jump to navigation

A little Advent greatness December 11, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Christendom, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Liturgical Year, Tradition, Virtue.
comments closed

Just a brief post – two different versions of the Rorate, one in plain chant unaccompanied, the other with organ:

Do you have a preference?

This is such a beautiful hymn, and so meaningful.  This is the time of year when we wait with great expectation for the arrival of Our Savior, the One who is to come to take away the sins of the world and bring salvation to the world.

Drop down dew you heavens from above, and let the clouds rain the just one

We have sinned, and are as an unclean thing,
and we all do fade as a leaf:
and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away;
thou hast hid thy face from us:
and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.

Behold, O Lord, the affliction of thy people
and send forth Him who is to come
send forth the Lamb, the ruler of the earth from Petra of the desert to the mount of the daughter of Sion
that He may take away the yoke of our captivity

Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord,
and my servant whom I have chosen;
that ye may know me and believe me:
I, even I, am the Lord, and beside me there is no Savior:
and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.

Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people,
my salvation shall not tarry:
why wilt thou waste away in sadness?
why hath sorrow seized thee?
Fear not, for I will save thee:
for I am the Lord thy God,
the Holy One of Israel, thy Redeemer.

Did I see some people saying they had Rorate Masses, or heard Rorate Caeli, in their non-TLM parishes?  I could see the hymn…..but is there an option for a Rorate Mass in the Novus Ordo?

Great story – “I came into the Church through the Traditional Latin Mass” December 11, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Liturgy, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
comments closed

That would make about the 6th person I know who felt called to embrace the Church through experience at the Traditional Latin Mass.  Via Pertinacious Papist, a happy story but one that also contains much salutary discussion of how the two Latin Rites appeal – or don’t – to those outside the Church (emphasis from link, I add comments):

The Catechism and the Second Vatican Council say that the Mass is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” The claim seems odd to most of us today. Americans usually think religion has to do with spirituality, which we see as personal and rather vague, with moral commitment, whether defined as “family values” or as “social justice,” or with joining a community of mutual concern, acceptance, and support. Even if we accept in theory that the religion to which we claim to adhere is something much more definite, it goes against the grain to treat the definite part as more than decorative. After all, doctrine divides, and we’re all pragmatists, so why emphasize that side of things?

If you look at religion that way a worship service becomes something like a lecture, pep rally, self-help meeting, or social get-together. [Is that not an apt description for many Masses as they are offered in the Church today?] Other people do those things at least as well as Catholics, so why bother with Catholicism? [Exactly the sad calculation millions of souls have already made in leaving the Church] Why not go with something even more modern and American than the New Mass as presented in the average suburban parish? Why not do praise and worship at a megachurch?

The Traditional Mass made it clear that the Mass is something different from all that. The formality, the silences, the use of an ancient language, the orientation and gestures of the priest, the indifference to popularity—all those things meant the Mass wasn’t anything like an ordinary meeting. It wasn’t about the people present, and at bottom it wasn’t even their doing. To the contrary, those present evidently understood what was going on as awe-inspiring, mostly invisible, and dependent on someone other than themselves. There was no other way to make sense of how they were acting.

So the Traditional Mass made it clear that there’s a basic dimension in Catholic Christianity, the reliable concrete presence of God, that I couldn’t find anywhere else. [And that factor right there was key in several people I know converting to the Faith through the experience of the TLM. At present, there is are souls to pray for, a Hasidic Jewish couple that is contemplating converting to the One True Faith.  Such conversions are so rare as to be unheard of. Please pray for them] That realization clarified what the Church is—she is the way God maintains a visible presence in the world—and the necessity of becoming part of her for those who want to live a complete life. [Not to mention the vital need to be in visible communion with the Church to obtain eternal salvation]

…….The Mass, in which God becomes present to us in the most concrete way imaginable, is an extreme case of His mercy. The Traditional Mass makes it as evident as possible what is going on when it is celebrated. That feature helps people recognize and accept what is offered, and eliminates the barrier to mercy that arises when the nature of the Mass is obscured. [That’s a great point, and one I had not well considered before. I do think it true that contrary to what many people might think, the mercy of God may be more clearly expressed in the TLM than in the NO.  I know the NO has the reputation being less austere and “hard” than the TLM but that doesn’t mean it conveys the sense of God’s mercy as well] 

In the divine mercy it is God who defines the way and makes the first move. That means that we don’t form the Mass, it forms us,

Which leads to another benefit of the Traditional Mass: it helps the Church see herself as a whole, as the same always and everywhere, and it unites the Church on earth with the Church in heaven in a special way. Relics of the saints help us feel their presence and communion as a reality. The Traditional Mass is a relic of the saints whose images are in the niches and on the walls, and who surround us when it is celebrated, because so many of them worshiped through the same Mass or something close to it when they were visibly here among us…….

The New Mass looked to me like it had been produced less by saints and the sensus fidei fidelium than by an interdenominational committee of credentialed experts and then modified in accordance with the demands of particular communions. …  it seems to me that the Traditional Latin Mass helps believers and the Church, because it helps believers see what the Mass and Church are all about. It helps people see the Mass as more than an ordinary assembly and the Church as more than a collection of individuals with varying tendencies and idiosyncrasies. So it helps the Church reach people with what she has to offer. It also helps the Church see herself as One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, and so helps focus her on her nature and mission. What could be better, or more Catholic, than all that?

————End Quote————-

Given the testimony above and that of some others I know, it’s rather comical (in a sad way) to consider that the TLM is the ecumenical Mass the NO was always sold as being.  It doesn’t appeal to everyone, but those it does appeal to tend to find it irresistible.

I was speaking to a friend the other day at lunch about the Novus Ordo and the TLM.  Both of us go out of our way to assist only at the TLM whenever possible. I have not been to a NO in over a year.  I cannot say I miss anything about it.

However, both of us agreed that a very good, reverent, Latin Novus Ordo played a big part in helping to prepare us to experience the TLM and find that experience rewarding.  It was a great step along the way, and I will ever be thankful for the priest who offered that Mass then and still does today.  He has suffered a great deal for his faithfulness to the intent of Sacrosanctum Concilium and the Council Fathers, offering a Mass much closer to the vision of the vast majority of bishops at Vatican II than the Mass offered in most parishes today.

Nevertheless, when I went back to that Mass about a year ago, it was just not the same.  I’ve moved on. The rest of my family felt the same way.  But what a grace it was for us for a time.

Pope Francis gives a surprising account on the Extraordinary Synod on the Family….. December 11, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, episcopate, General Catholic, huh?, Papa, persecution, secularism, silliness, Society, SOD, the return.
comments closed

Rorate linked to the CNS video below of a recent pronouncement made by Pope Francis regarding the Synod.  The account given below is in marked contrast to numerous reports – including those of a good number of participants – of a Synod that featured angry arguments and a literal rebellion against the radical changes the Synod organizers (which, it must be said, certainly included the Pope) wanted to introduce.  One might find some of the below incredible:

“Not one intervention questioned the fundamental truths of the sacrament of matrimony, not one, namely – indissolubility, unity, fidelity, and openness to life. This was not touched.

Some might ask, ‘Father, did not some of the bishops fight?’  I wouldn’t say fight, but they did speak strongly, that is true.  This is the freedom that exists in the church.

Everything happened with Peter and under Peter, that is, in the presence of the pope, who is a guarantee of all, of freedom and trust, and a guarantee of orthodoxy”

Those are certainly interesting statements.  One might wonder why the Pope felt it necessary to issue this clarification?  And how can the mid-term “Relatio,” the most controversial and upsetting portions of which were forcibly included in the final report of the first part of the Synod by the Pope, be squared with the statement that not one of the fundamental truths of the Sacrament of Matrimony was questioned?  There seems to be some radical division being expressed here, between allegedly pastoral actions that many fear will have the effect of obliterating Doctrine, and some kind of formal act taken to reverse or destroy that Doctrine. But I think many orthodox Catholics see that distinction as false.  Belief and practice – orthodoxy and orthopraxis – are inseparably linked.  One cannot allow in practice actions that have the effect of  undermining or even contradicting sacred beliefs held by the entire Church throughout Her history.

With regard to the final sentence – is it a correct understanding of Doctrine to assume that simply because some event in the Church occurs in the presence of the Pope, that is a total guarantee of orthodoxy at that event?  Can we not recall especially the first two Assisi conferences as troubling contraindications of this assumption?  What are the doctrinal implications of this assumption?  Does this not represent a strong potential for a massive widening of the very narrow infallibility protections possessed by a Pope when he speaks Ex Cathedra to define Doctrine for the universal Church?

Feeling the heat?  As Rorate notes, last week’s Papal interview featured some rather surprising statements regarding Cardinal Burke’s situation, and now this.

Early Flightline Friday – yes, the A-10 can operate from dirt strips December 11, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Flightline Friday, fun, non squitur, silliness, Society.
comments closed

A recent Air Combat Command news article showed A-10s of the 74th FS, 23rd FG operating in a major exercise with the 1st Armored Division (the only full armored division remaining in the US inventory) at Fort Bliss.  All models were upgraded A-10Cs, which have new wings and a large number of improvements to their avionics.  USAF spent several billions upgrading the A-10 fleet to the C model, and then the top brass threatened to retire the entire fleet.  That caused great consternation in the Army and in Congress, and the issue of the retirement remains in doubt at present.  I do have to say, if USAF did want to retire the A-10, they chose an idiotic time to do so, just after all that money had been spent upgrading the fleet to serve for another two decades.  Having said that, I am not one of those fervent A-10 partisans who view the type as sacrosanct and simply above criticism.  A-10s are very good in low-threat environments, but in a conflict against a peer adversary like China or Russia, they would not last long, or at the very least, would require severe attrition of the adversaries air defenses before they could be deployed with anything like a reasonable loss rate.  BTW, back in the days of the Cold War, one reason why the A-10 fleet was so large (over 700 a/c deployed) was because it was known hundreds would be lost in any Central Front war in Europe.  That’s sort of the paradigm with “low-cost” aircraft, sure you can buy lots of them, but in many scenarios you’re going to lose lots of them, too.

Nevertheless, I think after the investment made the A-10 fleet should be kept around for some time to come.

Interesting photos below of A-10s operating from dirt airstrips.  The A-10 is the only tactical aircraft in the Air Force that has that capability.

A-10 overflying M106A6 "Paladin" self-propelled 155mm gun. Both types are nearly 50 years old.

A-10 overflying M106A6 “Paladin” self-propelled 155mm gun. Both types are nearly 50 years old.

Many upgrades visible here.  Pilot is wearing the Joint Helmet Mounted Cuing System which allows him to point his head at what he wants to shoot at and......shoot.  AN/AAS-28(V) Litening II targeting pod on the outer starboard pylon.  Two Mavericks.  Some 25lb practice bombs.

Many upgrades visible here. Pilot is wearing the Joint Helmet Mounted Cuing System which allows him to point his head at what he wants to shoot at and……shoot. AN/AAS-28(V) Litening II targeting pod on the outer starboard pylon. Two Mavericks. Some 25lb practice bombs.

A-10s coming in to land

A-10s coming in to land

A-10 has split flaps that open nearly 90 deg to act like enormous dive breaks.  Work great for landing.

A-10 has split flaps that open nearly 90 deg to act like enormous dive breaks. Work great for landing.

PR shot

PR shot

A couple final thoughts.  If you talked to most officers and airmen, you would find them to be firm supporters of the A-10.  You would probably also hear a great deal of exasperation regarding the decisions the senior brass make, not just on the A-10, but many other programs, as well.  USAF is, it must be said, dominated by a certain fighter mafia that has it’s core in the F-15/F-22 communities, takes care of its own, and dominates senior leadership.  Bomber, tanker, and cargo pilots (in that order) are definitely seen as second-class citizens.  So there is a fair amount of resentment towards that clique, their dominance at the upper echelons of command, and for the (frequently bad) decisions they make.  It’s really wrong to say “the Air Force is just a bunch of fighter pilots who don’t give a darn about the troops on the ground.”  By and large, that statement is completely false as it applies to the rank and file, and even many field-grade and above officers, but it does apply, to varying degrees, to the senior leadership. When the chips are down, they will seek to protect what they see as USAF’s core mission – gaining and maintaining air supremacy – at the expense of just about anything else.  That is why former CoS Gen. T. Michael Mosely (an F-15 pilot) and former Secretary Wynne fell on their swords and resigned rather than sign on to the gutting of the F-22 force (an act that will forever shame Robert Gates record as SecDef).

And now USAF is stuck acquiring an F-35 with aerodynamic and flight characteristics not much improved on an F-100 (the avionics will be amazing, if they ever work) that will cost even more than the F-22.

Great plan, Gates.