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Liberal sects collapse, conservative ones grow, the Church muddles along July 24, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Ecumenism, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, Society, Tradition.
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Here is some data via GloriaTV that is interesting to me, showing the relative growth or decline of select denominations in the United States.  The liberal protestant sects are in self-induced free fall.  Some are very near to passing the point of no return, and none show the slightest inclination to reversing course from progressive, modernist apostasy.  The Church continues to spin its tires, with the divisions rending the Church I would imagine, having no small impact.  If proper practice of the Faith and Tradition is restored, look for numbers to increase again:

You can time the collapse of the protestant sects almost to the minute they embraced a modernist, hedonist sexual ethic.  It is interesting that the baptists are shrinking……don’t you think that might be due to contraception?  I sense contraception is going to become a very big issue with the baptists.

For my fellow space nuts……. July 24, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, asshatery, Basics, Dallas Diocese, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Interior Life, Society, Virtue.
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……beautiful, mesmerizing footage from the ISS, shot using low-light TV cameras from various ports on the station, especially the cupola.

Witness @ 1:40……and yet, all this happened by accident?  Just a freak of evolution, a random occurrence 10 billion years after the big bang sprang from……..?

Yes, surely it’s more rational, more scientific to believe that, than that there just might be some order to the universe, that it might  just have been created.  I would say, whatever floats your little atheist boat, but that would be uncharitable.

I don’t know if the earth is 10,000 years old, or 4 billion, or somewhere in between – the Church hasn’t defined that, but the Church has defined that there is a Creator, that He created the universe and everything in it, and when I look out at the infinite depths of the cosmos, I believe………


What a difference half a century makes July 24, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, Tradition.
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There is no question that many wounds have afflicted the Church in the past 50 years.  There are many who feel the Church is not what she was just a short time ago, that something has happened to make a huge percentage of the former faithful fall away and cause such strife and division in the Church.  Bearing that in  mind, when I read the following words in Canon Francis Ripley’s wonderful This Is The Faith, written in 1950, I had to really pause and consider these past 50 years, and ask myself whether the words below can still be said to apply (various excerpts from pp. 136-140 foll0w):

Every Catholic priest, anywhere in the world today, celebrates the same Holy Mass as that celebrated by St. John in the presence of the Virgin Mary almost 2000 years ago. [The Mass has changed drastically since 1950, let alone AD 50.  Is it still the “same Mass?”  Is there still worldwide unity in the Mass with the advent of “inculturation” and the myriad options of the 1970 Missal?] More than one billion Catholics today believe what the persecuted Romans believed as they sheltered in the catacombs a couple hundred years after the coming of Christ. The Catholic who today travels the world today meets other Catholics and knows that he will find that they all believe exactly what he believes, that they worship just as he worships, and that they all acknowledge the same spiritual head – the successor of St. peter. And more – if by some wonderful invention it were possible for a present-day Catholic to visit Catholics in every century of the Christian era and in every country of the world, he would always find the same marvelous unity of belief, of worship, and of government.

No one who has studied history sincerely and with an open mind can deny that the Catholic Church possesses, and has always possessed, a marvelous and unconquerable unity of faith, of worship and of government, a unity which transcends all ages and all nations and which embraces every level of the social scale………….[OK, there is some hyperbole here, but the point holds.  The Church has had long periods of tremendous unity.  Where there has been disunity, it has generally been brief and localized.  Never before in the history of the Church, with the possible exception of the Arian heresy, has there been such widespread error, dissent, and even apostasy.  It marks a radical shift from what appeared to be tremendous unity even 60 years ago, but was not so strong a unity as it appeared at the time]

…..Our immediate concern is with the evident high morality of Catholic Doctrine. We say “evident” because it is unchallenged. Many wicked things have been said against the Church; many accusations have been made against Her; but even Her enemies must admit that through nearly 2000 years, amidst the widest possible variety of circumstances, Her teaching has never swerved from the highest moral standard. On occasions – as in the case of Henry VIII – She has preferred to lose everything rather than compromise in regard to the high morality of her doctrines. Nor has She been content merely to enunciate a few moral principles: She has always applied Her principles to every detail of human life………

—————————-End Quote———————————

Yes.  Well.  Sadly, today, things are not so unified, even if the above might have tended towards hyperbole a bit.  Today, 1/3 of “Catholics” don’t even believe in the Resurrection (in which point, why bother?), while a large majority don’t understand or accept the Real Presence.  Fewer than 20% of Catholics perform even the most basic duty of assisting at Mass on Sunday.  There have always been nominal Catholics or “cultural” Catholics, but never to the extent we see today.  It is difficult to find a time in Church history when error has been so rampant, and practice of the Faith so nonexistent.

But, the Church is ultimately what we make of it.  If we roll over and allow abuse to happen or send our kids to Heretic U (“a catholyc university in the Jesuit tradition”), well then, we haven’t much right to complain.  But if we fight for the Faith, practice it ourselves with a truly fervent heart, instill it in our children…….well, things will take care of themselves.  Our mission is to be holy and get to Heaven.  Beyond that, it’s really out of our hands.  We must do what we can, but never get discouraged, and always strive to be faithful to our Lord and His Church.

Great advice in a sermon today July 24, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Interior Life, Liturgy, North Deanery, priests, Tradition, Virtue.
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I heard a really good sermon at Mass today. It was an honest to goodness sermon, not a homily, which I was very gratified to hear.  The priest, Fr. Jack Hopka, talked about several topics related to the Gospel (Mt 12:46-50), in which Jesus famously says that his mother and brother are those who does the Will of God.  The priest also gave a nice exegesis on the life of St. Charbel Makhlouf, whom I had never heard of before.  But the aspect that impressed me the most was when the priest stated that we, the laity,  needed to arrive at Mass well before Mass begins – that doing the Will of God meant knowing the Faith, and that assisting at Mass was one of the best ways to come to know the Faith, but that we would have great difficulty fruitfully assisting at Mass if we show up just as Mass starts (or later) and leave immediately afterwards.

We need time to prepare for Mass. I always try to arrive at least 30 minutes before Mass because I have  many prayers and devotions I try to do.  It is very important to have a number of intentions for Mass.  At the Mass, Christ literally comes into our presence and He wants very much for us to present our offerings to Him – including our needs – during the Mass.  If we run in just as Mass starts and still all wrapped up in the cares of the world, the traffic we were stuck in, the guy who cut us off, etc., we’re going to have a hard time participating in a prayerful, solemn manner in the Mass.  Obviously, we all have lives to live and things happen to delay us, but we should strive always to arrive at Mass at least 15-20 minutes early so that we can have a time to compose ourselves, recollect on our intentions for the Mass, and get ready to receive our Blessed Lord.  We may also want to examine our consciences, if we haven’t done so in a while, to insure we are really in a state to receive our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

I have found, over the last several years, that arriving at Mass early makes all the difference in terms of how well I then assist at the Mass.  When I am delayed by circumstances and arrive at Mass without the normal preparation time, I definitely notice the difference in my ability to focus on praying the Mass with the priest and with my general state of soul.  The Mass is an inestimable gift, it is Heaven literally lowering down to earth and Jesus Christ coming Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity into our presence.  We get to receive the Creator of the universe into our very bodies!  What a Gift!  Isn’t it worthwhile to strive to arrive a little early and prepare ourselves for the greatest Miracle in the history of the universe?!?

It is also beneficial to remain after Mass to say many prayers of thanksgiving and to meditate on the Mass, the Scripture readings, and all the immense benefits we have just received.  I strive to stay after Mass for at least 15 minutes or so, and often quite a bit longer if I have the time.

One thought that occurred to me today is how…..disfigured……..our approach to the Mass can be at times.  I don’t mean this as a harsh criticism, but as a bit of a reminder, but even priests can fall into this trap sometimes.  I, for one, do not mind if Mass runs long – typically.  I really feel that we should look on assisting at Mass as the highest point of our day, even the focal point of our day, so that we bend our schedules around it, rather than the other way around.  The Mass is, after all, the Source and Summit of our Faith!

I am running long.  A friend reminded me last night how long-winded I am, forgive me.  Pray for me!

Please pray for the repose of the soul of my friend Vicki Middleton July 24, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Glory, Holy suffering, North Deanery, sadness, Tradition, Virtue.
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Vicki passed away a few hours ago.  Please pray for the repose of her soul, and for grace for her family in this time of suffering and loss.  There will be a Rosary followed by the funeral Mass at the Carmelite Chapel in Dallas Friday at 10am.  Vicki has received permission from Bishop Farrell to be buried on the Carmelite grounds.  Thank you Bishop Farrell for this very gracious gesture.

I will miss Vicki a great deal.  I had not seen her since March when Michael Voris came but I’m going to miss her a lot.  What can I say about Vicki?  She was an awesome person to work with and one of the nicest, most generous women – persons – I’ve ever met.  She was a genuine Christian, and tried very hard to be so.  She gave and gave and gave, and cared so very much about the Church that she found late in her life.  She wanted so very much for the Church to be what it claimed to be in word and deed – for all the members of the Body of Christ to live the Faith, especially those who have been given the awesome gift – and responsibility – as pastors for souls.  That was Vicki’s consuming goal the last several years of her life, and she gave of herself tirelessly towards that goal.  She was an inspiration to me, and I pray many others, in how she expended so much of what she had – truly, great amounts of time, talent, and treasure in quantities that put most others to shame.  Vicki was also the rare individual to look back on her life and very openly discuss the things she had done wrong, the mistakes she had made, in order to try to share her wisdom with others to keep them from making the same mistakes.  That is not an easy thing to do.

One funny story about Vicki, about whom I cried when I was at Adoration this morning.  A couple of years ago, when the Life and Liberty Radio Show was still on Saturday afternoons, Vicki was really mad at Bishop Farrell about the heretical speakers who were streaming into the Diocese to give Lenten retreats.  This was an incredible offense to Vicki – how could the Bishop allow new age sisters like Joyce Rupp or manifest heretics like Dr. Rick Gaillardetz into the Diocese to preach Lenten – Lenten – retreats?!  So, she got a sandwich board made that said something like “Bishop Farrell, stop these terrible retreats” or something and went down to the Cathedral and walked back and forth in front – I think she may have had a bullhorn, but I’m not sure – castigating Bishop Farrell for not stopping these conferences.  There was some event at the Cathedral that day, and I think Bishop Farrell saw her and really, really wished she wasn’t there.   She later gave me that sandwich board, which I didn’t do anything with, but I should have.  I think I may still have it in storage.  But that was Vicki – she would do almost anything to stop the decay in the Church and strive to restore this glorious Faith.  If every Diocese had a couple thousand Vicki’s, there wouldn’t be a crisis in the Church.

There is that old saying: “You don’t know what you’ve got, till it’s gone.”  I really feel that today. I can’t say I was an especially close friend of Vicki’s, but I was definitely one of her many, many friends, and I really miss her today.  I wish I could have gone to see her before she died, but the illness was so sudden and quick there really wasn’t time, and she really wanted to be left alone to die in peace, which I totally understand.  I will pray for her soul, though, every day for the rest of my life.  She will be missed.  She was really one of a kind.

I found some videos on Youtube, including some older ones I’d never seen before.  I pray that Vicki’s final suffering and her many good works were immensely pleasing to God and her temporal debt due to sin has already satisfied.  Nevertheless, I will pray.  Please don’t forget Vicki’s husband Jim and her son Andrew and the rest of her family in your prayers.  Poor Jim, whom my dad has known close to 40 years, is pretty broken up.

Here is a video with some photos from one of Vicki’s many radio broadcasts:

Here is another video from the radio show in the studio:

This is pretty neat – I would guess this video is from 15-20 years ago:

I can’t believe she’s gone.  Vicki had so much life.