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You will be either saved, or lost – Liguori January 30, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in attachments, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Our Lady, priests, Saints, sanctity, Virtue.
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I love St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.   Such an incredible Saint.  Here is Meditation LII of The Way of Salvation and Perfection, The Certainty of Being Either Saved or Lost:

With fear and trembling, saith the Apostle, work out your salvation (Phil 2:12). In order to be saved we should tremble lest we be lost, for there is no medium; we must be either saved or lost forever. He who trembles not is in great danger of being lost, because he takes but little care to employ the means of obtaining salvation. God desires that all should be saved, and he gives to all his Grace; but He requires that all should cooperate for this end. All desire to be saved; many, because they will not employ the means of salvation, are lost. [How many!  A great many?!?  You are either advancing in faith and sanctification, or you are receding!  There is no standing still. Do more!  Always strive to do more in your spiritual life!] St. Philip Neri used to say, “Heaven is not made for the slothful.”

Enlighten me, O Lord, that I may know what I ought to do, and what to avoid, for I desire to do all that Thou requirest of me. I am determined, by Thy Grace, to save my soul.

St. Teresa of Jesus said to her religious, “One soul, my daughters, one eternity!” She meant that in this world we ought not to attend to anything but to the savlation of our souls; because if the soul be lost, all will be lost;’ and if once lost, will be lost forever. Benedict XII, being asked by a prince for a favor that he could not grant without committing sin, answered the ambassador: “Tell your prince that if I had two souls I would give him one; but as I have only one, I cannot consent to lose it for his sake.” Thus should we answer the devil or the world when they offer us forbidden fruit.

O God! How have I lost my soul by forfeiting Thy Grace! But since Thou offerest meThy pardon, I destest all the offences I have committed against Thee, and love Thee above all things.

Would that we were fully impressed with the meaning of that great maxim of St. Francis Xavier, “There is but one evil, and there is but one good in the world.” The only evil is damnation, the only good, salvation. No, poverty, infirmity, ignominies are not evils; these when embraced with resignation will increase our glory in Heaven. On the other hand, riches, and honors are not goods for too many Christians, because they become to them greater occasion of losing their souls. [We must always remember Christ’s love for the poor. We must always remember how we will be judged. We will be asked if we fed the hungry, clothed the naked, etc. But at the same time, I fear many in the Church today have made an “evil” out of poverty. An evil that must be destroyed, to the extent that it becomes almost the sole, or at least dominant, concern of the Church. But Christ solemnly promised “the poor you will always have with you.” Poverty and sickness can be great vehicles of sanctification, if they are embraced as such. That is why at many Novus Ordo Masses I get distinctly uncomfortable when I hear imprecatory prayers that ask our Lord to “end” poverty, or do away with sickness, etc.  Those things could be what ticket to salvation for some!  And we ought to hear far more about how our riches make it so difficult to enter Heaven. I, and so many others, are a bunch of spoiled, over-comfortable, demanding, impatient, vice-filled brats. I pray I may learn to be much happier with much less] 

Save me, then, O God! And do with me what Thou pleasest. Thou knowest and willest what is best for me. I abandon myself to Thy mercy: into thy hands, Lo Lord, I commend my spirit (Ps 30:6). I am so sorry for having been hitherto opposed to Thy Will, as to die to expiate my offences; but now I love Thee, and will nothing but what Thou willest. Grant me Thy love, that I may be faithful to Thee. And Mary, give me thy powerful assistance.

—————————-End Quote———————–

Oh, Lord, please bless Your Church with dozens hundreds more men like St. Alphonsus in your episcopate!  At the same time! Now!  Please, Lord!  I know we are probably getting what we deserve, but have mercy on us!  Give us better, much better, infinitely better than we deserve!


In case you were wondering January 30, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin.
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On that Fr. Corapi post, the comment window has timed out. I have a 5 day limit on comments, because older posts seem to attract more spam. And on a few occasions paleo-commenters have cussed or otherwise mussed up the place. So, I’m not trying to terminate discussion, but I don’t feel like changing the comment window, either. I think the subject was pretty well played out, anyway.

Do you believe it? Bishops claim they are willing to go to jail over HHS Mandate January 30, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, episcopate, error, General Catholic, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society.
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Should I go to Confession for failing to hold proper respect for the office of bishop if I’m rather skeptical of the claims below? LifeSiteNews interviewed some prelates on the issue of how far they would be willing to go to oppose the HHS Mandate, and were told by several they’d go so far as prison to…….ummmmm…….defend religious liberty:

As the Obama administration and the U.S. Bishops remain locked in battle over the HHS mandate, the question on the minds of many observers is: what lengths are the bishops willing to go to to oppose the mandate?

The prelates LifeSiteNews spoke to after the Vigil Mass for Life in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 24th indicated that they intend to do everything they can to oppose the mandate, including risking imprisonment if necessary…..

……”I would be willing to go to jail in defense of religious liberty,” said Bishop Alexander Sample of Marquette, Michigan, who was appointed Archbishop of Portland, Oregon on Jan. 29th.

He stressed that the bishops are exploring all of the options with the assistance of “sound moral theologians” to “see what is the most practical but effective way to oppose the mandate.”

“We will not simply roll over and accept the mandate,” he insisted. “We have to fight for our religious liberty and we’ll take it as far as we can.”

Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh also said he is willing to go to jail if need be. “We can’t compromise on the principles,” he told LifeSiteNews.

If it gets rough “all we have to do is look back at our history. Take a look at the saints who defended our faith and that’s what it’s about,” he said.

Bishop Zubik explained that he has been praying for “a conversion of heart on behalf of our president,” but said “if that doesn’t happen then I think it’s imperative that I accept the guidance of the Holy Spirit.”..

…..Though all the bishops across the country have opposed the mandate, which forces employers to cover abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilizations, many are reluctant to speculate on how they will respond going forward.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. is one who instead has stressed that the bishops hope they can reach an agreement with the administration.

LifeSiteNews asked the Cardinal about the mandate during a media availability before the Mass for Life at the Verizon Center on Jan. 25th, the day of the March for Life.

“We are very hopeful that as time goes on and our conference continues to work with the administration, that something will allow us to continue to function as we always have, as a free entity freely exercising our ministry in our country,” he said.

Pressed about what the bishops will do if the mandate goes forward, he said, “We take this one day at a time, and I’m hopeful that we’re going to be able to resolve this.”

I’ve already written about the great problems involved in framing this persecution as one of “religious liberty” as opposed to one of being forced to commit a grave moral evil. But the bishops have collectively decided – for decades, I’m afraid – that they are not interested in challenging the laity on their mass contraceptive use. So, they are using the “religious liberty” tactic, even though, were some bizaare cult persecuted for animal sacrifice, the Church would then logically have to support their right to “religious liberty,” too.

I suppose it’s this displaced focus, and years of experience, that make me a bit doubtful that we’d see many bishops in orange jumpsuits and handcuffs.  The bishops haven’t been willing to preach against contraception, by and large, for decades, in spite of the fact that they know millions of Catholics are committing grave sin through contraceptive use every day. I’m also a bit skeptical because we continue to see other examples of bishops failing to firmly uphold moral standards or Church Doctrine in so many other areas.  How many bishops condemn porn use? Or speak out against the divorce culture and even the abuses of the tribunal system?   I pray for bishops to do so constantly, but I’m afraid I don’t see the great wellspring of courage to suffer evidenced in many of our current episcopate. But, prayer and Grace can work miracles.

Then there is the whole abuse crisis. How many falsely accused priests have been thrown under the bus, not just to keep a bishop out of jail, but even to keep bishops from being mildly inconvenienced or the diocesan finances somewhat affected by legal bills?  Isn’t that how the entire Dallas policy was construed? Fr. George David Byers has had a running string of posts on this subject for months, btw.

What do you think?  Do you think we’d see many bishops go to jail over the HHS mandate?  My belief is that the bishops are praying the courts will solve this problem for them. I think they’re probably right, but if they’re not, then what?  Do you see any bishop standing so firm in his opposition, refusing to implement the contracptive mandate, that he’d be willing to go to jail?  Even if there is one or two willing to do so, do you think it would be more than a handful?

I pray this all gets resolved well before we get to that point. I pray the persecution of the Church stops. But if it doesn’t, I’ll be taking on some additional prayer and mortifications for the true faith, courage, and zeal for our Church leadership. Perhaps that’s how I should have framed this post – as one imploring more prayers for our bishops. I’m out of time for the day, perhaps tomorrow I’ll totally re-write it.

St. Alphonsus de Liguori on St. Francis de Sales January 30, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, error, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, religious, Saints, sanctity, Virtue.
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When one Doctor of the Church talks about another, you know it’s going to be good (and the source for this is the great new TLM magazine Laudamus Te):

Great was the faith of St. Francis de Sales. Such was his delight when he thought of the beauty and excellence of Faith, that he was heard to exclaim, “Oh my God, the beauty of our holy Faith appears to be so delightful that I could die for love for it, and it seems to me that I ought to enclose this precious gift which God has bestowed upon me, in a heart full of the sweetest perfumes of devotion.” Hence he was never satisfied with giving God thanks for having blessed him with the favor of being born a child of the True Church: “O bountiful God,” said he, “great inded are the favors by which Thou hast bound me to Thee’ but how shall I ever sufficiently thank Thee for having enlightened me with the true Faith?” And he declared that, although he constantly had so much to do with heretics, he had never once doubted in the least of the truth of his Faith. They who love God never doubt in matters of Faith,: it is only those who do not live according to the dictates of their Faith who doubt of its Truths. [I think this is very true. And I have read a great many Saints who commented on the converse of this: Liguori himself, Aquinas, and Jerome, all stated that public heresy is almost always driven by some sin, some lust or greed or pride that separates one from Grace – at least It’s fulness – and leads to souls developing a loathing for the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church. Thus, they apostasize in order to rationalize or justify, in their minds, their private (or even public) sin]

Great also was the Hope of St. Francis. He was always firmly convinced that God continually watches over our welfare, and hence he was always calm and intrepid in the midst of the greatest dangers. In the very dangers which threatened his designs for the glory of God, he never lost confidence. And this he always endeavored to instill into others. On one occasion he is related to have said to a timid soul: “Do you desire to belong entirely to God? Why, then, do you fear on account of your weakness? Do you hope in God? And shall he who hopes in God be ever confounded? Be not afraid of your fears.” He who loves God much, confides much in Him. Love always cuts off fear.

Holy Saint, since thou art now in Heaven loving Jesus face to Face, obtain for me the Grace to love Him, as thou didst love Him in thy lifetime.


My bad experiences with Autom January 30, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, General Catholic, silliness, Society.
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I don’t know if any readers have much familiarity with the Catholic supply house Autom, but I have bought from them a few times, and I have had now several very bad experiences.  I really don’t recommend buying from them at all. In my experience, they use deceptive pricing, what they sell is of mediocre or low quality, and their customer service is very poor.

I bought some incense from Autom maybe 18 months ago. It was supposed to be frankinscence, myrrh, basic stuff.  I have also bought incense from the Carmelite Hermits of Christoval. Thre is no comparison whatsoever in the quality.  The incense from the Carmelites is everything it should be  – aromatic, long lasting, slow smoking/burning, etc.  It’s real incense.  The stuff from Autom – I don’t know what it is.  It’s like cheap chemical Indian “incence” mixed into strange brown shapes. Most of it smells so awful you can’t stand it. I’ve had to basically throw away most of what I got. The “frankinscence” is the best, and it is only mildly tolerable. I still use that occasionally, but it makes some of my kids sneeze. I should stop being stubborn and just throw it all away.  All of it burns like a house afire and lasts about 30 seconds.

More recently, I thought I’d try again. Candlemas is coming up, and a month ago I ordered some cases of candles so we’d be really well equipped with a bunch of blessed candles for the year. Autom was selling, ostensibly, 288 or 576 votive candles for around $70.  So, I placed my order, but when I got them about a week and a half ago, I only got 72 of the 288 qty, and 144 of the 576 qty. I called them right then, and they promised they would make good the rest of my order. But I still hadn’t gotten them, so I called them back and I was told I’d have to pay 3x $70 for both to get the remaining qty. I expressed my dismay at that, stating that the catalog showed that you would get 288 for a larger size and 576 for a small candle for a roughly $70 price. The website shows that the candles would ship 288 or 576 to a “case,” but I got one box of each and they only had the lower qty’s already mentioned. I finally think I got the service rep to agree to make good my shipment for no additional charge – which, there shouldn’t be – but who knows. I had already called once and been told they’d ship, now it’s too late, it’s very unlikely I’ll get them by Candlemas this Saturday.

Has anyone else had such negative experiences? I’ve got to say, I plan on never buying from them again.  If the deal is really $72 for 72 little votive candles, it’s a massive rip-off- I could get 50 votives at Walgreens right now for $6-7.  It only made sense to buy at the higher qtys, and then, really, only marginally so.  I’m done with them.  We’ve bought some other things I won’t go into, but the quality was pretty low.

And, yes, I’m a professional whiner.