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Lead a rally group in defense of marriage March 22? February 11, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Christendom, Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, Ecumenism, family, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, Spiritual Warfare.
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TFP and other groups are planning on turning March 22 into a nationwide day of protest in defense of marriage.  They are looking for people to be willing to gather a few or many friends and family, and then stand on a streetcorner for an hour and give witness to the sanctity of marriage.  They would do this by hoisting some banners encouraging people to accept and adhere to the traditional definition of marriage for one hour on Saturday, March 22.

They claim if you sign up – free of charge – you will be sent a 10 foot banner that says “God’s Marriage = 1 Man and 1 Woman.”  I suspect it will also feature some verbiage for Tradition, Family, and Propert and/or America Needs Fatima.  I really like the idea.  I really think public witness, visibly challenging this culture’s self-destructive assumptions, is something we need to do more and more of.  Whether that is done with a TFP banner, or just getting some folks together on your own on that Saturday, is probably immaterial.  It would be quite a sight to see a group standing on the corner of, say Cedar Springs and Oak Lawn (Dallasites will know what I mean), advocating for marriage (although, I hear the homosexuals are departing that neighborhood as it now has too many regular folks for their taste – apparently, “phobias” run both ways).

So here’s my proposal.  I am sure I can drag my wife and kids out for this.  However, it would be awesome to have some additional folks go.  I was teasing about doing this in Oak Lawn – I don’t want to start a fight – but I would be good with someplace in Dallas or Irving.   They also recommend making signs such as “honk for traditional marriage,” etc.

Anybody up for this?  I think to be effective we’d need at least about 20 people or so.  It’s Saturday, March 22.  If you are local, either let me know in the comments, e-mail me if you have my super-secret batcave e-mail address, or talk to me in person.

If we do this, I don’t want to do it in a really “safe” location.  I want to go where there will be lots of people including a fair assortment unlikely to be supportive of our views.  If we are going to evangelize, that is the type we need to reach.  So,  maybe do this at Mockingbird and Inwood?  Or somewhere like that?

If I get a positive response, I start to set up some details.

Dominus vobiscum!

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Some Catholic greatness for you….. February 11, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, Christendom, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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El Santuario de Nuestra Senora de Las Lajas is a Basilica dedicated to Our Blessed Mother located Ipiales, Colombia. It was built between 1916 and 1949 literally over a gorge in the Guaitara River.   There is a gorgeous waterfall on one side, and the river departs out the other.  It is quite an impressive architectural and engineering achievement.

Fr. Michael Rodriguez recently led some pilgrims there.  I am told the interior has been sadly wreckovated to a degree. but it appears to still have altar rail and would, I think, be more than pleasing to 99+% of all faithful souls around.

Here are a few videos:

This next one takes you from the approaches to the Basilica, through the nearby town, and into the church itself (in Spanish):

The Basilica is usually pretty empty but can get crowded with tourists on holidays and during certain times of the y year.

A few photos:

P1050225

450px-Cascada_-_Santuario_de_las_Lajas

 

Demolishing the claims that Nicea endorsed divorce and remarriage February 11, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, catachesis, Christendom, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, history, horror, Sacraments, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society.
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I saw a week or so ago Rorate’s coverage of an article put out by the generally reliable Sandro Magister, claiming that “new research” had found that the Council of Nicea endorsed letting Catholics who had divorced and remarried to receive the Blessed Sacrament after a suitable period of penance.  I suspected at the time that this claim was highly dubious, since it seemed to come out of the blue and was unsupported by any research or history that I’ve seen.  It also seemed just too conveniently timed, given the huge push in the Germanic countries to formally repudiate a constant Dogma.

So, today, Rorate posted a refutation of this “new research,” that shows it’s not new at all, and has already been thoroughly debunked.  This is an extremely important post, because I suspect it was planned to hinge arguments at the upcoming Synod on the family on this totally discredited source.  Note also in the last paragraph the author’s niceea-1st-cunderstanding of how the progressives are essentially prevaricating and in general using unseemly, even immoral tactics, to make their one last great push to finish their insurrectionist revolution against the Church (Rorate text in italics, I add emphasis and comments):

The First Council of Nicaea was the most important and venerable council in the history of the Catholic Church, since it was responsible for solemnly defining the full divinity of Christ. How could its admission of the remarried to communion have gone unnoticed at both the time and in subsequent ages – since the Church discipline before, during and after this council was for those who had married after parting with their previous spouse to be condemned as adulterers and excluded from communion?  [Indeed, one can find such condemnations throughout Jurgen’s Faith of the Early Fathers series]

This surprise is quickly dispelled by a closer look at Cereti’s case. Magister asserts that attention has ‘recently’ been called to this issue by Cereti’s work – while admitting that the work in question is simply a republication of a book originally published in 1977. Even the uninitiated might ask why Cereti’s thesis has not come to be generally accepted, if it is in fact well established and has been around since 1977. The answer to this question can be discovered by looking at the criticisms of Cereti’s book by the great patristic scholar Henri Crouzel S.J. Fr. Crouzel was the author of the standard work on the position of the early church on divorce; [1]  it should be noted that he himself supported the idea of a relaxation of Church discipline with respect to the admission of the divorced and “remarried” to the sacraments,[2]  and hence was not trying to make a historical case for his own theological position. In two review nicaea-sistine-e1314325248224articles in the journal Augustinianum, Crouzel showed that Cereti’s position was a travesty of the facts.[3]

As Magister asserts, the centrepiece of Cereti’s study is canon 8 of the council of Nicaea, which was directed against the Novationists, and required them to accept into communion those who contracted second marriages. Cereti’s whole case in connection with this canon depends on understanding it as referring to people who marry again while their first spouse is still alive. In fact, however, the canon is talking about those who claim that remarriage after the death of one’s first spouse is forbidden. [Yes!  That’s what I could not remember when I first read Magister’s article.  I knew this opposition to rigorism was being radically misrepresented. It had nothing to do with those seeking to be bigamists, remarrying with their first spouse still alive, but had ALL to do with those who were widowed.  And that was a very big contention, because the Donatists and other rigorists basically looked on marriage as something only for the week and deficient, something that could be tolerated once at best. That was the rigorist error of that time, but it had nothing to do with divorce and remarriage!]  This claim was made by the heretical Montanists and even by some rigorists among the Fathers of the Church, such as Athenagoras. Crouzel establishes that the Novationists made precisely this claim, which means that the condemnation of canon 8 must be understood as directed against excommunication of those who marry after being widowed. [And thus, the entire progressivist argument in favor of divorce and remarriage is destroyed at a shot.  I knew it was utterly impossible that Nicaea would have endorsed a practice so obviously counter to Christ’s own dictates]

Even this condemnation must be modified if its context is examined; it was understood in the early Church that priests who are widowed must not remarry, so the condemnation is only of those who would excommunicate the laity who marry again after the death of their spouse. This understanding of the canon is in fact the only one that can make sense, in the light of the universal condemnation of remarriage after divorce by all the other Fathers and canons of the early Church. We do therefore see a mean between rigour and laxity in the discipline of the early Church, as Magister claims, but it is not a mean between holding marriage to be First_Council_of_Niceaindissoluble and permitting it to be dissolved under easy conditions. It is a mean between the rigour of insisting – for the laity – that only one marriage is permitted in one’s lifetime, regardless of whether or not one’s spouse is still living, and the laxity of permitting remarriage during the lifetime of one’s previous spouse.……. [Great, brilliant.  Thank you Professor Lamont!]

………The relaunch of Cereti’s book is an interesting sign of the times. In one way it is a characteristic feature of the current pontificate; old radicals from the 1970s judge that their hour has come at last, and go on to the offensive again. The antiquity of their positions can even be an advantage, because the refutations offered when they were first put forward have long been forgotten – who now knows about Crouzel and his criticisms?  [In short, they tried to sneak in a fast one.  What worries me is that Magister is a creature of the Italian bishops conference, meaning it was someone there floating this foolishness. Does that mean most Italian bishops are ready to do the unthinkable and attempt to either radically undermine or destroy a constant practice of the Faith – a Dogma – at the upcoming Synod?  Pray not!] But their views are not simply the revival of a past age. Their success has been prepared by a long campaign aimed at softening up their opponents, by the classic methods of constant propaganda and successful framing of the issue. One basic victory has been the very introduction of the term ‘remarriage’ into the debate. In the case of people who marry civilly when they have a spouse alive, it is not a case of remarriage; it is a case of bigamy. Once Catholics can be made to face up to the fact that the current debate is about allowing bigamists to receive communion, a proper resolution of it can be hoped for. Until that happens, though, we are fated to endure more recycling of dated bogus scholarship like that of Cereti.

————–End Quote————–

Yes, quite.  I, too, have fallen for the progressive’s propaganda and used the clumsy and unworkable “Communion for divorced and remarried (but not annulled)” line.  No more, from now on, I’m referring to them as bigamists.

Difficult times.  Please pray for the upcoming synod to hold fast in the Faith!

What the Germans are arguing for will make a mockery of the Sacrament of Matrimony.

 

Just some good Catholic pics February 11, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, Christendom, Eucharist, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Society, Virtue.
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Reader TB sent out some good Catholic pics, and thought a few of them were good to post, so here you go.  BTW, where is Dismas?!?

 

leyte_Mass

That one is awesome. I am guessing it is a Mass in the Philippines during WWII.  Even further, I would say this is either on the Leyte beachhead or Lingayen Gulf. You can see the assault transports in the background.

bosco

And always be sure to have lots of intentions when you receive the Blessed Sacrament!

Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins most overlooked in our times February 11, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Liturgical Year, mortification, Saints, sanctity, Society, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I posted a few quotes from early desert fathers yesterday, and it was apparent from those quotes how great a danger these great ascetics saw in gluttony. Here we are speaking of traditional gluttony for food, not some other gluttony (for power, etc).  A commenter rightly noted that we just don’t hear much about gluttony anymore as a grave evil.  Now, those in traditional parishes might hear a good deal about the need for fasting/mortification, but that’s a bit different.  While fasting should be a regular part of our faith life (for those who can do so), avoiding binge eating or other tendencies towards gluttony are just as important.

There is a good resource here for avoiding gluttony and overcoming chronic overeating.  Certainly, gluttony and the attendant health problems have gone beyond epidemic proportions in the United States and most of the West.  In fact, the greatest health threat to the “poor” on government assistance is not starvation, but obesity!  Even young children under the age of 10 are developing coronary artery disease, type II diabetes, and other disastrous effects of being morbidly overweight.

The Church has always counseled against all sins of worldly excess, including gluttony. The basis for this counsel is, of course, Sacred Scripture, wherein there are numerous warnings against gluttony and all bodily lusts:

Proverbs 23: 20-21: Be not among winebibbers or among gluttonous eaters of meat; for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags. 

Sirach 23:6: Let neither gluttony nor lust overcome me, and do not surrender me to a shameless soul.

Sirach 37:30-31: for overeating brings sickness, and gluttony leads to nausea. Many have died of gluttony, but he who is careful to avoid it prolongs his life. 

Matthew 11:19: the Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, `Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.

Philippians 3:18-19:For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is the belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.

Gluttony can be a venial or mortal sin depending on the degree of excess involved. Here is a good review of St. Thomas Aquinas’ analysis of the  matter.

Aquinas actually defines five ways to commit gluttony:

Laute – eating food that is too luxurious, exotic, or costly
Nimis – eating food that is excessive in quantity
Studiose – eating food that is too daintily or elaborately prepared
Praepropere – eating too soon, or at an inappropriate time
Ardenter – eating too eagerly.

Pope St. Gregory the Great proposed a list that corresponds exactly to Aquinas, as well – but 600 years earlier!  So maybe the credit goes to him.

Many great Saints have provided counsel on the evils of gluttony:

“Nothing created by God is evil. It is not food that is evil but gluttony, not the begetting of children but unchastity, not material things but avarice, not esteem but self-esteem. It is only the misuse of things that is evil, not the things themselves.”

–St. Maximos the Confessor

“Devils take great delight in fullness, and drunkenness and bodily comfort. Fasting possesses great power and it works glorious things. To fast is to banquet with angels.”

– St. Athanasius the Great

“Why do demons wish to excite in us gluttony, fornication, greed, anger, rancor and other passions? So that the mind, under their weight, should be unable to pray as it ought; for when the passions of our irrational part begin to act, they prevent the mind from acting rationally.”

– St. Nilus of Sinai

‘All that we can find everywhere is selfishness, ambition, gluttony, and luxury. Is not the greater portion of men defiled by the vice of impurity, and is not Saint John right in saying, “The whole world – if something so foul may be called – “is seated in wickedness?” I am not the one who is telling you; reason obliges you to believe that out of those who are living so badly, very few are saved.’

St. Leonard of Port Maurice

‘As long as the vice of gluttony has a hold on a man, all that he has done valiantly is forfeited by him: and as long as the belly is unrestrained, all virtue comes to naught.’

Pope St. Gregory the Great

‘Love, self-restraint, contemplation and prayer accord with God’s will, while gluttony, licentiousness and things that increase them pander to the flesh. That is why “they that are in the flesh cannot conform to God’s will” (Rom. 8:8). But “they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh together with the passions and desires.” (Gal. 5:24)’

St. Maximos the Confessor

‘I shall speak first about control of the stomach, the opposite to gluttony, and about how to fast and what and how much to eat. I shall say nothing on my own account, but only what I have received from the Holy Fathers. They have not given us only a single rule for fasting or a single standard and measure for eating, because not everyone has the same strength; age, illness or delicacy of body create differences. But they have given us all a single goal: to avoid over-eating and the filling of our bellies. . . A clear rule for self-control handed down by the Fathers is this: stop eating while still hungry and do not continue until you are satisfied.’

St. John Cassian

 . . A capital vice denotes one from which, considered as final cause, i.e. as having a most desirable end, other vices originate: wherefore through desiring that end men are incited to sin in many ways. . . the vice of gluttony, being about pleasures of touch which stand foremost among other pleasures, is fittingly reckoned among the capital vices.’

St. Thomas Aquinas

‘Overeating and gluttony cause licentiousness. Avarice and self-esteem cause one to hate one’s neighbor. Self-love, the mother of vices, is the cause of all these things.’

St. Maximos the Confessor

‘The three most common forms of desire have their origin in the passion of self-love. These three forms are gluttony, self-esteem and avarice. All other impassioned thoughts follow in their wake, though they do not all follow each of them.’

St. Thalassios the Libyan

———–End Quotes———–

I tell you, after reading all those quotes from St. Maximos the Confessor, I am encouraged to read more about him!  I don’t know a thing about him, but given the wisdom, clarity, and brevity of his counsel, I must learn more!

We enter the voluntary season of penance of Septuagesima this Sunday.  This is the season where we can get our fasting and mortification down and well-established before Lent, the great penitential season, begins.  It is a great gift the Church gives us, so we are really ready to go once Lent starts, so that we can truly accompany our Lord worthily on His 40 Day fast in the desert of the world.

I can tell you this blogger intends most seriously to engage in fast and much more exercise.  I am becoming disturbingly Santa Claus like.  I always fast half a day, but my problem has been making up a little too much for that fast time when I do eat.  That, and I have 5 daughters who like to bake lots of sweets. And it would be a sin against charity to say no to your sweet 12 year old bringing you some brownie she just made, right?

I hope this is of some benefit.  There are lots of other good Saint quotes on gluttony and intemperance here.

GLU

The great Gueranger on the concern we should have for souls February 11, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Bible, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, manhood, martyrdom, reading, religious, Saints, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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When I posted yesterday about some blogs going missing, one I had foremost in mind was Ars Orandi.  I have asked David Werling on Facebook what happened, but got no response.  It just disappeared, taking years of great content with it.   2_8_matha

Most of what Ars Orandi posted was excerpts from Dom Prosper Gueranger’s seminal The Liturgical Year.  For each day of the year, be it a day dedicated to a particular Saint, a Feria, or some great feast, you could drop by and get extensive excerpts from Gueranger’s coverage of that same Saint or Feast in The Liturgical Year.

I thought that was one of the best content formats for a blog I had yet seen.  In the spirit of keeping that alive, here is an excerpt from The Liturgical Year on the recently passed Feast of St. John Matha, one of the founders of the Trinitarian order dedicated to freeing captive Christians from Mohammaden hands. Given the way the JDeMathaworld is going with increasingly violent persecution of Christians, we have need for such dedicated souls again!

Towards the end of the writings on St. John Matha, Gueranger discusses the enormous charity that is required to correct souls in danger of error, or entirely lost in error (from The Liturgical Year, Vol. 4 Septuagesima, p. 260):

St. John Matha………..teach us the secret of ardent charity.  Is it possible that we can see a soul in danger of being lost and remain indifferent? have we forgotten the divine promise, told us by the apostle: “He that causeth a sinner to be converted form the error of his way, shall save his soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of his own sins?” (Jm V:20). Obtain for us, also, a tender compassion for such as are in bodily suffering and poverty, that so we may be generous in comforting them under these trials, which are but too often an occasion of their blaspheming Providence. Dear friend and liberator of slaves! pray, during this holy season, for those who groan under the captivity of sin and Satan; for those, especially, who, taken with the frenzy of earthly pleasures, feel not the weight of their chains, but sleep on peacefully through their slavery. Ransom them by thy prayers, convert them to the Lord their God, lead them back to the land of freedom. Pray for France which was they country, and save her from infidelity.  [I wonder how broken-35750Ihearted Dom Prosper Gueranger would be to know the state of the Church in France today. Poor country, Catholics there were some of the most consistently opposed to Church Doctrine in recent worldwide poll]  Protect the venerable remnants of they Order, that so it may labour for the present wants of the Christian world……

———-End Quote———–

 “He that causeth a sinner to be converted form the error of his way, shall save his soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of his own sins.”  That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?  

Sadly, that kind of charity and zeal for souls is immensely lacking in our Church today.  That diabolically pernicious StatueofStJohnofMathawhowithStFelixerror, “universal salvation,” has convinced millions that not only can they do as they please, they needn’t have the slightest care over their own sins or those of their brothers.  We’re all saved anyways, right?  So who cares if one is a fornicator, one a drunkard, another an adulterer, another a blasphemer, and yet another hasn’t assisted at Mass in years.  It’s all good, because God is only a God of Love and He checked His Justice at the doorway to the 20th century.

Or perhaps, as St. John Matha and St. James both knew, universal salvation is a massive error driven, one fears, by rife indifference?  Does it not matter that a great early Father, Origen, went from being one of the leading theologians of the 4th century to a condemned heretic over this matter?  Does it also not matter that almost all justifications for universal salvation are hung solely on Origen’s error, and radical misquotes (if they are not made up out of whole cloth, as Dr. Ralph Martin shows) of other Fathers, who never said anything that could be construed as endorsing universal salvation?

Fortunately, I think this error is rapidly being exposed for what it is.  But it is so widespread, we have a very long way to go. So do ask St. John Matha to pray that all Catholics will have true faith, zeal for souls, and courage!

One last note: how about St. John Matha as the model for the Church’s ecumenical efforts?