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Thursday, March 14, 2013

God Bless Pope Francis....and Pope Benedict

"The appearance of a new pope is a noisy affair. The great bells of St. Peter’s follow the white smoke; the cheering crowd of tens of thousands overflow the great square; the ceremonial bands play their anthems and fanfares. In the midst of all that, the election of Pope Francis was marked by three great silences.

"The first silence, rather brief, immediately followed the “habemus papam” announcement itself. The people were temporarily stunned — who was this Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires? His name had not been mentioned by the many who made predictions — including this writer. At 76, it was thought that his time had passed, even though he had been the principal alternative to Joseph Ratzinger in the 2005 conclave. The silence also acknowledged the historic weight of the moment: The first Latin American pope, the first Pope Francis; and the first Jesuit pope.

"The second silence was from the new pope himself, who emerged on the balcony of St. Peter’s, standing ramrod straight, not saying a word, allowing himself only a simple wave. There were no expansive papal gestures. His long silence before addressing the fevered cheering masses indicated that he too, perhaps, was surprised at an outcome he may have expected in 2005, but not now.

"The third silence was the most dramatic, and will soon be fixed in the imagination as the signature moment of his election. Before giving the people the traditional blessing, he asked them to pray that God might bless the new pope first. Then he bowed low as a great silent prayer enveloped the previously ecstatic square. He stood still and spoke gently, but that gesture was a grand announcement that here was a humble man who trusted in the power of prayer.

"Before that, he led the gathered pilgrims in praying the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be prayers for his predecessor Benedict XVI. It was a moment of such Catholic simplicity that it left me and my colleagues momentarily out of sorts in the broadcast booth. I lead first-graders in those prayers as a country pastor in Wolfe Island, Ont. That a pope would do so on the balcony was both reassuring and surprising in its simplicity."

~ Father Raymond J. Souza, National Post

Disregard the mainstream media's swelled-head, presumed-superiority and uninformed "knowledge" about the real Catholic faith. Ignore the malarkey about how the Church can now "revive" its original commitment to helping the poor. Are they kidding me?? Talk about rewriting history and creating your own untrue reality.

Did you know that the Catholic Church is SECOND ONLY TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT in how much charity (i.e., physical, monetary and service-based HELP) it gives and has always given to those less fortunate than you or me?

Do you have any idea what deep trouble the federal government would be in if the Catholic Church closed all its hospitals, stopped all its charities, dried up the well and filled it with cement in this country alone? There is no amount of taking the "fair share" of any American, no amount of taxation of every single middle-class worker for every year from here until eternity that could make up for all that the Catholic Church and its faithful do for the poor and disadvantaged in this country, never mind worldwide.

The mainstream media is ignorant of that. As of most truths Catholic. And so, apparently, are the "more than half" of supposed U.S. Catholics. Tim Russert is rolling in his grave over the audacity of U.S. Catholics, including even his son Luke, in lecturing the new Pope about what the Catholic Church "should do."

"Get with the times!" "Get with the Program!" "Get out of the dark ages!" We've heard it all since even before JFK who, with his cheating on Jackie, certainly was no faithful Catholic.

Don't believe me that it's been going on that long?

1953: Yale professor Peter Viereck, in his book Shame and Glory of the Intellectuals, chapter 3, p. 45: "Catholic baiting is the anti-Semitism of the liberals."
The funny part is, those who upbraid the Catholic Church and will always insist on lecturing the Catholic Church or putting forth lies about this faith, be they CINOs (Catholics in Name Only) or not, have no clue how infinitesimal and insignificant they truly are, and all of us are, for that matter.

Allow me to speak to you for just one minute, if you are one of those saying such things, even in your own mind:

You? You---are telling GOD---how to build and run a Church? A church, that while it has made mistakes and I have personally contacted each and every bishop and cardinal in this country over some of the worst ones, it is still a church that's given so much to so many people, especially the poor, since its inception over two-thousand years ago? YOU---are telling GOD---why His inspired direction of His people, His chosen Cardinals, to select a Pope is somehow, even in the least way, flawed? You are surprised at the beliefs of this new Pope, and disappointed?? Really? Where have you been?

It would make me laugh out loud if it didn't make me cry.

In our galaxy alone, the Milky Way, there are 10 to 20 billion Sun-like G stars and 150 billion M-dwarf stars, the latter of which have M-dwarf planets, a huge number of which are just the right size and inside the stars' livable zones so as to be "potentially life-friendly planets."

Have you read about how, only just now, the Voyager I and II are just now reaching the fringes of our solar system and may soon pass through into interstellar space after riding the magnetic highway?

Did you also read about the discovery of "the largest known structure in the universe" which has 73 quasars (thus probably also 73 galaxies) and is "1.6 billion light-years in most directions, though it is 4 billion light-years across at its widest point."

Our galaxy, the Milky Way is 100,000 light-years wide and has about 200 billion stars, overall.

To give some perspective, Earth's solar system, inside the Milky Way, is about 0.0032 light years wide.

Our entire solar system, not the Milky Way galaxy and not just our planet Earth, is 32-ten-thousandths of one light-year wide.

That means our entire solar system, not just Earth, is A MERE EIGHT TEN-BILLIONTHS THE SIZE OF THIS LARGE QUASAR GROUP STRUCTURE.

And our best efforts haven't even gotten a spaceship outside our own solar system, never mind our own galaxy, yet?

And they're closer than ever to finding the so-called subatomic "God particle," the Higgs boson, which excites mankind (or at least physicists) because "Without the Higgs boson to explain why electrons and matter have mass, Carroll said, "there would be no atoms, there would be no chemistry, there would be no life, so that's kind of important."

The next question they'll have to answer though: how did the Higgs boson come into existence? Somehow it too had to start somewhere, somehow.

Ever stop to think there's a reason it's called "the God particle"? Ever stop to think that "a Creator" created the Higgs boson too? Why is that any more difficult to fathom than a Creator creating human beings in all our complexity?

You think that you could create a human finger, with its capillaries, hair follicles, nails, bones, ligaments, nerves? Has any human being yet, in all our supposed glory, replicated an exact human finger, never mind a body, other than through procreation, joining a sperm cell and an egg cell, which still takes a man and a woman and wasn't a process created by man in the first place?

And you think that all that complexity, massive and miniscule size and existence just happened--on its own, by mere chance? You honestly think that all that complexity, of that mind-boggling scale, and the nuances and possibilities in all those hundreds of thousands of quasar-galaxies with each of their 200 billion stars, you think this all just---POOF!---happened on its own, in one "big bang" or even several, without cause, without origin? Without a PLAN?

And you think that YOU are significant in telling the Catholic faith how to be the Catholic faith, or what kind of Pope to choose?

"How precious to me are your designs, O God;

how vast the sum of them!

Were I to count them, they would outnumber the sands..."

What kind of Pope will Jorge Mario Bergoglio be? I'm thrilled, as I was when Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger and Karol Józef Wojtyła before him were chosen.

I'm thrilled because of his major first (first from the Americas), but most of all because of his simpleness, his humility:

"...he sent two clear signals last night, unmistakable to papal Rome. He appeared in the simple papal cassock, declining to wear the accompanying red shoulder cape that his predecessors have always worn...

Additionally, he declined to use the term “pope emeritus” for Benedict, referring to him instead as “bishop emeritus,” thereby taking sides in a dispute within the Vatican about what Benedict should be called. Small things? Yes, but deliberate choices from an experienced pastor."

God chose a PASTOR, this time, like Pope John Paul II. He chose a simple, but experienced shepherd.

I pray for our new Pope, and for all those of us who truly believe we are the sheep, and especially those who are too proud, too modern, too "with the times," too self-important, to ever allow ourselves to be sheep.

More on that analogy, another time...

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