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Another edifying interview by Cardinal Burke October 16, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, episcopate, General Catholic, scandals, secularism, Society, SOD, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Folks, I labored for an hour and a half on a really good post tying together quotes from Rorate, Fr. Ray Blake, “Boney,” Father Carota………and then WordPress ate it. Not just ate it, but sent it to another dimension where it will never be heard from again.  That stinks. And I am having another crisis day at work, so I have precious little time to post.  Nevertheless, Rorate kindly uploaded another interview Cardinal Burke gave on the Synod, and I thought I would add this. My previous post was based on Rorate’s reporting of scheming manipulation and threats being used to try to coax the more orthodox prelates into embracing the Kasperite – or is that Beroglian – gambit of radical destruction of the Moral Doctrine of the Faith.  It was pretty hot.  Maybe it’s better it was lost.

I will just say this, as a way of conveying aspects of that previous post: there is much sturm and drang about the midway “Relatio,” and whatever the final one – to be released on Saturday, apparently! – will be.  But it is obvious the midway “Relatio” was written in advance of this Synod of Darkness (the words of a local priest).  That “Relatio” had nothing to do with the actual interventions, it was basically another polemic for the radically heretical crowd. Given that the final “Relatio” is due out Saturday, I suspect it is also already written. It may have been written last summer.  In which case, this Synod has always been a sham, a farce, and simply an effort to give some official, “collegial” authority to something written by a small cabal of self-interested individuals.

Sorry for the light content, I do add a few brief comments, I think it important to not always look at merely the surface of Cardinal Burke’s comments, but also the deeper meanings, which are almost universally very strong denunciations of the novelties being foisted on the Church:

Q:  What do we see happening at the Synod on the other side of the “media curtain”?

A:  We see a worrisome skewing of the discussions, because there are some who support the possibility of adopting a practice that departs from the truth of the faith.  Even if it should be evident that one cannot go down that path, many still encourage, for example, a dangerous openness to change with respect to the question of giving Holy Communion to those divorced and remarried.  I do not see how it is possible to reconcile the irreformable understanding of the indissolubility of marriage with the possibility of admitting to Communion those who are living in an irregular situation. To do this is to act as if our Lord’s words were up for discussion when he taught that whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery. [Throughout all this discussion, wherein Cardinal Burke gives what I would call sterling witness to the Faith, I do wonder.....what will you do, Your Eminence, if the unthinkable does happen?  I just don't feel that can be ruled out anymore.  I also feel more and more strongly that Cardinal Burke is growing more and more in appreciation of Tradition and in his role as a remarkable shepherd of souls.  He may have failed in the past, he may have weaknesses now, but I'm hard pressed to identify any prelate giving such witness at the Vatican]

Q:  According to the “reformers” this teaching has become too harsh.

A:  They forget that the Lord assures us of the help of his grace to those who are called to live in marriage.  This does not mean that there will not be difficulties and suffering, but that there will always be divine assistance to face them and to be faithful to the end.

Q:  It seems that you represent a minority position.

A:  A few days ago I saw a statement broadcast in which Cardinal Kasper said that things were moving in the correct direction towards openings (to the change of practice).  In a few words, the 5,700,000 Italians who followed that broadcast statement were led to believe the idea that the whole Synod is marching on this path, that the Church is on the point of changing her doctrine on marriage.  But this is simply not possible.  Many bishops have said in their speeches that changes in the doctrine of marriage are not possible. [The modernists are trying to use the media to create an unstoppable force again, as they did in 1962.]

Q:  But what you say is not coming out of the daily briefing from the Vatican Press Office.  Cardinal Müller has also complained about this.

A:  I do not know how this “briefing” works, but it seems to me that something is not working well if the information is manipulated in a way so as to stress only one position instead of reporting faithfully the various positions that were expressed.  This worries me very much, because a consistent number of bishops do not accept the idea of a break with traditional Church teaching, but few know this.  They speak only of the necessity for the Church to open herself up to the clamorous urging of the world as Cardinal Kasper propounded in February.  In reality, his thesis on the theme of the family and on a new form of discipline with respect to the divorced and remarried is not new.  It was already discussed thirty years ago.  [In reality, it has been discussed for 2000 years.  It's always been one of those "hard" teachings, which means it must do great work in keeping souls from satan.  Thus, he hates it and attacks it] Then from this February on it took on a new life,  and it has been allowed to grow in a not innocent way.   But this must stop, because it is provoking the possibility of great damage to the faith.  Bishops and priests say to me that now that so many divorced and remarried men and women are asking to be admitted to Holy Communion because this is what Pope Francis wants.  In reality, I take note that, to the contrary, he has not expressed himself on this subject.

Q:  But it seems evident that Cardinal Kasper and those who speak in agreement with him claim that they have the support of the Pope.

A:  This is true.  The Pope named Cardinal Kasper to the Synod and has let the debate go along this track.  But, as another Cardinal has said, the Pope has not given his pronouncement on all of this as yet.  I am awaiting his pronouncement, which is able to be only in continuity with the teaching given by the Church through her whole history, a teaching that has never changed because it cannot change. [Interesting point.  Cardinal Burke seems to be saying: I don't care what this Synod says, I won't accept any change in this regard unless it comes from the mouth of the Pope. And he feels very strongly the Holy Ghost will somehow prevent that from happening.  I certainly pray he is right.]

Q:  Some prelates who support the traditional doctrine say that if the Pope should makes changes (in that doctrine) they would support those changes.  Is this not a contradiction?

A:  Yes, it is a contradiction, because the Pontiff is the Vicar of Christ on earth and therefore the chief servant of the truth of the faith.  Knowing the teaching of Christ, I do not see how it is possible to deviate from that teaching with a doctrinal declaration or with a pastoral practice that ignores truth. [Don't say "I don't see how," say "It ISN'T possible!"]

Q:  The emphasis placed by the Pope on mercy as the most important, if not the only, idea that should guide the Church: does this not contribute to sustaining the illusion that one can advocate pastoral practice that is set loose from doctrine?

A:  The idea is bandied about that there can be a Church which is merciful and that at the same time does not respect the truth.  But I am offended by the abysmal idea that, until today, bishops and priests could not have been merciful………. [Yes, that's not a very humble idea, is it?  In fact, it reeks of that same modernist pride which leads revolutionaries to conclude that it is only they and their ilk that have ever had true faith, true humility, true charity, etc.  What a crock.]

Q:  Don’t the reformers think about those Catholics who have held their families together even in very difficult situations, and in these situations who have refused to make a new life for themselves?

A:  So many people who have gone through this laborious life effort ask me now if they were totally wrong in their decision.  They ask if they have thrown their lives away in making sacrifices that in the end are of no use.  This is not acceptable. It is an act of betrayal. [Dang right. It is unconscionable.  And these a-hole modernists just don't care. They are basically saying "we prefer the sinner, the heretic to the faithful."  They are saying "we prefer the adulterer to the chaste."  Synod of death.]

Q:  Do you not think that the crisis in morals is deeply involved with the crisis in liturgy? [Great answer below]

A:  Certainly.  In the post-conciliar period a collapse of the life of faith and of ecclesiastical discipline has taken place, seen especially in the liturgical crisis.  The liturgy has become an anthropocentric activity. [Dang right.  Elsewhere in the interview, the secular interviewer himself notes that the Eucharist has become more a matter of "social acceptance by the community" than the reception of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.  That is to say, the Eucharist has been thoroughly protestantized in the minds of the vast majority of Catholics, even among our exalted eminences]  It has ended up by being a reflection of the idea of man instead of the right of God to be adored as He himself asks.  From here, in the moral sphere attention is focused almost exclusively on the needs and wants of men, instead of on what the Creator has written in the hearts of his creatures. [Dang right] The lex orandi is always bound to the lex credendi.  If someone does not pray well, then he does not believe well and therefore he does not behave well. [So how about a statement about the derangement in the NO in general?]  When I go to celebrate the Traditional Mass, for example, I see so many beautiful young families with so many children.  I do not believe that these families do not have problems, but it is evident that they have more strength to confront them. [Heck yes.]  This has to say something.  The liturgy is the most perfect and most complete expression of our life in Christ, and when all of this is lessened or is betrayed every aspect of the life of the faithful is harmed. [How about this for a response, Your Eminence- only ever again assist at or offer the TLM, publicly or privately.  I know you're already at the TLM at least a couple times a week, but how about always?]

Q:  What can a pastor say to a Catholic who feels bewildered by these winds of change?

A:  The faithful should take courage, because the Lord will never abandon his Church.  We should think about how the Lord calmed the sea in the storm and his words to his disciples:  “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” (Mt. 8:26).  If this time of confusion seems to put their faith at risk, they have to only work even harder to live a life that is truly Catholic.  But I am aware that to live in these times is a source of great suffering.

Q:  It is becoming difficult not to think of this as a time of chastisement.

A:  I think about this first of all concerning myself.  If I am suffering at this time because of the situation in the Church, I think that the Lord is telling me that I have need of purification.  And I also think that, if the suffering is so widespread, this means that the whole Church is in need of purification.  But this is not because of a God who is waiting only to punish us.  This is because of our own sins.  If in some way we have betrayed doctrine, moral teaching or the liturgy, it follows inevitably that we will undergo a suffering that purifies us to put us back again on the narrow way. [That is a most beautiful reflection]

————End Quote————

Long enough. God bless Cardinal Burke and his example in these times of suffering.

Who knows, what he is going through now could result in his being much more papabile in the future.

Pope Leo XIII speaks to the Synod and all of us October 15, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, manhood, Papa, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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In the 1860s, the same revolution which had overtaken France in the preceding century, bringing nothing but misery and destruction in its wake, was being unleashed upon Italy.  Having been subject to the feverish revolutionary sentiment of Napoleon’s conquering army for over a decade, many in Italy had embraced the worst aspects of left wing thought.  Secret masonic societies proliferated, all with the single-minded goal of uniting Italy, then a group of separate states, into one anti-Catholic republic that would crush the papacy and be done with the Church forever.  In 1860, the state of Piedmont, under the republican influence of the Comte di Cavour, invaded the Papal States, under the direct sovereignty of the Pope, conquering large swaths of territory and subjecting them to a radical republican government. As we have seen so often – such as Mexico, where masons were also instrumental in the continual revolutions against the Church – the revolutionaries even went so far as to tell the Church how many priests a certain region could have.  They said one priest could serve 20,000 souls!

In response to this and any other atrocities, the bishops of the former Papal States region of Umbria, led by the Cardinal Archbishop of Perugia, sent a letter to Blessed Pope Pius IX, cataloging many of the errors of the republicans and the struggle the Church was then facing.  I was struck by how much the language of these bishops was in complete contrast to that which emanated from the Second Vatican Council only a century later.  The two – faithful bishops of Umbria, and Vatican II fathers – had rather different things to say about certain topics such as “religious liberty.”  A few select quotes on the matter from this excellent biography of Pope Leo XIII, who, in my mind, surely must be a Saint:

They are offered [the peoples of the conquered regions of the Papal States] , as the basis of reconciliation, [with the revolutionary powers] to accept the condemned and fatal system of the separation of Church and state, which, being equivalent to divorcing the state from the Church, would force Catholic society to free itself from all religious influence…..

The tendency of this last intrigue is patent enough.  It is calculated that the clergy of Italy, violating their own duties, and separating themselves from their lawful pastors, and from you principally; Most Holy Father, who are their Supreme Chief and Ruler, should abase themselves to legitimize and sanction the acts accomplished by the revolution, and thereby become the advocate and accomplice of the total spoliation and destruction of the sacred sovereignty of the Church, which they are now planning so noisily…….

……..And when the overbearing might of the world, in order to supplant it, presumes to enter the sanctuary and to impose on men a fictitious and deceptive morality, it is time that it should hear us repeat: “We must obey God rather than men.” [to impose on men a fictitious and deceptive morality......."We must obey God rather than men".......are you listening, Synod?]

…….We therefore sovereignly deplore both the pretension of our modern politicians, who endeavor to subject to their bondage all ecclesiastical offices, and the blindness of those priests, [and bishops]  who, forgetful of their august calling, and dazzled by the false promises of the world, have strayed away from the sheepfold of Christ.

……It is a grievous error against Catholic Doctrine to pretend that the Church is subject of any earthly power and bound by the same economy and relations which regulate civil society.  The Church is not a human institution, nor is it a portion of the political edifice, although it is destined to promote the welfare of the men among whom it lives.  It affirms that from God come directly its own being, its constitution, and the necessary faculties for attaining its own sublime destiny, which is one different from that of the state and altogether of a supernatural order.  Divinely ordered, with a hierarchy of its own, it is by its nature independent of the state.

———–End Quote———-

Perhaps some key takeaways: the order of most liberal states is antithetical to that envisioned in Christendom throughout most of its history and highly disordered from the right morality.  In addition, We Must Obey God Rather Than Men, no matter how fallen people and the culture may become, nor how tempting it may be.  I am somewhat heartened to see that it appears there are still many leaders in the Church who recognize this, even if their understanding of that obedience may be less than ideal at times.  They still seem to get the basic concept, which is a far cry from Kasper and his ilk, who make no pretense that they are undermining and attacking the directly conveyed Law of God.

Great sermon for you October 10, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, priests, sanctity, scandals, secularism, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I heard this sermon last Sunday and was quite impressed.  I really enjoyed it and got a great deal out of it.  There is an awesome joke at ~10:15 you cannot miss. It’s not a silly, jokey sermon, but this little one liner makes a great point.

The sermon is on the Sacrament of Extreme Unction and the vital role it can play in aiding our final hours or days in this life, or anytime serious illness threatens.  Extreme Unction can certainly be the difference between eternal life, and eternal death.  It is a Sacrament that has, like the others, been very much abused and mistreated in the past 50+ years.  This sermon goes a long way to correcting misunderstandings and abuses:

Another video, an appeal to aid the FSSP’s mission in Columbia.  The TLM is not widely available in huge swaths of Latin America, and encounters a great deal of episcopal opposition.  But wherever it appears it tends to be well received.  Please consider supporting this mission, you will see how to in the video:

More info here.

Saint Peter Julian Eymard on charity October 10, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Basics, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I don’t know about y0u, but I need all the reminders, explanations, and exhortations regarding charity that I can get!  I’m always appreciative to read such writings by Saints, and then I look at myself and say: “You stink at this!”

From Vol. 5 of the Eymard Library, The Eucharist and Christian Perfection II:

You must, therefore, practice charity always and in everything.  The opportunities are numberless.  If they do not present themselves, look for them.  When you are free to choose between two good works, the one personal, the other charitable, choose the latter, it has double merit.  But above all, I repeat it, let your charity be humble.  Proud charity is egoism or forced benevolence. [Most interesting point.  And false humility is a most dangerous thing, as well.]

Examine yourselves on these points: Are you charitable supernaturally?  Do you honor brothers by our charity?  Are you devoted to them, or your family?

How many sins we commit against charity!  In thoughts, for instance, by rash judgments.  Remember that what will harass us the most on our death bed – after sins of impurity – will be the memory of our sins against charity.  Who called you to be the judge of your brothers?  That anxiety at our death – according to Saint Vincent Ferrer – is the punishment of such sins which is meted out even in this world.  The first impulses of rash judgments are nothing; but to remain with them, to acquiesce in them, this is to murder our brother in our heart.

And then in words.  How many faults pious souls and religious have to reproach themselves with on this point!  

There are also the sins against charity in action or by omission.  Let us examine ourselves carefully on this point and let us take the means of correcting ourselves.

He who does not sin against his neighbor almost never sins against God either, because love is single, even if it has a twofold object and, as it were, a double channel.

———-End Quote———-

As a controversialist type blogger, much of the above concerns me quite a bit.  There is a fine line between correcting errors abroad for the sake of others, for confirming others in their faith through salutary example of things to avoid, or decrying ongoing scandals in our midst, and lapsing into uncharitable judgment in excoriating others.  This is something I always try to keep in mind, but I know that I fail at times when pushed to the limits of exasperation.

This is something I think most faithful/traditional bloggers, writers, and commentators struggle with.  Some obviously more than others.  I do try to be circumspect and balanced at all times, but I will be honest in admitting that balancing the practice of charity with this blogging habit is not always easy.  I know some priests who would say just stop, don’t mess with it, it’s not worth it, but I know others who feel there is great benefit in efforts like mine and simply counsel prudence in all things.  I have always tended to hear the latter better than the former – our wills are powerful things!

At any rate, I pray you find the above useful and edifying.  I, for one, very much appreciate these calls to examination of conscience I read periodically in the Saints – I just wish and pray I remembered these counsels always, especially when my hot tempered blood is up!

My paternal grandmother, God rest her soul, said her father in law, my great grandfather, was the meanest man she ever knew.  My grandfather was a hot tempered man. It runs in families, I tell you.  So, in our modern parlance, I’m absolutely blameless, right?  Heh.

But those mean men turned 400 acres of Kansas grasslands into a very profitable farming enterprise, well before there was much of any mechanization.  I have a photo of my great-grandfather driving a team of 21 horses to pull what passed for a combine in those days.

That same grandmother said Heaven is an 8×10 room, and it’s not crowded.  And yet somehow we all envision ourselves being there, don’t we?

Lord, have mercy on this sinner.  That is all I can say.

Family Fun that build the Faith – traditional Catholic trivia game October 9, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Tradition.
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I have not gotten this set, yet, but I know some who have and they think it’s quite a bit of fun.  It’s a Catholic trivia set/game from Angelus Press.

Catholic Trivia Traditional Version-340x340

 

I thought some readers might have some interest in getting one of these.  Might make a nice gift for older children.

Some details:

We hope every Catholic family will purchase and spend quality time playing this game together. It makes catechism lessons, lives of the saints, and Church history fun! Educational and entertaining for the whole family. Contains two decks each containing 250 cards; 1,500 questions in total. Six categories: the Baltimore Catechism (C), the Latin Mass (M), and History and the Liturgical Calendar (H). The other contains Popes, Patron Saints and Other Pious People (P); Ritual, Symbol, and Doctrine (R); and Et Cetera (E)

Anybody have one and care to leave a review, please do so.

Saint Dionysius and companions, martyrs October 9, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Christendom, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, manhood, martyrdom, persecution, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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After the lamented passing of the very good Ars Orandi blog, I hoped to start to take up some of the slack left by that blog’s demise by posting material from Dom Prosper Gueranger’s The Liturgical Year on the lives of the Saints.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to emulate Ars Orandi’s everyday postings on this subject, but I hoped I would do at least some regular ones of my own.  I have not succeeded very well so far.  I did some occasionally but have basically forgotten to do so over the long summer, still ongoing here in Texas.

So, without further ado, Gueranger’s excerpt from the Roman Martyrology for Saints Dionysius, baptized by Saint Paul the Apostle and martyred like so many in the first century AD:dionysios icon

 Dionysius, an Athenian, was one of the judges of the Areopagagus, and a man learned in every science.  It is related of him that, on the day Christ our Lord was crucified, he, though still a pagan, on perceiving the unnatural eclipse of the sun, cried out: “Either the God of nature is suffering, or the world is coming to an end!”  Paul the Apostle, coming to Athens, was brought before the Areopagaus, to give an account of the doctrine he preached.  He there proclaimed that Christ Our Lord had risen from the tomb, and that the dead would all live again. Many thereupon believed in Christ, and among them Dionysius.

He was baptized by St. Paul, and appointed to govern the Church of Athens.  Later on he came to Rome; whence Pope Saint Clement I sent him to preach the Gospel in Gaul; Rusticus a priest, and Eleutherius a deacon, accompanying him as far as Paris.  As he converted many in that town to Christianity, Fescennius the prefect commanded him and his companions to be beaten with rods; but continuing to rpeach the faith as zealously as before, they were placed on hot gridirons, and suffered several other tortures.

They all endured the torments bravely and joyfully.  Finally, Dionysius, who was a hundred and one years old, was beheaded with his companions, on the seventh of the Ides of October.  It is related of Dionysius, that after his decapitation, he took up his head and carried it in his hands for two miles.  He wrote some wonderful and truly heavenly books on the divine names, on the celestial and the 300px-Menologion_of_Basil_025ecclesiastical hierarchy, on mystical theology, and several others.

And now a prayer composed by Dom Gueranger to the Saint, which I modify slightly for our times:

O Dionysius, quicken again the divine seed thou didst sow.  Restore to the whole Church, but especially that of Germany, those traditions now forgotten in the fever of gain and pleasure.  Bring back Athens to the communion of Christ’s vicar, the indispensable condition of union with our Lord.  For every church under Heaven obtain such pastors as thou didst describe in the following lines which reveal thyself: ‘By the holy love which draws us to Him, Jesus calms the tempest of distracting cares; and recalling our souls to the unity of the divine life, He confirms us in the permanent fruitfulness of this noble ministry.  Soon, by the exercise of the sacred functions, we draw night to the angels, striving to set ourselves, like them, in the fixed state of unchangeable holiness.  Thence, Jesus, and enriched with the profound knowledge of selves consecrated in order that we may consecrate, to receive light in order to communicate it, to become perfect in order to lead others to perfection! ‘ (Saint Dionysius, On the Church Hierarchy, i).

————–End Quote————

Oh Saint Dionysius, pray most fervently that our shepherds may understand deep in their hearts, and in all their actions, that they, too, must strive for perfection in order to lead others to perfection.  Please pray for the conversion of those lost in error and sin, even though given the sacred trust of serving as shepherds of precious souls.   Please pray that we may all have thy strength of faith in these most trying times.  And please pray that the Church may again understand that it is not by making friends with the world and its sins and errors that the Church succeeds in Her God-given duty, but by shining the holy light of Truth on a dark world dominated by its prince.

Saint Dionysius, pray for the ongoing Synod!   Pray that our shepherds may have your zeal, a zeal that led you to die for our glorious Faith rather than seek the wide, easy path of wealth and destruction.

St-Dionysius-the-Areopagite-3

How about some good news? October 8, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, episcopate, family, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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My South Texas correspondent “the hen,” heh, sent me some good news. How about the first TLM in the newly remodeled Brownsville Cathedral since 1964.  She thought the date might be wrong, but given the changes made in the semi-vernacular ’65 Missal (started Advent ’64), 1964 could well have been the last time a 1962 Missal TLM was offered:

BROWNSVILLE

This TLM took place on the Feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary last night, Oct. 7, 2014, in Brownsville.  This is not a bad cathedral remodel, although am I missing the altar rail?

Thank you Bishop Daniel Flores.  A good local priest who has been sorely tried for years had strong praise for Flores.  God bless him and all those who have prayed and sacrificed to bring the TLM back to Brownsville and the Rio Grande Valley.

I also felt the need for a little humor. Reader D sent this in:

finally

I think it should be the other way – died from sending on those darned spam e-mails.

A pic of my chicks and one mess of a boy:

20140823_162213

I took that right before I got sick.

 

Saint Alphonsus Liguori speaks to the Synod October 8, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Christendom, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, manhood, priests, religious, sanctity, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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The below comes from Volume III of the great Moral Doctor’s Ascetical Works, The Great Means of Salvation and Perfection.  The comments below are directed at priests without valid vocations (that is, they became priests with no real call from God, and/or from improper motives), but of course apply to those careerists, as our Pope likes to say, who have climbed into the episcopate.  Saint Alphonsus closes by noting that it is very, very much better to have a very few fully orthodox priests with valid vocations than large numbers of unfaithful priests.  I think the history of the Church more than adequately bears that dictum out.

Saint Alphonsus:

[P]riests whom God has not sent to work in His Church He shall abandon to eternal ignominy and destruction………

In order to be raised to the sublimity of the priesthood, it is necessary, says Saint Thomas, for a man “to be exalted and elevated by divine power above the natural order of things,” because he is appointed the sanctifier of the people, and the vicar of Jesus Christ.   But in him who raises himself to so great a dignity [of the priesthood, without a calling from God] shall be verified the words of the Wise Man: “There is that hath appeared a fool after he was lifted up on high” (Prov XXX:32).  Had he remained in the world, he should perhaps have been a virtuous layman; but having become a priest without a vocation, he will be a bad priest, and instead of promoting the interest of religion, he will do great injury to the Church.  Of such priests the Roman Catechism [Catechism of the Council of Trent] says “Such ministers are for the Church of God the gravest embarrassment and the most terrible scourge.”  And what good can be expected from the priest who has entered the sanctuary without vocation?  “It is impossible,” says Saint Leo, “that a work so badly begun should finish well.”  Saint Laurence Justinian has written: “What fruit, I ask, can come from a corrupted root?”  Our Savior has said, “Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Matt XV:13).  Hence Peter de Blois writes that when God permits a person to be ordained without a vocation, the permission is not a grace but a chastisement.  For a tree which has not taken deep root, when exposed to the tempest, shall soon fall and be cast into the fire.  And St. Bernard says that he who has not lawfully entered the sanctuary shall continue to be unfaithful; and instead of procuring salvation of souls, he shall be the cause of their death and perdition.  This is conformable to the doctrine of Jesus Christ: “He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold…..the same is a thief and a robber” (Jn X:10).

Some may say, if they only were admitted to orders who have the marks of vocation which have been laid down as indispensable, there should be but few priests in the Church, and the people should be left without the necessary helps.  But to this the Fourth Lateran Council has answered: “It is much better to confer the priesthood on a small number of virtuous clerics, than to have a large number of bad priests.”  And Saint Thomas says that God never abandons his Church so as to leave Her in want of fit ministers to provide for the necessity of the people.  St. Leo says that to provide for the wants of the people by bad priests would be not to save but to destroy them.

So what are some of the most fundamental marks of a true vocation?  St. Alphonsus answers:

1. A good intention: that is, the intention to embrace such a state only to please God, and to arrive more surely at the haven of salvation.

2. The inclination and the aptitude to exercise the duties proper to this state.  

3. The knowledge of the duties that this state imposes, and the firm will to fulfill them till the end.

4. That there is no grave impediment, such as the great poverty in which one might leave one’s parents [or a tendency towards incontinence and/or profound perversion]

5. The favorable advice of a wise director.

—————End Quote————–

The Church has always been afflicted with bad, unworthy priests and prelates.  Such is the nature of fallen man.  But rare has been the time where there have been deliberate, coordinated efforts not just to permit unworthy men to the priesthood, but to deliberately frustrate the true callings of many good and faithful men and to prefer the fallen, the heretical, and the perverse to them.

There is no surer means to undermine the Faith and cause souls to fall away than to admit men without true vocations to the priesthood, and to simultaneous block those who do have valid calls.  The effort to distort and ultimately, in some hearts, to destroy the priesthood has been around for at least a century or more, but it exploded into full flower in the second half of the twentieth century.  Whether this was due to communist conspiracy a la AA-1025, the gradual emergence of modernists from the shadows of Pope Saint Pius X’s great efforts to suppress them, or some other factors does not, in the end, truly matter.  What matters is that the Church, as has been clearly shown in lawsuit after lawsuit, scandal after scandal, admitted huge numbers of utterly unworthy men to the priesthood, and probably continues to do so today (we pray, at least at a far, far lesser level than a few decades ago).

And, there is great evidence that sexular left-wing modernists in places of great influence in the Church have conducted this mass deformation and debilitation of the priesthood deliberately and systematically.  One only has to read books like Goodbye, Good Men to see ample evidence of this great plot against the Church.  The Arians and some other heretics have, of course, done the same, but I don’t know if it was at the same scale, or as devastatingly effective in the very low sorts who were brought into the priesthood.

How many millions of souls have fallen away due to scandals associated with the priesthood and episcopate?  How many more will do so?  The reality of the loss of so many souls already only adds still more emphasis to Saint Alphonsus’ words above.   “But woe to those who bring scandal, it would be better that a millstone should be hung around their neck and they should be cast into the sea, than that they should scandalize one of these little ones”  (Lk XVII:1-2).

That verse alone stands as an eternal rebuke to those who would scandalize souls through “pastoral” approaches of unprecedented novelty and disconnect from the eternal practice of the Faith.

 

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Victory and the Holy Rosary October 7, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Christendom, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Liturgical Year, Our Lady, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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We must never forget that in other dark times, when all appeared lost, when the fate of millions of souls hung in the balance, Our Lady has always been our Protectress, if we will only appeal to Her:

Battle_of_Lepanto_1595-1605_Andrea_VicentinoImage via Eponymous Flower.

Pray the Rosary daily and devoutly!  It is only by prayer that both we and the Church can be sustained in piety and virtue.

And beg Our Lady to intercede for the continued sanctity and integrity of our great Faith, the only means of salvation for all of us.

So based on so many of Our Lady’s apparitions and interventions, how can we assess Her approach to ecumenism/interreligious dialogue?  Ever read the biography or history of Saint Fernando III of Spain?  That noble Saint believed fervently that it was Our Lady who powered his unprecedented victories against the Mohammadans occupying Spain.  How should the faithful understand the ecumenism and endless dialogue of the past 50 years when it so appears to be acting in contradiction to what can certainly be seen as the plainly expressed will of the Blessed Mother?

Food for thought. By the way, Crusader Cat hasn’t made an appearance in a long time.  HE’S BACK!

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Make close friends with your guardian angel October 3, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Christendom, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Liturgy, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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Yesterday was the 3rd Class Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels.  While some might scoff, our guardian angels are great protectors and aids to us who can have an enormously beneficial influence on our natural and supernatural lives.  When I read the hymn below last night from Vespers, I thought it communicated some important concepts: the reality of constant spiritual warfare, our angel’s ability to move us towards virtue if we cooperate a little with the angel and Grace, protection from natural calamities of all kinds, a constant source of aid and companionship for us in this sometimes lonely travail.  Like Our Lady, our guardian angels are always there to be our advocate and helper.  So pray to your guardian angel frequently, and seek their aid.  They are there specifically to help you attain Heaven!  And they can do so much more besides.

The hymn sung in plain chant, translation from Baronius Press Latin/English Breviary below:

We sing of the Angels, guardians of men, that the heavenly Father has given as an additional help to our weak nature that it may not yield to enemies ever ready to attack.

For since the traitor Angel fell headlong to his destruction and was rightly deprived of the honors that once were his, he has been on fire with envy and endeavoring to hurl to their destruction those that God is inviting to Heaven.

Therefore fly to us here, ever-watchful guardian, and ward off from the land entrusted to your care all spiritual illness and everything that denies its people peace of soul.

Loving praise be forever given to the Holy Trinity, whose power rules the threefold fabric of the world and whose glory and kingdom lasts for all eternity.

Amen.

Guardian_Angel_1900

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