Matthew VIII and ecumenism with Jews March 7, 2014Posted by tantamergo in abdication of duty, Basics, Bible, catachesis, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society.
The Gospel for the Thursday after Ash Wednesday in the 1962 Missal (actually, mine is 1945, but the reading is the same) is from Chapter VIII of St. Matthew’s Gospel (verses 5-13). Towards the end, Our Blessed Lord says some things that would appear, to me, to contradict much of the modern “ecumenical” attitude in the Church, especially with regard to the Jews:
At that time, when Jesus had entered into Capharnaum, there came to Him a centurion, beseeching Him, and saying: Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy and is grievously tormented. And Jesus saith to him: I will come and heal him. And the centurion making answer, said: Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof: but only say the word and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man subject to authority, having under me soldiers, and I say to this: Go, and he goeth; and to another: Come, and he cometh; and to my servant: Do this, and he doeth it.
And Jesus hearing this, marveled, and said to them that followed Him: Amen I say to you, I have not found so great faith in Israel. And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven: but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said to the centurion: Go and as thou hast believed, so be it done to thee. And the servant was healed at the same hour.
While this Gospel is normally taken as a glorious exegesis on faith, which it is of course is, this second half is also most significant. In it, Christ refers to the Gentiles being the prime recipients of the New Covenant, and prophesies the Jewish rejection of the same. There were certainly many Jewish converts to the early faith, and the Apostles were entirely Jewish in origin, but we also know from 2000 years of history that many Jews, and especially the Jewish religious establishment, rejected Christ’s Sacrifice, the life of Grace, and the entire New Covenant.
And, Our Blessed Lord seems to make clear that this rejection will result in their damnation. He refers specifically to the children of the present kingdom – the Old Covenant, the Jewish religious state, then under Roman domination, but formerly with their own kings – as being cast out for their refusal to accept Christ.
Unfortunately, the post-conciliar ecumenical movement, extending even to the very highest level of the Church in the form of the past several popes, routinely not just implies, but directly states, that the Old Covenant is somehow still operative and that Jews have their own “path to salvation” even while deliberately rejecting Christ – which many modern-day Jews make it a point to do. It is not true charity to leave people in error, to tell them their religious heritage, which they certainly hold dear, is somehow salvific. It reeks of universal salvation and indifferentism of a kind that would have shocked Catholics just a few decades ago.
Beyond this one quite, there are of course numerous portions of Sacred Scripture which would seem to directly contradict the underlying rationale for the entire ecumenical movement, especially that portion of the movement directed at non-Christians. This is just one small reference point. There are dozens of others.
But as we see abroad in the Church today, more and more, there are efforts to undermine if not obliterate Dogmas founded on an incredibly sure foundations of direct references from Scripture as well as 2000 years of Tradition. The Church in Germanic speaking countries is just about totally run amok, with bishops claiming fornication is no longer a sin, that contraception use is morally acceptable (in spite of direct statements claiming this use is mortally sinful going back to the very, very earliest Church – and before), and of course that maybe bigamy is OK, and go ahead and present for the Blessed Sacrament while you remain married to two people, at least in God’s eyes.
To the extent that the Holy Father seems to be at least toying with some of these notions, as well, it is certainly scandalous and profoundly unnerving to faithful Catholics. I don’t have a big point with this post, other than to relate that I was struck by this seeming condemnation in advance of the modern ecumenical movement by Our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ. Christ was always very direct and plain with regard to salvation: either you accept Him as Son of God, observe the commandments, and practice virtue in cooperation with Grace, or you will not be saved. You will suffer eternal torments in hell.
It is amazing that there are people in the Church – uneducated or educated to the point of imbecility, I know not – that appear to have utterly forgotten their Scripture. Or, they are simply so overwhelmingly influenced by the world and its errors that they have grown cold in the Faith.
Difficult times, to be certain. I can only advise more prayer and penance, for ourselves and our Holy Mother Church.
Cathedral of Cordoba’ to be stolen from Church and nationalized? February 26, 2014Posted by tantamergo in Art and Architecture, Basics, Christendom, Ecumenism, General Catholic, persecution, pr stunts, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, the enemy.
The much fought over Cathedral of Cordoba – first a church, then cathedral, then mosque, and, since the great victory in 1236 of San Fernando III, a cathedral again – is under threat of being stripped from the Church yet again, this time by the secularist, socialist government of Andalusia. The threat may be minor for now – or not – but the government has circulated a petition eagerly signed by tens of thousands of muslims, calling for the cathedral to be taken from the Church and handed over to the state, to serve secular and ecumenical interests:
(Madrid) attacks against the Catholic Church have many faces. A recent venture appears in the style of the French Revolution as a snappy “joke”. In the Spanish Andalusia Church opponents want to expropriate the famous Catholic cathedral of Cordoba and “nationalize” it. The southern Spanish city’s cathedral is unique for architectural reasons. It has had an eventful history. Before the diocesan church was established in 1236, it was used for several centuries an Islamic mosque, to be exact, the main mosque of the emirate and caliphate of Cordoba.
The Government of the Comunidad Autonoma de Analuciacan has legally examined whether there is a possibility of expropriation of the cathedral. The initiators of the expropriation action argue that the cathedral as a unique piece of architecture is a “World Heritage Site”. But as such, it can not be owned by a religious community, and certainly not the Catholic Church, but must have its ownership transferred to the public. [This isn't right, I don't think. Santiago de Compostella is a World Heritage Site but it is still operated, and I believe owned, by the Church. I don't know if this false assumption is being made by the article, or the Andalusian government. Or, I could be wrong.] Modern robber barons in the name of the State, have a lot of experience in which revolutionaries and their epigones of all ages. Andalusia has been governed by a Leftist majority since the return to democracy. The provincial government originates without exception since 1982 from the ranks of the Socialist Party (PSOE).
A few years ago the call came to convert the Cathedral in deference to the Muslims to a place of interfaith worship. A claim, which was rejected by the Catholic Church. Therefore, the new venture aims to profanation and conversion of the church into a museum.
In their anti-clerical urge Spanish secularists making themselves spokesmen for Islamic interests under the heading “multiculturalism”. The fact that the Cathedral was previously a mosque, will be brought largely into play, that a non-denominational solution had to be sought by the state for the church. A secular group initiated two weeks with an Internet petition, seeking the expropriation of the Cathedral. They will rob, nationalize and profane the Catholic Church. The Cathedral of Cordoba should be made into a museum and become a kind of second Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. [Except, the Turks are going to turn Sancte Sophia back into a mosque. Some time back, muslims and secular interests in Spain advocated for the Church/Archdiocese to voluntary relinquish the Cathedral for muslim services. The Archdiocese politely said no. But secularists rarely take no for an answer, at least for very long]
The petition was signed by 88,000 people. ”A strange alliance” as a spokesman for the Committee for the Protection of the cathedral said. It was initiated by the petition of the Spanish Left, and “free-thinkers”, but the majority of the signatures came from Muslims. Muslim groups and individuals have taken the ball and immediately mobilized for signing.
The petition has no legal relevance in itself. However, it was also signed by Maria Isabel Ambrosio, the competent Socialist government representative for the province of Cordoba. Ambrosio also that gave a legal opinion in order to seek ways in which the cathedral could be expropriated and nationalized. [And turned into an indifferentist, secularist multi-culti shrine]
Against the Socialist expropriation a resistance is planning to upset it. A few days ago they started collecting signatures for a petition on Internet. [Sign the petition! It's in Spanish, but just put in your first and last name and e-mail (correa electronica)] In it, the government of Andalusia is asked to take care of the real problems of the Andalusians, “instead of thinking about how to rob the Cathedral of Cordoba and expropriate.”
There is much more interesting history of the Cathedral at Eponymous Flower, go over and check it out.
As our culture becomes decreasingly Christian and increasingly sexular and pagan, we can expect more and more of these kinds of acts. I have read that in Europe the Church, once one of the dominant cultural players, receiving some deference even from Her enemies, is today largely discounted as an old relic. Or a relic of old people. Yet another fruit we have harvested of aggiornamento, listening and even accepting the “wisdom” of the world over the past 5 decades!
Tragic: Thousands of churches closing in France. I know why. February 24, 2014Posted by tantamergo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, Ecumenism, error, General Catholic, Liturgy, sadness, scandals, secularism, shocking, Society, unadulterated evil.
As reported by Gillibrand, thousands of Catholic parishes are closing in France and being subsequently sold off, due to lack of attendance. Since the Council, weekly Mass attendance in France has fallen by about 80-90%. Today, fewer than 3% of self-described Catholics assist at Mass. It is likely that in the next 10-20 years, the majority of those who assist at Mass every week in France will be traditional Catholics. That may actually be a good thing.
However, in the interim, it will be very sad as church after church, parish after parish, is shuttered and sold off or torn down:
How has this come to be? Everyone knows, some more consciously than others. It has something to do with that Good Shepherd parish, just as it has to do with this below, also from Gillibrand:
Teddy bear “Mass.” With female “deacon?” Not from France, but similar occurs there frequently. As, apparently, we have very nearly the same here in the US.
Yes, there are many factors bearing upon the collapse of the Church in the West, but the Liturgy is the focal point of the Faith, so the anti-liturgical revolution has done as much or more to precipitate the collapse than any other factor.
PS – Who ever thought there might come a day when there would be more practicing muslims in France than Catholics? Is that ecumenism, too?
So, I shouldn’t have converted, then? – UPDATED February 24, 2014Posted by tantamergo in abdication of duty, Basics, disconcerting, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Lent, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, shocking, the return.
The other major story – or perhaps scandal – that broke over the weekend was Louis Verricchio’s revealing to the orthodox Catholic world, anyway, that Pope Francis had sent a greeting to an American evangelical protestant confab wherein he called some guy named Tony Palmer- who has gotten many, many Catholics to reject their faith and apostasize – his “brother bishop.”
It seems Tony Palmer has known the pope since his days in Argentina and that they are great buds. Palmer was due to speak at one of Kenneth Copeland’s protestant hootenannys and wanted Pope Francis to send a greeting to the evangelicals. Pope Francis, who has had a long history of eager cooperation with evangelicals, went so far, on video, as calling Palmer his “brother bishop” (see 1:20):
Verricchio has many videos from the confab at his site, if you want a flavor for that kind of false-emotion, overly produced, and highly staged event. I’ve been watching and observing evangelicals for over 30 years, and it’s always the same: the twisting of bits of Scripture to their own destruction, orchestrated events to fire emotions, and always money, money, money. You don’t love Jesus if you don’t keep me in $5000 suits.
So, one of these types – wearing a pretend Roman collar, no less – is a “brother bishop?” Speaking from the heart? So then why did I convert? Why should anyone convert? And when Pope Francis says @1:55 that Jesus Christ is “the only Lord,” how does he reconcile that with telling muslims they don’t need to convert and can be saved by their faith in “Allah?” You can include the Jews, who specifically repudiate Jesus Christ and frequently harbor a great animosity towards Christians and Christianity. But Pope Francis, echoing nebulous conciliar statements, claim they have their own path to salvation.
Yes, what happened to “let your yes mean yes and your no mean no?” Is this a different message for a different audience? When speaking to muslims, islam is fine, but when speaking to evangelicals, Jesus Christ is the Only Lord?! Que paso, Jorge?
From the standpoint of one who very deliberately, after much suffering, converted to the Faith, I have to say, all these excessive efforts at ecumenical outreach are very painful for me to see. It seems to trivialize all I went through for the sake of conversion (and I am far from alone), which painful process I have never once seen Pope Francis mention as being noble, or even worthy.
Instead, what we have seen repeatedly is that all these false sects, with their erroneous beliefs which actually lead people away from Christ, in so many cases, are saintly “brothers” who are just perfectly fine where they are at. Again, this is not limited to separated Christians, it seems to apply to EVERY religion out there. This is self-contradictory thinking, as I pointed out above, for by embracing evangelical protestants who love them some Jesus, Pope Francis is telling the same muslims he embraced a few months ago that they are, in fact, in thrall of an idolatrous false religion. This is the fundamental flaw in all ecumenism, aside from the massive indifferentism it perpetuates: any “advance” with one sect or group means a setback with another, because they believe contradictory things. That is one major reason why ecumenism, as such, is doomed to fail.
Unless, of course, we reduce our Faith to just a worldly feel-good society where the lowest religious common denominator predominates. That would result in Catholic churches inescapably being Good Shepherds, with 20 or 30 old women in attendance and no one else (essentially, like France). Which error Pope Francis again and again claims to oppose, but then we see this very “heartfelt” message. What are we to believe? It’s just confusion piled on confusion – the favorite tool of modernists.
Well, now we have more fodder for our Septuagesima and Lenten sufferings. Louis Verricchio also notes that Pope Francis appears to have a kind word, even a heart felt love, for everyone, save orthodox/traditional Catholics. There’s a phrase for that, but I’ll keep it to myself.
To give you an idea of what kind of creature Copeland, Palmer, and their fellow televangelists, see this report from an admittedly hostile secular pagan tabloid. Nonetheless, as Verricchio notes, how does Pope Francis square his denouncing of the rich and love of the poor, and his encouragement to pursue a simple, Christian lifestyle, with this man’s fabulous wealth? And almost every other major televangelist enjoys a similar lifestyle:
UPDATE: Just another thought, for those who may express scandal at this post. If I made a post where I referred to Anglican/evangelical orders as valid (there is massive question as to the lineage of this “Bishop” Tony Palmer, and whether he is even truly Anglican), and called Episcopal head Catherine Jefferts Schori a true bishop in Christ’s Church, would there not be scandal? Would I not rightly lose the attention of many readers? Even if I claimed differently, later, would my claim, if I had originally had doubts, at least be a grave sin against prudence?
I cannot judge the actions of a pope, but I can recognize scandal when I see it.
UPDATE II: So, I guess I should not have been surprised. Nevertheless, I have been dismayed at the outpouring of ecstatic, uncritical support for this little ecumenical gesture on the part of Pope Francis. A few mix in a word or two of caution regarding the doctrinal gulf between protestants, especially evangelical protestants, and Catholics. But even those are pretty muted. Most reactions have stated just how unreservedly pleased Our Blessed Lord must be at this turn of events, because apparently what Jesus craves more than anything is “unity.” Whatever that means. Of course, any unity that failed to proclaim Christ’s sovereign Reign and which would be founded at least in part on error would be totally false.
One common defense of the greeting I’ve seen is that we have to meet people on their terms, that Catholics must “try to at least find some common ground to bring us together and start a conversation must be the first step.”
Maybe. It certainly sounds good to worldly, secular ears today. But is that how the early Church dealt with heretics? Aren’t protestants heretics? How many great Saints and early Church Fathers can I quote that absolutely excoriated heretics in the most savage of terms, casting them literally and figuratively out of the Church and referring to them as children of satan – or even satans themselves. So un-ecumenical! But such was the faith that conquered an empire, and endured 2000+ years.
How did St. Paul react to the erroneous judaizers in Galatians and other letters? Did he tell them how awesome they were, but they just had one or two errors to tweak? NO! He completely obliterated them, knowing that one error mixed in with thousands of truths leads to the corruption of all. He even “withstood Peter to his face,” showing that the pope can, indeed, be wrong, even on matters of doctrine.
But my biggest problem with Francis’ comments is that they just obliterate Catholic efforts at evangelization. Now when Catholics try to convert protestants, what will they hear? ”Even your pope thinks we’re fine, leave me alone!” How much harder will it be to promote the Church’s already moribund efforts at evangelization? Just as it has become harder to defend the Church’s Doctrine on marriage and abortion, since Pope Francis’ previous unfortunate comments. There have been full-blown heretic demonstrations at nominally Catholic colleges and schools, with the students claiming Pope Francis doesn’t “judge,” so let that “married” sodomite teach theology, or let that woman have an abortion.
And so it goes.
The Nativity Story Movie Blasphemous and Sacrilegious February 21, 2014Posted by tantamergo in Basics, catachesis, Christendom, disaster, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Our Lady, priests, sadness, scandals, secularism, shocking, Society, the enemy.
We got that movie The Nativity Story some years back, when it came out on DVD. We watched it once, then trashed it. It was a very protestant-oriented movie. That, and it had no plot to speak of. It just ended abruptly with the flight into Egypt.
But the biggest problem, as the priest notes below, was the depiction of Our Blessed Mother as being afflicted with the pangs of labor. This is heresy. Labor pains were inflicted on women due to the stain of Original Sin caused by our first mother. But Our Lady was preserved from Original Sin. She, thus, had no labor pains. This may seem like a small thing, but that just shows how inured to blasphemy and sacrilege we’ve become. That’s why I say the movie is pretty protestant oriented, they treat Our Lady as just a lucky woman what happened to done birth her a Messiah.
Yes, that’s how protestants talk, I know, I used to be one.
Watch this, and see what you think. Please say 3 Ave’s for the priest:
You can hear all his sermons at www.romans10seventeen.org.
Lead a rally group in defense of marriage March 22? February 11, 2014Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, Christendom, Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, Ecumenism, family, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, Spiritual Warfare.
TFP and other groups are planning on turning March 22 into a nationwide day of protest in defense of marriage. They are looking for people to be willing to gather a few or many friends and family, and then stand on a streetcorner for an hour and give witness to the sanctity of marriage. They would do this by hoisting some banners encouraging people to accept and adhere to the traditional definition of marriage for one hour on Saturday, March 22.
They claim if you sign up – free of charge – you will be sent a 10 foot banner that says “God’s Marriage = 1 Man and 1 Woman.” I suspect it will also feature some verbiage for Tradition, Family, and Propert and/or America Needs Fatima. I really like the idea. I really think public witness, visibly challenging this culture’s self-destructive assumptions, is something we need to do more and more of. Whether that is done with a TFP banner, or just getting some folks together on your own on that Saturday, is probably immaterial. It would be quite a sight to see a group standing on the corner of, say Cedar Springs and Oak Lawn (Dallasites will know what I mean), advocating for marriage (although, I hear the homosexuals are departing that neighborhood as it now has too many regular folks for their taste – apparently, “phobias” run both ways).
So here’s my proposal. I am sure I can drag my wife and kids out for this. However, it would be awesome to have some additional folks go. I was teasing about doing this in Oak Lawn – I don’t want to start a fight – but I would be good with someplace in Dallas or Irving. They also recommend making signs such as “honk for traditional marriage,” etc.
Anybody up for this? I think to be effective we’d need at least about 20 people or so. It’s Saturday, March 22. If you are local, either let me know in the comments, e-mail me if you have my super-secret batcave e-mail address, or talk to me in person.
If we do this, I don’t want to do it in a really “safe” location. I want to go where there will be lots of people including a fair assortment unlikely to be supportive of our views. If we are going to evangelize, that is the type we need to reach. So, maybe do this at Mockingbird and Inwood? Or somewhere like that?
If I get a positive response, I start to set up some details.
The great Gueranger on the concern we should have for souls February 11, 2014Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, Bible, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, manhood, martyrdom, reading, religious, Saints, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
When I posted yesterday about some blogs going missing, one I had foremost in mind was Ars Orandi. I have asked David Werling on Facebook what happened, but got no response. It just disappeared, taking years of great content with it.
Most of what Ars Orandi posted was excerpts from Dom Prosper Gueranger’s seminal The Liturgical Year. For each day of the year, be it a day dedicated to a particular Saint, a Feria, or some great feast, you could drop by and get extensive excerpts from Gueranger’s coverage of that same Saint or Feast in The Liturgical Year.
I thought that was one of the best content formats for a blog I had yet seen. In the spirit of keeping that alive, here is an excerpt from The Liturgical Year on the recently passed Feast of St. John Matha, one of the founders of the Trinitarian order dedicated to freeing captive Christians from Mohammaden hands. Given the way the world is going with increasingly violent persecution of Christians, we have need for such dedicated souls again!
Towards the end of the writings on St. John Matha, Gueranger discusses the enormous charity that is required to correct souls in danger of error, or entirely lost in error (from The Liturgical Year, Vol. 4 Septuagesima, p. 260):
St. John Matha………..teach us the secret of ardent charity. Is it possible that we can see a soul in danger of being lost and remain indifferent? have we forgotten the divine promise, told us by the apostle: “He that causeth a sinner to be converted form the error of his way, shall save his soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of his own sins?” (Jm V:20). Obtain for us, also, a tender compassion for such as are in bodily suffering and poverty, that so we may be generous in comforting them under these trials, which are but too often an occasion of their blaspheming Providence. Dear friend and liberator of slaves! pray, during this holy season, for those who groan under the captivity of sin and Satan; for those, especially, who, taken with the frenzy of earthly pleasures, feel not the weight of their chains, but sleep on peacefully through their slavery. Ransom them by thy prayers, convert them to the Lord their God, lead them back to the land of freedom. Pray for France which was they country, and save her from infidelity. [I wonder how broken-hearted Dom Prosper Gueranger would be to know the state of the Church in France today. Poor country, Catholics there were some of the most consistently opposed to Church Doctrine in recent worldwide poll] Protect the venerable remnants of they Order, that so it may labour for the present wants of the Christian world……
”He that causeth a sinner to be converted form the error of his way, shall save his soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of his own sins.” That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?
Sadly, that kind of charity and zeal for souls is immensely lacking in our Church today. That diabolically pernicious error, “universal salvation,” has convinced millions that not only can they do as they please, they needn’t have the slightest care over their own sins or those of their brothers. We’re all saved anyways, right? So who cares if one is a fornicator, one a drunkard, another an adulterer, another a blasphemer, and yet another hasn’t assisted at Mass in years. It’s all good, because God is only a God of Love and He checked His Justice at the doorway to the 20th century.
Or perhaps, as St. John Matha and St. James both knew, universal salvation is a massive error driven, one fears, by rife indifference? Does it not matter that a great early Father, Origen, went from being one of the leading theologians of the 4th century to a condemned heretic over this matter? Does it also not matter that almost all justifications for universal salvation are hung solely on Origen’s error, and radical misquotes (if they are not made up out of whole cloth, as Dr. Ralph Martin shows) of other Fathers, who never said anything that could be construed as endorsing universal salvation?
Fortunately, I think this error is rapidly being exposed for what it is. But it is so widespread, we have a very long way to go. So do ask St. John Matha to pray that all Catholics will have true faith, zeal for souls, and courage!
One last note: how about St. John Matha as the model for the Church’s ecumenical efforts?
Loreto House in Denton needs your help February 10, 2014Posted by tantamergo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, Dallas Diocese, Ecumenism, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, Virtue.
One of the greatest blessings of our recent move is that my family has been able to get much more active in the pro-life movement. My wife and kids, at least, are outside abortion mills at least once a week. This past week they were outside Robinson’s again. There was a mobile sonogram machine there, funded and staffed with evangelical-type protestants. We Catholics do not have such a resource at present. We badly need one, because the protestants use their sonogram van not only to stop abortion (for which all committed to life are, I’m certain, quite appreciative), but also to make converts. Catholic hispanics considering abortion are some of their favorite “targets.”
Some readers may recall that Loreto House, a crisis pregnancy center in Denton, has been trying for over a year to get together funding to finish their own, Catholic, mobile sonogram machine. I did a post to that effect over a year ago. My wife spoke with a local pro-life coordinator and Loreto House apparently still needs more funds to get their sonogram unit operational.
My wife and I have seen how showing a woman pictures of her child in the womb has an extremely powerful effect in their thinking about whether to abort, or not. Most women who view a sonogram of their child will choose not to abort. To me, it’s a shame that Catholics, who make up the lifeblood of the pro-life movement, don’t at present have this kind of resource.
What Loreto House needs more than anything at present to complete the mobile sonogram unit is money. They have a van and they have the sonogram machine, but there is a lot of other equipment and integration that is needed to make it all operational. Would you consider, in your charity, making a donation to Loreto House? I know there are so many worthy causes out there, but I really consider this to be one of the most pressing needs to support a corporal and spiritual work of mercy out there right now. In addition to the obviously critical role this mobile sonogram unit, stationed outside area abortion mills, can play in saving the lives of others, having one staffed by Catholics would be an enormous benefit and could prevent some souls from falling away from the Faith.
It’s wonderful there is a mobile sonogram unit available at all, but it would be much better from the Catholic perspective if Loreto House could get theirs in service immediately. Please pray and see if you can help Loreto House in meeting this pressing need.
Interesting video on one of the few desert anchorites remaining February 10, 2014Posted by tantamergo in Basics, Christendom, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Glory, Interior Life, manhood, martyrdom, religious, sanctity.
1800 years ago, the deserts of Upper Egypt, then known as the Upper Thebaid, began to fill with hundreds of solitary and semi-solitary monks living in caves and hollows. They sought escape from the world, its enticements and errors, and the practice of true sanctification and wholehearted devotion. Among the most famous of these is St. Anthony of the Desert. Out of these solitary monks grew the first monasteries, when groups of novice monks would attach themselves to some wise old desert father. This trend towards religious life was transplanted to the West by the great St. Benedict, and the monastic life that would sustain and preserve western civilization after the collapse of the Roman Empire was born.
There are still numerous Eastern Orthodox and Coptic monasteries scattered around the deserts that line the eastern Levant. But solitary practice of religious life has greatly diminished. There are only a few – it is thought – monks living alone in caves or old mud huts in the desert. But a documentary film crew found one of these, a Father Lazarus El Anthony, who was once an atheist and university professor who explicitly rejected religious belief (especially Christianity). However, he was later to have a conversion experience and take up his solitary existence.
Below are two videos – totaling nearly 3 hours – on his life and the wisdom he has gained from decades of prayer and meditation. Unfortunately, Fr. Lazarus is a Copt, and thus most likely accepts the Monophysite heresy that Christ has only a divine nature, and not the correct understanding that Christ was both fully human and fully divine. I have not watched all the videos, and I tend to doubt this subtle theological point gets discussed, but since I can’t assure you he doesn’t go into that territory I thought I’d forewarn you. Having said that, there is much to be gained here, and much to reflect on, in a life of such total commitment as to abandon the world and live a most rustic life full of hardship.
Is that a Rosary around the statue of Our Lady that is adjacent to Father while being interviewed?
If you wonder why Fr. Lazarus speaks good English, he is originally from Tasmania in Australia.
One note, Father Lazarus speaks of how the British persecuted hindu religious practices in India. He can only be referring to Thugee (a demonic cult) and Sati, the practice of forcibly murdering the widows of those who had died by throwing them upon their husband’s funeral pyres. I have no problem with that brand of “cultural imperialism,” for as General Sir Charles Napier said “Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property.”
I would also say that the Eastern Orthodox have probably rightly “persecuted” the Copts for holding heretical ideas, ideas which undermined Christianity in its most ancient home (Egypt), and paved the way for the successful muslim invasion.
So maybe this guy holds some kooky ideas. I’m still putting it up because it is at least a fascinating window onto a historically important Christian practice.
Reader TB who kindly sent me the videos above, also had a number of quotes from early desert fathers. I almost bought a book containing such quotes a couple of weeks ago but the book was very short and very expensive, so I skipped it. But you can find compilations of such quotes online. Nevertheless, TB sent some pretty good ones:
‘When self-will and ease become habitual, they overthrow a man.’ [And thus the collapse of faith in modern times, when we are so very, very comfortable. That is why self-imposed penance is crucial, and also why the destruction of the ancient practice of Friday fast/abstinence instituted by Paul VI in the 60s was so devastating. Nothing has taken its place.]
Abba Poimen said: “When David wrestled with the lion, he grabbed it by the throat and immediately slew it. If we, then, grab our throats and our stomachs — that is, if we flee from hedonism and gluttony — then we will overcome the invisible lion, with God’s help.”
Abba Ammonas said: “Without great vigilance, man does not advance in even a single virtue.”
Abba John the Short said: “If a king wants to capture an enemy city, first of all he deprives it of water and food (by laying siege to it), and in this way his enemies, perishing from hunger, are subjugated to him. So it is with the carnal passions: if a man spends his life in fasting and virtual starvation, the passions and the demons flee, enfeebled, from his soul.”
‘The desire for possessions is dangerous and terrible, knowing no satiety; it drives the soul which it controls to the heights of evil. Therefore let us drive it away vigorously from the beginning. For once it has become master it cannot be overcome.’
An Elder said: When you sit down to eat, vanquish the demon of gluttony by delaying; restrain him and tell him “Just hold on, you will starve.” Eat with decorum, and the more the demon of gluttony urges you on, be certain to eat all the more calmly. For, this is how he puts force on a man and goads him on, by making him eat everything at once. [Try to delay your meals a little every day. If you want a snack, put it off for half an hour. Little mortifications can over time become big ones]
[This one is great.....] From Gregory the Dialogist: A nun from the convent of which Equitius the Great was Abbot went to the garden, and seeing a head of lettuce, desired it. And without even making the sign of the Cross, she voraciously ate it. Immediately an unclean spirit entered into her and cast her to the ground. Those who were thereabouts, on seeing this occurrence, quickly called for Father Equitius to come to the aid of the endangered nun. Now the Father having come immediately to the garden, the devil that was thrashing the nun began to cry out and say in his defense, “What did I do? I was just sitting on top of the lettuce when she came and bit into me.” [So these desert monks are not humorless rigorists! They have a sense of humor!]
Hence the soul, deprived of suitable spiritual ideas, loses the strength to struggle against thoughts and babbles with anyone it encounters. Since in this way (through loquacity) the soul drives out the Holy Spirit, it cannot keep the intellect free from harmful fantasies; for the Good Spirit always flees from loquacity, which is the cause of every upset and fantasy. Timely silence is good, since it is nothing other than the mother of the wisest thoughts.
From Antiochos: Poverty indicates that the monk who applies it in his life is sincere. The monk who has no possessions resembles an eagle, who flies high above the earth. The monk who has not a single possession shows himself to be only temporarily on earth. Since he has acquired none of the temporary goods of this world, by this indifference to them it is obvious that he desires things eternal.
“We and our brother are two images; when a man is watchful about himself, and has to reproach himself, in his heart he thinks his brother better than he; but when he appears to himself to be good, then he thinks his brother evil compared to himself.”
“When your brother attacks you, whatever the insults are, if you get angry at him, you are getting angry without cause. Even if he were to pull out your right eye, and to cut off your right hand, if you get angry at him, you are getting angry without cause. Yet if he were to try to take you away from God, then be angry.”
Abba Isidore of Pelusia said, ‘To live without speaking is better than to speak without living. For the former who lives rightly does good even by his silence but the latter does no good even when he speaks. When words and life correspond to one another they are together the whole of philosophy.’
Pope Francis is on another magazine cover February 4, 2014Posted by tantamergo in disconcerting, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, General Catholic, horror, Papa, pr stunts, sadness, secularism, self-serving, Society, the return.
I have a tiny bit of Jewish blood in me, it is thought, from some distant forebear on my mom’s side, so I can say to this, Oy Vey!
That is no joke. Check it out here. Radical Italian masons (very different from what we typically see in the US, where 99% of masons hold no animus towards the Catholic Church, even if their organization does spread disastrous indifferentism) are hoping Pope Francis will mean an end to any lingering animus between the Church and the lodge. To which I say, what animus? Good grief, the architect of the new Mass was a mason, and Brazilian bishops make an annual habit of processing with lodge members in ecu-maniacal events.
It’s not like Pope Francis volunteered for the cover photo. But still…….it seems like every pandering agitprop radical wannabe or otherwise organization out there is trying to glom onto him to advance their agenda.
A note to the masons, also courtesy the same blog where I found the above: