Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Reflections on the past day

~~Note for Ash Wednesday~~ 
My blogging will slow a bit during Lent 
(maybe one post a week?), and my commenting will as well. 
Here is a delightful true story that a friend wrote, 
if you need a little something to meditate on today: 
Some insight on what it means to be a sheep.


It's been a long day spanning the whole spectrum of emotions, from the moment my daughter at college woke me up with a phone call (that is a scary thing… to get a call from your daughter before dawn!), to right now when I am about ready to drop into bed.

I have been talking with friends most of the day, both on the phone and on facebook, and I can tell you that we all were feeling shock at the announcement (the last time a pope resigned was 600 years ago!), sadness at losing a holy, gentle, brilliant, and faithful papa whom we love so much, and amusement at the reaction of the secular left wing media and populace. 

Because I am utterly exhausted, I'm just going to mention a few things that stuck out to me.

First, my favorite article today:

Sums it up for me!

Another good piece was from Princeton's Robert P. George (one of my heroes), who made me laugh from the title alone:

What the heck, let me reprint Professor George's whole post here:
Well, in case there was any doubt, we now have an ex cathedra announcement from the hierarchy of the New York Times: 
"At some point, the church will accept contraception and female and non-celibate priests. Could it be in the next papacy?" -- Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times 
Although I ought to be used to it by now, I still find the parochialism of liberal secular elites stunning. Their small-minded preoccupation with sex and gender is, in its way, amusing. A pope abdicates for the first time in centuries, and what immediately pops into the mind of Nicholas Kristof and his ilk?  Contraception, women's ordination, and celibacy.  Oy vey. 
Also amusing is his uncritical--indeed unthinking--embrace of Hegelian-Marxian certainty about the trajectory of history.  "At some point, the church will [embrace the ideology of the New York Times editorial board]. It just will, you see.  History is open to no other possibilities. It's a done deal.  Already determined.  Kristof was no doubt prevented only by the character limit on Twitter from saying "the correlation of forces . . . . "

And sadly, Kristof is too culturally illiterate to realize that there are already some non-celibate Catholic priests (as there always have been), and that such a discipline is distinct from doctrine. But why should a journalist be expected to know such easily attained facts? Knowledge of one's subject matter and fair reporting is so yesterday!

Best meme of all time (or pretty darned close) was made by JoAnna Wahlund, and I hope it goes viral on every one of your facebooks and blogs:

It just really doesn't get any better than that!

Well, before I go off on too many of a million possible tangents (we can do that in the comments), let me link to a few posts from the past to get us inspired and informed about the office of the papacy:

(From when I did Doctrinal Quiz Shows!)

The election of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI in 2005 was one of the most glorious, joy-filled days I have ever experienced. He is deeply loved by his flock, and he loves us back. He is gentle, loving, faithful, a towering intellect, a profound theologian, a holy priest of God. He is the Successor of Peter and the Vicar of Christ on earth. He is not just the pope of Catholics, he is the papa of the whole world. Every soul on earth has been put in his care, and he prays and works to shepherd each of us to our home in Heaven. We are so blessed. He will be sorely missed. But I am glad it is not our final good-bye.

And, let us begin now to pray for that man who will be our next Holy Father, for he is curious, anxious, and waiting just like the rest of us -- wondering on whose shoulders the awesome burden of the papacy will fall. He needs our prayers!

What a Lent this will be!


Lenten rules refresher, here. (I will be cutting back on my blogging time for Lent, hoping to maximize spiritual fruit here in the Miller home!)

Also, one recent post of mine may have escaped your notice due to the pope's resignation, but there is an interesting discussion going on in the comments, here.


  1. I am excited to see this process of choosing a new Pope since I have only been Catholic since 2010. What a glorious time for us and I pray that our "signing off" Father finds rest and relaxation after all he's given us! God Bless you, Papa!


  2. Fr Robert Barron was on MSNBC today, commenting about the Pope's abdication. In the midst of conjecture about who the next Pope might be, Fr said his money would probably be on Cardinal Marc Oullet, current Head of the Congregation for Bishops and ex Archbishop of Quebec, Canada. I was surprised that Fr would even venture a guess. Anyway, we shall see who the Lord calls out!

    http://video.msnbc.msn.com/the-cycle/50773820/#50773820 (Fr Barron joins the discussion at 3:10)

  3. DD, amen!

    Francis, how interesting!! I had never even heard of Cardinal Oullet, so now I'm looking for more info, ha ha!

    I noticed that the NBC host started out by referencing the sex issues again! Clearly the sex and gender issues continue to obsess the minds of our western journalists, who seem unable to look through any other lens.

  4. Love the meme, JoAnna! It is so frustrating watching the media (intentionally?) misrepresent the way the Church works, but it is to be expected. Christ was crucified by the world for good reason, as His message was at odds with the world. His Church should only be an extension of the same hard teachings so many would refuse to accept.

  5. Yes, let's get this straight. With the President we can expect changes, new laws, add-ins of this or that. With the Pope, it's the Church, the teachings stay the same. If the world doesn't like it, the world should stay with the world and it's pleasures.

    The Cross before me, the world behind me.

  6. Michael Clancy strikes again in today's Arizona Republic. Gee, you think he's got an agenda?

  7. The graphic of Batman striking the villian because of (apparently) divergent viewpoints does not seem to correlate with Jesus's message of non-violence/Love your neighbor and being a light/blessing to the world. This is sad.

    I was absolutely floored by news of the Pope's resignation. The placid reaction from Catholics is disappointing but probably not surprising. Only thing to do is to keep a stiff upper lip and carry on. But really....

    Catholics should be shockingly uneasy at this development and the potential ramifications. This is unprecendented in modern times. Anyone who takes comfort in the fact that a pope quit a few hundred years ago should probably invest in researching about that event: I recommend the book, THE POPE WHO QUIT (by Jon M. Sweeney).

    This is definitely NOT business as usual. As a minimum, God is likely trying to get our attention (as usual). Taking comfort in the Holy Spirit does not guarantee that anyone will choose to accept that grace. Free will ya know. (I guess that's another topic).

  8. fRED, I hope one day you'll find a sense of humor, and some manners as well. Your other two comments today (on the Feb. 10 post entitled "Thoughts on the last post") illustrate your uncouth nature and gratuitous rudeness. You indicated on that post that you would not be trolling the Bubble anymore, and I think that is best. Many blessings to you as we say good-bye.

  9. I think the Pope is just taking a more business/CEO-like approach to running the church than ever before. For CEOs the rule has always been if you can't fulfill your obligations then step down so someone else who can fulfill those obligations can lead the corporation, It's an important decision that can mean do or die to a business. if you don't step down the shareholders will replace you. I must admit though, that it must take infinite more humility to resign from a position of power like Pope than it does for a CEO to leave his company. Another difference is CEOs will often hop ship to run other businesses and obviously that is not going to happen here. Hopefully though, the shareholders will regain confidence shortly after a new Pope is elected, and the stock value of Catholicism will go up accordingly.

  10. Michael, we can always count on good ol' Mike Clancy to obfuscate and spin. At least he interviewed my friend Erik Twist, at the end. I guess that's something….

  11. citizensunited, while there was no chance that the shareholders would have replaced Benedict, there certainly is great humility in giving up any earthly power. Although in the economy of eternity, there might be something else at play. I thought this reflection by the Anchoress was quite beautiful. It is important that folks read the whole thing to understand her bigger ponderings:


  12. fRED, not sure if you're still lurking, but I wanted to correct an error on your part. The meme is a cartoon of Batman slapping Robin, his loyal sidekick, not a villain.

    St. Nicholas, patron of slapping stupid people upside the head, pray for us.

  13. JoAnna, rofl here. Patron of slapping stupid people upside the head. Love it! Leila, nice to see I'm not the only one frustrated with reporters' lack of basic understanding of how the Church works. This would be excusable, if only they weren't trying to report on it!

  14. I don't think it's funny for Batman to slap Robin even if it's a cartoon.

    I am not freaked out by this change in popes. I am not scared, I'm not worried, and I'm not expecting the Church to change its doctrines.

  15. I'm cutting way back on blogging for Lent, starting now, so I will leave you with this really delightful story from a recent convert, about what it means to be a sheep:


    Blessings for a fruitful Lent!

  16. Extreme philosophies


  17. AJL, this blog is not the place for you to advertise your blog. If you want to do that, please stick to facebook or email, thanks! If people want to find your blog, they can click on your profile and go from there. (And, you have already put many links to your blogs posts here on the Bubble already. I don't mind links with commentary once or twice if something is relevant to the discussion, but that's not this.)

    And, just for the record, Marciel actually went against Church teaching, which actually makes the case for following Church teaching.

    If one considers "extreme" virtuousness a bad thing, then, since that is what Catholicism teaches, then one would not like the Church, it's true.

    And last thought: Christianity is not a philosophy, such as Buddhism, etc. Christianity is a Person. Every part of it is about an encounter with the Person of Christ, truly died and truly risen.


PLEASE, when commenting, do not hit "reply" (which is the thread option). Instead, please put your comment at the bottom of the others.

To ensure that you don't miss any comments, click the "subscribe by email" link, above. If you do not subscribe and a post exceeds 200 comments, you must hit "load more" to get to the rest.