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Something I thought I’d never, ever see…. February 23, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic.
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….but am so glad I did!  A feminist fake-ordained as a ‘deacon’ has renounced her fake ordination.  Which, is kind of oxymoronic, but, hey, at least she’s repudiating her sinful attempt at ordination.  She now agrees that it is impossible for women to be ordained, that the Church hasn’t the competence to do so, and that she understands that all efforts to the contrary are not only doomed to failure, but are offensive to God.  She’s cut all ties with the delusional Roman Catholic women priests group. Way to go!  That is awesome!  Welcome back!  We’ll pray for you!.  From her letter:

Holy God, I ask your blessings on my Bishop and my pastor and priests in Rome who have assisted me in the process of being re-instated into the Roman Catholic Church and I forsake all connection with the Roman Catholic Women Priests program via Internet or otherwise.

I thank you for the efforts of my family in my behalf and ask for Jesus’ Light and Love to pour over my husband of 47 years and my five children.

Forgive me my Beloved Jesus and Mother Mary for pursuing my own will in this matter of ordination and as I consecrate myself to your Divine Will through the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I ask you to pour out Light and Love upon any who have placed themselves outside of your Love and Light Bless us, O Lord, for these thy gifts and place us in the Heart of the Father, as we pray for more priests to serve in our church and for vocations to enrich our Church in the United States.

Forgive us for failing in obedience and enrich us in your Holy Love, I pray through Jesus and Mary. Fiat+

Beautiful.

h/t Fr. Phillip Neri Powell OP

I LOVE IT – Bishop Wenski describes new age as ‘narcissistic navel gazing’!!!!!! February 23, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, sickness.
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Awesome!  I’ve heard many good things about Bishop Wenski of Miami, and a few not so good, but this is fantastic!   And, I might add, another bishop with a substantial blog for his diocese, not just………..heh.  I’ll bite my tongue on our local ordinary’s blog.  And he even allows comments – wow, what a novel concept!   New Age is old Gnosticism:

While New Age writings may seductively appeal to the legitimate longing of human nature, they are fundamentally opposed to Christian revelation.

Spirituality in our Catholic tradition is more than just narcissistic navel gazing. It is not a self-absorbed seeking after self-fulfillment found through esoteric teachings or practices. Christianity’s invitation is to look outwardly and beyond — to a “New Advent” of the God who calls us to a dialogue of love, a dialogue which invites us to conversion and submission to his will.

Authentic spirituality for the Christian is not so much about our search for God but God’s search for us. Spiritual life is a relationship with the Triune God entered into through our participation in Christ’s passion, death and resurrection through baptism and the living of a life of discipleship. This personal relationship with God grows through his free gift of grace and sheds light on our relationship to our fellow men and women and indeed on our relationship to the world.

New Age spirituality — born as a reaction to contemporary culture but nevertheless its child — certainly represents a new challenge to the Church today. Yet, there is very little that is “new” in New Age teachings. A joint statement issued a few years ago by the Pontifical Council for Culture and well as the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue quotes the Holy Father, who warns with regard to the “return of ancient Gnostic ideas under the guise of the so-called New Age: We cannot delude ourselves that this will lead toward a renewal of religion. It is only a new way of practicing Gnosticism — that attitude of the spirit that, in the name of a profound knowledge of God, results in distorting His Word and replacing it with purely human words.”

That statement entitled “Jesus Christ, the Bearer of the Water of Life,” offers an insightful analysis of the New Age movement and its incompatibility with sound Christian doctrine and practice. It specifically cautions against using the Enneagram, which in recent years has enjoyed some popularity among Christian groups and has even been promoted by some Catholic religious communities. The Enneagram, a pseudo-psychological exercise supposedly based on Eastern mysticism, introduces ambiguity into the doctrine and life of the Christian faith and therefore cannot be happily used to promote growth in an authentic Christian spirituality.

Well, isn’t that interesting, seeing that, at St. Joseph’s, the enneagram will be taught by one of the leading advocates of this misbegotten practices, Fr. Bill Sheehan.  And during Lent, of all times! It seems incredible, almost impossible, that one of our bishops could be at least tacitly approving this, but Bishop Deshotel must be at least not terribly opposed, seeing as he is also pastor of St. Joseph.  And how about Prince of Peace – that parish in Plano also ‘teaches’ how to use centering prayer?  And on an ongoing basis – they’ve been doing it for years. It’s almost like new age is some kind of doctrinally acceptable thing in this diocese, and yet, that cannot be.

It is so incredibly refreshing to hear an Ordinary speak the truth of this new age claptrap with respect to Catholic doctrine.  This diocese, and in particular that “oh my gosh, I’m sure this is SOOOO necessary’ organization the ‘Collin County Catholic Churches Association’ (which was actually formed as a vehicle for supporting Dallas Area Interfaith) have been sponsoring these dangerous new age speakers for years.  If you recall, the Collin County Churches Association consists of St. Mark, St. Elizabeth Seton, Prince of Peace, Our Lady of Angels, and St. Joseph.  They brought in Sr. Joyce ‘new age’ Rupp last year, Sr. Maria Schwan this year, and people like Richard Rohr (very new age), Maria Windecker (ditto), and Thomas Keating (the veritable grandfather of so-called catholic new age) in the past.  All of them new agers, all advocating that Catholics practice centering prayer, enneagrams, focusing entirely inwards on ourselves (to find the god, or goddess, within), and the like – all practices condemned by the Vatican – by the Pope. 

I love Bishop Wenski’s words.  I must pray more for him.  But when will this nonsense stop in this Diocese?  Is this really the best we can do?  When will our pastors, or bishops, stand up to the “Mrs. So and Sos” on the staff of these parishes listed above who keep bringing this garbage in, year after year?  It is such a complete abrogation of responsibility, it is heart-breaking.  I pray that with this latest condemnation of new age, more hearts and minds may be changed around here.

A depressing tale of hospitals killing patients February 23, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, General Catholic, horror, scandals, sickness, Society.
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I’ll never sign an ‘advanced care directive.’  That’s just a legal license for a hospital and insurance providers (the federal government!) to starve you to death.  I don’t want to live forever, but I don’t want to be starved to death, either.  Too long and detailed to post a clip, go here to read the entire tale of a man whose uncle was starved (and morphined) to death due to having signed an advanced care directive, likely in a fit of depression. 

We are not to try to seek an ultimate escape from our sufferings.  Easy for me to say, I know, but this belief is a constant strain that runs through Catholic belief.  That doesn’t mean we have to accept every pain that comes in life, but it does argue against these kinds of advanced directives.  The Church is opposed to “pulling the plug.”

America’s dying counties February 23, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, General Catholic, Immigration, sadness, sickness, Society.
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Most of my readers probably don’t know, but my family owns a farm in north central Kansas.  It’s in Phillips County, near the town of Phillipsburg, the county seat.   The population of Phillips County has been dropping for the last 5+ decades.  Whereas about 10,000 people used to reside in the county, now it’s down to about half that number.  And Phillips County is hardly unique – across the Great Plains, there has been a massive depopulation over the last several decades, with many farms folding and the land going back to fallow, a boon for hunters with the return of huge numbers of wildlife, but I’m not sure it’s a good thing, overall.  We have a great deal of slack in our agri-business infrastructure, right now. 

As I said, Phillips County is hardly unique.  And it’s not just the Great Plains that are affected.  Across the country, in primarily rural areas but sometimes not, roughly 1/4 of America’s counties are experiencing severe population decreases.  This puts a huge strain on local services, as the people who tend to remain are generally older, and of course is leading to all kinds of problems – economic depression, destitution of physical infrastructure, etc.  And while there are many reasons for the decline in the affected areas – from former rust belt suburbs near Pittsburg to failed retirement communities in Florida to barren coal mining counties in the Appalachians – I have to wonder if this problem would not have occurred if 1) this country had not aborted over 50 million of its children over the last 4 decades, and 2), the native-born birthrate wasn’t below replacement rate.  For the collapse of so many of these counties, an unprecedented event in US history, tracks nearly exactly with the availability of the pill and the legalization of baby slaughter:

In all, roughly 760 of the nation’s 3,142 counties are fading away, stretching from industrial areas near Pittsburgh and Cleveland to the vineyards outside San Francisco to the rural areas of east Texas and the Great Plains. Once-booming housing areas, such as retirement communities in Florida, have not been immune.

West Virginia was the first to experience natural decrease statewide over the last decade, with Maine, Pennsylvania and Vermont close to following suit, according to the latest census figures. As a nation, the U.S. population grew by just 9.7 percent since 2000, the lowest decennial rate since the Great Depression [your average coastal elite white female now has 1 child in her lifetime – ED].

…..common threads among the dying counties are older whites who are no longer having children, and an exodus of young adults who find little promise in the region and seek jobs elsewhere. The places also have fewer Hispanic immigrants, who on average are younger and tend to have more children than other groups. [the total fertility rate for native born caucasian women in the US is 1.7 – 20% below replacement rate – ED].

“The downturn in the U.S. economy is only exacerbating the problem,” said Johnson, whose research paper is being published next month in the journal Rural Sociology. “In some cases, the only thing that can pull an area out is an influx of young Hispanic immigrants or new economic development.” [because, once again, native born women are not having children at a sufficient rate to maintain, and certainly not increase, economic development].

I’ve been beating a lonely drum on this issue for the past year or so (since this blog’s inception).  Low birth rates lead to severe economic decline – even economic collapse, if the rates persist long enough.  If, in the US, we would have had 3 children per native born woman over the past 40 years, instead of less than 2, we would have massively fewer problems funding social security, medicare, and all the other entitlement programs.  The problem we have is not that the benefits are too great, although I think there should be means testing – the problem is we have not reproced ourselves enough to provide a large enough workforce to pay for the promised benefits to those who are in their retirement years, or will be soon.  In fact, reproduction has been so selfishly ignored in this country (and every ‘developed country), that we now have to import vast quantities of unskilled labor from abroad, through horribly flawed immigration policies (or lack thereof) in order to make up the difference.  The problem is, an immigrant worker will not be as skilled or efficient as a native born worker due to issues of language, culture, custom, etc.  And so what we’re trying to do to make up for our inability to reproduce ourselves is bound to be expensive and ineffcient, with many inherent problems such as lack of  inculturation, social breakdown, and crime. 

NOBODY talks about this as a serious issue.  No one with a major voice is out there trying to get people to have larger families.  And yet, strengthening families and encouraging children should be the very bedrock of any rational state’s policies.  I think White Lily is right – we do need a Catholic political party.  Something to advocate the true doctrine of the Church and obedience to the natural law. 

Hmmm……as if I weren’t busy enough already. 

Rejection of suffering is a cultural weakness February 23, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery, sickness, Society, The Imitation of Christ.
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I’m not saying people should fight through bone cancer with just a stick between their teeth, but our culture has become profoundly suffering-adverse.  No one wants to suffer, or even be mildy inconvenienced, and if we are, you better get out of the way!   This is not really a good thing.  We’re terribly soft.  And suffering is an integral part of drawing nearer to Christ – whether the sufferings and mortifications be great, like detox (I didn’t offer those up – I wasn’t there yet),  or small, like letting someone have the seat on the bus.  The Little Flower practiced perfect virtue, or very nearly so, through the little mortifications of life in a cloistered community and through offering all in love to God.  Jesus wants us to take up our cross and follow him.  The early desert fathers took this so very literally, and many of them are Saints.  Mortification is a necessity for sanctification.  A few thoughts from my man, Thomas a Kempis:

If thou knowest not how to meditate on high and hevavelnly things, rest on the passion of Christ, and willingly dwell in His sacred wounds.

Christ was also in this world despised by men, and in His greatest necessity forsaken by His acquaintance and friends in the midst of reproaches.

Christ would suffer and be despised, and dost thou dare to complain of anyone?

Christ had adversaries and backbiters, and wouldst thou have all to be thy friends and benefactors?

Whence shall thy patience be crowned if thou meet with no adversity?

If thou wilt suffer no opposition how wilt thou be a friend of Christ?

Suffer with Christ and for Christ if thou desirest to reign with Christ (2 Tim 2:12).

If thou hadst once perfectly entered into the interior of Jesus and experienced a little of His burning love, then wouldst thou not care at all for thy own inconvenience, but wouldst rather rejoice at reproach, because the love of Jesus makes a man despise himself.

A lover of Jesus and of truth and a true internal man, that is free from inordinate affections, can freely turn himself to God and in spirit elevate himself above himself, and rest in enjoyment.

I was actually talking with an Anglican family member about this last night.  She’s an incredibly dear lady, as considerate of others as I know, but this concept of ‘dying to self’ is totally foreign to her, intellectually, although she practices mortification alot more than many do, including me.  It’s just her way of being nice and thinking of others.  But, she has trouble believing that God  might want us to not enjoy this life so very much, to focus our thoughts and desires on the next life.  While she does mortify herself in many small ways, she also has many earthly attachments – friends, her Anglican church, reading, and most of all, her family.  I have many more attachments, I think.  But I see the Catholic mysticism that says to let go of those things, to focus our life first on God, and then outwards through that perfected love that we send to and through God out to others.  I’m terrible at it, and, really, I’m just beginning to kind of start to maybe almost understand this dying to self thing.  It’s so totally foreign to the ways of the world, especially our modern world.  I see so many things I need to change about myself.  And it’s interesting, when I gave her a copy of the Imitation of Christ to read, and even The Story of a Soul, they didn’t resonate with her, I don’t think – she just isn’t comfortable with this idea that we should turn away from the world.  But I want to embrace that philosophy so very much.  So I find it odd, that someone who rejects it would be better at it than I am!  My God, Your ways are not our ways.  Ohhh….You are so great!  I pray for a voice to sing Your praises like those Saints of Your Church!  My life is Yours – I consecrate it all to Your Perfect Will now!  Take it!  Make me Yours, Your slave, Your instrument, whatever You want of me! 

I seem to have gotten rather off the track.  The point is…..if you want to become a Saint, be prepared to let go of everything else.  St. John of the Cross says that the path of perfection is the path of nothing.  Hold on to nothing.  Prefer nothing.  Love nothing, save God.  You may say, “but aren’t we called to love our families, our friends, neighbors, strangers?”  Yes, we are.  But we are first called to love God, and when we are greatly perfected in virtue and in mortification and have that greatly perfected love for God, we will have an immensely greater love for our family, and friends, and neighbors. We will have a charity, a love, perfected by the Grace of God.  The more we die to ourselves, the less we sin, the less attached we are to things of the world, the more God will come to dwell in us and fill us with His Grace.  To gain our families, friends, and neighbors, to gain perfect charity, we must first lose them in the worldly sense.  And that is why our world today is so full of misery, because so very few choose to follow this path.  And that is the source of a grave cultural weakness, an enormous, gaping wound that continues to fester and grow.  So  many who read this blog have great concerns about the Church – certainly I do.  What the Church needs for renewal, for a return to a much greater holiness, is not plans or committees or USCCB memos or anything like that – it is Saints.  The Church, and the world, need Saints.  Mortification is a necessity for sanctification.  This is the path of the Saints.

God bless you!

Here is a good read on the same subject.

Anybody seen this? The Procedure February 23, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic.
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Seeing more and more really well made pro-life films taking on the reality of abortion, especially the after effects on women’s lives.