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St. Alphonsus on the Blessed Beggar June 19, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, religious, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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In Volume II of his Ascetical Works, The Way of Salvation and Perfection, St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori relates the tale of the Blessed Beggar. This parable features in several of Liguori’s works, and I thought you might find it edifying.  Here ’tis:

Father John Taulerus relates of himself that after having for many years prayed the Lord to send some one to instruct him in the true spiritual life, he one day heard a voice saying to him, “Go to such a church, and you will find what you ask for.” On reaching the church, he finds at the gate a beggar, barefooted and with scarcely a rag on his back. He salutes him: “Good day, my friend.” The poor man replies, “Sir, I do not remember ever to have had a bad day.” The Father rejoins, “God grant you a happy life,” to which he answers, “But I have never been unhappy.” And then the beggar goes on to say, “Listen, my Father; it is not without reason that I have told you that I have never had a bad day; because, when I suffer hunger, I praise God; when it snows or rains, I bless him; if I am treated with contempt, or repulsed by any, or if I experience misfortunes of any other kind, I always give glory to my God for it. I said, besides, that I have never been unhappy, and this also is true; because it is my habit to desire, without reservation, all that God desires; therefore, in all that happens to me, whether it be pleasant or painful, I receive it from His hands with joy, as being what is best for me; and herein lies my happiness.”……..

…….”Where is it that you found God?” said the Father. “I found Him where I took leave of creatures,” was the reply. “Who are you?” The poor man answered “I am a king.” “And where is your kingdom?” “It is within my soul, where I keep everything in due order; the passions are subjected to the reason, and the reason to God.” in conclusion, Taulerus asked him what it was that had led him on to so high a degree of perfection? “It has been silence,” said he, “observing silence with man, in order to hold converse with God; and also the union which I have maintained with my Lord, in whom I have found, and still do find, all my peace.”

Such, in short, had this poor man become through his union with the Divine Will; and certainly he was, in all his poverty, more wealthy than all the monarchs of the earth, and in his sufferings more happy than all the men of the world with their earthly pleasures.

Speaking of liturgical abuse…… June 19, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, episcopate, Eucharist, General Catholic, Liturgy, Papa, pr stunts, sadness, scandals, shocking, the return.
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…….Fr. Ray Blake seems a bit nonplussed over the liturgical behavior of Pope Francis, behavior which is very, very much different from his predecessor.  I read a commenter at his site opine that perhaps Pope Francis would be an even greater friend of the TLM than Pope Benedict, that Francis would “liberate” it even more. I have no idea what makes the commenter think that. But Fr. Blake did have this photo, which captured one of the more strange “Per Ipsums” I’ve ever seen:

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Now, the Mass is a Sacrifice offered by the priest to God.  And the Per Ipsum is sort of the conclusion of the critical portion of that Sacrifice, the part where the priest really “finalizes” all that has come before in the Consecration and makes plain for Whom, by Whom, and to Whom the Sacrifice is offered. But I don’t know that in my 15 years of being a Catholic, and several years of going to Mass before that, if I’ve ever seen the Per Ipsum offered in this manner. Does it undermine the idea of Sacrifice offered by the priest to have the priest who offered It not hold the Precious and Sacred Body and Blood of our Lord at this climactic act?

Fr. Blake noticed some other oddities (I add emphasis):

I am a bit uncomfortable with that cameraman that now has a permanent place on the back of the Popemobile but it has become pretty obvious that the Supreme Legislator does not consider the rubrics of the liturgy are that important, in fact it seems as if they can be ignored, or changed at will.

Benedict taught the liturgy was “a given”, we read the black and did the red, Francis seems to be less precise about these things, his liturgy is “emancipated”, as he descibes it. Who cares if priests are vested properly? It is obviously “emancipated” to expect concelebrants to wear chasubles, or to expect street clothes the be covered by an amice if necessary, it is emancipated to put flowers on one the corner of an altar and some candles, or are the oil lamps, on the end, with an insignificant crucifix in the middle. It is emancipated to bow rather than genuflect to the tabernacle and after the elevations. It is unemancipated to prepare a homily carefully. It is unemancipated to expect servers to vest, it is emancipated to have the dressed in work uniforms and it is emancipated to have a Bishop take the role of a Deacon.

Now, many have said “Look, he’s a Jesuit, Jesuits don’t know or care about the finer points of the Liturgy.”  I would respond by saying, perhaps that’s why it’s taken 500 years for a Jesuit to become Pope! But seriously, that’s hogwash, many Jesuits have offered the Mass fully in line with the rubrics and have shown the proper respect for this, the Source and Summit of our Faith.  Fr. John Hardon is just one who comes to mind, as is Fr. Hugh Thwaites.  A more accurate statement might be that liturgical abuse is especially widespread in Latin America, where all manner of abuses and bad ideas have been in wide circulation for decades.

I know many people are not comfortable with even raising questions regarding the actions of the Pope.  I’ve been meaning to do a post on ultramontanism, its history, and the destruction it has permitted if not directly caused.  But we’ve got to come to an understanding, as Catholics, and it’s something that I’ve only gradually become aware of in the past couple of years, that there are elements of the Faith that not even the Pope should change radically.  That’s not to say he hasn’t the power to do so, it’s that he hasn’t the right. As Fr. Blake refers to above, one of those things is the Liturgy.  Popes, historically, have felt bound by what they received in the Liturgy. They felt what they received was something beyond human, and that it was their duty to protect and defend that which they had received, and not make wholesale changes to it.  Such changes as were made, historically, were limited to either permitting gradual, organic growth, or codification/rationalization of various Rites, in the case of Trent (which liturgical reform was not entirely “organic,” either).

That all began to change in the early 20th century, during a period of incredible ultramontanism that raged in the wake of Vatican I, where the dominant opinion really was that the Pope could do absolutely anything he willed, and that anything would be by definition good  That thinking led directly to the mid-20th century liturgical revolution, where a Pope decided it was appropriate not only to scrap close to 2000 years of liturgical tradition, and create a new “ecumenical” liturgy out of whole cloth, but also to, in an unclear manner, declare the 1300-1800 year old Liturgy abrogated – something even the uber-progressive Hegelian Jesuit Karl Rahner defined as constituting a “mortal sin.” Pope Benedict later clarified that it was impossible, even for a Pope, to abrogate a timeless Rite.  And thank God for that.

But this ultramontanism goes beyond the Liturgy.  The other sacred duty of popes, in addition to guarding, upholding, and cherishing the Liturgy as they received it, is to guard, defend, uphold, and transmit the received Tradition!  That is, the complex set of beliefs and practices that have come down to us from the earliest Church.  Such was seen as the most basic function of a Pope for a very, very long time, but sometime in the 20th century that belief, too, became very muddied, very unclear, and we have now had a succession of Popes whose guardianship of Tradition has been at times troubled, at best. And we have many faithful Catholics today who believe, or who have been led to believe, that Tradition is nothing more than whatever the present reigning Pope defines it to be.  I have read such on several high profile Catholic blogs of late. I don’t think it takes much thought to find numerous problems with such a belief.

It’s a very sticky situation.  Without belaboring the point too much, let me condense what I’m trying to say down to this: we need to be, as Catholics, careful not to reduce our definition of “orthodoxy” or “faithfulness” down to “I do or say whatever the Pope does or says.”  I don’t think idea meshes well with either the history or Tradition of the Church.

I hope to expand on this more in the future, in a more focused post.  A great book to read on this whole subject is The Banished Heart by Dr. Gregory Hull (a Catholic), if you can get past the blatant pro-Eastern Orthodox propaganda he falls into in the course of making his main point.

 

House late-term abortion ban just kabuki theater June 19, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, error, foolishness, General Catholic, pr stunts, scandals, self-serving, sexual depravity, Society.
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I don’t get it. I don’t get why people are getting all excited that the Republican-dominated House has passed a late-term abortion ban.  It’s not that I’m opposed. I pray every day for the horrid sin of abortion to be made completely, totally illegal.  But the House passing this bill won’t get us closer to that goal, at all. First, the details:

The Republican-led House on Tuesday passed a far-reaching anti-abortion bill that conservatives saw as a milestone in their 40-year campaign against legalized abortion and Democrats characterized as yet another example of a GOP war on women.

The legislation, sparked by the murder conviction of a Philadelphia late-term abortion provider, would restrict almost all abortions to the first 20 weeks after conception, defying laws in most states that allow abortions up to when the fetus becomes viable, usually considered to be around 24 weeks.

It mirrors 20-week abortion ban laws passed by some states, and lays further groundwork for the ongoing legal battle that abortion foes hope will eventually result in forcing the Supreme Court to reconsider the 1973 Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, that made abortion legal.

It passed 228-196, with six Democrats voting for it and six Republicans voting against it.

In the short term, the bill will go nowhere. The Democratic-controlled Senate will ignore it and the White House says the president would veto it if it ever reached his desk. The White House said the measure was “an assault on a woman’s right to choose” and “a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade.”

And that’s why I think all the hoopla by pro-lifers is just silly, and more than that, an intentional distraction.  It’s like kabuki theater – all kinds of sound and fury signifying nothing.  But worse than nothing, for while the House republicans distract conservative’s attention with this pointless “win,” the Senate Repubniks are advancing an immigration reform bill of likely enormous consequences, the IRS is acting like the democrat party Gestapo, the NSA is monitoring just about every communication made in this country (hi!), and Obamacare is about to make abortion a permanent “medical” right.  In short, nothing has, or will changed, and very dangerous threats to the pro-life movement, conservatives, and he nation as a whole remain.

So spare me the theater, and the tub-thumping.  It doesn’t get any closer to where we want to be with abortion.

And so long as contraception remains an indelible aspect of most American’s lives, we can forget about getting to a point where abortion is history.

No wonder Ireland is in the state it’s in! June 19, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, Basics, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, Liturgy, persecution, priests, religious, scandals, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society.
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Rorate Caeli has some videos up of recent activities at a Redemptorist-run parish in Limerick, Ireland.  The videos Rorate has posted are strange, as I can’t copy and paste them here.  But, no matter, I found my own content from this parish.  This video below is a much longer version of one of the videos posted at Rorate.  The priest is exhorting the faithful using the same eminently forgettable and banal protestant pablum I was raised on in Sunday school.  That formation did not produce a Christian, folks. It produced a pagan who could mouth some Christian bromides. It is only by the Grace of God and much patient prayer that I found the Church and Truth.  He even goes so far as to threaten to “put out” some older parishioners who apparently weren’t “actively participating” sufficiently to please the priest.  Ah, yes, the “spirit of Vatican II” crowd, always so very tolerant, so very welcoming, until the second one doesn’t do exactly what they say, and then the barely restrained venom spits forth.

The video below is taken from a major annual parish event!  The parish website widely promotes an annual Novena where, I guess, this “blessing of babies” takes part.

You know, I have children, and they find this kind of thing embarrassing. The kids are not as stupid as this priest seems to think.  I mean, this kind of thing might go over for 3 or 4 year olds, but my 9 and 12 year old kids think this is just flat out dumb. And unconvincing.  And possessing of a spirit that reduces the infinite, transcendent Being down to some immanent, earthly creation. Alright, my kids didn’t say that last bit, but you get the point.

If you go to Rorate, they have another video up, which I have not been able to locate, wherein a priest describes his adoration for a homosexual-celebrating Mass he attended in Soho, London.  This notorious Mass was only recently cancelled by the Archbishop of Westminster after years of protest from the faithful.  From Rorate:

Yesterday, a Redemptorist priest of this same Church proved — as if we needed proof — that how you pray is certainly how you believe. [And, I would remind, public heresy is almost always a sign of, or “powered by,” if you will, grave private sin.]

Watch the video below of his sermon. Father explains how he’s “glad” he never saw the old Mass in Latin, or learned Latin or saw the Mass where the priest turns his “back to the people” because Vatican II “returned the Mass to the people” and we should be “creative in our liturgies.” [He must not have appreciated the pontificate of Benedict XVI very much]

Then, more disturbing, he reflects on a “special and different” Mass he attended in Soho “prepared for and by” the GLBT community that “deeply moved” him and was “very, very impressive.”

Was anything wrong with this according to Father? Only that there was a group of Catholics outside the church saying a Rosary for their conversion, which Father found “appalling.”

Is it safe to assume this priest sees God as a “good guy in the sky,” dispensing cosmic candy to everyone?  That he doesn’t believe in personal sin (only collective sin, like racism, or capitalism, etc)?  Or perhaps he’s a full-bore modernist, believing we each “possess” God within us to the extent that God only exists within our collective consciousness?

Is it any wonder, then, that the Faith in Ireland, perhaps in more than any other formerly Catholic country in the world, is in such a state of utter collapse, with Mass attendance rates far lower, even, than the US?  Modernist sexular liberalism is death to the Faith.  And given what we know of Ireland’s seminaries, and the depravity that ran amok within their walls for decades, should we really be surprised?  The result is as predictable as the sunrise.

Miles to go, folks, before things get better.

 

Hagia Sophia to become mosque again June 19, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, demographics, disconcerting, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Holy suffering, horror, persecution, sadness, the enemy.
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And, in general, the increasingly islamic Turks, under their proto-islamist leader Ergodan, are attempting to complete what the young Turks and Ataturk began in 1915 – the complete eradication of Christianity from Turkish soil:

While unrest in Turkey continues to capture attention, more subtle and more telling events concerning the Islamification of Turkey — and not just at the hands of Prime Minister Erdogan but majorities of Turks — are quietly transpiring. These include the fact that Turkey’s Hagia Hagia-Sophia-LaengsschnittSophia museum is on its way to becoming a mosque.

Why does the fate of an old building matter?

Because Hagia Sophia — Greek for “Holy Wisdom” — was for some thousand years Christianity’s greatest cathedral. Built in 537 A.D. in Constantinople, the heart of the Christian empire, it was also a stalwart symbol of defiance against an ever encroaching Islam from the east.

After parrying centuries of jihadi thrusts, Constantinople was finally sacked by Ottoman Turks in 1453. Its crosses desecrated and icons defaced, Hagia Sophia — as well as thousands of other churches — was immediately converted into a mosque, the tall minarets of Islam Johnchrysostomsurrounding it in triumph.

Then, after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, as part of several reforms, secularist Ataturk transformed Hagia Sophia into a “neutral” museum in 1934 — a gesture of goodwill to a then-triumphant West from a then-crestfallen Turkey. [Well…….this is not how I would term it. It was part of Ataturk’s general program of forced secularization, in an attempt to modernize Turkey.  But Ataturk also took part in the final portion of the Armenian genocide and was directly responsible for driving the vast majority of Greek Christians from Turkey, in the process of which scores of thousands, likely more, died.]

Thus the fate of this ancient building is full of portents. And according to Hurriyet Daily News, “A parliamentary commission is considering an application by citizens to turn the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul into a mosque…. A survey conducted with 401 people was attached to the application, in which more than 97 percent of interviewees requested the transformation of the ancient building into a mosque and afterwards for it to be reopened for Muslim worship.”

Even lesser known is the fact that other historic churches are currently being transformed into mosques, such as a 13th century church OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbuilding — portentously also named Hagia Sophia — in Trabzon. After the Islamic conquest, it was turned into a mosque. But because of its “great historical and cultural significance” for Christians, it too, during Turkey’s secular age, was turned into a museum and its frescoes restored. Yet local authorities recently decreed that its Christian frescoes would again be covered and the church/museum turned into a mosque.

Similarly, the 5th century Studios Monastery, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is set to become an active mosque. And the existence of the oldest functioning Christian monastery in the world, 5th century Mor Gabriel Monastery, is at risk. Inhabited today by only a few dozen Christians dedicated to learning the monastery’s teachings, the ancient Aramaic language spoken by Jesus, and the Orthodox Syriac tradition, neighboring Muslims filed a lawsuit accusing the monks of practicing “anti-Turkish activities” and of illegally occupying land which belongs to Muslim villagers. The highest appeals court in Ankara ruled in favor of the Muslim villagers, saying the land that had been part of the monastery for 1,600 years is not its property, absurdly claiming that the monastery was built over the ruins of a mosque — even though Muhammad was born 170 years after the monastery was built.

Yes, it’s a bit strange to claim a 5th century monastery was built on muslim land – since islam did not come into existence in Turkey until the 8th century!  But there were many exchanges of territory back then, the Byzantine Empire would surrender territory and then take it back.  I’d be interested to see the history of the monastery – some of those eastern monasteries have maintained their records very well.  As for the monastery being the oldest, there are a couple of monasteries in Egypt that actually date – or are claimed to date – from the 4th century, which is about the time organized monasticism really got started.  And, it got started in Egypt.  I pray these monasteries don’t also fall to yet another wave of hate filled islamic militarism.

At any rate, the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople had what were probably the most glorious mosaics to be found anywhere in Christendome. Most of them were lost or permanently damaged when the islamists crudely plastered them over when they turned the great church into a mosque.  Even many muslims at the time were shocked at the destruction done to such great beauty – many of the mosaics were laid in pure gold. But the mullahs insisted.  Will they be plastered over again?  Or otherwise destroyed, as islamists have shown little compunction destroying other priceless works of ancient art if they offend against muslim iconoclasm?

But, I’m sure a little ecumenism will straighten all this out.

11th century chapel at St. Anthony monastery in Egypt. The monastery was founded in AD 356

11th century chapel at St. Anthony monastery in Egypt. The monastery was founded in AD 356