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One thing about the Eastern Church…… February 8, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Ecumenism, General Catholic.
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……when  you’re in one of their churches, you know it’s a church.  OK, so this may be an unfair example, it is the Moscow Cathedral of the Assumption, but……so beautiful!

The Liturgy was presided over by Patriarch Kirill, he who has been on sometimes, and seemingly off at other times, regarding reconciliation with Rome.  I do pray for this reconciliation every day, because I think both Churches and Christendom as a whole would benefit tremendously from reunion.  We Catholics would do well to ponder the beautiful Liturgy, and Churches, used in the Eastern Church, and the Eastern Church may benefit from the greater dynamism of the Western Church.  I ripped these photos off New Liturgical Movement – I like how the Russian girls wear their scarves in Mass – just like my daughter!  Go to NLM for many more photos!  Check out the freaky bread the Russians use!

Christ is the life of him who has died to the world February 8, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, The Imitation of Christ.
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Thomas a Kempis, Vera Sapientia, Book II, Chapter VI.  I write this stuff, because I need to hear it, and writing it helps me remember it!

O Jesus, true life, the life that knows not death, grant that I  may be absorbed in Thy love, wounded with Thy love (shades of Teresa of Jesus), and die of Thy love, that the flesh may not rule over me.  As yet I am not dead to the world, but the old man still lives in me, stirring up various desires, and truly making the days sorrowful and nights troublesome.

Oh, when will it come that I shall say with confidence, ‘I indeed considered myself as one dead upon the earth’? For he who is dead cares not for the praises of men or for the reproaches of the upbraiding, because he is dead. He who is dead to the flesh does not anything wrong, hears not the vanity of the world, sees not the curious and pleasant, or whatever could draw him to love anything vile upon the earth.

He who is dead to the world is not in the world, but in God, for whom he lives. As St. paul said to his beloved disciple, ‘You are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.’ Such a one so speaks, thinks and sees those things which appear as if they were not, because those things that are seen are temporal and vain, and those which are not seen are eternal (I once talked about how the world and everything in it is illusory, and how Catholics should strive to see beyond the illusions of the world, of the ‘real,’ to the true reality beyond, the reality of the Spirit, of God.  I got asked by a commenter if I was crazy – what am I talking about, The Matrix?!?  He didn’t get it – ED)

Therefore to these he looks, for these he sighs, in these he has his heart, and desires to reach them. He makes much of them, he loves them, he seeks them, he finds pleasure in the internal and the hidden-namely, in the great Good, in the Supreme Good, in the Eternal Good, of whom he cannot sufficiently think.  Such a one is very far distant from present things, desires eternal joys with his whole affection, and holds in subjection the sensual appetite.

For sensuality seeks exterior things, desires pleasures, looks to what is present, neglects the future, avoids whenever it can what is bitter and disagreeable, though often profitable to the spirit. Hence it does not allow the spirit to be in silence and at rest, but brings before it various imaginations, difficult to be named, but which should not be considered.  (Hello!  This is me, at prayer!  When will I lose the world and gain the eternal?!  When will I give God 1/10th the focus and concentration I give work, or play?  Oh, God, give me that Grace!  I beg You!  I want to be with You and focus my all on You, to the extent that is compatible with my vocation!  I want to utterly lose my will, and to know Your Holy Will and do it always!)

But he who has the Grace of spiritual fortitude is able to subdue quickly the insolent motions of the flesh by pronouncing the word of Divine Power: “The Lord is my helper: I will not fear what the flesh may do to me!’ Therefore, though sensuality may cause trouble for him, and the voice of the flesh may murmur, yet he does not easily consent, because greater by far is the force of God’s love, which interiorly strengthens him.

Such a one is sometimes so sweetly, strongly, and ardently drawn to God, that he does not see, and scarcely feels, what is present, or what takes place in the world, because he is not there, but elsewhere. He is not below with himself, but above with God, and in God, who inwardly moves, elevates, and, as it were, carries him away win a fiery chariot, that he may sometimes enjoy Him by holy desire in the happy aspirations of his heart.

This is not easy.  Especially since Vatican II, there has not been too much in the way of Catholic spirituality that advises this kind of interior retreat from the world and all that is so false in it, to focus oneself to the maximum extent possible on God.  But a Kempis is not just writing for cloistered religious – his writings apply for all of us, and have as much, or more, meaning today as they did when written.  Our increasingly fragmented, electronic, skin-deep, harried, and schizophrenic world desperately needs true Christian witness (and not the easy pablum of the megachurch or the new age), but that witness can only be given when one has a profound interior life.  The interior MUST drive the exterior – without a vibrant interior life, no exterior apostolate will long whether the storms of the world.  St. Francis knew this, all the very great Saints knew this, and practiced an incredibly deep and rich interior life in order to “power” their exterior works.

I am so far from having that life it isn’t even funny.  I can’t do anything on my own.  I know I offend God 1000 different ways a day.  So I beg for His Grace to radically change me, to change my mind and heart and soul to look to Him first in everything, and through love for Him to then have that Charity for others we are called have – a Christ-like Charity.  I am trying! But by my own efforts, I know I shall achieve nothing – I depend on God for all, when I allow Him to work through me.

Yet another Planned Barrenhood bust February 8, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, General Catholic, sickness, Society.
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This time in NYC, with an added bonus – the Bronx, NY Planned Parenthood Staffer Tells “Pimp” He Can Pose As Guardian To Get Tax Payer Funded Services For Underage Sex Workers!!!  Eleventy!11! 

I understand that Cecile Richards is heavily sedated in a padded room somewhere.  Planned Barrenhood has floated the idea of having all their public staff retrained.  That won’t do it. This won’t end until PB is defunded.  Still more than half to go, and the worst is yet to come!

10 non-religious reasons to oppose “gay marriage” February 8, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, General Catholic, horror, sadness, sickness, Society.
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Over at Fr. Angelo Geiger’s site, Mary Victrix, he posts a document put together by an anonymous individual that presents 10 very well reasoned arguments in oppostion to this destructive, illusory notion of “gay marriage.”   The document at the link above is a fairly long MS Word document – I’m going to list the 10 reasons here, you can read the substantial logic backing up these oppositions to gay marriage at the original at Fr. Geiger’s site:

  • The legalization of homosexual “marriages” would enshrine the sexual revolution in law.
  • It would, in particular, enshrine in law the principle that sexual intercourse is a matter of personal fulfillment, with which the society has nothing to do.
  • It will drive a deeper wedge between man and woman. (: the acceptance of homosexuality is predicated upon the tacit assumption that male and female are not made for one another. It defines male apart from female, female apart from male; or it leaves those terms free-floating, without definition. Young men and young women already are growing up without understanding what they are to be for one another. Again, the results are predictable. Fewer young people marry.  When they do marry, their emphasis on personal fulfillment, rather than on interpersonal and complementary gifts, bodes ill for the survival of the marriage)
  • It makes a mockery of chastity. (it is amazing to me how many supporters of ‘gay marriage,’ especially nominally Catholic supporters of this notion, have even the barest conception of chastity.  They act like it’s an alien concept that has never really been practiced in human experience.  This is false.  Chastity has been a cornerstone of human existence for millenia.  The simple fact is, these people who treat chastity like a bizaare outlier in human behavior are simply incapable of imagining themselves being chaste, and hence, they deride the entire concept -ED)
  • It will curtail opportunities for deep and emotionally fulfilling friendships between members of the same sex, opportunities that are already few and strained. This is particularly true of men. (it’s an increasingly common refrain – any man that has a close male friend is immediately suspect of being homosexual.  This puts limits on friendships and keeps them at surface levels.  Look at how the supporters of gay marriage try to paint the Biblical David and Jonathan as gay lovers, or Cardinal Newman – ED).
  • . It leaves us with no logical grounds for opposing any form of consensual intercourse among adults (if gay marriage becomes law, it will not be 20 years before “we” allow consanguinous couples, or polyamorous, or a boy and his dog.  There will be no limits, just as there were no limits to the destruction of married life after the legalization of contraception and abortion – ED)
  • It seals us in a culture of divorce.
  • It normalizes an abnormal behavior (you really need to read this section in the original, it is key – ED)
  • In one crucial respect the social acceptance of homosexuality makes matters worse, not better, for the homosexual himself
  • It spells disaster for children

(A bit more on this last from the author): Our society has been corrupting childhood for a long time now, all under the pretense of good hygiene. Why have we forgotten that it is crucial to our emotional and intellectual development that sexual feelings be latent while we are children?  It frees the time for what is then more important: learning.  In the first instance, the boy learns to be a boy and then a man, so that afterwards he can marry; and the girl learns to be a girl and then a woman.  But also the boys and girls are learning about the world around them — a world of duties and responsibilities.  This social learning is short-circuited by a forced precocity in matters of sex.  Other forms of learning are short-circuited too.  The boy who at age fifteen is not interested in girls may well be forging his way through calculus, or learning to take cars apart and rebuild them from scratch.  The girl who at age fifteen is not interested in boys may be devouring the novels of Charles Dickens.  Since, given the many years we expect our children to be in school and then college, most will not marry until long after puberty, why on earth would we want to hurry the onset of the troubles?  Would we of all people not want instead that our children should not even think seriously about the opposite sex until well into their teenage years, at the earliest?  But if homosexual “marriage” is accepted, there can be no such wise deferral.  We will be visiting a crisis of identity upon every child in our society.  That in fact is the intention of many homosexual activists, whose revenge upon the children who were once cruel or indifferent to them is to afflict other children with doubts, to make them endure the questions that they themselves endured