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Watch this awesome video concerning Eucharistic miracles June 9, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, Eucharist, General Catholic, North Deanery.
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I had heard of this before, but did not realize the depth of analysis nor the individuals involved. Both pathologists are real pathologists and very well known in their fields.  I believe this is a true miracle:

The main reason to behave with great reverence and decorum at Mass, and to dress as well as one can, is that you are going to see not only a king, but the King of Kings.  He is really and truly present in the Blessed Sacrament.  Who, aside from some snide athletes, would not wear their best to meet the President?  Then what about our Eucharistic King?

Boston archdiocese allows ‘gay pride’ Mass, and….. June 9, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, General Catholic, North Deanery, scandals, sickness, Society.
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……Matt Archbold pretty succinctly nails how I view the Faith:

A parish in Boston is holding a Mass in celebration of Boston’s Pride month. I’m not kidding.

Homosexual acts are a sin and pride is one of the seven deadly sins. So one parish in Boston decided to put the two together! What could go wrong?!

I’m quoting from the bulletin of St. Cecilia’s:

The Rainbow Ministry of Saint Cecilia Parish invites all friends and supporters of the LGBT community to a Mass in celebration of Boston’s Pride Month. The liturgy will take place on Sunday evening, June 19, at six o’clock, with a reception following. The theme of the liturgy, “All Are Welcome,” honors Christ’s message of hope and salvation to all people. We will also celebrate the diverse community that finds its home at Saint Cecilia and acknowledge, in a special way, the generous and warm welcome extended to the members of the Jesuit Urban Center in 2007. The Mass will be celebrated by Father John Unni and concelebrated by several of the priests who faithfully ministered at the Jesuit Urban Center for many years. Please plan to attend this special liturgy and support the diversity that makes Saint Cecilia such a special place.

Something tells me the homily won’t be quoting much from the Catechism unless there’s a serious misreading of “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF”.

But what’s next, a “friends with benefits” Mass? How about a “Masturbator” Mass? (Although the sign of peace might be a little weird, huh?) Seriously. Why not just have Mass celebrating all sorts of sins?

I don’t want a religion that accepts me for who I am. I know who I am and am unimpressed. I want a religion that calls me to be better than I am even as I resist it.

I hope that our episcopal leadership, when feeling indignation at the doubt sometimes expressed at their various proclamations, understands that it is situations like this that feed that doubt.  How can this be happening at a Catholic parish?  Under what other circumstances does the Church ‘celebrate’ sin?

This is tragic.

A stinging indictment of Lifeteen + praise and worship June 9, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, Latin Mass, North Deanery, scandals.
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I’ve been to a Lifeteen Mass, maybe twice.  I was not impressed.  I don’t care for ‘teen’ Mass.  That generally is a synonym for a heavily protestantized Mass and tired, so tired, dear Lord let it die it is SOOO tired praise and worship music.  Apparently, I’m not the only one who feels this way.  Fr.Christopher Smith at Chant Cafe had a similar experience:

The first time I ever went to a Life Teen Mass I was sixteen years old. It was New Years’ Eve and I thought, instead of going downtown with my pagan friends, I should be a good Catholic boy and ring in the New Year with Jesus. The parish that had the Life Teen Mass was not mine, but I went anyway. Everyone had been telling me that there were lots of people my age, who were serious about their faith, and that it would be a Spirit-filled time. Some of my friends were going to be there, too, so what could be better?

But as soon as the Mass started, I felt like I had stepped into a no-man’s land suspended between Catholicism and some vague form of Protestantism that I as a convert had never seen before. It wasn’t that the music was strange to me. I grew up with contemporary Christian music around the house and listened to it on the radio (when I wasn’t listening to classical music or Latin dance music). So I knew the songs. The church was full of high schoolers and Baby Boomers and they all seemed to know and love each other.

But as the Mass unfolded, I kept noticing things that I knew very well were not in the rubrics, those pesky little red directions in the Missal that tell us how to celebrate the Mass properly. The Life Teen coordinators had decided that they would modify the Mass to make it fit whatever they deemed necessary to get the kids involved. And so there was dancing, hand-holding, and music that had nothing to do with the actual texts of the Mass.
But then, it was time for the Eucharistic Prayer. The celebrant invited all the kids to come around the altar. As the church was quite full, this was rather cumbersome and also pointless. But everyone stood up and made their way as through a mosh pit (I am showing my age, now!) to get closer to the altar. I stayed behind in the last pew. And of course, the celebrant thought that I was too shy to come up and so he encouraged me, from the altar, to join the kids. I had had enough, and so I yelled from the back pew, “No, sorry, Father, I’m a Catholic, I don’t do that kind of thing,” and pulled out a rosary and knelt to pray it as I watched the Eucharistic Prayer degenerate into something eerily similar to the ecstatic cults we had studied about in Ancient Greek History.

Not only did I never go back to a Life Teen Mass, I started the next Sunday to go to the Orthodox Church. There I felt like I was worshipping God and not having earnest adults try and fail to make religion relevant to me by assuming I was too young or stupid to understand real worship. It was fifteen years before I ever had to participate in anything similar ever again. By this time, I was a priest and I had been asked to preside over a Holy Hour for young people. The youth minister in this particular parish was very sensitive to the fact that Praise and Worship was not my thing, and she warned me ahead of time.

As I knelt there in front of the Blessed Sacrament, I realized something. The same people were doing the music who were doing it fifteen years before. It was the same music, the same songs that I made fun of when I was the age of the kids who were in the pews behind me. How relevant is that? But this time the kids who were there just seemed bored. I asked them afterwards what they thought of it, and one young man said, “Well, that was ok, I guess. When are we having another Latin Mass, Father?”

Of all of my friends from high school who were Life Teeners, not one of them is a practicing Catholic anymore. Will the kids today who are raised on a diet of Praise and Worship continue to practice the Faith when they are no longer of that age middle-aged people in the Church want to cater to? I don’t know. But my experience has brought me to reflect on why Praise and Worship Music is not appropriate for the liturgy:

Fr. Smith then goes on to list 10 reasons why ‘praise and worship’ music is not well ordered towards a reverent celebration of the Mass that stresses the Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, and Supplication we are to offer the Lord in our ONE prime offering that is pleasing to Him.  These include: praise and worship has as its key principle it’s supposed ‘relevance,’ which is often (or almost always) false, praise and worship subverts Biblical and liturgical texts during the Mass, praise and worship consciously manipulates emotion so as to produce a ‘catharsis’ (or pseudo-catharsis) seen as necessary for spiritual conversion, and praise and worship denies the force of liturgical and musical law in the Church in favor of arbitrary and individualist interpretations of worship. 

But that’s not all!  In a very long and thorough takedown of ‘praise and worship, Fr. Smith also lists some helpful aspects of music and the liturgy that are often missed:

1. The Church’s musical and liturgical tradition is an integral part of worship, and not a fancy addition.

2. While Praise is a high form of individual and small group prayer, it is not Worship as the Church understands the corporate public prayer of the Liturgy.

3. Worship is not principally something that we do: it is the self-offering of Jesus Christ to the Father in the Holy Spirit, the fruits of which are received in Holy Communion. Worship is Sacrifice and Sacrament, not Praise.

4. Relevance is irrelevant to a liturgy which seeks to bring man outside of space and time to the Eternal.

5. Participation in the liturgy is principally interior, by the union of the soul with the Christ who celebrates the liturgy. Any externalizations of that interior participation are meaningless unless that interior participation is there

There is a great deal more.  It’s a very long post, but well worth reading all of it, for it presents a very substantial critique of both praise and worship type music and irreverent, protestant-oriented ‘praise’ Masses.  These types of P&W Mass are still somewhat popular.  It is very good to have a quite detailed list of the problems with praise and worship music from a Catholic musical authority like Fr. Smith, who has a deep knowledge of the Church’s rich musical tradition.

Lest anyone think I just have a huge thing for chant and classical music – I don’t listen to that type of music very often outside of church.  But when I go to Mass, I want it very good, very reverent, very ordered towards the offering of Sacrifice, and I want a distinctly Catholic identity in the worship.  

You should read the whole thing, including comments, but I doubt most of the commenters DID read the whole thing.

Good and bad abortion related advertising June 9, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, sickness, silliness, Society.
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Two good new advertisements from LiveAction on the hypocrisy of those who claim the pre-born baby is not ‘alive:’

Pro-aborts may have made a mistake on 2 levels when they suggested their supporters send in photos of their pets proclaiming a pro-abort message:

 Do pro-aborts really want to use the idea of a female dog being the typical abortion supporter?  I mean, we all may know it’s true, but…….

And how aboutthe subliminal reinforcement of Gordon Gecko’s summation of WASPs: “they love animals, but hate people?”

Pro-abort? Notre Dame trustee resigns June 9, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, disaster, foolishness, General Catholic, scandals, sickness, Society.
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Now former Notre Dame board of trustee Roxanne Martino says she’s “fully committed to all aspects of Catholic teaching,’ but she gave almost $30k to possibly the most stridently pro-abort organization in America short of NARAL and Planned Barrenhood, Emily’s List.  The sole function of Emily’s List, according to their own documentation, is to elect pro-abort democrat women to office.  At any rate, she‘s resigned:

A Chicago business executive resigned today from the University of Notre Dame’s board of trustees, after conservative Catholic columnists reported that she donated thousands of dollars to an organization that supported pro-choice politicians.

Roxanne Martino, president and chief executive officer of Aurora Investment Management, a Chicago firm that manages more than $8 billion in hedge funds, said she decided to step down in the best interest of the university.

“I dearly love my alma mater and remain fully committed to all aspects of Catholic teaching and to the mission of Notre Dame,” she said in a statement. “I had looked forward to contributing in this new role, but the current controversy just doesn’t allow me to be effective.”

Who knows whether she voluntarily resigned or was forced to do so.  Notre Dame and its President Fr. John Jenkins need to stop stepping in it and lay very low for several years.

Blessed are the poor in spirit June 9, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery, Society, The Imitation of Christ.
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This seems to be a theme this week – spiritual vs. material poverty.  I’m not consciously seeking to make ti so – perhaps it is Providence.

A reflection from the Franciscans of the Immaculate:

How the Last Are First Going to the church door, a man met a beg­gar there. He was in a miserable plight, his feet cov­ered with mud and all his tattered clothes not worth three pennies.The man said: “Good day, my friend.”     The beggar: “I never remember to have had a bad day my whole life long.”The man: “May God grant you prosperity.”      The beggar: “I never have known adversity.”

The man: ‘Well, then, may God make thee happy.”      The beggar: “I have never been unhappy.”

The man: “At any rate, may God save you. And I beg you to speak more plainly to me, for I do not catch your meaning.”

The beggar: “You did bid me good day and I answered that I have never had a bad one. In fact, when I am hungry, I praise God; when I am cold, or it hails, or snows, or rains, if the air is clear or foggy, I praise God. If I am favored by men or despised, I praise him equally. And all this is why I have never known a bad day. You did wish me prosperity, and I answered that I have never known adversity,for I have learned to live with God, and I am certain that all that he does can be nothing but good.

Therefore, all that happens to me that is pleasing, or the contrary – sweet or bitter – I receive from him as being very good for me. Thus I have never been in adversity. You have wished me happi­ness, and I answered that I have never been unhap­py, for I have resolved to fix my affections only on the divine will. Hence it comes that I desire only what God desires!”

The Man: “But what would you say if God would will to cast you into hell?”

The beggar: “God cast me into hell? If he did it, I would embrace him with my two arms. With the arm of humility I would embrace his sacred humanity, and with the arm of love I would embrace his divinity, and I would thus force him to descend with me into hell. For hell with him would be more happy than heaven without him.”

And then continuing this theme, more from Vera Sapientia Book III Chapter VII:

To bear want and many inconveniences for the love of Christ is truly and really to serve Him. Blessed is he who makes a virtue of his wants and infirmities, and is submissive to the Will of God in everything he suffers. Do not therefore, O poor, be to much troubled when you are in want, or indignant when you are despised and abandoned by your friends.

Turn your heart to Christ, who became poor and afflicted for you; seek thy comfort from God, and from Him alone, if you desire to be always joyful; for all other consolation sought outside God is nothing, passing and insufficient, though it may appear great. Choose, therefore, Jesus Christ, the Son fo God, for your speacial and intimate Friend, and leave all others for Him. Beware of every companion who would hinder you from serving Christ, and draw you to the world and to the gates of hell. 

Eternal rest in Heaven will be given you for little labor and passing sorrow in this world. Think seriously again and again on the sacred wounds of Christ and on the painful sores of Lazarus, which will be useful to you in your agony at death and passage from the world.

None of the above is to say that we should disregard the needs of the poor.  Of course they should be helped to the limit of our ability to do so.  But we must not make ‘serving the poor’ or ‘working for a just society’ such a supreme end for the Church as to lose sight of the true kind of poverty we all must embrace.  Christ had not even a place to lay his head, but he did not grouse about this fact, for His good was to do the Will of His Father, always.  That is to say, the spiritual ends of the Church must always be supreme, they must always be the first concern of the Church.