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You’re going to die May 24, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, Tradition.
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I assisted at Mass at the local FSSP parish last night, as I try to do at least twice a week. It was a Requiem Mass – perhaps the most glorious form of the Mass there is, both in form and intent.  I am always moved by TLM Requiem Masses.  This one was for the anniversary of the death of a parishioner.  It was beautiful, as always, although a low Mass.

The priest gave a brief homily.  He mentioned how frequently he comes across souls who are not prepared to die.  Even people with terminal cancer refuse to face the reality of their impending demise, and cling to the hope of the next treatment, the next miracle cure.  But it is inevitable – every single one of us is going to die.  How we do so is entirely up to us.

I got the impression from the priest that many of these souls may be either panicked, when finally forced to face reality, or completely in denial, even up to the very last moments.  Neither is the condition we should want to be in at that last moment.  And I say that as someone who has, perhaps, an inordinate fear of death, or have had that fear heretofore. 

This life seems so long to us.  When we are suffering, we think it will never end.  In reality, this life is incredibly short.  Compared to eternity, even 100 years is but an instant.  But how many of us consciously think about our eternal destiny, and prepare ourselves for the day we will die?  In the current culture, it is sadly very, very few.  Concommitant with this lack of preparation is the strange assumption that somehow, we’ll all go to Heaven, in spite of widespread commission of grave sins such as contraceptive use, abortion, greed, neglect of family duties, etc.  This assumption ignores Christ’s warnings that many, perhaps even the vast majority, go to hell (the gate is narrow, and few there are who enter through it…….the narrow winding path….outside, where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth, do not fear he who can destroy the body, but He Who can destroy body and soul in Gehenna etc., etc).

Almost no one knows which morning, when they wake up, will be their last.  And our eternal destiny is entirely dependent on the state of our soul at the moment of death.  Even if you’ve led a highly virtuous life, if  you by some means commit a mortal sin and it goes unconfessed before death, that’s it.  You have decided your eternal fate. 

We should not live in stark terror of death.  We must not become scrupulous.  But we must prepare for our death as if it is the most important event of our lives, because………it is.  And if one is leading a sinful life, or even  just an average one (average lives being quite prone to sin), and fails to prepare his soul for spending eternity with God in Heaven, enjoying the perfection of the Beatific Vision for all eternity, a death bed conversion is unlikely.  People drop dead all the time, with no last moment to express contrition.  And even those who are fortunate to die with some warning, with time to prepare themselves – will they be able to have true contrition and honestly confess their sins if they have spent their entire life running from God, ignoring or trivializing the Sacraments, assuming as far too many do today that God is nothing but Mercy and that all go to Heaven irrespective of the state of their souls? 

This preparation for a good and holy death is the work of a lifetime.  It’s not like a final exam you can cram for at the last minute and hope to get a passing grade.  A few, a very few, might be able to be saved through a death-bed conversion, but for most, developing the virtues and eschewing the vices that are a central part of leading a holy life takes their entire life to achieve.  But so few, it seems, put forth the effort to do so.  Even worse, how rarely do we hear of the four last things from our priests, who should be playing the lead role in helping form souls for that moment of particular judgment?

We desperately need this kind of leadership.  Some people remarked to me after Mass how influential just a few words from a priest (he only spoke for perhaps 5 minutes) could be.  I, as a lay person, can write and speak about this issue again and again, but when a priest does so, there’s an entirely different level of influence.  What would ultimately be desirable is to inculcate in the laity such a great love and hunger for God that death, far from being feared, is actually welcomed and looked forward to.  With a strong emphasis on mortification and penance and an understanding of this life as one of suffering and preparation for our eternal home , this desire would be further strengthened.  This is the program of so many Saints.

Unfortunately, the present anthropomorphized Church with its focus on material concerns (more concern with perfecting the world than perfecting individual souls) can’t seem to wrap its head around this solemn, ancient practice.

Be that as it may, ultimately, it’s up to each one of us to make our way up that rocky, narrow trail to the top of the mounntain, carrying our cross with us.  No one else can do it for us – we’ve all got to prepare to meet God in our own way.

I pray this becomes something that is more and more talked about within the Church.  I am going to try to do more posts on this subject, because I think it’s very important.

 Heaven, and hell, are forever.

Fr. Rodriguez’ plea to bishops May 24, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Our Lady, persecution, priests, sadness, scandals, sickness.
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This was given on Ascension Thursday, 2012.  h/t Ars Orandi

I love Fr. Rodriguez.

I like how he wears the biretta while giving the sermon.  Why do not Society or FSSP priests do that? (at least, I’ve never seen it done)

Michael Voris on the failure to oppose intrinsic evils May 24, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, horror, Interior Life, priests, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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Contraception and homosexual acts are intrinsically evil.  How often do you hear these intrinsic evils denounced from the pulpit at your parish?  I am very blessed to assist at one parish where such things are denounced loudly and frequently.  But at many parishes, they are never heard, or, if they are, the presentation is often so ambiguous and uncertain that one could draw virtually any conclusion. 

The primary purpose of the Church – it’s raison d’etre – is to save souls.  That is why Christ instituted it, that is why Christ commissioned his Apostles to go and preach His Word to all nations.  That Word is necessary for salvation.  All of it.  Not the easy parts, not the happy-clappy parts, all of it, the hard parts included.  Especially the hard parts. 

We can only transform the culture and save souls if the Truth is proclaimed loudly, boldly, and without reservation or apology.  But for far too long in the Church, in far too many places, certain “inconvenient” truths, to borrow a phrase from eco-charlatan Al Gore, have been ignored.  That must change – Charity demands it.  And Charity is a Person – the failure to proclaim the Truth on contraception, homosexual acts, divorce and remarriage (and abuse of the annulment process), fornication, porn, self-gratification, etc., etc, will have a great consequence some day.  For priests are accountable to God for the souls in their charge, and will have to give a strict accounting on the day of their particular judgment.

“The strong suit of bishops is not politics, it’s teaching the truths of the Faith”  This is the crux of the problem in terms of leadership – far too much time playing at politician and not enough time dedicated to serving souls through formation.  And far too many compromises made from a political angle as opposed to presenting the Faith clearly, completely, and with great charity.  But it is NOT charity to hide inconvenient facts, for fear of offending.  It is, in fact, moral cowardice, and a grave dereliction of duty.

I pray for heroic virtue from our bishops, and now.  I pray for this every day.

Here’s another awesome video.  I agree completely with what Michael says below. If Notre Dame is committed to being a research institution, they will continue to lose their Catholic identity, to whatever slight degree it still remains:


New Prometheus movie is vile, anti-Catholic May 24, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, asshatery, disaster, General Catholic, horror, persecution, sadness, sickness, Society, unadulterated evil.
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Regular readers know me, I’m not much in for popular culture.  The cable has been cut, I almost never go to movies, etc., etc.  Teh Intrawebs is about my only connection to the media entertainment complex.  But, through Youtube, I had gotten sucked into some viral marketing for the new Ridley Scott movie Prometheus.  I have liked some of Scott’s movies quite a bit, especially his early work like Alien and Blade Runner.  So, I was intrigued about this “prequel” of the Aliens franchise.  Sufficiently intrigued, in fact, that I read an early draft script of the movie a few days ago.

Now, this script has been repudiated by Scott as being inaccurate, even fake.  And I’m certain some aspects have been changed from this early revision.  But it is known, for certain, from the trailers, that certain elements remain. 

The lead character (heroine) is a Catholic woman.  She is apparently one of the few left in the late 21st century, according to the script.  Her Catholic faith actually plays a very, very central role in the story.  It is also the vehicle by which the director/producer Scott bashes the Faith at every turn.  This film is, in my opinion, one long  excuse for some Catholic/Christian bashing.

First of all – the lead, the pure Catholic girl (her virginity is also a focus) is brutally raped – twice.  Once by a man on the spaceship (this first rape may have been removed from later scripts), and once again by the aliens at the planet they land at. Perhaps Scott thinks that’s what dirty Catholic schoolgirls deserve, I don’t know.  The latter rape is particularly graphic and horrific and is known to be in the final print of the movie.  I don’t think I have to explain why that would be upsetting to any Catholic, or even any moral person, but the repeated rape of the virgin……can you see where he is going with this?  I would say that these scenes alone will dissuade me from ever seeing the film, and I’m sorry I wasted any time on it.

Second of all, the woman claims to lose her faith after discovering evidence of intelligent life off earth.  I’m not sure why that would be.

So, the heroine winds up getting implanted with an alien/human hybrid nightmare disaster baby.  The crew on her exploration ship, the Prometheus, remove it, and put it in an incubator (amazingly, this baby is at like 4 months gestation after maybe 2-3 hours – Hollywood works fast!) for some reason.  That becomes a critical plot point, later. 

I’m telling you all this for a reason. Later in the film, there is a scene in the bad alien’s spaceship where one of the alien creatures has the heroine and two other characters trapped, and uses it’s mind control powers to make the woman kill the man who raped her early in the movie (if it’s still in the script).  It also tells her that the aliens are the “gods” of earth, that they created humanity by messing with ape DNA and basically tells her to worship it, if she’s going to worship anything. 

Anyway, at the end of the movie, the heroine, after literally every other living being on the world dying, is alone on this alien planet with her new half-breed baby, and she recites the creation story from Genesis to it, just as her father did to her at the beginning of the movie.  So, apparently there will be some future religion on this mutant alien human hybrid planet, I guess.  There is potential for sequels that, who knows, might play on this alien half-breed as a messiah.  Although, seeing as you can’t live on the world without a pressure suit, I’m not sure how that kid is going to grow up, seeing as all the spaceships were blown up at the end.

Severe disappointment.  This could have been a really interesting movie, and the production values and special effects are completely top notch, but Scott had to give into his anti-Catholicism, yet again (as he did in Kingdom of Heaven). 

Shame on me. I don’t know why I would think today’s Hollywood would produce anything different.