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I found this funny…… August 19, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in General Catholic, Society.
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….I posted yesterday that a Hindu was offended by the review of the new movie “Eat Pray Love” on the USCCB website.  Well, here’s another review, from Catholic commentator/screenwriter Barbara Nicolosi who also did not, uh, like the movie.  She viewed the book/movie more or less as I did, as just another self-affirming self-congratulatory tale of narcissism and the elevation of the self above all else:

At its core, Eat, Pray, Love relates the tedious pilgrimage of a selfish, immature narcissist (don’t think of that as a redundancy as much as an emphasis) who manages to evade true spirituality (in the sense of sacrifice and repentance) true connection with other persons (in the sense of sacrifice and repentance) and plot points (in the sense of sacrifice, and well, repentance…. Note to self: There’s a great new talk on the core of the successful transformational story arc there….).

Thoughts that ran through my head while viewing…. “Her poor husband!”……”We have seen this scene already. Three times.”…..”When people reject the good God, they always make themselves a bad one.”…..”I never thought of chanting loudly as a way of drowning out the voice of your conscience.”…. “She’s a succubus.”……”Did she just say that awful bad dialogue or was I dozing?”……”Need pasta.”…..”Something is wrong with a religion that leaves you toothless and unable to use a copy machine.”….”Getting your friends to write checks is not a selfless act.”…..”Her husband should be glad he is rid of her.”….

Should I talk about the false religion exemplified in the line from the film, “God is in me AS ME.” No, God is in you to draw you to Him. We are not the Godhead. We aren’t even headed for losing our identity in the Godhead because he loves us as individuals. When Oprah interviewed Julia for the movie she asked her, “So, what’s your favorite food? What’s your favorite pray?” as though every kind of prayer is fine as long as it makes you feel, what? Heard? Validated? Sated – the way the movie characters sate themselves with food and sex? My dark side had me imagining Julia answering, “Oh, well, I like to torture little animals while playing the soundtrack to Tommy.” And Oprah would surely have responded with her wide eyes, “And does that work for you?”

See, your “favorite pray” is not neutral. It is good if it leads you to lay down your life for your friends. It is bad if it leads you to “forgive yourself” for abandoning your son, or your husband, or if it leads you to justify fornicating with a virtual stranger, or into concluding that basically you can do whatever you need to do as long as it floats your boat. God, please tell me I will live to see this Boomer lie scorned in the popular culture!

That’s more or less the concluding part, you should read all of it – I found it pretty snarky/funny. 

Is the fact that any half-written pseudo-spiritual book endorsed by Oprah is an instant hit and beloved by millions (of women, usually) one of those sure signs of impending doom for our culture?  What on earth made anyone think that Oprah had any kind of insight into spirituality?  We have the Saints, but no one reads them – they’re utterly passe’, they surely don’t have anything relevant to say to us, right?  But because someone is rich and on TV, obviously, they must be brilliant in all aspects of the human experience, right?

One more snark – am I the only one who finds Julia Roberts not very attractive, or, at least, not nearly so attractive as so many think?  I feel the same way about Angelina Jolie and many other “stars.”

UPDATE:  Catholics are still routinely martyred in India.  Recently, numerous Catholics, including many nuns, were raped, beaten, burned alive, and killed in pogroms in India, by Hindus.  Perhaps my reminding this is being unpastoral, even unhelpful.  Shame on me.

New society for diocesan priests? August 19, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery.
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Via Fr. Z, a group of priests in the Archdiocese of Chicago have formed a society that seeks to promote and support the efforts of all diocesan priests and to increase their effectiveness in leading people to lives in Christ.  They are called the Apostles of Jesus Christ Priest and Victim and they have a blog and a website.   They are:

Diocesan priests coming together to become priests after Christ’s own Heart deepens the Church’s call to holiness in head and members.

The summary of their rule and common life includes the following:

The Apostles of Jesus Christ, Priest and Victim, is a new society of diocesan priests, founded in the Archdiocese of Chicago with the permission of Francis Cardinal George, whose charism is to sanctify its members through conformity to Christ crucified in a mission of shared charity.

Our fundamental mission is to save the greatest number of souls and to renew parish life according to the following specific means:

  1. Reverently offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in both the ordinary and extraordinary forms, thus communicating the beauty and nobility of the Sacred Liturgy.
  2. Zealously preaching and teaching in order to extend Christ’s universal Kingship.
  3. Fostering sanctification of the family through the sacramental life and consecration to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
  4. Forming men in their vocation to natural and spiritual fatherhood, including priestly vocations, through devotion to St. Joseph.

In our mission to save souls, which we carry out in communion with the Pope and the Bishops, we offer our lives and sufferings daily in union with Jesus, High Priest and Victim, in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and with Mary, our Mother in the Order of Grace.

We are located at St. John Vianney Church, 46 N. Wolf Rd., Northlake, IL 60164

Realizing that parish life for diocesan priests can become fragmented and isolated, we strive to live a common life in shared charity for the good of our priestly apostolate. Our common life, which allows flexibility to accommodate itself to the life of a parish priest, entails the following:

  1. Morning and Evening Prayer (Liturgy of the Hours) in common
  2. One-half hour morning and evening meditation in common
  3. At least one meal daily together
  4. A weekly morning of study in the areas of theology or philosophy, with a specific focus on papal teachings and St. Thomas Aquinas

I know some priests read this blog.  I don’t know if a society like this makes sense in their diocese, or here in the Dallas Diocese, but I have had some priest friends in certain parishes lament the lack of socialization that goes on with their brother priests.  And, I know there is a group of priests engaged in formation in the Dallas Diocese; perhaps this society would help regularize those types of activities and give them a more consistent direction.  Strictly for your consideration.

My favorite archbishop on EWTN last night August 19, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, General Catholic, Latin Mass.
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He was on EWTN Live with Fr. Mitch Pacwa.  Here it is in its entirety:

The more things change, the more they stay the same August 19, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic.
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From a letter of St. Peter Damian to a group of Cardinals, circa A.D. 1080:

In the ecclesiastical order, discipline is neglected almost everywhere; due reverence is not given to priests; canonical sanctions are trodden underfoot; and the work of God is done only for temporal gain.  Where are robberies lacking, where thefts, where false oaths, where sinful allurements?  Who fears sacrilege?  in fact, who has a horror of even the most atrocious crimes?

There were two most severe scandals at the time of St. Peter Damian, Doctor of the Church: one, the practice of simony, the buying and selling of Church offices, and clerical incontinence, or sex scandals.  While direct simony is extremely rare these days, simony of a form, a spiritual simony, a selling of the duties of offices for temporal gain, or even temporal peace, is distressingly common. 

One more quote:

It is absurd and disgraceful that we should show the same care and precision in human affairs that we devote to the things of God and of the Spirit.

In fact, we should care infinitely more for the latter, than for the former, if we were just.

The above quoted from The 33 Doctors of the Church by Fr. Christopher Rengers, OFM Cap.