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And you thought Notre Dame was bad….. July 11, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, disaster, General Catholic, scandals, sickness, Society.
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……it turns out, Notre Dame has absolutely nothing on formerly  (very formerly) Catholic Georgetown U.  Scott Walker lists the activities of numerous Georgetown U luminaries who take numerous public actions against the Faith:

My favorite example on this score is Melissa Bradley, class of ’89, now serving on the  Board of Governors of the Alumni Association. While Ms. Martino of Notre Dame merely contributed to EMILY’s List, Ms. Bradley actually serves on the board of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, which last year alone poured over $2 million into the election of candidates fighting for same-sex marriage and, of course, abortion. (The Victory Fund explicitly requires every candidate it endorses to “demonstrate support of federal, state or local efforts to safeguard privacy and reproductive rights.”)

And that’s just one of Ms. Bradley’s achievements in her spare time. At her day job, she is CEO of the Tides Foundation, a public charity that donates millions to support what Pope John Paul II called the “culture of death.” Among their 2010 grants alone, one finds NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation ($39,385), Center for Reproductive Rights ($12,500), California Latinas for Reproductive Justice ($440,000), Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice ($322,500), etc. etc.

Planned Parenthood’s empire especially benefits from Tides’ dollars. Again counting only 2010 contributions, $50,000 went to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the empire’s electoral and advocacy arm, with an additional $441,500 going to local, national, and international Planned Parenthood groups………

These millions of dollars she wields in the trenches of America’s battles over innocent children and traditional marriage don’t bother Georgetown. The school not only has her on the Alumni Association board, and on the LGBTQ Initiative Working Group; they recently celebrated her at a big John Carroll Weekend in San Francisco; the alumni magazine featured a fawning interview in its “Career Spotlight” series to celebrate her elevation to CEO of Tides; and the school gave her its Reed Alumni Award, noting that she lives “with her partner/wife, Allessandra,” also a Hoya, and their six children.

Not that Ms. Bradley is unusual. At the same John Carroll Weekend another alumna was featured, Winnie Stachelberg, whom the school magazine describes as living “with her partner, Vicki Phillips, and their two boys. After years working for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s leading LGBT civil rights organization, she now works for the Center for American Progress as senior vice president for external affairs.” (Don’t miss the Center’s More than a Choice report for the latest in how to fight for abortion rights while also working for “equitable” access to in vitro fertilization; “more contraceptive options for men”; the right to marry regardless of “sex, sexuality, or gender identity”; and much more.)

Of course, Georgetown’s law school outdoes the rest of the university in its work for the culture of death, what with professors who win landmark Supreme Court victories for Planned Parenthood and a Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program that pays fellows to work at Planned Parenthood’s Public Policy Law and Litigation Department.

Wow, six kids?  The mind boggles.  As for the rest, I don’t think it is much surprising, but it is interesting to have some of the institutionalized hostility to Catholic orthodoxy at Georgetown printed for all to see.

“…you are that which is not, but I am That Which Is.” July 11, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Eucharist, General Catholic, Interior Life, Saints.
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From the very good biography of St. Catherine of Siena written some 7 decades ago by Sigrid Undset (pp. 40-41):

One day while Catherine was praying, Jesus appeared to her and said: “Daughter, do you know who you are and who I am?  If you know these two things you will be very happy. You must know that you are that which is not, but that I am That Which Is. If your soul is possessed of this knowledge the devil will never be able to cheat you, and you shall escape all his snares and all his cunning without suffering. You will never consent to anything which is against My commands. Without difficulty you will attain all the gifts of Grace and all the virtues of love.”

[Undset explains the meaning of the above) God created all life out of nothing, and if the mercy of God did not sustain its existence it would immediately return to nothing. [we are sustained through every second of our lives by God’s Grace] If we are left to ourselves, without the mercy of God, we fall into sin, which is also nothingness.  By ourselves we can neither think of nor achieve anything which is virtuous or good. It is therefore true that which is created is in itself nothing. [this is key – we are utterly dependent on God for everything.  We can do nothing of good without His Grace]

But because God is the foundation and origin of everything, it is only He Who Is. As soon as a creature through the light of belief has come to understand this truth he may call himself blessed. For eternal blessedness consists of this: knowing God as He really Is. As Jesus said to Catherine’s namesake, the virgin martyr of Alexandria, when He visited her in prison: “My daughter, know thy Creator.”

It seemed to Catherine that once a soul is possessed of this truth we ought to receive willingly and patiently everything which seems hard and bitter, out of love of the Highest Good who created us from nothing, and who from His boundless mercy offers us, whom He has raised from nothingness, eternal bliss in His own Kingdom.

My comments: I think this understanding of the relationship between humanity and our Creator is something that is rarely understood today.  I don’t think it a stretch to say that many people today have an exaggerated sense of their own self-worth, both vis a vis other people, and with respect to the Almighty.  Certainly, I fall into that kind of pride frequently.  But everything we have that is good, comes from God.  Everything we do that is good is a cooperation with God’s Grace.  Unfortunately, the protestant mentality that a man can be somehow ‘made good’ and destined for eternal life through a one time ‘acceptance of Jesus’ has sunken into the minds of many in the Church today.  But conversion is a constant, ongoing, evolving process.  None of us will ever be done ‘converting,’ if we are honest with ourselves and with our Lord.  We are not high born, exalted creatures who only need a little bit of Divine ‘help’ to push us over the goal line of salvation, we are fallen creatures completely disfigured by original sin and in need of God’s constant Grace to achieve anything that can be called good.  That is why we are that which is not, but He is That Which Is.

A little story about St. Catherine – she would go into ecstasies lasting hours sometimes after receiving the Blessed Sacrament.  When she went to Avignon to confront the Pope and demand his return to Rome, one of the court there, a particularly nasty woman, decided to find out if these ecstasies were for real.  So, after receiving the Blessed Sacrament, while St. Catherine was transfixed in ecstasy, the woman jabbed a hat pin into her bare foot.  Catherine did not flinch or otherwise notice the pain for the duration of the ecstasy, but limped badly for the rest of her duration in Avignon.  The woman was converted from a very political and scheming court creature into a devout soul from the experience.

St. Catherine frequently suffered from demonic attack

Fight the zombification! July 11, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, blogfoolery, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, silliness, Society.
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Matt Archbold writes about TV, and how it destroys your brain:

TV makes people into zombies. You ever watch someone watch television? It’s a horror. They look like humans but turned off. Even watch someone watch a sitcom. They don’t laugh. They just stare. I used to watch my little brother watch television. One time I took video of him watching television and showed it to him.

Even with my own kids, sometimes when I wake them up in the morning my wife may have left on the television news so she could get the traffic report, and the moment they walk into the room they’re zombified. They literally lose all capability of focusing or even moving. It truly is almost soul sucking. My little kids were transfixed the traffic report or the weather so I’d turn it off.

I’m not against it completely. The show “Lost” was great fun and there’s a few other shows I enjoy. But television has become the default setting in too many homes. They come in the house and the television goes on. And many of those same people complain that kids get too much homework.

Rich Lowrywrites on how awful the television addiction has become.

The University of Michigan Health System reports that kids ages two to five spend on average 32 hours a week in front of a TV. Among 8- to 18-year-olds, 71 percent have a TV in their bedroom (and they spend on average 1.5 hours a day more watching TV than kids without a TV in the bedroom)…

And let’s not pretend there’s a whole lot of good moral examples going on in television land. As Christians, we have a responsibility to counter this prevailing culture. And soaking our kids in it 32 hours a week doesn’t seem like a recipe for success.

When I was a kid growing up, my best friend liked to watch TV more than I did.  I wanted to go outside and throw tennis balls at passing cars, or ride skateboards, or whatever, and he wanted to veg out.  He’s a really bright guy, but I remember him sitting there, mouth agape, completely zombified in front of the TV.  I’d have to yell at him or shake him to get his attention.

And I see the same things happen with my kids!   It’s just like Archbold mentions, the TV comes on an all activity stops, they just drop in place and their eyes are utterly transfixed.  What is it about TV that is so mezmorizing!  Edward R. Murrow called TV the ‘electronic opiate,’ which is ironic because Murrow was instrumental in helping shape the addiction, if it is that, of millions.  But there is some truth – TV does seem to transfix the mind and induce a stupor similar to opiates.  And I think TV ‘addiction’ is quite possible.

We do have a TV, but no infeed.  We can watch movies, that’s about it.  Some think that’s crazy, how can you live without a TV?!?!! but I’m so busy I rarely miss it.  I’ve even gotten over not watching college football on TV.  I don’t miss the hours wasted flipping through 150 channels only to find absolutely nothing of interest on. 

Or maybe I just transferred all that time to the internet!  But, at least there, you have to take some action and be engaged on some minimal level.  Except on Hulu………..

The walking of a pure soul with God July 11, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Interior Life, The Imitation of Christ.
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Vera Sapientia Book IV Chapter XIII (Thomas a Kempis!):

‘Walk whilst you have the light’ – John XII

He walks with God in light who desires to have nothing of this world, but has his heart fixed on God in Heaven; for there is the hidden treasure of his soul, the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom all things are contained

He is always miserable and in want, whatever he may have, who has not God for his Friend[I know this to be very true]  He has God who keeps His word and loves Him. He truly keeps the word of God who never says an idle word, who shows by his works what he says in words, who seeks not his own glory, but entirely refers to the glory of God all the good he does or sees in others.

And some more gold from Thomas a Kempis:

Who is in good peace? He who is meek and humble of heart. 

The better one knows how to humble himself and to suffer for God, the greater is his peace. Every burden is light to him on account of God, whom he has in his heart.

Blessed is he who speaks with God in prayer, meditation, singing, and reading, and is silent of what is done in the world.

Wherever you are, your thoughts accompany you. Good thoughts give joy, bad ones bring sorrow, anger disturbs, envy blinds, and hatred kills. Pious reading  instructs, prayer ascends to heaven, and works fulfill the Word. A good word purfies the heart, a vain one defiles it, an idle one scandalizes it, a hard one grieves it, a pious one pacifies it, a moral one edifies it, a learned one strenghtens faith, and a heavenly one raises the mind to God.

He who pleases himself pleases a fool, and displeases God. [and I am a fool!] Therefore in all the good that you say or do study to please God, that you may receive from Him greater graces. Why do you glory in the gifts of nature, when you are mortal, and shortly to be the food of worms?  Young man, hear the aged.  Withdraw yourself from things which distract you, because you shall not find rest, unless you enter into yourself, seek God, and fervently love Him in preference to every [worldly] good.