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Envy is a poisonous thing July 13, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery, Saints.
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Luke Chapter 11:14-36, Douay Rheims:

And he was casting out a devil, and the same was dumb: and when he had cast out the devil, the dumb spoke: and the multitudes were in admiration at it: [15]But some of them said: He casteth out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of devils.

[16] And others tempting, asked of him a sign from heaven. [17] But he seeing their thoughts, said to them: Every kingdom divided against itself, shall be brought to desolation, and house upon house shall fall. [18] And if Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because you say, that through Beelzebub I cast out devils. [19] Now if I cast out devils by Beelzebub; by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. [20]But if I by the finger of God cast out devils; doubtless the kingdom of God is come upon you.

[21] When a strong man armed keepeth his court, those things are in peace which he possesseth. [22] But if a stronger than he come upon him, and overcome him; he will take away all his armour wherein he trusted, and will distribute his spoils. [23] He that is not with me, is against me; and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth. [24] When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through places without water, seeking rest; and not finding, he saith: I will return into my house whence I came out. [25]And when he is come, he findeth it swept and garnished.

[26] Then he goeth and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and entering in they dwell there. And the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. [27] And it came to pass, as he spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to him: Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the paps that gave thee suck. [28] But he said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it. [29] And the multitudes running together, he began to say: This generation is a wicked generation: it asketh a sign, and a sign shall not be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. [30]For as Jonas was a sign to the Ninivites; so shall the Son of man also be to this generation.

[31] The queen of the south shall rise in the judgment with the men of this generation, and shall condemn them: because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold more than Solomon here. [32] The men of Ninive shall rise in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it; because they did penance at the preaching of Jonas; and behold more than Jonas here. [33] No man lighteth a candle, and putteth it in a hidden place, nor under a bushel; but upon a candlestick, that they that come in, may see the light. [34] The light of thy body is thy eye. If thy eye be single, thy whole body will be lightsome: but if it be evil, thy body also will be darksome. [35]Take heed therefore, that the light which is in thee, be not darkness.

[36] If then thy whole body be lightsome, having no part of darkness; the whole shall be lightsome; and as a bright lamp, shall enlighten thee.

The Pharisees prime motivations in their repeated attacks on Jesus were envy and fear – envy at his great power and unassailable Truth, and fear that this man, this Christ, was completely upending what they understood the Christ to be.  And so even in the midst of Jesus performing great miracles, the Pharisees attempted to discredit him, going so far as to call him an agent of satan.  Such is the degree of corruption with worldly interest that can happen in God’s Holy Church.  It can be tempting to get discouraged because of the failings of humans in the Church, and there have certainly been many many failings evidenced of late.  But we must stand fast, and hold tight to the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church.

Personally, we should all strive to avoid envy.  I have caught myself being envious at times of possible spiritual gifts enjoyed by others, and I hate myself for that.  Reading about St. Catherine of Siena, she constantly had to put up with vituperative poison regarding her awesome sanctity, with so much jealousy and hatred directed at her and the immense Grace she received.  Perhaps more recently, there have been some that have evidence their envy at other, perhaps well known, Catholics.  It’s always a near and present danger to the practice of the Faith and virtue for all of us. 

End of preachy sermon.

Prepare for the coming persecution lest you become an apostate July 13, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, North Deanery, sickness, Society.
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The priest, a master story teller, makes a great point that has been repeated throughout history – collapse of the practice of the Faith leads to persecution.  God has chastised His Church in the past for departing from the proper practice and belief of the Faith (known in short, as orthodoxy).  Many signs point towards a coming persecution of the Church.  It is not an easy thing to suffer.  You must be very solid in the Faith to suffer economic or even bodily harm for it.

The parellels between AD 250 and today are amazing.  Nothing is new under the Son.

There are many wonderful sermons at Audio Sancto.

The fruits of lax discipline – priests in revolt? July 13, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals.
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In Austria, 300 clergy, many from the Diocese of Vienna, have decided to go into open revolt against the Doctrine of the Faith and Liturgical rubrics (these issues are always linked, for we believe as we pray, and an irreverent Mass is a very likely sign of rejection of Church Doctrine).  Among other things, these 300 are demanding:

  • to pray for Church reform at every liturgy, since “in the presence of God there is freedom of speech”
  • not to deny the Holy Eucharist to “believers of good will,” including non-Catholic Christians and those who have remarried outside the Church
  • to avoid offering Mass more than once on Sundays and holy days and to avoid making use of visiting priests–instead holding a “self-designed” Liturgy of the Word
  • to describe such a Liturgy of the Word with the distribution of Holy Communion as a “priestless Eucharistic celebration”; “thus we fulfill the Sunday obligation in a time of priest shortage”
  • to “ignore” canonical norms that restrict the preaching of the homily to clergy
  • to oppose parish mergers, insisting instead that each parish have its own individual leader, “whether man or woman”
  • to “use every opportunity to speak out openly in favor of the admission of the married and of women to the priesthood”

So, they are denying the necessity of Sacramental priesthood for the Mass, they are insinuating that women can preside at Mass, and may be implying that people other than priests can Consecrate the Blessed Sacrament, in addition to violating any number of norms and their oaths of obedience?  Austria has long been a source of disobedience – the entire “women priest” movement is founded, ostensibly, on some unnamed Austrian bishop consecrating women bishops or priests on a riverboat some years back.  And the disobedience dates back long before that.

But, I don’t think it unreasonable to say that there has been weak or spotty enforcement of discipline within the Church for decades now.  Some of this lax enforcement has been explained as a necessary response, or lack thereof, to threats of schism, and a general attempt to “keep people in play.”  But rarely do individuals respond to such generosity of discipline with a change of heart and a sudden desire to adhere to properly constituted authority.  In general, what happens is that the disobedient grow more disobedient, until they finally reach some point where either they entirely leave the system or go into some kind of open revolt, as we see here. 

I know many view the Church of previous times as an overbearing ogre that enforced strict discipline with an iron hand.  I don’t think that’s accurate in many respects, and to the extent that it was true, was I think done for very good reason.  We are fallen creatures.  Most of us are constantly in rebellion to our Lord, to varying degrees.  That is why discipline is necessary.  It was avant garde to think, a few decades ago, that man had achieved some form of ‘spiritual maturity’ and that rules and regulations were no longer needed.  I think that belief was very wrong.  There has been very weak discipline in many regards in Austria, more than most places, for years.  This rebellion could be the fruit of that laxity.

In truth I admit that I am worthy of all scorn and contempt July 13, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, blogfoolery, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, The Imitation of Christ.
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What have I done, or Lord, that thou shouldst impart thy Heavenly comfort to me?  I can remember nothing of good that I have ever done: but that I was always prone to vice and very slothful to amend.

It is the truth, and I cannot deny it. If I should say otherwise Thou wouldst stand against me, and there would be none to defend me.

What have I deserved for my sins but hell and everlasting fire?

In truth I confess that I am worthy of all scorn and contempt, neither is it fitting that I should be named among Thy devout servants. And though I would fain not hear this, yet for truth’s sake I will condemn myself for my sins, that so I may the easier obtain Thy mercy.

What shall I say who am guilty and full of all confusion?  I cannot say anything but this one word: I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned; have mercy on me, and pardon me.

“Suffer me, therefore, that I may lament my sorrow a little before I go to a land that is covered with the mist of death” (Job 10:20)

What dost Thou chiefly require of a guilty and wretched sinner but that he should heartily repent and humble himself for his sins?

In true contrition and humility of heart is brought forth hope of forgiveness; a troubled conscience is reconciled; Grace that was lost is recovered; a man is secured from the wrath to come, and God meets the penitent soul in the holy kiss of peace.

Humble contrition for sins is an acceptable sacrifice to Thee, O Lord (Ps 50:19), of far sweeter odor in thy sight than the burning of frankincense.

This is also that pleasing ointment which Thou wouldst have to be poured upon Thy sacred feet, for Thou never yet hast despised a contrite and humbled heart – (Ps 50:19)

Here is a sure place of refuge from the face of the wrath of the enemy. Here whatever has been elsewhere contracted of uncleanliness is amended and washed away.

– a LAMENT, by Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, Book III Chapter 52

A small personal note: I post lots of stuff.  I post what I feel the Spirit moves me to post.  There are topics I avoid entirely because I don’t feel called to post on them.  Perhaps it’s  just my pride that causes me to post on certain topics – I pray not, but I don’t have such self-assuredness that I can say that I never post out of pride – my own desire to be right.  So forgive me, when I write things that annoy or that you feel are just plain wrong, it is entirely my fault.  Please tell me when I say something that is wrong, and let me alone take the blame.  I pray I may not be so offensive in the future.