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Thoughts on Penance by Dom Lorenzo Scupoli July 24, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, mortification, priests, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Victory, Virtue.
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Continuing with excerpts from Dom Lorenzo Scupoli’s exegesis on the Four Last Things, some thoughts on penance from St. Francis de Sales’ mentor:

Penance is the only pathway to God, once we have been separated from Him in sin.  By penance I mean either penance of heart or an active penance. The one is effective, the other affective, and both must be united as the several circumstances of our condition require.

An active or effective penance is to be utilized when sickness or any voluntary affliction befalls us, or when through a penitential spirit, we discipline ourselves.

In afflictions we practice active penitence in the following situations:

1. As often as we receive crosses with the intention of receiving them as just punishments from a tender parent solicitous for our reform; or as the sentence of a merciful judge who inflicts a penalty in this life in order to spare us in the next. 

2. As often as we confess our sins with true repentance, and receive the punishment with due submission. That these two interior acts may make a deep impression on our hearts they may be accompanied by the following reflections:

a. If the crimes for which we are punished were to be weighted against our sufferings, how light would the atonement be in comparison with our  guilt.  [Boy that’s the truth.  And I worry at times about how I tend to confess the same sins over and over.  Thus I question my true repentance?]

b. All that we endure has been decreed in the Providence of God.

c. All our sufferings are to our ultimate advantage, as they satisfy for our offenses. [And yet how I complain and try to escape most sufferings!]

d. We suffer too that we may come to a realization of our own wickedness, for we seldom advert to this subject before we feel the hand of God.

e.  If by the Sacrament of Penance we are already in the State of Grace, affliction is sent as a means of satisfying the Divine Justice for the temporal punishment due to our sins. [Do we consider that when we suffer?]

f.  The punishment due to mortal sin is eternal damnation, and irrevocable banishment from the sight of God if one is not repentant. [And that makes our willingness to suffer worth everything]

g. Millions have perished who perhaps were guilty of but one mortal sin after Baptism, and many of them were surprised by death the moment it was committed.  In order to apply these rules to our own case when any affliction befalls us, we ought to retire into the depths of our hearts, and reason thus with ourselves. [If  you have committed a mortal sin, get to Confession as soon as humanly possible.  Mortal sin is distressingly frequent in these days.  Yet Confession is distressingly rare.  The correspondence of these two facts points to unimaginable disaster and suffering]

Is it not an article of faith that when I first sinned mortally after Baptism, I made myself unworthy of all but the reprobates in Hell?  O my God, if such were actually my fate, how many years should I have already passed in that place of horror!  If I consider my first mortal sin, what must I not have suffered in that fiery furnace to this time, and what might I not expect to suffer for all eternity!”

“It is through Thy mercy alone, O my God, that I was not in Hell from that first moment I deserved it, that I am not there at this moment, that I may still hope never to go there; and it is through Thy mercy that Thou hast dealt with me as Thou hast with those miserable wretches who now burn there for all eternity.

“Instead of those horrible unending torments, from which Thou hast graciously exempted me, Thou art pleased to send this affliction; and yet I murmur, am impatient and rebellious. What I now suffer cannot possibly last long: what I deserved is eternal!”

An active penitence is exercised by depriving ourselves of any satisfaction of body or mind, with the intention of making some atonement to the Divine Justice by bearing patiently any contempt or injury, and offering it to the Almighty in expiation of our offenses.

———-End Quote———–

Mortal sin, Confession, death, judgment, repentance, salvation……this is what it is all about. We have but one life to live and one death.  There is nothing more important than to die in the state of Grace.  How many souls are being lost as I type this!  Oh Lord, have mercy on us all!

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Raging feminist professor who assaulted pro-lifers at UCSB pleads no contest July 24, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, disaster, foolishness, General Catholic, paganism, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, sexual depravity, sickness, Society.
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You remember the raging feminist professor who attacked pro-life students from Thomas Aquinas College at UC-Santa Barbara a few months ago?  She pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charges.  So, yay for justice? Money says she gets a slap on the wrist:

The pro-abortion feminist studies professor at University of California Santa Barbara who attacked a young pro-life activist, stole and destroyed her sign, and encouraged a group of students to violence, inciting an angry mob, has plead no contest to criminal charges.

The incident, which took place on March 4, saw two pro-life students Thrin and Joan Short, lead the peaceful pro-life outreach event with 11 friends, most of whom were students from Thomas Aquinas College.

They used signs displaying images of abortion victims to begin conversations with students before a confrontation by Professor of Feminist Studies, Mireille Miller-Young turned violent.  The angry professor interrupted the students’ calm interaction with the activists by grabbing a pro-life sign out of the hands of one of them, carrying the sign off through the campus flanked by her students, and then assaulting Thrin Short while trying to hide from police, who were on their way, the group said.

Police officers later found the remains of the sign, which had been destroyed. UC Santa Barbara police are completing their report to be submitted for prosecution.

Now, Miller-Young has entered a plea of nolo contendere (no contest) to the criminal charges against her, which include grand theft, vandalism, and battery. The plea means that she will be convicted on the three misdemeanor charges. A sentencing hearing has been set for late August, 2014.

This being California, and a really radically left wing college campus (one of the most thoroughly leftist in the country), and she being a radical feminist, I bet the total penalty comes down to 10 hours community service and a fine of less than $100.

Duties at college will count for community service, so the change in her life will be minimal.

The university has been very defensive and has imposed no known sanction against the professor (of a made up subject).  University officials have, for the most part, blamed the pro-lifers for the incident.

Peace and love, after all.  Until you get in our f—in’ way…….

Perry describes moral catastrophe from illegal immigration July 24, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society.
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Texas Governor Rick Perry gave an interview last night in which he outlined some truly calamitous results from absolutely unconstrained illegal immigration over the southern border of the United States.  Perry claimed some 3000 murders and 8000 sexual assaults were directly attributable to illegal immigrants – and just since 2008!  He also said 203,000 immigrants over that period had been jailed for one crime or another:

This is an absolute catastrophe on so many levels. Catastrophic for the victims, for the moral integrity of the state and nation, and even catastrophic for the perpetrators, who perhaps would not have found themselves in the circumstances to commit such crimes had they remain at home.  I don’t know how these figures were arrived at, or how accurate they are (or what they leave out – like how many people have been maimed for life due to the drunken driving that is epidemic among many Hispanic immigrants), but they point to just one “small” problem area with unconstrained immigration.

A local priest related a tale during a sermon some time back. It seemed a young Mexican man had wanted to come to the US.  He had even prayed to the Blessed Virgin to help him come here.  He tried this for months, but still he was unable to immigrate.  Then he tried praying to the demon “santa muerte,” and, what do you know, he made it to the US!  But then everything went horribly wrong.  He fell into gangs and drugs, committed many terrible crimes, and was sentenced to life in prison – a life ruined and a huge burden on this nation’s taxpayers.  He confessed to the priest that he did not know why things had gone so wrong.  The priest told him it was not God’s Will that he come to the US, that the Blessed Virgin had been protecting him by keeping him in Mexico, and that the demon lured him here and to ultimate destruction.

How many similar tales are there?!?  Perhaps not involving santa muerte, but who knows, it’s very popular in Mexico and Central America.

There is a good post here discussing a proper, non-ideological and unbiased (that is, not self-serving) Catholic approach to immigration, as outlined by Saint Thomas Aquinas.  Yes, there is a Christian duty to care for the less fortunate in our midst and even welcome strangers in certain regards, but a nation has a primary duty to safeguard its own citizens, promote the greater good, preserve morals, and prevent fractious spirits or those who refuse to assimilate the nation’s values into its midst.  There is also a reasonable limit – a nation does not have to permit itself to be overrun by huge numbers of immigrants in a short period of time, because doing so would pose a threat to the nation’s unity and the security and well-being of the existing citizenry.  Reasonable laws can be set, and no, not everyone has a “right” to come to this nation or any other.

All these things are eminently logical and clearly discernible from the natural law and human reason.  This ain’t rocket science.  And yet such reasonable and sensical policies seem utterly missing from the current debate, and, it must sadly be said, from the leadership (ahem) we’ve seen from our bishops on this matter.  Self-serving arguments are rarely convincing, but in this case it is sad to see self-interest cause reason and even what could be considered by many the greatest good, of all involved (citizen and non-citizen alike), to be cast aside.  It is also most dismaying to see the leadership of the Church in this country using the manipulative language and blatant emotionalism of the Left in this debate.  All of this is very far from the classical or traditional Catholic approach.

Build a fence.  Build a minefield.  Keep heavy patrols.  Use airborne sensors.  Whatever it takes. Israel has managed to cut illegal crossings along its own long border by 99% through fences and patrols. There is no reason this nation cannot do the same. Then we can talk about what to do with those here. Then we can talk about revising the broken immigration system. Then we can set reasonable limits and argue about them like mad, because reasonable people can disagree on such things.  But the present disastrous and immoral situation must end, before any other step can be taken.

And there is nothing injurious to Faith and Morals in saying so, in spite of all the rhetoric you hear to the contrary.

1914: The end of Western Civilization July 24, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Christendom, disaster, episcopate, General Catholic, history, horror, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, sickness, Society.
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Rorate has linked to a very interesting video from CNS (I’m not sure what has happened, CNS now trots out some very good, even very tradition-friendly material, while CNA has suddenly swung hard left – ultra-ultramontanism?) regarding the effect WWI had on Europe.  The claim made by the video by several historians is that WWI ended Western Civilization, and that we have been living in  a sort of hedonistic, strange twilight denouement ever since.  It’s not a claim I disagree with much.

This got me thinking though…..when did the “beginning of the end occur?”  1789?  1776?  Or perhaps, was it 1517?  Aye……..you could make a pretty powerful argument that what occurred starting in 1914 was a very predictable result of what occurred in 1517.  For protestantism fed rationalism, which fed hostility to religion, and then on to the endarkenment, radical new forms of government sequestering Christianity to an increasingly secondary status, and on and on through the slow decay of decades until finally, inexorably, Europe arrived at 1914.  It  is a certainty Europe has never recovered from the disasters of the First World War, and probably never will – at least not in its present construction.  Europe is one of many entities in the world that appears to desire final death and dissolution (witness the catastrophically low birth rates), to be replaced by something else, and some indeterminate point in the future.

Enough harangues from me, the video, which perhaps m any of you have already seen:

 

[]youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfYuOxUWyC0]

Several points that cross my mind:

  • I think Rorate is right that the most significant remaining element of 2500 year old Western Civilization is the TLM, and with the TLM, complete re-birth is possible. There are some other elements remaining, as well, but primarily only observed by a limited few, often regarded as cranks or dismissed as hopelessly out of date.  It is interesting to consider whether the death wish towards the TLM that overtook many very influential mid-century Church leaders was part of this general rejection of all things European, Western, traditional, etc.  Think also on the cult of PC and the ludicrously exaggerated consideration expressed by Westerners towards “exotic” others – primitive jungle tribes have as valuable a “culture” as the West, or islam as a religion of “peace” equal to the Church, etc.
  • It would not necessarily be the greatest argument, but one could argue that it was the Central Powers in WWI who were the main defenders of traditional European culture, rather than the Entente.  Austria-Hungary was the most visibly Catholic government in Europe in 1914.  All the Central Powers were monarchies.  The war, in the minds of the Entente, came down to a struggle between stuffy, hidebound, reactionary monarchies and the new, liberal, “enlightened” (there’s that term, a coup of PR by the philosophes) democracies.  The Central Powers of course saw the opposite – they saw themselves as the defenders of traditional European government, societal order, etc., and France and Britain as dangerous, radical nations determined to destroy European civilization.  As the war dragged on, Kaiser Wilhelm II would fantasize about having all the prime ministers and other leaders of the Entente powers come and bend the knee before His Imperial Majesty, to prove the ultimate superiority of monarchism and traditional European values.  Now, this argument has several fallacies – there was probably no more traditional or authoritarian country in Europe in 1914 than Russia, and she was an Entente power, and there were ardent Catholics fighting for every country involved – but it’s interesting to consider.  From the standpoint of lovers of the Church and Western Civilization, there were no real “good guys” in WWI.  Everyone lost.
  • A final consideration is the fact that there is always something worse that can happen, and leftists/progressives/liberals have a knack for bringing that worse thing about.  WWI was a “triumph for democracy” in the victorious nations (it had to be something great, instead of what it was, the ultimate futile and pointless European war), but that “triumph” unleashed the hell of WWII.  The Entente Powers really did want to crush profound aspects of European culture and reshape the world according to their own liberal image. That was basically the main argument for the US entering the war – to “make the world safe for democracy.”  So all the monarchies of the Central Powers were deliberately crushed, and the same rhetoric and ideals fueled the Russian Revolution.  But the governments that rose from the ashes of WWI in Central Europe were either pathetically weak or even more monstrous constructs.  Today, progressives seem determined to see Christianity reduced to irrelevance, but what will come in Christianity’s train?  Something far worse, we can be assured.

But that makes no difference to us.  We shall always remain, as we know that Jesus Christ is the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.  He did not promise us worldly victory or power.  He just promised that if we take up our cross and follow Him, we will have eternal life.

And that, is the point of it all.