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Today is a very special day for me……. April 30, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Latin Mass, priests, religious, Saints, Virtue.
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…..it’s her feast day.  Yes……..hers.  St. Catherine of Siena.  I love her.

The painting above comes from a fresco painted in a church in Siena, by a man who knew St. Catherine, Doctor of the Church, while she still lived.  St. Catherine was a tiny wisp of a woman, who from her youngest days had a tremendous cooperation with Grace, and whose life constantly exhibited the greatest sanctity.  There are many biographies of St. Catherine, but I highly recommend the one by the Swedish author Sigrid Undset.  It details her life of tremendous piety and joyfully experienced, even willed, suffering. 

But, as much as I adore St. Catherine, and I am ashamed at how I have not posted about her much at all this past  year, she’s really not the point of this post. Well, she is, but she isn’t.  The point of this post is prayer. 

If we are particularly blessed, we may know a priest, or even several, we tremendously admire and respect.  We may even know a bishop who possesses tremendous sanctity.  We may admire their prayerfulness, their dedication, their constant glorification of the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church, and many other facets.  But we must remember something absolutely critical: for all that priest’s sanctity, for all this good works or all his willingness to relate the hard truths, the truths most others don’t want to touch, he is but the tip of the spear.  The same applies to any holy person you know.   This is because, except in very rare cases, possibly like St. Catherine, these holy people are but the tip of the spear, the fruit of someone else’s prayers.

There is no question that, during St. Catherine’s time, Siena experienced a great revival in the Faith.  Prior to her public ministry, Siena was a troubled, worldly, materialist town.  And while it remained that way despite St. Catherine’s efforts, many, many souls turned away from the world and its illusions and embraced the true Faith of Jesus Christ.  They died to themselves, and to the world, and lived in an ethereal, spiritual counter-world, which existed both in and out of time, corresponding with saints and angels as much with men and worldly affairs.

If you know a really good priest, it is most likely he is good because somewhere, in some cloistered monastery, there is a little girl in a giant habit praying for him, many hours, every day.  Or there may be several such.  Or, it could be a monk.  Or, even, a particularly holy lay person, or a large group of relatively “normal” lay people praying for their priests.

The point is, to pray.  St. Catherine prayed.  She prayed that Siena would turn away from the violence and materialism of early renaiisance Tuscany.  She also prayed, and suffered immensely, for something else – she prayed that the Popes would free their terrible exile in Avignon and return to their rightful home in Rome.  She even went to Avignon to confront the Pope and his massive French entourage, so worldly, so corrupt.  There was so much gossip about Catherine in Rome – many said her ecstacies were faked, that she was just a religious nut, that no one could be so holy.  A particularly vicious courtesan even jabbed a large hat pin in St. Catherine’s bare foot when she was transfixed in ecstacy after Mass, to see if she would respond. Of course, she didn’t.  That woman later became one of St. Catherine’s third order Dominican followers.

The point is, we have to pray.  We have to pray without ceasing (1 Thess 5:17).  Even when we can’t formally pray, because we have to do some work, we can make that work a prayer by offering it to God.  In all but the most demanding work, it may be possible to keep a thought of God, a form of prayer, in the back of our mind, while we work.  If we offer constant prayer like this for some priest, some bishop, or some need in the Church or the world, it can have tremendous benefit. 

This also points out how much the radical shift in religious life, especially among female religious, over the past 50 years, has so disfigured the Church and so altered, or even interrupted, the flow of Grace into the Church. When the nuns shucked their habits, got masters degrees, went out into the world, and became focused so heavily on material affairs, it was a blow of shocking proportions.  That’s not to say we don’t need religious performing more earthly tasks, but even those must be centered around a life of prayer and total devotion to God, not bizaare neo-pagan earth mother wicca cults. 

And I don’t think it any accident, that as traditional religious life has made something of a small comeback, so has the liturgy improved, and vocations are up a bit, and many other indicators are starting to turnaround in fits and starts.  If we continue to pray, and if we have more religious that do so, it will power the restoration of the Church.

Speaking of St. Catherine, Rorate Caeli has some of the great Doctor’s thoughts on the Blessed Sacrament.

Latin Mass tonight at St. Mark! April 30, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Latin Mass, North Deanery.
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The usual time, usual place. 7pm!

Shroud waving for LCWR April 30, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, religious, sadness, scandals, sickness.
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The Dallas Morning News has run an op-ed about the Vatican appointment of an apostolic delegate to oversee the dismal, disastrous Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).  This op-ed is of a form so common in the past week that it is apparent to me that the LCWR have once again resorted to their usual defense against Church discipline: “Why would the Vatican pick on us poor, sweet, defenseless little nuns?”

But, first of all, these women will tell you themselves, they’re not nuns, they’re sisters. They are being disingenuous and hypocritical to use the image of a sweet, prayerful, cloistered nun in their public effort to diffuse the disciplinary enforcement long overdue.  So, before I begin on the execrable op-ed, just remember:


Does not equal this:

Or, to put it in words, a raging feminist active lesbian in a pantsuit does not equal a faithful nun in a habit praying her entire life in a cloister.  These things are radically different, and there is no problem whatsoever with the latter in the eyes of the Vatican or any faithful Catholic. 

To the op-ed, a few brief excerpts for flavor:

Two months ago, I went to the Maryknoll [that’s a bad sign right from the start, the Maryknoll are down there with the Jesuits in terms of embrace of leftist modernism] motherhouse, a massive stone building in Ossining, N.Y., to interview 93-year-old Sister Madeline Dorsey for a book I am writing. This was a sister who had chosen to stay with the poor in El Salvador after the 1980 murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero. A few months later, she found the bodies of her murdered sisters buried in a shallow grave. She was willing to risk her life, she said, “to help the poor rise up and know themselves as children of God.”

So when I heard that the Vatican had ordered a crackdown on the largest umbrella group of U.S. sisters, accusing them of spending too much time “promoting issues of social justice,” I was stunned. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been, given Rome’s historic failure to support its best and brightest………..

OK, first, the snide remark “best and brightest” is ludicrous.  I guess to this leftist apparatchik author (who also happens to be a profesor at Catholic Loyola-Chicago!  $$ka-ching!), only those on the left side of the spectrum working “social justice” issues can be the best and the brightest.  Not so those dull-witted, backwards, repressed, “un-liberated” women in cloisters.

Next, the Vatican is not accusing them of “too much time promoting social justice.”  That’s not at all what the Vatican said, it said they do social justice of a sort, but that it has become disordered and, much more so, that they apostasize from what the Church believes on scores of issues.  Many are not faithful to their vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience – especially the last two.  And their perversions of doctrine and morality, including personal morality, have left many formerly glorious religious orders moribund, near death.  That is why the Vatican has had to step in, because these sisters (especially LCWR leadership, but also many rank and file) stopped being Catholic decades ago, and their actions have gravely weakened religious life in this country. I also add, that the “social justice” practiced by the sisters quoted in this piece is a terribly distorted, “liberation theology” rejected as erroneous and damaging to the Faith by Blessed Pope John Paul II, noted reactionary.  More..

In 1985, she and 15 other church workers were charged with “conspiracy to smuggle illegal aliens.” [Were they smuggling illegal aliens? Well, she was convicted of four felony counts.  After her trial, the woman in question, Darlene Nicgorski, also “realized” she was lesbian] The day after Nicgorski learned of her conviction on five felony counts — which could have resulted in a 15-year prison sentence — she spent the night at my apartment in New York.

She did not end up serving time. But she never forgot that while Protestant leaders and then-Archbishop Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee had been strong supporters, she had heard no response from Rome. Later, she would leave her order. [That is probably for the best]

Good grief, “Rome” runs a universal Church of over a billion souls.  So, no, they don’t typically run to the scene of each self-inflicted bit of drama a priest or religious finds themselves in.  And given what I know of Weakland, and certain female religious, that “drama” is often an attempt to garner PR for their cause.  Note again, however, how the author is trying to make “Rome” the bogeyman and portray the religious sisters as poor innocents desperately trying to aid the huddled masses, yearning to breathe free.  Give me a break. 

I also wrote about Sister Mary Aileen Dame, a doctor who had spent decades treating the poor in rural villages and city hospitals. I met her at the airport in Managua, Nicaragua, in the late 1980s.

In the evenings we would drink beer out of plastic bags and talk about the Sandinistas. [My stars, did you see that Daniel Ortega?!?  He’s dreeeeaaaaamyyy!  Oh, by the way, the Sandinistas murdered tens of thousands, like the good revolutionaries they are] But she cared less about politics than ministering to women who had rarely seen a doctor, and she lamented what she saw as the Vatican’s neglect of the poor. She, too, would later leave religious life.

Yes, Rome cares nothing for the poor, save for operating more charitable relief services than any other organization on the planet, and doing more for the poor than most all other religions combined. Good point!  I wonder if the good sister described above ever reflected on whether it was really Rome’s care for the poor that was distressing, or Rome’s lack of attention to her that really bothered.

She spent the next decades finding God again in the people with whom she worked on promoting human rights for Guatemalans. She fasted for days and nights in front of the White House to get the U.S. government to release information about her case. I remember longtime peace activist, now-retired Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of Detroit, sitting silently with her on the grass [Yes, Gumbleton always found time to go attention-seeking outside the White House] One evening National Security Adviser Anthony Lakestopped by to check on her.

Sisters came by the dozens, some spending days by her side as she became thinner and thinner. But no one from the Vatican sent as much as a note.

Once again, the drama.  And the sense that,  in spite of their rejection of the Faith, their left-wing liberation theology, and their vitriol towards dad the Vatican, they desperately crave recognition and approval from their fathers that same Vatican. 

Here’s a but that sums up the views of the author of this black is white, up is down, Laverne is Shirley op-ed, Julia Lieblich:

Author Julia Lieblich helps us to see how the spirituality of these women — two of whom are no longer nuns — has led them to challenge traditional Catholic dogma and authoritarianism. Their progressivism may be the salt that gives savor to the new activism of laity and the new forms of feminine spirituality afoot in our times.

Sheesh has that 40 year old rhetoric grown tired.  These women have “progressed” themselves right out of the Church.  But their cohorts who have remained within have done immense damage.  It is doubly sad, because religious life,


properly practiced, is absolutely essential to the proper function of the Church.  But I get the sense from these women that they were far more concerned with the world than with God. 

I pray the Vatican sticks to its guns and disassembles LCWR, and lets nature take its course with its many corrupted orders.

NB: no, not all women in every order that belongs to LCWR is a raging feminist, but many are.  So there.

Fr. Joseph Kramer on the rise of tradition April 30, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Glory, Latin Mass, Tradition.
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I pray it’s rising.  Many times I think, yes, it certainly is, but other times I am more skeptical.  It’s not that “tradition” is some wonderful thing of the past, a yearned for nostalgia – by “tradition,” I mean for the Church to be the Church it has been and was always meant to be!  Almost unbelievably (for I think most would not believe it if they did not live through it and in it), the Church as it was is not the Church we have today.  We cannot go back to the former Church, but we can build again the Church based on those twin pillars of Sacred Scripture and Tradition.   Via David Werling and Rorate Caeli:

I’m f loored that video came from CNS.  “The revolution inside the Catholic Church was on the part of the clergy, not so much the laity.” 

Along similar lines, you could also read this amazing letter from a priest, written in 1967 to Pope Paul VI.  A small excerpt – the entire letter is long, and amazing in its prophecy:

Today’s condition of the Catholic Church is beyond the point of doctrinal heresy, factual schism, and even apostasy. It is in a state of chaos and utter collapse resulting from the systematic destruction of first our liturgical and other traditions, and now our very beliefs and morals ….

In open violation of all past and present liturgical directives, the Roman Catholic Liturgy, once the envy of all other religions, has for all practical purposes been destroyed. And it gives us very little personal satisfaction to know that all those responsible for this destruction were in advance irrevocably anathematized by the still valid solemn decree of the Council of Trent: “If anyone says that the Mass ought to be celebrated in the vernacular only, let him be cursed.”(Canons of the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, n. 9.)

Coercive changes have subrogated our traditional practices with the “litniks”of our Church Establishment daily intensifying their attempts to subjugate the “people of God” to becoming “Protestant” Catholics.

Our churches are no longer Catholic in appearance, atmosphere, or aim. Tables looking like butcher blocks or ironing boards have replaced our altars in perfect harmony with the 16th century Protestant Reformation directives bent on destroying the belief in the dogma of Transubstantiation and the sacrificial nature of the Mass and replacing it with a symbolical trans-signification-communal meal.

Our Holy Mass has disappeared an in its place our people are offered a holy mess of vernacularized vacuum stripped of the surety, serenity, uniformity, and dignity of our traditional Latin liturgy.

Hymns associated with the anti-Catholic rebellions of Luther, Calvin and Wesley have unceremoniously uprooted our cherished Catholic hymns to our God and the Blessed Mother, while our uniquely Catholic Gregorian and polyphonic music has been discarded for sounds and instruments sometimes borrowed from the decadent milieu of young human animals.

Communion rails are ripped out and Holy Communion is refused to the “people of God” unless they stand (not kneel) to receive Him at the mention of Whose name all knees should bend, if one is still to trust the text of the “unrevised” New Testament we were given at one time in our Catholic institutions.

The Most Blessed Sacrament, to be reserved in “the central place of honor” according to the legitimate liturgical directives, is relegated to an obscure shoe box-type niche, playing much less than second fiddle to the throne-type chair of the presiding clerical Buddha set up in dead center of a religious flavored discotheque-barn, from which the traditional statues and Stations of the Cross have been shipped to the nearest auction gallery or antiques shop.

Unfortunately, this letter appears to have made absolutely no impact on Paul VI.  As it was, the new Mass was promulgated in 1969, then quickly revised for release in 1970 (the revision was made because there were even more outrageous deviations from Catholic belief and liturgical practice in the 1969 Mass).



They finally arrived! April 30, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Liturgy, Tradition, Virtue.
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And they are great!  I finally got the Latin-English Breviary according to the 1962 Missal (well, sort of, they actually date from 1961, I believe) – so, they accord with the Traditional Latin  Mass.  I waited 2+  years, but others have waited far longer than that.  They came Friday afternoon, and I’ve been using them since Friday Vespers.

So, what do I think?  It’s awesome in many respects.  The quality of the cover, binding, and paper is quite high – hopefully, they will prove durable over decades of daily use.  The print is fine and clear, and there is copious beautiful artwork.  I do have a significant complaint, however.  It might be unfair, but since I quit praying the Novus Ordo Liturgy of the Hours and switched to a partial Divine Office that is in Dom Prosper Gueranger’s mammoth, fantastic The Liturgical Year, I have become accustomed to a, if you will, liturgical English that is fine and elegant.  I have to say that the English translations in the new Breviary, while definitely an accurate translation of the Latin and full of the great traditional meaning of the Latin texts and prayers, do not have that same elegance and beauty, and the translations of some of the hymns have been rendered too literally, destroying their rhyme and meter.

I see that Shawn Tribe at New Liturgical Movement has many of the same commentsI want to be clear – it is not the meaning, the intent, of the prayers that is the problem, but the flow and meter of the text.  In terms of meaning, the prayers are just what they should be – full of reference to sacrifice, to mortification, to our total dependence on the Grace of God, to our need to please God through works, all the subtleties of the Faith, and none of the watered down, literally protestant (because they were written by protestants!) prayers found in the Novus Ordo, or post-Vatican II, Breviary/Divine Office/Liturgy of the Hours.  But they lack some of the elegance and sublimity I had become accustomed to in reading the more ancient translations in Gueranger’s magnum opus.

Having said that, I am thrilled to have this Breviary.  I look forward to dramatically improving my knowledge and practice of Latin by going through these prayers and using both languages. The books, so far, appear to be worth every single penny I spent on them, as well as the wait.  Most of all, I am pleased to finally have a Breviary that does not insult both my intelligence and Catholic sensus fidei through annoying, cloying, materialist, protestantized prayers.

Between reading the Haydock Study Bible, Gueranger’s The Liturgical Year, and now this new Breviary, just praying and studying the Faith could be a full time job!  Who wants to pay me to read and blog about it?!?!?


Just a typical Saturday night at our house April 30, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, fun, General Catholic, silliness.
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A priest, with a bird on his shoulder, as a candlestick leans to falling:

With six kids going absolutely bonkers over having this priest over, it was not a restful night for Fr. L.

The bird was removed shortly after this photo was taken.