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Abortion – unremitting sorrow March 16, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, horror, sadness, Society.
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We recently had the spectacle of women twittering, purportedly, that they were oh-so-very-proud of their abortions.  I say purportedly, because I have frequently sensed, and occasionally had confirmed by personal testimonies, that these defiant statements of the wonderful miracle of abortion sound like someone desperately trying to convince themselves that what they say is so.  I’m sure some women are genuinely glad to have had abortion(s).  But I think for the vast majority, perhaps, those with a glimmer of Grace remaining, it is a devastating experience. Jill Stanek gives us some evidence of this latter phenomenon, the testimony of a woman who had three abortions, and is in misery well over a decade later:

As I’ve read your tweets and your blog, I silently repeat, “Thank you God for this woman’s courage.”

Only one person knows my entire story and that is my current husband. I confessed to him a few years ago when I felt the Holy Spirit rising up inside me to let someone know. I had to tell someone I could trust. With abortion, it’s hard to know who you can trust. The shame is unbearable.

I’m a recovering alcoholic, a former narcissist, and now a follower of Jesus Christ. I was born again 10 years ago. I’ve committed sins since that time but the sins I committed in the ’90′s will forever be etched in my heart and cause heartache until I come face to face with God.

The first time I became pregnant was by a guy who I had dated for several months. We had broken up and I found out I was pregnant. He told me I had to have an abortion because he was in college and his dad had these plans for his life and they did not include a child before marriage. We talked about this for several days and I eventually made the appointment and killed my baby.

A year later I became pregnant again and knowing I couldn’t go through what I had done the year prior, I had my daughter who is now a beautiful high school student. Her father and I had dated off and on for a couple of years and it was during one of the “on” times that I became pregnant. He told me he was scared but would be there for me. He wasn’t. Thankfully I had a supportive family and friends who were with me throughout my entire pregnancy and to this day are there for me.

A few years later, I married. During my 4-year marriage, I became pregnant twice. But both times, I was afraid my marriage wouldn’t work and he would leave me and though I could “manage” caring for one child as a single parent, I couldn’t manage having another child. At the time, it wasn’t “convenient.” So, in 4 years of marriage, I had 2 abortions. The first time, my husband took me to the clinic. The second time, I went by myself.

I cry as I write this. I’m not sure why I’m sending you this message to be honest. I just want to encourage you to continue the fight of speaking out against the ones who have no voice. I suffer from depression, have had suicidal thoughts, and the guilt I feel from time to time is overwhelming. I often tell my husband it is so easy for me to forgive others because I know that God has forgiven me, but how do I forgive myself? I’ve read books on forgiving myself and they make sense. But to actually put them into practice takes work. Hard work.

If I could talk to one girl or woman who is considering abortion, I would tell them NO. Stop. The hurt of having an abortion didn’t stop when I got up from the table after the procedure. The pain continues in my heart. Nearly 20 years later, the pain of what I did to my unborn babies is, at times, overwhelming. When I look at my daughter now, I wonder what my other children would look like. Would they have her smile? Would they have her sense of humor?…………The pain doesn’t stop………

For another, rather more profane example, the porn star accomplice of Charlie Sheen on his recent binge/gotterdammerung death ride, who has had four abortions, attempted suicide a couple of days ago:

[Charlie] Sheen’s porn star pal Kacey Jordan, with whom he allegedly partied during the January binge that culminated in a trip to the hospital, began tweeting messages that indicated a very disturbed mental state prior to her admission at Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital today, according to RadarOnline.com.

The XXX star, who had an abortion last month after allegedly becoming pregnant with Sheen’s child, wrote, “i took a bunch of pills…drank a hotel size bottle of jack… stumbled to the bathroom to weigh myself………86 lbs,” following which hotel staff allegedly raided her room

I don’t know much about either woman, except that abortion and addiction go hand in hand. Many women who procure abortions have drug/alcohol problems.  It’s a death spiral of despair.  I know of only one way out – the redeeming Grace of “Jesus Christ, and Him Crucified.” [1 Cor 2:2]  These women need many, many prayers.  They also need to be evangelized on the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church.

Please watch this – Voris on our timeless Faith March 16, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Ecumenism, General Catholic, North Deanery, Society.
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It is sooooo key for apologetics and true ecumenism to note what Voris relays here – around the year 100, early Church Fathers referenced the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and the fact that the Faith of Jesus Christ subsists only in the One Holy Catholic Church.   In this country in particular, these two truths have enormous significance.  So many evangelical protestants believe the Catholic Church is some medieval ‘whore of Babylon,’ a misbegotten construct of men who have betrayed the church Christ founded and kept it subsumed for centuries.  It was only apparently in 1517, or 1528, or 1640, or 1850, or whenever the leader of whichever particular protestant sect came around that the true** Christianity could be set free.  It is utter hogwash, and it is so important to note that so many of the fundamental dogmas of the Church have been around since the very, very beginning, and have never changed.  Ask a baptist what the Real Presence is and he’ll look at you funny.  I don’t know how those people read John 6 and yet never receive the Blessed Sacrament.  Anyhoo, here’s my man Michael Voris:

We need more people like this to let the Holy Spirit speak through them so clearly and unequivocally.

North Dakota bishops – do not support these groups March 16, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, horror, North Deanery, sadness, sickness, Society.
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Here’s something you don’t see everyday.  Two bishops, both of diocese in North Dakota, issued a document exhorting the faithful under their charge not to donate to certain organizations due to those organizations having philosophies that are antithetical to the Catholic Faith:

Here is the list of organizations they singled-out (see the reasons why here):

American Association of University Women
Amnesty International
Crop Walk/Church World Service
March of Dimes
Susan G. Komen for the Cure
UNICEF

Why these groups – they are all pro-abort, or donate money to Planned Parenthood or pro-abort groups.  Some are also opposed to defending traditional marriage.  This is a short list.  There are many other groups that donate money to Planned Parenthood, unfortunately, including:

Girl Scouts USA
American Cancer Society
Easter Seals
Boys and Girls Clubs
CampFire Girls
Kiwanis Clubs
YMCA (formerly Young Men’s Christian Association)

Unfortunately, Planned Parenthood has its fingers in many pies, and receives funding from hundreds of private sources.  These donations are usually small, but indicate an unwillingness to defend life and at least tacit support for the pro-abort cause on the part of the contributor.  There is a trend among charities to join large blocs of organizations that donate to one another.  That is why Planned Barrenhood receives funding from so many other charities.

Confession is a vastly powerful but underutilized Sacrament March 16, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery.
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There are so many reasons to go to Confession.  To reconcile ourselves to God and Church, to get back into the life of Sacramental Grace that flows into a soul in a state of friendship with God, to find and weed out our faults and failings, and as a penitential offering for those who do not make use of this Sacrament.  Each Confession benefits the whole Church:

The way to receive Confession

The greatest tragedy in any man’s life is sin, because the result of sin is a far-reaching disorder which starts in the very centre of his being and spreads outward to affect all those around him. In the Sacrament of Penance Our Lord sorts out all those misplaced elements; in addition to pardoning the sins, he restores to the soul its lost order and harmony.

A well-made confession brings much good to all those who live and work with us. What is more, it is of benefit to very many other people with whom we come into contact in the course of the day. The grace that we receive in this sacrament means that we say and do everything in a very different way.

Not only that, but when a Christian goes to Confession, the whole Church receives an incalculable benefit. Every time a priest pronounces the words of absolution, she [the Church – ED] rejoices and is mysteriously enriched, because every Confession, through the Communion of Saints, sends blessings which resound through the whole Mystical Body of Christ.

In the intimate life of the Church – whose cornerstone is Christ – every member supports all the others his good works and merits, and is at the same time supported by them. We all need to be, and in fact we all are, continually receiving a share of the spiritual benefits which are common to us all. Our own merits are helping our fellow men in every part of the world. In the same way sin, lukewarmness, venial sins and self -satisfied mediocri­ty weigh down every member of the pilgrim Church: If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

This is the other aspect of that solidarity which, on the religious level, is developed in the profound and magnifi­cent mystery of the ‘Communion of Saints’, thanks to which it has been possible to say that ‘every soul that rises above itself raises up the world’. To this ‘law of ascent’ there unfortunately corresponds the ‘law of descent’. Con­sequently one can speak of a ‘communion of sin’, whereby a soul that lowers itself through sin drags down with itself the Church and, in some way, the whole world. In other words there is no sin, not even the most intimate and secret one, that exclusively concerns the person committing it. With greater or lesser violence, with greater or lesser harm, every sin has repercussions on the entire ecclesial body and on the whole human family.

That is a beautiful reflection on the Sacrament of Penance from the Franciscans of the Immaculate.   It is precisely for the reasons stated above that I beg, implore, and agitate for more Confession time in all our parishes!  “If you build it, they will come.”  My experience has been that adding more time for Confession will lead to more people availing themselves of that great Sacrament.  I know one local parish that has greatly increased their Confession time – they have 12+ man-hours of Confession per week (4 hours x 3 priests), and there are lines present all throughout that time, now.  Many more souls are reconciled to God due to the emphasis that is placed on this Sacrament.  And emphasis it is, because when a parish has more time for Confession, that communicates to the faithful in ways subtle and direct that the priest/pastor places a high emphasis on this pentitential Rite.  What a great blessing!

In times past, most parishes would have Confession time every day.  It was also common to see Confession offered during Mass – such was the emphasis on this very necessary Sacrament that priests not celebrating the Mass would be in the Confessional, allowing souls to be in a worthy state to receive Communion.  I pray every day that we will see much more emphasis on Confession in our local parishes.  It is sad to know that many Catholics have not been to Confession in years, and are in all likelihood receiving the Blessed Sacrament unworthily……”eating and drinking comdemnation on themselves.”

A heavy duty Lenten sacrifice? Abstain from marital relations. March 16, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, Lent, North Deanery.
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Via CatholicCulture, a Phillipine bishop has stated that there would be many spiritual benefits deriving from abstaining from marital relations during Lent. 

“That is their own decision… but we encourage it,” said Archbishop Paciano Aniceto of Pampanga, chairman of the Philippine bishops’ commission on family and life. “It’s in the Bible that the Jewish priest cannot officiate in the Holy of Holies unless he abstains from conjugal act with the wife.”

The archbishop’s statement is reminiscent of that of the Roman Catechism (Catechism of the Council of Trent, 1566), which advised frequent abstinence from marital relations during Lent. “As every blessing is to be obtained from God by holy prayer, the faithful are also to be taught sometimes to abstain from the marriage debt, in order to devote themselves to prayer,” the catechism taught. “Let the faithful understand that this religious continence, according to the proper and holy injunction of our predecessors, is particularly to be observed for at least three days before Communion, and oftener during the solemn fast of Lent.”

So, what do you think of that?  One commenter at CatholicCulture has already opined that such a sacrifice would undermine the marital relationship and could cause strife between partners.  I don’t know if it needs to be as heavy as all that – I don’t know that I’m prepared to make this kind of sacrifice, this Lent, but I do think there has been a growing tendency among many in the Church to conflate good and frequent sex with a good and stable marriage.  Now, the marital embrace does have a powerful unitive element, but I would hazard that many of those most opposed to this kind of sacrifice would also be those least inclined to include constant openness to procreation as a completely necessary aspect of a healthy marital state.   Herein lies some of the danger I see both in the ‘Theology of the Body’ popular presentations and in the ‘Natural Family Planning’ enthusiasts.  The former seems to obsessively focus on the body and sex, and the latter often takes the form of ‘Catholic birth control‘, implying an openness to life that may not, in truth, be present. 

I think this kind of sacrifice could actually be beneficial in some cases.  I don’t know that I’d begin such a fast, however, without some good spiritual direction to insure that it is properly ordered and not something used for inappropriate reasons.   But, then, we all know I hate sex.  That’s why I have six kids.  And I’m secretly gay.  Sooooooo…….I have that going for me. 

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