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On the radio tonight! December 13, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, fun, General Catholic.
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I’m back tonight with another episode of the awesome, fantastic, “you can’t live without it!” Salve Regina Radio at 9pm CST.  No guest tonight, but I should have one next week.  You can listen live here!  Or, anytime after the fact!  Thank you so much for listening!

The Economist asks a question…… December 13, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, error, General Catholic, Glory, Latin Mass, Liturgy, scandals, secularism.
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……so many of us have asked ourselves. Did the Church take a wrong turn 50 years ago?   This question was asked at the end of a short article describing the Traditionalist resurgence in the Church. The article is particularly interesting in how it gets certain basic things right that so many sexular pagan media organs just can’t seem to comprehend, while it also points out some truths that even many conservative Catholics refuse to countenance. Some highlights (my emphasis and comments):Holy Souls Mass.jpg

SINCE the Second Vatican Council in 1962, the Roman Catholic church has striven to adapt to the modern world. But in the West—where many hoped a contemporary message would go down best—believers have left in droves. Sunday mass attendance in England and Wales has fallen by half from the 1.8m recorded in 1960; the average age of parishioners has risen from 37 in 1980 to 52 now. In America attendance has declined by over a third since 1960. Less than 5% of French Catholics attend regularly, and only 15% in Italy. Yet as the mainstream wanes, traditionalists wax. [I don’t know where they got their figures, but Sunday Mass attendance has fallen by much more than a third.  I think they meant 2/3. And even that is understating reality badly.  By my own calculations, going from the numbers of parishioners various parishes claim, and their actual Sunday Mass attendance, the average in the northern part of the Dallas Diocese is more like 10-15%.]

Take the Latin mass, dumped by the Vatican in 1962 for liturgies in vernacular languages. In its most traditional form, the priest consecrates the bread and wine [Body and Blood] in a whisper with his back to the congregation: anathema to those who think openness is the spirit of the age. But Father John Zuhlsdorf, an American priest and blogger, says it challenges worshippers, unlike the cosy liberalism of the regular services. “It is not just a school assembly,” he says. [OK, that’s not much justification for an ancient practice, one with enormous theology behind it.  In point of fact, the turning around of the priest was the single most destructive act the revolutionaries were able to force on the Liturgy]Saint Padre Pio_-1

Others share his enthusiasm. The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales, started in 1965, now has over 5,000 members. The weekly number of Latin masses is up from 26 in 2007 to 157 now. In America it is up from 60 in 1991 to 420. At Brompton Oratory, a hotspot of London traditionalism, 440 flock to the main Sunday Latin mass. That is twice the figure for the main English one. Women sport mantillas (lace headscarves). Men wear tweeds.

But it is not a fogeys’ hangout: the congregation is young and international. Like evangelical Christianity, traditional Catholicism is attracting people who were not even born when the Second Vatican Council tried to rejuvenate the church. [The average of those who assist at Mass at the local TLM parish is probably 15 years younger than any other parish I have been to.  For one, there are far, far more children. But even among the adults, there is a majority in their 20s, 30s, and 40s.]

The return of the old rite causes quiet consternation among more modernist Catholics. [Hmmmm…….even a secular organ like the Economist, a very liberal organ, is able to recognize in the progressive wing of the Chuch more than a little modernism.  In point of fact, that wing is modernist, period]  Timothy Radcliffe, once head of Britain’s Dominicans, sees in it “a sort of ‘Brideshead Revisited’ nostalgia”. [B as in B, S as in S. So, I’m nostalgic?  How so?  I wasn’t even Catholic 15 years ago. I was born years after the Council ended, after the Nervous Urdu was introduced.  I’m attracted to the beauty, the reverence, the theological wholeness, the overwhelming Grace that flows through the Latin Mass.  There are many more reasons, but I’ve come to be deeply, deeply attached to the traditional Mass] The traditionalist revival, he thinks, is a reaction against the “trendy liberalism” of his generation. [No, it’s a reaction against the destructive modernism “of his generation” that has devastated the Church.  I love the TLM and all the other timeless traditions of the Faith because THEY ARE GOOD FOR MY SOUL.  That’s it] Some swings of pendulums may be inevitable. But for a church hierarchy in Western countries beset by scandal and decline, the rise of a anchoressIatraditionalist avant-garde is unsettling. Is it merely an outcrop of eccentricity, or a sign that the church took a wrong turn 50 years ago?

Well, that’s the question, isn’t it.  And I don’t think it’s really even a question – the Church DID take a wrong turn 50 years ago, a horrible, nightmarish turn, and the fruit is plain to see: Mass attendance collapsed, number of active Catholic collapsed, very sharp drop in all kinds of vocations (marriage, priesthood, religious), church donations plummeting – by any objective measure, the changes implemented in the Church have had the exact opposite effect from that promised.  The revolution was sold as harbinging a “new springtime,” but what we have experienced is the coldest winter in history.   The only question to my mind is the extent to which the Council itself brought about this winter of suffering and despair, rather than the false spirit that we know did much of the damage.

But it’s more than just the Traditional Latin Mass that attracts people.  If one is blessed to find a vibrant traditional parish, one is exposed to an entirely different culture, a radically different form of existence.  At these still relatively few parishes, the Faith dominates the life of virtually all who belong.  One’s life tends to begin to orbit around the star of the parish.  This is how life was for almost all faithful Catholics for most of the history of the Church.  But now, only small pockets of such remain.  But we are incredibly blessed to have even these pockets, given the revolution that has shaken the Church to its very foundations in these past few decades. I pray they continue to grow, and more and more souls seek out these parishes that I have found have a way to transform your whole existence.


Harsh pro-life postcards December 13, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, disaster, error, General Catholic, horror, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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I’m down with this, generally. I think people need to see the reality of abortion, especially young people. I don’t know if there is an acceptable age, or not, to show these kinds of things to kids, but I do know that once you do, 90% of the time you’ve made a pro-life convert for life. Most kids don’t have the baggage of adults. They haven’t lied to themselves enough times to degrade or destroy their moral compass. They know evil when they see it (and if a 12 year old can’t see this as evil, it’s because they’ve already been exposed to enough horror to harden them, which usually means some form of soul-destroying abuse).

Having said all that……..do you think it’s OK to stuff these in kids locker rooms at middle or high schools without their permission, as Jill Stanek discusses this Canadian group doing?  I’m almost on board with this, but maybe some folks will come up with some good reservations to doing so.  It would seem there would be a need to be extremely cautious in this kind of activity – some schools may have policies against such a thing, and furthermore, there are sure to be some pro-abort parents lose their minds over finding their son or daughter bringing home something like this:



One thing that blows me away, and I’ve seen it many times, is parents dragging their kids into a mill for an abortion. I once saw a girl, about 12, in her little girl jammies…….pregnant……and her mom taking her into the mill to have an abortion.  She said her former boyfriend raped her daughter…….(even if the story is true……so often these women lie constantly) so kill your grandchild?  More common is the 15-17 year old looking rather scared and sheepish being led in by an obviously angry, Type-A parent, frequently after having arrived in a late model Lexus or BMW.  I’ll never understand, no matter the circumstances, the mentality that would lead a grandparent to kill their grandchild.

You can buy these post cards here.  I think they’re pretty impressive.

The certainty of death December 13, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, religious, Saints, Virtue.
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One thing I am really loving about these Ascetical Works by St. Alphonsus de Liguori, is that each volume contains a compendium at the beginning that encapsulates the prior volume.  So, in reading the beginning of Vol. 2 of the Ascetical Works, The Way of Salvation and Perfection, I also get a brief overview of the contents of Vol. 1, Preparation for Death.  Since I haven’t been able to find a good copy of Preparation for Death (at a reasonable price), it’s nice to have this included in the volume I do have.

This explains why the excerpts I’ve posted so far from The Way of Salvation and Perfection are dealing with death.  Now we go to Meditation IV, The Certainty of Death:

We must die!  How awful is the decree!  We must die! The sentence is passed: It is appointed for all men once to die (Heb 9:27). Thou art a man and thou must die. St. Cyprian says that we are born with a rope around our necks, and as long as we live on earth we hourly approach the gallows, that is, the sickness that puts an end to our life. It would be madness for any one to delude himself with the idea that he shall not die. [And yet, our escapist culture seeks to deny death at every turn.  Priests have related to me stories of people on their death beds, gravely ill, who refuse Absolution and Last Rites because they force themselves to believe that they will recover, that death does not approach.  And then we have the sickness in our culture that when a person does die, no matter how long it has been since they darkened the door of a church, no matter how dissolute a life they led, that they are instantly canonized. We try to hide form death by filling our minds with all manner of distractions, but death comes for all]  A poor man may flatter himself that he may become rich, or a vassal that he may be a king; but who can ever hope to escape death? On dies old, another young, but all at last must come to the grave.

I therefore msut one day die and enter eternity. But what will be my lot for eternity? Happy or miserable? My Savior Jesus, be Thou a Savior to me!

Of all those who were living upon the earth at the beginning of the last century, not one is now alive. The greatest and most renowned princes of this world have exchanged their country; scarcely does there remain any remembrance of them, and their bare bones are hardly perserved in stone monuments.  [it is among the elites of our time, and probably most other times, that the denial of the reality of death is often strongest]

Make me, O God, more and more sensible of the folly of loving the goods of this world, and for the sake of them renouncing Thee, my Sovereign and Infinite Good. What folly have I not been guilty of; and how much it grieves me! I give Thee thanks for having made me sensible of it.

A hundred years hence, at most, and neither you nor I will be any longer in this world; both will have gone into the house of eternity. A day, an hour, a moment, is approaching which will be the last both for you and me; and this hour, this moment, is already fixed by Almighty God; how then can we think of anything else but of loving God, who will then be our Judge?

Alas! what will my death be? O my Jesus and my Judge! what will become of me when I shall have to appear before Thee to give an account of my whole life? Pardon me, I beseech Thee, but before that moment arrives which will decide my happiness or misery for eternity. I am sorry for having offended Thee, my Sovereign Good.  Hitherto I have not loved Thee; but now I will love Thee with my whole soul. Grant me the Grace of perserverance. O Mary, refuge of sinners, have pity on me!

Video experiment – High Mass for OLG December 13, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Our Lady, priests, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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I have been meaning to shoot and upload some videos to the blog. I wanted to share the Traditional Latin Mass with people. I tried this a bit last night, and uplaoded the videos to Youtube. This was just a first pass, the videos are short and not real good, but I figured out some things that will make this effort work much smoother in the future.

The following were taken at the High Mass offered for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at the local parish administered by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP). They include excerpts of the Gradual and Gospel:

I know, it’s short.  The next one is longer:

I pray I’ll get better at this as time goes by.  I did this the lazy way last night, keeping the videos small enough that I could send via e-mail (there being a 5 Mb limit for attachments).  But in the future I can shoot higher res and longer videos and transfer them via hard wire.

The Mass setting/music was wonderful last night. I’m not certain what setting they used, but it was not plain chant, it was more elaborate.  Maybe someone will clue me in, I’m pretty lost when it comes to Church music, only knowing what I like, not what it’s called!

Last night we also had Compline and then a solemn betrothal between an engaged couple.  Catholic culture, it is so beautiful…….it can only be by chastisement that we lost it.