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St. Leonard of Port Maurice on the small number of the elect June 19, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, priests, Saints, Tradition, Virtue.
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The Saints speak best without much commentary.  Some excerpts from St. Leonard’s most famous sermon:

Brothers, because of the love I have for you, I wish I were able to reassure you with the prospect of eternal happiness by saying to each of you: You are certain to go to paradise; the greater number of Christians is saved, so you also will be saved. But how can I give you this sweet assurance if you revolt against God’s decrees as though you were your own worst enemies? I observe in God a sincere desire to save you, but I find in you a decided inclination to be damned. So what will I be doing today if I speak clearly? I will be displeasing to you. But if I do not speak, I will be displeasing to God.

Therefore, I will divide this subject into two points. In the first one, to fill you with dread, I will let the theologians and Fathers of the Church decide on the matter and declare that the greater number of Christian adults are damned; and, in silent adoration of that terrible mystery, I will keep my own sentiments to myself. In the second point I will attempt to defend the goodness of God versus the godless, by proving to you that those who are damned are damned by their own malice, because they wanted to be damned. So then, here are two very important truths. If the first truth frightens you, do not hold it against me, as though I wanted to make the road of heaven narrower for you, for I want to be neutral in this matter; rather, hold it against the theologians and Fathers of the Church who will engrave this truth in your heart by the force of reason. If you are disillusioned by the second truth, give thanks to God over it, for He wants only one thing: that you give your hearts totally to Him. Finally, if you oblige me to tell you clearly what I think, I will do so for your consolation.

First let us consult the theologians recognized as examining things most carefully and as not exaggerating in their teaching: let us listen to two learned cardinals, Cajetan and Bellarmine. They teach that the greater number of Christian adults are damned, and if I had the time to point out the reasons upon which they base themselves, you would be convinced of it yourselves. But I will limit myself here to quoting Suarez. After consulting all the theologians and making a diligent study of the matter, he wrote, “The most common sentiment which is held is that, among Christians, there are more damned souls than predestined souls.”

Add the authority of the Greek and Latin Fathers to that of the theologians, and you will find that almost all of them say the same thing. This is the sentiment of Saint Theodore, Saint Basil, Saint Ephrem, and Saint John Chrysostom. What is more, according to Baronius it was a common opinion among the Greek Fathers that this truth was expressly revealed to Saint Simeon Stylites and that after this revelation, it was to secure his salvation that he decided to live standing on top of a pillar for forty years, exposed to the weather, a model of penance and holiness for everyone. Now let us consult the Latin Fathers. You will hear Saint Gregory saying clearly, “Many attain to faith, but few to the heavenly kingdom.” Saint Anselm declares, “There are few who are saved.” Saint Augustine states even more clearly, “Therefore, few are saved in comparison to those who are damned.” The most terrifying, however, is Saint Jerome. At the end of his life, in the presence of his disciples, he spoke these dreadful words: “Out of one hundred thousand people whose lives have always been bad, you will find barely one who is worthy of indulgence.”

But why seek out the opinions of the Fathers and theologians, when Holy Scripture settles the question so clearly? Look in to the Old and New Testaments, and you will find a multitude of figures, symbols and words that clearly point out this truth: very few are saved. In the time of Noah, the entire human race was submerged by the Deluge, and only eight people were saved in the Ark. Saint Peter says, “This ark was the figure of the Church,” while Saint Augustine adds, “And these eight people who were saved signify that very few Christians are saved, because there are very few who sincerely renounce the world, and those who renounce it only in words do not belong to the mystery represented by that ark.” The Bible also tells us that only two Hebrews out of two million entered the Promised Land after going out of Egypt, and that only four escaped the fire of Sodom and the other burning cities that perished with it. All of this means that the number of the damned who will be cast into fire like straw is far greater than that of the saved, whom the heavenly Father will one day gather into His barns like precious wheat.

I would not finish if I had to point out all the figures by which Holy Scripture confirms this truth; let us content ourselves with listening to the living oracle of Incarnate Wisdom. What did Our Lord answer the curious man in the Gospel who asked Him, “Lord, is it only a few to be saved?” Did He keep silence? Did He answer haltingly? Did He conceal His thought for fear of frightening the crowd? No. Questioned by only one, He addresses all of those present. He says to them: “You ask Me if there are only few who are saved?” Here is My answer: “Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” Who is speaking here? It is the Son of God, Eternal Truth, who on another occasion says even more clearly, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” He does not say that all are called and that out of all men, few are chosen, but that many are called; which means, as Saint Gregory explains, that out of all men, many are called to the True Faith, but out of them few are saved. Brothers, these are the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Are they clear? They are true. Tell me now if it is possible for you to have faith in your heart and not tremble.

—————————End Quote—————————–

There is much, much more at the link.  The proofs from Scripture and Tradition of the small number of the elect are so copious and thorough as to be terrifying.  And yet, the “modern” belief is that pretty everyone is saved, or, heck, even everyone!  Even Stalin and Mengele!  Because “our” god – the god we make in our own image – is a loving, sweet god that demands nothing from us whatsoever! Let the party continue!

There is a tangential issue related to this.  That is the denial of the reality of Adam and Eve and the concommitant rejection of Original Sin.  I will address that tomorrow, God willing.  With a special emphasis for the dulcet words of Fr. Robert Barron, one of the most dangerous modernist exegetes around today.

Holy tomatoes! June 19, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Ecumenism, foolishness, fun, General Catholic, silliness.
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I didn’t know I was evangelizing the Faith and proselytizing muslims just with my backyard produce!  This is awesome!

A Salafist group called the Popular Egyptian Islamic Association has come under fire after sending out a warning on Facebook urging its followers not to eat tomatoes because the vegetable (or fruit) is a Christian food.

The group posted a photo on its page of a tomato – which appears to reveal the shape of a cross after being cut in half – along with the message: “Eating tomatoes is forbidden because they are Christian. [The tomato] praises the cross instead of Allah and says that Allah is three (a reference to the Trinity).

The h0ly terror of the tomoto hordes is unstoppable!  This is the ecumenical effort of the future!

Begin Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help…… June 19, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery, Novenas, Our Lady, Tradition, Virtue.
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…..yesterday!  As usual, I’m late on getting you timely Novena notices.  Fire me.

You can start today  – you’ll just finish on the Feast day, as opposed to the day before.  I think Our Lady will still accept your prayers.

Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help

1. Behold, O Mother of Perpetual Help, at thy feet a wretched
sinner, who has recourse to thee and trusts in thee. O Mother of
mercy, have pity on me; I hear all men call thee the refuge and
hope of sinners: be therefore my refuge and my hope. Help me for
the love of Jesus Christ: hold out thy hand to a fallen wretch,
who commends himself to thee and dedicates himself to be thy
servant forever. I praise and thank God, who of His great mercy
hath given me this confidence in thee, a sure pledge of my eternal
salvation. Alas, it is only too true that in the past I have
fallen miserably, because I did not come to thee. I know that with
thy help I shall conquer; I know that thou wilt help me, if I
commend myself to thee; but I am fearful lest in the occasions of
sin I shall forget to call upon thee and so I shall be lost. This
grace, then, do I ask of thee; for this I implore thee, as much as
I can and know how to do; namely, that in the assaults of hell I
may ever run to thy protection and may say to thee: Mary, help me;
Mother of Perpetual Help, permit me not to lose my God.

Hail Mary, three times.

2. O Mother of Perpetual Help, grant me ever to be able to call
upon thy powerful name, since thy name is the help of the living
and the salvation of the dying. Ah, Mary most pure, Mary most
sweet, grant that thy name from this day forth may be to me the
very breath of life. Dear Lady, delay not to come to my assistance
whenever I call upon thee; for in all the temptations that assail
me, in all the necessities that befall me, I will never leave off
calling upon thee, ever repeating: Mary, Mary. What comfort, what
sweetness, what confidence, what tenderness fills my soul at the
sound of thy name, at the very thought of thee! I give thanks to
our Lord, who for my sake hath given thee a name so sweet, so
lovable, so mighty. But I am not content merely to speak thy name;
I would utter it for very love of thee; it is my desire that love
should ever remind me to name thee, Mother of Perpetual Help.

Hail Mary, three times.

3. O Mother of Perpetual Help, thou art the dispenser of every
grace that God grants us in our misery; it is for this cause that
He hath made thee so powerful, so rich, so kind, that thou
mightest assist us in our miseries. Thou art the advocate of the
most wretched and abandoned sinners, if they but come unto thee;
come once more to my assistance, for I commend myself to thee. In
thy hands I place my eternal salvation; to thee I entrust my soul.
Enroll me among thy most faithful servants; take me under thy
protection and it is enough for me: yes, for if thou protect me, I
shall fear nothing; not my sins, for thou wilt obtain for me their
pardon and remission; not the evil spirits, for thou art mightier
than all the powers of hell; not even Jesus, my Judge, for He is
appeased by a single prayer from thee. I fear only that through my
own negligence I may forget to recommend myself to thee and so I
shall be lost. My dear Lady, obtain for me the forgiveness of my
sins, love for Jesus, final perseverance and the grace to have
recourse to thee at all times, O Mother of Perpetual Help.

Hail Mary, three times.

Give us this day our daily Bread June 19, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Eucharist, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, sadness, scandals, Tradition, Virtue.
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Towards the end of the Roman Catechism, there is an exposition on the meaning of the different parts of the Pater Noster, or Our Father, prayer.  This is the prayer that Christ gave us to pray, so Divine in origin that it should be forever on our lips and in our hearts. 

But what means this bread?  From the Catechism, pp. 592-3:

Christ the Lord is especially our Bread in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, in which He is substantially contained. This ineffable pledge of His love He gave us when about to return to the Father, and of it He said: He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in Me, and I in him (Jn 6:56), and Take ye and eat: this is my body (Matt 26:26, 1 Cor 11:24).

The Eucharist is called our bread, because it is the food of the faithful only, that is to say, of those who, uniting charity to faith, wash away the defilement of their sins in the Sacrament of Penance, and mindful that they are the children of God, receive and adore this Divine Sacrament with all possible holiness and veneration.

——————————- End Quote ————————————–

yes, Yes, YES!  That’s the very substance of it!  When we receive our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament worthily, we are uniting our love for God and our faith in His constant Presence with us in that Sacrament!  It is the highest possible form of worship, humbly receiving the Lord on our tongues, receiving Him with all the submission we can muster, because we are totally unworthy for such an august, unspeakable Gift.  The Lord of the Universe, the Creator of all matter and being, willing to become the very Food of our souls and bodies! 

That was the thought that kept going through my head when watching For Greater Glory – God’s ways are not our ways.  God’s ways are so far above ours that even after two millenia of study by some of the greatest minds in the history of the world, we still can only comprehend the barest fraction of the glory that is the Eucharist! 

But the caveat in the statement above is all-important – it is “our” Bread, but only after we have been washed clean in the glorious Sacrament of Confession.  We must receive the Blessed Sacrament with the cleanest possible soul.  I am reminded of the words of a local priest, when he discussed the necessity of making Communions of reparation for those who receive the Most Blessed Sacrament most unworthily:

We need to make Communions of reparation for all the injuries, blasphemies, sacrileges hurled against Our Lord – not just by atheists and satanists who might steal Hosts and do horrible, evil things to Them, <shouted> but especially for all those Catholics who every Sunday go to Communion filthy with mortal sin – unrepentant – who don’t go to Confession and they come up and put our Lord into the sewer of their soul over and over and over again. <end shouting, now quietly>And we need to make reparation for that, and pray God that their priests wake up and warn them, and that they wake up.  We need to make these Communions of reparation – if we don’t, who will?

Do you examine your conscience before receiving the Blessed Sacrament?  We must do so, carefully, before every Communion.

We have a tendency in this country, that everyone – everyone at Mass, no matter what, even if they haven’t been to Confession in thirty years, even if they aren’t Catholic – goes up and puts out their hands and receives the Lord.  That’s a bad practice.  It was not always like this.  50 years ago or so, everyone did not get up, whole rows at a time, and approach the altar to receive the Lord.  Many would remain in their pew, because they were not clean, they could not take the Lord into their bodies and souls which were horrifically marred by sin. 

We don’t need to be Jansenists, and feel that just getting out of bed in the morning is a sin, but we do need to know that sin is a reality, that it offends God to a degree we cannot imagine – that it is the very antithesis of God – and that if we have a serious sin on our conscience, we have to go to Confession before we receive our Lord.  It is incredibly important – otherwise, we commit the gravest of sacrilege, the literal re-crucifying of our Lord.

We must approach the altar with faith, and love – love so great that we would never dare to injure our Lord by receiving Him unless morally certain we are in the state of grace.

More on ‘For Greater Glory’ June 19, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Latin Mass, persecution, scandals, sickness, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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Not just stuff I forgot the first time, I actually have a couple of points to make. 

First, Fr. Weinberger reminded me of something critical last night – if you go to see the movie, make sure you stay through the credits.  If you don’t, you miss a great deal, in my opinion.  Fr. Weinberger thought the credits contained footage of Blessed Miguel Pro being shot, but I’m not convinced.  I thought it was a re-enactment.  Nevertheless, there are many photos from that period, including of several Saint-martyrs. 

The other thing – the use of liturgical color was interesting – maybe a mistake?   The Peter O’Toole character was shot while wearing a black cassock, but he wasn’t offering a funeral Mass at the time he was arrested – did he wear it for himself?

Second, when General/Father Vega offers the Requiem Mass for the martyrs of a town destroyed by Calles’ forces, he wears purple.  Was that even an option back in the 1920s?

Sorry, I did the best I could with my phone camera, and there was a continuous 9.7 earthquake while the movie was playing.

Another part – I found the portrayal of US Ambassador Dwight Morrow troubling.  He knew, very well, what was going on in Mexico.  He had been briefed by the Knights of Columbus even before taking his position as ambassador.  But, he had been given a mission with the primary interest of restoring US oil concessions in Mexico.  My reading has indicated that the movie gave Morrow a rather favorable treatment.  The movie didn’t touch on the masonic aspect of so many players in the Cristiada – and Morrow was a mason, just like Calles and many others, like the sadistic Canabal in Tabasco province.   The movie portrays Morrow as trying both to advance US interests and end the war, while being rather ignorant of the atrocities being committed against Catholics.

The reality is rather different.  Several Jesuit priests had provided detailed reports to the US government – and Morrow – which went on at great length about the horrors being experienced by Mexican Catholics, especially nuns.  The number of nuns abducted from convents and sold into sexual slavery will never fully known, because so many were never heard from again, but it was in the thousands.  Morrow was aware of the killings of priests and faithful.  And, yet, in order to get oil concessions opened, he arranged for the shipment of arms and aircraft – maintained and flown by US airmen!!! – to Calles government.  In reality, Morrow seemed to hold a certain hostility towards the Catholic Church and, while not gleefully enjoying the persecution as Calles did, certainly didn’t have many moral qualms about it.  His interest in ending the Cristero War was solely oriented towards advancing US commercial interests and aiding Republican electoral prospects in 1928.  The irony is, the dictator giveth, and the dictator can taketh away.  After the betrayal of the Cristeros and the crushing of the rebellion, the Mexican government  reneged on its “50 year agreement” in 1938 and nationalized all US and Dutch oil assets in Mexico, thus forming PEMEX.  So, Morrow’s many moral concessions to Calles’ brutality only delayed nationalization by 9 years.

Another aspect of the movie that deserves discussion is the final end to the war.  The movie only somewhat touches on this. To really understand the entire Cristero war, the reason for Mexico’s fall from being one of the most profoundly Catholic nations in the world to one that is now……not so much……I suggest reading this long article by Gary Potter at catholicism.org.  It really lays out how the war ended, and the tragic consequences of Pius XI and the Mexican episcopacy’s efforts to achieve peace at almost any cost.  Betrayal is a pretty harsh word, but there were many a Cristero who felt betrayed by the accord signed by the Mexican bishops to end the war, as part of which they also ordered all Cristeros – as a matter of religious obedience – to lay down their arms.  This order to the Cristeros – and the resumption of public worship – was made in return for nothing but a verbal promise that the Calles junta would no longer enforce it’s anti-Catholic laws.  That agreement, like almost everything Calles said, also turned out to be a lie.

As a result, over 5000 Cristeros were killed in vengeance by the Mexican government, making Calles a liar (once again), as he had agreed to grant unconditional amnesty to all.  Virtually all the horrifically onerous restrictions remained in place on the Church, the only fig leafs being given were that the state would not name and “ordain” the Church’s priests.  But, in reality, until the early 40’s, the persecution remained in place, to the extent that, by 1934, whereas there had been 4500 priests in Mexico before the persecution began in 1926, there were only 334 priests left for the entire country of 15 million souls.   In 1935, 17 of Mexico’s 31 states had no priests at all.  Potter describes the persecution ongoing in the 30s as worse than what caused the Cristeros to rebel in the first place, but by then, the rebellion had been crushed and there was no one to rebel.  Even more, the Mexican episcopacy had threatened to excommunicate anyone who took up arms against the government.

The Faith in Mexico has never truly recovered from this surrender and, to some, betrayal.