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SpaceX Dragon COTS 2 launch successful May 22, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Society.
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Since NASA is out of the manned spaceflight business, pretty much forever, I would imagine, it will be up to private companies to provide that access.  They may have to get a fair dose of NASA money to help defray start-up costs, but hopefully they will find a market to sustain their business model into the future. 

SpaceX of Hawthorne, CA, just completed the launch of the first man-rated, privately-developed spacecraft into orbit. It is to dock with the pointless International Space Station in 3 days (yes, they actually did launch a Dragon capsule on an earlier flight a year and a half ago, but that one did not complete an entire orbit.  This one will remain in space for several weeks 10 days and dock with the ISS).  This flight is unmanned, as are all planned to be for the immediate future.

A very left-hand, right-hand situation May 22, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, sadness, scandals, Tradition.
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Headline 1, May 22: Cardinal says Nostra Aetate and Dignitatis Humanae (the Vatican II declarations on non-Christian religions and ecumenism), do not contain binding doctrinal content!

Headline 2, May 17: Cardinal says Nostra Aetate DOES contain binding doctrinal content.

A side note: in it’s story on Headline 1 above, the USCCB’s Catholic News Service fails to note which Vatican II declarations were mentioned by Cardinal Brandmuller, and instead alludes to declarations on Christian education and the mass media! 

To say that any negotiation regarding Vatican II is a minefield, is more than a slight understatement.

From the Catholic Culture piece:

Stating that the conciliar documents have differing degrees of authority, Cardinal Brandmuller said that “there is a huge difference between a great constitution and simple declarations.” [Cardinal Koch in headline 2 above draws no such distinction, but this is right.  But, heretofore, many in authority in the Chuch have tried to claim that all documents of VII have the, total, doctrinal authority, and all had to be adhered to with religious assent.  This was especially true in the dark days of 1965~1990]

Strangely enough, the two most controversial documents [on religious liberty and relations with non-Christian religions] do not have a binding doctrinal content, so one can dialogue about them,” he continued. “So I don’t understand why our friends in the Society of St. Pius X concentrate almost exclusively on these two texts. [Well, because your colleague, Cardinal Koch, while not specifying the degree of adherence Nostra Aetate requires, implies strongly that it is owed religious assent.  And he made that statment less than a week before yours]  And I’m sorry that they do so, because these are the two that are most easy to accept if we consider their canonical nature.”

Cardinal Brandmuller added that all the conciliar documents “must be taken seriously as expressions of the living Magisterium,” while Archbishop Marchetto said that Catholics must offer “at least an adhesion of intellect and will” to all of the documents.

Cardinal Brandmuller, God bless him, is trying to assert that there are only a few potentially problematic aspects of Vatican II.  As I tried to point out regarding Guadium Et Spes, which is not a “simple declaration” but is a “great constitution,” this assertion is debateable, at best.  Yes, the declarations on ecumenism and non-Christian religions were among the most…..distressing?……confusing?…….novel?……documents produced at the last Council.  But they are not alone, nor is Guadium Et Spes alone among the “great constitutions.” 

What should I, as a lay person, make of a situation where two Cardinals speak in contradictions within days of each other on a subject of critical import?  Has such confusion or division ever reigned in the Church in the wake of any other council?  I can’t think of anything similar, at least since Calcedon.  Maybe during some of the councils attempted during the time of the Great Schism.  It’s been pretty rare, and never the sign of a “new springtime.”

I wonder if I will live to see this all get clarified?

Bishop Fellay in his own words May 22, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Ecumenism, episcopate, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, scandals, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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With the recent, highly publicized effort to find some path to regularize the Society of St. Pius X, I have been interested in learning a bit more about the Society and its current Superior General, Bishop Bernard Fellay.  A commenter on Rorate Caeli pointed out a videotaped talk that Bishop Fellay gave on May 16, 2007, in the wake of Summorum Pontificum.  This was at an SSPX conference within the US, so he was among a friendly crowd, if you will, speaking somewhat extemporaneously. 

He comes across as a very thoughtful, gentle man.  A man very, very concerned about his responsibility for the million odd souls attached to the Society, and even more concerned, perhaps, about the Church in general.  He is, naturally, very critical of Vatican II, but not quite in the manner I would have expected.  His criticism is one of disappointment, almost bewilderment, at the direction the Church has taken in the last 50 years.  I also see a  man who loves the Church tremendously.

I have, in looking at Fellay, seen and heard some talks given by Bishop Williamson.  Williamson is a man of a very different sort.  He is not gentle.  His criticisms of the Church are vociferous and harsh.  He also frequently wanders into other territories where I cannot go – conspiracy theories, and the like.  But, then again, I hear much from him that I can agree with.

I have found little, in English, on the other bishops, Tissier de Mellarais and de Galarreta, but you might say, they fall somewhere in between, at least based on what I’ve found in a brief search.

Anyway, the first three installments of the video series on the talk given by Bishop Fellay:

I strongly recommend at least this one:

I have not watched all the videos in this series.  There are 14 parts.

A quote: “You see the worst errors in those who are invested with the most truth”……a comment made by Fellay that could cut both ways.

Don’t take this analysis as a total endorsement of him or SSPX.  I present this to give my readers an insight into the man they may be reading much about but not know at all.  This is him, in his own words, speaking for two hours.  I pray some find this helpful.

I am afraid that a large section of SSPX will split away if a path to regularization is obtained.  Reading various blogs, comments on Youtube, etc. – wow, talk about vitriol.  I know there is great danger in regularization, but there is also great opportunity.  At least, even for those opposed, it would be nice to see some understanding and charity, rather than Fellay as traitor, sellout, demon, satan worshipper, doing it to get a cardinal’s hat, etc.  I’ve seen all that, and worse – I pray it is the exigencies of the present crisis that are bringing out this behavior, and not a regular feature of the souls concerned.

I am deficient in love May 22, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Eucharist, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Interior Life, priests, religious, sadness, Tradition, Virtue.
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Reading St. Peter Julian Eymard today, I was struck by the fact that I have been, and remain, severely deficient in love.  Love for God, love through God for my fellow man, and even love for self.  I pray that I may have true and great charity through cooperation with God’s Gift of Grace, and that I may totally reject all those sins and imperfections that drive that Grace from me.  From Eymard’s Eucharistic Handbook, p. 53:

Love, in fact, is what sustains and perfects virtue.  The perfection of virtue depends on the degree of one’s love; perfect love is consummate virtue, the total gift of self to Jesus.  The Christian learns to give himself thus from Holy Communion in which Jesus gives Himself entirely and personally to him.

The reason is that love is a competent master. It commands an invincible power. Its powerful action soon purifies and transforms a man into Jesus . Love never counts the cost; effort becomes pleasure, and difficult demands fill it with joy.  Thus the adorer will find in great sacrifices the glorious food of his love for Jesus, a payment on account for so many gifts received. [!!] Every morning, or at least frequently, the disciple of the Savior comes to the altar rail for his Christian armor, takes his munitions, the fire of Divine Love, and marches to the battles of love.

——————————–End Quote——————————–

Yes, that’s it!  That is my deficiency – I refuse to make those great sacrifices, those payments for the enormous, constant, total gifts I’ve received!  I even refuse to make the little sacrifices –  I complain during fasts, I eat to excess outside fasts, I still have so many attachments and imperfections!  What little progress I’ve made is pure gift, and I constantly run from the greater gifts that are available because I either don’t want to change or put forth the effort!  Oh, Lord, give me strength!  Give me strength to overcome my sins and imperfections so that I can grow in Grace and have great and true charity for You and for everyone I encounter! 

Make me realize that this life is short and its “pleasures” fleeting and illusory, and that eternity is forever and that only through great love for You will I ever have that joy and peace that every person seeks!  Tear me down and build me up again!  I want to give myself totally to You!  Why am I so weak, why do I constantly do that which I do not want to do, and do not do that which I should?  I want to love You with a pure heart – create that heart in me!  Create a will in me to mortify myself so that I may approach Your sufferings on the Cross, that my love may always be grounded in You.

My Lady, pray for me!  I beg your intercession constantly, so that I may be a worthy disciple of Your Son.  You are so good and sweet, so close to Your Son, the paragon of everything I must try to be – intercede for me.  I need your prayers.  St. Peter Julian Eymard – pray for us! 

Dallas Diocese joins federal lawsuit against HHS contraception mandate May 22, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, error, General Catholic, persecution, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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For what it’s worth, the Dallas Diocese joined several dozen other Catholic entities in filing suit against the Obama administration over the contraception mandate imposed by anti-Catholic catholyc Kathleen Sebelius’ Health and Human Services Department (yet another cabinet-level department, which, like the Department of Education, which should be abolished). 

On May 21, 2012, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas made a stand for religious liberty by filing a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Dallas, challenging a regulation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that violates the religious freedoms of faith-based entities in the United States. [By filing suit in a number of venues, there is a greater chance that one of the courts that hears the case will declare the mandate unconstitutional.  There are many such lawsuits working their way through the federal courts] The federal regulation requires some religious organizations to provide, pay for, and/or facilitate insurance coverage for services that violate the religious beliefs of the Catholic Church and the diocese.[Can’t you just say that contraception is immoral and antithetical to the Faith?] Besides the Diocese of Dallas, 42 Catholic entities in eleven other federal jurisdictions around the country, including the Diocese of Fort Worth, simultaneously filed similar federal lawsuits.

The HHS mandate does offer some exemptions but uses very narrow criteria in determining which entities qualify as religious organizations requiring that they must primarily provide services to persons who share their religious tenets. Catholic schools, hospitals and organizations that offer assistance to the poor currently provide services regardless of a person’s religious beliefs or affiliation. Bishop Kevin J. Farrell, leader of the 1.2 million [uhhh…..] Catholics in the Diocese of Dallas, expressed grave concern about the government intrusion. “We used to only ask, ‘Are you hungry. Are you in need?’ With this mandate, we will now have to ask, ‘Are you Catholic?’ The burden that would be put back on the government would be great should Catholic assistance be forced to disappear. It is alarming to think of the thousands, in our area alone, who would not receive assistance if this mandate stands.”

The lawsuit filed by the diocese argues that establishing these criteria violates the constitutional right of religion to exercise freely without government intrusion and also that the government should not decide how a religious organization is defined.

Mary Edlund, Chancellor for the Diocese of Dallas, adds; “We are confident that the courts will view such an intrusion as a serious violation of the Church’s constitutional right to formulate its teachings and operate according to those teachings.”

Well, there is already great anticipation regarding the Supreme Court ruling on a case already heard, regarding whether ANY mandate to buy insurance under Obamacare is constitutional. While not directly tied to this contraception mandate, if the Supreme Court rules that the federal government does not have the power to force someone to buy a product (medical insurance), that would seem to apply to the contraception mandate, as well.  But, they could rule narrowly, making this diocesan lawsuit, among others, necessary.

We’ve been in this particular persecution for several months, now.  The golden opportunity to catechize the culture and Church on the inherent evil of contraception is slipping away.  Instead, we have language regarding “religious liberty,” which is really an erroneous concept from the Catholic perspective, anyway.  I’m sure the bishops are concerned that framing this matter as opposition to an evil (contraception) will not play as well with the public, and within the Church, as this “religious liberty” notion.  But selfless leaders possessed of heroic virtue should not be concerned about how things “play” – they should proclaim the Truth loudly and boldly, and at all times.

And that, more than anything, is what I pray for, and constantly.

No, this isn’t becoming a harvest blog…… May 22, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, blogfoolery, fun, silliness, Society.
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…..or……..is it?

Sorry, we were driving home from Latin Mass at St. Mark last night (David R and Larry B, you’re dead to me now – we only had 31!), and they finally got around to cutting the wheat south of the Bush Turnpike at Plano Rd.  The kids wanted to see the combine going around and dumping, and I took a couple of pics.  The guy who farms the land said he has a contract to deliver 100,000 bushels of wheat to Pilgrim’s Pride in Pittsburg!  That’s alot of wheat.  He’s sending wheat to other places, too.  He said he sends loads to Ft. Worth, Celina, and McKinney.  He farms land owned by developers all over N. Texas, most of it in town.  He must be farming several thousand acres if he has a contract to deliver 100,000 bushels plus sending loads to other places.  That’s alot of farming. No wonder he was late cutting that wheat near Bush.

Sorry, the pictures stink!  I was trying to use the zoom on my phone camera and shoot from my car.

Apparently, the combine owner/driver, who lives in Josephine, is also some kind of corporate executive, who only drives the combine for fun!  I don’t know about fun last night, it was 9pm when I took the pics, I bet he didn’t get done cutting, off-loading, and then trailering the combine until midnight.  Or maybe he just drove the combine to another field.  Maybe they’ll cut west of US75 later this week.  Don’t know.  But it was a full day, that is for certain.

My surging interest in farming is, I think, telling me something about myself.  Or, maybe it’s just one of my many passing fancies.