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Two great posts on Confession… August 2, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Eucharist, General Catholic, Interior Life, Liturgy, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, sickness.
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….and spiritual direction, from New Theological Movement.  They’re both long, so I’ll just post the links with no text, but it’s all gold, digging pretty deeply from the great moral theologian and Doctor of the Church St. Alphonse Ligouri:

Is confession a time for spiritual direction? An answer from St. Alphonsus

The good confessor, according to St. Alphonsus

More gold – Why the modernist interpretation of the ‘miracle of the loaves and fishes,’ that it was a miracle of human sharing and not one of Divine Intervention when Jesus made a trifling amount of food feed 2-40000 people full to bursting, is not only false, it’s atrocious theology:

If it was only sharing, to hell with it
 
When modernists claim that this is only a story about sharing, they are telling us that Christ only gave out the five loaves (or the seven loaves) and that various individuals in the crowd provided the rest. The idea would be that, inspired by the example of Christ (or, even, by the example of the young boy who gave our Savior the bread and fish), certain unnamed persons among the multitude who had hidden away some portion of food decided then to share these reserves with others.
We need not point out how ridiculous a thought it is that the crowd – who, we are told, were on the point of exhaustion and had no reserves – could be more than satiated by a handful of persons sharing a few little treats. Rather, let us consider what the theology of the event would be, if the multiplication were really only about sharing.
If the “miracle” were only that people learned to share, then it would not be Christ who fed the crowd; rather, the crowd would have fed itself. The people would not have received the bread from Christ’s hand (and through the mediation of the Apostles), but they would have provided bread for themselves. Our Savior would only be a “moral cause” of their being fed, he would not have actually fed them himself.
Now, consider that this event is really telling us about how Christ feeds and sustains his Church. If the crowd simply shared (and fed themselves), what would this say about the Church? It would mean that the Church does not rely on Christ (except insofar as he is a moral example from 2000 years ago), but rather she provides for herself and guides herself.
Indeed, most of the modernist interpreters would delight in this conclusion – they have long ago thrown off the yoke of Christ and made themselves rather slaves of the world and its fashions (preferring darkness to light, and slavery to freedom).
The would-be-followers of Christ who “feed themselves” and who “share amongst each other” are those who foment against the Church and her Tradition, who join together in groups calling for radical change (consider those impious bands who demand women’s ordination and approval of same-sex “marriage”). These indeed do not receive the true bread from Christ our God, but only share their meager “treats” amongst themselves.
 
The Savior feeds his flock through his priests
 
But, if we accept that the multiplication is a miracle, we quickly recognize the theology behind the actions: Christ continues throughout the centuries to miraculously feed and sustain his Church. Even when we are in the desert, when the Church seems to be on the verge of collapsing from exhaustion – especially then, the Savior provides for his Bride.
First and foremost, the “bread” is the Eucharist and the other sacraments. It is also the illumination of the hierarchy in matters of faith and morals. Moreover, we may well say that the “bread” is the saints who are a shining light for the whole world.
What is more, we notice that our Lord does not give the bread to the crowds immediately, but he gives the bread to the Apostles and commands them to feed the crowds. Our Savior sustains his Church through her priests, and especially through the Pope and the bishops united to him.
The faithful in the Church are not left to feed themselves, but Christ continues to care for all his children through the ministry of the successors of his Apostles
 
Thus, Fr. Ryan Erlenbush, doctor of dogmatic theology (Angelicum).

True belief in God August 2, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery, sadness, scandals.
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Do you agree with Michael Voris’ assertion’s below?

This ties in with my previous post today on the fruits that should result from having a true Faith in Jesus Christ and His Church.  And while I strive to mentally accept all the Doctrine of the Faith, I know my practice very frequently falls short.  I am a very poor sinner.  One area of fear that I have is that my pride will cause me to reject some area of the Faith.  There are so many different representations given of different aspects of the Faith today that it can be confusing at times to know which one to adhere to.  If I listed to the USCCB at times, I must become a proponent of huge government socialism in order to be a ‘good Catholic,’ but there is much in the Tradition of the Faith that says that is not correct.  There are people who claim to be ‘faithful Catholics’ who proclaim that the freedom our Lord desires for us means that women should have the right to choose to kill their own children.  I know this to be wrong, but there are areas where it is fuzzier.

Like I said, cling to the Pope and Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture (and especially, traditional interpretations of Scripture).

Prayer request August 2, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Dallas Diocese, Eucharist, foolishness, North Deanery, sadness, Saints, scandals, sickness.
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I have a bit of an odd prayer request.  I can’t tell you, right now, what I’m praying about, but can you pray for my intentions (me, Larry Roach, or tantamergo/tantumblogo, doesn’t matter) at 3 pm central time today (08/02/2011), and especially ask for the intercession of St. Alphonse Ligouri, St. Peter Julian Eymard, and St. John Vianney?  Just a quick prayer!  I pray, in your charity, you will consider doing so! 

May God Bless You!

Sorry I can’t say what it’s about – I hope to be able to soon.

Yes – this is exactly how I feel regarding Church/state August 2, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, scandals, sickness, Society.
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I oppose the the tendency among many bishops and especially USCCB apparatchiks to seemingly demand total reliance on the state for so many – virtually all – functions.  Many of these same bishops then complain when the state meddles in Church affairs. 

This ties in well with my post yesterday on CRS and other huge Catholic charitable organizations, which I remind spend relatively large amounts on fundraising (lobbying) and administration, relative to many other Christian charities. Dr. Jeff Mirus proposes that this over reliance on the state, and the seeming fusion between much of the Church hierarchy in this country and the goals of an ever-expanding, ever-growing pagan, secular state, is both misguided and harming the Church:

….what ought not any longer to be an open question is whether, in general, we should reduce the size and scope of those governments which are among the more powerful throughout the world. The history of the last several hundred years is a history of ever-increasing growth in the power of the secular state at the expense of all other institutions. This has led to both an impoverishment of culture and a reduction of human initiative, and above all a progressive ceding by the Church to the State of precisely the kinds of activities which are most likely to make the Church an integral and even foundational part of the larger social order.

Another result of the unremitting focus on the State, then, is that the Church herself has become emasculated. Too often she looks to Big Brother to solve problems that are best solved by the direct generosity of Catholics and other Christians, organized with few sinecures and little waste through their own local and regional structures. [I agree totally, and this points a mighty finger at Catholic Charities and other groups, who rely almost totally on federal funding – not because they have to, but by choice.  It’s easier to get the check from Uncle Sam than relying on individual private contributors] And in the process of giving up her immense direct social influence through works of charity, she is perceived increasingly as a social outsider, not the font and teacher of a viable way of life but merely a proponent of an irrelevant point of view. [There is a direct correlation between the growth of the power of the state, and reliance by citizens upon the state, and the dimunition of the influence of the Church.  Look to Europe to see our potential future, if we keep on this road.  The Church will be denuded of any influence and bereft of practicing Catholics.  The state will form the new religion]

Put another way, St. Paul never relied on the Empire to provide for those communities which were in need among the churches he founded and served.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not among those who think budgetary decisions are easy to make, or that relatively stable and wealthy societies should not seek effective ways to help societies which are suffering either political instability or poverty or both. There is immense room for healthy debate and discussion on how to accomplish this very worthy end. What troubles me is simply the reflexive assumption that government—that is, the State—bears supreme responsibility for all things and so must be brought into play to solve every problem. I regard this reflexive assumption as extremely dangerous. I have trouble figuring out how anyone with eyes cannot see these dangers. In other words, I am insisting that we must introduce into our considerations the one essential concern that our Catholic leaders never seem to address………

…..For many reasons—all of them good—the Church needs to learn to lead again. There is more to charity than politics, more to service than seeking to control the pointing of the wayward pinky finger at the end of the secular arm. In our present circumstances, I might be happier if we Catholics ignored the secular power as much as possible. And I would certainly be happier if, whenever the secular power shrinks and leaves a vacuum, the Church and her members would simply step in and fill it with deeds born of love—rather than insisting as loudly as possible that the State should neither shrink nor retreat in any way. [Old Bishop Hubbard went to his cupboard….]

Sometimes I disagree with Dr. Mirus, but he hit one out of the park, here.  Go read it all.

 

Admin note – commenter ‘John’ August 2, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin.
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My apologies, John, I just found 2 comments by you from 2 weeks ago sitting in limbo.  They weren’t in my spam folder, which I check weekly, they were floating around waiting for approval, but not in my approval box.  I found them in a totally unrelated comments folder.  Anyway, they are approved now and I apologize that they must have seemed to have ‘disappeared’ to  you.

It’s all because I’m a lousy blogger!

The Fruits of Life August 2, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, North Deanery, scandals.
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The Fruits of Life – Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, Divine Intimacy, by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, Chapter 238.  It’s long, but I highly recommend reading it, in your charity:

Both the Epistle (Rom 6:19-23) and the Gospel (Mt 7:15-21) for today speak of the true fruits of the Christian life and invite us to ask ourselves what fruit we have produced so far. “When you were the servants of sin,” says St. Paul, you brought forth the fruits of death, “but now, being made free from sin and become servants of God, you have your fruit unto sanctification.” Our sanctification should be the fruit of our Christian life, and we must examine ourselves on this point. What progress are we making in virtue?  Are we faithful to our good resolutions?

[Jesus has planted us in the good, productive ground of the Church, and watered us with His Grace. He has given it the most tender care, cut off its useless branches, cured its diseases by His Passion and death, and watered its roots with His Precious Blood.]  After all this solicitude, one day Jesus comes to see what kind of fruit this tree is bearing, and by its fruit He judges it, for “a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit.” Before the Redemption, mankind was like a wild tree which could bring forth only fruits of death; but with the Redemption, we have been grafted into Christ, and Christ, who nourishes us with His own Blood, has every right to find in us fruits of sanctity, of eternal life. This is why words and sighs and even faith are not enough, for “faith…….if it have not works, is dead in itself” (Jas 2:17).  Works as well as the fulfillment of God’s Will are necessary, because “not everyone that says to me ‘Lord, Lord!’ shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but he that doth the Will of My Father who is in Heaven.”

In the Gospel of the day, Jesus directs our attention to the “false prophets” who appear “in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly are ravening wolves.” There are many who claim to be teachers in spiritual or moral matters, but they are false teachers because their works do not correspond to their words. It is easy, in fact, to speak well, but it is not easy to live well. [D’oh!  Hi, mirror!] Sometimes false doctrines are offered to us, even though they may not seem false at first because they have the appearance of Truth. Thus any doctrine which, in the name of an evangelical principle, offends other doctrines is false; for example that which in the name of compassion for individuals does harm to the common good [such as support for gay marriage, or contraception/abortion], or that which in the name of charity sanctions injustice or leads to a neglect of obedience to lawful superiors. Equally false is any doctrine which tends to make us lax…….or does not submit to the voice of authority. Jesus would like us to be as “simple as doves,” averse to criticism and severe judgments of our neighbor’ but He also wants us to be as “wise as serpents” (Mt 10:16), so as not to let ourselves be deceived by false appearances of good which hide dangerous snares.

[Here is the clincher ……..]From everyone…..learned and ignorant, teachers and pupils – Our Lord asks the practice of the Christian life in the concrete.  What good would it do us to possess profound, lofty doctrine if at the same time, we should not live according to this doctrine? Before we begin to instruct others, we must try to instruct ourselves, pledging ourselves to follow all the teachings of the Gospel in imitation of Jesus. [Do we strive to do this every day?  Do we get better at it?] The genuine fruit which proves the worth of our doctrine and of our life is always that indicated by Jesus: the fulfillment of His Will. This fulfillment means total adherence to the laws of God and of the Church, loyal obedience to our lawful superiors, fidelity to duty – and all these in every kind of circumstance, even at the sacrifice of our own ideas and wills.

To add just a bit on this last part: we have the sad problem today of shepherds who do not always obey their authority, who do not adhere to the Doctrine of the Faith mentioned above.  While we should always be obedient, we are not required to hold obedience to those who would cause us to sin, either through some act on our part or through some mutilation of our understanding or practice of Church Doctrine.  Historically, this has been problematic – many erring bishops and priests have drug the laity over whom they hold sway into error (Arianism, Pelagianism, Nestorianism, Donatism, the protestant revolt, etc).  This is where we must be ‘simple as doves’ and ‘wise as serpents’ – we must discern the Faith as revealed through the Church and especially her Supreme Head – the Pope.  He is Christ’s Vicar on earth – so long as we hold fast to the Pope and the twin pillars of the Faith – Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, we shall be alright.  It is a difficult distinction to make, at times – truth and error – so look always to what the Church has believed and practiced over the ages, as well as the guidance of the Supreme Pontiff.

Most popular names for 2011 reveals……..? August 2, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Saints, silliness, Society.
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I’m not sure what this reveals – at Ace O’ Spades, they say it means that people are uncreative and taking their names from celiebrities or whatever is on TV:

Girls
1. Pippa
2. Elula
3. Everett
4. Ever
5. Hadley
6. Mila
7. Ada, Adele, Adeline, Adelaide
8. Luna

Boys
1. Asher
2. Arlo
3. Flynn
4. Archer

Pippa?  Elula?  Archer?  I’m pretty sure most of those are not Saints names, although I might be surprised.  My typical reaction to such lists is…….whatever is on the ‘most popular’ list, I stay far, far away from such names.  We don’t try to pick odd names, we just usually try to choose a name that is #1 and most important of all, a Saint’s name, secondly, one that hasn’t already been taken by my wife’s family (that’s about 100 names gone, right there), and we have tried to use names of past family members, at times.  For Benedict, we picked that name because of the Pope and because he was born on July 11 – St. Benedict’s feast day. 

I think we may do that again.  I don’t think our next child will mind being called Polycarp, or Ambrose, or Methodius, do you?  Actually, if we have another girl, I have a name I like alot…..not sure my wife is fully down with it, though.  Maria Teresa?