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Finishing Fr. Z August 24, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Interior Life, Virtue.
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Fr. Z shamelessly ripped off my gig, which is shamelessly ripping content out of great books of Catholic spirituality.  But, contrary to his usual thoroughness, he left the job unfinished.  Here are more copious excerpts from Divine Intimacy, Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen OCD, chapter 260:

If charity were based on our neighbor’s qualities, on his merits or his worth, if it were based on the consolation adn benefits we receive from him, it woudl be impossible to extend it to all men. but since it is founded on the neighbor’s relation to God, no one can be legitimately excluded from it, because we all belong to God – we are, in fact, His creatures, and at least by vocation, His children, redeemed by the Blood of Christ, and called to live in fellowship with God (1 Jn 1:3)…..Even if some, by their sins, have become unworthy of God’s Grace, as long as they live, they are always capable of being converted and of being re-admitted to loving intimacy  with their heavenly Father………..

………..[Jesus said:] “You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love they neighbor and hate thy enemy. But I say to you: Lvoe your enemies; do good to them that hate you and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you: that you may be the children of your Father who is in Heaven, who maketh His sun to rise upon the good and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust” (Mt 5:43-45).  This is how Jesus Himself gave us the motive of universal charity: we should love all men because they are the children of our heavenly Father; thus, we imitate His universal love for all those who are His creatures, chosen by Him to be His adopted children. Jesus also tells us to love our neighbor “propter Deum,” for God’s sake.

We very often find it difficult in practice to fulfill the precept of universal charity because our love for our neighbor is almost exclusively personal and subjective, and therefore, egoistic. In other words, instead of basing our love for our neighbor upon his relation to God, we make it depend on his relation to ourselves. If our neighbor likes and respects us……….we find no difficulty in loving him; or rather, we enjoy it and seek pleasure in it.  But it is a very different thing if our neighbor is hostile toward us, or does not get along with us, if, even involuntarily, he causes us displeasure, or does not approve of our actions. Judging by this conduct, we must admit that we have erred from the beginning, substituting for God, Who is the true motive for loving our neighbor, our miserable self with our egoistic exigencies. We must also admit that in regard to fraternal charity, we are, unfortunately, almost always egocentric and very seldom theocentric. If our relations were truly centered on God, we should know how to overcome our egocentric point of view……….Basically, it is always selfishness which leads us astray, and in this case, it closes the way to the practice of theological charity.

We should, therefore, conquer our selfishness and immediately go beyond the limited horizons of a love based on our own personal interests. Let us look higher; let us look at God, who repeats to us, as He did to St. Catherine of Genoa, “He who loves Me, loves all that is loved by Me.” If our charity is arrested by the difficulties encountered in dealing with our neighbor, it is evident that our relations with our brethren are not regulated by our love of God, but by our love of self[ouch, now that hurts]

Please pray for……. August 24, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Dallas Diocese, North Deanery, Virtue.
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…….my friend Colleen Hammond and her family.  Her father, Ron Wine, has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of lung cancer.  Please also keep her mother, Eileen Wine, in your prayers.

Thank you for your charity.

USCCB consultant pro-homosexual lobbyist August 24, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, sickness.
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In addition to the prior relationship to Dr. Fred Berlin I posted on earlier today, LifeSiteNews reveals today that a prominent pro-homosexual (and left wing labor) lobbyist is currently functioning as a consultant for the USCCB:

 A consultant for the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development [go figure!], which oversees the controversial Catholic Campaign for Human Development [really go figure!], has been a public supporter of pro-homosexual legislation that was actively opposed by the country’s bishops, LifeSiteNews has recently learned.

John Sweeney, President Emeritus of the AFL-CIO, and a former five-term President of the trade federation, revealed his pro-homosexual position in a 2001 essay titled, “The Growing Alliance Between Gay and Union Activists.” [I think the essay would have been better titled, “The Growing Willingness to Use Union Dues to Advance All Kinds of Left Wing Causes”]


Under Sweeney’s leadership, the AFL-CIO Executive Council issued a resolution opposing the 2005 Federal Marriage Amendment, which would have defined marriage in the United States as a union between one man and one woman.


A press release issued in March of 2005 by the pro-homosexual group Pride at Work praised the labor organization for their stance, and specifically mentioned Sweeney’s role in getting the resolution passed.


“It happened because of the strong leadership of President John Sweeney in bringing this resolution to the entire Executive Council,” said Pride at Work co-presidents Nancy Wohlforth and Josh Cazares.


USCCB President Bishop Wilton Gregory had supported the Marriage Amendment in a letter to the Senate, calling it an “important measure” that would “protect this vital institution that undergirds the well-being of spouses, children, families, communities, and society itself.”


In June of 2009, while Sweeney was still President, the AFL-CIO released a statement in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which banned workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression.


Again, the USCCB opposed the legislation, calling it a legal affirmation of “sexual conduct outside marriage,” and a “threat to religious liberty.”

Can a man that espouses views counter to the Church still work with the Church in other areas?  Sure.  Should such a man have highly influential roles at the highest levels of Church administration, at least in this country?  I think not.  It sends a badly mixed signal – “Yes, we oppose gay marriage, but this major proponent over here, he’s really helpful, so we’re going to ignore his views in some areas in order to work with him in the areas we like.”  Is it any wonder many Catholics think adherence to Doctrine – believing what the Church proclaims She believes – is optional?  If those who publicly, stridently, hold views counter to the proclaimed Doctrine of the Faith, can obtain possibly lucrative positions (remember, using bureaucratic structures to scratch each other’s backs is a favorite ploy) of great influence at the highest levels of the bishop’s national conference, why should Joe Catholic feel obligated to adhere to what the Church proclaims in many areas?  Isn’t this one of the main sources for division in the Church – the mixed signals sent by the national conference?

And does not this latest situation reveal, yet again, the troubling nature of bureaucracies?  When Bush ’43 was President, several of his highest political appointees expressed exasperation regarding their inability to effect change in the bureaucracies they headed.  Those bureaucracies had been staffed (stuffed) by many of a more left wing political view by the Clinton Administration, and those staffers were undermining the policy goals of the Bush ’43 Administration at every possible turn.  Think of the disastrously inaccurate and politically motivated 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, wherein it was stated that Iran was not actively pursuing the development of nuclear weapons (a totally specious claim, and known to be so at the time).  This was a case of a bureaucracy run amok, working directly against the agenda of the constitutionally elected Administration.

The same could well be occuring at the USCCB – or, there could be very mixed signals regarding “policy” (which should not be – “policy” should be the unwavering Truth Christ has revealed through His Church) from a divided episcopate.  There is no question that there remains a strong ‘Bernadin’ faction that likes to see the Church embrace all manner of ‘progressive’ causes, and which likes to work with progressive power brokers, like Sweeney.  Either way, it’s yet another sad case of mixed signals and seemingly confused interpretations of, or adherence to, Church Doctrine, from the Conference whose main role is to help bishops perform their most important, Christ-given function – to TEACH THE FAITH! 

The question is, does the USCCB see it’s main role as teaching the Faith, or advocating for ‘social change.’  It’s hard to teach the Faith (and measure success in so doing), it’s comparitively easy to lobby for social justice and government funding.

And so we see the continuance of the sad focus on the temporal, rather than the spiritual.  Ultimately, little of what happens down here really matters – what matters is that we be prepared to be happy with God forever in eternity.

Does the USCCB consistently aid that latter goal?

Agriculture in action August 24, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, General Catholic, silliness, Society.
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Some may know that I come from a farming family.  We actually still own a farm in NW Kansas.  If you go to Google Maps and type in 400 east osage road phillipsburg ks, you’ll see our farm – and the satellite photo taken of it even captures Kenny Johnson, the man who farms our land, cutting wheat (y0u’ll have to either zoom out or scroll up (north) to see the north field being cut – you can see how shiny it looks just after being cut, and you can see his red Case out in the field)

I think combines are awesome.  Yesterday, someone on Bing did, too because this was their photo of the day:

And they linked to this video:

It’s hard to underestimate the psychological effect of harvest time.  It’s a combination of extremely hard work, worry, hope, and relief.  One never knows just quite what one has until it’s in the trailer.  Our farm made about 55 bu./acre this year – that’s pretty good.  The productivity of American farms, especially these Kansas farms, is simply astounding.  In the video starting at 2:15, you can see what harvesting looked like about 50 years ago.  The equipment was alot smaller (and cheaper).

The wheat harvest is an amazing trek that begins in south Texas in March and goes up into central Manitoba and Saskatchewan in September, then back down south to cut fall crops like soybeans and milo.   Alot of custom cutters out there make that trek annually. 

And there’s alot of Catholic farmers out there, so there’s the connection.  And it’s my blog – shut up!

Ladies, don’t abort……. August 24, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life.
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……even in cases of rape.  So says a victim of a 1956 gang rape who went on to have her child and give it up for adoption.  The woman and the daughter she had were recently re-united:

What an incredible story.  Pro-aborts like to make a great deal out of “rape and incest” exceptions for abortion, although abortions stemming from rape and incest make up 1% or less of all abortions performed.  But even in that terrible situation, choosing life is essential, and I think it may even help the rape victim recover, to bring some good, a human life, into the world, out of a terrible evil.  I don’t believe God creates any life just so that it can be destroyed, and sometimes our reaction to horrific events can be some of the greatest signs of God’s Grace in action. 

h/t Larry D

You should also check out this nice post by Larry D, as well.  Unfortunately, when it’s 108 outside, I don’t let myself act on the Grace I could when doing yardwork like this!  I complain too much, at least internally!


A report from the ‘pedophile normalization’ conference August 24, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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Dr. Judith Reisman and attorney Matt Barber attended the B4U-ACT ‘pedophile normalization’ effort conference held last week. I reported on this conference several times last week.  A couple of commenters here, and more on other sites, appeared to feel that the B4U-ACT organization was reasonable and compassionate, attempting to help “minor attracted persons” overcome their debased predelictions.  You can read their entire report here, but some of the “highlights” of topics discussed at the conference include:

  • Pedophiles are “unfairly stigmatized and demonized by society [Please keep in mind what pedophiles do, and the very high percentage of pedophiles who act on their inclinations]
  • “We are not required to interfere with or inhibit our child’s sexuality
  • “Children are not inherently unable to consent” to sex with an adult [That, is sick.  I have six kids.  I know something of normal child development.  This statement is categorically, 100% false, as the vast majority of child development specialists would attest]
  • [Current consent ages are arbitrary and puritanical.  Boys especially have “always” been available for sex with adults at all ages, historically]
  • An adult’s desire to have sex with children is “normative”
  • Our society should “maximize individual liberty……We have a highly moralistic society that is not consistent with liberty” [What these individuals mean is sexual liberty, the only kind that matters to them. I am certain the vast majority of conference attendees, including keynote speaker and former advisor to numerous Catholic bishops Dr. Fred Berlin, are quite happy with government and other controls over vast swaths of their lives, so long as they can act on their perversions]
  • The conference consensus is that pedophilia should be removed from the American Psychiatric Associations’s sadly very influential Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), the foundational document for determining what constitutes mental illness.  The conference attendees signaled their belief that this removal would be a political consideration, not one based on scientific processes.  They also likened this removal of pedophilia to the removal of homosexuality from the DSM in 1973.  The reason why they think this will happen is that “people don’t want government in the bedroom” [highlighting, perhaps unconsciously, that the goal is to allow pedophiles unconstrained access to children to molest, without fear of government reprisal]
  • pedophiles have feelings of “love and romance for children,” the same as normal married couples
  • DSM should focus on the needs of the pedophile, rather than obsessing about the “need to protect children.”
  • A gay activist got up to speak and stated that boys can rightly be the object of his and other’s attraction, and then went on to objectify children as nothing more than objects of lust and used disgusting, graphic terms to describe his climaxing with a child [from what sounds to me like experience] He was not criticized for these statements.

It should be stated that Dr. Judith Reismann and Matt Barber are involved in protecting children from child sex offenders, so they have a vested interest in this matter (as all sane and rational adults should).  I do not see how these statements can be defended.  It is very easy to write content for a website and make it sound very compassionate and concerned, even reasonable.  But the proof is in the conference itself and the aims expressed there.  Based on what I have seen here, even if there was much discussion that focused on a more sane approach to handling pedophiles, this organization is deviant, perverse, and highly dangerous.  The connections with the homosexual lobby and their prior political march to the present day “normalization,” even to the point of state recognition of their simulated marriages, are plain to see.  Many of the most adamant advocates for making children available for adult sexual predation are homosexual, such as the infamous NAMBLA.  Many of the arguments cited in “defense” of pedophilia attempt to draw back to ancient societies, such as those in pre-Christian Greece, to show that men attacking boys sexually is somehow normal.  That ignores both the continuing development of morals (thanks largely to Christianity) and the fact that even those societies that tolerated these kinds of acts were relatively isolated and often squashed (made to terminate their practice) by an outside force operating with a superior moral compass.

But be that as it may, I think the true nature and interest of this organization has been revealed.  Thankfully, this conference was sparsely attended – only about 50 individuals attended, some of which were just pedophiles seeking further rationalization for their horrific sickness.  There are tens, possibly hundreds of thousands of licensed therapists and psychiatrists in this country – I am heartened that only a few dozen would attend this event.  But that does not mean it is a threat to be dismissed – some of the individuals associated with this conference are sadly influential.  We must pray, and constantly shine the light of Truth on these activities, and dismiss the notion that this group is in any way compassionate or acting morally.  They are seeking to make children, legally, fair game for child molesting pederasts.  I don’t believe any faithful Catholic can support this organization in the slightest, and in fact I believe it is morally imperative to oppose it with all one’s might.

One final note – when will the USCCB and individual bishops formally repudiate Dr. Fred Berlin and his twisted view of sexuality?  Am I alone in thinking they should?