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Why do bad things happen to “good” people? October 12, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in General Catholic, Society.
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Alot of people try to refute the idea of God by asking why bad things happen to “good” people.  Who says you’re so good? 

And, is there supposed to be some sacrosanct rule that the “good” are above suffering?

Now that’s an altar! October 12, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, General Catholic.
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No, this is not from some European Cathedral built, like, I don’t know, way back in the 50s or something.  You  know, way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, and we humans were just little roden-……wait, I’m not sure that’s right, either.  Anyway, below is from just your average little parish in the giant metropolis of Sleepy Eye, Minnesota (pop: 3515).  You think those farmers and maybe factory workers commuting to Minneapolis had to scrimp a bit to put up an altar like that?   Surely, we’re far too modern and sophisticated to find anything so hackneyed and cliched as this to be acceptable in our very modernist Catholic churches. 

Would anyone be willing to dig perhaps a little deeper in order to help build something like that?  I would.  What a great patrimony to leave to succeeding generations.

More awesome events coming October 12, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery.
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In addition to the awesome Fr. Bill Casey coming to St. Anthony in Wylie October 24-28, we have two very well known and excellent Catholic authors/speakers coming to All Saints in November and December!   Fr. Mitch Pacwa will be celebrating the 5 pm Vigil Mass on Saturday, November 13, and Dr. Scott Hahn will be hosting a conference on Saturday, December 11, starting at some indeterminate time because the web site does not say!   I hope All Saints will tell us what time these things start, because the web site doesn’t say…..so, I guess, get there at midnite and camp out, just to be sure.

I am so going to see Fr. Casey, and I will try to catch Fr. Pacwa, as well.  I like Scott Hahn alot, and if you’ve never seen him before, or even if you have, go check him out, because he is a powerful speaker.  Each event costs $20, and comes with a box lunch.  

Click here to register online (and pay by credit card)

or

Contact Chris Vaughan to register (and pay by credit card, check or cash)
972-778-0326 or cvaughan@allsaintsdallas.org

Yeah, what he said October 12, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery.
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I love the Church.  I try to serve God through His Church to my utmost.  I make alot of mistakes.  I am very flawed.  But I love the Church. 

But the flawed human beings that make up the Church, especially those that seem to reject Church doctrine – they deserve comment, even occasionally rebuke.  The goal is to aid both the Church, the great Bride of Christ, and everyone in it.

Why most Catholics reject Church doctrine on gay marriage October 12, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, Society.
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Catholic Key offers the comments of Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento in response to recent polls indicating that some 75% of Catholics reject Church doctrine on homosexuality, and it may cut many to the quick.  Bishop Soto feels it is easy to recognize someone else’s sterile “marriage,” when your own marriage is voluntarily sterile:

Polls conducted between July 21 and Sept. 6 found that a plurality of Catholics — 46 percent to 42 percent — approved of allowing gays and lesbians to marry,” reports Catholic News Service. Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto provided a clue as to why so many Catholics aren’t opposed to same sex marriage in a column earlier this month. Excerpt (emphases mine):

Another area where Catholics should do more reflection and cultivate new habits is in the sexual practice of marriage. One habit that has taken hold of many marriages is the use of artificial means of contraception. The prevalence of the practice in and outside of the Catholic community has made contraception the unquestioned default mode of marriage. As a consequence, sexuality and relationships are misunderstood and misused; and their true purpose is misplaced.
These comments are not just about the “pill” or other forms of contraceptives. This is more about the habit of using artificial means. The habit has shaped the hearts and minds of many, especially the young. Marriage is no longer understood as the covenant of love between a man and a woman that creates life, because procreation is no longer associated with sexual intercourse. In this new social situation, many shrug their shoulders and wonder why a sexual relationship between any two people who care for each other cannot be called a marriage.The comments are just part of a very wide-ranging column from the inaugural issue of the Diocese of Sacramento’s new magazine (link will open a viewer, column is on pgs. 2-3). Throughout the column, Bishop Soto uses Cardinal Newman’s phrase, “round of the day”:

. . .a beautiful metaphor that speaks to the rhythm and rituals that can round our days, keeping our hearts and habits in sync with the creative hand of God’s grace. Our earth revolves around the sun, creating the natural cycle of night and day filled with the rituals of sunrise and sunset, the morning dew with the sweet songs of birds and the evening breeze with the soft aromas of the garden’s blooms. So we can give our heart to the ritual habits that round our day with the love and truth of Jesus. Holiness in this manner is an attractive and persuasive way to change the hearts and minds, as well as the laws, of our land.Bishop Soto goes on to apply the metaphor to several circumstances, but returning to the above subject, Bishop Soto continues:

The church’s teaching against the use of artificial contraceptives comes from a reverential awe for the “round” of the marriage covenant, where the human family finds life, grace and goodness revealed in the ordinary rituals of the home. The sexual ritual should not be discounted or dismissed from this sacramental view.
The teaching of Natural Family Planning, as a moral and cultural alternative to the contraceptive culture, offers couples the opportunity to appreciate their sexuality, the grace of fertility and a way to unite themselves to the natural bodily rhythms that create life. Pastors and catechists should be more confident in teaching it. Married couples and young people eager to be married should explore this possibility as a gift, not a burden.

I think, philosophically, this is right – once one comes to view marriage not as a union of a man and woman oriented first towards procreation and then towards the other benefits of the Sacrament, unity and relief from concupiscence, but simply as a societal relationship that confers some economic and social benefits, which may or may not produce children, it’s very easy to accept someone else’s equally un-productive marriage.  This may offend some; I would say I’m sorry, but I’m not.  Church doctrine is Church doctrine, and no Church doctrine has been more flagrantly ignored and abused than that regarding the use of contraception, and I’ve been there myself.  I think there are more specific causes for this very high rejection of Church doctrine on homosexuality, however: the trend, since Vatican II, for Catholics to become increasingly secularized and increasingly absorbed into the modern, hedonistic, vaguely pagan mass media culture, the full court media press for “gay rights” these Catholics have been exposed to as part of this absorption in the popular culture, and a tendency going back several decades to make light of Church doctrine and to – wink wink – disagree if you feel your personal conscience is the slight bit twinged by that overbearing monster, the Magisterium. 

There’s never just one cause when things go badly wrong.  There are always a number of factors, some of which were utterly predictable, others not, which work in confluence to arrive at disaster.  In this case, alot of this cultural fallout from artificial contraception was predicted by Pope Paul VI.  But even he, prescient as he was, did not foresee the incredibly far reaching impact that sterilization would have on the culture.  I don’t think we’re even close to seeing the end of these repercussions, yet.

We’re famous – Fr. Z covers events in Dallas October 12, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Dallas Diocese.
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Well, Dallas, you desperately wanna-be LA kind of city, you’ve finally made it.  Forget the fact that occasionally some movie star will condescend to be seen in our plastic and glass cityscape, or that some uber-hip new restaurant has opened aping some place in New York…..all of that is trivial.  When you get covered by Fr. Z, you know you’ve made it.  Fr. Z has a post regarding something really great that happened over the weekend – Mater Dei, Dallas’ first and only Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) community finally moved into their finished church, with Bishop Farrell in attendance to perform the blessings.   This notable event was also covered by the Dallas Morning News

I think this is a time of thanksgiving.  I’ve only celebrated Mass at Mater Dei a few times, but I think it is an incredible blessing that the Holy Spirit has moved Bishop Farrell to allow the TLM community its own parish, instead of having to borrow space from other parishes, and that there are more and more people being moved by the Spirit to celebrate this very reverent and transcendent form of the Mass.  We are very fortunate in this Diocese to have such a parish – there are many dioceses not similarly blessed.  And so, while many would like to see an even wider celebration of either the TLM or Novus Ordo Mass in Latin, we should be very thankful for what God has given us.  I personally am very thankful for the entire FSSP, and their apostolate to bring the TLM to as many people as possible.  We are particular blessed to have Fr.’s Longua and Wolfe at Mater Dei.

So, it’s very cool to have Fr. Z talk about a parish you love, and while I understand his rant very well, there are times to complain and agitate for change, and times to appreciate what one has, and I’m feeling more like the latter at the  moment.