St. Jerome on some modern errors May 17, 2013Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Interior Life, Saints, secularism, self-serving, Tradition, Virtue.
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St. Jerome was one of the most irascible men ever to become a Saint, let alone a Doctor of the Church. He had a terrible temper and quite a mean streak. But, he composed the Latin Vulgate, the biblical text used in the Mass for centuries, and wrote some great exegeses on Christian doctrine.
In reading some of these ancient Fathers, it always amazes me how today’s errors are nothing new. The same errors always come up, over and over again, because men want to rule themselves, rather than submit to a transcendent God. And, we always seem to stumble over certain of the same ideas – would a loving God really allow souls to fall into hell (the answer: yes), must we really practice virtue, etc., etc? Basically, these issues get back to the original error: certainly God wouldn’t condemn wonderful ME!
Anyways, to St. Jerome, from his text Against Jovinian, AD 393, from The Faith of the Early Fathers, pp. 200-201.
It is our task, according to our different virtues, to prepare for ourselves different rewards…….If we are going to be equal in Heaven it woudl be useless for us to humble ourselves here in order ot have a greater place there……..Why should virgins persevere? Why should widows toil? Why should married women be continent? Let us all sin, and after we repent we shall be the same as the Apostles are! [This line struck me as being particularly apropos for so many protestants, who, mimicking Luther, feel that "faith" is all that is required for salvation, and that practicing virtue and avoiding sin is unnecessary. In fact, Luther counseled to "sin boldly, but have an even bolder faith." What Luther failed to realize, is that even having faith is a work. But his counsel is completely contrary to what the Church - guided by the Fathers, who were informed by the original Apostles - has always believed. We MUST practice virtue, spiritual and corporal, in order to be saved. For virtue gives witness to our faith, otherwise, it's just so many words]
If all rational creatures are equal, and by their own free will are, in view of their virtues or of their vices, either raised up to the heights or plunged down to the depths, and after the lengthy passage of infinite ages there will be a restitution of all things and but a single dignity for all the soldiers, how far apart will a virgin be from a whore? What difference between the Mother of the Lord and - it is impious to even say it! – the victims of public licentiousness? Will Gabriel and the devil be the same? The Apostles and the demons the same? The Prophets and pseudo-prophets the same? Martyrs and their persecutors the same? [Here St. Jerome attacks Origen's theory of "universal salvation," or the semi-Origenist position that while there will be a period of punishment, at the end of time, God will "restore all things" and bring everyone to salvation. But these same words can be applied to even greater effect to the universal salvationists of today, when they corrupt the virtuous with the presence of the immoral. I, for one, am thankful that St.'s Jerome and Augustine - among many, many others - crushed this error definitvely 1600 years ago. We need a new Jerome.]
Dang………wrong Georgia. I was getting ready to move! I add emphasis and comments:
Priests [priests!] and thousands of other Georgians broke through police barricades and forced gay rights activists to flee on Friday, cutting short their rally to mark the international day against homophobia. [I say, good for them, as long as they were non-violent]Holding banners saying “Stop Homosexual Propaganda in Georgia!” and “Not in our city!”, the demonstrators swarmed into a square in central Tbilisi where about 50 Georgians [50 whole people!] were rallying in support of gay rights. Police escorted the gay rights supporters onto buses and drove them away to avoid violence.Several people, including some journalists, received minor injuries, Georgian media said.“We won’t allow these sick people to hold gay parades in our country,” said Zhuzhuna Tavadze, brandishing a bunch of nettles and adding that she was ready to fight.
Why aren’t liberals more critical of islam? May 17, 2013Posted by tantamergo in Basics, demographics, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Holy suffering, horror, persecution, sadness, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, Society.
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I found this post on a blog I don’t read very often, bookwormroom, discussing the very strange and really nonsensical phenomenon of why liberals constantly attack Christianity, but bend over backwards, upside down, and inside out, to give islam a pass. I think it has some merit, but also misses some rather significant reasons:
The article I read on this subject is Benjamin Wiker’s “Why aren’t liberals more critical of Islam?” In it, he posits that, because secularism arose within and in opposition to a Christian Europe and America, Christianity was its original enemy. Giving proof, however, to my repeated claim that “Progressives” are actually profoundly “regressive,” secularists (i.e., Leftists) continue their battle with Christianity despite that particular war having ended long ago. Judaism and Christianity absorbed the better parts of secularism while holding on to their core religious principles. [Well, the author is probably quite right regarding the absorption of secularism, but I would argue that doing so has badly disfigured Christianity and left the Church - and Christianity in general - in a profound crisis. Because secularism and Christianity are not complimentary ideologies, but implacably hostile ones. To the extent the Church and various sects have embraced secularism, they have been wounded by the experience. The Catholic Church fought mightily against doing so for three or more centuries, then suddenly tore down the bastions of resistance in the latter half of the 20th century. The result has been catastrophe, the biggest, most universal collapse in the practice of the Faith the Church has seen in its 2000 year history]
Because they are locked forever in an ideological time warp, says Wiker, liberals (or Progressives or Leftists or whatever else they call themselves to avoid the taint their ideas leave behind) cannot contemplate the possibility that there is another enemy, greater than their old foe Christianity.
And here I think the author makes a critical mistake. Yes, it is ludicrous that progressives ignore the truly monstrous ideology of islam, which poses at present a far more direct threat to progressives interests than does Christianity, but perhaps the progressives aren’t so blind and dumb as we think. Secular pagan progressivism is locked in a death struggle with Christianity. Secularism knows that a culture can either embrace secular values, or Christian ones, but not both. So, even though secularism is at present highly ascendent, and the Church and Christianity in general quite moribund, secularism still knows that the most existential threat to its existence resides in Christiainity. I think secularists are highly confident that they can pervert and corrupt islam much more easily than they have Christianity. They may be wrong about that, but there are many signs they are not. For one thing, as islam has become exposed to the modern world, their birth rate has collapsed at a rate faster than any seen in recorded history (true for most countries, not all, but most). Islamic embrace of the worst of western immorality, like rampant porn use, is another sign that islam may not stand up to secularism. But, at the same time, islam possesses such a perverse moral code, many muslims see no problem in brutally subjugating their wives and daughters while getting off to western porn at night. Such isn’t even seen as immoral.
I think there is something to the idea that pagan sexularism cannot recognize the threat of islam for many reasons, one of the most prime of which is the inherent hostility towards Christianity creating an attitude of sophist admiration for any non-Christian religion, a willingness to turn a blind eye to the deformed immoralities of islam or voodoo or whatever, and seeing in these groups a falsely benign alternative to “evil” Christianity. Sort of along the lines of the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
In fact, the author Wiker noted above gets it, whereas I don’t think bookworm did. Secularists are not only blind to the fact that all other religions are highly deficient in comparison to Christianity, and most of them are much more violently hostile to secularism, but secularism needs these other religions to be “good” in order to continue painting Christianity in a bad light. Secularism needs to be able to say that “islam is the religion of peace,” in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, so they can claim that Christianity is the religion of death and war. Even though that is completely inside out and upside down. As pretty much all secularist thinking is.
But while the radical pagan sexularists of the modern West may have huge blind-spots, they are not dumb. Or not as dumb as they act. While we Catholics may look around and say “what else could the secularists do to destroy our culture?,” the secularists look around and see a very unfinished job. They are not nearly done driving Christianity, and especially the embodiment of it, the Church, from the public square. Sexular paganism with a strong socialist bent has as its highest imperative the destruction of Christianity. I fear things will get much, much worse, before they get better.
But, we know how the story will end. So, never fear. It can actually be a very good thing to live in a time of persecution. Both white and red martyrdom atone for many sins, and may speed one’s way to Heaven. All we need to worry about is our own personal practice of virtue and adhering to the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church. Nothing else really matters.
Build a Catholic Culture – Marian processions May 17, 2013Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Our Lady, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
We had a Marian procession at our parish last Sunday. I finally got some pics to share:
Unfortunately, this procession took place around the parking lot. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, nor that I think it doesn’t have merit, but I think processions give only a limited witness. It’s sort of preaching to the choir. I know the logistics, and probably cost, of processing on public streets would be a great obstacle. Nevertheless…….it would be such an awesome witness! There used to be public Eucharistic processions in Dallas every year, from the Cathedral to the old Jesuit high school. So, the will to have these kinds of processions has certainly existed. It can be done. And I know there are a few parishes around the country – some not even specifically traditional parishes! – that do process on public streets. There is one in Washington state that has had such processions.
Maybe one day. I’ll keep praying. For now, I’m very proud to be able to take part in any kind of procession! I don’t want to seem ungrateful, they are awesome.
And do we need a bigger statue? It’s actually over 3 ft tall. But it looks kind of small.
Build a Catholic Culture – compliment women veiling! May 16, 2013Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Latin Mass, persecution, Tradition, Virtue.
If we are to rebuild a distinctively Catholic culture, we’re going to have to live to learn, publicly, like Catholics. That will mean, for many of us, many changes in behavior. One of the prime areas to change our behaviors is to dress with modesty, especially at church (or at least at church!). 50 years go, the sight of a woman with a bare head at Mass would have been a rare one, indeed, and would likely have been considered a scandal. But nowadays, it’s almost the reverse – outside of traditional parishes, it’s incredibly rare to see any chapel veils, and some are even scandalized by their presence! If you’re like my wife, you’ve almost certainly heard comments like “We don’t have to wear those anymore!,” or “does your husband make you wear that? Do you need help? (as I’m abusive or something.”
But there are still souls out there who are edified by seeing such a wonderful witness to the Faith. My blog gal-pal Jay Boyd has a post which is actually a print of the comment by the same Elizabeth who comments here. It’s about a woman getting a very nice compliment from a man on wearing her veil. Jay posted this around Mother’s Day, but I think it’s still apropos to repost now:
I wanted to share a “mother moment” I had this morning, I truly believe, with our Blessed Mother.Before I entered the church at the nearby Novus Ordo parish, I came up with a compromise of sorts with my self-consciousness when wearing a veil at a NO church. All winter, I simply wore a hat at Mass. Now that it’s not hat weather…uh oh.So I put the veil over my head and tied it back under my hair, like a bandana. Silly, eh? I figured that this would be a way to ease into wearing it, while at the same time not being quite so noticeable to others. I know… like everyone in the church is looking at me, right? And besides, who cares if everyone looks at you! Further silliness!So I knelt in my spot in front of the gorgeous statue of Our Lady, right up front in the handicapped row, and asked her to please help me to not be concerned about the looks I may get from others, or what other people may or may not think about it (including the army of VII priests there). I asked Her to please help me to don my veil at every Mass – just like I used to when I was able to attend the Traditional Mass, where every woman wears one. Please, please, please. Then I said a Hail Mary and the St. Michael prayer to settle myself in for the Mass, and sat back in the pew.There was a tap on my shoulder.I turned around to face a rather handsome, serious-faced man who leaned forward to whisper to me, “I haven’t seen a woman wearing a veil in church in decades. I just wanted to tell you how beautiful it is to see you wearing a veil. Thank you for that.”I kid you not: that’s what he said. And no one can tell me that that wasn’t an answer to my heartfelt prayer! It brought a tear to my eyes, and I thanked Our Lady.Awesome moment.
Dear Lord: Another Gosnell, this time in Texas May 16, 2013Posted by tantamergo in abdication of duty, Abortion, contraception, disaster, error, General Catholic, Holy suffering, horror, scandals, self-serving, sexual depravity, shocking, Society, unadulterated evil.
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Operation Rescue, Life News, and Jill Stanek are all covering a huge story that broke yesterday while I was in pointless training, about abortionist Doug Karpen and his Houston mill, where several former mill workers have stepped forward – and provided copious evidence – of the same atrocious conditions, illegal very late-term abortions, and killing of babies after being born that we saw with Dr. Joseph Mengele Kermit Gosnell. I am certain this will be far from the last such revelations of illegal child-murder at abortion mills. I must warn you, this story is horribly graphic. From Jill Stanek:
Operation Rescue and Life Dynamics have released photos, video, and witness testimony about a late-term abortionist in Houston, Texas, who routinely murders babies in horrendous ways after he aborts them alive.
Three former employees of abortionist Douglas Karpen (pictured below left) have come forward with shocking testimony, which they have corroborated with video and photos.
In the video below Gigi Aguliar, Deborah Edge, and Krystal Rodriguez say Karpen aborts babies beyond the legal limit in Texas of 24 weeks.
The informants also say they witnessed Karpen routinely kill babies after they were born by puncturing the soft spot or impaling the stomach with a sharp instrument, twisting the head off, or puncturing the throat with his finger.
They maintain babies Karpen aborted babies alive and then murdered them “daily.”
There are also horribly graphic photos at Life News and Jill Stanek’s blogs linked above. I really don’t feel like having them on my blog, they are beyond horrific. Two little babies so hideously mangled……..ours is a sick, fallen world. How can we “aggiornamento” such a world, that is so utterly sick and fallen. Our Lord Himself said he prayed not for the world, but for His Own………
……The abortion lobby and media have been claiming Kermit Gosnell was an anomaly, while pro-life activists know there are many more just like him. How can it not be that late-term abortionists blur the line between preborn and postborn?
I urge the TMB and AG Abbott to reopen their investigation of Karpen, particularly in light of the fact that the U.S. Congress has now launched a probe into shoddy abortion clinics, late-term abortions, and live birth abortions.
By now Abbott, pictured right, has received a letter from the House Judiciary Committee inquiring how he is enforcing the federal Born Alive Infants Protection Act and how limits on late-term abortions are enforced.
Operation Rescue has many more details on this developing story, including video shot within the clinic.
It is true, they do. And while conditions at Karpen’s mill in Houston are not as bad as those in Kermit Gosnell’s baby assasination factory, they are still highly unsanitary and septic. Looking at the picture of Karpen’s abortuary, I was reminded of the nasty-looking Routh St. mill on Central Expy in Dallas. Same dingy exterior, covering up, I am told, a rather nasty, dirty interior.
Unbelievably, Operation Rescue had submitted the evidence to the Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbot, and the Texas Medical Board for review, in 2012. They were told by the TMB, in an unsigned letter, that the case was dismissed due to “insufficient evidence.” I bet their scrambling to re-examine that evidence right now. And Attorney General Greg Abbot had better be on the ball on this one, as should Harris County DAs.
There is no question many state and other medical boards are supportive of, and have close connections to, the abortion industry. So, getting medical boards to condemn mills generally takes heavy political pressure. We’ve seen around the country that state boards or other supervisory agencies have historically been ridiculously lax, callously lax, in investigating complaints regarding mills, and in conducting thorough-going inspections, reviews of records, etc. But given how much money NARAL, Planned Barrenhood, the Hershey fund, etc., throw around, this probably shouldn’t surprise us. Abortion is a multi-billion dollar nexus of evil, and the prime selling point to induce doctors to perform them has always been money.
If you want to help insure this case isn’t buried by abortion-industry bought influence, please, in yoru charity, consider contacting the following responsible officials:
Mike Anderson, District Attorney Harris County, Texas
1201 Franklin Street, Suite 600, Houston, Texas 77002-1923
Greg Abbott, Attorney General of Texas
Office of the Attorney General
PO Box 12548
Austin, TX 78711-2548
Voice: (512) 463-2050
Texas Medical Board
Tower 3, Suite 610
Austin, TX 78701
Voice: (512) 305-7010
How our cardinals do sin…. May 16, 2013Posted by tantamergo in abdication of duty, Abortion, Basics, contraception, disaster, episcopate, error, horror, scandals, self-serving, shocking, Society, the return.
Cardinals are the very princes of the Church. They are men given great Grace to elect the Pope, in addition to the torrents of Grace available through their ordination and then consecration as bishops. But it seems so very few Cardinals cooperate with that Grace. There has been the stomach-turning scandal of Cardinal O’Brien of Scotland, who resigned from his see in disgrace after numerous reports of depraved homosexual activity surfaced involving him, and men under his care, typically seminarians. After this resignation, Cardinal O’Brien had esconced himself in the parish of his “lifelong friend,” a fellow priest. When the Vatican began to intimate it would force Cardinal O’Brien to live a more retired and prayerful life than one of likely continued debauchery with his special “friend,” that priest-friend threatened to cause further scandal if his Cardinal-buddy were removed from his loving care. Well, the Vatican wasn’t bullied by this threat, the Holy See just announced that Cardinal O’Brien is leaving Scotland.
Michael Voris has much more here, including additional details on the O’Brien scandal:
This homosexual crisis in the priesthood is, to my mind, the single greatest threat to the priesthood in its 2000 year history. Can men engaged in lives founded on lies and engaging in the most debauched of activities really have a valid vocation? Do they really intend to confect the Blessed Sacrament, to change bread and wine+water into the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ? The implications of this scandal are soul-rocking, to say the least.
And as if the scandal of Cardinal O’Brien was not enough (and we know he is far from the only homosexual cardinal the Church has been afflicted with in the past few decades), today we get word that Cardinal Dolan once again failed to speak Truth to power, once again caved when it came to standing up for what the Church believed when it might threaten his ego-boosting playing at politics with the governor of New York:
New York’s Timothy Cardinal Dolan warned Gov. Cuomo to be ready for a holy battle if he tries to strengthen state abortion-rights laws.
In an interview on an Albany radio station Tuesday, Dolan said Catholic bishops would be “as vociferous and rigorous as possible in our opposition” to the governor’s efforts.Although Cuomo has yet to release an abortion bill, he’s announced plans to write into New York law protections now provided by federal court decisions like Roe vs. Wade…….………..Archbishop Dolan said the conviction Monday of Philadelphia abortion provider Dr. Kermit Gosnell on murder charges calls for laws that go the other way instead.“I am in a bit of consternation as to why in a time when there seems to be kind of a sobering up about these horrors of the unfettered access to abortion, why in New York we are talking about even expanding it further,” Dolan said. [Because there is nothing more sacred to a leftist than a woman's right to kill her child, you dolt! They will sacrifice ANY other policy position to protect that one! When will you guys in the American hierarchy figure this out? THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE PARTY OF ABORTION, AND WILL BE FOR AS FAR AS WE CAN SEE IN THE FUTURE. NOTHING - NOTHING (short of an act of God, which you are deliberately frustrating with your cowardice) - WILL MAKE THEM CHANGE THAT!]When asked how Cuomo could still consider himself a Catholic in good standing while also promoting abortion legislation, Dolan responded: “That’s something that I talk turkey with him about.”Dolan spokesman Joseph Zwilling later said the cardinal did not mean to suggest that Cuomo would not be a Catholic in good standing if he went forward with the bill.
Oh, Cardinal Dolan, you pathetic worldling.
How can we otherwise think, Cardinal Dolan, that you care so very much more about the opinions of men, and especially powerful men, than you do about either serving Christ OR even protecting the unborn on a natural level, that you immediately take the most powerful weapon you have against these apostate Catholics off the table? Cuomo is pursuing the most radical expansion of abortion in this nation at present. All around the country, abortion is being rolled back by drips and drabs, but not in New Yack! Oh, no, there, it’s a brave new world of baby slaughter for all, with the great Cardinal of New Yack talking turkey as the sewer drains overflow with blood! And so you have to clarify “oh……I didn’t mean to imply still-living-in-sin-with-his-concubine Andrew Cuomo wouldn’t be a Catholic in good standing if he is directly responsible for dramatically increasing what is already by far the country’s highest rate of abortion!” It wouldn’t be politic to do so, right?!
Prayers for local tornado victims May 16, 2013Posted by tantamergo in Admin, Dallas Diocese, disaster, horror, North Deanery, sadness, Society.
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It was a wild and wooly night in North Texas. We drove home from Mass under a torrential downpour, with tornado warnings all around. The really severe weather was down to the south and west of DFW, from west of Granbury to east and south of Cleburne. I pray for the repose of the souls of the deceased, and all those who had their lives turned upside down last night:
Mile-wide tornado near Cleburne:
We drive through part of the area the tornadoes struck all the time. The path through Johnson County followed near US67 for quite a while. It is most fortuitous that the huge tornado was in mostly rural areas. Otherwise, the damage could have been of biblical proportions. Thank God for that.
Mary our Mediatrix May 15, 2013Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Our Lady, Tradition, Virtue.
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Sorry for low posting today. I was stuck in a training session of the most dubious merit and had no access to teh intrawebs. I have been intending to do some posts in honor of our Blessed Mother during this month of May, Mary’s month. I’ve done a couple, but here is one more, with some Saints extolling our Blessed Mother’s role as Mediatrix of All Grace. This is taken from Divine Intimacy, day 185, p. 537:
St. Ephrem of Syria, 4th Century: O Blessed Lady, most Holy Mother of God, full of Grace, inexhaustible ocean of the intimate divine liberality and gifts of God, after the Lord of all, the Blessed Trinity, you are Lady of all; after the Paraclete, you are hte new Consoler of all; and after the Mediator, you are the Mediatrix for the entire world. Behold my faith and my desire inspired by Heaven; do not despise me although unworthy, neither let the ugliness of my sins suspend the immensity of your mercy, O Mother of God, O name which surpasses all my desire!
St. Bernard of Claivaux, 12th Century: O Mary, God has given you the plenitude of all His benefits, to show us that all hope, all Grace, all salvation come from your superabundance. Grant, therefore, O Mary, you who have found Grace and have given us life, that through you we may approach your Divine Son. O Blessed Mother of Salvation! Grant that through you we may receive Him who was given to us through you. Let your spotless purity excuse before His eyes the faults of our malice. May your humility, so pleasing to God, obtain pardon for our pride! May your immense charity cover the multitude of our sins, and may your glorious fruitfulness make our good works fruitful!
O Lady, our Mediatrix and our advocate, reconcile us with your Son, recommend us to your Son, present us to your Son! You are blessed by the Grace you have found, by the privileges you have merited, by the mercy you have brought to the world. Obtain for us that Jesus, who through you deigned to share our infirmity and our wretchedness, may grant us also through you a share in His Glory and in His Beatitude.
Our Lady! Have mercy on us! Pray for us in this time of darkness and wickedness! Strengthen our souls! Implore God’s Grace for us! May we always cooperate with that Grace, and emulate you by having perfect conformity with God’s Will!
But we are so fallen and disfigured! Without your prayers we are lost! So please have mercy on us, Blessed Mother! Intercede always for your children!
Get your pro-life on at the annual National Right to Life conference at the Hyatt Regency DFW June 27-29. Registration is (yikes!) $95. Couples get a $5 break. There is childcare available. You an register here.
There are many, many speakers, mostly a bevy of evangelical protestants. But, Fr. Frank Pavone will apparently get out of his cell in Amarillo and be there, along with Brother Paul O’Donnell, FBP from Minneapolis.
Headliners include O. Carter Snead, Wesley J. Smith, Chet McDoniel, David Barton, and Reggie Littlejohn. I know!
I will bet money they don’t talk about contraception very much. But we’ll never be rid of abortion in this country, until all the churches oppose contraception and most of the people stop using it. And it will take the Catholic Church getting serious about her opposition to contraception, again, in order to make both happen. But we’re not even there, yet.