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Goddess Oprah offers ultimate giveaway December 1, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, General Catholic, silliness, Society.
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This is too funny!  Thanks to Sancte Pater:

Christianity to be redefined as “bigotry,” film at 11 December 1, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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In our continuing series “The Decline and Fall of Western Civilization,” former civil rights group turned far left advocacy center declares that Christianity is bigotry:

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is a well-funded civil rights organization which began in 1971 in opposition to racism and white supremacist groups.

Last week the center published an article classifying the Family Research Council and several other organizations as a “hate groups.” The SPLC also criticized the National Organization for Marriage, claiming both groups are “anti-gay.” The center claimed its listed groups have spread “known falsehoods” about “LGBT people” and have engaged in “repeated, groundless name-calling.”

The SPLC document also essentially stated that any person finding reasons against homosexuality in the Bible were essentially believing “unbiblically” – so SPLC is now also expert in theology and Biblical exigesis!  It’s a one stop shop!

Naturally, those opposed to the high pressure homosexuality propaganda campaign did not agree:

Maggie Gallagher, chairman of the board for the National Organization for Marriage, spoke about the SPLC article and list in a Nov. 29 interview with CNA. She called it an “absurd distraction” and a “very sad” move for “a once-great civil rights organization

In a Nov. 29 e-mail to CNA, Princeton University law professor and National Organization for Marriage chairman emeritus Robert P. George compared the action to Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s smearing of opponents by accusing them of being communist sympathizers.

While the Law Center continues to do some good work in the area of civil rights, its “tarring” of those it opposes “reveals itself to have become an ideologically partisan organization bent on shutting down dissent by intimidating into silence those with whom it should be engaged in honest debate

But whenever the left is forced into an honest debate, they get creamed!  They can’t have that, better to declare you Christofascists illegal and march you off to “Treblinka on the Mississippi” and be done with you.

Gallagher added later: “They believe you should be treated like a racist if you think marriage is a union of a man and a wife,”

That is the goal.  To make opposition to the cultural embrace of homosexuality so painful, to define it as so extreme and beyond the pale, as to utterly crush any potential opposition and keep it shut up.  I, for one, have seen as extremely informative just how effective a coordinated media campaign can be in changing people’s core beliefs over a period of a few  years.  25 years ago, no one in the radical gay movement would discuss something like gay marriage in a major public forum, they would have been laughed at, ridiculed.  But after two decades of a concernted propaganda campaign aimed at desensitizing Americans to homosexuality, and then regularizing it, and now, finally, insisting on its embrace as a public institution equal, if not superior, to monogamous heterosexual marriage, we come to the end game – the declaration of opposition to the homosexual lifestyle as being the horrible, dangerous, unreasonable, un-Godly viewpoint.   Thus, Christianity, instead of being viewed as the beacon of true love and tolerance that it is, gets branded as intolerant and full of hate (while those doing the branding have long had a hatred for Christianity themselves).  It’s a neat trick if you can pull it off, and only our sexually desensitized, amoral, and sterile heterosexual culture could possibly have tolerated such a huge, remarkable, un-natural shift in thinking.

Who could possibly have masterminded such an amazing campaign, turning Christian morality on its head and getting people to believe that something that has been viewed as amoral by essentially all Christians for 2000 years is now a positive good.  Who indeed?

Oh Mary, pray for us!  Pray for the Church!

Sister Act December 1, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, asshatery, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, scandals.
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Sister Carol Keehan, America’s favorite female religious! (TM), is at it again.  She was in San Francisco recently, extolling Obamacare and claiming that the ONLY moral position was to vigorously support its passage:

Sister Carol, a Daughter of Charity whose association represents 620 Catholic hospitals, spoke at an event in her honor sponsored by the University of San Francisco Nov. 23…..

“As far as I was concerned, if I knew in my heart that it did not fund abortion, I could not do anything but stand up for the passage of that bill for the 32 million” people who do not have health insurance, Sister Carol told about 200 women religious, students and others gathered at St. Ignatius Church for the second annual Stand 4 Conference sponsored by USF’s University Ministry.
The conference invites religious and spiritual leaders “whose actions symbolize a life of courage, commitment, and advocacy,” according to an announcement. Sister Carol was invited “to speak on the Catholic tradition that views health care as a basic human right.”
In her 30-minute presentation, Sister Carol cited Pope Benedict XVI, Pope John Paul II, and Pope John XXIII on social justice, the right of all to health care and the right to life from conception to natural death.

“We are the only industrialized country that does not provide health care to all,” Sister Carol said. Nine million children are among those without health insurance, she said.

“What excuse justifies a child not having access to health care?”

I’ll get to the distortions and, really, falsehoods in that statement momentarily, but, first, the Archdiocese of San Francisco says, “not so fast:”

An Archdiocese of San Francisco official reiterated the position of the bishops.

“I agree with Cardinal George that Sister Carol Keehan and the Catholic Health Association’s actions were a serious ‘wound to Church unity.’ This was not a minor nor benign disagreement,” George Wesolek, director of the archdiocesan Office of Public Policy and Social Concerns, said in a statement Nov. 29.

“The bishops of the United States had a solid analysis of the proposed bill and determined that it was not sufficient to keep abortion out of the health care bill. They have been proven correct,” Wesolek said.

As the old saying goes, once you lose San Francisco, you’ve lost America.  Seriously, it’s good to see a prompt rebuttal in the diocesan paper, but what about some of the claims Sr. Keehan made?  She has variously used figures between 30 and 50 million to describe the number of Americans without private health care insurance, or some government plan.  You see, that’s the actual issue – there are probably only a few hundred thousand people in this country, at most, who literally do not have access to health care, due to physical circumstances (like being on a huge Indian reservation in Arizona with no doctors) – what Sr. Keehan has constantly agitated for is for the government to take over the private health insurance industry in order to provide some form of insurance for those presently lacking coverage, whatever their number is (some studies put that number as low as 7-8 million).  No one in this country is denied badly needed medical care.  You might not get the best service, and you might be in debt for a long time to have your quadruple bypass paid for, but you will get your care, whether you have insurance or not.  The Left determined long ago that conflating health insurance with “health care” was a winning strategy to achieve their end – the socialization of the health care industry a la Europe. 

Don’t forget Sr. Keehan inferred all those opposed to abortion and Obamacare were all hypocrites and liars, because supporting Obamacare was the ONLY possible moral, pro-life position for Catholics.

Our priests are given an incredible Grace December 1, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, The Imitation of Christ.
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I know that I carp about certain things going on in the Church.  I know that I complain about things that happen under the apparent supervision of certain pastors and priests.  But I mustn’t forget that priests are constituted in the Church to perform the greatest miracles ever worked through human hands, the transubstantiation of mere bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ.  Thomas a Kempis, the author of the book once more popular than any other save only the Bible, has some words for priests on the incredible gift they are given in The Imitation of Christ:

Book IV, Chapter 5:

Christ:

If thou hadst the purity of an angel, and the sanctity of St. John the Baptist, thou wouldst not be worthy to receive or handle the Blessed Sacrament.  For this is not due to any maerits of men, that a man should consecrate and handle the sacrament of Christ, and receive for his food the bread of angels (Ps 77:25).  Great is this mystery, and great the dignity of priests, to whom that is given which is not granted to angels.  For priests alone, rightly ordained in the Church, have power to celebrate and to consecrate the Body of Christ.  The priest indeed is the minister of God, using the Word of God, and by the command and institution of God’ but God Himself is there, the principle author and invisible worker, to Whom is subject all that He wills, and to whose command everything is obedient.

Thou must, therefore, give more credit to an omnipotent God, in everything relating to this most excellent Sacrament, than to they own sense or any visible sign; and tehrefore thou art to approach this work with fear and reverence.  Take heed to thyself (1 Tim 4:16) and see what kind of ministry has been delivered to thee by the imposition of the bishop’s hands. Lo! Thou art made a priest, adn art consecrated to celebrate Mass; see now that in due time thou faithfully and devoutly offer up sacrifice to God, and that thou behave thyself in such manner as to be without reproof……A priest ought to be adorned with all virtues, and to give example of a good life to others (Tit 2:7). 

A priest clad in his sacred vestments is Christ’s viceregent, to pray to God for himself, and for all the people, in a suppliant and humble manner.  When a priest celebrates, he honors God, he rejoices the angels, he edifies the Church, he helps the living, and makes himself partaker of all that is good.

Is that clericalism?  Triumphalist?  Not to me……it’s a plain recognition of fact, priests are constituted to confect the Most August Sacrament, the Source and Summit of our Faith, a miracle that takes place every day and should be regarded with the greatest awe and reverence.

Some further words from Thomas a Kempis, from Book IV, Chapter 7:

Above all things it behooves the priest of God to come to the celebrating, handling, and receiving this sacrament with very great humility of heart, and lowly reverence; with an entire faith, and a pious intention of giving honor to God.  Diligently examine thy consicence, adn to the best of thy power cleancse and purify it by true contrition and humble confession: so that there be nothing weighty to give thee remorse and hinder thy free access.  Repent thee of all they sins in general, adn in paritular lament and grieve for thy daily offences.  And if thou hast time confess to thy God, in the secrecy of thy heart, all the miseries of thy passions…….Then with full resignation and with thy whole will offer thyself up to the honor of My name, on the altar of thy heart, as a perpetual holocaust, by committing faithfully to Me both thy sould and body.  That so thou mayst be worthy to approach to offer up sacrifice to God, and to receive for thy salvation the sacrament of My Body.

What are you doing for Advent? December 1, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery.
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I’ve mentioned before that I am fond of a priest at the tiny parish of St. Anthony in Harper, TX (Harper is now short 4 white tail deer – too bad I didn’t see any more axis or sikka!).  When we were there this past Sunday for the start of Advent, he highlighted the fact that Advent is not a time for big Christmas parties or focusing on celebrations, but that it is a time of prayer and penitence before the great festal season of Christmas.  In our modern culture, all the buildup for “the holidays” occurs before the event, precisely when Catholics should NOT be celebrating, with Christmas as a great cap on several weeks of parties and celebrations.  That isn’t to say we should not enjoy Advent, just that the focus should be more on the preparation aspect, preparing for Christ’s coming into the world. 

Fr. Grala down in Harper also reminded of the symbolic importance of the Advent wreath.  Advent wreaths used to be very common in households, and while we still see them in churches, most Catholic households don’t have them anymore.  That’s a shame, because the wreath can serve as a sort of focus for “counting down the days” for Christ’s arrival, and when associated with prayers can involve the whole family daily in this season of preparation.  In times past, most folks would not even put up Christmas decorations until very shortly before the actual day, saving the tree and other decorations for Christmas Eve.  The point was to govern one’s life by the seasons of the Church, the Liturgical calendar, rather than by the seasons of the world.

So that’s one thing – the wreath.  But what else can we do to prepare for Jesus’ coming?  I’m not really strong on fasting, even though I keep a Eucharistic fast before daily Mass, not taking anything but water after dinner the night before, I’m not able to fast for long periods of time because of some health issues.  So alot of my penitence is in trying to do more, rather than taking in less.  I try to pray more and be more focused/serious when I am in prayer or study.  I’m trying to pray more, but I haven’t got too much more time I can set aside for prayer and contemplation. Nevertheless, I have  set a goal for myself to pray the entire Liturgy of the Hours each day, instead of just the Vespers and Compline at night.  Normally, I pray from the Magnificat in the morning, but I want to get into the entire cycle of prayers for the day if I can.  I’ll see what I can do.  One thing I anxiously await is an English-Latin Breviary containing all the prayers from Matins through Compline in the Traditional manner – supposedly Baronius Press is set to finally publish their version this month, I pray it comes in!

Anyway, what are you doing for Advent?  I like to hear what other people are doing during these seasons, to try to grow in the Faith myself.  See, I might rip off your good idea.  Because I’m like that.