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You’re doing it right December 2, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Latin Mass.
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That’s good…..you’re doing it just right.

The need for silence December 2, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Latin Mass, North Deanery.
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I’ve mentioned that I’m reading a book length interview of Pope Benedict XVI from back in the days when he was the head of the Holy Office (okay…..Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith).  The books is called The Ratzinger Report, and it is a serious criticism of that false, illusory “spirit of Vatican II.”   One of the grossly misunderstood concepts that eminated from Vatican II is the concept of “active participation.”  Under this concept, the great liturgy that was formalized and codified (but not “invented”) at the Council of Trent was greatly changed, and we wound up with the present day “Novus Ordo,” or Ordinary Form of the Mass.  Obviously, there were many changes, not the least of which was switching from the universal liturgical language of the Church, Latin, to whatever vernacular language is spoken in any given country, in spite of the fact that the Vatican II document Sacrosanctum Concilium states repeatedly that Latin was to be retained in the Mass (and more than just the Agnus Dei).  One of the most misbegotten concepts to emerge in this “spirit of Vatican II” is the idea that for lay people to “actively participate,” they have to be actually physically performing some task – singing, making responses, lectoring, handling the Blessed Sacrament in their unconsecrated hands.  All of this activity tends to lead to a more noisy, and very busy, Mass.  And this is a great loss.

Perhaps one of the less noticed, but I would argue substantial, losses, is the absence of silence in the Mass.  Silence is golden, as the saying goes.  It is the “language of God,” for God speaks to us when we are quiet and still.  God does not shout.  The world, and our own thoughts and actions, can easily drown him out.  That is why time for prayerful reflection and contemplation is such a great boon in one’s spiritual life…..you take time to hear God speak to you in your heart, or just to be silent and reflect on His awesome majesty and all the gifts He continually showers on us lowly people.  Pope Benedict has repeately stressed this.  From The Ratzinger Report, p. 127, and regarding “active participation, the Pope had this to say:

…..the way it [active participation] has been applied following the Council has exhibited a fatal narrowing of perspective.  The impression oarose that there was only ‘active participation’ when there was discernible external activity – speaking, singing, preaching, reading, shaking hands.  It was forgotten that the Council also included silence under active participation, for silence facilitates a really deep, personal participation, allowing us to listen inwardly to the Lord’s word.  Many liturgies now lack all trace of this silence.

Quite.  Not only is time for silence and reflection necessary in our private lives, it is also necessary in public celebrations of the Source and Summit of our Faith, the Mass.  Unfortunately, this seems utterly forgotten at many parishes today.  Certainly, in celebrations of the Traditional Latin Mass, there are numerous times for silence, and I greatly value those times.  In the Novus Ordo, too, there are times for silence, but, unfortunately, it seems that in most cases those times are either blown past very quickly, or a general lack of reverence and quiet on the part of the faithful renders even the brief moments of silence (such as during the Consecration) moot due to general ambient noise. 

I pray that many priests will prayerfully reflect on Pope Benedict’s words.  I have found that Masses that incorporate more moments of silence tend to be more reverent and have more of a feel of the transcendent mystery that surrounds the Mass.  Yes, many parishes are short on time, with a tightly packed schedule on Sundays in particular, but I would pray that an additional moment or two for silence could be found without awakening the dreaded and feared parking monster.  And especially during daily Mass, where time constraints are normally much less severe, there would seem to be ample opportunities for silence during the Mass. 

There is plenty of gold in The Ratzinger Report.  I’ll be posting a bit more in days to come, especially on a particular bugaboo of mine – drab, ugly, artless, modernist churches.

“Catholycs4Equality” promises gay rights witch hunt December 2, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, scandals, sickness, Society.
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Catholycs4Equality, the Soros funded progressive activism group oriented towards encouraging dissent from Church doctrine on homosexuality (and, thus, trying to drive a revolutionary change in Church doctrine through “bottom-up” pressure), is advocating spying on priests, bishops, and even lay people in churches in order to report those who defend Church doctrine on their website.  Those who are reported will then be decried as racist homophobes who must be crushed for the good of the proletariat:

One of the most interesting aspects of this campaign is our understanding that we don’t need the consent of our hierarchy to effectively mobilize our fellow pro-equality parishioners inside our churches.  This Christmas we will be rolling out the Catholics for Equality line of smartphone apps, which will allow supporters to connect with each other while they’re sitting in the pews or attending an after-church social.   The apps will also allow them to report hostile activity in their parish or make a special contribution to the campaign as the Holy Spirit moves them

“Hostile activity” means  explaining or defending 2000+ years of Judeo-Christian doctrine which rejects homosexual acts as profoundly contrary to the natural law and inherently sinful.  This is nothing more than a threat to expose faithful priests and bishops to hate filled smear campaigns for speaking Christian truth to radical homosexual worldly power.  Thomas Peters comments:

Let’s be clear what Alioto is saying: their organization plans to encourage its membership during Christmas to bring their phones to Church and to “report” from the pew whenever a priest or bishop dares to preach about the family or issues related to marriage, and to conduct fundraising in our sacred spaces.

It’s hard to imagine a more intrusive attempt to undermine the freedom of Catholic parishes and pastors to preach what the Church teaches to Catholics who are already constantly maligned outside of Mass about their views. Catholics for Equality has decided to take their fight against the Church into the very heart of our sacred worship spaces.

Gay activists will claim their movement is about tolerance and getting along, but their actual tactics – tactics I have experienced personally – favor intimidation and forcing those who disagree (especially Catholics and other Christians) to “change” in response to their dictates, or else face sophisticated in-your-face campaigns like this one

Pray for courageous priests, bishops, and laity who love those engaged in homosexual acts enough to tell them of the grave danger they are placing themselves in with respect to the state of their immortal souls.  True love does not mean that we let our friends do whatever they want, no matter how destructive, no matter how contrary to God’s law. 

This culture will infiltrate the Church, they will turn pastors and even bishops against the Doctrine of the Faith, they will turn even the majority, perhaps the large majority of the faithful away from the clear teaching of the Church – this has always happened, especially in times of mass apostasy.  Satan never tires of attacking Holy Mother Church.  For those who strive to be faithful, resist him, remaining strong in the Faith (1 Pet 5:9).  Put on the full armor of God (Eph 6:11) and fight.  Do not let yourself be cowed.  And pray.  Pray that this society will come to it senses.  Pray for the conversion of those who seek to bend the Church to the world, who cannot see the fact that “we” do not make this faith, we did not create it, it was given to us, and the Truth that Christ has Revealed through His Church is inviolable.

When churches are locked December 2, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, General Catholic, Latin Mass, scandals.
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So, I had a somewhat disconcerting experience over the holiday weekend.  We went to my sister-in-law’s house, the family with (I am completely serious) seventeen kids, for Thanksgiving day.  I had a great time hanging out with all the kids and talking with my brother in law.  This is a true “yours mine and ours situation”……both are widowed, one coming into the new marriage with 6 kids and one with 7, and they’ve had 4 together.  It’s really very inspiring.  But that’s not the point of the post.  They happen to live next door to one of my favorite churches, Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio.  This is a great parish, and I’ve enjoyed assisting there in the past.  But I had some time to kill, and since I was right next door, I figured I’d wander over and spend a few minutes with Jesus, hidden in the Tabernacle.  I wandered over, but all the doors were locked!  I went all around the rather large facility twice, but could not find an open door.  I can’t recall going to a Catholic church before that was all locked up, but I’m sure I must have at some point. 

There are many reasons why it could have been locked up.  I can think of a number of good reasons why the doors would be locked, but, then again, most churches usually have at least one door always open, to provide access to a chapel or wherever the Blessed Sacrament resides.  Maybe because it was a holiday?  I don’t know.  I have read in Thomas a Kempis an idea that sounds very plausible to me, that Jesus does not like to be alone in the Tabernacle, that He likes to have company.  There are blessings and graces to be earned by spending time with Him, even if we cannot directly see Him, as during Adoration.  It was kind of sad to see this beautiful church all locked up.

On a somewhat tangentially related note.  I have a young nephew who has professed an interest in a vocation for a very long time.  He especially professed an interest in a particular religious order.  He went on a retreat to that religious order, which is located in Kentucky and is generlly known to be very faithful to the traditional Doctrine of the Faith, this past summer.  And, shockingly, he was actually discouraged from his vocation.  Not because it was felt that his interest was not genuine, but because they seem to have wanted him to have “sampled” more from what the world has to offer before setting a course on a vocation to a religious life.  In fact, he was told that he should date, something this family is not terribly comfortable with.  As a result, he has lost almost all interest in his vocation.  I don’t know, perhaps they picked up on something with this young man that indicated he was not suited for a priestly vocation, but I cannot imagine what that is. Perhaps his decreased interest is a sign that he did not have a genuine call to the priesthood.

But, I also know that a lively faith is a fragile thing.  I have known many people once very alive in the Faith that have lost interest, or taken a wrong path.  It is easy to get discouraged.  And when a group of men you have idolized, who you have expressed an interest in joining for many years, tell you to go do something radically different, and then maybe come back, that can have a very powerful, negative effect, especially when one is relatively young and impressionable.  A vocation to the priesthood may have just been lost.  I’m not sure why.

There are all kinds of locked doors.  Some are physical.  Some are contained in our minds and souls, barriers we will not cross, things we will not turn over to God and His Perfect Will.   Some are expressed in our actions, where we may turn people away from the Faith by something we say or do.  No, faith should not be that fragile, but for some, it is, at least at times.  I know I should be more careful with what I say, here.  Sometimes, in trying to be funny, or express exasperation, I may lapse into scorn, and turn people away from God’s Holy Church.  I shall have to pay for that, some day.

I pray that I may not do that ever again, and that all that I do may serve as a beacon to others to follow this otherworldly, mysterious call to die to self and live for, and in, Christ.

It…….just……..won’t………stop……….. December 2, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in disaster, foolishness, General Catholic, Society.
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…….uff da.  So, a dude in Australia who describes himself as “straight, single, and (what else could it be?) Catholic,” decided to marry his dog:

Joseph Guiso bends down to kiss his new ‘bride’ in a wedding ceremony with a difference – one of the parties has four legs and a tail.

An Australian man staged a ‘marriage’ to his beloved his yellow labrador in an outdoor ceremony and promptly sealed the union with a kiss.

Joseph Guiso and Honey were ‘joined in matrimony’ at Toowoomba’s Laurel Bank Park – and the real surprise is that 30 friends and family members turned up to witness the event.

‘You’re my best friend and you make every part of my day better,’ Mr Guiso read in his vows.

As Larry D says, “the trivialization of marriage continues.”  I guess we’re supposed to say “awww…..how cute!” 

Instead, all I can think of is this: