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Prayer request of some import April 29, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Latin Mass, North Deanery.
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There could be a great addition to the Liturgy available in the northern part of the Diocese coming soon.  A decision may be made shortly.  I think many at this blog would be well pleased should this Liturgy come to pass.  I cannot say much in the way of details for I am bound to silence, but if you could, in your charity, offer prayers for my intentions, that would be greatly appreciated and could help tremendously.  We do not know what God Wills, but hopefully this potential addition will be pleasing to Him and our prayers may help.  Sorry for being cryptic, but as I said, I cannot really discuss this, but it relates to the Mass and may please many readers of this blog a great deal.  If you would please offer prayers for the intentions of Larry Roach/tantumergo I would be in your debt.  Thank you so much for your generosity.

Dominus vobiscum!

A post-Easter treat April 29, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, North Deanery, religious.
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 I love nuns.  Not sure why, but the profound chastity, modesty, and faith of nuns really resonates with me.  I am probably overly visual in my appreciation of women, if you will, and perhaps the nuns habit, especially very traditional habits like those of the Discalced Carmelites, communicate to me on some base level the extent of their whole offering of themselves to God.  Anyway, there is a new video out about a Carmelite monastery in Notting Hill, London.  I think I’ll have to order it as an Easter season treat!  Remember, we’re in a whole great big feast time in the Church until Trinity Sunday! 

Today is one of my favorite Doctor’s feast day April 29, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life.
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I love St. Catherine of Siena.  Ask her to intercede for you on her feast day, she will not refuse your request!  She is very powerful with God, because she pleased Him so much during her life.  St. Catherine, please intercede for me with God for all the intentions I pray at Confession and Mass today.  I love the card from Holy Card Heaven

We need more such Holy Cards!

USCCB again lobbying for more government funding April 29, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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Dr. Jeff Mirus has a really excellent piece over at Catholic Culture regarding yet another ‘social justice’ initiative by the USCCB that is really nothing more than an effort to lobby the government to transfer more wealth from private citizens to the bureaucracies of the USCCB.  What the USCCB seems to forget is that, a) the government doesn’t pull money from thin air, it comes from private citizens, and b) the government never ‘gives’ anything.  It makes a huge number of demands anytime it provides funding to a group, and many, many of those demands are antithetical to Catholic Doctrine.  This ‘new initiative,’ same as all the old initiatives, reveal yet again the profoundly socialistic outlook of the USCCB.  There is a hostility to private enterprise and a tendency towards class warfare in the supporting documents that is ugly and just plain beneath any agency claiming to represent the Church:

I could not help but investigate our news story proclaiming that the USCCB had made a major new commitment to helping the unemployed. Will the American Church extend its charitable activities to provide as never before for those who are unable to find work?

Actually, no. Instead, what the USCCB is doing is collaborating with an organization called Interfaith Worker Justice to launch a program called Faith Advocates for Jobs. If you go to the website and download the program’s “congregational toolkit”, you will find that the main purpose of this initiative is to create congregational job clubs and support groups which will be trained and mobilized to mount a highly-orchestrated campaign to “regularly contact legislators and other decision makers” to implement policies which will create jobs, including:

  • An economic stimulus package to create and retain millions of jobs, including revitalizing the manufacturing sector.
  • A public jobs program to create vital and sustainable jobs.
  • Support for states and municipalities to maintain and strengthen social safety net programs………

These aspects of the program are positive and unobjectionable, but the primary focus appears to be on advocacy for government to create jobs or otherwise provide for the unemployed. There seems to be a presumption that a great deal of the current unemployment problem is caused by direct injustice on the part of employers. One of the toolkit’s prayers is for unjust, greedy employers (of which there certainly are some), and the literature describes the free market as “the golden calf that is worshipped in the United States and across much of the world.” [As I said, a profoundly socialistic outlook – ED]  In all, “the Faith Advocates for Jobs Campaign calls on our public leaders to help heal this economy and repair the torn fabric of our society.” In the end, it is up to government to realize this Congregational Commitment:

As people of faith, we call for an economy that provides a job for everyone who wants and needs one. We affirm that all jobs should be good jobs, paying living wages and benefits, ensuring workers’ health and safety, and allowing workers dignity and a voice in the workplace. [Well, this all sounds lovely, but how do you achieve this?  According to this group, you achieve the goal of ‘good jobs for all’ by having government take even more money out of the private sector than it already does (government at all levels at present consumes almost half the total GNP of the United States) and somehow use that to magically create all kinds of new, wonderful jobs.  Unfortunately, that’s been tried many times before, and all that results is fewer jobs, a collapsing economy, and finally totaly breakdown and misery (ecce, Republics, Union of Soviet Socialist)]

But, as is so often the case, the whole USCCB-supported package is strongly attached to political advocacy. The local congregational committees are to unleash a grass roots advocacy network rooted in the belief not only that government can solve these problems, but that it is in fact the purpose of government to do so.

Quite apart from the exceedingly dubious character of both of these assumptions, we see here once again a reflexive trust in government at precisely the moment when government has proven to be the single most hostile force operating against religious faith, against the implementation of religious principles in the public order in general and in social services in particular.

I am very much afraid that this program is more of the same, more of what got us to our current state of virtual Catholic paralysis. Worse still, i

Indeed, there are those who argue persuasively that the more we rely on government to solve our economic problems, the worse they will inevitably get in the long run. Moreover, it would seem incontestable at this point that the more power we invest in contemporary Western governments, the more pressure will be applied against Christian religious principles and those who seek to live by them.

I am very much afraid that this program is more of the same, more of what got us to our current state of virtual Catholic paralysis. Worse still, it is more of what prevents the Church from once again becoming an important social institution and authority in her own right, capable of helping her members far more than government ever can.

I could not agree more.  The Bishops, or the USCCB bureaucrats somehow acting without the Bishop’s approval (fat chance), have a sorrowfully reflexive trust in government to be the best, if not only, source to effect social change.  How contrary is that to the Gospel!  Did Jesus tell the Apostles to organize and lobby Rome to help the poor of Palestine?!?  Did he give long speeches dedicated to political advocacy?  Did he imply that the Church should be as close to government as possible, so that some 80% of Church charitable activities would be funded by the government?   In a word, no, and Jesus implied that misdirecting the Church towards being primarily an institution of social change would in fact fatally undermine its intended role as vehicle of spiritual salvation.

When faithful Catholics cannot understand why bishops will not enforce Canon 915, this is why. The bishops cannot enforce Canon 915 so long as the Church remains dependent on……addicted to…….government funding, for fear of angering politicians who will then deny that funding.  I loved the reference to the ‘golden calf,’ above.  What hypocrisy!  Mirus is exactly right that the government has, and will extract obeisance from the bishops in return for this funding on many issues.  And that is why the Church is decreasing in relevance in our society, the double standards and hypocrisy that come from this unholy alliance of Church and state are plainly visible and completely undermine the Church’s moral authority.

Can the USCCB not see that excessive government spending, especially on those social issues that the USCCB claims to cherish so much, is leading this nation to an economic collapse?   Do you think the politicians will be much worried about Catholic Charities then?

A wedding and a funeral April 29, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, scandals, silliness, Society.
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An additional thought, to go along with the post below, regarding another recent trend I’ve observed at weddings, and that even a number of local priests have commented on.  Since when did it become appropriate for women, especially young single women, to dress like……I am having difficulty finding a charitable but also accurate term…….vamps?, slatterns?, at weddings?  Especially, when did it become acceptable, or even de rigeur, to wear black, short black dresses, the kind one wears when making it very plain one is ‘available’ when out clubbing at night?   People now wear black to weddings, and white to funerals.  Everything in this culture is upside down.  But that is good, it should focus our thoughts on our true Heavenly homeland instead of making an idol of things on this twisted earth.

Speaking of funerals, I have one request to make of my readers.  Please, if I die, please please please pray for me! Don’t let the priest or anyone make statements that assume I’m in Heaven, because only by a miracle of Grace would that be possible!  Please please please stay for hours after my funeral and say many many prayers for the repose of my soul, and keep saying them for as long as you live!  I will do the same for you!  The only way I will make it to Heaven is either by being horribly burned in a tractor accident with years of incredible suffering, spending a bazillion years in Purgatory, or by having many many people pray for me! 

Dominus vobiscum!

UPDATE: I had some sample photos of questionable attire in the post but removed it at the request of a long time reader and personal friend.  Sorry for my poor judgement – I think my judgement was eroded by pooring through dozens of even worse photos than I had posted!

Vanity of vanities…… April 29, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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……and all is vanity, save to love the Lord your God.  While I once used to be something of an Anglophile, and I guess still have some attraction for what was once British culture (say, from the 18th through the early 20th centuries, especially the Victorian period), my extensive reading of British history has led me to conclude that the British gentry class is largely decadent and horribly insular.  I find it interesting how Providence reveals itself at times, for I knew this great wedding was coming, but having no TV, was not caught up in any of the immense, completely artificial buildup.  But I knew it had occurred, and via one of the news sites I read (solely to bring you, my dearest readers, my inane prattlings that mildly amuse, at best), I found this video:

How not to be entralled with the incredibly pomp that the British royalty are still so good at projecting?  But then I think of the relations of the royals themselves, especially their married relations, and I come away cold.  But back to the Providential aspect, as a sort of more jaded view, I read the comments of one “Reverend Know it All” via Fr. Z, and had myself a very good laugh:

You must be thinking why is this guy so down on weddings? I am down on some weddings because I am very “up” on the sacrament of matrimony and really in favor of marriage. That’s why the modern method of marrying and the wedding industry make me crazy. They militate against marriage. Here is the heart of my complaint. IT IS STUPID TO SPEND MORE TIME AND MONEY PREPARING FOR THE WEDDING THAN YOU DO PREPARING FOR THE MARRIAGE!!! I have known people who are still paying the credit card bills generated by the wedding years after the marriage is over.
The Modern Method of Marriage, a Reprise. The following is taken from my own experiences and things people have told me (outside of confession, you’ll be glad to know.) Here goes.

A young man and a young woman meet and have a few dates. They go for a weekend at a bed and breakfast where they bed one another, and then have breakfast. If he isn’t too much of a jerk and she isn’t too picky, they are then an item. She goes to the doctor gets a prescription and goes on to a more permanent form of birth control. At some time during this stage, the uncomfortable meeting with the parents happens. Everyone is polite and “supportive.” Secretly the father of the young woman who knows exactly what’s going on, contemplates buying a gun and the mother of the young man begins gossiping with whomever will listen about how her little boy could do better. After a while, if things hold up, they begin to have the conversation about taking their relationship to the “next level” by which they mean shacking up, as we used to call it. Now, I think it’s called moving in together.
Mom and Dad buy housewarming gifts in an attempt to, once again, be supportive. They don’t want their little dears to hate them and besides, it’s what everyone is doing these days, so it can’t be wrong. They have vague thoughts about getting married at that point and mom explains to grandma and to friends at church that they are just doing it to save money for the wedding. At this stage an engagement ring may appear. At some point, when they think about getting the house and the kids, because that’s what you do, they decide to have the wedding.
They rent the hall and then go see the priest. He tells them there are four other weddings that day and they respond, “but we’ve rented the hall already.” Someone suggests a garden wedding if the church is occupied. The priest says we can’t do garden weddings. (More on this later.) The young couple begins to complain about how narrow-minded the Church is with all these rules and regulations. They eventually pick a date. Then the bottom drops out. It seems the groom is not Catholic. He was baptized in the First Reformed Church of the Druids, though he never practiced. This means there must be a dispensation for the marriage, another irritating Catholic invention, and the wedding date cannot be confirmed until the dispensation is received.
The bride goes back to her doctor, this time for a prescription for valium. Her mother joins her on this visit. Finally the dispensation is granted, The groom’s druid will do one of the readings at the wedding, the loans are taken out, the banns are published. Then there is the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. The best man comes to the rehearsal drunk out of his mind, the groom only slightly tipsy. The bride is furious at everyone for some reason known to her alone. Probably because the groom is far more interested in drinking and watching the football game on his hand held computer thing than he is in gazing lovingly into her eyes in anticipation of the great day. In fact they haven’t been, well… friendly in weeks. It is, after all, football season.
The special day comes, the best man is still drunk, the groom is hung over, no one knew about that interesting tattoo that the maid of honor had way low on her back, now revealed by the plunging back of her dress that is held up only by wishful thinking. Grandma, upon reading the logo of the maid of honor’s tattoo, has fainted. Somewhere in all this the vows are exchanged, and quite a few of the wedding party receive their first Holy Communion that day, however one of the ushers puts the host in his suit pocket not having a clue what it is. (This actually has happened to me twice.)
The pictures have been taken. The noise level in the church reaches that of an English soccer match after the riot has broken out. The children are jumping off the altar and the priest is scowling at everyone. Now on to the pictures in the forest preserve, a “must” at every wedding. There the wedding party is attacked by mosquitoes, one of the children falls into the lagoon and the bride is having a hard time smiling for the photos. The best man passes out. On to the reception.
The bride loses it because the shade of fuchsia in the floral center pieces clashes with the shade of fuchsia in the wedding party’s outfit. The groom adjourns to the bar where the game is on the television. The wedding dinner is served as music is played at a mind numbing volume. Grandma is better now. She has turned off her hearing aid. The priest is seated with the pious relatives in plaid suit coats and leaves shortly after the grace before meals.
The best man makes the toast which drones on about how he loves the groom and one begins to wonder. The college roommate/maid of honor does the same for the bride, going on for fifteen minutes about how she knew the bride would find eternal marital bliss the moment she met her in the third grade and they have been like sisters ever since. Then at some point, there is a video presentation of embarrassing photos not unlike the ones that are now shown at wakes.
The bar opens up again. The music reaches levels that cause blood to drip from some peoples’ nose and ears. The joyous event ends with the bride and groom being the last to leave the hall. They are slow to go up to the room they have rented in the hotel because nothing new or beautiful awaits them there. The groom promptly falls asleep, being heavily sedated already, and, as he snores away, with his shoes still on, our blushing bride, having shed her dress of virginal white, thinks back on this day, her special day, the most important day in her life, the day she has dreamt of since she was a little girl.
They will stay an extra day at the hotel, but cannot afford the time or money to go on a honeymoon because on Monday they will both be back at work in order to pay off the colossal bill that their special day has incurred. For some reason, the bride is depressed. Perhaps she is realizing that the high point of her life is now past and the rest of it will be spent with the lump that is now snoring beside her with whom she has never really had a serious conversation, except about the proper shade of fuchsia for the floral centerpieces. So it is that we celebrate the marriage of Christ and His Church in these enlightened and tolerant times.

Remember, none of these things happened at your wedding, thank God and don’t think from reading this that I am down on marriage or even weddings. I love a wedding celebration when there is something to celebrate. Also, it is never too late to begin again by taking Christ and His gospel seriously.

I have learned a great deal from my wife’s family.  One thing I’ve learned is how to have a very lovely wedding for not a whole lot of money.  You rent the hall in Harper, cook 10 briskets and various other items yourselves, maybe have a local 4 piece country band play some music, there are kegs of beer, and generally have a good time (except, no beer for Larry, anymore).  You don’t have to spend $30k to have a wedding!  People have been marrying for thousands of years, it is only in recent times that a ‘wedding industry’ developed to play to the fantasies of many inculcated in a culture filled with them. 

A way to avoid all the trouble is to simply become a Bride of Christ, where all you need is, maybe, a dress, and truly marry the perfect man. 

Unfortunately, good Reverend Know it All (Fr. Richard Simon, Skokie, IL), has only too aptly described the general course of a huge number of modern day “courtships.”  It is the broken nature of our system of meeting and marrying that has led to the ridiculous trashing of the Sacrament of Marriage through contraception, divorce, and then remarriage.  And remarriage again.  And again.  And maybe one more time.  But not six times, because that would be ridiculous.  Well………maybe………

Lord forgive me for the general nastiness and cynicism of this post.