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Oprah, the religion of you April 27, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, sickness, silliness, Society.
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Via Sancte Pater, Oprah has created a cult of personality so intense it’s devolved into her very own religion, where YOU are your own god:

By James Hirsen

An academic study confirms what many observers have suggested to be the case: that Oprah Winfrey is the purveyor of a religion.
Having studied almost every episode of Oprah’s television program for the last 12 years, a Yale professor concludes that Oprah’s success is based on her ability to transform herself into a religious icon.

Religion professor Kathryn Lofton examined transcripts of more than 1,560 shows, 105 issues of O magazine, 17 issues of O at Home, 68 Book Club selections and 52 Spirit Newsletters. She sets forth her findings in a book, “Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon.”

According to the study, the most important moment in Oprah’s career occurred in 1994, when the TV host changed the direction of her program.

“The time has come for this genre of talk shows to move on from dysfunctional whining and complaining and blaming,” Oprah said at the time. “I have had enough of people’s dysfunction.”

“Her spiritual revelation was converted into a corporate makeover,” Lofton told The New York Post. “Her show became ‘Change Your Life TV.’ As a part of this new look and focus for the show, she began to develop her brand, including, eventually, the book club, the magazine, the website, and her Angel Network.”
By using a Southern preacher’s rhythmic speech pattern with a sermon-like structure, Oprah has been able to create a new “gospel” for each show. The message of her programs became what Lofton refers to as “The Gospel of You.”

“Gospel is a word that means ‘good news,'” Lofton said. “Oprah says that the good news is ‘you.'”

A religion with you as god has always been very appealing to man.  It certainly is convenient when it comes to all those moral conundrums we all face – “of course I did right, I’m ME!”

I’ve never been a fan of Oprah, or any of those daytime type programs.  I can’t say I’ve ever watched an episode, although I did see some of the odd one where she publicized the Dominicans of Mary Mother of the Eucharist. Talk about polar opposites.  Super rich, super self-absorbed Oprah with women who have totally given themselves up to another, to God.  It was sad seeing Opray’s incomprehension at the nun’s peace and charity.

Confession all day? April 27, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, North Deanery.
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The really good Creative Minority Report has a post concerning the need for more generous Confession times at all of our parishes.  Even many of the best parishes around in this regard have Confession at most an hour or two once a week or so.  We need to work towards Confession every day.  And several hours a day, every day, would be ideal.  With the confessionals in the Church.  With Mass ongoing at times.  Because many, many people only make it to church for Mass, and may not realize they really need to go to Confession until they arrive for Mass.  The presence of Jesus Christ tends to have that effect on people:

The chintzy hours in which confession is available is a tremendous barrier to the growth in mercy that we all agree that we want. If the Church wants people to go to confession, then barriers to confession must be removed and the number one barrier to confession is availability.

And can we all agree that confession by appointment does not work for the general public? Confession by appointment may be fine if you frequent confession but if your haven’t been to confession in years, confession by appointment is an even greater barrier than limited hours.

Confession needs to be available throughout the day, week in and week out, everywhere it can feasibly be provided so that when the desire hits, people know that mercy is just a quick trip to the Church away. By Saturday afternoon, the feeling may likely have passed………….

<long personal story intervenes, wherin Pat Archbold relates how, before his return to the Church, he was mired in sin and at times wanted to go to Confession, but his nearby parish only had about 45 minutes a week, and never at a good time.  He finally went to Confession and returned to the Sacraments after coming across a parish in a different part of town that had Confession frequently throughout the day.  God bless that priest.>

I know that parish priests are under tremendous resource strains. I really do know this. But I also know that making confession as widely available as humanly possible is the best, and perhaps the only way to bring back people to the faith.

I truly believe that we must remove as many barriers to confession as possible. Increase the supply and demand will surely follow. If we do, many souls will be saved. Just like mine.

I believe some local priests could attest to the fact that having more Confession times increases, drastically, the number of people who will avail themselves of this Sacrament.  And parishes that have Confession throughout the day, and during Mass, have still larger numbers of people availing themselves of this very important Sacrament.  I pray that more priests will seriously consider making Confession a daily Sacrament at their parish.

UPDATE: I made a mild edit to the post, first para, second and third sentences, due to a comment received offline.  Thanks for the correction!

Another source for excellent, timeless Catholic books April 27, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery.
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My lovely, doting wife (heh) found St. Bonaventure Publications.  They offer a number of books that are difficult to find on mainstream sites like Amazon, including Dom Prosper Gueranger’s titanic The Liturgical Year (15 volumes!).  I had to order that one!  I also needed a new Daily Missal, since I was seriously abusing the antique copy I had found in a barn (literally), and I have read that the St. Andrew Missal they offer is better than either the Angelus Press (SSPX) or Baronius Press (FSSP) versions.  It is ordered with the Latin and English side by side on the same page, whereas many of the newer missals have the two languages on separate, adjoining pages.   So, my great wife ordered that. 

I do have an attachment to books.  If I were to fill out that fantasy questionairre about what I would like to take to a desert island with me, I’d have a hard time selecting anything other than books.

‘Comments Closed’ April 27, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin.
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I don’t know why WordPress has closed my comments on new posts!  I checked the settings, you should be able to comment!  I don’t know what’s up, but I’m getting tired of WordPress screwups.  I may move the blog to another host if these screwups don’t desist.

UPDATE:  The problem is affecting a number of blogs.  I love it how WordPress does tinkering unannounced that crashes the post editor, automatically logs you out, makes link embedding impossible, or suddenly closes comments.

Actually, I do love it, it’s a little tiny bit of mortification.

UPDATE2:  Problem apparently fixed at 1700 CDT, 2200 Zulu.

Easter treat – beautiful Irish church April 27, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery, scandals.
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Celebrating Mass old style, no less!  Via Orbis Catholicus:

At one time, such a church would have been seen as quite nice, but unextraordinary.  Given the utter disaster of church design over the last 50+ years, however, and the proliferation of ‘liturgical committees’ at the parish and diocesan level that seem to hold a death grip on all church design decision making (and who seem wholly incapable of letting go of failed modernist designs), such beauty in our churches is increasingly rare.  Indeed, it is a notable occasion when a church is built with characteristics such as highlighting the Mass as Sacrifice, Versus Dominum configuration, having all people face the same direction, and with a plethora of beautiful Catholic art, stained glass, etc. 

I long for churches that serve to raise up the mind, heart, and soul to God, and don’t appear as if they were converted from some bad auditorium design.  I am tired of bare concrete, or glass, or even stone altars with no cross, no candles, with virtually nothing.  This is not ‘connecting with the earliest Church,’ this is reductionism.  I pray for more beautiful churches that give proper glory to God and serve as a transcendent place of worship, and that unmistakably transmit the four ends of the Mass – adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, and supplication! 

Please Lord, let us have better churches!

More on NFP April 27, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, Society.
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I got involved in some conversations both off-line and at another blog (called faith and family) recently, and re-posted an old post that outlined my thoughts on NFP as a practice for married couples.  I recently found the notes of a homily given by Fr. Bryan Christopher Hathaway, FSSP, who was once pastor of the Mater Dei Latin Mass community in Dallas, prior to that group obtaining permission for its own parish.  Fr. Hathaway’s thoughts very closely mirror my own.  Some excerpts:

NFP or Natural Family Planning, implies the use of matrimonial rights within marriage only during the infertile periods of a woman’s cycle in order to avoid pregnancy. In marriage, man is commanded to increase and multiply; in marriage, NFP is ordered to avoiding pregnancy. Now the question: may a Catholic couple practice NFP without sinning?

Pope Pius XI (Casti connubial #59), 1930, “Nor are they considered as acting against nature who in the married state use their right in the proper manner, although on account of natural reasons either of time or of certain defects, new life cannot be brought forth. For in matrimony as well as in the use of the matrimonial rights there are also secondary ends, such as mutual aid, the cultivating of mutual love, and the quieting of concupiscence which husband and wife are not forbidden to consider so long as they are subordinated to the primary end and so long as the intrinsic nature of the act is preserved.”

Pope Pius XII, in an address to midwives given October 29, 1951, “Therefore, to embrace the matrimonial state, to use continually the faculty proper to such a state and lawful only therein, and, at the same time, to avoid its primary duty without a grave reason, would be a sin against the very nature of married life. “Serious motives, such as those which not rarely arise from medical, eugenic, economic, and social indications, may exempt husband and wife from the obligatory, positive debt for a long period or even for the entire period of matrimonial life. From this it follows that the observance of the natural sterile periods may be lawful, from the moral point of view: and it is lawful in the conditions mentioned. If however, according to reasonable and equitable judgment, there are no such grave reasons either personal or deriving from exterior circumstances, the will to avoid the fecundity of their union, while continuing to satisfy their sensuality, can only be the result of a false appreciation of life and of motives foreign to sound ethical principles.”

Pope Pius XII says Catholic couples need “serious motives” to practice NFP. He lists some as medical, eugenic, economic, and social indications.

Moral theologians explain them as: the mother’s real and objective health (women differ in their physical and psychological strength warranting a proportioned application of “serious motives”); serious and incurable hereditary defects in the child; conditions of poverty, unemployment, or homelessness…..Recent popes (Paul VI and John Paul II) have taught the same thing.

Now here I have only laid down some general principles. In practice, if a couple has any doubt or difficulty in deciding whether or not their case satisfies the conditions to practice NFP they should consult a conscientious priest. [I might add, one must, unfortunately, be very careful today in making such a selection.  There are priests who will not only advise any couple to use NFP, but even artificial contraception. -ED]  Such submission will foster a pure intention and will merit grace from almighty God both for each other as well as for their marriage

In summary, in itself, practicing NFP is not sinful. If the use of NFP were intrinsically evil than married couples would be morally obliged to use their marriage rights only during the woman’s fertile period. Contrary to the Strict Providentialist position, NFP may be used when serious motives warrant; use of NFP without serious motives is a sin. [And those motives are fairly narrowly defined.  “I don’t think I can handle more children” is a questionable, at best, motive. -ED]  And in all of this we must ever keep in mind “we are not our own.” The error of the day is, “I can do what I want with my body.” That is a fat lie. We belong to God as does our fertility. And unless we use our fertility according to His will we become liable for punishment.