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St. Alphonsus – “Salvation is our only affair” October 14, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, episcopate, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, religious, sanctity, Society, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Victory, Virtue.
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It is so very easy to lose sight of the big picture. To get bogged down in our everyday life and think that the job, the money, the car, the women (or men) are what it’s all about.  But that is so very, very wrong. In fact, in comparison with our eternal end, ALL human affairs, even great affairs of state and life and death, are as child’s play compared to our eternal destiny.  Heaven and hell are forever.  They are real places.  For the vast majority of the history of the Church, and according to almost the unanimous opinion of the Doctors and Saints, the large preponderance of the human race is not saved, even by fire.  Salvation is, or should be, or only affair.

From Vol. 1 of his Ascetical Works, Preparation for Death, the Moral Doctor St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori:

The affair of eternal salvation is not only the most important, but it is the only affair to which we have to attend in this life One thing is necessary (Lk 10:42). St. Bernard weeps over the blindness of Christians, who call the occupations of children trifles, and their own employments business. If the amusements of children be trifles, the employments of men are still greater follies. What, says the Redeemer, will it profit us to gain the whole world if we lose our souls (Matt 16:26)? My brother, if you save your soul, it will do you no harm to have lived here in poverty, afflictions, and contempt; for then you will have no more sorrows, and you will be happy for all eternity. But if you lose your soul, what will it profit you, in hell, to have indulged in all the the amusements of the world, and to have enjoyed its riches and honors? If the soul be lost, amusements, riches, and honors, are lost -all is lost.

…….Worldlings think of the present, but not of the future. St. Phillip Neri conversing one day in Rome with Francis Zazzera, a young man of talent, who was attached to the world, said to him: “You will realize a great fortune; you will be a prelate, afterward, perhaps, a cardinal and perhaps even Pope. But what must follow? What must follow?  Go,” said the Saint, “and meditate on these last words.” Francis went home, and after reflecting on the words, he abandoned his secular pursuits, left the world, entered into the Congregation of St. Phillip, and began only to attend to God.

It is our only affair,, because we have but one soul……….St. Francis Xavier use to say that there is but one good and one evil in the world: the former consists in the salvation of the soul, the latter in its damnation. St. Teresa used to frequently say to her nuns – “One soul, one eternity.” As if she said – one soul; if this be lost, all is lost; one eternity, the soul, if lost once, is lost forever…….Lord, I ask but one favor – save my soul, and I ask nothing else.

With fear and trembling work out your salvation (Phil 2:12). He that does not fear and tremble for his salvation will not be saved: to save the soul, it is necessary to labor, and to do violence to nature. The kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away (Matt 11:12). To obtain eternal glory, our life must be found at death conformable to the life of Jesus Christ[And we must remember, we will be judged for every action and inaction, word or silence, in short, for every single thing we do, by the Judge who judges according to His own standard.  “Fear and trembling,” indeed. It amazes me how many people have managed to convince themselves that all the words of warning of Our Savior regarding the difficulty of salvation have been so utterly forgotten. But that is our fallen human nature, and the Church’s purpose – to remind men of this awful, unchanging Truth.]  Hence we msut be careful, on the one hand, to avoid the occasions of sin; and on the other, to adopt the means necessary for the attainment of eternal life. All would wish to be saved without trouble.  “The devil,” says St. Augustine, “sleeps not, but labors strenuously for your perdition: and will you slumber when  your eternal happiness is at stake?”

———————–End Quote———————-

I love St. Alphonsus.  Remember, if you look for books by him, get the books translated by Fr. Eugene Grimm, CSSR.

Transgender boy harassing girls in bathroom – girls punished? October 14, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, persecution, sadness, scandals, self-serving, sexual depravity, Society.
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That’s what’s being reported here.  In the town of Florence, CO, apparently near Colorado Springs, parents and some students are up in arms over the presence of a self-proclaimed transexual boy in the girl’s bathrooms.  Some students say the boy has made harassing comments.  It is beyond insane that schools are now putting co-ed bathrooms into place. It’s beyond insance to me that some parent is letting their son get so screwed up he’s not even sure of his gender.  Maybe I’m just lucky, but having both boys and girls, the differences are so stark and clear it is amazing that some can profess confusion.  But, as Fr. Rodriguez says below, self-identification as homosexual has a strong correlation with all manner of childhood trauma, especially no or poor relations with a male authority figure.

I want to caveat the below, some are claiming this is an advocacy piece by this Pacific Justice Insitute and not a real story.  They are claiming PJI is making this up.  That was the claim at one news site, however, the article linked below has much more detail and seems to be a genuine news story, even if most of the press is embargoing it:

Attorneys with Pacific Justice Institute sent a strongly-worded letter this afternoon to school officials at , warning them against squelching student privacy and speech rights in order to cater to the wishes of a teenage boy who has been entering girls’ bathrooms on campus. “This is a nightmare scenario for the teenage girls—some of them freshmen—and their parents at this school,” noted PJI staff attorney Matthew McReynolds, who sent the letter to Principal Brian Schipper and Superintendent Rhonda Vendetti. “This is exactly the kind of horror story we have been warning would accompany the push for radical transgender rights in schools, and it is the type of situation that LGBT activits have been insisting would not happen.”

Parents at the school, located near Colorado Springs, became irate when they learned that a teenage boy was entering girls’ bathrooms and, according to some students, even making sexually harassing comments toward girls he was encountering.  When the parents confronted school officials, they were stunned to be told the boy’s rights as a self-proclaimed transgender trumped their daughters’ privacy rights.  As the controversy grew, some students were threatened by school authorities with being kicked off school athletic teams or charged with hate crimes if they continued to voice concerns.  The parents became aware of PJI’s Notice of Reasonable Expectation of Privacy and contacted PJI for help.

The letter sent today by PJI explains that the non-transgender students retain significant privacy rights that are being ignored by the school.  The letter also points out that Florence High has not taken minimal precautions such as requiring the student to continuously and exclusively identify with one gender.  According to student witnesses, he sometimes uses girls’ bathrooms and other times uses boys’ facilities.  [Ahem.  Interesting, that.]

What I see developing is a situation where faithful Christians are going to find it increasingly intolerable to participate in many normal aspects of community life.  We’ve lost, definitively. I actually this nation was lost at its inception through the embrace of radical enlightenment ideals and its conscious rejection of Grace and the Kingship of Jesus Christ, but even now at a low, daily activity type level we’re about to the point of being run back into the catacombs. That may sound extremist, but look around.  Can faithful Christians allow their children to go to school where they will be exposed to all manner of immoral insanity?  How long before we see – not often, because they’re simply aren’t very many of them (but there will be more as this becomes more accepted, and even fad-ish) – public restrooms in restaurants, shopping centers, etc,. being essentially a unisex free-for-all?

Whatever the merits of this particular situation at this school, the overall trends are clear and indicate that the “new rights” dreamed up for every manner of aggrieved sexual deviant will always trump the rights of Christians not to be scandalized or have their children exposed to topics and behaviors their parents do not want them to have to deal with.  As Christopher Ferrara shows to great effect in his book, the preference towards secular, pagan, and sexually deviant views over against Christian orthodoxy was “baked into” this nation at its founding (for instance, the divorce rate in the United States has always been shockingly high, and higher than just about every other nation on earth, at any given point in time).  The still very strong Christian ethos that existed at the founding has gradually eroded to where, today, a little over 200 years after this nation came together under the Constitution, there are only the thinnest remainders of that ethos.  And they are rapidly falling away.

Some recent catechesis from Fr. Rodriguez October 14, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Christendom, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Papa, persecution, priests, sadness, scandals, secularism, shocking, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Father Michael Rodriguez has been a good friend to this blogger.  He’s provided me with a good deal of much appreciated direction.  I admire Fr. Rodriguez for the truly enormous suffering he has willingly undergone for the good of souls and Holy Mother Church.  I admire him for being willing to tell the Truth, the full truth, without equivocation or dissembling, no matter the personal consequences to him.  I find the first sermon most enlightening, and I most strongly recommend you watch it:

“The Catholic Church’s most urgent pastoral needs are true Catholic Liturgy and true Catholic Doctrine”

Social ills such as loneliness in the eldery or youth unemployment are not matters which affect the salvation of souls.  Extensive quotes from pre-conciliar popes.

“The greatest evil is apostasy, that is, the loss of the Catholic Faith, and a rejection of God’s Holy Law. Millions of souls have abandoned the Catholic Faith. Millions more are disobeying God’s Commandments and the teachings of Holy Mother Church.  These are the greatest evils.”

“Worship and Doctrine. It is through true worship and doctrine that man is able to turn to God.  These are the greatest pastoral needs of the Church today.”

“A brief word about the truth.  There can be no such thing as the Christian life, without the truth, because God is Truth, God is the God of Truth.”

“Who will teach us this truth? The Son of God has entrusted this mission to the Church, and specifically to Her Magisterium.”

“The world needs to hear the truth about homosexuality, because the world is filled with lies, disinformation, and deciet, especially on this topic. We need to hear the truth about homosexuality, and hear it again, and again, and again, that we might know and truly believe the horror of sin, and how the love of God is expressed in the marvelous work of creation.”

“Church teaching on homosexuality in four points:

1. Homosexual acts are acts of grave depravity, intrinsically evil and contrary to the natural law. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2. Homosexual tendencies are objectively disordered.
3. Those with homosexual inclinations are to be treated with compassion and respect.
4. Homosexual persons are called to chastity and growth in virtue (as we all are, every single one of us).”

There are many in the Church, even in high positions of authority, that are misrepresenting Church Doctrine on homosexuality and the homosexual lifestyle.

But homosexual acts were, are, and always will be an abomination before God and man. This is an infallible moral teaching of the Catholic Church, to which everyone, the Pope included, must give assent.  No one, not even the Pope, is above the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Holy Church.”

Opposing infallible Church teaching in the moral sphere is an objectively mortal sin and places one at risk of eternal damnation.

Father Rodriguez then goes onto to examine whether it is really reasonable to conclude that “everyone,” or even most Catholics, really already know and understand what the Church believes on these matters of immorality related to contraception, abortion, homosexual acts, etc.

Next video:

We must pray very much, and do much penance, especially for the Pope.  As Our Lady revealed through the secrets of Fatima, we are in a period when satan is launching massive, unprecedented attacks on the Church, and especially on the person and office of the Papacy.  We must engage in the utmost spiritual warfare to protect aid our Holy Father and the Church during this time of trial.

Please consider supporting Fr. Michael Rodriguez’ apostolate through the St. Vincent Ferrer Foundation. This foundation helps make these videos available for us, since Father Rodriguez is in such a remote, inaccessible area at present.

I pray you find these videos helpful to your spiritual life!  There are so very few priests willing to speak on these matters!  The vast majority of Catholics never hear a sermon regarding abortion, euthanasia, contraception, fornication, porn use, and all the whole panoply of groinal issues, so spread these videos around if you have the means!

Deo Gratias!

A commenter asks: why is Dallas so politically conservative, but not so much Church-wise? October 14, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, secularism, silliness, Society, the return, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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A great question.  I’m not sure I have a clear answer.  I am a native of Dallas. I have lived here 37 of my 42 years.  I spent 4 years in Austin and most of a year in Idaho (which, I really don’t recommend, especially eastern Idaho – sorry), other than that, I’ve been here my entire life.  In reality, though, I’ve only lived in Dallas proper for 3 adult years. The rest of my life has been in the northern suburbs.  That is one quick Dallas_Cathedral_pre1959distinction.  Dallas is a big city, with a substantial “inner city.”  That inner city, like all of them, is not conservative at all.  But the Diocese itself, which encompasses 9 counties in north central Texas, is overwhelmingly politically – and more importantly, socially – conservative.  Especially in the suburbs and rural areas, where the conservativism tends towards the “hard right” variety.  There are a lot of politically active people, too.

So, the commenter wants to know, how can Dallas as a Diocese be known for both the political conservativism of its people and yet have a reputation, even nationally, as something of a liberal Diocese?  I would say, first of all, these matters are all relative.  Dallas is certainly no Lincoln, but it’s not an LA or San Antonio, either.  Fort Worth Diocese exists in almost an identical social milieu and yet it seems to be, or has a reputation for being, more conservative as a Diocese. And yet, there is no permanent TLM parish in FW.  So, maybe reputations are unfair.

But let’s assume the commenter is correct, that Dallas is on the moderate to moderately liberal side.  How could the Diocese, in terms of priests, staff, and thCAL5H31Dleadership be at odds with the social and political views of the people who comprise it?  I think we need to look at the political aspect as possibly specious – the Church is not a political organization.  But socially, if there were some magic scale that could measure one’s liberalism or conservativism, it’s quite possible that many priests and staff would come out to the left of the people in the pews.

Here I’d like to introduce a curve ball.  The people of Dallas aren’t conservative at all.  In fact, compared to the constant belief and practice of the Faith, the vast majority of the residents of the Diocese, Catholic or not, are profoundly liberal, and, historically, radical. Even the most wildly right wing TEA partier from Van Alstyne is very likely, in the traditional Catholic sense, a raging liberal.  Why, how?  Well, because they probably accept, without question, all kinds of practices that are either difficult to reconcile with traditional Catholic theology and piety (the entire conception of liberalism, individual rights, religious “freedom,” etc) or are simply out and out immoral (contraception, fornication, liberal divorce and remarriage, etc).

The entire country and almost the entire world is gone over to this calamitous stuff.  Whether your Diocese is Lincoln or LA, none are truly traditional in the Catholic sense, although I hear Lincoln comes somewhat close (I really have no idea).  The difference, today, between a Procession2“liberal” diocese such as Tuscon, and a “conservative one” like Denver, is really not very meaningful, in comparison to the recent Catholic past.  Denver today is far, far more liberal, even radical, in some of its beliefs and practices, than it was 60 or 70 years ago. As is Dallas, New York, Westminster, Miami, Santa Rosa, Baker, and on down the line, around the world.

I think whether a Diocese has a reputation, in the current day sense, for conservatism or liberalism just comes down simply to leadership and the vagaries of episcopal appointments*.  Dallas at one time was actually known to be more on the conservative side, for an American diocese.  Bishop Gorman was quite conservative, and his predecessors even more so.  But I don’t think it unfair to say that both of his two successors, Thomas Tschoepe and Charles Grahman, were on the progressive side.  So, that right there would mean 40+ years of fairly progressive leadership. Coupled with the great changes in belief and practice introduced in the Church at that same time (Bishop Gorman retired in 1969, and not a moment too soon for him, I understand!), though, it’s hard to know what role episcopal leadership played, in reality.  It could be that the result would have been the same had virtually anyone else, outside of a Castro 3277559806_b33614edf7_zde Meyer (yes, I’m being provocative) or even a Fabian Bruskewitz been bishop. The commenter is correct, however, in noting that both of the at least somewhat progressive Tschoepe and Grahman were deeply implicated in the priestly pederasty scandal.  But I believe that to be more of a sympton, than a cause.

Having an even somewhat liberal, progressive, or “spirit of Vatican II” leadeship over a period of decades could influence the course of the Diocese in all manner of ways.  First of all, men of a like mind were more likely to be accepted into the seminary, and, more importantly, ordained. I have heard so many stories from faithful men in this Diocese who were one time seminarians. They all share the same horror stories.  A progressive or progressive-leaning seminary turning out progressive or progressive-leaning priests is sure to have an enormous impact.  Perhaps those dioceses with a reputation for being conservative simply had a more conservative/orthodox seminary.  But that, too, would really depend on the outlook of the bishop.

I’m really just scattershooting. I may get in trouble for posting this, I don’t know. I’m very interested to hear the thoughts of others who reside in the Diocese.  I’m not sure I’ve said very much that is cogent or relevant – as I said, it’s a very difficult question.  There is actually a great deal of subtlety in these matters – sometimes, a priest or bishop with a reputation for being progressive will take some action that appears to dramatically cut against that reputation, and vice versa.  Another important point is that, in all of this, everything is relative. One person’s raging traddy is another person’s liberal.  I have had this phenomenon highlighted for me of late.

*But even that is no sure guide. Bishop Robert Vasa is known to be one of the most conservative prelates in the US.  But he was, for some inexplicable reason (perhaps to rein in his conservatism?) assigned to one of the most liberal places in the country, Santa Rosa, CA, in the heart of the uber-progressive northern California whine country. So, is Santa Rosa now “conservative,” even by current day American Church standards?  Not at all. In fact, Bishop Vasa suffered a huge defeat with his attempt to get teachers in the Catholic schools to attest to their fealty to the Catholic faith, something he accomplished in his previous Diocese of Baker without much trouble.  But how conservative, or more importantly, traditional, is Bishop Vasa, anyways?  You can read in great depth about his history at Dr. Jay Boyd’s great blog for many insights into that question.

POST SCRIPT:

Some other interesting things I learned while researching this post:

Bishop Joseph Lynch holds the record for the longest serving American prelate at over 43 years.

The Diocese of Lincoln has 160 priests for a Catholic population of just under 100,000.  That equals one priest for every 625 Catholics, a great ratio in today’s terms, but historically, a bit higher than desirable.  By comparison, Dallas has 208 priests for what I was amazed to learn in the Diocesan newspaper is now 1.2 million Catholics (and increase of 100,000 in a year?).  That comes down to almost 5800 Catholics per priest. The pastoral implications of this ratio are staggering.

The high number of priests – which is shared by most of the dioceses that have a reputation for “conservatism” – is attributed by most sources to doctrinal orthodoxy.  Traditional Catholic piety + doctrinal orthodoxy (with a healthy dose of the TLM) = large numbers of vocations.

In addition, the Diocese of Lincoln has only 5 deacons, 3 permanent and 2 transitional.  Dallas has 160 deacons.  Interesting.

96 years ago yesterday….. October 14, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Our Lady, sanctity, secularism, self-serving, Society, Tradition, true leadership.
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……..the Miracle of the Sun occurred near Fatima, Portugal.  It has been described as the most well documented and mass-scale miracle ever witnessed, at least since Our Savior walked this earth.  The video below from Video Sancto gives a very good overview of both the miracle itself and “scientific” attempts to refute not only Fatima, but every miracle that has ever occurred.  This effort is very significant – indeed, it is the foundation of the modernist heresy and the new pagan religion of science as “god,” the source of all our answers and all our future hopes and dreams, even our salvation.  Which philosophy really makes me want to both laugh and cry, as we see “science” used more and more as a politicized tool for left-wing policy agendas with things like global warming cooling climate change, ozone depletion, evolutionary theory, etc., etc.

Miracles play such a central role in the Christian Faith because they establish the presence of Divinity among us.  Of course, many thousands were converted directly by the miracles of Christ, miracles which all modernist exegetes immediately throw out as specious and false.  But throughout the history of the Church, it was miracles enacted by Saints that worked enormous conversions, of individuals, groups, and even entire nations.  It is the miracle that gives ineluctable testimony to the truthfulness of Christian claims.  It is the miracle that shows the world that there is indeed a God, that He cares about and is involved in human events, and that verifies so many of the mysterious claims of Christianity.  There have ALWAYS been skeptics and doubters regarding miracles. There were people who tried to refute Christ’s miracles, saying he cast out demons because He was a demon.  The entire modernist heresy presupposes that the Resurrection was something dreamed up by fanatical followers distraught over the death of their departed leader.  Pagans attempted to refute the miracles of early Church Fathers and Saints, and on and on along the course of history until up to the modern day.

Sadly, tragically, many people who call themselves Catholics today have been formed in such a way that they themselves either reject miraculous events outright, or they view them with the greatest skepticism.  And while it is true that acceptance of modern day miracles is not a de fide requirement (we don’t have to believe in the Miracle of the Sun to be “good” Catholics or to be saved), rejection of approved miracles can (could) cast a pall over those miraculous acts performed by Jesus Christ which are some of the prime proofs of His Divinity.  My personal belief is that Catholics should strive to accept and rejoice in all the canonically approved miracles proclaimed by the Church, not simply as a matter of faith, but also as real-world events which, while perhaps being inexplicable from the perspective of present-day science (and how those scientific perspectives change over time – Newtonian mechanics were once thought to be the guide to the entire universe, but now that is known to be false.  There are literally thousands of other examples.  Those who trade faith in religion for science, are trading for a chimera).

Now, the sermon!

Hey, here’s an idea for an ecumenical confab for the upcoming 500th anniversary of Luther’s heresy and revolt.  That year will also mark the 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun.  How about inviting Lutherans and other protestants to Fatima to venerate Our Lady and this great miracle?  What, are there no nice hotels in Fatima?