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Impurity is a punishment for pride May 10, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, scandals, self-serving, sexual depravity, Society.
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I heard some great lines in a sermon today. I don’t think this sermon will make it on Audio Sancto. But I jotted down just a few of the more memorable statements, because I think they help diagnose the enormous collapse of morality in our society.  The lines were:

  • Impurity is a punishment for pride
  • Chastity is a reward for humility
  • Pride makes us turn inward, and the more we turn inward, the more prideful we become

In our present culture, there is probably no more rampant grave sin than unchastity.  Whether it’s porn use, self-abuse, actual infidelity, serial divorce and remarriage, fornication, or just plain ogling members of the opposite sex (which seems rampant even among females these days), the number of people lost in sins of unchastity are enormous, and still growing.  The statistics are damning: a majority of American women now look at porn regularly, whether married or not. For men, the number who use porn weekly is well over 80%, and that is likely under-reported.  Actual physical infidelity (as opposed to infidelity involving only self-abuse) is skyrocketing, with almost half of all married women now reporting they have made a lie of their wedding vows at least once in their married lives.  I don’t think I even need to go into the others: suffice it to say, almost half the babies born in this country are now born out of wedlock.

I don’t think I need to write much about the statements above. I think my good readers can figure out how impurity stems from pride, and how pride and selfishness tend to feed on themselves, until one becomes, by almost imperceptible steps, a moral monster.  It used to be that things like adultery could get one totally barred from “polite” society, but if such rules were reimposed suddenly today, the number of the polite would be quite small, I’m afraid. Porn used to be something one only found in seedy parts of town (and before that, it was very, very difficult to find), but now its available anytime in virtually any home.  And people literally raised by TV and narcissism-feeding advertising messages don’t have the moral framework to overcome the now multiplicitous temptations.  There is little question in my mind, that rampant porn use tends to lead to adultery and/or fornication, those lead to divorce or babies out of wedlock, which tend to breed more little unhappy narcissists, etc., etc. Societal suicide, by small steps.  Someone should write all this down, to preserve the knowledge so that a future society won’t fall into the same traps we have.

But it all starts with the ultimate narcissism: that we may be as gods.  That is the chief conceit of this age, that God either does not exist, or that if He does, he certainly wouldn’t be so mean and judgy as to condemn someone as wonderful as I am.  Sadly, you can find reinforcement for such beliefs in almost every Catholic Church in this country today.  Disbelief in hell is just another form of pride, a way of telling each other how wondeful we are.

Which reminds me of what I thought the instant the priest said “impurity is a punishment for pride.”  My mind immediately jumped to Martin Luther, his titanic pride (which existed long before his fall into apostasy and schism), and his serial unchastity.  Father Luther loved the table, he loved the bar, and he really loved the bar wench.  But he was wracked with guilt, but primarily over the latter.  So what does a prideful man do when he’s confronted by a sin his pride prevents him from overcoming?  He invents a proud new religion!  A religion which conveniently eliminated moral behavior as a necessity for salvation!

It would be funny, if so many souls weren’t at stake.

The Saints, the Blesseds, the suffering souls, and you May 10, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in attachments, Basics, catachesis, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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I’ve been reading Mundabor’s blog more and more of late, and I like it quite a bit. He had a very good post on Sainthood, the different categories of those who are in the process of canonization, why some people get canonized more quickly than others, etc.  It’s a great post, but it did raise a few questions I’d like to address in line.  I hope Mundabor does not mind if I copy most of his post here (I add emphasis and comments):

I’d like here to give some very short explanations in bullet points, in the hope that in the coming months some non-Catholics may end up here and get some benefit from them and that Catholics may get some points to give explanations if and when required.542762_571355846207931_1756857327_n

1) Everyone who is in paradise is a saint. Everyone. Angels are saints, the Holy Innocents are saints, etc.

2) Normally we cannot know whether someone is in Paradise. When the neighbour dies we know that he is either in hell, or in purgatory, or in paradise. Purgatory is widely believed to be the most frequent occurrence at death, but no one really knows. In Catholicism, individual certainty of someone’s destination is a sin of presumption, unless one believes one’s own private revelation (say: an apparition); indirectly, he can draw a big amount of confidence from the truth of a credible revelation to someone else (say: Saint Padre Pio’s well-known hours-long mystical vision of Pope Pius XII in Heaven on the day of his death). ” I believe that John Lennon is in Paradise because he wrote such beautiful music” does not qualify. [Funny. But I must remind that it is the solemn duty – DUTY – of every Catholic to pray for all the faithful departed as if they are in Purgatory.  They may have flown to Heaven, but that is going to be very rare, in actuality.  They may be damned, but we pray that is not the case. For most of us, a good period of time in Purgatory is likely.  So pray for all the faithful, and they will later pray for you!]

3) Catholic theology says that those in purgatory cannot effect intercessory prayer for those on earth, but those on earth can do the same for the souls in purgatory; on the other hand the saints can pray and intercede for those on earth, but not for those in purgatory.  Notice the “circle” of prayer here, with saints being able only to help those on earth, who themselves are the only ones who can help those in purgatory. In this way there is a beautiful solidarity, a chain of love or if you prefer a “prayer cooperative”. This common destiny and common purpose uniting every good Catholic (souls in hell aren’t catholic, and can’t be helped) is called by the Church “communion of saints”. [This is the section I question a bit. I know the souls in Purgatory cannot pray for themselves, but I thought they could pray for us, still. And I had never heard that the Saints cannot pray for those in Purgatory – that doesn’t make much sense to me. Anyone have an authoritative response, quoting a Father, Doctor, etc?]

4) As a consequence, a Catholic will need some clues to know those to whom he can pray for intercession knowing that they will actually hear their prayer and be able to intercede for them. [Again, I’m not sure the souls in Purgatory cannot pray for us!  But it is more efficacious to have a Saint 201203-saint-teresa-margaretinterceding in Heaven, close to the Throne, as it were, rather than souls in Purgatory. So, we definitely need to know who those fortunate souls are]  He can obviously ask Christ or the Blessed Virgin directly, but the beauty of the communion of saints is in the mutual giving and receiving help like members of a loving family. Therefore, one may prefer to ask a person particularly dear to him to help him and to intercede for him by Christ. In order to do so, he’d be helped if he knew, instead of hoped, that the relevant person is really a saint, that is, is really in heaven. Mind, though, that no Catholic is forbidden to ask for the intercession of someone of whom he thinks that he is very probably in heaven.

5) God helps this system of “prayer cooperative” by making known that the one or the other actually is in heaven. He does so by linking a miracle to this person. With one miracle one can be declared Blessed, with two he can be declared a Saint. Notice that here the “s” is capitalised. [I agree!]  Whether the miracle has occurred is decided – after an always careful and generally lengthy process – by a Vatican “ministry”, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

6) Whilst the miracle is God’s choice, the decision whether to declare the beatification or sainthood is the Pope’s choice and it is an eminently political one. A Pope might think a canonisation dangerous or politically not convenient (eg. because it could spark a wave of persecutions, as in Thomas More’s case; or a wave of slandering, as it is probably the case by Pope Pius XII), or he might not be persuaded himself that the work of the congregation was really good, 552468_508469082496608_930305339_nthat is: that the person is really in paradise.  He cannot “kill” the process though, merely let things rest. [I did not know that once a process of canonization had started, it could not be stopped. Interesting?]

7) One day, a Pope decides that the moment has come and a man or woman is ready to be declared Saint. His decision is inspired in the sense that God takes care that a Pope does not make mistakes in this matter*.  In the last centuries, this process was very slow and people canonised were people who had lived a couple of centuries before, but there always were exceptions. The late Pope John Paul II was himself of the opinion that canonisations (and beatifications, comes to that) of recently deceased people were the best choice, because their memory is still well alive among the faithful. This was the thinking followed in the first thirteen centuries or so, with some canonisations being really, really fast (think of St. Francis: death on the 3 October 1226; canonisation on the 16th July 1228).  [A healthy reminder, when some see scandal in the fast-track canonizations of certain popular individuals]

8) Coming back to 6), the beatifications or canonisations of particularly popular people have always been relatively uncomplicated, whilst those pertainingalphonsuscross.jpg to politically sensitive people have been, or are being, slower. But be assured that Thomas More and Pope Pius XII do not care in the least for that. There is no race to be canonised first and the speed of canonisation is no indication whatsoever of the “ranking” among saints. This is important in order to understand that calls of “santo subito”, particularly when angry or expressing a demand rather than a wish, are not really Catholic and are more suitable to football stadiums.

9) Once a Pope has taken his decision about a canonisation, every Catholic is bound by it*. A Catholic rejoices for every canonisation not only because of the happy news, but because he knows that many people will be drawn to Christ through the canonisation of the person they love.

—————————-End Quote———————-

Mundabor points out, with the star in number 9, that Catholics are not bound to believe the Blessed’s are in Heaven, but only that it is “worthy of belief” that they are.

What do you think about the souls in Purgatory? Can they pray for us?  And can the Saints pray for them?

IRS targeted conservative, tea party groups during ’12 election May 10, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Dallas Diocese, disaster, error, General Catholic, persecution, scandals, self-serving, sickness, Society.
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Big surprise!  A little jaunt into political matters, but I have no doubt that within my lifetime, much if not all conservative speech and even thought will be illegal in this country.  If you had told me that 20 years ago, I would not have believed you. But now these things are treated just as a matter of fact.  “Why, of course we unfairly targeted and persecuted tea party groups, why would we not?”

The Internal Revenue Service apologized Friday for subjecting Tea Party groups to additional scrutiny during the 2012 election, but denied any political motive.

Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS unit that oversees tax-exempt groups, said organizations that included the words “tea party” or “patriot” in their applications for tax-exempt status were singled out for additional reviews. Her remarks, which came at an American Bar Association gathering, were first reported by the Associated Press.

Lerner said the practice, initiated by low-level workers in Cincinnati, was wrong.

“It was an error in judgment, and it was not appropriate, But that’s what they did,” Lerner told reporters afterward. She declined to talk about how many employees were involved and whether there would disciplinary action. “I think they were insensitive, or less sensitive than they should have been.”

The error, she said, was in assuming that any group with “tea party” or “patriot” in its name necessarily needed more scrutiny for political activity just because of its name. About 300 groups that had applied for tax-exempt status were put into a “bucket” of cases needing further scrutiny, and of those, about a quarter had tea party affiliations.

That problem was compounded when examiners asked more intrusive questions in what’s known as a “development” process. “Some of the development letters that were send were far to broad and include things like asking for the organization’s donor list, which is not generally what we do,” Lerner said.

Since the problem was discovered sometime last year, the IRS has approved about 130 of the original 300 applications, and about 25 have been withdrawn.

Approved, a year after it would have done any good?!  Gee, THANKS!  Over half have still been denied their applications.  Why are they still being persecuted, if this was all a “mistake?”

And you can see how the media’s constant villification of all the opponents of their dark lord and savior pays off.  No, I’m not talking about his skin color.  Have the media turn conservatives into some kind of radical terrorist organization, then use the organizations to persecute, prosecute, or just abolish those organizations so declared. Remember how Janet Napolitano declared that Catholics, pro-lifers, gun-rights advocates, etc, etc., the whole panoply of conservative causes, were dangerous, and placed them on a sort of terrorism watch list?  This is just one, of many, results.

As I said the other day, America, I’m ashamed of you.  You’d rather watch honey boo boo and all the other trash (Good Lord, I was exposed to some morning talk/titillation show on a UHF channel the other day…..uff da, just garbage) than spend 5 minutes figuring what this Obama creature is. So long as the checks keep rolling in, I suppose.

If any of you think Benghazi is going to hurt this president in the slightest, you’re sorely mistaken.