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Sooo……..think I’m harsh? St. Peter Damian really knows how to lay the wood….. March 22, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, horror, priests, sadness, scandals, sickness, Tradition.
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From his, today, very apropos Book of Gomorrah, Chapter VI, Spiritual Fathers Who Are Defiled Along With Their Children.   This is not a post for children or those with a very delicate conscience:

O unheard of crime!  O outrage to be mourned with a whole fountain of tears!  If those who consent to the ones doing these things [acts of sodomy] are to be punished with death (Rom 1:32), what torment could be thought fitting for those who commit these great evils with their spiritual children – evils to be punished with damnation?!  [I don’t think I even need to elaborate] What fruitfulness can still be found in the flocks when the shepherd is so deeply sunk in the belly of the devil?  Who would still remain under the rule of one who, he knew, was separated from God as an enemy? Whoever makes a mistress out of a penitent whom he had spirutually borne as a child of God subjects the servant to the iron rule of diabolical tyranny through the impurity of his flesh. [The same would apply to a priest who took a male as the target of his lust] If someone violates a woman whom he raised from the sacred font, is it not determined that he be deprived of Communion without delay, and ordered to pass thorugh public penance by censure of the sacred canons?  For it is written: spiritual generation is greater than carnal.  [So, St. Peter Damian lays out that a priest taking a spiritual daughter – a penitent woman who has been in his confessional – into his bed is committing an unspeakable crime.  In fact, such an act is likened to spiritual incest, since he is using a spiritual daughter as the object of his lust]

Likewise it follows that the same sentence is justly inflicted both on one who has ruined a natural daughter and on one who has corrupted a spiritual daughter through a sacrilegious union……..However, anyone who commmits a sacrilege with his son is guilty of the crime of incest with a male AND breaks the laws of nature. [It is a quadruple evil – not only violating the vow of chastity, not only breaking the solemn trust of the confessional, or committing an act of “spiritual incest,” the depravity of the unnatural act is the ultimate fall from Grace] And it seems to me to be more tolerable to fall into slameful lust with an animal than with a male. That is, one who perishes alone is judged much more lightly than one who also draws another along with himself to disastrous ruin.  In fact, it is a sad situation where the ruin of one person depends in this way on the ruin of another so that while one is destroyed the other necessarily follows to death close behind.  [And thus the disaster is complete.  Not only is the soul of the one given over to lust destoryed, but so is that of the trusting penitent so horribly abused]

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And this is one of the milder chapters!  Thus, the Cardinal Bishop of Ostia.

St. Vincent Ferrer on preaching March 22, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, North Deanery, priests, religious, Saints, Tradition, Virtue.
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St. Vincent Ferrer was a brilliant Dominican missionary who sadly got mixed up in the Great Western Schism but whose work of evanglizing and apologetics so steeled the Faith in Spain that the country was in very good shape, spirituality, when the far more deadly protestant revolt began.   St. Vincent wrote a Treatise on the Spiritual Life, from whence this chapter on preaching comes from:

Use simple and familiar words in preaching and exhortation, to explain in detail what you mean; and, as far as possible, illustrate what you say with some examples, in order that the sinner, finding his conscience, guilty of the same sins which you reprehend, may feel as if you were speaking only to himself[Yes, I love it when priests do this!  Please challenge us!  Remind us of our sins!  This culture says no one sins.  Even within the Church, the concept of sin has been neglected and derogated to such a degree that most Catholics have lost all concept of the term!  Please remind us for our good!] Do this, however, in such a way, that your words, so to speak, may appear to come from the heart, without being mixed with any movement of indignation or pride, and to spring from bowels of charity, from the tender love of a father, who is grieved at the faults of this children, who weeps when they are ill, and who is broken hearted when they fall over some frightful precipice; of a father, I say, who strains every nerve to withdraw them from these perils, and even of a mother who uses every means for their preservation, who rejoices in their advancement, and in the hope that they will one day have part in the glory of eternity. [True charity resides not in pretending sins don’t exist, or that “my people don’t sin” (an incredible phrase I’ve heard before to justify a paucity of Confession times).  It resides in exhorting the faithful to develop a delicate conscience so that they are aware of their sins, have remorse for them, confess them, and amend their life!]

It is by this sort of preaching that you will render y0urself serviceable to your hearers; whereas they will be little moved when you content yourself with merely speaking to them in general terms of vice and virtue. [Or not touching such “contorversial” topics at all.]

Adopt the same means in the confessional when it is needful to encourage timid souls, or to alarm those whose hearts are hard and unimpressionable. Let it be seen that you speak with the solicitude of a father, so that the penitent may feel in your words the breath of pure charity. It is, therefore, fitting that words of charity and sweetness should always take place of sharp and reprehensible language. You, then, who desire to benefit others, begin by having recourse to God in the fullness of your heart; ask Him with simplicity to impart to you this Divine Charity which embodies in itself the other virtues, and which will enable you to accomplish what you desire.

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My final thought – there is an enormous difference between a homily, and a sermon.  We need the latter, more at this time than at any time in history, perhaps.  We need heroes.  We need Saints!  Sancte Vincentius Ferreri, ora pro nobis!

Beautiful report on the religious visit of the St. Benedict Center nuns to Texas! March 22, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Holy suffering, Interior Life, North Deanery, religious, Tradition, Virtue.
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I’m ripping out the whole post:

A journey south brought four Sisters, and a little bit of Morning Star spirit, to the “Lone Star State” from March 8-16.

The Sisters were graciously hosted by Mater Dei Parish (in the Dallas area) to provide a mini-camp/vocation weekend for the girls of the homeschooling co-op associated with the parish.

With about 100 girls attending, the two-day program featured classic Morning Star activities such as Catechism classes, singing, dancing, arts ‘n crafts and games.

Perhaps the fastest growing Latin Mass parish in the nation, the Mater Dei parishioners were unmatched in their kindness and generosity toward the Sisters. [Not perhaps……it IS!  Deo Gratias!]

The next few days included a trip to San Antonio  where the Sisters were hosted by a family so they could do missionary work distributing  “From the Housetops” publication.

Their “street ministry” lead them to the Alamo where they literally sold out to the hundreds of people visiting this American legend! After that, they drove back to Dallas and then flew to Boston!

The Lone Star State has met the Morning Star, and may many graces be bestowed there because of it! Thank you to all who helped make this incredible trip possible! God bless you!

Check out the photo slideshow of the Sisters’ trip to Texas!

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Unfortunately, I cannot figure out how to embed the slideshow in the post.  I would like to thank the very good nuns of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for coming down to spend time with us and witness their wonderful vocation!  I think they had a strong impact on the girls who got to attend the retreat.  If God Wills, perhaps some vocations will result!  I certainly pray that is the case!   Irrespective, it was a great blessing to have some more nuns (in addition to “our” Carmelites and other local religious) to interact with.

We need more nuns.  Their vocation forms such a vital part of the life of the Church.  The Church has been grievously wounded by the collapse in vocations to religious life, especially traditional female religious life.  There is something so glorious about a woman who makes a total gift of herself to Christ, who gives her feminine charms and beauties over to a life of poverty, chastity, and obedience.  The nun gives away her ability to be a physical mother in order to be the spiritual mother of hundreds, perhaps thousands of souls.  That is a gift without measure. 

Some people are set apart.  Some people are called to higher levels of holiness.  If you’ve had the pleasure to spend time with nuns, I think you may know what I mean.  There is a presence there with some nuns that is unworldly – it is the Holy Spirit alive and active in a soul.  What a GIFT!  When people answer that call, it not only benefits them but the entire Church.  As Saint Paul said, when one glories, we all glory, and when one suffers, we all suffer. And we have suffered mightily from the collapse in vocations to traditional religious life. 

We have labored under a false notion of  equality that is really a lowest common denominator view – don’t hold anyone up as particularly “holy,” that’s clericalism!  Don’t put anyone on a pedastal, that’s not “egalitarian.”   Some have had the idea that it is destructive to feel that priests and/or religious have been given any special grace, or have any spiritual calling higher than “the rest of us.”  Of course they do!  And we should treasure and glory in that gift, that some of us are called to extreme levels of holiness for the benefit of us all!   We should also remember that those who are given such gifts bear enormous responsibilities, responsibilities those not called do not have.  It is a gift that requries the death of self.  It is a gift they will have to give a strict accounting for at their judgment.

In my opinion, the “egalitarian” view is anti-clericalism run-amock, and is a remnant of a particularly strange time. 

I pray I may live to see the day when there are tens of thousands of devoted, habited nuns again!  I pray we may see nuns in our parishes and schools again all the time! I pray for this every day.  I don’t think we can comprehend how critical a role these religious play in the life of the Church.

Thank you, Lord, for all of them.  Please send us many more!

So……Cities of Richardson, Plano, Garland…….when are you going to stop the water restrictions? March 22, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, silliness.
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Switching hats to public crusader, now that Lake Lavon is totally full and Lake Jim Chapman just a couple feet short of full, I’d  like to know when the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) members, especially the cities of Plano, Richardson, and Garland, are going to back down from the onerous, investment-destroying Stage 3 water restrictions?  I’ve got probably $10k, at least, in landscaping around my house.  I don’t want to see it destroyed by cracked, parched earth this summer when under Stage 3, only being able to water twice a month (and on Sunday!  Hellloooooooo!  Some of us have places to be on Sunday, much of the day…….like Church!)  

The two main sources of supply for the NTMWD are now full.  Yes, the supply from Lake Texoma is still shut down by the preening claws of the vicious zebra mussel and the EPA, but mostly the EPA.  But we somehow made it through one of the driest, hottest summers ever last  year without that inflow from Texoma, and still finished the summer with Lake Lavon half full.  I don’t see a need to maintain these extreme restrictions.  The supply wasn’t even in as good a shape last year at this time as it is now, and yet we made it through that brutal summer with no problems.  It’s unlikely we’ll have another summer as hot.  So, I don’t see the need to maintain these restrictions.

At the very least, they should be notched back to Stage 2 – water twice a week.  I’ll be really convinced we have a crisis when all the business and industrial parks, and corporate headquarters, etc., have the same restrictions as the rest of us.  My employer has been giddily watering even as it rained under this “mandatory Stage 3.”   Fortunately, with the wet spring we’ve had so far, the inability to water has been immaterial.  But soon, it will matter.  Let us have some sense and walk back these restrictions that were put in place when the lakes were 40% full and we were coming off a very long and hot summer.  The same conditions no longer apply.

REMINDER – Rally for the Rights of the Church at Dallas City Hall Tomorrow! March 22, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, fun, General Catholic, North Deanery, persecution.
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Tomorrow at Dallas City Hall, the Pro-Life Action League is hosting a rally to stand up for religious freedom(in opposition to the Obamacare contraception/sterilization/abortifacient  mandate) at noon! 

The rally is from noon to 1 and ties in with efforts ongoing nationwide in support of the rights of the Church, our God-given right to freely practice our religion, and in opposition to the evils Obama is attempting to foist on the Church (at least, that will be my intent if I’m able to go).

You can sign up at the Facebook page here. Fight the power!  Rage against the machine!  Stand up to da’ man!  Taking this part in this rally is a spiritual work of both mercy and justice, and is a good Lenten adder.