility in Still River. I didn't find one, and without a street address, it's impossible to tell.

Sacred Heart in W. Covina looks like a normal American Roman Catholic parish on the conservative side. It's located in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.


It's zero degrees here on the garage thermometer. We have a wind-chill factor of 30 below in the forecast over the next couple of days. Normal weather for Ohio this time of year. I wonder how the spring flowers out there under the snow are doing? The ones that came up in January right after I noticed that the sky was criss-crossed with jet trails.

That chilly forecast in last night's weather report was followed in the TV news coverage by a report on global warming and the guilty rich countries that are causing it. It sounded like one more push for globalism. Not I see that the mechanics are already in the works in Europe to form a trans-governmental cooperative to address this problem that may exist and/or may have been manufactured. According to the AP in a story linked at Spirit Daily:

PARIS - Fear of runaway global warming pushed 46 countries to line up Saturday behind France's appeal for a new environmental body that could single out — and perhaps police — nations that abuse the Earth.

"It is our responsibility. The future of humanity demands it,"
President Jacques Chirac said in an appeal to put the environment at the top of the world's agenda.

He spoke at a conference a day after the release in Paris of a grim report from the world's leading climate scientists and government officials that said global warming is so severe that it will "continue for centuries" and that humans are to blame.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's report sparked calls for fast, planet-wide action and was embraced by Europeans. A total of 46 countries agreed to pursue plans for the new organization, and to hold their first meeting in Morocco this spring.

But key world polluters — including the United States, China, India and Russia — steered clear.

Without naming the United States directly, Chirac expressed frustration that "some large countries, large rich countries, still must be convinced." They are "refusing to accept the consequences of their acts," he said.

How will America's liberties, taken for granted by the majority of citizens on the street, fare as this trend escalates? When it appears on the evening news, most people accept it as provable fact, whether it's fact or fiction or political agenda. Freedom as we know it may be on the verge of becoming history, and will be ushered out by the use of name-calling, as in "Big Bad Greedy Americans"--little more than a sandbox strategy.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


Spirit & Life
"The words I spoke to you are spirit and life." (Jn 6:63)
Human Life International e-Newsletter
Volume 01, Number 53 | Friday, Feb. 02, 2007
................................................................................... www.hli.org

Super Embarrassment

The Super Bowl is such an American phenomenon, mesmerizing a world taken in by the new religion of sports, that literally 230 countries and territories of the world will watch it on Sunday. I have no problem with people watching American football; it's just the embarrassing cultural junk that goes with it that has me worried.

Think of it. The entire world gets a three-hour window into American culture one Sunday a year, and what they see will determine in large part what they think of us.

We wonder why other nations despise America. I'm sure at the root of it there's more than a bit of jealousy for the bright and seductive material culture that we sport on a day like Super Sunday, but there also has to be some disdain if not contempt for what we display as our "way of life." The Super Bowl has its share of real funny advertisements (I'll grant you that), but these are punctuated by some of the most salacious commercials that corporate America can dredge up to sell lite beer, Doritos, hair color, Chevys, Pepsi, Pepsi and more Pepsi. When I was in seminary I went to a variety show at another national college where the guys joked that Americans are fed on a diet of coke and potato chips! Well, that's exactly what we tell them about ourselves on TV!

And are we really okay with admitting that US businesses are paying $2.6 million per 30-second spot this year? I'm sorry but that's just obscene. I don't even have to be an advocate of the plight of the world's poor to blush at that. Yeah, I know, it's the market right?

Well, marketing is a game of images, and that's the image of bloated America that the rest of the impoverished world will see.

The greatest Super Bowl embarrassments, however, are turning out to be the half time shows. Quite frankly, I'm thinking of volunteering for the Super Bowl committee in charge of selecting next year's entertainment because I just can't take the national humiliation any more. Granted, they probably wouldn't be satisfied with the Gregorian chant that I would suggest, but anything - literally anything - is better than this year's androgynous little icon to American cultural decadence known as "Prince." If Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" a few years ago wasn't bad enough - how will we live this one down?

The selection of Prince says a great deal about our culture. Sure, he's popular. Sure he's sold over 100 million albums. But that's exactly the point. Does America like the master of perversion that much? This man is positively dangerous to souls. His albums have been variously titled Chaos and Disorder, Lovesexy, Crystal Ball, The Black Album, Dirty Mind, Camille (named after a French hermaphrodite), The Hot X-perience, The Undertaker, The Flesh, High and that's just for beginners. Maybe he's turned over a new leaf since he abandoned Christianity and became a Jehovah's Witness in 2001, but weird is as weird does. Michael Jackson behaved himself at the 1993 "Heal the World" Super Bowl half time show too, but we all know how he ended.

To think that the Super Bowl has featured in its history such class acts as Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Pete Fountain, Al Hirt and even Up With People and the US Marine Corps Drill Team, I can't help but be mortified by images of the Prince of drivel beaming around the globe from our national game.

America has so much more to offer the world! What about the faithfulness of the 100,000 people who braved the cold to stand up in defense of innocent lives at the March for Life last week? What about bravery of the men and women who serve our country as firefighters, paramedics, police officers and soldiers risking their lives to serve others? The Super Bowl should show the true colors of the land of the free and the home of the brave and leave the cultural garbage out.

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer
President, Human Life International


Amen, Father. But I gotta tell ya, I don't know who Prince is.

Is that pathetic, or what?

Friday, February 02, 2007


Whether for Buddhist monks or Catholic priests, the monastic life of spiritual seekers over the centuries has been rooted in denial of the carnal. As Jews regard the pig as an unclean animal, the world’s major religions have viewed sex and lust as mire-splattered interlopers.

The Urban Monk Program at San Francisco’s One Taste Urban Retreat Center completely inverts that ancient precept. Sex and sensuality, instead of being denied or purged, are isolated and then focused upon in the pursuit of spiritual transformation.

Marketing material promoting it describes it as “an integrated program that takes care of your whole being … by expanding the delicate and potent energy of orgasm.”

Pop theologians like Stephen Mitchell have widened the definition of prayer from “talking with God” to include everyday pursuits, like concentrating deeply on a math problem. Similarly, Nicole Daedone, founder of One Taste, views sensuality as one of many circuits to the divine — or at least to liberation from societal “hangups.”

The Urban Monk Program offers its acolytes a range of programming from lectures on communication to 12-step inspired “sensual recovery” to hands-on “stroke clinics” and “orgasmic meditation (OM).” The tuition runs upwards of $12,000, or $2,000 per week, “with special arrangements for work trade.”

Thirty-nine-year-old Daedone opened One Taste on Folsom Street in San Francisco’s SoMA district in 2004. Daedone studied semantics at SFSU and theosophy on her own before living in a series of sex-positive cooperatives in Oregon and Northern California. Together, the two experiences gave her the spark for One Taste, which takes practices from underground sex communities and brings them to the public.

We spoke with her and Beth Crittenden, 31, the director of the Urban Monk Program. Daedone and Crittendon live in the community loft space near the center, along with 40-some other members of the One Taste cooperative, many of whom staff the center and facilitate its offerings of bodywork, yoga, organic café creations, lectures, weekly intimacy communication games and sex-themed events.

Below, Nicole and Beth talk about the Urban Monk program and their take on sensuality’s relationship to the divine.

Continue reading...


At the Alchemy Web Site Rafal T. Prinke speculates on Rosicrucianism in Poland based on the images displayed on the coronation sword of Polish kings, called "Szczerbiec" or the "Jagged Sword." He believes there may be a connection--a "Passing on the Torch" between Knights Templar and Rosicrucians, and comes to this conclusion using symbolism from the sword. He writes:

The known history of Szczerbiec starts in 1320, when it was first used for the coronation of the Plolish king Ladislaus the Short, who reunited the small appanage divisions after two hundred years. It may be significant that this was shortly after the suppression of Templars. An exciting, though far fetched, hypothesis would be that Polish kings became some sort of hiers to the Order of the Temple. In order to support this conjecture we may be reminded that from that time until the middle of the 17th century Poland (united in a commonwealth with Lithuania) was the greatest European country and one of the most powerful. At the same time she was a country of equality (there were feudal classes, of course, but there was no aristocracy) and tolerance (there have never been religious wars in Poland and it became a shelter for various heretics, Jews and Moslems), which was certainly in the spirit of the Rosicrucian manifestos and later of Freemasonry and probably also of the Kights Templar.

On the sword he finds the "God I" which he says historians have interpreted as the first letter of the Tetragrammaton. He also sees corrupted forms of the names of God used in the grimoires of kabbalistic magic, written in corrupted Hebrew.

He finds Enochian words on the sword and notes that this stems from John Dee and Edward Kelley.

He mentions that "most of the Polish kings are known to have been interested in one or another of the hermetic sciences" and gives examples.

According to Prinke Polish Rosicrucian activity was centered in Gdansk and included the Dominican monk Wincenty Kowski in the monastery at Gdansk. Dominican monasteries, he claims, were centres of alchemical practices.

He notes that "When the Order of the Gold and Rosy Cross was 'masonised' and actually became one of the numerous rites of Freemasonry, it also had lodges or 'circles' in Poland, especially in Warsaw" and that "there were Polish patrons of Eliphas Levi (Count Branicki and Count Mniszech)."

Prinke is a Polish researcher in genealogy and heraldry and has been published in numerous genealogical publications. He also writes on alchemy and hermeticism.

Part of Prinke's website includes a link to "Names of Goetia demons from Wierus and Lemegeton" on a webpage featuring the image of an egg and a sword-weilding knight. Is this egg the symbol of that line of thinking which claims there were children of Jesus and Mary Magdalene? It's certainly possible. While thinking about that, let's not forget recent revelations of communist activity in Poland. Perhaps there is a connection.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


Dom has blogged a levitating host. The event took place during Mass said by the Archbishop of Lyon. There are pictures and a video, too. The Church has not yet ruled on the event.

The Archbishop of Lyon. Of all possible priests for this sort of thing to happen to given some previous Eucharistic "miracles" over there


Angelqueen.org shows the pictures in enlarged form. Here it is more clear what the host has done.

Why are the celebrant's hands green?


Michael Brown provides an interesting look at the occult practices in the life of the Beetles, particularly John Lennon. One more example of the dangers of occultism for the practitioner.


Webb attempts to track the source of Gurdjieff's system, devoting an entire chapter to the effort. Among the many sources Webb explores is Sufism:

...nothing will be said about the possibility that Gurdjieff took ideas from any Sufi order, though certain Sufi methods--most notably the "Stop" exercise--were clearly important to him, and it is possible that several ideas which will be discussed in a European context--such as Cabala or numerology--were first imbibed by Gurdjieff in an Islamic (that is to say Sufic) form. (p. 500)

The more his theoretical teaching is studied, the more it divides itself into two sections: a definitely Oriental part, based largely on Buddhist thought with an admixture of Sufi lore; and a definitely Western part, founded on European occultism as derived from the Gnostics, Neo-Platonists, and Rosicrucians. (p. 540)

In researching Rodney Collin on the web, I found a website belonging to Katinka Hesselink, a Theosophist and member of the Theosophical Society in America. There are numerous links here including a webpage devoted to Sufism and Fourth Way where Gurdjieff, Hazrat Inayat Kahn, Idres Shah, and Joyce Collin-Smith provide essays, and where there are also links to Blavatsky quotes, Modern Theosophy, Jiddu Krishnamurti and a link to Hassellink's Newsletter titled "Lucifer7".

With such associations, it is simply beyond comprehension how the Gurdjieffian Enneagram can be promoted in Catholic retreats.


According to a CNS story sent in by a reader, L'Osservatore Romano has berated an Italian journalist who wrote a story on confession for L'Espresso magazine, one of Italy's leading weeklies, calling it a "shameful scoop." The journalist made false confessions in order to track priests' response:

The reporter made his false confessions to 24 different priests in five Italian cities, including Rome. The magazine said the idea was to see how priests handle difficult pastoral situations and whether they followed the strict norms laid out by church teaching.

The reporter, for example, told two priests he was HIV-positive and wondered whether he should use a condom when having sexual relations with his girlfriend. One told him no, and the other said it was a question of conscience, the magazine reported.

More than once, the magazine said, priests gave quite different advice on his supposed "sins," which included matters relating to homosexuality, divorce, stem-cell research, euthanasia and prostitution.

One issue that found unanimous condemnation by confessors was abortion, the magazine said.

While the Vatican paper refers to sacrilege and "violation of sacred space", one has to wonder if it wasn't the evidence unearthed that really had the Vatican in a lather. Pick your priest and get either heaven or hell depending upon the choice. Not a good image at all, at all. But it's much easier to condemn the messenger than to address the message, I guess.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Much of the information on occultism relies on the work of James Webb. THE OCCULT UNDERGROUND, THE OCCULT ESTABLISHMENT and THE HARMONIOUS CIRCLE contain a broad spectrum of information without which a great deal less could be known of the dark side of religion. Webb, unlike most occult writers, has credibility. Trinity College, Cambridge is said to have granted a biennial James Webb Memorial Prize awarded in his honor.

Anyone who wishes to keep information about occultism secret must contend with James Webb's work. For that reason a book titled THE DAMNED by Gary Lachman raises some curiosity since it seems to discredit Webb if the review at Fortean Times is any indication.

The review tells of Webb's relationship with Joyce Collin-Smith during the time of his marriage to Mary. This is the same Collin-Smith, sister-in-law of Rodney Collin, who was with Collin at his commune in Mexico City. Collin-Smith met Webb when he was doing research for his book on Gurdjieff, a book he completed not long before he died. The review does not say that the relationship was sexual; it merely hints that it was. It also tells of Webb's mental breakdown and the suicide that ended his life. Webb shot himself during or immediately after what appears to have been a psychotic episode. He was about to write a book about Rudolf Steiner when he died.

Joyce Collin-Smith confirms much of the detail in the review at the Gurdjieff website. In writing of Webb's breakdown, she reveals

...he wrote: 'Over the past four or five months I have been changing positions so rapidly that I haven't known whether I was on my head or my heels. I would go to bed a Manichee and rise from it a Buddhist. The day after I would be convinced by Cabala or Gnostic Christianity. The symbol of the Celtic Cross has come to mean a great deal to me - the circle of reincarnation transformed by the symbol of redemption."

That would seem to be a nice description of the dangers of interreligious dialog.

In her biography of Webb, Collin-Smith recounts his description of "two years of nightmare" in which he had "a full-scale nervous breakdown, with hallucinations, visions, and a fine repertoire of subjectively supernatural experiences."

Visions and supernatural experiences are the sum and substance of Catholic apparitions. Yet here is evidence that these phenomena can occur outside of the context of faith. In Webb's description of the medium who worked with Rodney Collin there was an example of the stigmata appearing outside of the Catholic religious context. It is for this reason that the approval of the Church for any supernatural phenomenon is essential before Catholics in the pew take it up. Whether we argue that satan mimics religious events or that the subconscious does it, efforts to bring these events about through techniques are a movement into precarious territory. For this reason the efforts promoted by monks and others to induce contemplation should be monitored closely by the leaders of the Church with the Church's teaching on New Age clearly a criteria of discernment. Yet that is not happening.

In any case, Webb's credibility does seem to be challenged by this evidence of his real psychological problems, yet that must be balanced by the historical details he presents in his books.

It would appear that at the end of his life Webb was searching for religious context that would accommodate the bulk of his findings, yet it seems that he could not find one suitable to all of them. He does seem to have found astrology credible if Collin-Smith's description of his last years is accepted as accurate. Given that she is a noted astrologer and tarot reader, a bias is inevitable, however. There is no hint of a sexual union in her account of Webb.


Sandro Magister wades in on the Italian who requested the disconnection of his respirator and subsequently died then was refused a Catholic funeral. More of the details are given in Magister's article. Apparently this man's request was as big a story in Italy as the Terri Schiavo story was here, and that may have influenced the decision about the funeral.

Still the question that the story raises in my mind is whether it is legitimate to cheat death with medical intervention in the first place, given that one may end up in a situation such as this?

I come to that question from this background--a story told to me by a member of my former liberal parish--a woman who spoke with a parish priest about feeding tubes for her father who had Alzheimers. The priest told her under no circumstances to allow for the feeding tube to be inserted because it would not then be possible to remove it.

According to the doctor who founded the Alzheimer's Association in Akron, Alz patients refuse food at the end of life. It is part of the process of dying from the disease. It is at that point where the question of whether to insert the tube or not comes into play. Inserting it prolongs life. But is doing so legitimate given the state of the rest of the Alzheimer's patient at that point. There is no possible hope for any sort of recovery, and giving nutrition means that another aspect of the disease will do the killing.

Who can judge for another what constitutes "burdensome", particularly when the patient is lucid? If we are permitted to refuse medical treatment that is "burdensome", and if that medical treatment is life-saving, then in a sense we commit suicide whenever we refuse it. Yet this is a suicide the Church approves, in theory if not in practice in this particular incident. That is how I see the situation in Italy. The man was lucid and he wanted the treatment discontinued, knowing full well that the consequences would be death. He did not ask to be euthanized, which is another matter entirely and involves direct intervention to bring death about.

Whether he had asked for this discontinuation once or two hundred times over a span of months or years does not change the pertinent facts. God may sentence us to a life of pain and suffering. If that is our fate, we can only pray that He will grant us the grace to endure it. But God is not contained in the machine or the medical intervention, and God is fully capable of circumventing its use and maintaining life if He so desires. Artificial means should not be elevated to the status of God's life-giving choice. They are a means to cheat death. The moral question, IMHO, is much more should they be used in the first place given that they circumvent God's choice, not whether they can morally be discontinued at the request of a lucid patient.


NOR links the story:

Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov said Monday he would never allow a gay parade to take place in Moscow despite pressure from the West, Russia’s RIA-Novosti news agency reports.

“Last year, Moscow came under unprecedented pressure to sanction the gay parade, which can be described in no other way than as Satanic,” Luzhkov said at the 15th Christmas educational readings in the Kremlin Palace.

“We did not let the parade take place then, and we are not going to allow it in the future,” said Luzhkov who has been in office since 1992. ...

Luzhkov thanked the attending head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II, for his support at a time when, he said, the West is exerting considerable pressure on Moscow authorities and trying to promote gay relationships under the cover of creativity and freedom of expression.

“Religious thinkers throughout the world have said that the West has reached a crisis of faith. Some European nations bless single-sex marriages and introduce sexual guides in schools,” Luzhkov said. “Such things are a deadly moral poison for children.”


A Gurdjieff follower who is said to have held P. D. Ouspensky in his arms as he died, Rodney Collin converted to Catholicism after a papal audience in 1954, but not before founding his own commune near Mexico City, dedicated to following the Gurdjieffian System. His sister-in-law, Joyce Collin-Smith, a noted English astrologer, traveled with Collin to Mexico. According to occult researcher James Webb, some of Collin's notions include

- a belief that in Purgatory time is reversed. "I create the kind of world in which I live...the murderer gives birth to the murdered man and is responsible for the latter's life." This idea was been explored in Philip K. Dick's, sci-fi novel COUNTER-CLOCK WORLD. Dick is a favorite author among the Discordians.

- a need to "develop memory so that it can survive the shock of the transition into the invisible worlds." In other words, keep the memories of your current life after you die--or umm "transition" so that you can take the memories into your next life. Gurdjieff appeared to be concentrating on doing this before he died.

- he saw unity in diversity in the Work where others saw conflicts and divisions. His self-appointed task was one of harmonizing conflicting points of view, and he put his views in a pamphlet called "The Herald of Harmony", in which he claimed his harmonious gospel as the "New Christianity." He also published "The Christian Mystery", which included a "Litany for the Enneagram."

- he believed "Each age had had a messenger sent out by 'the Hierarchy,' which Collin also called 'Great School.' The last age was that of Christ with his message of love; but that age had lacked the element of harmony. Gurdjieff and Ouspensky were the messengers of the polarity on which their work was based."

- he attempted to produce a contemporary version of the Renaissance philosophy of the harmony of the spheres. He believed "the world is one united organism, and man is a corpuscle in the world body." This is essentially Gaia theory.

- he believed that the esoteric parts of all religions are connected.

Apparently he was capable of shape-shifting in the last years of his life. Webb writes:

...one evening in 1954 or 1955 a companion was seated with him in his study. In amazement she saw his features dissolve and reform into an "Oriental" face. The it became difficult for her to focus on the face at all, and it seemed as if Rodney Collin were an old man with a fluffy white beard. "It's only because I haven't shaved for some days," he said. Then his face became that of Ouspensky before shifting rapidly through a succession of unfamiliar masks--some Oriental, some simply unknown. When Ouspensky's image appeared, his companion cried out, "You are Ouspensky!" "Very likely," was the calm reply."

He gathered an odd group around him in Mexico City according to Webb:

Among those who were attracted to the meetings in Mexico City were an Englishman and his Mexican wife. Mrs. D. was a spirit medium, and soon after her arrival in the community at Tlalpam, she began to bring through messages from Ouspensky and Gurdjieff. How are we to account for the fact that the navigator listens to her, unless his radio is not working?

Mrs. D. was an impressive personality and a powerful medium. Her renderings from Gurdjieff and Ouspensky were accompanied by the appropriate manifestations; she would walk like a man, her face would seem to contort into the outline of Gurdjieff's or Ouspensky's, and her voice grew harsh and guttural, even rendering Ouspensky's famous chuckle. She had been known to exhibit the stigmata and, according to some reports, could open the wounds "at will."

In the summer of 1954 when he traveled to Europe accompanied by his wife and Mrs. D, the voices traveled with them.

He started groups in Peru, Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina. He participated in pilgrimages to Mexican shrines, including the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalaupe. As he embraced Catholicism more and more, he gradually moved away from the Gurdjieffian System.

He died by falling from a cathedral bell tower, some say as a suicide, others as an accident or the result of a heart attack. Some believe he gave his life in exchange for the recovery of a crippled orphan who was with him when he fell.

Webb concludes his chapter on Rodney Collin:

After his death Mrs. D. assumed the direction of his Mexican followers. First one, then another, successor was tried; but no one had the magnetism to hold the group together. ...Eventually Mrs. D. founded a Catholic lay order to do good works in Mexico City and became the inspiration of a circle of young Mexican priests. The Chamber of the Moon [Collin's Mexican planetarium] at Tetacala was turned into a Catholic chapel.

Unfortunately Webb doesn't give the name of this order of priests.

The above information was taken from chapter 15, pp 477-496, of James Webb's THE HARMONIOUS CIRCLE, chapter title "The Quest for Harmony", which is devoted to Rodney Collin.

Monday, January 29, 2007


Fascinating, red-hot thread over at Amy's, about Catholic schooling, kicked off by Alexandra Pelosi's comments in this SF Chronicle story:

Learning about that divide was a shock to the woman who spent her childhood in progressive Catholic schools. "We were taught just to accept people, that was just a given," Pelosi says. "I don't ever remember being told at Convent of the Sacred Heart that gay was wrong. They never even told us there was anything wrong with abortion. They were just choices.

"That's why it was weird when I'd go to these places and ... people would say, 'It's in the Bible.' And they fall back on the Bible for everything."

During Nancy Pelosi's speaker celebrations this month, as the Pelosi clan drove through the streets of Washington and Baltimore together, some protesters held up signs that read, "Pelosi Preys on Children" -- a reference to the speaker's pro-choice stand, which contradicts church doctrine.

"My mother, throughout her entire life, has been faithful to the church, even though the church has not been that faithful to her because of her politics. And I think that takes a lot of perseverance," she says. "And still, people protest her right to go to her own church."

Go read the long string of comments left by Amy's readers, all of them Catholics, and as far as I can tell all faithful to the Church -- and all of them very bitter about how their Catholic school experience destroyed (for a time) or threatened to destroy their Catholic faith. Note well: these aren't Catholics who are angry at the Church for being too strict; they are angry at the Church for not being the Church. It is an astonishing thread, really astonishing, because in it you can see pain and destruction caused by the Gramscian march through the institutions that the postconciliar Catholic left undertook. There is a whole world captured in those heartrending posts -- but also hope, too, because these people managed to endure and even triumph over their Catholic educations seemingly designed to turn them into ex-Catholics.

Continue reading...

Some commenters here are bothered by the fact that I no longer entirely trust the Church and trust even less the church in my area. Rod's blog describes why. I had to take my kid out of parochial school because the sex ed program was not Catholic and I believed was corrupting the youth. I put her in public school at the time because it was better than Catholic school on sex ed. and because I couldn't find an alternative Christian school that would teach my Catholic values and that I could also afford. The move to public was a move I have never regretted. It served her faith much better than the Catholic school did. I have good reason not to trust the local church.


Karan Schneider would like you to know:

When you call upon the strength of the Sacred Heart, You are calling upon all of these treasures within His Heart. Calling your Angels to bring the inexhaustible treasures of The Sacred Heart they bring with them many other treasures such as the swords of comfort from the Immaculate Heart and the Burning Fire of Love directly from the Sacred Heart. Through the Act of the Consecration of the Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart, it is also possible to make an Act of Consecration to One’s own Guardian Angel, as spoken of by Fr. Robert J. Fox. The Opus Sanctorum Angelorum he speaks of, as man you learn to listen to the celestial brother who guides you. The goal of the Opus Angelorum is the collaboration among men and angels. We were created from the dust of the earth and the spirit of the angels. This is a very powerful vibration linking the two realms of spiritual and temporal world. This is a very powerful communication in the mirror of love. (bolding mine - ct)

If you need help in getting this right, she offers lectures you can attend:

Angels—Many Various Angel Topics---please inquire. Angels/ Demons---this one can vary to an intense or not so intense, please specify, demonology can be awakening and frightful if you aren’t ready for it. Angels & You----how to have a relationship with your angels The Archangels & The Nine Choirs---explaining the nine choirs and the garb and function, the same with the archangels. Gifts of Gabriele, Michael, Raphael—the Archangel’s gifts they bring from Heaven to you.

Colors & The Chakra—explaining the rainbow, a short history of colors, and what is chakra, and how these all are related. Chakra & The Body/Mind—the relations between the chakra’s react and how the mind and body functions to this. Art is Mind Therapy—various artistic expressions to and through healing the mind.

Prayers ARE the Alchemists Dream---when silver turns into gold, and don’t look for it, because prayers are always answered, none are never unanswered. Fairytale of the Soul & Nurturing Children Spiritually---a look at various fairytales and how they depict a black/white definement of evil/good, and when fairytales d not do this, what is the grey in the middle representing, Let’s go Fishing- A Look at YOU, inside and out---through the help of mother nature we explore how we are nurturing our souls, or not. Mythology Relived in a Spiritual Analogy –nine muses & chakra and Athena and Arachnea’s war, a war between mortal and immortal, comparing it to the invisible and visible battle for the soul, with the end result of beauty. The New Atlantis Rises, YOU---mythology re-written in a Spiritual analogy Re-sculpting the Glass Slipper—letting go and discovering of what hypnosis really is, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis Are You Still Just Wishing by the Well? –inside the bucket is the past, hypnotherapy Trouble In Shangri-la---is there really a safe place or not, I s there really a peaceful soul or not, is there really Shangri-la? Dark Night of the Soul, Where is My Flame? ---A journey of the soul’s deepest growth, and finding the Sacred Heart’s flicker that is left. Your Interior Castle & Mansions---a look at St. Teresa of Avila’s book for a spiritual growth, also elaborating on the fountains she speaks of. And a new look at the castles and mansions in a relationship of the inside of you.

There are more, but you get the idea.

I wonder if Fr. Robert J. Fox taught her these things?

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


"I know that some people will say 'You are a Christian foundation. What are you thinking about?." But we are here for all faiths and none," she said. "It is not our job to make moral decisions for our guests. We came to the conclusion that it was our duty of care to support Nick emotionally and to help ensure his physical safety."

Those are the words of Sister Frances Dominica who cared for a 22-year-old patient at her hospice by procuring a prostitute for him.

You claim to be a Christian, Sister?? Hello...????

Blogger credit to NOR for the link.


James Webb seemed to think so. Part I of THE HARMONIOUS CIRCLE recounts G's travels in the Orient prior to forming his first study group in Russia. It's not entirely clear what he was doing in those travels, but he made himself persona non grata in at least one country. Webb wrote:

A possibility which provides a more convincing explanation of his early mobility is that from an early age he was an agent of the Russian secret service.

This possibility has been responsible for certain portrayals of Gurdjieff as a Black Magician straight from the pages of Dennis Wheatley. Louis Pauwels, editor of the anthology MONSIEUR GURDJIEFF, mixes the occult and politics into an impossible conspiracy involving both Hitler and Stalin. Stalin and Gurdjieff, says Pauwels, "were at school together," and J. G. Bennett claims to have heard Gurdjieff endorse this tale himself. It is certainly true that the young Joseph Dzhugashvili--who became Joseph Stalin--was a lodger with the Gurdjieff family at some time during his career at Tiflis Theological Seminary from 1894 to 1899; and that he left owing them a substantial sum of money. ...

A story about Gurdjieff which used to circulate in London emigre circles was that he had been imprisoned for evading military service. The source was Prince Mikail Sumbatov, who in the early 1890s was Commissioner for Special Duties attached to the Governor of Kars; and it is totally in keeping with our knowledge of Gurdjieff that he should have tried to dodge the draft. There is not a shred of evidence to support the speculation, but it is tempting to wonder whether he was offered the sort of choice which the authorities held out to others. Even if this possibility is discounted, some sort of government backing best explains Gurdjieff's confusing statement in HERALD OF COMING GOOD about the great advantages his "peculiar conditions" of life gave him over ordinary men. The pronouncement otherwise reads like a symptom of paranoia, and it does not have the same ring as the deliberately boastful passage about its author's endowment with "the highest degrees of comprehension attainable by man." which precedes it.

I had, in accordance with the peculiar conditions of my life, the possibility of gaining access to the so-called "holy-of-holies" of nearly all hermetic organizations such as religious, philosophical, occult, political and mystic societies, congregations, parties, unions, etc. which were inaccessible to the ordinary man...

There is only one sort of job which secures rapid entrance into all organizations, whether political, religious, or intellectual, and that is the task of the agent who can rely on the contacts built up by his organization to establish his good faith.

The quote appears on pp 44 to 45 of THE HARMONIOUS CIRCLE, and it is not the only passage that suggests a connection with Russian intelligence services.

The occult associations of Hitler are well known, and now it appears that Gurdjieff, master occultist, had associations with Hitler's orbit. The Hitler orbit comes even closer in researching Rosicrucianism, which subscribes to the same theories that Gurdjieff's student Lord Pentland embraces judging by the activities associated with Rosslyn Chapel, specifically the marriage of Christ to Mary Magdalene. That theme runs through Rosslyn Chapel advocates, chief of whom are the Sinclair family, of which Lord Pentland is a member, and Rosslyn Chapel draws Freemasonry like a light draws mosquitoes.

Having the Gurdjieff Enneagram turn up in Catholic circles of Monastic Interreligious Dialogue would seem to indicate that an element of Gurdjieffian spirituality has invaded Roman Catholicism like smoke seeping through cracks. Its use in neo-Cathar New Age circles such as James Twyman's appears to descend from the activities of Rosicrucian Antonin Gadal and his partner in discovery Otto Rahn, also a Rosicrucian and member of Hitler's brigade. But more on that later.


That was the topic of yesterday's homily. It was also the entire content. Father took up the microphone and said those words three times in a commanding voice; then he sat down; and we were left with silence for the span of maybe ten minutes to wrestle with the words.

I knew what I was supposed to think--where St. Paul's Letter to the Corinthians was supposed to lead me--to lots of pious thoughts about the glory of love of our fellow man. I also knew that experience was taking me in a different direction. By the end of this period of reflection I could respond to his charge in only one way: "Yes it does fail. Way too often." I couldn't think of a single person in my life who has loved me and whom I have loved who has not disappointed me at least once. Imperfection is the plague of man, even as the expectation of perfection never leaves us. We can easily become disillusioned.

While long homilies with theological reflections and direction for improvement in our lives tend to go in one ear and out the other despite my best intentions of taking something home, these three words have been echoing in my thoughts ever since Mass, and they were there again as I awoke this morning thinking about last night's Hallmark Presentation, a story of a young man returned from the Second World War to a small farm community where his parents had lived before their death, and where his only brother was in prison at age 17. The man was homeless and rootless until he reached out in love to a hurting boy who responded. Seeing the essential goodness of the young man, other townspeople embraced him, and he was finding a place for himself at last. Then the boy died. Love had once again failed. To a heart broken by war and death, one more death was visited upon it, and the young man ran away from all that he had found, unable to deal with yet another failure.

The story had begun with the war vet talking with an old man about fishing. It ended when he discovered that the old man he had talked with at the beginning of the story had been dead for five years. Someone from beyond the grave had reached out to a lonely young man--someone who should not have been there. Love, it seemed at last, was not conquered by the death that had consumed his life for too many years. The young man returned to the town where he had at last found a reason to hope.

Love in the movie had really not failed after all despite all appearances to the contrary.

Such a story turned my thoughts to God. Then the lights came on. Man's love fails. God's love never does. And thanks to His grace, even man's love has been redeemed by the cross and by the resurrection. The love that never fails is the promise of eternal life. Death, the ultimate failure of love, has been overcome. The only place to seek that promise is in submission of our will to the Father as Christ demonstrated for us in Gethsemane. There will always be a price, and many will never pay it. Yet in that submission is the promise of all the love that has ever been and ever will be. Love that never fails.

Sunday, January 28, 2007


Did you grow up before 1965? If you did, this is for you.

- Mothers of pre-60 children smoked and drank during pregnancy if they were so inclined. They took aspirin right up to birth day, and didn't remember the delivery because they weren't conscious for it. They weren't sonnogrammed and didn't know what sex we would be until they met us. We survived the yellow nurseries.

- We rode in the backseat of cars without seatbelts. Those of us who had carseats had them so we could see out the front window and would stop making a fuss back there. They were not padded. The only air bags we had were balloons. We rode on our mother's laps in the front seat. Of course we rode down a two-lane road for most of those years, going maybe 50 mph unless dad had a leadfoot. And if we had one of those ..ahh..."emergencies" while driving, the potty fit nicely between mom's legs on the floor. It wasn't even necessary for dad to stop driving if he was in a hurry.

- Riding in the back of an open pick-up on a summer day was a treat to die for.

- We slept on our tummies in lead-base painted cribs, and our parents thought it was cute when we climbed out of them.

- The outside water fountain was a garden hose and the sound of the ice cream truck was an immediate cause to run home.

- White, squishy, fresh-baked Wonder Bread was the only acceptable sandwich material. We downed it with Koolade loaded with sugar and topped it off with a Hostess Twinkie. The reason we stayed thin was that we immediately ran back outside to play, and play wasn't sedentary.

- Boys played with cap guns and cowboy hats or police badges, preferably by chasing the girls around. They played baseball on the neighborhood empty lot until the owners caught them. They climbed trees and fell out of them sometimes. No one sued anyone over it. They played marbles. Girls played house with baby dolls right up to age 10 and even beyond. We had doll buggies among our toys, and if we were really lucky we had doll furniture sufficient to create a pretend home on the front porch. But alas we were usually saddled with husbands who worked long hours and were seldom around. We roller skated on the sidewalk with skates that fastened onto whatever shoes we happened to be wearing by turning the crank with the skate key.

- We played in the street.

- "Summer camp" at the playground at the local elementary school kept up busy. We walked to the school and walked home, without adult supervision. We also walked to the neighborhood store when mom needed bread and milk, also without adult supervision. Nobody bothered us when we did.

- We thought it was fun to catch lightning bugs and put them in a jar that had once held food which we had modified for them by punching holes in the tin lid. First thing the next morning we counted the ones that had survived.

- We got dirty playing in the sandbox, making mudpies, digging for fishworms in the garden and playing with our finds. We needed a bath at the end of the day not because we were germy but because we would get the sheets dirty otherwise.

- The neighbors didn't hesitate to tell us if we were doing something wrong in their yard; and if they didn't have kids, the something wrong was probably being there in the first place.

- We did not watch TV during the day. Soap Operas were boring. The exception was Saturday morning when the cartoons were on or after school when the Mickey Mouse Club couldn't be missed.

- Our friends were located down the street, not over in the next town. At the very most they were a couple streets away so we rode our bike over to see them. We didn't call first. We just knocked on the door when we got there.

- If we broke the law, our parents sided with the cop. If we were paddled in school and our parents found out about it, we were probably paddled at home as well.

- Children did not have rights. They did have responsibilities like drying the dishes and taking out the garbage and making their beds. Mostly they did them. Mostly they did their homework without help. Mom was not expected to be a teacher at home. Parents were not "involved" in the schools most of the time.

We survived all of this carelessness and indifference about our welfare that has been replaced today with a constant concern about children's safety and well being. There were a lot more of us back then. Perhaps that was why we learned to take care of ourselves most of the time. We learned how to get along with each other and play games without parental intervention. We knew we could trust other adults in the neighborhood to be our friends and help us if we needed help, which we seldom did.

The life of a child has changed a lot over the years. I tend to believe it has not changed for the better. Maybe this is just another symptom of contraception.

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