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Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament January 4, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, General Catholic.
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I promised to give an update on our trip to the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama.   In a word, it was stupendous.  The Shrine itself, which many have seen on TV on EWTN, is very beautiful.  It marks a return to attractive, uplifting sacred art and architecture that are uplifting to mind and soul.  The physical surroundings of the 380 acres of the Shrine are also very, very pastoral, with hills and stands of pine trees and a river winding around most of the Shrine property.  It is truly a place to reflect on God’s majesty. 

The most impressive thing, however, was the people.  Everyone we met, from the brief moments of saying hello to the extern nuns of Our Lady of Angels monastery, to the priests from the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word celebrating Mass in a truly grace-filled, reverent style, to the young men of the Knights of the Holy Eucharist, was both amazingly dedicated to serving God through Christ’s Church and very friendly and radiantly filled with the Holy Spirit.  In addition, the laity attending Mass were also, without exception, some of the holiest lay men and women I have ever met.  Everyone there had a purpose, to give glory to God, to study his Word, to praise him in prayer and song, and to engage in fellowship with like minded people. 

Every day begins with the prayers of the Divine Office at 6 am, followed by Mass at 7.  It was a little early getting the kids out of bed for Mass at 7, but they liked it, especially the older girls.  There are also prayers at mid-day and in the late afternoon/evening.  The singing and praying by the nuns is very beautiful.  Their treatment of time-tested hymns and chanting of prayers is not only uplifting, but also serves as a reminder of how far short so many ‘modern’ hymns fall.

Another great thing is that there is a complete devotion to orthodox Catholic doctrine and practices.  One does not have to worry about centering prayers or enneagrams here. 

For lodging, there are a number of very nice ‘lodges’ just outside the entrance to the Monastery, not more than a 2-3 minute drive away.  They are not really lodges, but houses divided into 2 or 3 units.  Ours was very pleasant.  It had 3 bedrooms and a full kitchen, along with a large living area, and the price was quite reasonable. 

Many people have apparently moved to the Hanceville area to be near the Shrine.  I can see why.  I definitely want to return.  It was a truly wonderful retreat.  A far, far cry from certain, other ‘retreats’ I’ve been dealing with.

Changes January 4, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin.
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As you can tell, I’m changing the appearance of this blog.  I wanted to have something a little more organized in appearance, and a little less plain.  I will be trying to come up with a header image that is less non sequitir than the default starry sky.  I’m also trying to make the feedburner option more apparent. 

Let me know what you think.  If you say nothing, I’ll assume I’m doing my usual awesome job and everyone loooooves it.

What if we didn’t? January 4, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery.
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As I hope most or all of you know, there is a new English translation of the Mass headed our way.  This is a good thing, the original Latin-English translation done in the 1970s was performed in a hasty manner and contains a great number of inaccuracies, if not errors.  Many people, including myself, also feel that the language of the present translation tends towards the banal.  Fr. Cliff Smith at St. Mark has helped to form the new translation, and good for him. 

However, not everyone is happy with the new translation, of course.  You see, a new translation is more than just a few changed words.  A new translation means a new liturgy, which translates into a new, more refined, more orthodox practical doctrine for the Church.  Those who tend towards the hermeneutic of rupture don’t like anything that could make the Church more orthodox, so they are doing what they do best, which is to dissent.   At present, there is a petition that aims to try to slow the introduction of the new translation (which effort begain in 1987!!!!!), with an aim towards putting it off indefinitely, neither of which will happen.

A blogger-in-arms over at Ten Reasons has done something interesting.  He dug through the petition to find out who, in his diocese (Cincinatti), had signed.  He found some rather interesting names.   I thought I’d find whose names showed for the Dallas Diocese.  They include a handul of lay people, 2 lay ministers, an anomyous religious, and, lo and behold, a priest!  Yes, one R. James Balint, long time pastor of Prince of Peace, as well as his deacon and the deacon’s wife. 

These folks, who have frequently used some previously unheard of commitee report of the USCCB to ignore very plain requests, or even demands, from Rome, are now ignoring the USCCB because it suits them to do so.  The USCCB has finally united behind the new translation effort, but to those who oppose orthodoxy, there is no problem opposing the national conference in this case, since it suits their aims.

I should add that, whereas the new translation has been labored upon for over two decades, the original translation was prepared in 1/10th the time.  In addition, in the current situation, there has been much debate on the new translation, and the USCCB is going to some lengths to try to prepare people for the changes.  When the original English translation was unleashed in the 1970s, it was literally dumped on the US Church literally overnight, with essentially no preparation.  It is highly ironic that those opposed to the new translation have titled their petition, ‘What if we wait?’  They certainly had no interest in waiting when the current, deficient translation appeared almost four decades ago. 

See the current list below: