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Be grateful in all things! – UPDATED! September 10, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, priests, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Father Peter Carota has a post reminding faithful Catholics to have great gratitude for all the manifold gifts – including, even, sufferings and difficulties, which may be a source of our salvation, or help us arrive in Heaven much more quickly – that Our Blessed Lord gives us.  Some very good points below, which I briefly expand:

St. Bernard said; “Ingratitude is an enemy of the soul, which destroys merits, corrupts virtues and impedes graces.  A heavy wind that dries up the fountain of goodness, dew of mercy and the stream of the graces of God.”  [In spite of the many troubles and concerns we all have, we must remember to be eternally thankful to God for the faith he has given us and the Church which sustains us, warts and all.  For those of us who have the immense added blessing of a parish and priests we love and are greatly edified by, we have all the more reason to be thankful!]

St. John Chrysostom said; “The best way to keep God giving us things, is to remember them and being thankful for them.  God daily overloads us with innumerable benefits, asks nothing for them, but to thank Him for them.” [I must remember to thank God for everything I receive, every day]

St. Augustine said: “Nothing is more pleasing to God than to say “Thanks be to God”.” [And it’s so simple!]

Why not take some time to write down all the good things God has done for you, given you and has promised to give you in the future.  Call it a “gratitude journal” where you keep track of all the great things God has miraculously done for you or helped you avoid.

One terrible sin today is the lack of gratitude by Catholics for the gift of children.  After the 1, 2, and maybe 3 children, they see the gift of another child as something evil, bad or problem.  Other than the gifts of forgiveness of our sins, the sacraments and the hope of eternal life with God forever, a child, and all of them that God would be so generous as to give, are the greatest gift from Almighty God. [So true. God bless Father Carota!]

Then I ripped this pic off another post.  Hey, I know that priest!

photo2

 

One final point – how would you feel if you continually gave all manner of gifts, assistance, and blessings to many different people and they almost never thanked you?  What if they even had an entitlement mentality and complained about your tardiness, or lack of perfection in your gifts, or some other fault with the great works you did for them?

Every night when we pray as a family, we always, each one of us, try to say thanks to God for something He has given us that day.  I love how my adorable seven year old daughter frequently says “I am thankful to be born into a Catholic family.”  She came up with that entirely on her own!

Thank you, Lord, for giving me such wonderful children, and help me to remember how wonderful they are even when they aren’t!

UPDATE: So here I am reading Divine Intimacy for today just now, and what do I find, but the subject for today is gratitude!  Providence!

But Father Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalen notes that lack of gratitude is almost rooted in lack of humility, or pride.  Something to consider if we find that we rarely give thanks to God.

We must stop thinking we are the author of the good things we do, instead of God!

All evil we do comes from ourselves, and all good from God September 10, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, mortification, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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I always need to strengthen my practice of the virtue of humility. It’s a very difficult one for me.  And I think blogging is just about diametrically opposed to its practice!  But every once in a while, I little bit of wisdom on that virtue penetrates my foot-thick armor of pride and manages to make a little impression.  I pray.  From Fr. Cajetan Bergano’s excellent Humility of Heart, a couple of brief discourses on humility:

Saint Thomas founds this doctrine, that all the evil that is in man and is done by man comes from man, and that all the good that is in man and is done by man comes from God; and for four reasons he says that we may unhesitatingly affirm that everyone is better than we are:

The first reason is to consider in our hearts what really belongs to us, namely, malice and wickedness, and to consider what our neighbor possesses that is of God, namely, his innumerable benefits.  The second is to consider some particular good quality which that person may have and which we have not.  The third is to recognize some fault in ourselves that other person has not.  The fourth is to possess a wise fear that there may be some secret pride within us which corrupts our holiest actions and that we may be mistaken in the opinion we have of ourselves, imagining ourselves to be virtuous when we are not.  [Hmmm….there should be a picture of me inserted next to that statement]

………..

The humble man, when he hears that people are speaking ill of him, is not disturbed, but quietly learns to amend his ways, even though he may not have committed the faults of which he mas been accused.  He does not lament as if he were persecuted; he does not say that those who speak thus of him are malignant and jealous rivals; but he believes that they know him better than he knows himself.  Do you do this?

The humble man, when he is reproved, receives the correction in good part and thanks him who has had the kindness and goodness to give it.  He does not judge or speak evil of anyone, because he believes that everyone is better than he is, and because he knows he is capable of doing worse things still. [None of this is easy.  And, being an addict, I have long had a saying….there are always worse alternatives.  This is a common saying in NA.  You can always stoop to some new low.] He lives in peace with all and respects all and, without expecting to be honored himself, he is the first to honor others, as the holy Apostles Peter and Paul commanded: “Have peace with all men.” (Rom XII:18).

————–End Quote————-

Not only have I read the above recently, but also some really strong exhortations, along almost exactly the same lines, in Divine Intimacy.  Perhaps Our Lord is trying to tell me something!

Certainly, I need to vastly improve my practice of humility.  It is the way of great Saints.  But there have also been great Saints who were not so humble. I’m also reading the letters of Saint Jerome, and he was a feisty guy with a really sharp sense of humor.  He was a stinker, in some ways.  But he was also an amazingly holy man who did tremendous work.

But in spite of the countervailing examples, we should remember that Our Blessed Lord came to teach us one primary thing, “to be meek and humble of heart.”  This is sooo contrary to our fallen natures, we are just eat up with pride!

And……AND…….I have found that praying for things like humility and patience can be very dangerous things to pray for.  Pray for patience and you might get inundated with things to try your patience. Pray for humility and you might experience some truly great humiliations.  God’s ways are not our ways!  That is so true!

Sorry I don’t have a really pithy wrap up.  I’m done.

Lord have mercy on me a sinner!

 

ISIS militants actively probing southern border September 10, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society.
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Surprising no one, the federal government confirmed that ISIS militants are actively exploring penetrating the southern border. I don’t know what “exploring” or preparation they’d have to do, all they need to do is walk/drive across with all the munitions they can carry (in a semi), and then get going causing mayhem and murder:

A senior Homeland Security (DHS) official confirmed to Congress on Wednesday that militants associated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) are planning to enter the United States via the porous southern border.

Francis Taylor, under secretary for intelligence and analysis at DHS, told senators during a hearing that ISIL supporters are known to be plotting ways to infiltrate the United States through the border.

“There have been Twitter, social media exchanges among ISIL adherents across the globe speaking about that as a possibility,” Taylor told Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) in response to a question about “recent reports on Twitter and Facebook of messages that would urge infiltration into the U.S. across our southwestern border.”

“Certainly any infiltration across our border would be a threat,” Taylor said, explaining that border security agents are working to tighten measures that would prevent this from taking place.

“I’m satisfied we have the intelligence and the capability on our border that would prevent that activity,” Taylor said.

However, McCain was dubious, referring to recent videos released by activist James O’Keefe showing him crossing the border while wearing an Osama bin Laden mask.

Asked by McCain why agents did not stop O’Keefe, Taylor could not provide an answer.

“You can’t answer it because they weren’t there to stop him,” McCain responded.

I’m sure the USCCB border police will be there to prevent any but the most downtrodden, desperate, and completely virtuous Hispanic Catholics from crossing the border, who are after all only EVER looking for work and never for welfare benefits or running from the law.

Not that chanceries or episcopal mansions rank very high on the list of terrorist targets.  I wonder what would happen if they did……….

Apologia for Father X September 10, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin.
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Sometimes in blogging, zeal can get ahead of prudence.  Other times, there are just plain miscommunications.  And sometimes people take something they read online and read way too much into it.  Irrespective of all the above, and in spite of the due diligence I thought I had done before posting, I apologize profusely for any problems that post may have caused.  It is very likely the intended recipient will never read this, but on the off chance he does, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.  So sorry, Father, and I believe the matter has been rectified.

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A really good Catholic book resource for you September 10, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Liturgy, reading, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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Being an avid reader of all things Catholic (ok, and an occasional military item as well, like this one), I really enjoy finding solidly orthodox publishers of Catholic books that I can recommend.  There are not many that I have identified – Loreto, Our Lady of Victory, TAN, St. Bonaventure, and a few others.  My wife gave me a wonderful biography of the great Pope Leo XIII (where is his Cause?!?) that has been republished by a group called Refuge of Sinners Publishing, Inc, or www.traditionalcatholicpublishing.com.  This book was originally published in 1887.  That makes me so happy, I love to find either ancient copies of great Catholic books, like the Ascetical Works of St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, or reprints of those same old editions.

A good priest told me long ago, with respect to study bibles, it is strongly preferred to use a study bible that is at least 200 years old.  That is because the rot of modernism, rationalism, leftism, and all the rest began entering into biblical studies even in the early 1800s.  Well, my friends, the same applies to virtually all classic works of theology, lives of the Saints, you name it.  So many modern editions of even classic volumes, like the Ascetical Works mentioned above, have either been horribly abridged (removing “offensive” content), had some of the most edifying parts removed, or just generally toned down and made more “compatible” with our wonderful modern sensibilities.  That is why I try to scour pretty deeply into the offerings of various Catholic publishers to ascertain whether they provide the real meat of Catholic spirituality by providing great works unedited, or if they offer the baby milk of modernized, simplified, and often “de-mythologized” versions of the same works.

Well, I have perused the traditionalcatholicpublishing site pretty thoroughly, and I have found that the vast majority of the works they offer are straight up reprints of often quite old Catholic classics.  While not many are more than 200 years old, many date from the 19th or early 20th centuries, well before most problems began to appear in works of Catholic spirituality (the Bible being a special case, efforts to undermine it predate most other areas by a century or more).  One area I particularly appreciate is their selection of great Marian volumes – I try to always be reading a book devoted to the Blessed Mother, but I had just about ran out of items to read!  So I am very eager to get some of these so I can continue to honor and learn about Our Lady – as Fr. Faber says in this very intriguing title, ““We never advance more rapidly in love of the Son than when we travel by the Mother.”  As a protestant I would have found that incredible, wrong, even offensive – but as a Catholic I know it to be so very true and I pity those who do not have the enormous gift of a strong relationship with Our Lady, a relationship only our glorious Church emphasizes properly.

I have really spent too much time looking through all their offerings – they have many other items besides books for sale, but it is the books that move me the most.  They also offer the Saint Andrew Missal, which a local traditional priest recently described as the best missal for the laity available, especially in its extensive discussions of the liturgical year, the importance and meaning of each particular Feast or Holy Day, and its general explanation of the Liturgy.  I could probably drop most of a paycheck right now on all the great things I have found!  But patience is a virtue……..right?!?

I do recommend you check out the sight.  God bless those who have put this wonderful resource together!