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Why are the Jesuits in near terminal decline? December 9, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, General Catholic, religious, sadness, scandals, sickness.
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The Jesuits were once the strongest order in the Church.  They struck fear in the hearts of the Church’s enemies through their rigorous theological training and total willingness to serve Christ through His Church.  Now, they are collapsing – they’ve lost half their numbers in the last 45 years, with vocations continuing to plummet.  I’m sure many of my readers could posit some reasons as to why this is the case: repeated instances of apostasy being tolerated, even celebrated, within the ranks, the rigorous training in the theological disciplines being replaced with modernist, indifferentist “interdisciplinary studies,” a much greater focus on temporal affairs than things spiritual, and just a thoroughgoing embrace of this fallen world and it’s “values” – the essence of modernism.

That’s what some might say (like me).  But what do the Jesuits think?  Why are their vocations plummeting?  Their recently held general congregation might shed some clues:

Why the decline? The 35th General Congregation of the Society of Jesuits proposes mass culture is to blame. Decree 6 of the congregation says, “Exaggerated individualism and consumerism have encouraged resistance to the powerful call of community service found in our mission.”

Carter agreed mass culture is partly to blame. “Totalitarian states submerged the individual to the needs of the state,” Carter said. [then why do so many Jesuits embrace left wing ideology?]

According to Carter, the United States responded to the totalitarian cultures it was fighting against by putting “great stress on the individual.” This mentality of individualism is alive and strong today. [No, the “great stress” on the individual began with the reformation, then the rationalists, the “enlightenment,” followed by the modernists, and then the death of faith]

Decline in interest in joining religious orders is also due to overall societal changes.

“Young people have far more options in today’s world than what we grew up with,” Carter said. And when times are good there are not as many people interested in joining religious orders as when times are bad. Tellingly, vocations in developing countries, specifically in Africa and South Asia, are actually rising right now, though modestly. This might be because of where they are in their cultural and economic development, Carter said.

The Rev. Ted Dziak, S.J., vice president of Mission and Ministry, said today’s young people are less interested in life-long commitments, evidenced in the average age of marriage, number of children people have and radical changes in careers.

Yeah, yeah, it’s all the fault of the culture.  Certainly, Grace can’t transcend the culture, Heaven forbid, because we all know the Faith is just a construct of the yearning consciences of millions of souls, and not Divinely instituted and Divinely inspired !   Then why are certain orders booming?  Oh……

Sort of shoots a giant hole in the entire argument right off the bat, doesn’t it?  Numerous orders, either reformed versions of older orders or ones totally new, are growing by leaps and bounds.  Yes, their total numbers are small in relative terms, but they won’t be for long.   But for the Jesuits, these orders, filled with young people eager to serve Christ in His Church, don’t exist.  They don’t fit the narrative.  The narrative is one of endless, terminal decline, with lay people taking over more and more roles from religious and clergy, eventually winding up with a virtually congregationalist church.  A “new” church, “in the catholyc tradition!”  If you read the rest of the linked article, I think you’ll see what I mean.

At least from this particular article, it seems the Jesuits are resigned to seeing their order continue to shrink.  They can’t seem to countenance embracing the traditional practices of religious life that have made other orders very successful.

The “new springtime,” indeed.

As the deer longs for the water stream…… December 9, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Interior Life.
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……so my soul longs for you, O Lord (Ps 41:2).  I’ve always loved that plaintive cry from Psalms.  Holy Card Heaven finds some lovely art along that line:



GOP prepares to lose an unloseable election December 9, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, disaster, foolishness, General Catholic, Society.
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The stupid party, indeed:

Republicans on a private Republican National Committee conference call with allies warned Tuesday that party surrogates should refrain from personal attacks against President Barack Obama, because such a strategy is too hazardous for the GOP.

“We’re hesitant to jump on board with heavy attacks” personally against President Obama, Nicholas Thompson, the vice president of Tarrance Group, a Republican polling firm, said on the call. “There’s a lot of people who feel sorry for him.”

Recent polling data indicates that while the president still suffers significantly low job approval ratings, voters still give “high approval” to Obama personally, Thompson said.

Voters “don’t think he’s an evil man who’s out to change the United States” for the worse — even though many of the same survey respondents agree that his policies have harmed the country, Thompson said. The upshot, Thompson stressed, is that Republicans should “exercise some caution” when talking about the president personally.

Quoting Michael Walsh:

Gee, if Obama’s personal-approval numbers are still high, why would you want to take them down? Let them stay there, lest the Democrat-Media Complex accuse you of being a blue meanie.

Remember, GOP: principles, not policies. Principles, not policies. Principles, not policies.

It’s not Obama’s policies that are the problem, it’s Obama and everything he represents and stands for. Engage the president on the deepest, most potent level, or join John McCain and Bob Dole on the ash heap of history. 

Really, this party is too dumb to live.

Or, perhaps there are vested interests who are more satisfied with the status quo than with a truly conservative method of government in this country?  Perhaps too many influential members of the GOP – and their donors – would prefer things stay just about as they are, with a broken, corrupt system that allows them to get rich.

Just a thought.

The only thing the Church fears……….. December 9, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery, Our Lady, Papa.
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…….is sin, according to the Holy Father:

The only evil that the Church must fear is the sin of her members,” Pope Benedict XVI said on December 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

I pray fervently that we may all have this great fear of sin, and sincere, heartfelt repentance for the sins we commit so egregiously.

Sancta Maria, Ora Pro Nobis!

The effects of mortal sin December 9, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery, Sacraments, Virtue.
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I haven’t blogged on the Confession series all week – shame on me!  I’m sure all of you were turning purple, waiting for me to post on the subject.  I’d say I haven’t had the time.  Perhaps just not the correct motivation.

But I was reading the below yesterday, from the Confession: It’s Fruitful Practice book, and was inspired to write.  Because I have regular reminders of people just absolutely fail to take sin seriously.  Even practicing Catholics who are out there fighting for the Church can, at times, minimize or ignore sin.  So, a brief exhortation on what sin does to us:

Mortal sin is a grievous insult ot Almighty God and a formal contempt of His Holy Law.  Not only does one offend God and despise His Law by mortal sin, one also sins in the very presence of Holy God who knows all things, who beholds my most secret thoughts and actions.  By mortal sin I have driven the divine life of God, Sanctifying Grace, from my soul, I have become an enemy of God, and I deserve everlasting punishment.  For the sin of rebellion, countless angels were cast into the endless torments of Hell.  Doubtless in that abode of woe there are souls that have not committed as many sins as many people alive today – perhaps including you and I.  The hour of our death may not be far off. God in His Mercy now gives me time fo repentance.  Let us repent at once and with all our heart

Let us repent, too, of our many venial sins, for thereby have we weakened the love of God in our hearts and disposed ourselves for mortal sin. Moreover, by them I have incurred a loss of God’s Grace and made myself deserving of temporal punishment here on earth and in the next world in Purgatory

What more could God do for me than what He has already done? He created me out of nothing. He made me in His own Image and Likeness.  He destined me to share His own happiness eternally.  he redeemed me with the Precious Blood of His Divine Son.  While leaving billions in infidelity and heresy, He hade me a Catholic.  He has  loaded me with countless benefits in the order of nature and Grace. In spite of my ingratitude, He has conferred on me many means of salvation.

Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended thee, and I detest all my sins because I fear the loss of Heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend you my God, Who are all good and deserving of all my love.  I firmly resolve, with your Grace, to confess my sins, to resolve not to commit them again, to do penance, and to amend my life.  Amen.