Be the…


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Rich says:

    “…person God wants you to be and you will set the world on fire.” – St. Catherine of Siena

  2. Elizabeth D says:

    I was thinking of Star Trek but I should have been thinking WWII France:

    I’m trying, Fr Z!!!

  3. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:


    Our gracious host means (if I may put words in his mouth) that we should all wear funny earrings, be entirely over-confident and self-doubting at the same time, and use our first names last and vice versa. Oh, and we should fight against the policies of the Kardashians.

  4. Luciano says:

    Adjutorum nostrum in nomine Domine, Padre.

  5. Priam1184 says:

    Duc in altum!

  6. Supertradmum says:

    I hope this makes you smile, Fr. Z. When I was a little girl, I thought one could grow up and be a member of the French Resistance. I thought some resistance still going on. I had thought of becoming a Native American, which I also thought was a career choice, but going to France seemed cooler. Such are some thoughts of a very young child in the 1950s. I also had specific ideas of how ladies in the French Resistance dressed.

    Of course, my dad was teaching us all how to use a gun at the Gun Club, and the bow and arrow, so I was pumped.

    Are we not leaven? Salt? Light?

  7. Supertradmum says:

    Chris Garton-Zavesky, you cracked me up! Play on words Kardashians., or did you mean to spell Cardassian? ROFL.

  8. Supertradmum says:

    sorry, I am a Trekkie–cannot resist.

    “On Earth there is no poverty, no crime, no war. You look out the window at Starfleet Headquarters and you see paradise. Well, it’s easy to be a saint in paradise. But the Maquis do not live in paradise. Out there, in the Demilitarized Zone, all problems have not been solved yet. There are no saints, just people; angry, scared, determined people who are going to do whatever it takes to survive, whether it meets with the Federation approval or not.”
    – Commander Benjamin Sisko, 2370 (“The Maquis, Part II”)

  9. Londiniensis says:

    Unfortunately, the fable of the French Resistance in World War II is largely that – a fable. Both north and south of the “Vichy line” France was largely collaborationist (within Vichy, with the shameful support of the Catholic Church). Most of the much trumpeted heroic derring-do was the result of S.O.E . missions sent from London. And most of the organised resistance to the German occupation was from Communist cells – and they had their own agenda.

    So we are to be like the Maquis? Be careful what you wish for.

    (As a footnote, when De Gaulle returned to France in 1944, he wanted the heads of most of the Catholic bishops, and was dissuaded from this by the nuncio, the future Pope John XXIII. )

  10. The Masked Chicken says:

    “I hope this makes you smile, Fr. Z. When I was a little girl, I thought one could grow up and be a member of the French Resistance. I thought some resistance still going on. I had thought of becoming a Native American,”

    You could have done both and become a Navajo Code-talker:

    Speaking of which, isn’t it time we developed our own Catholic code? You know, in case the NSA or the USCCB (!) are listening in. I propose the following:

    1. Mass -SSF (summit and source of faith)
    2. Divine Office – OB (the other book)
    3. Confession – Eleanor Rigby (ah, look at all the lonely people)
    4. Baptism – sacking (as in baptism is like the amniotic sac of re-birth breaking open)
    5. Communion – Talking to Betty (as in Betty C rocker, the baker)
    6. Priests – The Book (for Shepard Book, the priest on Firefly)

    Feel free to add more.

    The Chicken

  11. Theodore says:

    “Blessent mon coeur d’une longueur monotone.”

  12. Andrew says:


    How nice to see that not everyone is misinformed. The “resistance” existed all over Europe, much of it under the name of “partisans” and they were communist sympathizers and promoters, many of whom came to power after WWII when the iron curtain came down on much of Europe. Absit that I should ever identify with any of them.

  13. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    During the 1930s and 1940s, Europe felt very threatened by Soviet expansionism. These fears were not unfounded; after the war ended, the Soviet Union occupied and dissolved the sovereignty of one-third of European nations, creating the Eastern Bloc, and placing them behind a so-called “Iron Curtain.” We have all seen the old footage of desperate East German, Hungarian, Polish, and other civilians scrambling through barbed wire to escape from their Eastern Bloc sectors to the West, and being machine-gunned to death by Soviet border guards, if spotted. Just for the crime of escaping from Communism. Here, in the U.S., we have thousands attempting to cross our borders into the U.S. illegally; during the Soviet era, thousands of refugees tried to exit their homelands illegally and were ruthlessly massacred as they did so.

    Between the wars, Europeans heard the stories about life under the Soviet regime from the news and first-hand from survivors, and were horrified. It was obvious that Soviet ambitions were aimed at Europe; many decided that, whatever it took, they would support a strong European regime which they hoped would successfully oppose a Soviet westward expansion. Many foolishly supported the Nazi regime for that reason. The unspeakable atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis were kept secret from the general population; and didn’t become clear until later in the War.

    The revulsion against Soviet Communism also explains in part to the unjustifiable and unconscionable willingness of many Europeans to overlook the round-ups and deportations of Jewish persons from their neighborhoods. It was believed, rightly or wrongly, that persons of Jewish background had been overrepresented in the leadership of the Bolshevik (Communist) Revolution in Russia, and that persons of Jewish background generally supported Communism, or were at least sympathetic to its spread. During the 1930s and 1940s, it was not difficult for the Nazis to make the general population believe that Jewish citizens were being rounded up to detention centers in order to defend of the homeland, in much the same way that during the 1940s, Americans of Japanese and German descent were rounded up and sent to detention centers for the duration of the war. Rumors of mass murders in those places were just that, rumors, and often not believed. (Of course, we now know they were true.)

    Many Europeans must have felt they were between a rock and a hard place during the 1930s and 1940s, having to choose between either Stalin or Hitler – because they were going to be (they believed) stuck with one or the other. Thus, their collaboration with Hitler.

    I don’t condone their collaboration; I think it was foolish and evil. I also believe collaboration with Stalin would have been foolish and evil. To Europeans of that time, resistance to Hitler probably would have appeared to amount to collaboration with Stalin.

    May Our Lady Queen of Victory, preserve us in the United States and everywhere from such conditions as existed in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s.

  14. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Theodore, did you mean:

    “Jean a d’un long moustache.”?

    Sorry could not resist…

  15. Supertradmum says:

    Andrew and Londiniensis: being that I was about five and six when I had these dreams, it does not matter whether the French Resistance was myth. Most girls that age wanted to be Sleeping Beauty. And, some of us already are fighting in the Church Militant and have battle scars to prove it….

    Chicken, you hearken back to the Maquis with your comment-remember Chakotay was in the Maquis.

  16. I think what the good Father is saying: you want change? You want to revitalize the Faith?

    Do It while no one is looking!

    In reflecting about what is was like being out of work this summer, no job and ‘offshored’ for the second time in a year…in between looking for work…

    1. Organized a Rosary Crusade at my parish. What started out as a talk by a priest/confessor friend of mine from Rome in the KoC hall turned into over 150 people in the main church, listening to a mission on Our Lady, ending up with a communal recitation of the Rosary. On the eve of the Feast of the Queenship of Mary. How pleasing that must have been to Her. Note, the pastor had resisted opening up the whole church, but, when he saw the response….well, remember: “Do whatever He talls you”. Even Jesus listened in obedience to Mary.

    2. Introduced a young man who had expressed interest in the Priesthood to the same priest. They had a couple talks; he’s a senior in HS, and is investigating colleges which will continue to encourage his walk. Father offered to introduce him to the prelate in charge of his order; if he’s serious, they will support him in his seminary when he’s ready. In Rome. He can not stop talking about the impression that one happy, integrated, and normal priest made on him. Fathers: all it takes is encouragement and being there as a MAN.

    3. Respun a bunch of RCIA materials to more faithfully present the Chruch teachings (some of the stuff from the Usual Suspects is really bad). Looking forward to this year’s crop of enquirers. This will be full-throated proclamation. no felt banners and tambourines.

    4. Started working with the Oblates of Wisdom to put the framework in place to establish a Third Order of lay coperators. More to come on this, but, it’s at least on paper and being reviewed by the Order.

    And, oh yeah, found suitable employment, but only after, I think, the Blessed Mother thought I had done what she wanted me to do with my time off.

    So, my new mantra: “If it’s to be, it’s up to me”. Not looking for praise…just giving examples. One person CAN make all the difference.

  17. Priam1184 says:

    If the French Resistance was a myth the take the myth, and not the reality, for your example.

  18. Cristero says:

    Paraphrasing Chakotay: “But I’m a gentle man, from a gentle people!”

  19. michelekc says:

    I wish someone would fight the Kardashians, but the Maquis only fought the Cardassians…

  20. acricketchirps says:

    Chick, not sure we can use your code–the NSA already tracks Fr. Z’s site. Fortunately, the USCCB hasn’t heard of it.

  21. The Masked Chicken says:

    “If the French Resistance was a myth the[n] take the myth, and not the reality, for your example.”

    Arlene, for 5 points can you name the movie that gave us the quote?

    “This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend”.

    The Chicken

  22. Choirmaster says:

    Few and far between in all of Star Trek’s incarnations can be found some reference, some plot point or character trait, that is anything but militantly atheistic and representative of the worst kind of closed-minded, condescending secular humanism. That, of course, when they’re not parroting socialist, state-worshiping propaganda.

    That being said, I watch it on Netflix without compunction, considering it’s either Star Trek or formulaic “reality” TV. The technological and sociological optimism is fun and lighthearted, even if it is entirely fantastic.

    The Maquis were introduced in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which was arguably the only Star Trek franchise that had a touch of political intrigue and “honest” humanism. At least, in this instance, men are portrayed not as 100% self actualized angels who’ve created Utopia on Earth through Government programs, but as flawed individuals of morally fallible character:

    “Let me tell you something about Hew-mons, nephew. They’re a wonderful, friendly people – as long as their bellies are full and their holosuites are working. But take away their creature comforts… deprive them of food, sleep, sonic showers… put their lives in jeopardy over an extended period of time… and those same friendly, intelligent, wonderful people will become as nasty and violent as the most bloodthirsty Klingon. You don’t believe me? Look at those faces, look at their eyes…” – Quark

    You’d never hear anything like that, unless it was framed as an evil lie, from any character in Patrick Steward’s show, or Kate Mulgrew’s voyage in to the banalaxy.

    But this quote dovetails, I think, with the one offered above by Supertradmum, where the script admits that the Galaxy is not a paradise, even if it seems to be one in wealthy pockets like Earth, and men are caught “between their loved homes, and the war’s desolation”. The writers, however, always stopped short of admitting that Men must be redeemed by God because of this frailty, this fallen nature.

  23. James Joseph says:

    No. Mr. Obama is not Nero or Diocletian. He is Herrod.

  24. Choirmaster says:

    So I forgot to include in my previous comment my real point: Fr. Z’s example of being the Maquis is, I believe, very insightful!

    The Maquis were stuck and suffering in an untenable position between the attacks of their mortal enemies on one side, and a paper-tiger, double-talking, do-nothing bureaucracy ostensibly on “their” side. They took matters into their own hands to defend their homes and families and way of life, and made a “holy mess” for the Federation, and struck bloody blows on the face of the Enemy.

    The comparison speaks for itself. ;-)

  25. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Few and far between in all of Star Trek’s incarnations can be found some reference, some plot point or character trait, that is anything but militantly atheistic and representative of the worst kind of closed-minded, condescending secular humanism.”

    Oh, really? You must be young. While it is certainly true in post-Original Trek, Gene Coon, one of writers on TOS was an avowed Christian. In fact, there was a whole book written on the Christianity in Star Trek (TOS). One need only think of the second pilot, with such famous quotes as:

    KIRK: Did you hear him joke about compassion? Above all else, a god needs compassion. Mitchell! Elizabeth.

    and the exchange:

    “MITCHELL: I’m disappointed in you, Elizabeth. (phaser rifle has no effect on him) I’ve been contemplating the death of an old friend. He deserves a decent burial, at least. (a grave appears in the rock, with a tombstone engraved James R Kirk. A massive boulder on the cliff above is loosened)
    DEHNER: Stop it, Gary.
    MITCHELL: Morals are for men, not gods.
    KIRK: A god, but still driven by human frailty. Do you like what you see?
    MITCHELL: Time to pray, Captain. Pray to me.
    KIRK: To you? Not to both of you?
    MITCHELL: Pray that you die easily.
    KIRK: There’ll only be one of you in the end. One jealous god. if all this makes a god, or is it making you something else?
    MITCHELL: Your last chance, Kirk.

    Or the episode, Errand of Mercy, which introduces the Klingons, but also the transfiguration of the Organians (this is the closest representation of the actual Transfiguration ever attempted anywhere in known history outside of the actual event)

    Or the episode, Bread and Circuses, which takes place in a Twentieth-century Rome with Christianity coming into flower

    Or the marriage ceremony in Balance of Terror (where the bride knelt down to pray)

    Or The Return of the Archons

    Or, City on the Edge of Forever with the soup kitchen

    Or, Who Mourns For Adonis:

    “Man has no need for gods. We find the one quite sufficient.”

    Or, The Apple

    Or, Catspaw…

    Shall I go on?

    It was only in the 1980’s that atheism actually entered Star Trek, despite what Roddenberry might have thought he were doing, himself. Original Trek is quite religious.

    The Chicken

  26. The Cobbler says:

    Chicken, what was that earlier about a murder of a free-floating electron?

  27. BenedictineOblate says:

    Prayer Warrior God wants you to be, and save souls.

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