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Mortification frees the soul from every obstacle April 12, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Eucharist, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Interior Life, religious, Tradition, Virtue.
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As a sort of mouthwash from the bad taste left by the subject of the previous post, Divine Intimacy on mortification:

Mortification frees the soul from every obstacle which might retard the growth of Grace, which might hinder the soul’s love for God and its flight toward Him; whereas prayer which consists essentially in intimate conversation with God feeds this love and quickens this flightMortification prepares a suitable place for a  loving meeting with God; prayer effects this meeting, and by placing the soul in real contact with God, the source of living water, it quenches its thirst and reanimates it. It is in this sense that the Saints, and particularly the contemplative Saints, have always seen in the living water promised by Jesus, not only sanctifying Grace, but also those special graces of light and love which are its consequences and which the soul attains to in prayer, in the moments of intimate contact with God. This light and love are not the fruit of the activity of the soul alone; but rather, God Himself, by means of the actuation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, infuses them into the soul, causing it to acquire a completely new “sense” of God. This does not mean new ideas and concepts, but rather an experimental knowledge derived from love – especially from the love which God Himself awakens in the soul. It means a profound “sense” of the Divinity, by means of which the soul becomes aware – not by reasoning or demonstration, but more by way of experience – that God is so different from creatures, so unique, so great, that he truly deserves all the love of the heart.  This new way of loving God, this new experience of God and divine things is really living water which quenches the soul’s thirst. It is the living water of prayer, which, as a result of divine action, has now become deeper, more intimate, more contemplative; it is the living water of contemplation………..Although He offers it to all, He will grant it only to those souls who apply themselves generously to mortification and prayer.

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The Church used to stress mortification, and especially fasting, to a much greater degree than we know today.  As I pointed out during Lent, the traditional Catholic fast during Lent was to partially fast and partially abstain from meat on all days.  The Friday abstinence once applied throughout the year, and there were Ember Days and other periods of fasting and abstinence all year as well.  This focus on fasting – a form of mortification almost everyone can take part in – helped stress the penance owed to God for our sins, and the salvific nature of Christ’s Sacrifice.  It also helped highlight the Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament, and how the Blessed Sacrament stands as a constant propitiation for all of our sins – a Sacrifice continually ongoing before the Father in Heaven on behalf of all mankind.  But we have to admit that, and take part in that Sacrifice through receipt of the Blessed Sacrament and our own penetential works throughout the year, to obtain the benefit of that Sacrifice.

Prayer is an equally necessary part of this process.  Prayer must be our constant companion throughout the day.  These are the works – along with almsgiving – which are required of us if we are to conduct our lives in a manner pleasing to God.  They should be fundamental, constant parts of our lives.

Children are just awful, terrible! April 12, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, contraception, Dallas Diocese, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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I was going to just blast the 51 y/o puritanical old maid and environmental extremist who wrote a screed in the New  Yorker blasting the evil of having children, but then I thought, this is probably one of the more miserable women in the world.  I feel badly for her.  A woman in the Phillipines with a mud hut, no electricity, and little money, but with a vibrant faith and large family, is almost certainly infinitely more happy than the woman who produced a screed,a tantrum like this one against children:

Global population is expected to hit eight billion around 2025…………. No one in his right mind supposes that it could reach sixty-four billion without horrific consequences, except perhaps a few economists. [And no one in his right mind believes the world will reach that level of population.  Even the population alarmists at the UN admit the world population will now top out at around 9-10 billion around the year 2050-70, and then begin a long decline since so many people have drunk the childless elitist kool-aid you so enjoy]

The decision to have a child, or one more child, or yet another child may seem to be a personal one—a choice about how many diapers you want to change in the short term versus how many Mother’s Day cards you hope to receive later on. [There’s some powerful psychology at work here.  I’m sure you can figure it out] But to see it in these terms alone is to be, as Caplan points out on the cover of his book, selfish. Whatever you may think of Overall’s and Benatar’s conclusions, it’s hard to argue with their insistence that the decision to have a child is an ethical one. [yes, it’s a command of God] When we set the size of our families [modernist assumption rejected by Catholics], we are, each in our own small way, determining how the world of the future will look. [It’s going to look alot more like me than you]And we’re doing this not just for ourselves and our own children; we’re doing it for everyone else’s children, too.

Hostility to having children is going to increase.  Despite the fact that the programs the left wing, self-anointed elites so prefer and demand being dependent on a steadily growing population to pay for them, and in spite of their professed love for uninhibited, amoral sexual behavior, they can’t be bothered to have children.  More and more are becoming implacably hostile to children and families.  Again, the psychologies at work one can only wonder at, but I feel very badly for these people, because I fear many of them are so wrapped up in self they couldn’t imagine suffering a bit, denying themselves a bit, for the benefit of another.  Having kids is a great sacrifice – but also the most rewarding thing one will ever do.  Those who have denied themselves this duty and privilege truly don’t know what they’re missing – they just can’t imagine it. 

The article refers to self-denial by being awakened in the middle of the night, changing diapers, etc., and the “tradeoff,” the “benefit,” being Mother’s Day cards and phone calls on Thanksgiving.  The superficiality of it all is astounding.  Being a parent is infinitely more rewarding – and demanding – than the childless sexular elitists will ever comprehend.  These are the same folks who view abortion as a perfectly wonderful solution to a “problem” pregnancy.  I just don’t think they are capable of seeing others as real people with the same worth and value as themselves – or they see that worth and value so differently that I can’t comprehend it. 

Again, referring to the New Yorker article, there is a claim that a child who may be born with some handicap or problem would be better off never being born.  Such a narrow, utilitarian, self-centered viewpoint.  The author seems to think the parents of disabled children suffer a living hell.  It’s not true – the opposite is true.  The parents of children with disabilities I know all consider themselves incredibly blessed.  And once again, we see the attitude that there is nothing worse in the world than physical suffering – that is utterly false. 

I don’t know how one comes to this manner of thinking.  I try to comprehend it, and I can figure out some of the drivers, but it just amazes and repulses me nonetheless.  I pray for them.  I don’t think they’re very happy or satisfied.  They can’t be, without a relationship with the source of all happiness and peace.

Help a sister out April 12, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Interior Life, religious, Virtue.
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Well, soon to be, desiring to be, sister.  A woman would like to join the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George (that’s a mouthful!).  But, she has student loans, and can’t join until they are paid off.  You know I love nuns.  Would you, in your charity, consider helping this young woman with a small donation to pay off her loans so that she could follow her vocation?  I am certain much Grace would result, and I’m equally certain you’d have a religious  remember you in their prayers for a very long time. 

I like her tagline – You give.  I wear a habit.  Giving is habit forming is the name of her blog.  You can make a donation there

h/t CMR

Just a data point….. April 12, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, Ecumenism, error, General Catholic, Glory, sadness, scandals, Tradition.
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…….Steve Kellmeyer has a link to a story at the tabloid-ish Daily Mail in London (I don’t recommend going to the link, perversion abounds in the sidebar) about an Anglican vicar who became Catholic and took half his congregation with him into the Church.  The data point is this – half the congregation of an Anglican church is 70 people. That makes this a rather large Anglican parish – most in the US have fewer than 100 members.  More enter the Church through RCIA at St. Mark or St. Joseph or any other large parish around here every year.   But, it is a great blessing that they have crossed the Tiber.

This is not to pick on Anglicans or their American counterparts, necessarily, but it does reinforce the fact that the Episcopal church’s own data shows that over half their parishes have Sunday attendance of 40 people – or less.  In short, those parishes are doomed, outside of some miraculous recovery.

Which, with the present leadership of the Episcopals, and the Anglicans in England for that matter, isn’t very likely.  They are full bore committed to the path of modernist destruction and soon, collapse.

The head of the Episcopal Church USA, Kathryn Jefferts Schori, has been very vindictive with congregations who have sought to leave ‘her’ church for more faithful confines – either in a more traditional Anglican community or in the Catholic Church.  She refuses to let those congregations take the property they largely, if not entirely, paid for, with them, so to speak.  She has stated she would rather have these episcopal churches converted to a mosque than see it become Catholic, or traditional Anglican.

I may be hammering a point to death, but this is the fruit of Luther’s (and Calvin’s, and Zwingli’s, and Melancthon’s, and Cranmer’s, etc., ad nauseum) private interpretation of Scripture.  Once Scripture is divorced from Authority – from an authentic interpretation sanctioned by God and protected by the Grace of Christ to assure its fidelity, that is, in God’s Holy Church – the plethora of different interpretations are limited only by the number of individuals doing the interpretation.  Some Episcopal/Anglican churches are more faithful than others, but they are all based on this core fallacy, and it is only a matter of time before even the “traditional” communities split – which, indeed, they already have, many times over.

Yes, there are divisions within the Church.  Sad, terrible divisions that cause great scandal and have wreacked untold damage on souls.  But the Church remains that unique Body instituted by Christ to be his chosen vessel on earth for the dissemination of Truth and the salvation of souls.  No other body has this divine promise, guidance, and protection.  All separated or schismatic groups are assured to be wayward to one degree or another without that unity with the See of Peter.  And even though there is great error amok in the Church right now, the Truth still resides within it and only in it to its full degree.  The other sects have also been infested with modernism and its errors to even greater degrees than the Catholic Church. 

It has pleased God to allow satan and his lies and errors to run wild for a time.  God gives us free will, and when men turn away from Him in large and growing numbers, the results are predictable and satan is always ready to take advantage.  The Church, despite all the problems, is our only shelter in this terrible storm.  Eventually, God will raise up Saints to restore the Faith and bring glory to His Name, and this storm will pass.  Our only hope is to cling to the Rock –  Peter and the Church. 

I welcome these new converts and pray fervently for the conversion of those who are doing so much damage to their churches and souls through their embrace of error and disunity.

Related.  Two more Anglican bishops to join Catholic Church.

Some didn't have oil for their lamps