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Pray for SSPX April 13, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, Latin Mass, sadness, scandals, Tradition.
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The long saga of the SSPX talks with the Vatican has reached another stage. I haven’t covered this issue much, but several people I know are very concerned about these ‘doctrinal talks’ that have been ongoing for quite some time.  The Vatican has requested that SSPX acknowledge the validity of all parts of Vatican II.  SSPX apparently replied in some manner that failed to do so in the eyes of the Vatican and Pope Benedict XVI.  So, they were asked to reconsider, and try again, to find some doctrinal formulation acceptable to the SSPX that also satisfies the Holy See’s demands regarding Vatican II.  That reply has now been sent.  I pray that God’s Will may be done in this matter, as in all other matters.  I don’t really have a great interest in this matter, although some think that the resolution of the SSPX doctrinal status with the Holy See could have a major impact on groups like FSSP, Institute of Christ the King, etc.  Perhaps.  I really don’t know.

But I do know that the next article in the headline section at Catholic Culture made a pretty interesting comparison.  In Seattle, several parishes – including the Cathedral!!!! – have determined they won’t defend traditional marriage and are refusing to follow the archbishop’s request that they distribute a petition of sorts, collecting signatures for a referendum on gay marriage, just passed into law by Washington’s state legislature (my emphasis):

An increasing number of Seattle parishes–including St. James Cathedral–are refusing to heed Archbishop J. Peter Sartain’s request to collect signatures for a referendum on the State of Washington’s recent redefinition of marriage. In February, Gov. Christine Gregoire, a Catholic,[No, a Catholyc] signed into law a bill that legalized same-sex marriage in Washington. [Why was this a request, and not a requirement, even demand?]

“Because we believe that this issue is critically important, we support Referendum 74 and have approved the gathering of signatures in our parishes over the next few months,” Archbishop Sartain and Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo said in a recent letter. “Your pastors have received from us information regarding the signature drive, and we requested that they not collect signatures on Palm Sunday or Easter Sunday. After Easter, signatures may be gathered on Referendum 74.”

“After much prayer and reflection, I have decided we will not collect signatures at the parish,” said Tricia Wittman-Todd, pastoral life coordinator of St. Mary’s Parish in Seattle. [Ah, yes, that precious ‘prayer and reflection,’ that trumps every Dogma and every vow of obedience!] [It should be proclaiming Jesus as Savior and saving as many souls as possible, not being “inclusive” and failing to challenge those who persist in grave sin.  And why is the “pastoral life coordinator” making this decision instead of the pastor?] One of our highest values is inclusion and welcome. I fear that the collection of signatures would be hurtful and divisive to our parish. I am particularly concerned about our youth who may be questioning their own sexual identity and need our support at this time in their lives.” [Good Lord.  How about teaching “the youth” what the Church has always taught regarding homosexuality?]

St. Joseph parish, whose pastor is Father John Whitney, SJ, posted the following notice on its web site:

You may have heard about a petition drive concerning Referendum 74, which will be gathering signatures at a number of parishes in Seattle. Please be aware that Fr. Whitney has decided that no petitioning will be permitted anywhere on the campus of St. Joseph.

“While the archbishop has given his support to the effort, he has wisely left it up to each pastor to decide whether to allow the collection of signatures in his own parish,” said Father Michael Ryan, pastor of St. James Cathedral. “After discussing the matter with the members of the cathedral’s pastoral ministry team, I have decided that we will not participate in the collecting of signatures in our parish. Doing so would, I believe, prove hurtful and seriously divisive in our community.”

Father Ryan, who has served on the board of directors of the National Catholic Reporter, has been a leading opponent of the new translation of the Roman Missal that was introduced in parishes in the United States last November. [Well, at least he’s consistent]

I’ve seen many comments from people who are either close to or have sympathies for SSPX, who find it incredible that SSPX is considered doctrinally “irregular,” while Cathedral rectors and others can reject Church Doctrine or the specific request of their bishop with nary a problem.  Many feel this situation is a massive double-standard, with those with a progressive bent being given far different treatment than those of a more traditional outlook.

I will note one further thing – it is exactly over the verbiage in Vatican II that has been so abused to reject Church authority – “the primacy of the individual conscience,” and all that – that the SSPX’s difficulties in coming up with a doctrinal formulation acceptable to the Vatican hang.  SSPX claims total commitment to defending the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church.  They were formed because they felt Vatican II, or its “spirit,” ran counter to some elements of that Truth. 

The division basically comes down to whether Vatican II really is completely compatible with the prior Magisterium.  Of course, the Holy Father and most prelates insist it is, but in practice it seems the Church just can’t enforce discipline or settle doctrinal questions since the last council.  Many say that’s merely a matter of widespread abuse, but it is certainly a persistent abuse, an abuse that just can’t seem to go away despite the efforts of the Holy Father and his allies.  The SSPX, and some others, have maintained that it is the documents of Vatican II themselves that are problematic – that there can’t be settled Doctrine or enforced discipline because of what VII says and how it says it, or doesn’t say it.

Instances like this latest outbreak in Seattle give considerable weight to the SSPX viewpoint.

It’s all very confusing and upsetting to many Catholics striving to be faithful – they have been and continue to be caught in a terrible maelstrom of confusion.

On the means of persevering in sobriety and abstinence April 13, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Interior Life, North Deanery, priests, religious, Tradition, Virtue.
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Although we are in a great feasting season, traditionally, the Friday partial fasting and abstinence would still be in effect.  I’m abstaining from meat today, for instance (but you don’t have to, and incur no “penalty” if you pig out on meat today.  It’s just something I’m doing even though it’s Easter).  Doing so can be a great challenge at times, since the distinctive Catholic culture which was once so prevalent in many parts of the world has now largely been obliterated and subsumed by today’s materialist consumer culture, which says that life is a party and one should never be denied (save for prurient reasons like having a hot body).   St. Vincent Ferrer has some words to help us in this struggle:

In order to continue in abstinence and sobriety, live always in fear, remembering that this virtue comes only from God; and beg of Him grace to persevere in its practice. [the best we can do is cooperate with God’s Grace] If you would be upheld therein without failure, neither judge nor condemn others; stifle the movements of indignation which you feel against those who observe not the necessary rules in regard to eating. Pity them, pray for them, and excuse them as much as you are able. Bear in mind that you are no more than others in this respect; that it is Jesus Christ Who upholds you by His Grace, not in consideration of your merits, but solely by His Mercy. 

You will remain firm, if you cherish these thoughts. For, why have so many, who courageously began and made great progress, in abstinence and other virtues, fallen into bodily dejection and weariness of spirit?  It is becuase presumption and pride made them confident in themselves, and filled them with indignation against others whose judges they constituted themselves, and whom they interiorly condemned[d’oh!  A really good reminder for me!  Have mercy on me, Lord!]  Hence, God withdrawing from them the gifts of His Grace, they lost their primitive fervor; [I beg God this may never happen!] and falling into the opposite extremity and into a state of indifference, they have become sick and infirm; so that in the end, by striving to recruit their health, they have exceeded in this the bounds of strict moderation, and are become more delicate and intemperate than those whom they previously condemned. 

I have known many such who have fallen into this misfortune; God permitting, as usual, that they who rashly condemn others should fall into the same faults which they reprove, and sometimes even into much greater. [That’s it!  I’m shutting down the blog!] Serve then the Lord with fear and trembling; and when you are elated at the remembrance of His bounties which He has bestowed on you, reprehend and correct yourself, fearing lest He be irritated against you, and you perish by departing from the right path.  Act thus, and you will remain firm and stable; for these are the means most agreeable to the All-powerful Lord, whereby you can resist intemperance.

——————————–End Quote————————————

Great stuff!  I love the reminder regarding judging others – it’s a constant occupational hazard of a blog like this! 

But most of all I love the reminders to live in fear and trembling, and never to become prideful in whatever spiritual progress we’ve made.  St. Teresa of Jesus is a great one for such reminders, as well.  We humans, or some of us at least, love to think we’re teh awesome!11!  There is always a temptation to think we can “work ourselves” to Heaven.  We can and must do good works to achieve salvation, but those works are gifts of the Most High – all we are doing is cooperating with His Grace!  Remember that always – Grace is the key!

First Century Eucharistic Thanksgiving Prayer April 13, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, Eucharist, General Catholic, Tradition, Virtue.
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The Didache is a first century treatise written by the Twelve Apostles(including, I guess, Matthias) and that many early Fathers of the Church held as being next to Sacred Scripture in terms of holiness and usefulness in guiding souls in the Life of Grace.   It contains much guidance on things such as the early Rite of Baptism as well as doctrinal formulations in a primitive state (you can see one version of the complete text here).  Fr. John Hardon’s Catholic Prayer Book contains a first century Eucharistic Prayer taken from the Didache that I think is very beautiful – especially the ending.  I thought you might enjoy it as well.  This is from sections IX and X of the Didache:

We give You thanks, Father, for the holy vine of David your son, which You have made known to us through Jesus, Your Son. [This establishes the connection between Old and New Covenants right away] To You be the glory for evermore.

We give You thanks, our Father, for the life and knowledge which You have made knwon to us through Jesus, Your Son. To You be the glory for evermore.

As this broken bread was scattered over the hills [a reference to the feeding of the 5000?] and then, when gathered, become one Mass [I love this apparent connection between the feeding of the 5000 and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass], so may Your Church be gathered from the ends of the earth into Your Kingdom. For Yours is the glory and power through Jesus Christ for evermore.

We give You thanks, O Holy Father, for Your Holy Name which You have enshrined in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality which You have made known to us through Jesus, Your Son. To You be the glory for evermore.

You, Lord Almighty, have created all things for the sake of Your Name, and have given food and drink for men to enjoy, that they may give thanks to You.  But to us You have vouchsafed spiritual Food and Drink and eternal life, through Your Son.  [As we see from St. Clement of Rome and St. Ignatius of Antioch, and later in St. Justin Martyr, the Real Presence in the Eucharist was a constant belief of the Church from its earliest days.  The Didache is thought to have been written sometime around AD 70 or perhaps a bit earlier – easily within living memory of Our Lord Incarnate on earth.]

Above all, we give You thanks because You are mighty.  To You be the glory for evermore.

Remember, O Lord, Your Church.  Deliver Her from all evil. Perfect Her in love, and from the four winds assemble Her, the sanctified, in Your Kingdom which You have prepared for Her. [I love this imagery of the Church assembling from the four winds, or corners, of the earth.  The Gospel has been preached to all corners of the earth, but so many have not heard, or refused to hear, the call.  One of the pre-conditions for the Parousia established in the Apocalypse of St. John is the Gospel being preached throughout the world]

May Grace come, and this world pass away. [Even in the earliest days of the Church – or, perhaps, especially then, there was a focus on the fact that our life here is short and troubled, and our “real life” is the life we will enter into after death.  That is where we should put our store, in Heaven, where rust does not destroy and moth does not consume, but glory reigns forever] Hosanna to the God of David.  If anyone is holy, let him advance.  If anyone is not, let him be converted. [Don’t receive the Blessed Sacrament unworthily] Lord come.  Amen.

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

I generally say this prayer after Mass in thanksgiving for having received My Lord in the most intimate way possible.  It is critical to note that we must always have many prayerful intentions when we present ourselves to receive Our Lord in the Eucharist, and then afterwards to have great thanksgiving for the awesome, indescribable Gift we have received.

10 million April 13, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, General Catholic, Virtue.
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I knew this a few days  ago due to a nice notice sent me by reader Terry C, but I wanted to congratulate RealCatholicTV for passing the 10,000,000 views milestone sometime around Easter.  That is a tremendous accomplishment, and the whole team at Saint Michael’s Media and RCTV should be justifiably proud.   I chose the video below to mark that accomplishment because I really liked the quote from the Pope.  We are becoming like robots, completely technical but devoid of the spiritual, the truly artistic, and even a passing recognitionof beauty (real beauty, not, oh, she’s hawt!):

As far as subscribing to RCTV, I couldn’t agree more.  I’m a subscriber and have found dozens, hundreds of programs of great value on the website.  I have been meaning to see if my kids will watch their kid’s shows.  I might try that this Sunday if it’s rainy. 

Congratulations again to RCTV and SMM!