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Spiritual maxims from the great Saint Alphonsus July 30, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Saints, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
1 comment so far

St. Alphonsus is without doubt one of my favorite Saints, if for no other reason that his copious writings are full of such wonderfully edifying, truly helpful material.  Volume III of his Ascetical Works, the Great Means of Salvation and Perfection, contains a list of useful spiritual maxims for Christians.  I pray you find them as useful as I have!  These are brief statements of piety that can be returned to again and again, and should be.  They can serve as a check on our activities, state of conscience, and advancement (or lack thereof) in the interior life.

I will  break this up into two parts with part two, God willing, coming tomorrow. 
Alphonsp

Spiritual Maxims for Christians:

Of what use will it be to gain the whole world and to lose one’s soul?

Everything has an end; but eternity has no end.

All may be lost, provided God be not lost.

No sin, however small, is a “light” evil.

If we desire to please God, we must deny ourselves.

That which is done for our own satisfaction is all loss.

In order to save ourselves we must be in constant fear of falling.

Let me die, so that I may please God.

The only evil that we ought to fear is sin.

All that God wills is good, and therefore to be desired. [That can be very hard to accept, especially when we are suffering]32-alphonsusvxeprov

He who desires nothing, but God, is happy and contented with everything that happens.

I ought to imagine to myself that there are no others in the world but God and myself.

The whole world cannot satisfy our heart; God alone can satisfy it.

All good consists in loving God. And loving God consists in doing His Will.  

All our riches are in prayer.  He who prays obtains everything that he can desire.

Let us consider that day lost on which we omit our mental prayer.  “He who leaves off praying,” says St. Teresa, “casts himself into hell of his own accord.”  [Now I feel really bad about missing that Angelus!]

Let us not pass a day without reading some spiritual book.

To be humble of heart and not merely in word, it is not sufficient to say that we are deserving of all contempt, but we must also be glad when we are despised.  And what has a Christian learnt to do, if he cannot suffer an affront for God’s sake?  When you are insulted, take it all cheerfully.

———–End Quote————

More tomorrow!  Otherwise, the post would get a little long and the maxims themselves possibly watered down due to sheer weight of numbers.

padre stefano missa

 

The necessity of keeping the soul disengaged that God’s Holy Will may operate in it July 30, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, reading, religious, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
4 comments

In these times, we have so much to keep us distracted.  Neutral and even good things like telephones, radios, the internet, Catholic blogs, etc, can become both a distraction and a source of emotions that can make us lose our peace.  I am not counseling giving up all of the above by any means (although some Saints might!), but we have to keep things in proper perspective and not allow nominally useful tools, or even very good things, to derail us in our pursuit of virtue.  With so much upsetting news of late, I thought a reminder from Dom Lorenzo Scupoli might be of some use, mostly to myself, but perhaps to some of you, as well. Bear in mind that the following is written primarily for contemplative religious, but has application for those of us in the world, as well.

If we are truly cognizant of the priceless worth of the immortal soul, that sublime temple of God Himself, let us take are that nothing of the world intrude therein. Placing our hope in the Lord, we should wait with a firm confidence for His Coming, and realize that He will certainly enter the soul unattached to worldly things and ready to receive Him alone.  Alone, having no desire but the presence of God; alone, loving only Him; alone, void of all will but the will of Heaven.

Let us learn to do nothing to please ourselves, that we may merit in the soul of the human the presence of the Divine, the comprehension of Whom is far beyond the horizons of created intellects.  [Very, very hard, but this is the path of union with the Divine Will.  We cannot possibly do this ourselves, we can only turn our will over to God and let him work through us to bring about such a powerful, intimate union.]

Let us follow exactly the prescriptions of our spiritual father and of those who govern us in the place of God, that every suffering and good work offered to God may be prudent and salutary.  [Salutary and universally applicable guidance for all of us]

It is sufficient that we keep ourselves ever ready and willing to suffer for love of Him all that He wills and the manner in which He wills it. Whoever acts solely in conjunction with the dictates of his own will would do much better were he to remain in peace, attentive to what God wills to perform in him.  Therefore, we must always avoid attachments of the will which should ever be free and in perfect harmony with the Divine. [When I think of the genocide ongoing in the Mideast, I think how hard it is sometimes to submit to the Will of God.  But it is when pious souls do so, especially under the most awful of conditions, that massive torrents of Grace flow and that Grace has, in past instances, resulted in a great flowering of the Church.  The blood of martyrs waters the Church and makes it grow.  It is one of the profound and difficult paradoxes, if you will, of our Faith, that when it seems to be crushed out of existence, it suddenly flowers anew.  So we must always retain the virtue of hope, even amidst the worse of news]

And since we ought not to act according to our own desires, let us not consciously attach our wills to any one thing; but if we should desire something , let it be in such a way as to leave us as unperturbed as if we had desired nothing, should our desire fail to materialize. [Certainly great advice, especially with regard to earthly/material things.]

For our desires are our chains, and to be entangled in them is to be a slave. To free ourselves from desires, therefore, is to free ourselves from tyranny.  [!!!]

God demands that our souls be alone and unattached that He may manifest His manifold wonders in them, glorifying them even in this life by His Divine Power.

O Holy Solitude!  O desert of happiness!  O glorious hermitage, where a soul may find its God!  Let us not only run to such an exalted place, but beg the wings of a dove that we may fly to it and find there a holy repose. Let us not stop by the wayside; let us not tarry on the way for frivolous conversation; let us leave the dead to bury their dead, forsaking the land of the lifeless for the land of the living.

———-End Quote———-

I am not so ideological or unaware of myself that I do not recognize that someone could easily rebut to me, regarding much of the above “physician, heal thyself.”  And they would be right.

But I shall continue trying to improve.  I don’t know about you, but I have experienced periods where I think there has been some real positive growth in virtue, and others where I have advanced more slowly, or maybe even gone backwards a bit.  But I keep trying.  I know there are at present a number of things – attachments – I need to work on.  And there are positive spiritual works, especially with regard to prayer and meditation, that I need to improve.

So pray for your blogger!  He tries!  He may make a number of mistakes, but tries very hard to always put forward both news and reflections that will help people deal with the ongoing crisis and advance in the spiritual life.  I pray I do not fail to be edifying too often.

And please excuse this public examination of conscience!  I think it necessary sometimes to air such things, bearing my soul, so that readers can gain a little insight into my motivations.

 

Some messages for Cardinal Kasper July 29, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, Eucharist, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, Sacraments, sadness, scandals, secularism, shocking.
4 comments

A few messages for Cardinal Kasper and his ideological allies, via Fr. Carota and Cardinal Muller.  First, Fr. Carota had the following pics, one quoting a great priest and the other a great Saint, along with an emphatic statement in support for the inability of Doctrine to be contradicted:

We need to scream out a thousand million times: CATHOLIC DOCTRINE CAN NOT AND WILL NOT CHANGE.  We can further develop our understanding of it, we can further define it, but if it changes, it is no longer Catholic or the immutable Deposit of Faith given to us by Jesus Christ.  When people come up with “catholic doctrine” that has changed, it is absolutely no longer Catholic.  It is absolutely and nothing more than heresy.

Today, if you even question the changes in Catholic Doctrines, you are automatically persecuted and ostracized by most bishops, priests, religious and people.

All of us have a responsibility to suffer for defending the purity of Catholic truth.  TheArians, (Jesus is not equal to God the Father) were the majority of “catholics” for around 200 + years (300 – 500 A.D.).  Many “catholics” were Iconoclasts, (condemned painting or sculpturing of Catholic religious art), for hundreds of years too (Late 600′s- Early 800′s).  All those who resisted these heresies were exiled, punished, persecuted or put to death.

We might have such a glorious future to look forward to!

The awesome pics:

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Next, Prefect  of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Cardinal Gerhard Muller has given a book length interview in which he once again forcefully restates Catholic Doctrine on marriage, adultery, divorce, reception of the Blessed Sacrament, etc., and really takes apart the Kasperite gambit (as so many have already done).  At least Cardinal Muller appears much more orthodox on this topic than he is in some of his Marian theology and especially with regard to liberation theology:

Not even an ecumenical council can change the doctrine of the Church, because its founder, Jesus Christ, has entrusted the faithful custody of his teachings and his doctrine to the apostles and their successors. We have a well-developed and structured doctrine on marriage, based on the word of Jesus, which must be offered in its integrity. The absolute indissolubility of a valid marriage is not a mere doctrine, but rather a divine dogma that has been defined by the Church. In the face of the de facto rupture of a valid marriage, another civil “marriage” is not admissible. If it were, we would be facing a contradiction, because if the previous union, the “first” marriage – or rather, simply the marriage – is really a marriage, another subsequent union is not “marriage.” It is only by a play on words that one can speak of a first and second “marriage.” A second marriage is possible only when the legitimate spouse has died, or when the marriage has been declared invalid, because in these cases the previous bond has been dissolved. If this is not the case, we are in the presence of what is called the “impediment of the bond.”

…..“The image of the field hospital is very beautiful. Nonetheless we cannot manipulate the pope by reducing the whole reality of the Church to this image. The Church in itself is not a hospital: the Church is also the house of the Father.”……

……“A simple ‘adaptation’ of the reality of marriage to the expectations of the world does not bear any fruit, but rather turns out to be counterproductive: the Church cannot respond to the challenges of the modern world with a pragmatic adaptation. In opposing an easy pragmatic adaptation, we are called to choose the prophetic audacity of martyrdom. With this we can bear witness to the Gospel of the holiness of marriage. A lukewarm prophet, through an adjustment to the spirit of the time, would be seeking his own salvation, not the salvation that only God can give.”

——–End Quote———

There is much more from Cardinal Muller at the link. He goes on to some length refuting this latest attempt to, in effect, destroy the Sacrament of Marriage and blaspheme the Holy Spirit through mass, sacrilegious reception of the Blessed Sacrament.  Cardinal Kasper, if he had any, should be ashamed for even bringing this up. His arguments, such as they are, have been completely refuted from Scripture, Tradition, and even the post-conciliar Magisterial statements of Pope Saint John Paul II.  It is ludicrous this is even being discussed.  Kasper has been strongly opposed by Cardinals Muller, Burke, Collins, Brandmuller, Sebastian, Caffarra, De Paolis, and others.  But he has a lot of support from other corners, such as most of the very disordered Germanic episcopate.

But, in spite of all that, this Synod will likely come down to where the pope stands.  If he strongly supports the Kasperite gambit, we shall have to pray much to the Holy Ghost.

A small data point from the sodo-marriage debates July 29, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, manhood, paganism, Sacraments, sadness, sanctity, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society.
3 comments

Many readers will know that my family and I relocated from  north Dallas suburb to Irving to be nearer to the local FSSP parish.  I have been very glad to make some truly trivial sacrifices along the way so that my family can enjoy assisting at Mass much more frequently and generally being much more involved in parish life.  It has been an enormous blessing for all of us. I am so glad we moved.

We had a bit of a rough time with our first realtor, but after some sturm and drang found a great house just minutes from the parish.  God truly smiled on us in this.  But one thing we did not realize at the time we bought our wonderful house was that our next door neighbors consisted of an all-male couple.  We found out a day or two after we moved in.  There were initially two guys there (yes, this story gets a bit……involved), one of whom is highly “passable” as “straight” and the other less so.  Later there got to be a third guy, and there were also many men (and sometimes women) coming and going at all hours of day and night.  It has been a little bit of a circus.

Now, some of these were family and business associates, so it may not have been completely sordid, but it has been strange.  Nevertheless, through it all there was the “less straight” hispanic guy and the more straight partner.  They moved in several years ago and spent a ton of money fixing up their house into something really very nice.  But I found out last night that the Hispanic guy is moving out and that their relationship is now over.

I have no idea the hows or whys, any relation to the constant stream of visitors, and don’t want to know. It’s quite beside the point.  The point is that these guys were perfect candidates for the kind of couples that demand marriage be “redefined,” or really destroyed, so they can get tax benefits, have a big party, and all the rest.  They were “stable.”  They’d been together for  years.  But when things fell apart, apparently very recently, less straight dude started packing and will be gone within a few days.

The point of all this is that while just one small datapoint, it is illustrative of many of the problems and outright falsehoods being put forth regarding this most morally offensive of lifestyles and the prevarication that it any way can be compared to marriage.  Aside from exceedingly rare exceptions, these couples are not stable. They are not monogamous. There was a lot of obvious ickiness going on.  Living next door has been an object lesson in the mass falsehoods being perpetrated by adherents of this lifestyle and their allies on the ideological left regarding its true nature and radical difference from marriage. Unless one wants to consider 12 time divorced swingers as the default marriage nowadays.

But even more, marriage simply isn’t what these guys or any other perverse combo is.  Marriage is the contract between a man and woman for the reservation of those faculties ordered towards the creation of children exclusively for one another.  On any number of fronts, fake marriage between two men, three women, a man, a dog, and an orangutan, or anything else is just that, fake.

I picked the below from JP Sonnen’s site, I pray we have more defenders of marriage who can speak so clearly and eloquently on this subject. Ryan Anderson absolutely destroys the special pleading and morally bankrupt (and philosphically unjustifiable) argument of the poor lost soul desiring sodo-marriage:

What is tragic is that so many people are so wholly malformed by the culture, their own whims, and the dread effects of centuries of protestant/endarkenment/rationalist thinking that they simply cannot get through their heads: MARRIAGE HAS BEEN, IS, AND EVER WILL BE STRICTLY A UNION OF MAN AND WOMAN!  But as we see above, no matter how eloquently argued, this basic truth that 99.99999% of all people in Western civilization knew as an absolute metaphysical truth even a few decades ago, is now utterly lost on a huge and growing swath of the population.

Because everything, even timeless, bedrock institutions of all humanity, should be subject to the whims of moment and the lowest desires of our loins, and the highly unpredictable but certainly incredibly destructive consequences be damned.

MUST SEE: Chilling vision of Purgatory and Hell July 29, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
3 comments

I was sent the below by a reader Michael M.  It is the testimony of Marino Restrepo, of whom I knew nothing before watching the video.  I have done a bit of research on him and it seems his testimony and overall theology/eschatology are quite solid if a bit novel on some of the particulars (I am not saying these novelties are bad, they are simply things I hadn’t heard before, on topics that are not doctrinal).  It’s a fascinating and moving account.  I came away wanting to do a very thorough examination of conscience and general Confession.  There is an article from Spirit Daily on him here.  Some excerpts regarding what Mr. Restrepo was told by the Lord regarding the future of the Church:

“Religions are going to be a private activity that can not be  publicly exhibited and will be watched and controlled by the governments,” he claims. “The true Church will live practically as in the beginning of Christianity. He told me that the conversion of Israel has to take place before Jesus will come again.

“That conversion will happen overnight and there is going to be much confusion among the Jews. Many of them will kill each other once the conversion starts. The Lord said that the same way the Berlin Wall fell, so it will be the conversion of the Israelites. He said that the time was not very far. But I learned something about His time: It has absolutely nothing to do with human time at all.”

As for Christians, says Marino: 

“Many will fall away from the faith within the next years. The Lord is cleaning up the house. A lot of dirt is going to be uncovered. All that was hidden is going to come to light. Many will lose their faith. Our Church may become smaller, but it will become a Church of real believers. The times we are facing will not be possible to endure without a faith that is radically centered [as with the apostles; praise God!] in perfect obedience.”

Nothing really radical there. I think many pious souls believe we are headed towards a great reduction in the Church in many regards – in public role and scope, size, etc.  But I think, as Pope Benedict alluded, the smaller Church will be much purer, more fervent, and holy.  Aside from the revelations regarding Israel’s conversion, which are fascinating if certainly not doctrinal, all of the above is pretty much obvious to anyone with eyes to see.

Before I post the video, I will say Mr. Restrepo does talk about his life before his miraculous experience and conversion.  He was lost in many of the same sins many of us have fallen into – drug use, fornication, the whole rock n’ roll debacle.  I wouldn’t say there is really any problematic content, morally, but it is straight and to the point, so caution is advised for children or viewing near children:

 

I found the descriptions of spiritual warfare, and the amassing of “backing” from either demons or angels depending on our sins or virtues, quite compelling.  It speaks to my sensus fidei, you could say.

Mr. Restrepo’s book, upon which this talk is based, is pretty highly recommended in Catholic mystical circles.  That’s not my main cup of tea, although I do read such things on occasion, but I wonder if readers have any comments or thoughts on this man and his experience?

Franciscans of the Immaculate case takes a strange and disconcerting turn July 29, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, Basics, disaster, error, General Catholic, horror, persecution, religious, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, the return.
18 comments

Rorate is reporting that an Italian blogger who has reported on the persevention against the Franciscans of the Immaculate has been charged by Fr. Alfonso Bruno, the new head of the FI’s after the sacking of their founder and former leadership, with a formal case of defamation with the Italian authorities.

Below, Rorate’s summation of the situation.  I’m not sure how confirmed all this is, but the case was reported by a major Italian daily.  Certainly, newspapers of all stripes make errors and are at times given to sensationalism, but at present there is no reason to suspect fabrication, exaggeration, or subterfuge:

By the senior religious correspondent of Italian daily La Stampa, the startling news: those responsible for the intervention on the Franciscans of the Immaculate, after silencing their innocent victims inside the Church, now use the Police to intimidate journalists and bloggers — and their family members ! — in Italy.
It is probably the most serious attempt by an ecclesial authority to make use of the police forces to limit the freedom of the press in Italy in living memory — the attempt is based on scraps of a couple of past posts, but the intent and likely result is obviously to intimidate the future activity of the media on covering some ecclesial activities. It is a shocking new chapter in the grotesque soap opera of the intervention in the Franciscans of the Immaculate.

So the web of persecution surrounding the Franciscans of the Immaculate spreads ever wider. You can read the actual report at Rorate.  I’d like to approach this matter from a slightly skewed angle, if you will.

I’m sure my readers are aware that there is an American priest of the FIs who has been deeply involved in this tragic and very unsettling persevention.  I used to read him regularly, before he began his jihad against his strawman caricature of traditional Catholics in late 2010.  He is certainly very busy writing and blogging hither and yon “(and also “visiting” many FI monasteries, to make sure they understand the new order of things and the powers that now be).  He has been striving to get his interpretation, which is that of the new leadership, of the “intervention” across in many venues.

But he seems frustrated.  He seems to feel that somehow his “side is losing the PR battle.”  And he seems quite exasperated with this.  He feels the “facts” are inseparably on his side, and that his small group saved this formerly growing, stable, and vibrant order from themselves.  Even at the cost of inflicting misery on many hundreds of his confrere’s and shattering that vibrancy, he seems quite invincibly convinced of his being in the right. What he cannot seem to understand is why he is having such a hard time selling his side of the story.

Well, the above, this kind of heavy handed repression is why!  I mean, who sues family man bloggers, other than trolls and thugs?  This is hardly the first time the nouveau leadership of the FIs has stooped to such tactics.  It has in fact been part and parcel of the new regime since its installation.    What have we seen in less than a year?  We have seen the founder locked up under house arrest, surely the most dangerous octogenarian on the planet.  We have seen the former leadership forced under pain of obedience to endure scattering to distant missionary apostolates very far from the center of events.  That certainly appears to be an attempt to get them out of the way.  We have seen ludicrous stories of malfeasance on the part of the former administration, and even some of their lay associates and family members, made up well after the fact.  Stories that have never been even remotely supported by any substantive evidence and, after having served their purpose of disparaging the reputations of certain individuals, have been quietly dropped.

What else have we seen?  We’ve seen the reputations of devout novices trashed because they asked uncomfortable questions of the nouveau leadership and the Pope, through completely fabricated and meaningless (but very revealing) claims that the individual in question “rejected Vatican II.” What would that even mean?  We have seen the same intervention inflicted on the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate, even though there was never even a hint of “division,” nor of any moral or doctrinal problem.  Oh, but there was, maybe, a “drift.”  Heavens to Betsy, let’s call out the legions of modernist female religious to set them straight.  We have seen many dozens of priests denied the right to offer the TLM under Summorum Pontificum, a grave injustice that remains to this day. We have seen a formerly vibrant order shattered.  We have seen a mass exodus of devoted souls from this order, which used to be one of the few growing religious orders in the entire Church.

These are not the typical behaviors of those who have the might of right on their side.  These are not the normal behaviors of virtuous souls.  Perhaps the arguments haven’t convinced people, because they are fundamentally unconvincing!  Or maybe actions speak many times louder than words, and the actions speak of repression and a determination to inflict a certain vision on many unwitting and unwilling souls, no matter the cost-  the same vision which has resulted in so much chaos, destruction, and dissolution in so many other religious orders. Already we have seen evidence that the seriousness with which the FIs used to take their vow of poverty has already slipped a great deal.

Now, there are potentially charitable explanations for some of the items above.  But taken in totality, along with many other actions not mentioned, they stretch charitable interpretations beyond the breaking point.  And behind them all, is the strange fact that this most obedient (as their meek submission over the past year has so eloquently demonstrated) and doctrinally orthodox of orders has been singled out for this (what for all the world appears to be) savage treatment, while so many other far more problematic, heretical, and destructive orders have been able to continue on their merry way making chaos and slowly (or very quickly) killing themselves and religious life –  the heart of the Church – generally.

That is why you are having such a hard time convincing people.  The actions are just too repressive, the double standard too massive to ignore.

And the more you use tactics like suing bloggers, the more unconvincing will you be.

 

EWTN jumps on Orange Diocese Crystal Cathedral bandwagon? July 29, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, secularism, silliness, the return.
30 comments

The lede’s a slight exaggeration – maybe.  I don’t know that they’ll be broadcasting Mass from the outrageous former protestant Crystal Cathedral of the Diocese of Orange, CA, but they will make their left coast offices on the campus, which seems a bit of an endorsement to me:

Christ Cathedral will be the site of the first West Coast broadcast studio for the largest religious media network in the world, with construction underway in the iconic Tower of Hope for the Eternal World Television Network.

EWTN, which transmits Catholic programming 24 hours a day available to 230 million-plus homes in 140 countries, has long sought a West Coast presence, and after about a year of discussions, has formed a partnership with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange.

The initial lease will last 10 years, said Michael P. Warsaw, the chairman of the board and CEO for the television network. The parties, though, have not yet settled on a price, though it should be “nominal,” said diocese spokesman Ryan Lilyengren.

“This is a great opportunity for us to have access to people and organizations on the West Coast,” Warsaw said. “As we learned about the diocese’s vision, it became evident that (Christ Cathedral) would be a great location.”

Do you think Mother Angelica signed off on this?  I doubt it.

Such an interesting choice – an increasingly neo-Catholic network chooses to “Catholicize” the former grounds of a protestant TV ministry.  By so doing they seem to give at least tacit support to the use of the wholly inappropriate glass menagerie as a Catholic Cathedral.

I am certain in their minds this made just absolutely perfect sense.  Somehow, this really evokes the whole turn the network has made in the past 8 or 10 years to me.

Am I the only one that finds this a very strange, if not a very poor, choice?

USCCB “training manual” for priests reveals heart of priest formation problem July 28, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Bible, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, priests, scandals, secularism, self-serving, shocking, the return.
12 comments

I happened to be at a used bookstore yesterday, browsing their huge but pathetic selection of “Catholic” books. The vast majority were either outwardly modernist and heretical, or they were lost in the dominant secular/progressive mentality and essentially useless. I only found a few good books in the “nostalgia” section, books from way before the Council.  Nothing by TAN, only one book by Loreto, but it I already had…..it was a bust as book shopping goes (not that I really need books, a reader just gifted me a really nice collection that will keep me occupied for a year or more, but I was out, so I looked).

But I did find one book that sort of piqued my interest.  It was from the USCCB’s predecessor, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.  It was published in the late 90s.  I believe it is still in use.  It was a guidance document ostensibly for all dioceses and seminaries to provide basic guidelines and philosophical underpinnings for the formation of priests.  It’s called Program of Priestly Formation.  While the version I browsed through was from 1999, a 2006 edition is still in use, and the changes between the two are not very significant.

I thought it might be interesting to see what the USCCB had to say regarding what are the most important elements in the formation of priests. I was especially interested in the first section, on the “Foundations of Priestly Formation.”

I wish……I really wish……..I could say that I was blown away by the depth of Catholic sentiment and the communication of a strong understanding of just what Catholic priests do as their highest calling.  But it wasn’t really there.  There was a lot verbiage on the difference between priests and laity (opposing, I suppose, the strong trend in many seminaries to mute this distinction between the two, and pretend that St. Peter’s mention of a “universal priesthood” made the need for consecrated priests passe’), there was discussion of the need for priests to serve as “teacher” and “leader” of the people of God, there was a lot of focus on administrative duties, etc.  But there was one huge thing missing, the thing that makes the Catholic Faith and the Catholic priesthood so utterly vital and necessary.

What was missing was any talk of sacrifice, or the reality of the priest serving as alter Christus during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  And yet, this is the very Source and Summit not only of our Faith, through the miracle of Consecration that occurs at every Mass, but also what gives the priesthood its essence and power.  And yet it was not mentioned at all in the first chapter, nor could I find any references to it throughout the entire document.  I did not read every single word, so there could have been brief mention of this truly amazing, supernatural gift that all priests possess and offer on a continual basis, but I did not find discussion at any substantive length on this vital subject.

That is a most grave omission. I would say it is so grave as to make this formation document gravely deficient, even disordered, possibly deranged.  I certainly pray that this subject of the transcendent role priests play in re-presenting the Most Holy Sacrifice of Calvary receives far more attention in seminaries than it did in this document.  It was pretty disconcerting to see that this guidance document did not mention the subject at all when describing the role of the priest!  I fear that is very revealing, and a potential problem point – among many others – in the formation that most seminarians receive.

Thus it was interesting to me, and quite possibly providential, that I found the video below bandying about traditional sites in the past 24 hours or so.  It has already been deconstructed pretty well by others, but I’ll add a little bit below.  Certainly, I did not find anything so blatantly erroneous and contrary to the spirit of the Church in the USCCB book.  But I think the critical missing elements point to the fact that far too many disgraceful priests like the one below either have a voice in the process of seminary formation, or they have to be at least somehow placated by leaving out the “offensive” reference to Christ, the Sacrifice of the Mass, and all the rest. There is a great deal of evidence that priests like the one below have had a disastrous influence on seminary formation, and the process of approving candidates for ordination, over the past several decades.  All in all, the priesthood has been horribly disfigured and weakened as a result:

I want to talk about his opening erroneous claim, that the Gospels were written way, way, waaaaaay after Christ’s Ascension. First of all, St. Matthew’s Gospel was first, period. Msgr. claims that the most recent “scholarship” places the dates for the writings of the Gospels later and later and later.  That is, first of all, not true. There is a growing body of belief, even among secular academics, in the “early origin” of the Gospels, closer to the time of Christ and more in line with Catholic Tradition.  The “late origin” theory reached its peak about 30 years ago (so did the theory that St.Paul did not write the Letter to the Hebrews).

But even among those that still cling to the “late origin” theory, on what do they base their claims?  The number one underlying assumption of these modernist “scholars” is that miracles are impossible and thus must have a “rational” explanation.  Thus, Christ prophesying the destruction of Jerusalem means that Gospel had to be written after the actual event, or AD 70.  Another foundational error of modernist scholarship is the widely accepted “form” theory of Bultmann, who claimed that writing styles and other factors indicate when a given document was written.  But this theory has been exploded by such examples as, for instance, “proving” that Tennyson never wrote “Idylls of the King” (of course he did, it is the “form” theory that is wrong, it is so nebulous that it can be used to “prove” anything).

More substantially than any of the above, however, is that it does not really matter.  Those who go nuts over precise dates of Scripture miss the fact that the Catholic Faith existed prior to any of the Gospels being written, and for hundreds of years before the Canon of Sacred Scripture was ever determined (by the Church).  We have the infallible knowledge that the Holy Ghost preserved Dogma intact from the Apostles on, in spite of the effects of time and the assaults of too many errors and outright heresies to count.  This can be confirmed in many, many instances by reading what the early Church Fathers themselves believed, which, surprise!, happens to correspond to the Doctrine of the Faith.  The Bible is wonderful, it is vital, but the Church, contrary to the sects, is more than just the Bible.

As I said, most of the rest has already been taken apart handsomely but I wanted to address the typical modernist droning about the dating of the Bible because it has only one purpose – to undermine the orthodox Faith, which is a terrible, terrible sin against charity.  I should also note that this priest comes from the Diocese of Erie, long under the administration of the arch-modernist Bishop Donald Trautman, who is so extreme (thank goodness now retired) that he violently opposed even the very mild improvements to the English translation of the Novus Ordo released in 2011.  So it is little surprise this guy is not only a priest “in good standing,” but was even made a Monsignor.

It is terrible to contemplate the damage to souls such men have wrought. One must ask what possible reason could have kept them in a Church they disbelieve and even seem to hate so much, unless it was to try to hurt Her from within.

To say this man needs prayers would be a great understatement. He needs a massive moral miracle, poor lost soul.

Hey, monsignor, every time you look in the mirror, you see the reason why the traditional movement is experiencing explosive growth.

Good Catholic links! July 28, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Four Last Things, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Tradition, Virtue.
2 comments

Shifting modes from my preferred method of brutally honest, no-holds barred “interreligious dialogue,” some good Catholic links for you. I think one is a repost, but it’s good enough to post again.

First, I blogged about the Requiem Mass of Jaime Leano, God rest his soul. His widow has had a business for a while selling hand-made Rosaries and other Catholic jewelry, hand-painted Nativity sets, Confirmation gifts, Chaplets, and much more.  Again, that business is jmjtcards.com.  My wife really likes the Rosaries, they are very well made and durable, which is really hand when you have a lot of kids, who tend to destroy more flimsy Rosaries in no time no matter how much you counsel them to be gentle and respectful.  There are also rose earrings, pendants, rings, and many other times. Maybe you have an anniversary or birthday coming up, or just need something for yourself?  Go check it out, I think you’ll like what you find!   A few samples below:

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Just a quick note on buying items, due to the recent tragedy, orders may be processed a bit more slowly while things are sorted out. I don’t know that for sure, it just seems reasonable. I’m sure you can get all details at the website.

Next, this site has a huge number of Catholic books uploaded on line in .pdf and other formats.  There are books ranging from the famous, like The Imitation of Christ, to the rather unknown, and everything in between.  There are books on lives of the Saints, books on Catholic Doctrine, some historical, famous spiritual writings by Saints and others – many really good books are available, for free.

So go check that out, too.

Dominus vobiscum!

Testimony of Iraqi Catholics: told By radical islamists to give them all their money and leave, or get a bullet in the brain July 28, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Holy suffering, horror, paganism, persecution, sadness, secularism, sickness, Society, the enemy, unadulterated evil.
9 comments

WARNING! EXTREMELY GRAPHIC IMAGE AT THE END.  ALLEGED ISIS ATROCITIES!  ABSOLUTELY NOT FOR CHILDREN!  ALSO NOT FOR THOSE WITH SENSITIVE CONSCIENCES!

This is the death cult religion so many in the hierarchy of the Church fall all over themselves extolling and praising.  This is the so-called “religion of peace.”  How long must we put up with this prevaricating charade?  How long must we hear lies that bear the stench of death?

God bless that woman for her faith.  She just gave a great testimony of it, and of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Wow, what a calamity.  There are simply not words.  Rorate’s coverage has been quite good and thorough.  I am heartened to see that some in France, at least, seem to be getting it.

This is a genocide. This is the greatest humanitarian crisis the world has seen in decades, at least since the nightmares in Rwanda and Burundi of 20  years ago.  The barbarities that are being committed are simply beyond what decent, civilized people can imagine.  At the following link – AND I CANNOT WARN YOU ENOUGH HOW GRAPHIC THE LIVELEAK VIDEO IS! – there is footage of human beings, perceived enemies of this new satanic death cult islamic “caliphate,” who have been chopped to pieces in slaughterhouses like animals. There is footage of even muslim “enemies” of extremist islam being mowed down by the dozen in ritualistic killings.  That is how the radical muslim behaves towards all those who do not include “inshallah” in every cursed phrase they speak, who do not adhere to their stupid and evil wahhabism.

The link just above also provides powerful contextual evidence of the relation between this present genocide against Christians in Iraq and Syria and that perpetrated against Armenians in Turkey after WWI.  In fact, in both cases, the radical muslims insist that killing Christians is an “acceptable sacrifice” to ‘allah'” – which it may be, if “allah” is indeed satan, as many ancient Christians maintained.

But our first muslim president (in effect if not in fact) can not be bothered to reply.  He has shown himself to be a bitter enemy of Christianity in general and the Church in particular throughout his presidency.

WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGE COMING BELOW!

Oh Lord give us strength to pray and fast!  Lift this terrible scourge from Your Church!  We know we have been unfaithful, we know we have strayed so far!  We know that right worship of You has been perverted and that heretical, sinful error abounds!  We know sin abounds in what little remains of Christendom – may Your Grace abound more!

All you good Saints martyred by islam – pray for us!  Pray for our Church!  Pray especially for the souls suffering these nightmares!  End the scourge of this evil, perverse religion around the world!

“The mohammadan is either at your neck or at your feet.”  –  Winston Churchill  Say what you will about the  man, he knew people.  I wonder if he knew that the progressive left would eventually choose islam over Christianity (at least, by all available evidence)?

FINAL WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGE NOW!  IMAGE SUPPOSED TO BE OF BEHEADED CHRISTIANS IN IRAQ!

beheading

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