Today Our Lord and St. Francis de Sales have presented me with several topics about which to muse. So let’s gooooooo, as the kids say. Who am I kidding? I say it too.
Topic #1: Francis celebrates world no tobacco day (or whatever it’s called)
I am informed that Bergoglio recently “celebrated” World Anti-smoking Day or similar. So here’s a tale for you. Those who know me have heard this story before. I was just shy of my 18th birthday when I started smoking. Ooh, rebel, right? Although I didn’t know why at the time, the smokey lung noose of a Marlboro always seemed to have my number. A few months later I began my seminary studies. My ordinary at the time was the now Mr. Teddy McCarrick. Flash forward to the summer of 2018 when I came across an article in the midst of that man’s downfall. The article quoted several anonymous Newark priests detailing what they knew about Uncle Ted’s proclivities. Keep in mind, I had been a very innocent young man at 18 and truly did not know what lay beneath that festering surface and thank God for that! “McCarrick,” they said, had no preferences. He’d go after anyone. Fat, thin, short, tall… As long as he wasn’t a smoker he was fair game. McCarrick hated smokers.” A chill went down my spine. I showed the article to my wife who quipped, “I will never again ask you to quit.”
So take your world day of
boring people no tobacco and pound sand. On second thought, that might appeal to some of these people. I’m not saying the Blessed Mother put that first nic stick in my mouth or flipped the ol’ Zippo for me, but my mom had asked me to pray a Memorare every day for protection (from what or how she knew is still beyond me) and Blessed Mother sure came through.
Who wouldn’t put up with emphysema and heart disease to avoid being sodomized by a satanic cardinal?
Speaking of unseemly reality here’s
Topic #2: We don’t flex for the mirror. We lift weights because we’re men and it’s hard.
With all the stories about A certain former auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles and his penchant for being surrounded by “bodybuilders” I thought I’d take a moment to remind everyone that no man – priest or bishop especially – should be deliberately showing off his guns. Or his pecs, delts, tris, abs, or any other part of his body. I’ve said it before. Cassocks are brilliant. Not only are they flattering (black covers a multitude of gluttonous sins) but they double as a symbolic “tomb”. The cleric is not a businessman. He is another Christ. He is to die to himself for his people. What better way to remind him of that daily death than by entombing himself in black robes?
It seems the good bishop, in addition to surrounding himself with lunkheads, has been known to wear the occasional tight fitting clergy shirt from time to time. I think that’s actually an official Toomey cut. I’d tell you to Google that and vomit or you can take my word for it. I have a cast iron stomach. Eh, what the heck. I’m in a sporting mood. I’ll include the pic. But it’s not just Barron posing down the camera. On his staff, the bishop employed a priest who couldn’t help himself when it came to posting pictures of his oiled and pumped-up physique. Read that again. A priest. I will NOT include his picture because it’s just gross.
Here’s the thing… I lift weights. I started a few years ago in earnest after my second spinal fusion. I find it’s a great way to handle a lot of things. It reduces stress. It builds a strong frame. It’s a great hobby. I truly enjoy it. But if I’ve learned nothing from the great Fr. Chad Ripperger it’s that 1) the nature of a man is to want to do difficult things, 2) a man needs to do those difficult things for the benefit of others, and 3) a real man is humble and the antithesis of vanity. Lifting weights is hard as hell if you do it right. What’s even harder is getting up at 5:30 to do it on an empty stomach. I lift weights to be strong for my wife and kids. It’s my job to protect them and to work by the sweat of my brow for them. I want any fool who’s inclined to mess with them to see me and think twice. And God help the turkey who’s idiot enough to actually throw down because he’d get his head bashed into the pavement. Repeatedly. Sorry folks, I have but one setting. Are the benefits to my appearance also great? Sure. This is where true humility kicks in. These aren’t my gainz, bruh. They belong to my family, from God. There is truly no reason I should be able even to walk after the times my spine has been taken apart and reassembled and yet here we are.
My advice to the bishop and his friends? Lift weights. And when you’re done, step away from the mirror and put the camera down. A further question here is why is any grown man taking selfies at all? I shudder to think of the number of times I fell into that trap. You live and you learn. It’s cringe. Don’t do it. And if you’re an aging bishop, especially don’t do it. Social media was invented by minions of the devil. Remember, Satan wants men turned into 12 year-old girls because he loathes the image of God. With every selfie post you get a dopamine hit but your testosterone drops.
Topic #3: Bergoglio still isn’t pope.
I was struck by the Gospel at mass today. It begins thus:
From the politicking ahead of the “conclave” to the Sankt Gallen Mafia to, my favorite and the key to this whole mess, the substantial error laid out in Canon Law, it should be obvious. And it is obvious. There are many who are on the cusp of admitting this now. If you need further resources to help push you over the edge, check out Anne Barnhardt’s brilliant work here, Dr. Ed Mazza’s invaluable contributions here, and even Patrick Coffin’s summary presentation here.
Lord Jesus Crucified, have mercy on me a sinner!
Mary Help of Christians, pray for us!
St. Francis de Sales, pray for us!