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Vatican – Shrines should emphasize Mass, Confession August 12, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, Liturgy.
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Sounds like a good idea to me.  I think every Catholic church and shrine should absolutely do the same!

In a message to the rectors of Catholic shrines throughout the world, the Vatican has emphasized that popular piety must not supersede the Church’s official liturgy. The message from the Congregation for Clergy also strongly encourages the rectors of shrines to place a heavy emphasis on the sacrament of Penance.

The Vatican letter—signed by Cardinal Mauro Piacenza and Archbishop Celso Morga Iruzubieta, the prefect and secretary, respectively, of the Congregation for Clergy—strongly affirms the importance of shrines as oases of spiritual strength and renewal. The letter states:

In a climate of widespread secularism, the Shrine continues to be, even to our day, a privileged place in which the human person, a pilgrim here on earth, experiences the loving and saving presence of God. He finds there a fruitful space, away from daily distractions, where he can recollect himself, gather his thoughts and reacquire the spiritual health to re-embark upon the journey of faith with greater ardor.

The letter welcomes the various forms of popular piety that are found at shrines, but asks rectors to guard against “attitudes and ways of thinking that are not consistent with a sound religious sense.” A proper balance must be sought, the letter says: “The personal practice of expressions of popular piety is in no way to be absolutely rejected or hindered, indeed it is to be encouraged, but it cannot replace participation in liturgical worship.”

Taking note of the fact that many people come to shrines at times when they are looking for new direction in life, the Vatican document urges officials to make the sacrament of reconciliation readily available. For that purpose, the letter notes, “it is necessary to bring about and to intensify, where possible, the constant presence of priests who, with a humble and welcoming soul, give themselves generously to the hearing of sacramental confessions.”

Sound logic.  Confession and Mass are the prime vehicles of Grace into the lives of all the faithful.  They should always be stressed.

Please pray for Benedict! – UPDATED August 12, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, sadness.
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My little boy broke his arm pretty badly yesterday. He has to have surgery today.

If you would, in your charity, say a prayer for him, I would greatly appreciate it, as would my entire family.  I’m going to be out at the hospital likely for the remainder of the day.  May God bless you for your charity.

UPDATE: He’s out of surgery, and doing pretty well.  God bless you for your prayers!

Comments reveal the poor state of formation in Catholic schools August 12, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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So, I posted last week about a…….<sigh>…………Catholic girl fasting for ramadan.  Ho-boy has that generated some interesting, and disheartening, comments, from her friends, including a threat to punch me in the face, which just makes me roll my eyes.  But these kids all claim to attend Catholic high schools, many have been educated in Catholic schools their entire lives, and they have no conception of the Faith, aside from what the culture has told them.  What they have learned of the Faith in their schools, at least as revealed by the ignorance and indifferentism of their comments, is extremely limited at best (and often just plain wrong).  A few examples below:

Commenter ‘Erin’ left this jewel:

tantamergo, open your mind a little. the Bible did not arrive by fax from heaven, and to believe that every existing doctrine of the Catholic Church comes directly from the mouth of God is nothing less than absurdly foolish. no religion is perfect,

This is very much wrong.  Catholics do believe the Bible ‘arrived by fax from heaven,’ in a sense, in that we believe it was Divinely inspired and all of it is to be accepted, as understood in the light of Sacred Tradition.  I think the implication of the above is that there are whole swaths of the Bible we can and should ignore, because they are no longer ‘relevant’ – meaning, they don’t appeal to the mores, or lack thereof, in today’s society.  In matters of faith and morals, Catholics are required to accept all that which has been proclaimed definitively by the Ordinary Universal Magisterium and the ‘ex cathedra’ definitions of the Pope.   The statement above is unnerving, for it seems to reveal a profoundly modernist and indifferentist view of the Faith – that all faiths are relative and none are necessarily ‘better’ than others.  Essentially, they’re all made up human constructs and we should only believe those portions of the faith which appeal to us.  It is the religion of man, the essence of modernism.

More from ‘Erin’ –

blindly following every institution of the Catholic Church is fulfilling Marx’s idea that “religion is the opium of the people.’  constructive questioning is an excellent way to strengthen faith, even being taught in Jesuit institutions, and in no way was observing Ramadan out of respect for a friend and her religion destructive to Jordan’s faith

‘Erin,’ by the way, attends a Jesuit run high school, also in Portland.  I don’t think I need comment on the allusion to Marx.  However, ‘questioning’ may be fine, it depends on how it is conducted, but only once one is firmly grounded in the Faith.  ‘Questioning’ conducted by those lacking that firm grounding often just means attacking the Faith, or twisting God’s revelation to suit our preferences and desires – again, the religion of man.

From another commenter, ‘Ashley’ –

Sending your kids to Catholic school doesnt mean that they are going there to have the schools religion shoved down their throats.

Am I wrong to find this statement problematic?  Should Catholic schools be so generalized, or so low key in the practice of the Faith, that those of other faiths should find a Catholic school little different from that of any other religion, or a secular school?  Is this not the core problem we’ve had with our schools?

Finally, from commenter ‘Emily’ –

 St. Mary’s provides young women with an education that stretches beyond someone telling us what to believe, it encourages us to interpret and analyze the Bible, study religious figures, and explore the texts and cultures of other world religions as well. St. Mary’s is about tolerance

Interpreting and analyzing the Bible (one course req’d at St. Mary’s in Portland) is, of course, great, although I am forced to wonder just what kind of interpretation and analysis is stressed at St. Mary’s.  I doubt it’s a rigorous, traditional Catholic interpretation, given the indifferentist tenor of all the comments.  Studying ‘religious figures’ can be OK, especially if it focuses on the lives of the Saints, but, again, I am forced to question just which figures are being studied and how their lives are ‘interpreted.’   I would hope that a Catholic school would be more about the Catholic Faith, the love of God and His only Son, and the practice of all the virtues, and not just some culturally inspired notion of ‘tolerance.’  Tolerance in the present cultural milieu has come to mean quite generally, in the religious sense, indifferentism, the idea that all religions are basically the same and that none has a superior repository of the Truth.  That a secular school would teach thus is hardly surprising in today’s day and age, but I don’t think it acceptable for a Catholic school to teach this.

After reading all the 2 dozen or so comments left in defense of the ‘ramadan fasting’ individual, I’m left with little surprise that so many students ‘educated’ in Catholic schools leave the Faith.  It appears they simply do not understand what they have in the Church, and so they leave, thinking all religions are essentially the same.