I think this is awesome March 30, 2012Posted by tantamergo in Admin, awesomeness, episcopate, fun, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Papa, silliness.
But it seems some folks don’t. I’m all for upholding the dignity of the papacy and getting back to a much more formal assertion of the rights of the office and Church, but I don’t think the Pope wearing a sombrero fundamentally undermines the authority of the office.
I think it’s funny and alright.
Here’s another good pic, picked up off of Rorate Caeli. Local boy Brother Francis Davoren is lower left. Apparently, the bishop of Norcia has asked that the good Benedictines there offer TLMs regularly, and the bishop takes part in choir.
If you’re an addict like me…….. March 30, 2012Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Holy suffering, Interior Life, North Deanery, religious, Saints, Virtue.
…….pray a Novena to Venerable Alfred Pampalon, CSSR! A good and wolfie local priest turned me on to him, and I have developed an interest in this Canadian priest who died at a very young age from the ravages of tuberculosis. He has become known as a patron of alcoholics and drug addicts, especially those addicted to narcotics (hi!). The Novena is here. If you’re suffering from the great evil of addiction, have constant recourse to the Sacraments, pray for the intercession of Saints, and go to NA or AA. They work.
It is so wonderful that God in His Benificence has bestowed Saints and Angels on His Church that can aid us in every occasion. Prayers for the protection of St. Michael the Arcangel are also indispensable for addicts, as addicts are frequently hassled by demons.
Another hard hitting video from RCTV March 30, 2012Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, fun, General Catholic, Glory, persecution, Tradition, Virtue.
Few punches being pulled here:
Wow. I really liked the ending. As the culture becomes increasingly hostile, increasingly bereft of those Christian mores which created and sustained it (and rejecting the caricature of Christianity that is proposed to the masses as the “faith”), the way forward for the Church is, to me, clear. We must live a much stronger and more distinctly Catholic existence. There are many who seem to believe, and this applies even to the very highest levels of the Church, that the Catholic Faith is somehow the victim of earthly, cultural trends and forces beyond its control, that it is doomed to shrink and lose influence and ultimately be reduced to tiny islands of faithfulness, which, after the collapse many see coming, will then have a chance to influence and even dominate the culture again.
I disagree. I believe that what has occurred to the Church in the last several decades was and is largely self-inflicted, and that what is needed is great Saints and great communities of Catholics to live the Faith vibrantly, authentically, and with great love and fire to be a witness to a world which is growing old and cold. Truth doesn’t change. Men’s hunger for it doesn’t change. All that needs to be done is for Catholics to learn the Faith (I mean, really learn), practice the Faith fully, and carry that “lived” Faith into the world with an unyielding zeal.
It could be (emphasis on could) God’s Will that the Church suffer and shrink in numbers and influence, and generally follow the course predicted by Paul VI in his more moribund moments (among others). But the darkness has seemed poised to overtake the Church in the past, only for great Saints to be raised up, bringing the light of Christ to millions and the Church back to the forefront of the culture. Where are our Saints today? Who will it be?
Well……….. it’s us. We’re all called to be saints. This is the challenge and mission for every Catholic who has ever lived. There is nothing so different about people today, and the culture they create, that good old fashioned sanctity cannot change the world. Sanctity means holy people. Forget all the talk about the “new evangelization” and all the other buzzwords, what is needed is for you and me and all the good Catholics we know to really, truly be just that – good, holy Catholics. God will take care of the rest.
Get out there and fight. Don’t wait for someone else to fight for you…..it’s up to you! Find something to fight – abortion, bad catechesis, poor liturgy, ugly art, socialism, porn, strip clubs – good Lord, we’ve got a target rich environment! Make some effort! We are about to celebrate the greatest Feast of the Year, may that be an inspiration to you to fight for your God, your Church, your family, and yourself!
And invoke Our Lady in all that you do!
Sancta Maria, Ora Pro Nobis!
Some Saints on adhering to the Divine Will March 30, 2012Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Saints, Tradition, Virtue.
More from Uniformity With God’s Will, taken from the writings of St. Alphonsus Ligouri, the Moral Doctor:
What else is the earth but a prison where we suffer and where we are in constant danger of losing God? Hence David prayed “Bring my soul out of prison.” (Ps 141:8) St. Teresa too feared to lose God and when she would hear the striking of the clock, she would find consolation in the thought that the passing of the hour was an hour less of the danger of losing God.
St. John of Avila was convinced that every right-minded person should desire death on account of living in peril of losing Divine Grace. What can be more pleasant or desirable than, by dying a good death, to have the assurance of no longer being able to lose the Grace of God?…………”Why are we so tenacious of life,” exclaims St. Bernard, “when the longer we live, the more we sin?” A single venial sin is more displeasing to God than all the good works we can perform. [This is some really strong stuff. I'm still processing it, although, I have had some thoughts along this line. Not well developed thoughts........cause it's me!]
Moreover, the person who has little desire for Heaven shows he has little love for God. [Powerful claim. Do you agree?] The true lover desires to be with his beloved. We cannot see God while we remain here on earth; hence the Saints have yearned for death so that they might go and behold their beloved Lord, face to face. “Oh, that I might die and behold thy beautiful face!” sighed St. Augustine. And St. Paul: “Having a desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ” (Phil 1:23). “When shall i come and appear before the face of God?” (Ps 41:3) exclaimed the psalmist.
I don’t have a major point, except that we can see from the writings of the Saints, which may seem so foreign, even bizaare and baffling, to some of us, that death to the world and yearning for Christ that consumed them. And there are two aspects of that consuming desire – fear of pleasing God, and a great hunger to be with Him in totality in Heaven. In some Saints, the former concern was stronger, but in most latter day and well-known Saints, the desire to be with God out of love was the main impetus of their desire. That burning hunger for God makes quite a counter-point to our contemporary society, so totally focused on the pleasure of the moment, on the intolerance of suffering, and oblivious to the eternal. Even within the Church, there has been a massive shift away from focus on the eternal and the spiritual, to focus on the temporal. It is my considered opinion that the “structures,” as Pope Benedict XVI calls them, the conferences and committees and covenants and all that bureaucracy focused on earthly matters has played a huge role in that transfer of focus. I pray we get back to being concerned first and foremost about souls.
OK, so I did have a point.
Lapsed Catholics more catechized by culture than Church March 29, 2012Posted by tantamergo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, priests, sadness, scandals, sickness.
The Washington Post ran a story (h/t culture war notes) recently that included some results of a poll conducted of apostate Catholics, or so-called ‘lapsed Catholics’ who have left the Church (but most of whom, inexplicably, still consider themselves ‘Catholic.’) The results show to me a group of people far more catechized by the culture and the media, than by the Church:
As part of a survey to understand why they have stopped attending Mass, a few hundred Catholics were asked what issues they would raise if they could speak to the bishop for five minutes.
Their reasons ranged from the personal (”the pastor who crowned himself king and looks down on all”) to the political (”eliminate the extreme conservative haranguing”) to the doctrinal (”don’t spend so much time on issues like homosexuality and birth control”). [I want to to go their parishes. I'm going to say this is a crock, and also guilt manifesting itself. I will bet homosexuality and contraception are rarely if ever mentioned, but even those very brief mentions are troubling to the apostate]
In addition, they said, they didn’t like the church’s handling of the clergy sex abuse scandal [good Lord, who does, but that doesn't mean you leave Christ's Body!] and were upset that divorced and remarried Catholics are unwelcome at Mass. [This is an incredibly poorly written and communicated excerpt. First of all, anyone is "welcome" at Mass, but those who are not in a state of Grace and in union with the Church cannot receive the Blessed Sacrament. Unfortunately, we've developed a mindset in this country, especially, that everyone who assists at Mass must automatically receive the Blessed Sacrament. There are huge problems with the way the Church is handling the epidemic of divorce, but handing out the Blessed Sacrament like a cookie to just anyone isn't going to help matters - it will be gravely scandalous and sacriligious.]
…….Conducted by Villanova University’s Center for the Study of Church Management, the survey, called “Empty Pews,” asked Catholics in the Trenton Diocese [this is a troubled Diocese. I don't know that these results can reliably be extrapolated to the entire Church] a series of questions about church doctrine and parish life to better understand why they are staying home.
While the study was restricted to one diocese, chances are the responses could come from just about anywhere in the U.S., where a 2007 report by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found one-third of Americans were raised Catholic but one-third of those had left the church………
Almost two-thirds of the respondents were female, and the median age was 53, two facts that Zech finds troubling. “That’s a critical demographic. If we’re losing the 53-year-old women, we risk losing their children and their grandchildren,” he said. [How about stop sounding like a secular corporation, and worrying about 'demographics,' and worry about preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness.]
About a quarter of the respondents said they still consider themselves Catholic despite not attending Mass. [Well, they aren't. You can't reject a Precept of the Faith and be happily engaged in mortal sin while calling yourself still Catholic. You can't reject what the Church believes at its core and still be 'Catholic,' united to the Universal Church] About half offered negative comments about their parish priests, whom they described as “arrogant,” ‘’distant” and “insensitive.” [I haven't met too many arrogant priests, but distant, yes. It's one problem with having so few priests relative to parishioners]
“One respondent said, ‘Ask a question and you get a rule, you don’t get a “let’s sit down and talk about it” response,’” Zech said. “They feel no one is willing to explain things to them.” [Well, this is dumb, and seems disingenuous. Those who lambast the Church for "rules" don't understand the Faith. But then, as commenter Terry C has pointed out, that is the key driver for this entire problem - the collapse of catechesis, and that started with the replacement of the sermon with the homily]
Respondents also said they were troubled by the church’s views of gays, same-sex marriage, women priests and the handling of the sex abuse crisis. [Catechesis, catechesis, catechesis. And how many of these respondents were led on by priests who themselves reject Church Dogmas into believing these dogmas were somehow 'negotiable?' And then, once they find they really aren't negotiable, are scandalized and develop an impetus to leave?]
Criticism of the sex scandal was predictable, Zech said. “That doesn’t surprise anybody. They did not manage that well, and they are still not managing it well,” Zech said. “It hasn’t gone away.”
The respondents also called for better homilies, better music and more accountability of the church staff. [Well, that's interesting. Really, the only interesting bit. Better homilies could mean anything, but it could point towards getting back to sermons and getting REAL catechesis from the pulpit, and not the mildest of encouragements to change one's life by tiny degrees. Better music could mean dumping the oh-so-tired hippy dippy sing alongs, or it could mean aping the protestants even more. Chant is the proper music for Mass. Better accountability for Church staff - does that mean clergy, or lay people? As much as it may be frustrating at times, the priests are accountable to the bishop, and that's about it. I hope this isn't some 'vote for the pastor' pseudo-'democratize the Church' response. But if it means holding lay people with great responsibility and influence in the Church to greater account.......that could be meaningful and helpful. Mrs. So and So who is a big fan of new age and who rejects all manner of Church Dogmas shouldn't be running the RCIA program, but at too many parishes, she does.]
Oh noes, I late for a meeting!
……is almost assured of having at least one, and very likely two, “unintended” pregnancies, if she is sexually active throughout that approximately 30 year period. So calculates Stacy at Accepting Abundance. Using typical birth control failure rates as related on Wikipedia, Stacy calculates the failure rates over 1, 5, and 10 years:
The typical-use failure rate for the pill is 8%, in one year 8 out of 100 women using the pill in a typical way will get pregnant, but the numbers are much higher extrapolated over time. It’s even worse for condom use.
|# Women out of 100 that will get pregnant 1 or more times:|
|Birth Control Method||Typical-Use Failure Rate||1 year||5 years||10 years|
8 out of 100 women will have unintended pregnancies in one year, but 34 of those same 100 women will have unintended pregnancies in 5 years, and more than half in 10 years. Condom use has an even higher failure rate, so typical-use of condoms over 5 years actually makes a woman more likely to get pregnant than not. Over ten year’s time, it practically ensures unintended pregnancy. And what about teens? Teens are not as careful so the failure rates are higher.
|# Teens out of 100 that will get pregnant 1 or more times:|
|Birth Control Method||Typical-Use Failure Rate||1 year||5 years||10 years|
————————-End Awesome Quote—————————–
I found the data at Wikipedia fascinating. Knowing how contentious this subject is, and how diligent the pro-aborts and pro-depravity crowd is regarding trumpeting the alleged “safety” and “assuredness” of contraception, I’m certain the probabilities listed are very favorable towards contraceptive use. That is to say, the failure rates are at least as high as listed. Having said that, only the surgical methods are really effective – surgical sterilization and implantation of birth control devices. “User-administered” means of contraception are very unreliable – the diaphragm and condom fail about 15-20% of the time. It’s almost assured one will have at least one “unintended” pregnancy over ten years using these popular methods, and for the pill, over a period of 15 years.
And yet we are told by our cultural elites and the depraved Obama administration, that the only way to reduce unwanted pregnancies is to get more contraception out there! That’s a lie, a total fabrication. Getting more contraception “out there” has only one assured conclusion in this country today – more abortion. No wonder Planned Barrenhood is so in favor of it. Souls that are totally dependent on contraception and especially those who are fornicating outside of marriage and/or bad relationships, are going to be very likely to desire to abort when confronted with the biological consequences of their actions. And another soul will be created only to be destroyed.
This data should be proclaimed far and wide. It confirms what the Church has always said: that artificial contraception is not effective, that it leads to a huge panoply of societal ills, and it creates the environment in which abortion flourishes.
Words cannot hurt us March 29, 2012Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, Lent, Saints, The Imitation of Christ, Tradition, Virtue.
My kids certainly don’t think this is true. And even if I temporarily convince them that words really can’t hurt you (sticks and stones, and all that, with regard to inter-kid fights), they will turn that around and grab a bat or a stick to do some real damage – before I intervene, of course. That actually happened once. I think it was one of the twins, when she figured she couldn’t hurt her sister who had made her mad by calling her names with some return name-calling, she grabbed a stick to go whack her.
But it is true, at least for adults. It is funny the extent that someone’s words can hurt us, or rob us of our peace, or cause us to commit grave sins ourselves, becoming filled with unholy rage or thinking very uncharitable thoughts. Thomas a Kempis has the remedy (The Imitation of Christ, Book III, Chapter 46):
Son, stand firm and trust in Me; for what are words but words: they fly through the air, but hurt not a stone.
If thou art guilty think that thou wilt willingly amend thyself [that is, perhaps we have earned our verbal reproof]
If thy conscience accuse thee not, think that thou willt willingly suffer this for God’s sake.
It is a small matter that thou shouldst sometimes bear with words, if thou has not as yet courage to endure hard stripes. [the harshest words directed towards us are as nothing compared to what Our Blessed Lord suffered]
And why do such small things go to thy heart, but because thou art yet carnal, and regardest men more than thou oughtst! [yep.........]
For because thou art afraid of being despised, thou art not willing to be reprehended for thy faults, and seekest to shelter thyself in excuses. [St. Teresa of Avila makes great points of this. Excuses point to pride, pride to refuse wrong doing on our part, or pride that wants to avoid hurt, or acceptance of failure]
But look better into thyself, and thou shalt find that the world is still iliving in thee, and a vain desire of pleasing men.
For when thou art unwilling to be humbled and confounded for thy defects, it is plain indeed that thou art not truly humble, nor truly dead to the world, nor the world crucified to thee (Gal 6:15)
But give ear to My Word, and thou shalt not value ten thousand words of men.
Behold if all should be said against thee which the malice of men can invent, what hurt could it do thee if thou wouldst let it pass, and make no account of it? Could it even so much as pluck one hair from thee? (Lk 21:18)
But he who has not his heart within, nor God before his eyes, is easily moved with a word of censure. [yep]
Whereas he that trusts in Me, and desires not to stand by his own judgment, will be free from the fear of men. [Trust in God. Accept condemnation and censure, even wrongfully made. Accept such as the will of God. I know it's very hard. It's completely counter to our nature, especially in a 'democratic' country so focused on rights and getting what's ours, and then some. Die to self.]
For I am the judge and discerner of all secrets, I know how the matter passeth; I know both him that offers the injury, and him that suffers it. [Vengeance is mine, says the Lord. And our suffering the slight or the verbal blow may be God's Will for our sanctification. We must assume that it is.]
From Me this word went forth: by My permission it happened, that out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed (Lk 2:35)
I shall judge the guilty and the innocent, but by a secret judgment I would beforehand try them both.
To Me, therefore, must thou run in every judgment and not depend upon thy own will.
The above is so counter to our nature. But it is a very core part of growing in sanctification. Love your enemies. Pray for those who talk evil of you. Never speak uncharitably of others (yes, I know, I’m looking in the mirror right now). It’s completely contrary to all that our fallen natures and the world tells us we should do – especially today’s world. It’s very hard to be meek and humble. But it’s also very necessary if we are to hear those glorious words “Well done, my good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Master’s house.” (Mt 25:23)
Michael Voris on Latin Mass parishes March 28, 2012Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Sacraments, Tradition, Virtue.
Some people say that Latin Mass parishes are really strong in the Faith because that’s the kind of people they attract. They attract the already committed. There are claims that such parishes somehow rob other parishes of “the good people.” There may be some (a little) truth in that belief, but I can state that my experience is that Latin Mass parishes tend to cause one to grow in their Faith tremendously. Someone who may be so-so may become a really devout, committed Catholic as a result of assisting at a Latin Mass parish regularly. I think it’s a positive reinforcement loop – “good” people or people with a propensity to want to learn and grow in the Faith develop an attraction for the Latin Mass, and then get exposed to a really powerful, what I would call very authentic form of Catholicism, and that makes them grow all the more. Once one gets a taste of devout, traditional Catholicism, there is a tendency to hunger for more. If it weren’t 45 minutes each way to the parish, and if gas weren’t umpteen dollars a gallon, and if I didn’t have so many other things going on!, I’d be there every day. I love it.
But there is no question that our local Latin Mass parishes are blessed with many extremely talented, on-fire, committed, devout and young souls with a burning desire to serve Christ in His Church. I am humbled to be in their presence. That’s not to say there aren’t such souls at “regular” parishes. There are . But the density seems very high at the Latin Mass parishes I’ve experienced. Michael Voris’ experience seems to bear that out, as well.
If it weren’t 45 minutes each way to the parish, and if gas weren’t umpteen dollars a gallon, and if I didn’t have so many other things going on!, I’d be there every day. I love it. I crave it. It’s amazing being among a group of people who are striving to live a faithful Catholic existence. It’s more than that………it’s transformative.
Update on the schedule at the Discalced Carmelite Monastery March 28, 2012Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Interior Life, religious.
As usual, thanks to MJD.
The Stations of the Cross at the Carmelite Monastery will start at 5:30 PM on Friday, March 30 instead of at 6:30 PM.
Holy Face Devotions and Benediction on Palm Sunday, April 1 at 3:30 PM.
Palm Sunday Mass at the Monastery is at 7:00 AM.
Holy Thursday, April 5, Evening Mass of The Lord’s Supper, starts at 5:00 PM.
(No washing of the feet.)
There is NO All Night Vigil in April. [So, no vigil on April 6] You are welcome to attend Good Friday service (April 6), starting at 3:00 PM. Gates close at 5:30 PM.
Holy Saturday (April 7) Easter Vigil starts at 9:00 PM. Bring small container to take home blessed Easter Holy Water.
Easter Sunday (April 8) Holy Mass is at 7:00 AM.
During the last All Night Vigil and Holy Face Devotions, the Carmelites passed out holy cards, with a prayer for our country & the upcoming election, written by The Servant of God, Father John Hardon, S.J.
If you would like holy cards for you friends and family (and to pass out at your parish), please either send a self-addressed envelope with a donation to cover the cost of the prayer cards to:
Discalced Carmelite Nuns
600 Flowers Ave.
Dallas, TX 75211
Or, you may pick them up at the turn, at the convent. Donations to cover the cost of printing are much appreciated since the Carmelites do not receive any money from the diocese.
Is this self-hatred, or what? March 27, 2012Posted by tantamergo in Abortion, Basics, disaster, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, sadness, sickness, Society.
Yesterday, I posted a video wherein a young woman excoriated the rejection of the natural feminine characteristics so common among feminists and other pro-aborts (perhaps an oxymoron there). Today, comes word that a Pennsylvania state representative referred to pro-life women as “men with breasts.”
Pennsylvania State Rep. Babette Josephs, a Philadelphia Democrat, may have reached a new low in political discourse on the issues of abortion. Upset that pro-life women in the state legislature support a bill allowing women a chance to see an ultrasound of their unborn child before an abortion, she referred to them as “men with breasts.”
As the Patriot-News reports:
“During her remarks, she blasted women lawmakers who co-sponsored the ultrasound bill, asking rhetorically, ‘What are they? Women, or are they men with breasts?’ according to supporters of the bill who watched the rally.
Josephs stood by her words after the rally, arguing that the women lawmakers on the bill – sponsored by Rep. Kathy Rapp of Warren County — are acting like women only in the sense ‘that they will do what the men tell them.’
‘They must believe that they are not capable of making their own health care choices, but they are capable of voting on bills that control all of our behavior,’ Josephs continued. ‘I don’t understand it …
‘I don’t believe they’re really women. … I believe they’re men with breasts.’
Apparently, the only “real women” are those who stifle their femininity and embrace sterility, even baby murder. This logic is so entirely bass-ackwards, upside-down, and inside-out, that it beggars the imagination. How do people come to think like this? How do you conclude that the authentic women are those who abort their children, or at least support others doing so, while those who don’t kill their babies and do all they can to protect others are somehow not? So…women are now not mothers, but men are. And in order to be a real woman, you have to reject motherhood.
In Christian charity, a person like that should be reached out to. But I’m not sure how you reach a person like that. That’s one of the baffling things about evangelization (or even discourse) in this day and age. Some people are so lost in their thinking, their sins, and have such an abyss of hatred towards traditional gender roles and the mores of Christianity, that it would be a years long project just to convert one. That’s if the conversation didn’t end with a backturn and a flipped finger after 10 seconds.
And yet there are millions out there like that.