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El Paso, Redux: City of Plano passes pro-sodomy, anti-Christian ordinance over loud protests December 9, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, Dallas Diocese, disaster, error, Father Rodriguez, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, North Deanery, paganism, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society.
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Late last night, in a quickly scheduled session that attempted to minimize public notice, my hometown of Plano, TX decided to enact a Houston-like ordinance highly favorable to the false “rights” of those fallen into the gravest of perversions and highly detrimental to the rights of Christians.  The Houston ordinance is already under a recall vote and several lawsuits contesting its standing under the Texas and US Constitutions, and given the outpouring of opposition last night it seems the City of Plano must have a few extra millions to spend fighting their own soon to come lawsuit.  It also seems Plano elected its first at least culturally leftist Mayor last May, since he was the driving force behind this ordinance.

And we see yet again firm confirmation that the radical sodomite left will not stop in its persecution of Christians.  Ever.  No matter how far the Church is pushed from the public square, no matter how much they persecute individual Christians, they will not stop:

Late last night, the Plano City Council held its first and only public hearing and voted, 5-3 (view results), to pass a new controversial non-discrimination ordinance. The ordinance is similar to the ordinance the City of Houston passed earlier this year, over enormous opposition by the people, that is now the subject of an expensive lawsuit and referendum effort. The Plano ordinance will expand the City’s non-discrimination policy to include sexual orientation and gender identity (a term that does not appear in state law) and potentially will allow transgender persons to demand access to the bathroom of their choice. [I know this is the most explosive aspect of these ordinances, but it’s really not the most important. What is most important now is that every business owner in Plano, or anyone who does business with the City of Plano (a city of 275,000), will be forced to express at least lip service to the sodomite agenda, and many will have to make the very painful choice to close down their business or violate their conscience.  Incredible.] The law applies to all business owners in Plano and any business that contracts with the City for services or use of City facilities. Legal experts agree that this ordinance is as a violation of the U.S. Constitution, the Texas Constitution, and the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“This reckless effort to fast-track a law that undermines state law and attacks religious freedom and free speech will do great damage to Plano and especially its small businesses. The City will now find itself dealing with a similar mess that Houston has created for itself. The City of Houston is now spending thousands, if not millions, of tax dollars fighting in court on a similar ordinance that was extremely divisive and that was also widely rejected by the people. This special rights ordinance will be used as a weapon against people of sincere faith and the business community and will permanently damage the reputation of the City of Plano,” said Jonathan Saenz, president and attorney for Texas Values.

Within a few hours of Plano residents becoming aware of the proposed ordinance, over 1,600 emails were sent to the Plano City Council opposing the ordinance. Despite the diverse opposition to the ordinance at the meeting, including racial minorities, small business owners, and legal experts, the Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere still invoked the history of race and women as a reason for passing the new law. Mayor LaRosiliere seemed convinced that LGBT sexual lifestyle choices are more important and historically relevant than religious freedom, as the new law allows LGBT choices to trump religious rights. [I don’t follow local politics anymore. I have no idea how this guy got elected.  You could say he stands in extreme contrast to all of his predecessors in heretofore extremely conservative Plano] The packed council room of opposition included only a few people who supported the ordinance; an ACLU representative and a few LGBT activists.

According to legal group Liberty Institute, “[t]he Proposed Ordinance is vaguely worded and compels private businesses and employees to violate their sincerely-held religious beliefs, in contravention of federal and state laws protecting persons of faith. In effect, the Proposed Ordinance makes it a crime to do business in the City of Plano while maintaining Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or other traditional religious views of marriage, sexuality, and gender identity.”

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They never, ever stop.  Lord have mercy on us.  We surely must have sinned to deserve what is happening around us.  My goodness.  I cannot believe this happened in Plano of all places.

So I have to wonder: will there be a brave priest, another Father Michael Rodriguez, in the Diocese of Dallas in general or the City of Plano in particular who will publicly excoriate this immoral nightmare?  I pray there is, but experience tells me I probably should not hold my breath.



Local effort opposes obscene billboards December 9, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, General Catholic, horror, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, secularism, sexual depravity, Society.
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Irving is about as Catholic a town as there is in the Metroplex.  It may not have the highest percentage of Catholics, but it does have a disproportionate number of active, involved Catholics.  There are many sources of this: Mater Dei, the University of Dallas, the Cistercian monastery, the Holy Family of Nazareth convent and school (Grand Prairie, but close), Faustina Academy, St. Luke’s (I guess), etc.  For whatever reason, there are a lot of devoted Catholics.  And they are networked, too.  There is a very active Irving Catholic group called ICON.  There are a number of local activities and the ICON e-mail list helps in a number of ways.

One recent posting to the ICON mail list dealt with the obscene billboards that are very common along Dallas (city of) freeways.  As some local priests have said, it is a near occasion of sin for many people simply to drive to Mass, since many people drive down I-35 to get to Mater Dei and I-35 has some of the worst billboards around.   Apparently there is an effort afoot to have the City of Dallas start to rein in these obscene billboards.  The text of the e-mail stated the following, in part:

Thank you all who wrote to district councilwoman Monica Alonzo about the many seedy billboards representing all of us along I35.  There are some new ones up that go further.  One says OMG sex toys.  Really.  Another says 50 shades of grey and then the name of their store.  As you may know this is a book which promotes many harmful, sinful practices and abuse of women.  Please step up your emails and direct them to Mayor Mike Rawlings, copying Monica Alonzo.  Before becoming mayor, Mike Rawlings owned the largest advertising company in the Southwest, so he is very aware of the power of advertising. The emails are:  mike.rawlings@dallascityhall.com and monica.alonzo@dallascityhall.com.  Talking points can again be safety of women and children (Dallas being one of the top ten cities identified by the State Dept for human sex trafficking) and abuse of children increasing……..decrease in family traffic to businesses in these areas, crime, driver distraction, trashy look of billboards.  Some of these areas are very close to UD.  Let us be a light and reawaken in these people a sense of protecting children, our husbands from the harmful effects of pornography.

Yes, unfortunately, the main hub of strip joints in Dallas is along Northwest Highway at its junction with I-35, and about a mile on either side.  It was the prevalence of these dens of immorality and Dallas’ infamy as being a hot spot for such places that prompted me to want to start up a group of men to pray and possibly, eventually, protest outside these facilities.  Right as I was trying to get that group going I got very sick and I have not followed up on that project, but I hope to now.

Our FSSP priests have stressed that having these places – so bold as to advertise before thousands of people, even little children, every day! – is really a huge blight on the community not just physically, but also spiritually.  Strip clubs, porn parlors (now almost extinct due to the internet), whorehouses (Korean “massage parlors”), etc, are enormous sources of evil and a demon or demons is attached to every one of them.  I know among my readers there are many pro-life warriors but we also need to be fighting this other evil, especially us Catholic men.  So I hope to get that group I wanted to start (I was thinking of calling it the Society of Saint Lawrence Justinian) going after the New Year.  I hope to have a group of men join me in praying outside The “Men’s” Club in Dallas on a Wednesday or Thursday in early January.  I will post more notices as we get closer to the date.

For now, I strongly encourage any local readers (especially Dallas residents) to contact Mayor Rawlings and Councilwoman Alonzo regarding the many obscene billboards along Dallas streets and highways.  We all lament the collapse of the culture, but it’s easy to just sit and complain.  Why not take a small act to try to do something about the general collapse in morals in our culture?  You know, the residents near Bachmann Lake got all the strip joints that used to crowd near that neighborhood closed or moved.  They raised a ruckus and the city passed an ordinance demanding that any such facility be at least a certain distance from any school or single family housing.  There is no reason why that ordinance could not be expanded, or new ones added.

God bless you and thank you.

Good sermon on sloth December 9, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, priests, sanctity, Society, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I guess it’s sermon Tuesday, what with Fr. Rodriguez’ last sermon.  Sloth is one of the seven deadly or mortal sins, but it does not get discussed very much.  Other sins like lust may be more flashy or be more obvious problems, but it is quite possible that in our culture of utter comfort with almost everything available on demand that sloth may be a more widespread problem than even lust or gluttony.

I think you will find in the sermon below many aspects of sloth you had not considered before.  For one thing, the priest notes that desire for excessive recreation time and constantly seeking new “highs” in entertainment opens the door to many immoral activities over the computer or otherwise.  I think a few moment’s reflection might indicate to you, as it did to me, that there are many times I have been tempted to sin while seeking to be entertained.  It’s easy to go from watching an edifying video on Youtube to watching something else entirely.  We are all probably aware of forms of sloth by procrastinating or not doing the work called for by our vocation at a given moment, but we can also commit sloth by overworking in one area and not performing needed tasks in others.  A husband with a passel of small children who finds home life a headache and thus stays late at the office every night until the kids are put to bed may be shirking his duty as a father.  A mom who spends a great deal of time on Facebook or on the phone with friends rather than tending to needed work at home may be, as well.

The priest defines sloth as not doing what you are supposed to be doing when you are supposed to be doing it. When we are slothful, then we are not under the protective arc of God’s sustaining Grace…and we are much more prone to sin. We get angry, lustful, curious… arrogant. This is why sloth is a deadly sin… it gives birth to a host of other sins.

Much to consider below.  I pray you find this sermon edifying, as I did:

The road of sanctity involves more than just following rules December 9, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, mortification, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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I had lunch with a good friend today, and he reiterated to me a concern he’s had  for a long time: that traditional Catholics (of which he is one) may have a temptation to fall into the trap of thinking that because they assist at the TLM, because they always follow the (old) fasts, always make their Sunday and Holy Day obligations, have access to good orthodox priest-confessors (and receive Confession regularly), and in general observe all the precepts of the Faith, they are “covered,” so to speak, when it comes to their eternal destiny.  And they may be – certainly we must follow all the Laws of God’s Holy Church – but our goal as the (hopefully) most faithful Catholics should never be to do just the minimum, to just get by.  Our goal should and must be sanctity.  Remember Our Lord’s word to the Laodiceans: “But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, not hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth” (Apoc III:16).

How do we achieve sanctity?  By doing the will of God for us at all times.  That means much more than simply not committing mortal sins and obeying the Precepts of the Church.  It means a process of transformation that will take all of us lifetimes to achieve, or even begin.

I thought this excerpt from Divine Intimacy from last week admirably expresses my point:

The path which leads to sanctity, that is, to God, can be marked out only by God Himself, by His Will.  Jesus expressed this very strongly when he said, “not everyone that saith to me ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he that doth the will of My Father who is in Heaven, he shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt VII:21).  And to show that the souls who are most closely united to Him, the ones He loves most, are precisely those who do the will of God, He does not hesitate to say: “Whosoever shall do the will of My Father that is in Heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother (Mt XII:50).

The Saints learned in the school of Jesus.  St. Teresa of Avila, after having received the most sublime mystical communications, did not hesitate to declare, “The highest perfection consists not in interior favors, or in great raptures, or in visions, or in the spirit of prophesy, but in the bringing of our wills so closely into conformity with the will of God that, as soon as we realize he wills anything, we desire it ourselves with all our might, and take the bitter with the sweet.” St. Therese of the Child Jesus echoes this statement, “The more joyfully souls do His will, the greater is their perfection.”

True love of God consists in adhering perfectly to His Holy Will, not desiring to do or be other than what God indicates for each of us, to the point of becoming, as it were, “a living will of God.”  Seen in this light, sanctity is possible for every soul of good will; it is not impossible that a soul which leads a humble, hidden life, may adhere to the Divine Will as well and perhaps even better than a “great” Saint who has received from God an exterior mission and has been enriched with mystical graces.  The perfection of a soul may be measured by the degree to which it does the Will of God, and finds happiness in doing it.

To become Saints we must have total conformity of our will with God’s.  It is necessary, then, that there should be nothing in our soul which is not in harmony with the Divine Will, and that our actions be motivated by His will alone.  “Divine union consists in the soul’s total transformation, according to the will, in the will of God, so that there may be naught in the soul that is contrary to the will of God, but that, in all and through all, its movement may be that of the will of God alone.” (Saint John of the Cross)

In all our actions, we are always impelled by love, love our ourselves, love of creatures, or love of God.  As long as the soul clings to the least thing contrary to God’s will, that is, to some irregular attachment to self or creatures, it will often act, not under the impulse of God’s love but through a desire for personal satisfaction, or because of a disordered love of creatures, and therefore, will walk apart from God’s will.  Sin is not the only thing which is opposed to God’s will; even the slightest imperfection or deliberate attachment prevents the soul from acting under the motion of God’s will alone.

———-End Quote———–

I do not want to be misunderstood – by simply being obedient Catholics in this day and age, believing all that the Church believes to the best of our ability and observing the Church’s Law on things such as Sunday Mass attendance, going to Confession, etc., a soul is already light years ahead of the vast majority who wear the name “Catholic” today.  Observing the commandments of the Church is the first and vitally necessary step in the way of sanctity, and I never mean to belittle it even slightly.

Having said that, many of us have many sins we must do expiation for.  I certainly do.  But there are whole levels of sanctity above that of doing the bare minimum.  Greater sanctity in this life, more focus on expiation of sins in this life, will hopefully mean less time in Purgatory for some of us, too.

Anyway, I thought the above might make a helpful Advent reminder.

IMPORTANT: Fr. Rodriguez’ last sermon in Shafter….. December 9, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, episcopate, Father Rodriguez, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Liturgy, mortification, persecution, priests, sadness, sanctity, scandals, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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……and, I am afraid, his last public sermon for at least a number of months.

Say what you will about Fr. Rodriguez and his desire to offer strictly the TLM “in spite of” being a diocesan priest (that is, not part of one of the Ecclesia Dei communities), the video below shows to me a priest who is consumed with love for the souls in his charge and for the traditional practice of the Faith.  Several times Father breaks down during the sermon, not over his own trials, but over those souls who will experience their own intense suffering at being denied the loving care of such a priest, and the regular availability of the TLM and the whole traditional practice of the Faith.

The title of the sermon is taken from the Book of Job: “The Lord Hath Given, and the Lord Hath Taken Away, Blessed Be the Name of the Lord.”   Father stresses that the sufferings pious souls in El Paso and much of West Texas are now experiencing are great graces given us by the Lord to purify our souls and bring about our sanctification.  It is so difficult to suffer, so contrary to our fallen natures, and yet that is exactly what God in the Second Person of the Trinity did to redeem us from our constant sins.

“Whenever there is a cross, no matter what, God is allowing it so that we might unite ourselves with His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.”

Some more select quotes:

“If you want to be a saint, if you want to be a true friend of Christ, you have to suffer through persecutions, trials, and sorrows. ”

“It is necessary that we make expiation for the sins of the Church.”

“You change the way in which we worship and it changes what we believe – Lex Orandi Lex Credendi”

“On what authority are churchmen today questioning what the Church has taught regarding the indissolubility of marriage?  There is no authority in the Church that has the authority to question what has been handed on faithfully for 2000 years regarding the indissolubility of marriage.  Those who are married in the Church and divorced cannot receive Holy Communion.  That’s by Divine Law.  There is no authority on earth, not even the pope, not even an ecumenical council, can change that.

“But don’t forget what I said at the beginning…..first you have to focus on  your own sins…….If you are making expiation for your own sins, and those of the Church, you are probably better off looking to do 90% for your own, and 10% for the sins of the Church.  If you fall into the temptation of speaking about the sins of the hierarchy, you better reflect seriously on your own personal sins and your own need for conversion.” [Thank you for this most charitable reminder.  This is a most important point.]

There is much more. I loved the discourse on “Porta Caeli.”

This is one of the most loving sermons I have ever heard.  God bless Father Rodriguez.  Please keep him in your prayers.  And also pray for Bishop Seitz and the entire Diocese of El Paso, that a place may be found for Fr. Rodriguez’ traditional apostolate, to which he feels so irresistibly drawn.