jump to navigation

Pope – ‘western’ Church glutted with structures, insufficient in spirit September 26, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery, Papa, sadness, scandals.
comments closed

Here here:

We live at a time that is broadly characterized by a subliminal relativism that penetrates every area of life. Sometimes this relativism becomes aggressive, when it opposes those who say that they know where the truth or meaning of life is to be found.
And we observe that this relativism exerts more and more influence on human relationships and on society. This is reflected, among other things, in the inconstancy and fragmentation of many people’s lives and in an exaggerated individualism. Many no longer seem capable of any form of self-denial or of making a sacrifice for others. Even the altruistic commitment to the common good, in the social and cultural sphere or on behalf of the needy, is in decline. Others are now quite incapable of committing themselves unreservedly to a single partner. People can hardly find the courage now to promise to be faithful for a whole lifetime; the courage to make a decision and say: now I belong entirely to you, or to take a firm stand for fidelity and truthfulness and sincerely to seek a solution to their problems.
Dear friends, in the exposure programme, analysis is followed by common reflection. This evaluation must take into account the whole of the human person, and this includes – not just implicitly but quite clearly – the person’s relationship to the Creator.
We see that in our affluent western world much is lacking. Many people lack experience of God’s goodness. They no longer find any point of contact with the mainstream churches and their traditional structures. But why is this? I think this is a question on which we must reflect very seriously. Addressing it is the principal task of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization. But naturally it is something that concerns us all. Allow me to refer here to an aspect of Germany’s particular situation. The Church in Germany is superbly organized. But behind the structures, is there also a corresponding spiritual strength, the strength of faith in the living God?  [Here, too, in the US, we have, if anything, even more built up human structures in the Church.  But what of spirit?] We must honestly admit that we have more than enough by way of structure but not enough by way of Spirit. I would add: the real crisis facing the Church in the western world is a crisis of faith. If we do not find a way of genuinely renewing our faith, all structural reform will remain ineffective.
But let us return to the people who lack experience of God’s goodness. They need places where they can give voice to their inner longing. And here we are called to seek new paths of evangelization. Small communities could be one such path, where friendships are lived and deepened in regular communal adoration before God. [This has been a surprising part of my experience in certain parishes in the area.  The feeling of being in a community of a very vibrantly lived faith is incredible, and redounds to one’s spiritual development greatly]

For some decades now we have been experiencing a decline in religious practice and we have been seeing substantial numbers of the baptized drifting away from church life. This prompts the question: should the Church not change? Must she not adapt her offices and structures to the present day, in order to reach the searching and doubting people of today?

Blessed Mother Teresa was once asked what in her opinion was the first thing that would have to change in the Church. Her answer was: you and I.
In the concrete history of the Church, however, a contrary tendency is also manifested, namely that the Church becomes settled in this world, she becomes self-sufficient and adapts herself to the standards of the world. She gives greater weight to organization and institutionalization than to her vocation to openness.
In order to accomplish her true task adequately, the Church must constantly renew the effort to detach herself from the “worldliness” of the world. In this she follows the words of Jesus: “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (Jn 17:16). [These last comments precisely mirror my thoughts and prayers regarding many Church ‘structures’ in this country, that they have become too worldly and temporally focused, because that is the nature of bureaucracies.  A bureaucracy cannot ‘do’ holiness.]

FSSP on Life on the Rock September 26, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Eucharist, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, priests, religious, Sacraments, Tradition.
comments closed

I know the EWTN program Life on the Rock has its critics, especially among those drawn towards Tradition in the Church.  But perhaps that can be laid aside briefly, as Fr. Mark Mary MFVA and Doug Barry (is he sick?) interview two FSSP priests and a member of the Traditional Catholic youth group Juventutem.  I heard most of this on the radio yesterday, and thought the discussion very helpful to dispel certain myths regarding those attracted to Tradition.  If I could add my own small bit to the conversation, in my own experience, most who favor the Traditional Latin Mass are quite young, generally singles under 30 and parents not much older than that with alot of kids.  I heard one FSSP priest jokingly remark that the church parking lot looks like a used car lot for 15 passenger vans (and, I would add, Suburbans).  Anyway, the interview:

Thanks to Bishop Farrell for allowing Mater Dei to have their own parish!

Latin Mass at St. Mark tonight September 26, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, Eucharist, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, North Deanery.
comments closed

Novus Ordo Latin Mass at St. Mark on Monday nights continues tonight.  Mass is at 7pm.  See you there, God willing!  If you’ve been away from this Mass for a while, come back!  Everything has been straightened out, if you know what I mean.

If you don’t, you never know what craziness might happen!?  Bah, I was trying to be silly, don’t want that last statement misinterpreted.  Everything is alright! 


If you never sent a note of thanks to Bishop Farrell, you really should.

Speaking of sin…… September 26, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, Interior Life, Sacraments, sickness, Virtue.
comments closed

……I beat you, my sweet, innocent readers, down with excerpts from a Tan booklet on the Mass – now prepare to be beaten down with talk on sin!  An elderly grandmother of a parishioner at Mater Dei died and left boxes full of these booklets – I think the good woman intended to distribute them, or was in the process of doing so when she passed, God rest her soul.  Perhaps my blogging on them is a natural continuation of her effort.  Any, from the Introduction of the good booklet The Seven Capital Sins:

There is a seven headed monster that each one of us has to fight our whole life through. This monster is self-seeking and self-love. Its seven heads are: pride, covetousness, lust, anger, envy, gluttony, and sloth. Bishop Fulton Sheen called them “the sevel pall-bearers of the soul” and gives them the following names: self-love, inordinate love of money, illicit sex, jealousy, overindulgence, and laziness.

As a result of Original Sin, each one of us has an inborn tendency to assert himself at the expense of the rights of God, or to make his will prevail over that of others. Our great passion is for our highest good, but too often we do not comprehend what this good is, and we seek for it in a wrong way. We need to understand that our highest good is GOD. God has made Himself our Last End and Reward. He has shown us the way to Himself through Christ, who called Himself “The Way.”

We must recognize our relationship to God as creatures who have the duty to love and serve Him in the manner He wills and desires, in order that we may possess Him in Heaven. Now, when we are wrapped up in our own ego, even though we may not realize this fact, everything we think, say, and do revolves areound our own self. We are really “seeking self,” though we may try to convince ourselves that we are following Christ and seeking God.

Plainly, then, the battle against self-seeking is fought within our own personality. Specifically, it is in our will. In the fountainhead of self-love and self-will, pride and all the other Capital Sins have their origin and bring forth a host of offspring, great and small.  If we are strongly motivated by self-seeking, we will seldom deny ourselves, as our Lord taught, by charity, love, sacrifice, humility, obedience, patience, generosity, or whatever the calls of duty and virtue  may be. Instead, our self-love will nourish the vices and we will become more and more ensnared in them.

To pursue the path of self-love is to continually refuse love to God, and such a course is a great danger to salvation. No soul can enter Heaven until it has been purged of all self-love and self-will and exists only for God.; that is to say, until it is sanctified. Probably for most persons who are saved, a great part of this purging has to be done in Purgatory, because the soul did not do it on earth. But should a soul, should we, reject the Will of God for our own self-will and self-love even until death, God would be forced to reject us for all eternity, because we had rejected Him. Such a rejection means eternal damnation. Our state would then be unchangeably fixed in self-love and hatred of God, and in Hell we would simply be a “mad center unto ourself” – an ego which must endure the unendurable, the unceasing torture of being drawn toward God, and yet being walled-up in it own eternally hate-filled self.

One early Christian writer says……..it is the devil who incites in us temptations to sins of malice, such as pride, haughtiness, envy and anger, and to the countless other sins that spring from these roots. Because sins of malice are more especially sins of the mind, or “spiritual” sins, they are more grievous in their nature.

The flesh, he says, inclines us to lust and gluttony, to ease and self-indulgence, which are sins of the body, or “carnal” sins, and more shameful and disgraceful in the sight of men

Finally, the world urges us to covet wealth, prosperity, honor, and other satisfactions, which are only delusions and lead us to fall in love with shadows.

…….the more often we consent to the temptations aroused by any of the vices, the deeper root the vice takes in us, until at length, habits of sin are formed which are very hard to break. So we need at all times to be watchful in combating the lesser sins if we are to be victorious in the greater battles we have to wage.

The twisted logic of those who ‘tolerate’ abortion September 26, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, Ecumenism, foolishness, General Catholic, Interior Life, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
comments closed

Many polls reveal that most Americans have a very tortured view of abortion.  I think many know in their hearts it is wrong, but they have been conditioned to believe that it is a woman’s “right.”  Much of this conditioning occurs in the popular media and in schools and academia, but I digress.  There is a hardcore 15% or so that are militantly pro-abort.  The vast majority of these are beyond convincing of the evil of their position.  But there is a very large swath of the public whose ‘support’ for abortion is weak and conditional, and largely founded on myths and outright lies propagated by the pro-abort camp and their allies in the media.  When confronted with the logical train of abortion – or, significantly, any government sanctioned mass killing of a certain group – that support evaporates.  The below is a video produced by an obvious Aussie that is a bit long but which shows interviews with wide swaths of people in southern California (I recognize many shots from the Venice/Hermosa Beach area), in which he walks them through the Holocaust, the moral depridations of the Nazis, and then asks them questions about how they would act if they had been in similar situations.  The interviewer then makes plain that we are in the same situations today – we are in the midst of a global holocaust of the unborn that has taken hundreds of millions of lives over the past several decades.  It is the saddest by-product of the runaway statism of the 20th Century:

While this tactic may seem effective, I wonder if it will have staying power?  This is a high pressure situation (being on camera, being interviewed by someone who establishes a sense of moral authority with the historical presentation on the Holocaust), where studies have shown people are highly persuadable.  Studies also show that many, even most people go back to their set patterns of thinking after they exit the high pressure situation.  There needs to be continual reinforcement, to counter the false wisdom of the world and its master.

I think the most revealing bit of the entire video was the fact that large numbers of people assume they are going to Heaven and make no account of any personal sin.  This is a very pervasive cultural problem, almost unique in history since the Incarnation in those countries wth a heavily Christian ethos.  Or former Christian ethos.  Because knowledge and awareness of our sins is an intrinsic part of being Christian – that is, after all, why Christ died for us!  If we have no sin, or discount them as trivial, we have no need for Jesus.  Unfortuantely, the producer of this video is obviously an evangelical protestant, and seems to imply the ‘once saved always saved’ belief – the greatest error ever to come from American protestantism.  They need to be told that repentance is indeed necessary, it is foundational, but much more is also needed – repentance is not a one time event, it is an ongoing turning away from self, from the world and its lies and false promises, and rejection of sin.  But because we are fallen, we will continue to sin – which is why ongoing Sacramental Confession is an absolute necessity. 

This view is very prevalent even within the Church. It is why we need regular, repeated exhortations on many types of sin from the pulpit, irrespective of perceived cost or penalties for so doing, to shake people from their stupor, to “talk louder than the world,” to get them to realize that they WILL be held accountable for their behavior at their particular judgment, and in the general judgment at the Resurrection. 

The cognitive dissonance in many of those interviewed was staggering – one man doesn’t believe in the afterlife, and yet he says that Hitler is in hell?

h/t culturewarnotes