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Examination of conscience March 21, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery.
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Examination of conscience is a necessary part of any faithful Catholic’s interior life.  Unfortunately, it’s not a topic that gets discussed very frequently in sermons or other venues, and alot of Catholics aren’t familiar with the concept, or how to do it.  Here are some words from Divine Intimacy, a “guidebook” of Carmelite spirituality:

To insure an orderly and progressive growth in the spiritual life, we must know ourselves. We have to consider our sins, our weak points, our evil tendencies, as well as the progress we have already made and our inclinations to the good. This knowledge of our interior state is obtained through the examination of conscience.  The examen considered in this way becomes one of the most important exercises of the spiritual life, since its object is to help the soul to rid itself of everything that might obstruct or delay its journey to God, and to stimulate it to quicken its pace toward Him.   We cannot fight evil in ourselves if we have not previously identified it. We can never attain sanctity if we have not looked or an efficacious means of acquiring it.  The examination of conscience attains its end when the soul who has faithfully practiced this exercise can say to itself: these are the inclinations which I must watch more carefully to avoid falling into sin; these, the weak points which I must strengthen; thse are the virtues that I must practice most of all.

It is clear that we must first recognize and combat any tendencies which could lead us to mortal sin, but then, those that could bring us to venial sin or to simple voluntary imperfections must be similarly treated.  Everything that constitutes a deliberate fault m ust be progressively rooted out of the soul which aspires to divine union.

Instead of trying to seek out all the faults it has committed, the soul living an interior life should fix its attention on the degree to which its faults have been voluntary, even in the case of slight imperfections, because it is these deliberate faults that present the greatest obstacle to spiritual progress and to union with God. The soul must carefully investigate teh cause of and the motive for these failures. It is precisely against this root of our sins and imperfections that we must direct our efforts, not simply to lessen it by mortification, but rather to fight it directly by the increase of the oppostive virtues in ourselves.

Another important point that must not be overlooked in the examination of conscience is teh rememberance of our duty to sustain and guard the desire for sanctity and to enliven our determination to do always what is most pleasing to God; here is the heart of spiritual life, of generosity.  It is also an excellent method to examine ourselves from God’s point of view instead of our own.

Frequent confession is essential for most to advance in their spiritual lives.  Frequent confession preceded by examination of conscience tends, over time, to bring forth many faults previously unrecognized and even their root causes, leading to spiritual growth.  Many deeply involved in the spiritual life counsel that Confessions should be made at least weekly – our previous Holy Father made Confession several times a week, and Mother Teresa almost daily.  Were they soooo evil?  No – they recognized that examination of conscience and frequent Confession are essential tools for growth in sanctity.

A short video on the nature of global warming ‘science’ March 21, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, scandals, sickness, Society.
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This video is from a Cal-Berkeley physics professor (Richard Muller) and global warming cooling climate change supporter.  He believes humans are causing the earth to heat up through greenhouse gas emissions.  But even he must concede that much of the data used to support his supposition is horribly flawed and has been faked to make the problem look far worse than it is.  He is going back to redo the work that certain global warming zealots faked in order to pursue their political agenda (and get quite rich in the process):

The USCCB has determined to give very strong support to various organizations seeking to radically change the economic structure of the entire globe in order to combat this alleged, looming environmental disaster.  I cannot think of an agenda less worthy of the support of the USCCB than this, very probably, entirely made up “crisis.”  This kind of lock-step left wing advocacy undermines whatever other good the USCCB might do.  Which, I’m sure, is legion, I’m just drawing a blank right now.

Ho-hum, another war March 21, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, Society.
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As if our military were not spread thin enough, we are now committed to another war, democrat-style (meaning no ground troops or much risk at all of casualties – war on the ‘safe,’ for our side, anyway).   CatholicVote has an article noting that the same catholics who have been absolutely apopletic about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are either silent on this latest involvement in Libya, or are openly in support of it.   There is some delicious schadenfraude in that, and if that wasn’t tending towards sin I’d be enjoying it more. 

I’m thinking this latest little war is a bad idea for a whole host of reasons.  After 9/11, I was very much in favor of the campaigns in both Afghanistan and Iraq.  Years of experience and the apparent impossibility of pacifying those regions have made me much more skeptical.  And, I was alot less of a practicing, faithful Catholic back then.  Given our severe economic problems and the fact that our military is using up ancient equipment that is falling apart, for the most part, I’d rather we try a serious period of retrenchment, rather than get involved in yet another conflict that is entirely internal and attempt to ram through democracy in a part of the world where the people seem to have a psychological inability to have open, stable government.  That effort looks alot like political imperialism, and while I don’t buy the myth of the “arab street,” I don’t think it’s going to win us many friends, either. 

I do want to keep Al Queda and other terrorist organizations suppressed, and I think the effort in Afghanistan has been reasonable in that regard.  I think Iraq was begun with good motives but was horribly executed and almost became a quagmire, but is reasonably settled, for now.  But I don’t see the need to become involved in yet another civil war, picking sides and deciding who the “good guys” are, when we barely even know who, if anyone, their leaders are, what their goals are, or what the end game is.  I can do without this one.  And who knows how many will die as a result of this action – or maybe fewer will die, who knows?  But I’m getting worn out with war – I’m only 39, but over the last 22 years this is the 9th major engagement the US has been involved in, not counting a whole bunch of smaller ones.  How about a break?

Lefty poll reveals most American support fake marriage – UPDATED March 21, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, General Catholic, sickness, Society.
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Via my peeps at CatholicCulture, a Washington Post-ABC poll reveals most Americans now support fake gay marriage:

A majority of Americans now favor legal recognition of same-sex marriage, according to a Washington Post-ABC news poll.

The poll shows 53% in favor of same-sex marriage, and 44% opposed. The results represent a dramatic swing in public opinion during the past several years. In 2004, a similar poll found the public opposing same-sex marriage by nearly a 2-to-1 margin. A few decades earlier the question might have been considered unthinkable.

Unsurprisingly, the Washington Post-ABC poll showed a sharp division in public opinion, with an unusually high number of respondents indicating that they were “strongly” opposed to, or in favor of, legal recognition for same-sex unions.

Now, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a “push” poll – a poll designed to push public opinion by giving the impression of inevitability on the part of some issue.  Thus, they may have skewed the population surveyed by a large amount towards those normally well disposed to gay marriage – democrats, in general.  Or, it could be that public opinion really is galloping towards “acceptance” of the law recognizing gay’s simulating marriage as legal.  That’s a mouthful. 

It would be interesting to see a state by state breakdown.  Already, those who attend a Christian (or other) Church regularly, at least weekly, are vehemently opposed to this gross perversion of a sacred bond.  Conservatives are, of course, much more likely to oppose.  And those who are married with children are also very strongly opposed to this simulacra.  So I wonder about the regional variation – something tells me the great swath of the country from the South up through the Great Plains and much of the West is, and will be, opposed, while the urban centers on the coast will become increasinly in favor.  In 6 years, we’ve gone from overwhelming oppostion to gay “marriage” to it being about 50-50.  It helps to have the media in your pocket, no?

This could be the straw.  If this becomes truly accepted and mainstream, it won’t be 20 years and we’ll have groups being ‘married’ (like, 3 or more people), heavy pressure to lower the legal age, and bigamy/polygamy making a comeback. 

It has been fashionable, in the Church, to state that God does not cause natural disasters or pestilence or the like to fall on nations that undergo severe moral decay.  They say, ‘God does not operate that way.’  Certainly, Scripture does show God operating, or operated, exactly that way, at least at times.  I am afraid we may soon have the opportunity to put the theory to the test.

UPDATE: Commenter Tom does the work I was too busy (lazy) to do earlier – white Catholics ditching Church doctrine are a key constituent now supporting gay marriage.  23% of white Catholics have switched sides on this issue – again, according to this poll.  It could be skewed 50 dem 30 independent 20 repub, which would drive the results, making it a “push” poll.  But this goes back to what I said last week – this is yet another issue where lack of formation (or inability to be formed) is leading many, many to fall into serious sin.

Nucular power March 21, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, silliness, Society.
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This dealie in Japan has been quite the spectacle.  Not the disaster of the earthquake/tsunami, the goings on at the Fukashima plant. Given the facts, and the small amount of radiation released, this has all the indicators of classic media overhype in terms of all but the most local of consequences.  But, certainly, there is some cause for concern in any release of radiation.  Having said that, I wonder if this event has fundamentally changed any of my reader’s perceptions of nuclear power.

The reason I ask is, the Comanche Peak nuclear generating station near Glen Rose is currently seeking a newfrom the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to expand the plant from 2 units (reactors) to 4.  They hope to obtain the license in 2012 and begin construction shortly after.  The reactor will be of a new, more powerful, even safer design – far more advanced than the Fukashima 1960s designs.

View showing proposed new units upper left

 license

This, to me, is good.  Alot of people want to believe that we can somehow conjure the wind and sunshine into generating power on a massive scale.  But even here, in Texas, with the most wind power production of any state in the country, wind accounts for less than 5% of power produced.  Comanche Peak produces about 7% of the state’s power, all by itself.  With no whirling blades or very loud noise.  With no air emissions.  The only major drawback, which is one of policy and politics and not technology, is the waste.  There are many ways to deal with the spent fuel rods, but due to environmental scare tactics and pandering politicians, none of those means has been pursued.  So, the fuel rods are a problem, but one that could be easily managed if we only had less feckless public servants.  

Due to soaring costs of fossil fuels and general common sense, nuclear power was set to make a comeback in this country and elsewhere.  No new license for a nuclear power plant has been issued since the late 70s, but several are in process and one is very close to being approved.  I hope that is not all dead now due to an extraordinary natural event, unlikely to ever by replicated, anywhere (but providing data to design against, which will be done).  We need the power.  Expanding Comanche Peak by 3.4 gigawatts will make that single plant the supplier of over 10% of Texas’ electricity – power that is there, always, day or night, wind or no. 

But, perhaps some of my readers disagree.  If so, tell me about it.  I can see some of the objections.  But weighing all the pluses and minuses, nuclear power seems to me a far better alternative than continual reliance on fossil fuels or hoping some illusory, 100% environmentally “friendly” technology will come along and solve all our problems.  That won’t happen.