jump to navigation

REMINDER: Vocations weekend/mini-camp coming to local parish March 8, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Interior Life, religious, Tradition, Virtue.
comments closed

Four Sisters of the St. Benedict Center in Fall River, Massachussetts will be holding a Vocations Weekend/Mini-Camp at Mater Dei parish in Irving, TX,  on Fri-Sat March 9-10.  These sisters are well known for their “Morning Star” camps for girls in the northeast. 

Activities will be scheduled for Friday and Saturday for girls ages 5-18.  Please RSVP to Julie Crowell at 901-240-6212 or crowell7@msn.com with the names and ages of the girls.  Mothers are encouraged to attend with the little ones in tow, as there will also be a presentation by Sr. Katherine Maria (Mother of the convent) to all of the moms.  A donation of $25/family for Mater Dei parishioners and $35/family for non-Mater Dei families is recommended, with a reduced rate of $20 and $30, respectively, for those attending only one day. 

Here is a link to a slideshow of a similar camp weekend in Tennessee: http://www.saintbenedict.com/multimedia/slideshows/335-tennessee-slideshow.html

The Camp will take place in the school building at Mater Dei from 9:30 am–3:30 pm each day. Friday, the schedule includes the 12:10 pm Holy Mass and we can use the parish hall that day. Saturday, Holy Mass is at 8:00 am with time for a breakfast snack before the Camp begins. (On Saturday, we will not be using the parish hall as there is a Legion of Mary Acies.) On both days, families will be asked to bring their own Lenten picnic lunches.  Weather permitting, it is possible that a hike with the Sisters at a local park will also be part of the schedule.

The Saint Benedict Center is an apostolate of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  I love that name…..Slaves of Her Immaculate Heart, how beautiful.  This is a very traditional, orthodox order (they only offer the TLM), and they are doing a great service by providing a nice, in-depth look at religious life for young ladies who may have an interest in a religious vocation.  Mater Dei has already produced a number of vocations – priests, male and female religious, several seminarians – but hopefully this event will attract many others, as well!  I am looking forward to meeting the sisters, even if I have some playful envy in that I won’t be able to participate in the camps!  But I believe my wife and daughters will have a very blessed time, God willing! 

This order also operates the very helpful catholicism.org website.

Quotes from Papa Ratzinger AD 1969 March 8, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Papa, persecution.
comments closed

Before he was Papa, before he was a Cardinal, back when he was still a post-council experten – Pope Benedict XVI made these comments in Faith and the Future in 1969:

The church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. [amazing to say that just 4 years after the close of the Council]

She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes . . . she will lose many of her social privileges. . . As a small society, [the Church] will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members….[Sooo……the Pope has been saying the same things for over 40 years]

It will be hard-going for the Church, for the process of crystallization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek . . . The process will be long and wearisome as was the road from the false progressivism on the eve of the French Revolution — when a bishop might be thought smart if he made fun of dogmas and even insinuated that the existence of God was by no means certain . . . But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret.

And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun.[!!!!] We will have to count on terrific upheavals. But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already, but the Church of faith. She may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but she will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death.

As always, the Pope’s comments are interesting.  I almost wonder if there’s been a bit of self-fulfilling prophecy here?  Was it so certain in 1957 – when the Pope also held these thoughts – that the bastions must be torn down and a poor, pilgrim Church emerge?  Or was the Church directed – led – to become poor and pilgrim?

The very earliest Church was not very involved in politics – but the very earliest Church also thought the world was going to end very soon.  After the Roman Empire collapsed, the Church took up some bit of slack because it had to.  But if the Church is what it claims to be – the Mystical Body of Christ on earth – then it must have certain rights, and those rights will at times put it in conflict with political power.  The Church, when large and vibrant with many believing, practicing members – will always be a political power, it cannot help to be, because politicians will have to cater to the beliefs of the Church body politic.  That is how the Church managed to civilize the barbarian Merovingians and Saxons and others.  Wishing that it not be “powerful” in some sense seems a path to doom it to not be.

Anyone have any thoughts?  Were the proto-Pope’s comments descriptive – or prescriptive?  I think to some small extent where we are at now as a Church was inevitable, but I think much of the collapse of influence and practice of the Faith could have been stemmed with the more traditional philosophy which had been in place for centuries prior to 1950 or so.  Is it possible the Church has fallen in large extent because there was a philosophical force within the Church that wanted to see it smaller and poorer and less “triumphal?” 

50 years ago, I’m not sure the Church had to become smaller or lose influence.  But much has happened since then. Trends that were stoppable 50 years ago may no longer be.  The center may no longer hold.

h/t Marge N

Another perplexing column from Texas Catholic March 8, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, error, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals.
comments closed

Almost every time I read Texas Catholic, our diocesan newspaper, I find something that either causes me to tilt my head and say “zuh?” or to shake my head in dismay.  I got a bit of both in a column written by a yankee transplant high school student, a certain Madison Ford, who wrote about her difficulties comprehending the very public practice of the Faith of many protestants in this area.  I was rather amazed at the publication of this column, because it does nothing but illustrate the terrible state of catechesis of our young Catholics.  I’m not certain what the point of it was.  I was only going to do some excerpts, but it turned into a fisking of the whole thing.  Please read the whole thing, or if you can’t read the bottom 1/3 or so, that’s the most important part:

The South is loud and proud when it comes to religion.  Growing up in the Bible Belt has been an interesting experience for me.  I was raised Catholic by two parents, both from the Northeast.

I was raised to view my religion as something personal and private. [Well, right off the bat, I’d have to disagree and say that this view of faith is problematic at best.  Did not Our Blessed Lord send us as disciples to all the nations?  Did not Vatican II exhort evangelization as a sacred duty of all the faithful?  Has not our Holy Father so stressed the “new evangelization?” A ‘private, personal’ faith could also be an indifferent faith.  Could be.] As I grew older, however, I began to see that my subdued faith greatly differed from that of my peers.  They wore their Christianity boldly on their sleeves………….[Good for them.  Would that more Catholics would have enough pride in their faith to do similarly].

This is not to say it was wrong. [It is never wrong to have a strong, public witness of an authentic faith. Now, displaying a false, superficial faith as some kind of public accoutrement and/or for reasons of pleasing one’s peers, etc., is problematic, but giving a bold witness for Christ, driven by authentic love for Him and His Church, is never wrong] Just different – for me.  I was not used to churches with movie theater seats and paddleboats and coffeeshops. [Funny little shot.  You’re better off staying out of those facilities] I knew the Apostle’s Creed and the meaning behind the Eucharist, [I pray she means the Real Presence] but ask me to quote from a Bible and you would be met with a blank stare.  [Well, that’s a problem, my dear.  You should have some knowledge of Sacred Scripture, but few Catholics, especially young ones, do.  Many protestants have 30-50 scripture quotes memorized, which they frequently use to justify their beliefs and attack Catholicism, but for most this knowledge is a mile wide and an inch deep.]

When I became a teenager, I was faced with an interesting culture shock.  I began to realize that a Bible-based and vocal Christianity surrounded me. Not just in my town, but everywhere.  People used Christian as a synonym for a good person. 

“Yes, I love our dentist, he is such a good Christian.”  “Jimmy has such good friends.  They’re good Christian boys.”

This sort of talk struck me.  how did they know what religion these people were?  [Uhhh…..because they asked?  Perhaps they saw a cross in the office, or know that Jimmy’s parents go to a certain church?  Through conversation, I know that both of my doctors are Christians, one of which is a very devout one] What if the dentist was Jewish or Hindu?  Would that hvae altered the value of his dentistry?  Or even of his character? [Ignoring the obvious emotional pull of these rhetorical questions, I believe the author has unintentionally revealed something about herself.  She wouldn’t know the faith of anyone else because she would never ask.  She views faith as something so private and personal that it is never revealed or even discussed except for those most intimate.  That’s putting the practice of religion into far too much of a box, a little box we take out on Sunday morning (sometimes) and carefully put away the rest of the week.  Not for me.]

Growing up here, it is hard not to be swept up in the current of the Bible Belt.  Even the summer camps are tied in with non-denominational Christian messages. [Some are, some aren’t] I must tell you, having attended one of these camps as a Catholic, they are not non-denominational.  It is a troubling experience having your Catholic faith questioned by your counselor at a Christian camp.  [I agree, that would be annoying from your perspective.  It would also be an opportunity to evangelize our poor lost protestant brethren.  A note for the future, “non-denominational” is code for “evangelical.”  If you don’t want to have your faith challenged or be proselytized by protestants, don’t go to their summer camps]

[Now we get to the meat]  As a Catholic, I had always been taught that actions speak louder than words.  But in the Bible Belt [I believe she’s developed the term into a pejorative in her mind] words mean a lot.  In some protestant faiths, “accepting Jesus as your personal lord and savior” is esesntially the key to salvation.  I had always thought the key was treating others with kindness.  [You’re both wrong.  The “key to salvation” is loving God with all of your heart, mind, and strength, and loving your fellow man as you love God.  To accomplish this, we must avail ourselves of the Sacraments and the Grace that flows from and through them.  We must die in the state of sanctifying grace. We must also take up our cross and follow Jesus, learning to deny ourselves and embrace suffering for the good of ourselves and others.  We must, as St. Paul says, “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” Poor kid, she’s probably been taught to believe what she wrote, which is only a little right, at best]

But who am I to judge? [oh dear….] My protestant friends maintain a kind of relationship that, while difficult for me to comprehend, is meaningful and strong…….[erroneous and disordered, but “strong”]

…..As I have gotten older I have questioned many things, as young people tend to do.[Maybe, or perhaps the authority of your parents has been subtly undermined] As I am about to become an adult, I have come to a conclusion: [an amazing, startling, world-shaking conclusion!] religion can be something beautiful.  [I’m sorry, if this is her major conclusion, it’s pretty weak.  Religion is nothing but a means of conveying the Truth, and the Truth is a person, Jesus Christ, who has revealed Himself through the One Church he established for the conveyance of that Truth and our salvation.  It’s beauty is not a “can be,” it is constant, eternal, and beyond our comprehension.  The ‘beauty’ of other religions, to the degree they possess any, is dependent on whatever portion of the Catholic Faith they retain.  Some religions, especially eastern ones, are profoundly ugly]

We simply need to cast aside the judgments of one another, [there is no more abused phrase in the Church today than “judge not, lest you be judged.”  Jesus was referring to the Pharisaical judgment, which would say that a man was blind because he sinned, for instance, or that someone was in hell – these are the judgments we cannot make.  But to look at another faith, especially those who cut themselves off willingly, spitefully from the Church, and find it wanting is not judgmental.  Is it wrong for me to judge that I should avoid hanging out with active drug users?  Is it wrong to point out that Adolf Hitler was evil?  Of course not.  This “non-judgmentalism” is most often just a cover for the coldest indifferentism – I won’t challenge what you believe, because I am not prepared to defend what little I believe.  It is a spiritual work of mercy to correct the erroneous – with charity.] because it seems the heart of every religion wants something very similar.  [No, my dear, they don’t.  The buddhist and hindu concepts of morality and salvation – such as they even exist in those religions – are completely different from the Catholic view.  This view she shared is depressingly widespread, and is so indifferentist that it would sit well with the deists of the Lodge] We are all searching for something, whether it is religious enlightenment or scientific discovery.[How about loving God with all our heart and personal salvation, and the salvation of those around me?] So at the end of the day we must look inside ourselves and find the light that will guide us there.  [My dear Lord, the extent to which this self-indulgent, self-gratifying new age crap has infiltrated our Church is horrifying.  No, NO, NO! We must look outside ourselves, to Jesus Christ and Him crucified, for our salvation.  He is present within us, but we must be very well formed in the Faith and advanced in the interior life to be able to understand those subtle groanings within us. We must first be rock-solid in the Faith – otherwise, the “voice” we listen to inside us is likely to be our own.  That is the new age trap]

I am glad I grew up in the Bible Belt, and I am thankful for the way I was raised in my own religion.[I pray you grow very greatly in that Catholic Faith, and truly come to understand it] My religious journey has taken me out of my comfort zone [Not sure what this means?] and on to a place where I know what I want from the world, and my God, and myself. [Want from God?  What a scary statement.  I pray it doesn’t mean that she’s put God in a box and created a caricature of Him.  We are God’s creatures, his supplicants.  We don’t make demands of God.  We don’t decide what we ‘want’ from God.  We must serve Him to the best of our ability, always in need of His Grace and Mercy to cover for our constant sins and errors.] And at this point in my life, what else is there to ask for? [I’m finally speechless]

————————————————–End Quote———————————————————————-

Sorry that took so long.  I just kept running across things that had to be unpacked.  Why would Texas Catholic run this?  Because of the hostility to the Bible Belt caricature?  Because of her searing insights into the Faith?  Because she so well represented the top-notch catechesis our young people are receiving?

Call to Action blasphemes yet again March 8, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
comments closed

That desperate plea I made to enforce discipline below?  Yeah, this is what I mean:

What a disaster.  I have no doubt that the gray hairs at Call to Action who produced this will present for Communion on Sunday with nary a concern in the world. 

As stated at Orate Fratres:

Hopefully, Bishop’s [sic] will soon realize that any well-coordinated defense of the Catholic Church from such outside forces must necessarily include defense of the faith from those posing to be inside, and act.

How horrific.  The only bishop to excommunicate members of Call to Action is Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln.  And he is past retirement age.

Pray for the conversion of ostensibly Catholic politicians March 8, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Interior Life, Lent, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society, Virtue.
comments closed

The recent vote on the Blunt Amendment – which would have undone the Obama HHS sterilization/abortifacient mandate – was again revealing of the nature of the lack of discipline in the Church and the repeated rejection of the Faith and the guidance of the Magisterium by Catholic politicians.  Of the 24 Catholics in the United States Senate, 14 opposed the Magisterium (in voting against the amendment), while 10 supported it.  One of these 10 has since changed sides, Lisa Murkowski, RINO-AK.  Here is the list of ‘Catholic’ senators and how they voted:

Senator Mark Begich (Alaska, D) – Opposed
Senator Lisa Murkowski (Alaska, R) – Supported (but now claims she wished she hadn’t)
Senator Marco Rubio (Florida, R) – Supported
Senator Tom Harkin (Iowa, D) – Opposed
Senator James Risch (Idaho, R) – Supported
Senator Richard Durbin (Illinois, D) – Opposed
Senator Mary Landrieu (Louisiana, D) – Opposed
Senator David Vitter (Louisiana, R) – Supported
Senator John Kerry (Massachusetts, D) – Opposed
Senator Barbara Mikulski (Maryland, D) – Opposed
Senator Susan Collins (Maine, R) – Supported
Senator Claire McCaskill (Missouri, D) – Opposed
Senator John Hoeven (North Dakota, R) – Supported
Senator Mike Johanns (Nebraska, R) – Supported
Senator Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire, R) – Supported
Senator Robert Menendez (New Jersey, D) – Opposed
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (New York, D) – Opposed
Senator Bob Casey Jr. (Pennsylvania, D) – Supported
Senator Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania, R) – Supported
Senator Jack Reed (Rhode Island, D) – Opposed
Senator Pat Leahy (Vermont, D) – Opposed
Senator Maria Cantwell (Washington, D) – Opposed
Senator Patty Murray (Washington, D) – Opposed
Senator Joe Manchin III (West Virginia, D) – Supported

All ‘Catholic’ democrats save 2 voted against the Authority of the Magisterium and the eternal rights of the Church, and Bob Casey only did so to improve his re-election chances is heavily Catholic, pro-life Pennsylvania. 

I have prayed and will continue to pray that all these politicians may be converted to the Faith of Jesus Christ and His Church, that they will accept ALL the Doctrine of the Faith and become good, holy, orthodox Catholics.  I pray that they will cease to use false equilavencies between prudential issues and core Doctrines that cannot be rejected or “traded away” for some other priority, like the Doctrine that human life is sacred from the moment of conception to natural death.  I pray that discipline may be enforced in the Church so that those politicians that repeatedly apostasize from Doctrine (not differ on prudential issues) may be shaken from their sinful stupor through denial of Communion or some other strong disciplinary act.  By Church law, those who publicly take action counter to the Doctrine of the Faith incur excommunication latae sententiae, so denial of Communion should be automatic as demonstrated by Canon 915.  Formal excommunication, however, should be strongly considered, especially in particularly scandalous cases.

All it takes to enforce discipline is will, and Faith.  I fear that no other human means may possibly stop the assualt on the liberty of the Church and the widespread rejection of Dogma but this enforcement.  I pray that the laws of the Church, so long built up and defended by the labors of Popes, bishops, Saints, blesseds, and millions of unknown heroes of the Faith, may be strongly enforced and adhered to. 

It’s not simply because I desire some outcome pleasing to me that I claim this.  As we have seen around the world in the past 5+ decades, as discipline erodes, so does adherence to the Faith.  As scandal goes unanswered, undisciplined, many become confused as to what the Faith means or lose their faith entirely.  This is an intolerable situation that must stop.  We must pray that our shepherds will have the love of God and His Church and the charity for their fellow man to enforce the Dogma of the Faith. 

Tomorrow is Friday. A Friday during Lent.  Perhaps a Holy Hour of Reparation would be a good idea, to beg God’s forgiveness for the great apostasy of our times and the failure to deal with it appropriately.  We should beg God’s Mercy and Grace to flood into the souls of those who put worldly concerns ahead of the Faith, to convert them to a true Catholic, interior life.  Perhaps some fasting in addition to abstinence tomorrow would be beneficial. 

The failures in the Church to support the Truth and enforce discipline are total – they belong to us all.  We owe these wayward Catholics the spiritual work of mercy to pray for the conversion of their souls. 

May the Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on them. God bless you.

Thinking about death March 8, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Interior Life, Tradition, Virtue.
comments closed

The day’s events have me reflecting.  Thomas a Kempis is there to help:

And you, learn from Jesus’ burial to think profitably about your own body’s demise.  Is is necessary to commit to earth, whatever is received from it; You are dust, and unto dust you shall return.  What do you have to be proud about, when you will soon be the object of decay and will have to be covered with earth?  What are you looking for in this world, you who are soon to be cast out of it and trodden underfoot by men?

When you come upon the graves of the dead, remember that you will soon be joining them.  That is the designated home for all the living.  There the rich man and the poor man will be stretched out on a common bed and both will be contwent with only a small patch of earth.  No distniction will be made there between the nobleman and the commoner, and the weak will not longer be stomped upon by the powerful. There the miser will not longer benefit form his money, nor will the clevery profit from his cunning. And those who have placed themselves on pedastals will be brought low, and the praise that the proud were accustomed to will no longer be theirs. Take notice how all mortals tend toward nothing and how all flesh, made corrupt by sin, returns to its original source.

Therefore, strive to live and through the spirit to mortify your flesh, that when your body turns into dust your soul will be judged wrothy to rest in blessed peace.  If you live your life in labor and sorrow on a Good Friday, you will have a restful Holy Saturday and then a most joyful Easter Sunday, the day of the resurrection of the just.

The more austerely you live in the world, so much more tranquil will be your repose in the grave. The more firmly you cling to the Cross, so much more assurance you have of reaching Christ. Teh more bitterly you deplore your sins, so much less will remain to be purged by the avenging flames. So lament during this time of Grace, when the doors of mercy are open, adn when god, in whom there is abundant redemption, accepts your repentance. Mourn also the wretched condition of the world and the incredible indifference of men.  Only a few are found today to be true followres of the Crucified, and many permit their original spiritual fervor to grow cold.

Let meditating on Jesus Christ and Him crucified be your daily prayer.  Keep Jesus always before your eyes and keep ever near the foot of His Cross.  Whether in life or in death, enter the tomb with Jesus so that when Christ, Who is your life, shall appear again, you will rise with Him in glory.  Amen.