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Father, if it is possible, let this chalice pass from Me….. October 5, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Eucharist, General Catholic, Glory, Interior Life, Our Lady, Sacraments, Tradition.
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…..From City of God, The Transfixion(The Divine History and Life of the Virgin Mother of God), manifested to Mary of Agreda for the encouragement of men. 

 My dear sweet wife typed all of this on our horribly broken laptop, which is mising about 10 keys because of Benedict’s boyish violence.  You must read the whole thing!

This prayer Christ our Lord uttered, though He had come down from heaven with the express purpose of really suffering and dying for men; though He had counted as naught the shame of his Passion, had willingly embraced it and rejected all human consolation, though He was hastening with most ardent love into the jaws of death, to affronts, sorrows and afflictions; though He had to set such a high price upon men, that He determined to redeem them at the shedding of his life-blood.  Since by virtue of his divine and human wisdom and his inextinguishable love He had shown Himself so superior to the natural fear of death, that it seems this petition did not arise from any motive solely coming from Himself.  …


Jesus treated with the eternal Father about an affair, which was by far the most important of all, namely, in how far the Redemption gained by his Passion and Death should affect the hidden predestination of the saints.  In this prayer Christ offered, on his part, to the eternal Father his torments, his precious blood and his Death for all men as an abundant price for all the mortals and for each one of the human born till that time and yet to be born to the end of the world; and, on the part of mankind, He  presented the infidelity, ingratitude and contempt with which sinful man was to respond to his frightful Passion and Death; He presented also the loss which He was to sustain from those who would not profit by his clemency and condemn themselves to eternal woe.  Though to die for his friends and for the predestined was pleasing to Him and longingly desired by our Savior;  yet to die for the reprobate was indeed bitter and painful; for with regard to them the impelling motive for accepting the pains of death was wanting.  This sorrow was what the Lord called a chalice, for the Hebrews were accustomed to use this word for signifying anything that implied great labor and pain.  The Savior himself had already used this word on another occasion, when in speaking to the sons of Zebedee He asked them: whether they could drink the chalice, which the Son of man was to drink (Matt 20:22).  This chalice then was so bitter for Christ our Lord, because He knew that his drinking it would not only be without fruit for the reprobate, but would be a scandal to them and redound to their greater chastisement and pain on account of their despising it (I Cor. 1:23).


…Christ besought his Father to let this chalice of dying for the reprobate pass from Him.  Since now his Death was not to be evaded, He asked that none, if possible, should not be lost; He  pleaded, that as his Redemption would be superabundant for all, that therefore it should be applied to all in such a way as to make all, if possible, profit by it in an efficacious manner; and if this was not possible, He would resign Himself to the will of  his eternal Father.  Our Savior repeated this prayer three times at different intervals (Matth 26:44), pleading the longer in his agony in view of the importance and immensity of the object in question (Luke 22:43).  According to our way of understanding, there was a contention or altercation between the most sacred humanity  and the Divinity of Christ.  For this humanity, in its intense love for men who were of his own nature desired that all should attain eternal salvation through his Passion; while his Divinity, in its secret and high judgements, had fixed the number of the  predestined and its divine equity could not concede its blessings to those who so much despised them, and who, of their own free will, made themselves unworthy of eternal life by repelling the kind intentions of Him who procured and offered it to them.  From this conflict arose the agony of Christ, in which He prayed so long and in which He appealed so earnestly to the power and majesty of his omnipotent and eternal Father.


The agony of Christ our Savior grew in proportion the greatness of his charity and the certainty of his knowledge that men would persist in neglecting to profit by his Passion and Death (Luke 22:44).  His agony increased to such an extent, that great drops of bloody sweat were pressed from Him, which flowed to the very earth.  Although this prayer was uttered subject to a condition and failed in regard to the reprobate who fell under this condition; yet He gained thereby a greater abundance and secured a greater frequency of favors for mortals.  Through it the blessings were multiplied for those who placed no obstacles, the fruits of the Redemption were applied to the saints and to the just more abundantly, and many gifts and graces, of which the reprobates made themselves unworthy, were diverted to the elect.  The human will of Christ, conforming itself to that of the Divinity, then accepted suffering for each respectively:  for the reprobate, as sufficient to procure them the necessary help, if they would make use of its merits, and for the predestined, as an efficacious means, of which they would avail themselves to secure their salvation by co-operating with grace.  Thus was set in order, and as it were realized, the salvation of the mystical body of his holy Church, of which Christ the Lord was the Creator and Head. 


But what pretense or excuse will men advance for having forgotten their own eternal salvation, when (the divine Son and Mary) have desired and sought to procure it for them with such sacrifices and untiring watchfulness?  None of the mortals will have any excuse for their foolish negligence, and much less will the children of the holy Church have an excuse, since they have received the faith of these admirable sacraments and yet show in their lives little difference from that of infidels and pagans.  … 

“Many are called, but few are chosen”:  fear this sentence and renew in thy heart the care and zeal for thy  salvation, conformable to the sense of obligation arising from the knowledge of such high mysteries.


Prayer vigil outside Planned Parenthood fundraiser October 5, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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It is likely just my ignorance, but it sure seems that Planned Parenthood is having alot more high dollar cocktail fundraisers now that their state funding has been cut off.  Tomorrow night, Oct. 6, Planned Parenthood will be hosting another cocktail fundraiser at the Fashion Industry Gallery, 1807 Ross Avenue.  Some signs with messages specific to Planned Parenthood will be furnished.  We will begin arriving by 5:30. Their event begins at 6:00.  We will leave around 7-7:30. Some parking is available on the street, next to the sidewalk, we will be standing on.  The Fashion Industry Gallery is a few blocks down (west) from the Cathedral and on the same side of the street.  It is set back from the street on the northeast corner of Ross and north St. Paul St.

I can’t attend as I’m leaving town early the next morning, but perhaps some of  my readers can help remind the Planned Parenthood donors exactly what they are supporting?  You can contact Joann Murray for more information or for any questions.

Voris on the Crusades October 5, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Ecumenism, foolishness, General Catholic, Glory, Tradition, Virtue.
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I’ve been reading a great deal about the Crusades over the last several months.  Some of the best sources for good history of the Crusades without anti-Catholic, anti-Christian bias, are Dr. Warren Carroll, Regine Pernoud, and  Desmond Seward.  It is unfortunate that many Catholics have been fed misinformation regarding the Crusades, or even outright fabrications.  The Crusades were not an attempt by greedy, rapacious Christians attempting to subjugate innocent muslims – they were an attempt to recover formerly Christian territory lost to the muslims in the 7th century, to allow the passage of Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land without fear of attack, murder, robbery, or being sold into slavery.   The Crusades were fought, almost to a man, for primarily religious reasons. 

Anyway, this half-hour video gives a good, brief history of the reasoning behind the Crusades and their conduct:

I’ve done a fair bit of study on the Crusades, as I said, and there are some small errors in the video above – the Tripoli that concerned the Crusades was a town in what is now Lebanon that was destroyed by the Sultan Baybars and no longer exists, not the city in modern Libya as shown in their map.  There are more than one or two books that started the misinterpretation of the Crusades – modernist, secularist, paganist writers and researchers have severely butchered the history of the Crusades in many respects.  Whether the two quoted are truly the most significant sources of error, I cannot say.  A primary reason for the Crusades not listed is that various Popes, starting with Urban II, hoped that helping reduce Islamic pressure on the Byzantine Empire would result in the end of the Great Schism of 1054, and reunite the Church.  Several Byzantine Emperors held that out as a prospect in return for Latin Christian help in fighting the muslims.  But I cannot stress enough how much religion – suffering for Christ, gaining a plenary indulgence, ending atrocities against Christians, and recovering the Holy Land for Christendom – dominated all other concerns among almost all Crusaders. Once land was conquered, it is a sad fact that many Crusader leaders from the nobility did then fall victim to vice and squabble over who would hold the fief for which territory, which quickly  undid the unity of Crusader purpose and made them much less effective, but defeding the Faith was the #1 reason for “taking the Cross.”

There is much to admire in the Catholic Faith from the 11-12th century.  Here’s a topic – the Crusades as the model of future ecumenical efforts of the Church?

A divided USCCB decides to stand pat October 5, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, asshatery, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, Immigration, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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The USCCB has apparently decided that it’s equivocal, watered-down, easily misinterpreted voting guide, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” will not be amended for the upcoming 2012 election, save for a new introduction that makes it slightly more clear that candidates that oppose Church Doctrine on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage cannot be supported.  Sadly, there will remain plenty of ambiguous language that will allow ‘progressives,’ Catholic or not, to claim that the Catholic Church does not unequivocally oppose any candidate that supports the right to legally murder a child.  Phil Lawler at Catholic Culture notes the little impact this unchanged document is likely to have:

My eyes glazed over when I first tried to read the entire 44-page text of Faithful Citizenship, when it first appeared on the scene in the fall of 2007. In their instructions to voters, the bishops dutifully call for opposition to abortion. But they mix that admonition with so many other considerations that the overall effect is weak. Faithful Citizenship does not draw the necessary, clear distinction between the issues on which good Catholics might disagree (such as economic policy) and those that are non-negotiable (such as abortion)—not to mention the distinction between issues on which prudent compromise is wise (economics again) and those on which compromise is odious (abortion again).

Faithful Citizenship was itself clearly a compromise of sorts, cobbled together to maintain the peace within the bishops’ conference. The final document was not entirely satisfactory to anyone on either end of the political spectrum, nor did it prevent public disagreements about American bishops during the ensuring election year.

And the net effect? Archbishop [uhhh…..that’s Cardinal Burke to you, Mr. Lawler] Raymond Burke believes that Faithful Citizenship helped ensure the election of President Obama, since the crucial Catholic vote swung toward the Democratic candidate. But that may be an exaggeration; survey results show that most Catholic voters were blissfully unaware of the bishops’ advice, and probably would have ignored that advice even if they had heard it. [Only 16% of Catholics know ‘(Poorly) Forming Consciences’ even exists.  3/4 of those say it had no impact on their voting decisions.  So it was only ‘relevant’ – it only had ‘pastoral’ influence – on 4% of Catholics.  Oh…..yay]

By any reasonable standard, Faithful Citizenship cannot be classified as a resounding success. [It’s a disaster] So why would the bishops want to issue the same questionable advice again this year? Consider what has happened in the four years since the guide was first published. The new presidential administration (which may have been installed in part because of Faithful Citizenship) has been relentless in promoting abortion and trampling on Christian consciences. Catholic voters today are even more likely to ignore their bishops’ advice; Catholic politicians are even more likely to ignore the moral teachings of their Church.

Yes, all the above is true, and yet we still regularly see statements from various leaders in the Church or the USCCB, expressing surprise and dismay when some Catholic politician takes some stand diametrically opposed to what the Church believes.  Either the surprise is feigned, or we have some very gullible bishops. Why wouldn’t a ‘progressive’ politician reject Church Doctrine?  The leadership of the Church in this country has made it abundantly clear, over decades, that there will be absolutely no penalty for politicians who follow agendas that reject Church Doctrine – heck, many of these pols plainly laugh about Church Doctrine.  So if a politician discerns that their best bet for getting elected (along with their own terribly formed political-religious dispositions) is to support abortion, or fake gay marriage, or whatever, they’ll do it, because it is all up-side to them.  Getting a brief scolding from a bishop, at worst, is hardly likely to have any influence given the contravaling influences, like getting elected and making huge scads of money.

There is an allusion in Lawler’s post to the division within the USCCB.  This is important to note – there are bishops, unfortunately few, who would like to take a stronger stand in support of Church Doctrine (and I remind, issues like abortion are “non-negotiable,” while issues like how best to help the poor, or immigration policy, are extremely negotiable within the confines of Church dogma), but they are opposed by at least an equal, if not greater number, of bishops who…….how should I say, charitably?………essentially question whether there are any real ‘hard’ dogmas that must be observed, that all is a tradeoff, will to power, modernist yada yada yada.  They’re progressive – that pretty much sums it up.  And there is a great mass of bishops in the middle who, I think, frankly could go either way, they’re not that interested in fighting these kinds of battles (which is an enormous problem in itself). 

We shall not see this sad situation change, until we have more men ordained as bishops who will strongly, and without reservation, assert the Doctrine of the Faith for what it is – beliefs that must be accepted by all who call themselves Catholic, and who are prepared to use ecclesial measures to enforce this Doctrine.  Until that occurs (sadly, likely many years from now), we can continue to expect sadly divided leadership and equivocation when it comes to guidance on hugely important issues like elections in a representative democracy.

We must follow the Way of the Cross October 5, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Interior Life, Latin Mass, North Deanery, religious, Tradition, Virtue.
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As Jesus suffered to gain our salvation, so must we in order to follow Him.  From a new book (for me!), The Little Book of Eternal Wisdom by Blessed Henry Suso, a 14th Century German Dominican monk, prior, and mystic. 

Eternal Wisdom. – No one can attain to Divine heights or to unusual sweetness, unless he be first drawn through the example of My human bitterness. . The higher one climbs without passing through My humanity, the deeper one falls.  My humanity is the way one must go, My Passion the gate through which one must penetrate, to arrive at that which thou seekest. Therefore, lay aside thy faint-heartedness, and enter with Me the lists of knightly courage, where I am, for weakness befits not the knight in the place where his lord stands in valiant courage. I will put thee on My coat of mail, for My entire Passion must thou suffer over again according to thy strength.  First make thyself bold, for they heart must often die within thee, before thou canst overcome thy weakness, and thou must often die, and thou must sweat the bloody sweat of anguish because of many a painful suffering under which I mean to prepare thee for Myself; for with red blossoms [our sufferings] will I manure thy spice garden [our soul]. Contrary to old custom, thou must be made prisoner and bound; thou wilt often be secretly calumniated and publicly defamed by My adversaries; many a false judgment will people pass on thee; My torments must thou then diligently carry in thy heart with a motherly heartfelt love. Thou wilt obtain many a severe judge of thy godly life; so also will thy godly ways be often mocked as folly by human ways; thy undisciplined body will be scourged with a hard and severe life; thou wilt be scoffingly crowned with persecution of thy holy life[I wonder sometimes if I am living the Faith sufficiently, if I do not obtain at least occasionally some hostility for it.  I do not seek out these rebuffs, but I fear I am too timid at times]  Afterwards thou wilt be led out with Me on the sorrowful Way of the Cross when thou dost surrender thine own will and forsake thyself, and be as free with regard to all creatures in those matters that may cause thee to stray from thy eternal salvation, as is a dying man, when he goes hence and has nothing more to do with this world.

End excerpt.  I met a man after Mass a few months back, a man I had seen before at Adoration at a different parish.  He introduced himself to me, and was a really pleasant man.  He really got into the Faith over the course of last spring and early summer, and told me he had been away from the Church for “a while.”  He asked me about good books to have, he began assisting at the TLM and even attended daily Mass and Confession regularly.  Last June, he suddenly died.  I have since found out that he had been away from the Church for over 30 years, and that his friends and family had grown increasingly hostile to his growth in devotion, to the point many were apparently ready to end ties with him at the moment of his death.  I think what great Grace this man received, to come back to the Church and, I pray, die in a state of Grace, and how he was willing to undergo suffering and rejection for that Faith he had just returned to.  It is a miracle that he found the Faith again just before he died.  We never know what incredible Grace our sufferings may merit, but merit it they will.

His Requiem Mass was perhaps the most beautiful thing I’ve ever experienced in my life.

More on this subject tomorrow, God Willing!