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How marxist rhetoric makes its way into Church discussions December 3, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, Society.
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So, Acts of the Apostasy had an interesting point, and I left a comment there, but I think the subject is something worth reposting here:

The pro-victimized anti-straight generation …has submitted their latest screed, entitled “The Pro-Love Anti-Prejudice Generation”, against the bishops and the Church in the National Catholic Distorter.

Here’s the opening paragraph (emphasis mine):

The most valuable demographic to the marketing mavens of Madison Avenue is the 18-35 group of Gen. X-ers and Millennials. Now, the leadership of the church is targeting these generations with a marketing blitz to win them to the cause of discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

Now there’s an opening to lay the foundation for common ground and conversation.

Except such folks don’t want conversation. They want to treat folks who disagree with them in the exact same fashion they have been treated – with shame, scorn and bigotry. Not so “pro-love”……

When faith is reduced to politics and marketing, you end up with ideology and preferences. You end up with consensus. But you rarely, if ever, end up with Truth. And you ultimately end up with zero faith.

Such folks are unwilling to rise out of the muck and mire of sin – rather, they want everyone else down there with them. But Christ came to save us from our sin, not tell us it was okay to wallow there in misery. And that’s the ironic thing – even if they get their way on the issue of so-called gay marriage, they’ll still be in misery.

And so will everyone else.

I think that is a really insightful post.  Even if you get all Catholics to agree that gay sex is not sinful and homosexual fake marriage wonderful, that will not change eternal, unchanging Truth.  The more people you get to agree with you, the more miserable everyone will become.  But I noticed something else about the rhetoric used, and so I left this comment:

So, I just finished reading The Ratzinger Report last night. Towards the end of the book, the interviewer posted an analysis of “liberation theology” written by then Cardinal Ratzinger in 1985. In that analysis, Ratzinger laid out some basic operating principles of the Marxist dialectic that were very interesting to read, insofar as they have application far beyond the now seemingly defunct liberation theology. The Christo-Marxist ideology that developed reduced everything to the historic class struggle, where everything is political and all things point towards the advance of the progressive cause. Those who oppose the class struggle are revaunchist tools of the upper class (including the Magisterium) who must be crushed at any cost in order to allow for the advance of the “true Christianity,” the perennial class struggle. Even though “liberation theology” as a political movement seems to have largely disappeared, it is amazing how much of the Marxist hermeneutic has been adopted by citizens of this country in order to advance their preferred political positions, even with regard to the Faith (or, with some, like this author, especially with regard to the Faith).

Hence, the rhetoric. I am concerned that it is less about advancing a genuine position of some kind of generous love for homosexuals that disregards the Biblical prohibitions on thier acts out of a misguided sense of charity, and more about advancing a given political position. And that advancement is informed by philosophical tools derived from Marxism that tend to be rather brutal. Pope Benedict, when still Cardinal, saw much of the rather strong arm tactics surrounding progressive agendas in the Church as being informed by this Marxist hermeneutic, to use his term.

Even though the Cold War is over and ostensibly won, the old war for a communist utopia dystopia continues.  What amazes me is the degree to which the rhetoric of the left, or “progressives,” whatever they choose to call themselves today, is informed by the philosophy and logic of marxism.  This is not classical leftism, this is leftism dominated by marxist thought.  These folks cannot separate their political ideology from their faith (which is something many who have strong political convications struggle with, but the degree to which it seeps into the very rhetoric and tactics used by progressives is telling).  My fear is that the ultimate goal is not just tactical victories on issues like gay marriage or contraception, its to upend the entire structure of the Church with a revolution creating a “classless” Church – a veritable congregational/free church where anything goes, and everything is up for vote, depending on the whims of the culture/majority opinion at any given moment.

Talk about misery – that will be it.  That way lies tyranny, and worse.

Temperance December 3, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, Society.
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Michael Voris has had a series of videos this week covering the cardinal virtues.  The episode below is about temperance.  See what you think:

His description of temperance at the beginning of the video is really a good reminder, although I think the “moderation” or just consuming whatever we need for whatever particular use is very critical to remember, especially in our modern day ridiculously consumerist culture (buy more, buy now, buy beyond  your means).  He is absolutely correct, and this view has been almost totally lost within our modern culture, and even rarely gets mentioned in the Church, that we should only consume what we is necessary for our to continue growing in faith and love for God.  I have had an unhealthy pride, if you will, in my truck, or in my woodwork, or in any of a number of other things.  I should be more temperate in my appreciation of any created good.  I have too strong a desire for food and nicotine – again, one I should moderate, and the other rid myself of (the nicotine is the last holdover of my using days, and something alot of addicts really have a hard time kicking).  It’s very easy to have great pride in our new TV, or our house, or our BMW M3, or whatever, and have this un-natural love detract from our relationship with God.  Getting back to the sanctification I discussed below, whatever created thing that we love too much, or even at all, according to some Saints, leads us away from God.  I love food too much – I’m not obese or even close, but I really enjoy eating good food, as most people do.  St. Augustine discusses this in his Confessions, and how he tried to rid himself of his inordinate love for food, viewing it as nothing more than a means to provide sustenance for his body so he could serve God.  That is the view in which we should hold created things – they are only good insofar as they enable us to serve God.

Here he is again on fortitude:

Do you agree that Catholicism has been feminized?  Pope Benedict actually thinks that radical feminism is a process of endowing women with a false masculinity that leads to great pain because women are not fulfilling the roles they are given by nature.  But, I do think there is a great deal of feminization in the culture – an odd switch.  Or, perhaps, the two roles are intentionally being blurred so as to become almost indistinguishable, with true masculinity declining and being replaced by childish boorishness and selfish sexual gratification, and feminity being replaced with a pseudo-masculinity that apes men’s aggressiveness and tendency towards cold calculation at the expense of natural feminine roles of nurturing and caring for others.  The results have not been good, with wimpy wimp men and a number of women who border on frightening.

Or, I could be totally wrong.  You tell me.

What the Church needs most…. December 3, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic.
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…..is not “reforms,” or new plans or programs or directives or initiatives or parish staff or diocesan staff or a new USCCB committee or new theologians, and least of all does it need bloggers.  What the Church needs most is more Saints.  So sayeth Papa Benedict in The Ratzinger Report.  Easy to say, unfortunately, not so easy to do.  The first step towards becoming a Saint could be described as a process of sanctification.  How does one become sanctified?  Divine Intimacy, Week 1 Day 5 offers some insight:

The path that leads to sanctity, that is, to God, can be marked out only by God himself, by His will.  Jesus expressed this very strongly when He said, “Not everyone who saith to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he that doth the will of My Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 7:21).  And to show that the souls who are most closely united to Him, the ones He loves most, are precisely those who do the Will of God, He does not hesitate to say: “Whosoever shall do the Will of My Father, that is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Matt 12:50).

St. Teresa of Avila declared “The highest perfection consists not in interior favors, or in great raptures, or in visions, or in the spirit of prohesy, but in the bringing of our wills so closely into conformity with the Will of God that, as soon as we realize He wills anything, we desire it ourselves with all our might, and take the bitter with the sweet” (Foundations, p. 5).  St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face echoes this statement, “The more joyfully [souls] do His Will, the greater is their perfection (Story of  a Soul, I).

True love of God consists in adhering perfectly to His Holy Will, not desiring to do or be other than what God indicates for each of us, to the point of becoming, as it were, “a living will of God.”  Sanctity is possible for every soul of good will; it is not impossible that a soul which leads a humble, hidden life, may adhere to the divine will as well as, perhaps even better than, a “great” Saint who has received from God an exterior mission and has been enriched with mystical graces.  The perfection of a soul may be measured by the degree to which it does the will of God, and finds its happiness in doing it.

To become saints we must have a total conformity of our will with God’s. It is necessary, then, that there should be nothing in our soul which is not in harmony with the divine will, and that our actions be motivated by His will alone. “Divine union consists in the soul’s total transformation, according to the will, in the Will of God, so that there may be naught in the soul that is contrary to the Will of God, but that, in all and through all, its movement may be that of the Will of God alone.” (St. John of the Cross, Ascent of Mt. Carmel, Book II, 2).

In all our actions we are always impelled by love, love of ourselves, love of creatures, or love of God.  As long as the soul clings to the least thinkg contrary to God’s Will, that is, to some irregular attachment to self or creatures, it will often act, not under the impulse of God’s love, but through a desire for personal satisfaction, or because of a disordered love of creatures, and therefore, will walk apart from God’s Will [what do I love most?  I try very hard to choose God! – ED].  Sin is not the only thing which is opposed to God’s Will; even the slightest imperfection or deliberate attachment prevents the soul from acting under the motion of God’s Will alone.

But when the soul not longer has any attachments, and is entirely free from love of self and of creatures, it can adhere to God alone, acting only according to His Will, and living moment by moment acording to His Will, and living moment by moment according to His good pleasure.  The soul thus transformed has lost its will in the Will of God and therefore is perfectly united to God Himself.  This is the essence and the apex of sanctity


How far am I from losing my will entirely in God’s?  I pray every day, many times a day, that I may do God’s Will and not my own, but at the same time, as Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene, OCD says: “So many times I have made the offering of my will, consecrating it to You and declaring that I wanted nothing but Your divine Will.  But an equal number of times, alas, I have taken back my offering, and in my actions, labors, and apostolic works; instead of allowing myself to be guided by You, I have been more lead by pride and pesonal satisfaction.  How far I am, O Lord, from losing my will in Yours!  How attached I still am to my own ideas and tastes!  How many things stil remain in me which are contrary to Your Will!”

Oh Lord, please take my will, please take it and make it yours, make me perfectly aligned with your Holy, Perfect Will at all times, so that I may always be your instrument and be pleasing to You.  Please make me all yours, that I may no longer fall into my own profane ideas and preferences and may always do that which is in accord with your Will.  Make me yours, Lord.  I want to be holy not so that I may work wonders in the world, or bring pleasure to myself, but so that I may be as close to you as I can, that I may see your Holy Face and bask in your glory.  Take this poor creature and do with me as you Will, for I can do nothing, I am totally dependent on your Grace.