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St. Augustine takes apart modern errors June 13, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Ecumenism, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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St. Augustine, the great Latin Doctor of the Church, may have passed to his eternal reward almost 1600 years ago, but his words are still with us today.  It is very interesting to me, that Augustine had to fight against the very same errors in his time, that we see so prevalent today.  There is no new error, only the 250950same old ones, recycled by different characters throughout history.  Even today’s modernism is, as Pope St. Pius X so cogently noted in his seminal encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis, nothing but the synthesis of all other heresies.

The early Church faced a problem very much like our own: how to convey the Faith to a culture that both thinks very a great deal of itself, and is implacably hostile towards the idea that there could be a universal, unchanging Truth.  The early Church won over the culture of their times by incredible practice of virtue and thorough knowledge of the Faith (even as they were working some bits out!).  So, I think Augustine’s words have a great deal of relevance for us, as well.  All quotes below taken from The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. III.

The first quote comes from The City of God and deals with heretics receiving the Blessed Sacrament:

“One bread and one body, we are many” (1Cor 10:17). He, then, that is in the unity of Christy’s Body, that is, in the structured Christian membership, the Sacrament of which body the faithful, communicating at the altar, are accustomed to receive, the same is truly said to eat the Body of Christ and to drink the Blood of Christ. And consequently heretics and schismatics, separated from the unity of this Body, are able to receive the same Sacrament, but with no benefit to themselves – indeed, more to their own harm, in that rather than being liberated more slowly they are judged the more severely. For they are not in the bond of peace, which is expressed by that Sacrament.vincenzofoppa_staugustine

The following deals with divorce and remarriage:

Men often raise the question of third and fourth and even more marriages. To answer briefly, I would say that I have not the audacity to condemn any number of marriages nor to minimize the shame of their frequency.

On the eternity of the afterlife, and conflating those who can’t believe God would be so “cruel” as to damn someone for all eternity:

“These will go into eternal fire; the just, however, into eternal life” (Mt 25:46). If mercy calls us to believe that the future punishment of the impious will not be punishment without end, what are we to believe abotu the reward of the righteous, when eternity is specified in both clauses in the same passage, in the same sentence, and with the same word? Or are we to say that even the j ust are going to fall away from that holiness and eternal life, into the uncleanness of sins and into death? Far be it from the soundness of Christian Faith! Both, for the reason that they are without end, are called eternal…..

st-augustine(1)From his Homilies on St. John. The first notes the critical point that ALL good that we do comes from God.  Those who deliberately reject God are therefore going to have a hard time doing true good works, although it is possible that some might receive truly gratuitous Grace to suit God’s Will:

No one has anything of his own except falsehood and sin. If any man has anything of truth and justice, it is from that fountain for which we ought to thirst in this desert, so that bedewed, as it were, by certain droplets thereof, and consoled betimes in this pilgrimage, lest we fall by the wayside, we might come at last to His rest and be satisfied.

“Do not be murmuring to each other; no one is able to come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draw him” (Jn 6:43-44).  A great attestation of Grace! No one comes unless he is drawn. He draws one, and another He does not draw. Do not try to judge why He draws one and does not draw another, if you do not wish to err. Accept it at once, and understand. You are not yet drawn? Pray that you may be drawn!…….

This next quote is a truly brilliant refutation of the pride at the root of modernism. Modernism is driven by a desire to KNOW God before souls will believe in Him.  As St. Augustine notes, it really has to work the other way:

What does He promise believers, brethren? “And you shall know the truth” (Jn 8:32). Why? Did they not come to know it when the saint_augustine_by_philippe_de_champaigneLord was speaking? If they did know, how did they believe? They did not believe because they knew, but they believed so that they might know. For we believe so that we may know, we do not know that we may believe……..For what is faith, except to believe what you do not see? Faith, therefore, is to believe what you do not see, truth is to see what you have believed.

The last quote I think sums up all the above. So many people spend so much time, money, and effort trying to prolong their life, without spending even the slightest bit of effort worrying about the afterlife. So many just assume they’re going to Heaven:

Everyone who sins, dies. Every man fears the death of the flesh, few the death of the soul. In regard to the death of the flesh, which without a doubt must someday come, all guard against its coming; that is the reason for their labors. Man, destined to die, labors to avert his dying, and yet man, destined to live in eternity, does not labor to avoid sinning.

And that defines our present culture perfectly.

I pray you find these quotes edifying, as I did!

Is it too self-serving to pray that our current shepherds be like St. Augustine in every possible way?  No way!

Cardinal George catches up to AD 1629 June 13, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, catachesis, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Holy suffering, persecution, sadness, secularism, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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Cardinal George, Cardinal Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Chicago, has made an amazing discovery!  Cardinal George has discovered that the United States of America is hostile to Catholics, to the point that there may even be a litmus test of sorts for Catholics in many areas of life (industry, politics, etc), thwhich would essentially bar Catholics from serving in those areas due to the beliefs of the Faith.  Shocking!  Such has only existed in this country since it’s founding.  Isn’t that why George Calvert, Lord Baltimore, petitioned to found the Maryland Colony, so that persecuted Catholics would be able to flee persecution in both the New World and Old, and practice the Faith in relative security?  Some of that persecution in the New World was worse than that in the Old, and one of the favorite tricks the Anglicans, Puritans, and others played on Catholics was to deny them the opportunity to work at any but the most menial of jobs, or to hold any kind of public office.

This country is merely returning to its historical roots:

Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George has questioned whether American Catholics might be subjected to a “religious test” when running for public office or seeking work at newspapers, universities, or hospitals.

In a column about the arguments over same-sex marriage, written for the archdiocesan newspaper, Catholic New World, Cardinal George warns against the expansion of government power in the name of “protection of individual rights.”  [Maybe we shouldn’t make an idol out of the false “rights” conveyed by the slatternly lady liberty?  Maybe the Church should be much more serious about condemning error, especially those errors that many claim came from the most recent council?] That expansion, he writes, threatens to banish religious principles from public life, and close the doors to Catholics who uphold the Church’s teaching. The cardinal writes:

Are we to have a religious test for public office [Are we?!?  Are you kidding?!  There has always been one!  Why else did John F. Kennedy have to basically publicly apostasize in order to have a chance to get elected (he didn’t, he stole the election, but that’s another story)?  What protestant presidential candidate has ever had to do so?  Maybe Bush 43, because the country has now gone from being hostile towards faithful Catholics, to any Christian who practices his faith in a serious manner]  that excludes Catholics serious about their faith from appointment to federal judgeships? Are Catholics who will not perform abortions to be excluded from medical school? Are Catholics to be unwelcome in the editorial offices of major newspapers, in the entertainment world, or on university faculties unless they put their faith aside?[Please! Outside a tiny handful of faithful Catholic colleges, it is virtually impossible for a faithful, orthodox Catholic academic to get even ja lectureship, let alone a tenure-track professorship, at a major catholyc university. I have spoken to many excellent STLs, etc., who have to work at parishes as DREs because no university will touch them, because they studied under an orthodox priest at the Angelicum, or whatever.  There is massive, horrific bias against orthodox Catholics in academia, at almost all Catholic universities. Especially Notre Shame, De Paul, and all the big name schools]  In short, what began as a political device to get elected to office in a Protestant society can be used more broadly to exclude Catholics from any position of influence in public life. If Catholics are to be closeted and marginalized in a secularized society, Catholic parents should prepare their children to be farmers,[I’d really, REALLY know what I was doing and have a very clear business model before I tried that] carpenters and craftsmen, small business people and workers in service industries, honorable occupations that do not, however, immediately impact public opinion. Is this the future? That’s a concern.

Sheesh! It’s the present!  Even when this country was still somewhat Christian, it was protestant Christian and always had strong hostility towards Catholics.  In the crazy period of the 60s, there was some flirtation between American culture and Catholics in terms of acceptance. American culture thought the Church might really repudiate it’s Dogmas at Vatican II.  Humanae Vitae completely ended that flirtation, in spite of thousands of high profile and millions of other Catholics who prostrate themselves before the culture, seeking that coveted (and lucrative) approbation.  Essentially, though, for a Catholic to be accepted by this culture, you have to be a manifest heretic, if not an out and out apostate.  It’s always been this way.thCAS620ZE

Which is why the Americanist heresy so promoted by Cardinal Gibbons and the concepts of “individual liberty” and “primacy of conscience” that have become so dominant in the Church over the past several decades have wreacked such havoc.  While these concepts are problematic (to put it mildly) in intent, they are disastrous practically speaking for they have been taken as a sign that the Church is willing to trade orthodoxy for a certain elitist cultural approval. That’s been the major driving force behind the apostasy in catholyc academia: the desire for those coveted (and $$$$) professorships and research grants and media positions and book deals and all the other glittering prizes the world offers, which the dominant culture offers.  Father Hesburgh of Notre Dame was the first major Catholic academic to start down this path in the early 60s, when he took money from the Population Council to start hiring heretic professors who rejected Church Doctrine on contraception, and firing orthodox professors who refused to cave in.  Catholic academia is the perfect example of where all this “academic freedom” leads: apostasy, misery, and oppressive groupthink.  If you want to know what America may well look like in 5o or 70 years, look at the operation of your average university.

One final note: Cardinal George seems to be describing a Catholic “ghetto” when he talks of limited occupational or educational opportunties, blockage of Catholic access to public office, etc.  The bishops of this country made a very concerted effort to dismantle the Catholic enclaves of this country in the 20th century and get Catholics both out int0, and accepted by, the mainstream.  It could be that effort was doomed at the start.  Christ Himself said His ways are not the world’s ways, and that men would always hate and attack Him and His followers.  I, for one, would be happy to live in a Catholic ghetto (which, in actuality, many traditional parishes essentially are), if it included all the benefits of truly Catholic existence and extirpated as many of the negative elements of the broader culture (and the post-conciliar Church) as possible.

California legislature passes bill allowing boys and girls to shower together? June 13, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, unadulterated evil.
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Oh good Lord, this is going to work out just splendidly.  We are rapidly becoming not just animalistic, but possessive of less decorum and restraint that certain brute beasts

Last week, the California Assembly (same as House of Representatives in most states) passed Assembly Bill 1266 by a 46-25 vote.  Currently, there are 54 Democrats, 25 Republicans and 1 vacancy.  All 46 votes for the bill were Democrats as no Republicans voted for in favor of the measure.

AB 1266 states that public schools cannot discriminate in any way concerning the sex of the student.  Both sexes are to have equal access to all offered courses, counseling and athletics.  Any student can try out for any sport, regardless of their sex.

But the kicker is this statement contained in the bill:

“SECTION 1.  Section 221.5 of the Education Code is amended to read:”

“(f) A pupil shall be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and facilities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.”

In other words, any boy who claims he is a girl, even though he is anatomically still a boy, would be allowed to use the same locker rooms and showers that the girls use.  On the opposite side, a girl claiming to be a boy but is still anatomically a girl would be allowed to shower with all the boys.  They don’t even have to be undergoing any form of sex change therapy, just say they are the opposite sex from what they really are and they can parade around in all their glory in either locker room or shower.[OK, at this point, any parent with a child in a California school that could be exposed to this disaster would be sinfully negligent not to remove their child from that school, or at least insure they take part in no activity where they would or could have a need to use these group sex showers.  Even then, the wanton immorality that is certain to surround this insanity will create such a highly oversexed and immoral environment that I really don’t know that a parent in good conscience could allow their child to remain in school.  Here’s another problem: many of these “confused” young people are avidly bi-sexual.]

Would it surprise you to learn that the bill’s author, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano is a Democrat and homosexual from San Francisco?  He is also heavily involved in LGBT activist groups. In 1975 Ammiano became the first public school teacher in San Francisco to publicly admit that he was a homosexual. [I’m shocked, shocked to learn this!  It would appear he wants to recreate the SanFran bathhouse scene in the public schools]

In some warped sense of logic, Ammiano believes that this bill doesn’t violate or pose a problem to anyone else’s rights. Defending his bill he said:

There’s no trampling of other people’s rights. There’s a recognition that other people have the same rights that you do. It’s also important to protect our children from prejudice.”

How about society’s and parent’s right not to expose their children to highly-charged sexual situations at an age where they are completely unprepared to deal with them?  If kids can be exposed to this at age 14 or whatever, why can’t they buy porn?  How about preserving even a shred of modesty and restraint?  Why do these people seem utterly unsatisfied until everyone gives their approvel to 5 year olds rutting in the streets like animals.  Can people not see the real motivation behind all this?!  It’s grooming perversion to make the older perverts in charge feel better about themselves!

How many clever heterosexual boys are suddenly going to wear a dress to school one day to get a look (and possibly much more than that) at all his female classmates in the shower?  Sheesh, this is just idiocy.

On a related note, we can expect about 5 million further Californians to relocate to Texas.  Please don’t Californicate Texas!  You destroyed one state, don’t repeat your foolishness!

Beautifying churches does not have to be difficult or expensive June 13, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Interior Life, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Tradition.
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There is a little alcove at a local parish that, to me, highlights some very important facts regarding parish art and architecture.  As you can see from the photo below, this alcove possesses elements to stir at least two powerful devotions – one to the Sacred Heart, and the other to the Infant Jesus of Prague – and does so in a manner that is beautiful, uplifting, and even possessed of that “noble simplicity” which has been so trumpeted since the most recent council.  It is decorated in taste, but also with great love, and shows forth an attractive quality that stirs and uplifts the soul, aiding it in finding its way in prayer:

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Beauty does not require great expense. Some paint on a wall, some not terribly expensive statues, an effort made at an artful presentation, and the love and time spent in making home-made gowns for the Infant Jesus and other little coverlets – and that is all. I doubt the entire arrangement cost even $3000, and yet it is evocative of so many great aspects of our Faith.

All that was required to achieve this a modicum of money, some love and good taste, and a proper understanding of the purpose and nature of good liturgical art.  Sadly, that last aspect is the one that seems so very rare today, where there even seems a dominant philosophy that intentionally rejects and denigrates traditional liturgical art, in favor of unappealing, and at times even monstrous, modern art that does not uplift the soul, but even attacks, in ways subtle and gross, traditional piety.  I would even go so far as to say that much modern church art and decor undermines important theological concepts, like the Virgin Birth or a proper understanding of the Resurrection and later Ascension (see many of the “flying Jesus” or “touchdown Jesus” simulacra of crucifixes dangling over most church altars).

The Church once fought a great heresy called iconoclasm.  Iconoclasm, probably influenced by the threat of islam which was attacking the eastern parts of the Church at that time, railed against any liturgical art of any kind, which is why in the Eastern Orthodox churches even today one will never find a statue, but only 2-D painted images.  Many of which are indescribably beautiful, but the lingering influence remains, as has the influence of so many other eastern heresies. But the Western Church always, always (until the last few decades) treasured liturgical art, as one can easily find in the words of the early Church Fathers, defending and extolling the practice of beautifying churches. The Church fought and won the battle against the iconoclast heresy because the art itself was recognized as serving very important purposes: reminding simple and educated souls both of the lives of Saints, theological concepts, the person of Jesus Christ and the Blessed Mother, etc; and rendering honor to God and the Saints through the very best human attempts possible at glorifying them in art.

We have lost so much, so very much, in our cold, modern, barren, near-iconoclastic churches.  There have been some small improvements of late, and a few outstanding contrary examples, but, for the most part, a church built in the Year of Our Lord 2013 would be alien, even hostile, to a Catholic suddenly transported from, say, 1925 to the present.  Entering an older Church that has not been wreckovated is like stepping into a different religion.  And that, my dear readers, was the point all along – modernist design and deliberate avoidance of liturgical art were all part of the radicalism and permanent revolution that entered the Church in the 1960s. The revolutionaries were nothing, are nothing, if not smart. They knew that liturgical art and church design were extremely powerful elements at conveying the traditional beliefs of the Church, and so they had to go.  Many hearts were broken in this process, and many great and expensive treasures were callously destroyed in order to advance the revolution.  I pray we may finally and firmly reject these errors, which have been so destructive in so many ways, and return to proper, uplifting art and architecture that is worthy of giving glory and honor to God.

Quite a lecture from one picture!  Lord have mercy!

The story of my life….. June 13, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, family, fun, manhood, silliness.
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…..over the past 13 years, is pretty well expressed by this pic:

baby on dad

Invariably, whenever I’m very tired, or I’ve managed to squirrel away some time to go to bed early, or maybe, wonder of wonders, sleep late (if you call 8 on a Saturday late), some child will steadfastly refuse to cooperate. Most nights I still get to have my son wind up in bed with us.  And he kicks and hits in his sleep, that boy. The other night I was awakened at about 2:30 to a rather spry kick to the groin.

Ah, the joys of parenthood……