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St. Jerome said…. February 20, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Interior Life, Lent, North Deanery, Saints, Tradition, Virtue.
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…..”it is rare to find a heretic that loves chastity.”  St. Thomas Aquinas said something similar.  Luther took a wife after dumping his vow of chastity and leaving the Church – in fact, his inability to remain chaste was a major reason for the formulation of his novel theology.  Calvin and Zwingli did the same.  Theodore Beza, Calvin’s successor, when a nasty snaggletoothed old man and asked what the benefits of his religion were, had his nubile 16  year old mistress brought in and said “this!” 

Coincidence, or is there a general truth in St. Jerome’s claims?  Lust is a powerful driver, one of the most powerful.  In this culture of out of control sexuality – where almost every single thing, no matter how innocent, often has sexual connotations applied to it – lust is quite possibly the number one driver in many people’s behaviors, at least on a micro-level.  So, in facing down the issue of contraception – which so greatly facilitates lust – the Church has its hands full.

The only way we’re going to be able to start to turn the culture around is by the witness of faithful Catholics.  And that witness must start with prayer and fasting on a personal level, prayer for the conversion of the culture, yes, but also our own conversion, so that we can carry a much greater practice of the virtues into the culture, and, with God’s Grace, start winning hearts to the Truth.  Christ said that the most pernicious evils can only be overcome by prayer and fasting.  I need to be alot better at the latter. 

Lent’s about to start.  There is so much worth praying and fasting over right now.  So many Catholics are confused and lost, awash in the mores of the culture and cut off from the Truth that Christ has given His Church.  So many think life is about pleasure and convenience, not sacrifice and self-denial.  Our Lord did not say “get your party on and follow me,” or “do what feels good and follow me,” He said “take up your cross and follow me.”  As I quoted Fr. Wathen saying, how do we know we’re following Jesus – by adhering to those Truths he has revealed through His Church.  That is the start.  Once we’ve bent our mind to accepting what the Church believes, then we must bend our will to the practice of the virtues, the chief of which is charity, glorious Charity.  A firm witness to the Faith coupled with prayer, mortification, and a great practice of charity will win souls over time.  It’s work we all must do – we can’t wait for a magic wand to be waved, or for the bishops to do something, anything finally – we must do the hard work of winning souls, because that is our calling.  That’s why we’re Catholics, born at this time and in this place.  We have a mission. We’ve got to live it.  Not for ourselves, not even for others, but for Him. 

Wonderful resource for Catholic girls February 20, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, Our Lady, Tradition, Virtue.
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My wife has complained at the seeming paucity of resources available for girls that are really and truly Catholic. There are a number of resources out there that claim to be, but my wife hasn’t been terribly impressed.  Well, she finally found a book that has much of what she’s looking for – good old fashioned guidance for girls on all manner of issues – faith, modesty, temperance, obedience, humility, piety – all the glorious feminine virtues that are laughed at and frankly hated by society.  All written by what was in his time a very well known, very faithful priest – Fr. Francis Xavier Lasance.  It’s the Catholic Girl’s Guide, and it’s available online for free on googlebooks!  Or, you can buy it from the Fraternity here. 

More than being for girls, having reviewed the volume it appears to me to have great potential for women of all ages.  The book was published in 1906, so you don’t have to worry so much about creeping modernism or subjects being broached which are inappropriate for younger readers. It’s written with great delicacy, describing the different aspects of a girl’s personality as different types of flowers.  I think St. Therese would relate to that! 

This book might make a very good Confirmation gift, or even First Communion.

Monday Ay Caramba! and non-sequitir February 20, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, blogfoolery, fun.
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There’s a song by some guys I know, not fit for this blog, unfortunately, that compares flying fighters in the Air Force (which they do) with flying in the Navy.  They make a brief comment in their song about night landings on carriers, with which I must now heartily agree. 

That’s combat conditions, lights out, and practiced regularly.  I read a book by a former USAF fighter pilot and Vietnam vet who did an exchange tour with the Navy, who claimed the Navy spent an inordinate amount of time focused on landing, and not enough on executing the mission.  I don’t know about that, but I do know that landing in conditions like that takes enormous practice.  No wonder medical studies have shown that landing on a carrier at night is more stressful for Navy pilots than actual combat.  There’s nothing to see!

Recommendation – buy your tickets for the Michael Voris conference online February 20, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery.
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Tickets for the Michael Voris conference are selling pretty fast.  Space is somewhat limited (about 250 people).  If I may make a recommendation, to help insure you get a spot, buy your tickets online at the site Colleen Hammond has kindly set up.  We’re not in near danger of running out of seats yet, but buying online will insure your place(s). 

You can buy those tickets here.

Interesting site you might want to check out February 20, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, priests, religious, Tradition, Virtue.
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I found an interesting website dedicated to a priest last night – a Fr. James Wathen. He apparently went to his reward a few years ago, but dedicated individuals are maintaining a site dedicated to his memory and his many works.  There are excerpts of sermons, radio shows, and an extensive catechesis/communication he kept up with many of his followers.   Having browsed through the site, I don’t think there is any question Fr. Walthen was very orthodox and traditional in his beliefs and practices.  I found one particular “post” particularly meaningful:

We should beware of appointing ourselves the teacher and corrector of others, another common fault of those who get carried away with their own learning and insight. There is the saying that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” Those who imagine themselves called to instruct others, first become infatuated with their own (supposed) learning and understanding. They find that when they speak, (some) others listen. It is just a small step from this point to their becoming “theologasters,” my word for self-taught “theologians,” whose books have usually been written by others who are self-taught. It is hard to say which fruit of this disposition is the more unsavory, the pride which consumes them and elevates them above any who would caution them, or the error into which they lead others.

Self-taught theologians seem often to have a certain innate “bent,” on account of which in all things they seem to “go to extremes,” and from one extreme to another. They seem incapable of listening to or accepting a balanced view of any matter. No one is learned enough to instruct or temper such persons. Nothing incenses them more than to be warned of their limitations or their unfounded self-assurance. We easily observe in them a greater love for their opinion and their independence of mind than of divine truth. Where they should see in their singularity and isolation from others a danger signal, they count them as marks of superiority. The wisdom of St. Paul’s injunction, “not minding high things, but consenting to the humble” (Rom. 12:16). is lost on them. What the Apostle meant was that we who are very limited in intelligence and acumen ought to accept that we are incapable of esoteric comprehension, and therefore must be satisfied to live according to our narrow capacity.

The obvious question then is how does a person know when he is adhering to true doctrine? And how can one avoid losing one’s way, or being carried away into heresy and disillusionment?

The answer is the Catechism…………We Catholics base our lives on, and order our lives by, the truths of the Catechism. They are more important to us than our temporal lives. As the God Man, the Word made flesh, Christ is the center of all things, the Father’s Gift to us, our Savior, and our Hope for eternal beatitude. The Risen Christ abides with us as the most sweet Spouse of our souls; He  is our Priest and Mediator before the Father; and He is the Head of the Church, the Mystical Body, to Whom we are joined more intimately than we are joined to anyone or anything else.

This need to always adhere to the Catechism (which one is an apropos question, but I’ll demure on that for now) is critical.  Even those who are of a traditional bent can fall into the dark pride of heresy, of becoming so scandalized by the human failings of the Chuch that we stop assisting at Mass, or start believing things like sede vacantism.  It’s the same failing as occurs at the opposite, theologically novel or liberal end of the spectrum, a temptation to pride that causes us to reject the Truth that has been revealed through Christ’s Church. 

As someone who routinely puts on his “I almost know better than the Pope hat,” I recoginze this danger and pray I never succumb to it.  There are probably times where I push the boundaries of acceptable discourse to unacceptable levels.  I really do pray that I always be faithful to Christ’s Church, but when one sees so many things gone so horribly wrong that temptation to start to hold oneself aloof and above the “other” in the Church is very dangerous.  Pride is the death of charity.

So, I pray a great deal for charity, and humility, and by all appearances need to pray a great deal more for these and all the virtues, because I know I have let my wrath and pride have far too free a rein lately.  There may be some subtle changes on this blog as a result – we’ll wee how Providence manifests Itself.