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On Leadership December 15, 2009

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery.
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My first exposure to blogs came years ago when I started reading milblogs (military blogs).  One of the things I’ve learned from those blogs, in addition to the war stories and stories on life in the service, is what a fleeting commodity leadership is.  How difficult it is to foster, how easy to lose.   The services go to great length to try to grow leaders, from service academies and ROTC to command and staff colleges to extensive training for NCOs.  Even with that huge effort, leadership in the military is very uneven; there are some truly outstanding leaders who are worth their weight in gold, and there are some in leadership positions that do little more than mark time.  Where leadership tends to be made most evident is, of course, on the battlefield.  It is there that the true leaders are separated from the pretenders, and the cost of weeding out the ineffectives is generally paid in blood.  At the same time, some of the most effective leaders are also lost when they are called to make the supreme sacrifice for their service to the Constitution, the nation, and their comrades.

Recent events have led me to contemplate the nature of leadership in the Church, and especially, in the Dallas Diocese.  I have found myself looking around, trying to identify the leaders in the Church who are out there, proclaiming the Truth no  matter who it offends, defending the Church, and who are generally fully engaged in the war for souls.  I think it makes sense that, in the Church, the leadership would come primarily from the ranks of priests, the religious, and the ordained officials at the diocese.   As I survey the landscape, I’m having a hard time identifying alot of clear leaders.  There are good priests to be sure, who work very hard.  I’m sure they feel that they are doing all they can do, but I’d have a hard time describing more than a handful of priests in this diocese as true leaders in the war for souls.  Unfortunately, with the myriad responsibilities that seem to have overcome parish priests in the last several decades, they just don’t seem to have the time to focus all, or even most, of their energies on the most key role for a priest, which IMO is to loudly and repeatedly proclaim the Truth of the Catholic Faith and the Moral teachings.  Some priests do a pretty good job on the faith part, but very few will address moral issues, save perhaps for an occasional sermon on abortion.   I cannot remember the last time I heard a priest in this diocese give a stirring sermon (not homily – a homily is a brief explanation of the readings) dealing with divorce, or contracaption, or pornography, or masturbation, or any number of moral teachings of the Church.  I know these issues are controversial, and could well bring down wrath upon the priest.   But they are nevertheless core moral teachings of the Church, and the laity cannot be expected to live their faith in communion with Church doctrine if they are not informed, regularly and repeatedly, what the doctrine is!

I do not know if any priests read this blog. But if any do, I would greatly appreciate their comments.  I know that priests are very busy, but, then again, so am I……try raising 6 kids, the oldest of which is 10, with a demanding job and all the other responsbilities of life.  And, yet, I have created this blog and done many other things to try to spread the doctrine of the Church to as many people as I can.  I also know that there are numerous pressures on priests NOT to give sermons on such controversial topics, and many of those pressures come from within the Church in the form of parish staff, lay people who want to live their lives in abeyance of Church doctrine, and even officials at the diocesan level who are concerned about rocking the boat or turning people away. 

All of the above arguments for not being more engaged in the war for souls may be true, but they are also utterly irrelevant.  St. John of the Cross was jailed, tortured, and ridiculed for his beliefs, for his effort to reform the Carmelite order.  He paid a very high price for his faith – he was ostracized by his peers, mocked, and told that he was an insane heretic.  Today, he is a Doctor of the Church, because he knew he was guided by the Holy Spirit, he spoke the truth with uncompromising clarity, and he remained true to pursuing God’s Will for him.   That is leadership.  Leadership is forgoing one’s personal desires and goals in order to serve the greater good.  Leadership is exposing oneself to all manner of attacks in order see that Truth is revealed.  There is a term for this kind of suffering leadership in the Church……..taking up your cross.   Or, like Father Corapi says, no pain, no gain, no cross, no crown, no guts, no glory.  A true leader may well be called to suffer for their efforts to do the Will of God.  They may be attacked from both within and without the Church.   They may even lose their career, and be shunted into some minimal role in the dicastery, not allowed to celebrate Mass publically any more (although, with the vocation crisis in this diocese, that’s probably not terribly likely).  And, yes, much like the inspiring Army Captain shot dead on the battlefield, that would be a huge loss to those the priest led – they would be denied the benefits of his leadership in the future.  But if that is God’s Will, then we must pray that It will be done.  We all must do that to which we feel the Holy Spirit is calling us, irrespective of the costs, real or imagined.  

I pray this little exhortation will not be received with anger.  I say all of the above in love, because I love the people of this diocese, and I want this diocese to be the most faithful, the most reverent, the most devout Catholic diocese it can be.  I know that the priests and religious in this diocese are very good people, or they would not be where they are today.  But sometimes, even very good people can become a little lax, they can get used to just going with the flow and trying not to make any waves.  I pray that if these words reach any ordained men in this diocese, they will receive them with charity and think on what I’ve said.  For we are all in a war for souls, and we are all called to help each other obtain eternal glory in Heaven to the best of our abilities.

I will continue to pray for all of you every day.

Dominus vobiscum,

New English Mass Translation December 15, 2009

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, General Catholic.
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I’m sure many are aware that there is a new English translation of the Mass coming, someday.  It’s been in development since 1983, or something like that.   You see, changes in the Church happen one way – changes of rupture, dissent, and heterodoxy must be implemented immediately and irrevocably, before a backlash can build against them.  Meanwhile, rolling back the changes must be endlessly discussed, and take dozens if not hundreds of years, lest the poor faithful be shocked into incontinence by the swiftness of the traditional onslaught. 

So, to stop the progress with the new translation, which will most likely go into effect for Advent 2 years from now, the usual cast of characters is hyperventilating and putting together a petition to try to further delay the implementation of the new translation (which has been under actual development for 10-11 years).  Acts of the Apostasy has more, and he’s funnier.

Patrick Madrid on New Age December 15, 2009

Posted by Tantumblogo in Uncategorized.
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You may think I’m nutty, but, perhaps you’ll listen to Patrick Madrid.  He’s on radio, TV, and everything!  Centering prayer is another New Age practice that has crept into Catholicism.  This is not a good thing.  Notice how calmly and rationally the caller responds to Patrick’s answer…….there’s a soul at rest. 

Alot of these New Age practices have crept out of eastern religions like Hinduism, Sufism, etc.  They pose a grave threat to one’s soul.

Sheesh December 15, 2009

Posted by Tantumblogo in Uncategorized.
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That’s all I’ll say.

The end of western civilization can’t be too far off….. December 15, 2009

Posted by Tantumblogo in Uncategorized.
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…..when 2nd graders get kicked out of school for this.

I don’t think this needs any additional commentary.