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Little Nellie Organ September 20, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Interior Life, Saints.
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This was such a sad/happy and beautiful story.  I had never heard of Little Nellie Organ.  There is a site called Mystics of the Church that has a long post on her short life.  She was stricken with tuberculosis and suffered much of her young life.  But she had an incredible love for God and the Blessed Sacrament.  It is said that her life and her fervent desire for the Blessed Sacrament played a pivotal role in Pope St. Pius X changing the norms regarding receipt of First Communion so that much younger children could receive our Lord in His Sacrament.  Her story is so sweet, I wish I could excerpt a great deal of it, but it’s too long, so I’ll just post a bit:

It was the First Friday. Dressed all in white, she was carried down and placed in a little easy chair before the Sanctuary. The community Mass had just ended. Nellie remained silent and motionless with her head bowed down in prayer and adoration. Every eye was on this baby of predilection; all her companions looked on in wonder. A baby to receive Holy Communion!

Then came Father Bury in stole and surplice. Soon she saw the priest approaching, she lifted her eager face. “The child,” wrote Father Bury, “literally hungered for her God, and received Him from my hands in a transport of love.”

So all of Nellie’s yearnings were satisfied. Holy God had come into her heart at last.

A priest wrote in October, 1911, describing Nellie’s thanksgiving after her First Communion. “The happy moment will long be remembered by those who had the privilege of being present. Nellie seemed in an ecstasy, and all remarked the heavenly light that lighted up the child’s countenance.”

And then a strange thing was noticed: the disagreeable (some called it “the unbearable”) odor that previously had exhaled from her diseased mouth and jaw was never experienced again after that First Communion morning. But amidst such indescribable joy, Nellie’s tuberculosis progressed, and her health continued to grow worse……..

You should go read the whole thingMystics of the Church has many wondrous descriptions of the lives of Catholics given special graces from God. 

The story made me think of my own little four year old.  She, too, is very special.

Reclaiming our patrimony – Ember Days September 20, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery, Saints.
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For much of the history of the Church, seasonal fasts called Ember Days were kept four times a year, at the change of the seasons.  The reason for these periods of fasting were to consecrate the entire year to God and to allow for a time of reflection and a spiritual ‘check up’ – they were intended to include not only fasting and abstinence but also additional prayer, meditation and more detailed examinations of conscience.  Another aspect is to give thanks for the gift God provides through nature. Even prior to Vatican II, Ember Days had fallen into something of disuse or inattention, but with Summorum Pontificum and a general reawakening of an interest in Tradition, they are making a bit of a comeback.  We are coming upon the fall Ember Days of Michaelmas.

Ember Days involve all the above (fasting, prayer, abstinence, etc) on 3 days of the where the change of seasons occurs – Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.  The September Ember Days this year are Sept. 21, 23, and 24.  At this time, the Liturgy in the Traditional Mass changes to incorporate more readings from the Old Testament – sometimes as many as five – and it is intended to a special Mass on these days. 

The Catholic Encyclopedia, written in 1913 and generally pretty solid, gives a bare bones exposition on Ember Days, but contains the error that Ember Days were first instituted to occupy dates previously celebrated by the pagans in Rome – in actuality, the Ember Days were first practiced by the Apostles due to their Jewish roots, and pre-date even the Church’s presence in Rome.   There is a fine article on the purpose and history of Ember Days at Rorate Caeli.   The Ember Days starting this Wednesday are also starting on the Feast of the Apostle St. Matthew, who likely celebrated them himself.

There are many aspects of our wonderful patrimony that have been lost.  I think Ember Days are a worthy aspect of that patrimony to re-embrace.

Many graces will descend on those who fast and abstain in love for the Lord!

Colleen sometimes shares recipes on Ember Days. I hope she will again.

Four more Texas Planned Parenthood facilities closing…. September 20, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, episcopate, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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……thanks to the de-funding bill that passed the legislature earlier this year.  These facilities are in south Texas, after the closure of seven in north Texas a month or so ago:

A Texas affiliate of Planned Parenthood will close four centers in south Texas thanks to the bill pro-life Gov. Rick Perry signed revoking taxpayer funding for the nation’s biggest abortion business.

Planned Parenthood Association of Hidalgo County announced over the weekend that will close four of its centers and lay off half of its staff in response to the cuts the state legislature approved, which state pro-life groups like Texas Right to Life and Texas Alliance for Life supported. The abortion business plans to shut down centers in Rio Grande City, San Carlos, Progreso and Mission.

The Planned Parenthood affiliate will consolidate its offices and refer existing customers to remaining centers in McAllen, Edinburg, San Juan and Weslaco. [sadly, Planned Barrenhood had and still has many facilitiies in this state.]

While it claims the cuts will deny women access to some non-abortion health care Planned Parenthood also provides, thousands of other agencies and medical offices are located throughout the state that provide the same or better quality health care for women without the trappings of also destroying lives in abortions.

This is a great start.  Legislation is rarely if ever perfect.  It’s very hard to achieve all one’s goals with a single piece of legislation.  But all the trends, in this state in particular, are in the right direction, and accelerating.  Soon, Planned Parenthood will be forced to shutter more non-abortion facilities and focus almost exclusively on its main revenue generator, procured abortion.  That will further increase pressure to totally defund that group, and further their ostracism.  It will also allow more focused efforts on those abatoirs.  I look forward to the day when Planned Parenthood will no longer exist.

How to assist at Mass with profit September 20, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Eucharist, General Catholic, Liturgy, North Deanery, priests, Saints.
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OK, my final excerpt from The Wonders of the Mass by Fr. Paul O’Sullivan, OP:

The first condition of hearing Mass well is to understand thoroughly the infinite sanctity of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the graces it obtains.  The Mass, as we have seen, is a stupendous mystery. Our minds on the other hand are weak and slow to understand. Therefore, we must read frequently and ponder seriously on the wonders of the Mass. One Mass heard with understanding and devotion obtains for us more graces than a hundred, than a thousand Masses heard carelessly and in ignorance of what the Mass is.

We should make it an inviolable rule to arrive at Church some minutes before Mass commences, firstly, in order to be prepared and recollected when the priest comes on the altar, and secondly to avoid causing distraction to others. [I try to get to Mass, even daily Mass, 30 minutes early.  This is a time of prayer and reflection for me.   It is always good to have many intentions to offer for Mass.  Arriving early allows me time to make my intentions.]

We should not only hear Mass, but we should offer it [and pray it!] with the priest. Moreover, we should have the intention of hearing and offering all the Masses being said at the same time all over the world. In this way, we receive a share in thiese innumerable Masses!

We at once notice that the Crucifix is on every altar, that the priest’s vestments are all marked with the Sign of the Cross, that the priest commences the Mass with the Sign of the Cross, that he makes this holy Sing very many times during the Mass.  [Well, less so today in the 1970 Missal.  And some vestments unfortunately do not have crosses on them anymore] Why? To make clear to us that the Mass is really and truly teh Sacrifice of the Cross, that in the Mass Christ’s eternal Sacrifice is re-presented on the altar.  We must have no doubt that we are really assisting at the Sacrifice of the Cross. 

This is a very handy little booklet that has only 42 pages but is jam packed with information.  It’s a very quick read – you could easily read it in an hour or less, and keep going back to it because it is that good.

Highly recommended.  It costs all of $2

And a quick reminder, more souls are freed from Purgatory during the Mass than at any other time. 

The new tyranny September 20, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, priests, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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There is a reason, gentle reader, why I do not blast my name all over this blog.  I blog in semi-anonymity. There are dozens, possibly hundreds of readers who DO know who I am, and that’s fine.  I don’t go to great lengths to hide who I am, but I don’t make it readily apparent, either.  The reason is that a blog is inherently public, and I deal at times in issues which are controversial and generate great passion.  While I haven’t received many truly malicious or threatening comments, the possibility that I could say something that would upset a twisted individual to the point of malice remains.  And, for that reason, I don’t have my name present on this blog.

There are alot of Catholic mommy blogs.  They are not really my forte, since I’m more interested in doctrine than in sharing life experiences, but those blogs are fine and many have great followings.  In general, they are non-controversial and focus primarily on issues of life being a mother, often of a large family, and all the challenges and travails and joys and wonders that go with that so necessary and commendable life.  There is a notable one called Accepting Abundance that I do read from time to time becuase it tends to get linked by other more newsy sites.  And something rather extraordinary, and terrible has occurred of late on that blog.  The blogger shared her experience of going to public places and being unnerved by public displays of affection between homosexuals in front of her children.  The post was really pretty mild, just an expression of exasperation of the collapse of moral standards and the violation of innocence that is so endemic in our culture today.  She did not want to have her kids have to deal with trying to understand the unnatural attractions that are endemic to homosexuality. 

And in our so very tolerant modern culture, there is no greater heresy.  Certain groups demand ‘tolerance,’ but what they mean is acceptance, even obeisance.  They demand that there never be any reminder anywhere, by any group or individual, that what they do is wrong and counter to God’s Law, which has been revealed repeatedly through Sacred Scripture and the constant belief of the Judeo-Christian religions for over 3000 years.  And so they have castigated, issued death threats, and generally tried to bully this blogger, to make sure she will never raise her voice in objection to their “orientation” ever again.  They may well succeed.  This blogger, whom I have read several times, strikes me a gentle woman – if I were in her position, I wouldn’t expose myself to the vile hatred of the radical gay agenda and its allies on the left.  And that’s the point.  And that is also the new tyranny.  The ‘tolerance’ trumpeted by the radical gay groups and their allies is a complete and total lie – it’s a one way street, designed to aid and abet the desires of the very tiniest of minorities, a club used to smash the objections of the majority into submission.  From gay marriage initiatives to “Laura has two mommies” in classrooms to gay pride parades with wanton displays of lasciviousness that would  make the randiest Roman blush, we are witnessing the tyranny of the smallest of minorities – 1% of the population dictating to the vast majority what will constitute acceptable behavior, thought, and beliefs.  It is an incredible spectacle to behold.  But it is also fundamentally wrong and illogical, founded on special pleading over newly discovered “rights.”  As Fr. Ryan Erlenbush establishes clearly, it is not bigotry to oppose the gay agenda, or being opposed to having to witness gay public displays of affection – or even excessive displays among heterosexuals.  

And yet, the Church is by no means immune.  The same forces working in the culture to establish a tyranny of the minority are at work within the Church.  Michael Voris had a Vortex video yesterday that presents the sad case of a priest attached to ‘Catholic’ Gonzaga University in Washington, who seems to believe that the Church doesn’t have any position on gay relationships, aside from the ‘pastoral concerns’ of the USCCB’s rather weak exposition on the subject, ‘Always Our Children.’  He seems to be confirming, even encouraging, gays in their sins, rather than challenge them to live the chaste lives all of us – every single one, gay or straight, married or single – are called to live.  Anyway, the video:

“Souls are at stake, and silence and acquiescence falsely shrouded as charity and prudence are not allowed.”  So, a Catholic blogger dare speak apostasy against the rampaging hedonism of 0ur times, and she is excoriated by hundreds and even has death threats made against her family.  And within the Church Herself, the Mystical Body of Christ that should always be a beacon of the Truth Christ has revealed, falsehood is presented as truth and the dominant cultural hedonism is embraced as something natural, even good.  “But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth?” (Lk 18:8)