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This was a hard sermon, but one I really needed to hear September 24, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, priests, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.

And, to be quite truthful, I don’t think it’s sunk in nearly enough yet, because I still have the same recourse to pride and –  I don’t think it quite sitting in judgment, but perhaps beine excessively self-assured – I lack a sense of humility.

This sermon comes to mind when I write sometimes, especially when I have written about Pope Francis. I have deliberately tried not to draw too many conclusions in any writing I’ve done about him of late, and I’ve tried to counsel much prayer and mortification, but I still feel like I’m not really in concert with the excellent moral guidance given below.  I would like to thank God for blessing His Church with priests such as these.

You’re probably wondering what on earth I’m talking about. In the sermon below, the priest specifically challenges his audience to, in a phrase, shape up.  To get over their pride. To be much more charitable. To stop patting themselves on the back for being one of the fortunate few who has found the TLM and a traditional Catholic community, and all the huge benefits that flow from that.  To stop any tendencies towards that kind of smug superiority exhibited by the Pharisee in the parable of the Pharisee and the penitent sinner. I should note, I don’t think there are too many at this priest’s parish that do exhibit that kind of pharisaical behavior (save, perhaps, for a certain blogger), but I think there is a strong temptation towards elitism in that environment.  It’s a trap satan lays for all of us who take this glorious Faith of ours very seriously, when we see so many who don’t.  We must not think it’s because we’re special in any way, but only because God has blessed us with Grace that we’ve perhaps cooperated with a little better than some, but I certainly know that I, at least, am very, very far from being a Saint.

Humility begets love, which begets faith.  If we are assured we’re so awesomely special (and I look back just on what I’ve written in the past few days, and I go……uh oh) because we pray 3 Rosaries a day and read the Bible and go to Mass and Confession regularly and all that, we’re severely misconstruing things.  We need to be humble and thank God for all those things we do, because they are all a gift from Him. The best we can do is to cooperate with HIs Grace.

This is a very hard sermon to hear, which makes it the best kind of sermon – challenging, to the point of discomfort. Hopefully that will move us (especially me!) to being better, more virtuous, more charitable souls.


He’s got a great voice, doesn’t he?


1. Woody - September 25, 2013

Humility is hard when those that attack you are on the outside. Humility is really hard when those that attack you are within. March on, brave soul, march on!

2. Janet Baker - September 25, 2013

Tantum, honest to Pete, ascertaining the effect of anyone’s words on the struggle for souls is not a prideful thing, it’s a charitable thing. This is about the truth about our Faith, and if you are referring to That Interview, that was not the truth about our Faith. It was pure D old Vatican II junk. I’m thinking God has allowed it so that for once and for all, we’ll see it for what it is, and repudiate it, and move on. Is that judging Francis? Not at all, but it is to weigh and judge his words, and in his case, it’s a lot easier than doing the same with Benedict’s. We have to listen to all people with an eye and an ear for the truth. That’s the challenge and the game. Maybe you haven’t had enough plain old schoolteacher experience. English teachers (such as myself once was) have to read and evaluate essays all day long, and I never once failed to truly love a student even though their essays were perhaps the hottest of hot air. Nor did I ever fail to tell them so. I’m not gonna break down That Interview for you, that’s been done. Stop feeling guilty for knowing bs when you hear it. That IS love.

3. Michael P.Mc Crory. - September 25, 2013

The Christian Way of Love First Teach Later:
You have good reason to feel chastened , you and Michael Voris.( I’m ok though)
You can begin anew by leaving off on

Our Church Alone/
The glory of the Latin mass and it’s followers/
The ‘evils’ of Vatio ii /
The poor Protestants /
The deficiencies of Pope Francis /

But by all means continue to bash our woeful bishops and priests , most of them anyway. Being nice to them clearly has never worked or gotten us anything but grief.
They continue to see themselves as champians of mediocrity and depressing the heck out of us.
I do.

4. Frank - September 25, 2013

Tantumergo: Appreciating the beauty of the Latin Mass requires refinement of spirit, grace and taste. We make judgments about a myriad of things every day. Seeing abuses at the English Mass registers in one’s mind that the Lord deserves better. I made a judgment in choosing the Latin Mass because first and foremost the House of the Lord is a House of Prayer, not a coffee shop. Is that a judgment? Yes, because the Lord deserves better. Would I step on a person I saw in the street. Hopefully not, no matter who that person was. Therefore the distinction should be made on making judgments (discernments to choose) and condemning others (prideful arrogance). The English Mass has been hijacked. It’s not pride in saying this but truth. We should never look down upon anyone, but as the Lord says, you shall know a tree by its fruit. One’s behavior at the English Mass speaks volumes on what they think of the Lord. That’s not judgment, it’s fact.

Raul De La Garza III (@raul_delagarza) - September 25, 2013

Bravo, Frank. I have decided. I like you. 😉

5. Marguerite - September 25, 2013

Anyone who goes to Confession on a regular basis is tackling his or her pride. It’s takes tremendous humility to admit one’s sins. Years ago, the lines to Confession at least equalled the Communion lines. Can you say that today?

6. TG - September 25, 2013

Tantum, I have the same feelings you do. I try not to say anything critical but I know I am cynical and some of my comments here and in other blogs reflect that. I prayed about it last night. I feel sad for the church and yet guilty for feeling critical toward it. It is such a fine line. Last night I spoke to my brother who is not married in the church. I asked him when his legal wife or common law since I don’t know if they ever had a civil ceremony. They’ve been together for about 25 or 30 years and neither was ever married before. It would be so simple to have their marriage blesed and go to Confession and Communion. They are now attending Mass every Sunday. He made some comments kind of accusing me of being judgmental. The Holy Spirit helped me answer him because I focused on how I know he and his wife love each other and are soul mates. By doing that, he changed his tune and said they were considering it. He just had to make the time to go talk to the priest. My brother has a lot of pride so please pray for him that he will do this. I had a mix of emotions on whether I came across as judgmental. It’s just hard to admolish a brother nowadays. Oh, he also said his priest talked about Pope Francis’s comments about not judging and making all people feel welcome at the homily. Thanks for the post.

I’ll have to listen to the audio later.

7. Jim - September 25, 2013

Generally don’t think you violated the precepts of the sermon. Have enjoyed reading your blog, and the book reviews especially for a couple of months now. Jesus very pointed attacked the sin, overturned tables of the sinners (in the temple).

8. Michael P. Mc Crory. - September 25, 2013

You are quite right when you say the Lord “deserves better” than what we see going on at the English mass, that is why I give him BETTER.
You write like you think it can’t be done. The mass IS the mass. It either IS or it isn’t. It is the repetition of the Last Supper and the unbloody reenactment of the bloody sacrifice of Calvary. An incredible moment regardless of ANY externals. I really don’t believe that you know that or you would not go on like you do–ALL of you.
The abuses must end but not by running from them and pointing the finger at others.

I try to show these others by my reverent behaviour:

Genuflecting and use of holy water on entering
Kneeling not standing at the “Behold the Lamb of God”
And when receiving communion on the tongue,
Answering prayers clearly and proudly
Singing- likewise ( that is when the hymns are not so protestant I fall silent ).
Encouraging the choir when they actually do sing great catholic stuff like hymns to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and his “…oh beautiful mother” and O Sanctisima .
Getting there early and not needlessly chatting
By correcting (at least once a month) the celebrants when they canonise every dead body that enters or are TOO fond of funny stories and clapping.
Visibly saying the Rosary and Stations daily.
Fruitlessly telling my bishop his job, especially in advocating for the return of Jesus to the center of the sanctuary. ( I succeeded with this once in Denver, Co – with the help of some excellent writings by Fr. Regis ScanlonOFMcap.)
Zero tolerance for use of cell phones in His holy Presence.

Sure I’m a sanctimonious pain in the butt.
But not, I hope, to the one whom I serve.

Did I say it’s not easy.

9. Jim - September 26, 2013

From George Neumayr:

St. Thomas Aquinas used this episode in his commentary on the right of subjects to resist flaky superiors:

There being an imminent danger for the Faith, prelates must be questioned, even publicly, by their subjects. Thus, St. Paul, who was a subject of St. Peter, questioned him publicly on account of an imminent danger of scandal in a matter of Faith. And, as the Glossa of St. Augustine puts it (Ad Galatas 2.14), ‘St. Peter himself gave the example to those who govern so that if sometimes they stray from the right way, they will not reject a correction as unworthy even if it comes from their subjects.” (Summa Theologiae, IIa IIae, Q. 33, A. 4)

10. skeinster - September 26, 2013

Yes, that was a good one- every once in a while we need to be taken out and shaken. And you are right- things are much better in the elitism respect than, oh, twenty years ago or so, but we must always be vigilant. A sense of profound gratitude helps.

I’m listening to a good series at Sensus Traditionis on Modesty, and I’m beginning to wonder if our everlasting complaining could be a form of sins against decorum. Obviously, we have persons that we might be bound to correct: those under our authority, for example, like our children or employees, or those who God puts directly in our way who may need instruction. But is the whole interwebs our responsibility? Are we required to take up the slack of others, like bishops and clergy, who aren’t doing their jobs? Are we operating outside our sphere of authority or competence? Are our intentions pure?
I don’t know- I’m just tossing out questions- some of which I haven’t considered before, being all caught up like everyone else in the novelty of instantaneous broadcasting of opinion, etc thanks to new technology.
As usual, just because we can do something, doesn’t necessarily mean that we should.
Just some ideas I’m kicking around.

11. Marguerite - September 26, 2013

It’s very difficult to be “criticial” of the Vicar of Christ and concern over certain recent statements seem judgmental but rather they set off an alarm in some of us who have seen firsthand abuses in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the devastation in the lives of Catholics through errant catechesis, modernist errors, etc. Our last stronghold is the Vicar of Christ and of course, in terms of doctrine, there is no concern. However, the evil one, can strike at the Head (as he once tried to and failed) to scatter even more of the faithful through doubt. The true definition of pride is “I will not obey.” Wanting all that is good, holy and true to shine forth in the Church is not being proud.

tantamergo - September 26, 2013

Yes, and that’s really why I post all this stuff. Sally does have a point – when does constant complaint become counterproductive, and even prideful? But, on the other hand, I keep running into more and more people who thank me for helping open their eyes to the crisis in the Faith. A crisis, I fear, which is about to get much, much worse.

12. Frank - September 26, 2013

Consider this: Were the encyclicals of former Popes judgmental in pointing out the errors of their time? Just because Pope Francis chooses not to discuss the errors of our day does not make those who do judgmental.

tantamergo - September 26, 2013

Hey everyone, don’t freak out and assume I’m going to shut down the blog or radically change. But if you read a lot of Saints, one of the dominant aspects of their personalities that jumps out at you again and again is their humility. Sometimes, it’s good to be hard on ourselves. So, I was diong a bit of public self-flagellation……..

13. Baseballmom - September 26, 2013

Thought the sermon was excellent. Thank you for posting it, and reminding us of our deepest calling.

14. Converted - September 26, 2013

Wow! what a great sermon. I too had to check my pride and smugness at the door a few times during that sermon. But we are to correct wrongs and teach the truth; so do we just not say anything when false things are taught. If we do nothing we are as guilty as the one professing the falseness.

15. Steve B - September 27, 2013


The message delivered by this outstanding FSSP priest was on target in many respects – especially wrt his challenging of our humility and our charity toward our neighbor.

However, one prominent aspect of his message REALLY bothers me, and which I am quite certain is in serious error – namely, when he repeatedly says “So what!” about what our attitude should be toward Priests, Bishops, and even our Holy Father when they are grossly negligent in their duties as our spritual leaders.

“So what!” ??? REALLY??? We are to give our prelates a complete pass, even when we KNOW for certain that they have been remiss as our shepherds? Doesn’t that smack of clericalism of the worst sort?

Our wonderful FSSP Priests routinely exhort us to strive for sainthood, as well they should. In that vein, why shouldn’t we behave just as St. Catherine of Siena did towards Pope Gregory XI by challenging him to return to Rome from Avignon?

And, even Canon Law COMPELS us to confront our Chruch leaders, whenever they are acting negligently or erroneously in their duties:

The Christian faithful have the right to make known their opinions to pastors and other members of the Christian faithful, indeed at times the duty, in keeping with their knowledge, competence, and position (c. 212 §3). 

Yes, despite any criticisms we may have, we need to remain respectful of their person and their Office.

However, giving them a complete pass is not only clericalism of the worst kind and negligence on our part, but it is the VERY reason for how the Church got into the horrific mess that it is in today, and which allowed the Protestant “reformation” to happen in the first place. Not holding our Catholic leaders fully accountable when their actions are negligent, imprudent, and/or scandalous is one of the prime reasons why many non-Catholics REFUSE to even consider returning to one, true, Church.

Pax et benedictiones tibi, per Christum Dominum nostrum,

Steve B

tantamergo - September 27, 2013

I don’t disagree. Maybe I should have said something about that. I think the priest got a bit off the trail with that, after listening to it again, I came away with the impression that the priest was basically saying “shut up and pray.” Which is what got us into this mess in the first place – too many Catholics, before most of them left the Church in the 70s and 80s, just shut up and prayed (or not, for most of them) during the 60s. They just let the revolution roll over them, after a lifetime of being conditioned that good Catholics just “shut up and pray.” And pay, of course.

I would be lying if I said my eyes did not roll in that sermon at least once. It was over the top in that respect. But I thought there was enough good in it to be worthwhile for a check on my own motivations. But after a pretty thorough examination, I think I’m largely clear – my motivation is the good of souls and the good of the Church, and I don’t judge whether Pope Francis or Cardinal Mahoney is a good or bad man. Well, OK, maybe I do think the latter is pretty bad, but not the Pope, even if he is making decisions I find very difficult to comprehend.

In reality, that little exegesis was a condensation of the Christendom College ethos in miniature. But, again, I think there was a lot of merit in there, even if this priest may be a bit twisted on his belief regarding the nature of the Papacy. This is the same guy who is sure the Holy Spirit has directly selected all popes. If that be true, what kind of God do we have?

16. Vincent - September 27, 2013

I see in you a zeal for the House of the Lord. If someone is trashing a house, you try to stop it and defend it against vandals. Nothing wrong with righteous anger.

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