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On the radio tonight! July 21, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness.
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I’m on again with Jim and Vicki Middleton on Life and Liberty radio on 660 KSKY at 8pm tonight!  We will have Michael Voris as our guest again – should be another great episode!

2011 Fall 40 days for life begins Sept. 28 July 21, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery.
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So, get ready to pray!  The main effort will be outside the “Southwest Women’s Surgery Center and Abattoire on Greenville Ave in Dallas.  You can sign up here!  Parish pro-life groups are encouraged to take a day…….or more! 

Let us drive Curtis “I know it’s killing” Boyd out of business!

The seemingly constant stress on the affairs of this world…… July 21, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, General Catholic, Immigration, sadness, scandals.
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…….as though it will last forever are sorely misplaced:

One thing I really value about the parish we assist at on Sundays is the fact that the reality of hell  is not dismissed.  I wouldn’t say it’s focused on with distressing frequency, but it is definitely not forgotten, and we receive frequent reminders that hell is an actual physical place we WILL wind up at if we do not die in a state of Grace.  Sadly, no, tragically, many Catholics today no longer believe in hell except for, perhaps, Adolph Hitler and Osama bin Laden and their ilk.  My grandmother had a saying, God rest her soul – Heaven is a 9 x 12 room, and it’s not crowded. Her saying is borne out by the experiences of the Saints, many of whom were granted the Grace to see the destination of many souls, and saw most “falling like snowflakes” into hell. But we all like to think WE are destined for Heaven. 

I don’t know if when confronted with the Beatific Vision, souls will immediately be filled with hate.  Perhaps, but they may also be filled with abject terror and a desire to flee from the Perfect Goodness and Infinite Love that is God, having not prepared themselves in their lives to be in that Presence.  Many of us, if we are fortunate, will need extensive perfecting in Purgatory before we can exist in Heaven with God and His Angels and Saints.  But for another large group, the destination will be final and terrible.  We make that decision with the conduct of our lives.  Those who try to live virtuous lives and who receive the immense Grace that flows from the Sacraments on a regular, near constant basis, have an huge advantage over those who avoid the Sacraments and live according to the wisdom and pleasures of the world.  Because the life we are called to live is both countercultural and counter to our very fallen natures, we need constant reminders of both the kind of lives we must lead in order to exist in that state of Grace, and the horror that awaits if we do not.   Ignoring the topic of hell and damnation may be comforting for some, but it is the same kind of ill conceived false charity that St. Catherine railed against in my earlier post – it is the kind of soft sentimality that leads to the gravest of consequences for those who are not given proper formation. 

And ignoring hell is a very widespread phenomenon in the Church today.

Vatican Bank president – small families ultimate cause of economic crisis July 21, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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I’ve certainly said as much myself – that if Americans had had larger families over the last 40 years, we would not be in this current federal government debt disaster, because the economy would be 30-40% larger and we’d have way more working age people to pay for all those retirement benefits.  The media and elites act like the economic implosion caused by huge entitlements for the elderly – Social Security, Medicare – is a completely natural phenomena, that simply could not have been avoided.  It could have been completely avoided, if people had had 3 kids on average instead of 2. 

That’s not just me talking.  It’s also noted economist and financier Etorre Gotti Tedeschi, head of the Vatican Bank:

The aging population of the United States and European nations is the “true origin of the current economic crisis,” according to the president of the Vatican Bank.

“The ever-increasing percentage of people who retire from their productive phase becomes a fixed cost which is impossible to absorb and sustain by those who produce,” writes Ettore Gotti Tedeschi. “The costs of an aging population cannot be sustained by young people, who, in addition to being fewer, might also ask themselves why they should do so, especially if they are immigrants.”

“Faced with this reality, it is indispensable to have the courage to address the theme of births and aging of the population,” he continues, adding

To ignore it is dangerous and it has become unavoidable to define a strategy to concretely support families in their natural vocation to have children. Only in this way can real economic recovery be triggered. A two-income family today earns less than the same family thirty years ago earned with only one income. This is the consequence of the growth of taxes on the GDP, doubled in the same period, precisely as a means to absorb the consequences of aging due to the decrease in births. [We’re caught in a vicious cycle – low birth rates lead to higher tax rates as a population ages, requiring both parents to work for the same net income, producing pressure for still lower birth rates, etc.]

Higher birthrates can help both immediately and down the road.  People are both consumers and producers – people generally produce alot more than they consume if they are good, hard working people.  Having babies now generates demands for goods and services, leading to economic growth, and provides the human capital – the whole point of economics, anyways – for decades down the road.  Economic prosperity has always been associated with a growing population, historically.  Declining populations have always been associated with economic collapse.  We’re not declining in this country, but the world population will start to decline soon if people continue listen to the Malthusian misanthropic baby haters.  Like this guy:

St. Catherine of Siena – self-love the root of lax discipline July 21, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Papa, religious, Saints, scandals, sickness.
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In the late 14th century, the Church was in a terrible state.  Ecclesia semper reformanda est, yes, but the late 14th century was particularly bad.  The papacy, under the sordid influence of self-interest and the French monarchy, had relocated to Avignon.  Discipline was not enforced anywhere in the Church.  Many Cardinals openly kept mistresses, many priests were married or had open girlfriends, Sacraments were sold, and good and holy priests and religious were persecuted (for, even with the grave scandals, there were still many good and holy priests).  The problem was one of discipline – it simply was not being enforced.  The Church was in desperated need of reform, of a return to ecclesial discipline in everything from requiring bishops to live in their diocese to throwing out bad priests who drank, whored, and sold Church offices and Sacraments.  The biggest concern, the first need, was to get the Pope back to Rome.  While in France, he was essentially a creature of the French monarchy and the French cardinals, who were almost all corrupt and had no interest in reform.  Plus, having the Bishop of Rome residing in Avignon fundamentally undermined any effort at reform.

As God often does, he raised up a Saint to help reform the Church.  The Saint in this case was St. Catherine of Siena, the Seraphic Virgin and Doctor of the Church, who sent a remarkable series of letters to Pope Gregory XI, begging him, cajoling him, and demanding him to move to Rome.  But Gregory XI, while personally holy, was very weak and indecisive.  St. Catherine, given incredible insight from her frequent converses with Jesus, knew precisely why.  Self-love:

St. Catherine longed to see the Pope stand as a fruitful tree, loaded with noble fruit because it is planted in good earth [Rome]. But fi the tree is not planted in good earth, which is self-knowledge – the knowledge that we are nothing, existing only in Him Who Is – the tree will wither. The worm of egoism will eat up the roots, for he who feeds his soul with mortal pride, the principle and r oigin of evil in all men, in those who rule and those who must obey. A man who has become the victim of self-love becomes indifferent to sins and faults among his subordinates, for he is afraid to annoy them and make them his enemies. Either he attempts to punish them so half-heartedly that it is useless, or else he does not punish them at all. In other words Catherine tells the Pope openly that in the last resort it is he who carries the whole responsibiltiy for the terrible abuses which are draining the life of the Church, woven though according to human reckoning he may be a fine person with many good qualities.  “If the blind leads the blind both fall into the abyss; doctor an dpatient hurry to hell together.” 

The kind of mercy which is due to self-love and the love of friends, relations, and temporal peace [or material well being], is in fact the worst cruelty, for if a wound is not cleansed when necessary with the red-hot iron and the surgeon’s knife, it festers and causes death. To apply salves to it may be pleasant for the patient, but it does not heal him. “Yes, I could wish you were a good and faithful shepherd who was willing to give a thousand lives, if you had them, for the glory of God and the salvation of His creatures. Oh, my beloved father, you who are Christ on earth, imitate the blessed St. Gregory. You can do what he did, for he was a man as you, and God is always the same. The only thing we lack is hunger for the salvation of our neighbor, and courage. But to arouse this unger in ourselves, who are nothing more than barren trees, we must graft ourselves onto the fruitful tree of the Cross. The Lamb who was slaugthered for our salvation still thirsts – His desire for our salvation is greater than coudl be shown by His suffering – for His suffering is without end, as is His love.

In the end, St. Catherine did get the Pope to return to Rome, but the Church was not reformed.  What followed was the Great Western Schism, even worse than the Babylonian exile of Avignon, and then the protestant revolt.  Both these events came about due to the scandal of persistent lack of enforcement of ecclesial discipline.  As a result, the Church was gravely wounded, a wound that exists to this day, because men failed to exercise properly the Authority entrusted to them, generally through failings of pride and self-love (which may have manifested itself in  many ways – lust, greed, indolence, avoidance of conflict, etc). 

None of the above is pointed at our Holy Father, Benedict XVI.  But, the Church today also needs reform, and it is up to all of us to overcome our self-love and take up the Cross Christ is extending to us.  I pray with God’s Grace I may begin to do whatever part He calls me to do in this effort!