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Pray for God’s Mercy! – UPDATED June 15, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Dallas Diocese, disaster, General Catholic, horror, North Deanery, sickness, Society.
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One of the greatest chastisements God visited on His original chosen people, the Israelis, was the Babylonian exile.  During this time, the Assyrians overan all of Israel and Judea and took away all the Israelites to Babylon, from which most never returned.  The Israelis suffered horribly from famine, pestilence, and the sword.  Why did God visit this terrible punishment on the Israelis?  Because they had rejected Him and His Law, especially in one particular way.

There was a cult widespread around the Levant at that time, that involved worship of a diety named Baal, or Baalim, or Moloch.  This was a deeply sadistic and evil cult.  I have referenced it before.  In the sacrifices involved in appeasing this ‘god,’ the babies of various cult followers would place their young child in the scalding hot copper arms of a bull-like image with human arms, which were heated from a fire stoked at the base of the statue.  The child would be burned to death, in a vicious misrepresentation of a mother’s embrace.  Drums and bugles would be played as loudly as possible in order to drown out the cries of the horribly suffering child.  This was the main practice that so offended God, that not only had the Israelis stopped following God’s Law, but they were also committing hideous murders as a form of Sacrifice, in direct contravention of what the Lord had revealed to them.  This horrid abuse, along with others, was so widespread, so popular, that God had to visit a terrible chastisement on His people in order to shake them out of their satanic practices.  God laid out His plan to the Prophet Jeremias, in chapter 19:

And thou shalt say: Hear the word of the Lord, O ye kings of Juda, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem: Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold I will bring an affliction upon this place: so that whoever shall hear it, his ears shall tingle: [4] Because they have forsaken me, and have profaned this place: and have sacrificed therein to strange gods, whom neither they nor their fathers knew, nor the kings of Juda: and they have filled this place with the blood of innocents. [5]And they have built the high places of Baalim, to burn their children with fire for a holocaust to Baalim: which I did not command, nor speak of, neither did it once come into my mind.

[6] Therefore behold the days come, saith the Lord, that this place shall no more be called Topheth, nor the valley of the son of Ennom, but the valley of slaughter. [7] And I will defeat the counsel of Juda and of Jerusalem in this place: and I will destroy them with the sword in the sight of their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and I will give their carcasses to be meat for the fowls of the air, and for the beasts of the earth. [8] And I will make this city an astonishent, and a hissing: every one that shall pass by it, shall be astonished, and shall hiss because of all the plagues thereof. [9] And I will feed them with the flesh of their sons, and with the flesh of their daughters: and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend in the siege, and in the distress wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives shall straiten them……….And thou shalt say to them: Thus saith the Lord of hosts: even so will I break this people, and this city, as the potter’s vessel is broken, which cannot be made whole again……..

You can probably see where I am going with this – there is a modern sacrifice to Moloch, a practice deeply ingrained in the minds of many as good, as a necessary offering in order to have the ‘good life.’  It is even conceived in the minds of many as a fundamental ‘right’ for some.  Even worse, you may find many in God’s Holy Church who will defend this practice, who will claim that it is good and necessary and even holy.  The practice I am referring to, of course, is procured abortion. 

We have direct Biblical evidence that God has visited chastisement on His people for a practice very similar to abortion.  I am not a Scripture scholar, but it amazes me that there are still so many who call themselves Christian that support this practice, and I’m talking about people who truly are scholars, who should know better! 

It all comes down to faith, and Grace.  I pray for both.  And I pray that God will not visit this chastisement on us.  Is it not deserved?

UPDATE!: I got something of a chastisement of my own from good Fr. Smith at St. Mark, who commented offline that the history I presented above is very simplified.  It is.  Israel/Judea was actually invaded and people carried off multiple times by the Assyrians.  Those who follow a historical-critical approach may quibble with some of the dates for these events and how they related to the prophecy of Jeremias – I took my lead from the commentary in the Douay Reims Bible, which plainly establishes a connection between the Jew’s deviation from God’s Law and the punishment visisted on them through the Assyrians.

Is it just me, or is this profoundly disturbing June 15, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, asshatery, Basics, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, scandals, sickness, Society.
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I found the following photo on Catholic Vote.  It shows Archbishop Timothy Dolan, Ordinary of New York City and president of the USCCB, glad handing and seemingly palling around with Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, unrepentant sinner (pro-abort, pro-homosexual agenda, public adulterer, etc.) and excommunicate (by his own actions – there has been no formal declaration of excommunication from any authority in the Church). 

There is an immediacy to the above, because Governor Cuomo just submitted legislation to allow all male or all female couples to simulate marriage and receive recognization from New York state for their fake “marital union.”  Now, perhaps Archbishop Dolan just walloped Cuomo with a vehement comdemnation of his actions and the peril to his soul immediately after this photo was taken, but who really thinks that is the case?  Instead of boldly proclaiming the Faith and even risking political ostracism and financial penalties in order to try to save this man’s soul, we get glad handing and the below, truly righteous plan from the Archdiocese of New York:

Our Catholic Conference has been working tirelessly to lobby individual legislators, especially the leadership. We have also been working an intense grassroots effort, taking advantage of an extensive email network of local activists, focusing on the “on the fence” legislators. We’ve also been collaborating with other religious groups (especially New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedom, an evangelical group that is very influential) and the National Organization for Marriage. It’s been a very vigorous campaign [in opposition to Cuomo’s fake gay marriage initiative – ED]

Well, that’s sure to shake ’em up! We’re gonna lobby like everyone else does – that’ll show ’em! 

Seriously – is this the best we can do?  Has the Church been reduced to just another special interest, with lobbyists and bureaucracies and commissions and all that crap?  Has the Church in this country been co-opted by the American political process? 

I think familiarity with history tends to fire Catholic traditionalism.  When I think back to how Popes and bishops endured imprisonment, threats of death, horrendous privations, great financial penalties, and more, in order to defend the rights of the Church in prior times, I find today’s efforts to assert those rights…..underwhelming.  We have a serious scandal in this country of individuals constantly trading on their Catholic identity and self-proclaimed ‘good standing’ in the Church, who are actually cut off from the life sustainnig Grace that flows from the Sacraments, whether they receive the Eucharist or not (in which case, they actually condemn themselves even more).  In the past, when a person was declared excommunicated, no Catholic in good standing could have anything to do with them.  This served a double purpose – to keep the excommunicated person’s errors from spreading, and to hopefully exert enough pressure through shunning to bring the person back in line with the Faith.   But we’re smarter now….we treat them like they’re just fine, nothing wrong whatsoever, and even allow them to present and receive the Blessed Sacrament.  Is there any wonder many Catholics don’t take Church Doctrine seriously anymore?

I know…..that’s alot of ranting from one photo.  It’s less the photo, than the reality of the situation.  After Ed Peters attacked Cuomo’s receipt of the Blessed Sacrament from the very hand of Albany Bishop Thomas Hubbard earlier this year, Cuomo ‘retaliated’ by cancelling a meeting with the New York Catholic Conference.  The bishops quickly assured Cuomo that Peters did not speak for them, and Dolan avoided the subject in a private meeting with Cuomo.   There are bigger considerations in play, you see, and no one can ever imagine how the Church could possibly go on if our leadership lost their precious ‘access’ to politicians. 

As I concluded a previous post on this subject: “Does the fact these people may be damned to hell for all eternity mean anything?  Do these bishops not believe they will be held to account for the souls they refuse to correct, for the scandal that they allow to occur?”

Since we’re in the Octave of Pentecost June 15, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Latin Mass, North Deanery, sadness.
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How about a nice Pentecost chant?

I like this version better than some others I’ve heard.  Today is Whit Tuesday WEDNESDAY, right?  See, that’s why I asked!

Flee the world! June 15, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery, religious.
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For a very long time, much of Catholic spirituality focused on withdrawl from the world.  For literally centuries, it was seen as advantageous to one’s spiritual development to try to flee the temptations that come from the world, and to focus one’s life as much as possible on the Faith and on the Lord.  We see examples of this ranging from the early desert hermits from 3rd century Egypt, to the still common practice of hermits holing themselves up in caves in Italy until well into modern times, to today’s cloistered religious.  Since Vatican II, however, this spiritual solitude has been viewed as archaic, as somehow a ‘violation’ of our need to engage with the world as Christians.  I think we may be missing something in not having holy souls totally dedicated to serving God in complete isolation, who provide example of near total self denial and complete focus on the spiritual.  I know of one Catholic hermit right now, but I know that in the Eastern Orthodox church there are still a small number of such hermits. 

Some reflections on spiritual solitude from the great Imitation of Mary, a compilation of the writings of Fr. Alexander Joseph de Rouville, an 18th century French Jesuit (back when that really meant something):

Think, my child, what a taste for solitude and spirit of recollection the Saints must have had!  Find your delight, then, in living far apart from the world and pay no heed to yourself apart from necessity.  And when necessity does force you to take heed, be like the dove that, when forced to leave the ark, returned immediately because outside it could find no place to alight.

If you are not careful to flee the world, it will soon beguile you, and once ou have tasted what the world has to offer, you will no longer have any taste for what God offers……

…..Bear in mind that never have  you had dealings with the world without being worse off in God’s eyes than when you began. 

You must love solitude if you are safely to appear among men. For it is in solitude that you learn to act when you are amid the world.

To live withdrawn from the world is one of the most effective means of preserving your own innocence of soul!  Nother weakens a man’s virtue more than frequent companionship with men.

Can anyone breathe the poisoned air of the world without being infected by it?  Pull back often into solitude and breathe its purer air.

The holy hermits tell us that they were never better able to converse with God than when they had withdrawn from worldly affairs and worldly company. 

My child, God finds His delight in being with you; find yours in being with Him in solitude.

This is a challenging exhortation – we think it may be more challenging in today’s modern world, but in reality it is not.  Times may change, technology may change, but men remain fundamentally the same – we have the same needs, face the same problems, as Christians from a thousand years ago.  Still, for many of us, living a life of spiritual solitude may not be an option due to family or other commitments.  It is not a holy act for a mother to leave her children to go live in the desert!  Nevertheless, we should all strive to heed the advice above, and have a place of withdrawl where we can escape the world and our concerns and focus our thoughts on God and our relationship with Him.  I am not good at doing this, but I intend to make a more concerted effort.  Having some time away – even a little bit every day – can serve as a grounding point for all our other activities.  Even if this time be short, if we make it a period of intense reflection on God we can, with God’s Grace, make this time more influential on our lives and the state of our souls than the greater amount of time we spend in the world.  This can serve to make our times of reflection and spiritual communion the anchor around which the rest of our day, spent in the world, floats.