jump to navigation

Cardinal Burke on the fall of the West March 17, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, disaster, General Catholic, scandals, sickness, Society.
comments closed

Raymond Cardinal Burke gave a speech recently in Sydney that caused some uproar on those distant shores.  The speech was entitled ‘The Fall of the Christian West,’ and can be downloaded here.  I have not read it, yet, but I am aware that the Church in Australia is in crisis, with truly plummeting vocations (far worse than here), and many priests openly ‘dissenting’ from Church doctrine. 

I may post on this tomorrow after I read it tonight.  Meanwhile, perhaps you could say a prayer for Cardinal Burke, who is a truly good man who loves the Church. 

h/t Rorate Caeli

Even venial sin is a very serious issue March 17, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, Interior Life, Lent.
comments closed

For a while after I converted, I failed to understand the gravity of sin.  I knew what mortal sin was, but I wasn’t fully aware that some of my actions were either in or very close to that dread category.  It took me a while to fully comprehend the nature of mortal sin, what constitutes one, and how it is literally like walking up to God and slapping him in the face full force.  It totally cuts us off from the life of Grace. And there are alot of very grave sins, that could be mortal, that I’m afraid are committed by Catholics on a very regular basis (support for abortion, use of contraception, masturbation, porn, excessive drink and drug, etc).  

But even with this consciousness of mortal sin, I had perhaps for a time viewed venial sin as something not very serious.  Hey, we all lie sometimes, or don’t work as hard as we should, or insist on having our way with something, right?  It’s just human nature, and God wouldn’t be upset with that, right?

Well, not really.  Deliberate, venial sin is also a very serious thing, something it took me some time to become cognizant of.  In Divine Intimacy, Chapter 101, venial sin is discussed at length.  Below are some excerpts:

Venial sin, like mortal sin, goes counter to God’s Will, although with less serious deviation. While it does not destroy charity, it is opposed to it and therefore diminishes its fervor and vigor, hindering its development. This is the disastrous effect of deliberate venial sin committed with the realization that it is displeasing to God.

Once venial sins of this kind become habitual, they decrease the soul’s tendency toward God, and increase, on the other hand, it’s leaning toward self-satisfaction and creatures. Thus, little by little, the soul loses fervor, its sense of sin, and falls into tepidity, which is characterized by a certain indifference to venial sin.  This puts it in danger of offending God in serious matters, also……It is not unusual to meet souls who having at first surrendered themselves to God with sincere fervor, afterwards let themselves fall into continual carelessness, indifference, and laziness, because they have given into selfishness and sought their own comfort.  Their spiritual life is reduced to a kind of lethargy which is not yet death, but which has none of the vigor of a strong, healthy life.

St. Teresa of Jesus declares: “Always be fearful if you do not feel sorry for the faults you commit, for even venial sin ought to fill you with sorrow to the very depths of your soul……For the love of God, take care not to commit any deliberate venial sin, even the smallest……..can anything be small if it offends God?”

St. Catherine of Siena wrote: “Peccavi, Domine, miserere mei! I owe it to Your Goodness that I am still Your spouse, even though I am unfaithful to You by my faults…..O my soul, what are you doing? Are you note aware that God sees you always? You can never hide yourself from His sight, for nothing is hidden from Him. O eternal God, Father of all goodness and mercy, have pity on us because we are blind and in darkness, and I, more than anyone else, am miserable and to be pitied……Drive out the darkness and give me light; melt the ice of my self-love and kindle in me the fire of Your charity…..”

This may seem a little strong to some.  But I think that the sense of the awfulness of sin has been lost in the last several decades.  Certainly, we don’t have to go around in ashes and sackcloth, but we should be serious about recognizing our failings and amending our life.  Lent is a perfect time for that.  It is a perfect time to perform an examination of conscience, to look for areas where we may have failings we were unaware of, or where we have made little progress, to go to Confession, and seriously try to amend our life.   The closer our union with God through conformance to His Will, the greater the amount of Grace will flow into our soul, and the more deeply bound God will be inside of us.  He will literally come to fill us more and more.  This is what the Saints experience as they grow in faith in fervor.  It is available for us all, but it does take much work, much amendment of life.

Speaking of gay marriage….. March 17, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, General Catholic, North Deanery, scandals, sickness, Society.
comments closed

…..in the preceding post I had surmised that the generally increasing support for fake gay marriage among the populace as a whole and within the Church is the result of a co-ordinated PR campaign.  Providentially, Thomas Peters has a detailed post up explaining exactly how this effort works, and who is funding this PR campaign aimed at the Church.  Suffice it to say, millions of dollars are being spent specifically to try to separate Catholics from the Truth revealed by Christ through His Church.  Unfortunately, many poorly formed Catholics, or those of a certain political outlook, are very susceptible to these kinds of efforts.  We must pray for them, and redouble our efforts to proclaim the unchanging Truth revealed by Christ – homosexuality is an un-natural perversion of the natural order and as offensive to God as any other serious sin.  Please, please read all of Peter’s post, because it is full of extremely important information, but here’s the money paragraph:

[Three quick points: 1) Mark Stricherz pointed out today that the degree of religious observance among Christians correlates strongly to their support of natural marriage. This is why gay money first went after Christian denominations that are less observent. 2) For just one example of non-Catholics arguing for gay marriage from a biblical perspective (!), see this article by Rev. Douglas Long, a minister at Umstead Park United Church of Christ, just published this week. 3) To witness one of the first glimpses of “Catholic” outfits promoting the gay marriage agenda, look no further than this article published in the National Catholic Reporter (surprise!) which promotes New Ways’ Ministry booklet! [A booklet recently condemned by the Church -ED] A prominent gay blog picked up NCR’s story with the introduction: “[A] Refreshing admission from a Catholic news outlet” … see how it works? A soft “Catholic” outfit legitimizes a dissenting point of view and the gay community translates it as vindication that their viewpoint is winning out, while faithful Catholics in turn feel demoralized and marginalized. This sort of coordination is no accident.]

All of these seeemingly disparate events – a Catholic college hosting a “conversation” on gahy marriage intended to undermine Church Doctrine, a “ministry” that has been repeatedly comdemned by the Church launches a PR campaign, and a faux-catholic group announces a new effort to win Catholics over to their side.  All of these efforts are spurred by outside funding coming from radical gay activists, and these efforts are completely coordinated.  These activists desperately crave not just tolerance, but that society embrace their lifestyle and tell them how good and wonderful it is.  That is why they can’t stand the Church maintaining it’s 2000 year adherence to Truth – it is offensive to their craving for validation.  That, and power.

Half of Catholics support giving state recognition to same sex couples pretending to be married March 17, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, Society.
comments closed

……..followed by an assuredly egocentric exhortation for our priests.

Over at CatholicCulture, Dr. Jeff Mirus has an article discussing the latest Pew Poll that shows the trend towards acceptance of gay marriage accelerating in society.  Among Catholics, the data are as follows:

Among Catholics, the main determinant appears to be degree of commitment to the Faith, as one would expect. Overall, 49% of white Catholics favor same-sex marriage, with 41% opposed, a shift of about four percentage points in the past year or so. The numbers are a little lower and a little more stable for Hispanic Catholics (opposition has held steady at 43%, and approval has risen from 40 to 42%). But once you ask whether a Catholic attends church weekly or more, the numbers shift radically, with nearly 70% opposed to gay marriage and holding.

Dr. Mirus opines something I’ve said here before – that ‘acceptance’ of gays pretending to be married, and the state recognizing same, is less a sign of a true shift in people’s moral outlook, although, I think it does show that an understanding of what marriage truly is has all but collapsed in our society, and is more a sign of the fact that in our media saturated culture, few people are able to withstand the onslaught of what they are told they simply must accept as popular opinion, of what is only right and fair, for long.  Even twenty years ago, the idea of gays being given the same recognition under the law as married couples would have been completely laughable.   But under the concerted efforts of the extremely well funded gay lobby and their allies in academia and the media, a veritable constant onslaught of efforts to undermine traditional morality, acceptance of homosexuality as a normal thing, even a good thing, has skyrocketed.  There is not some fundamental right that is being denied homosexuals that can be likened to shifting opinion on civil rights issues in the past – marriage is not a ‘right’ conferred by God to those who, by choice or compulsion, engage in unnatural relationships.  It is not the same as denying political representation to a certain class.  Nor is it even remotely the same as the struggle to end segregation. 

I hear from priests periodically that it is impossible to get Catholics so comfortably esconced in the wisdom of the world to understand the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church.  When challenged to give sermons that represent ALL the Truths of the Faith more forcefully, to address these issues on which there is so much dissent and heresy in the Church, they claim that it is simply impossible to form people well who are so far gone, who embrace what the world tells them is good and right no matter how it conflicts with Church Doctrine.  I could not disagree more with this view.  How will the people be shaken out of their stupor unless they are presented the Truth, and all of it, in a bold and uncompromising way?!  I had a discussion with a priest I admire a great deal yesterday about Michael Voris and RealCatholicTV – the priest doesn’t like Voris, he feels he is too negative and focuses too much on the fallen nature of man and the problems in the Church.  Well, I’m glad someone is!  Look at the data – 1/3 of even those who attend Mass more than once a week “dissent” from a core Church Doctrine, a Doctrine that has been constant since the earliest days of the Church and which dates back to Divine Revelation many hundreds of years before Christ came!  This Doctrine is confirmed not only through repeated exhortations in the Old Testament, but also in the New.  This is not some minor point of ecclesiology – how one views marriage touches on core issues of the Sacraments, one’s vocation in life, the art of dying to self required of us all and a firm understanding of chastity.  Unless all these topics are touched on regularly by priests, with relation to gay marriage and the Church’s position on that topic, there is no way the people in the pews can be formed with a proper understanding of what the Church believes and why it believes it. 

In reality, the priests and bishops around the world have a grave responsibility to form the people in the Faith so that they can bend their will to the Will of God.  Human nature has always been the same – people always want to be selfish and to do their own thing.  They want to think what they want.  It is the responsibility of the priest and bishop to inform the people of the dead end nature of this selfishness, to inform them of the Truth, and to exhort them to live their lives in accordance with that great Truth Christ has revealed.  It used to be widely understood in the Church that all priests (and bishops) have a grave responsibility – that they are responsible for the sins of their people, and that if the priests don’t fight those sins with all their being and do all they can to denounce the sinful acts and beliefs of the people, those sins then become the priest’s, and bishop’s, and they will be held accountable for failing to form the Faithful at their individual judgement. 

I’m going to say something hard, for which I will apologize in advance – too many priests, even the good ones, want to put their heads in the sand and say it’s impossible to fight the culture, that the people are just too lost, too inured in the ways of the world and that we can’t expect to win them back very much.  We can’t challenge them too much, because they might leave, and then they’ll be even worse off, right?    So, rather than fight it, it’s better either to pretend everyone is doing fine and ignore those social issues from which so many Catholics dissent, or to simply adopt the wisdom of the world themselves and, openly or not, reject much of the Doctrine of the Faith.  So little faith!  Now, obviously, there are some good priests out there who are doing all they can to properly form the faithful, even on these “controversial” topics, but many do not.  Even some pretty good ones don’t want to fight, because they ‘count the cost.’

Very easy for me to say, I know.  I’m not the one whose career might be put on the line by saying inconvenient things.  But is a call to the priesthood really a career, or a vocation?  Can you really “do more good” by going along to get along or by unbendingly adhering to the Doctrine of the Faith, and constantly challenging and exhorting the faithful to do much, much better.  I say this in charity, because I truly love our priests and our Church, and I want, I crave, I beg for both to succeed.  I’m sure I sound very holier-than-thou…..I don’t intend it, and perhaps all this is just an exercise in wanting the Church to be what I want it to be, but I pray not.  I just pray that our priests, who are under such terrific pressures from innumerable sides, will give us that unvarnished Truth.  I know there will be a price to pay, but I think in the long run, if more priests did so, they would see such incredible benefits.  Look to the example of the great priest Saints of the past – they did not engage in happy-clappy feel good rhetoric, nor did they shy away from exhorting the faithful in the strongest terms.  St. John Chrysostom, St. Peter Canisius, St. Augustine, St. Athanasius, St. Padre Pio…..all priests, all greatly revered, and all willing, constantly, to present all the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church and to call out the people on their sins.  Such great examples.  I pray that God will bless His Church with many more such priests, today, right now.

Always pray for your priests, and pray specifically for their apostolates of Truth.