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Forming souls in the Church’s perennial belief is not “splitting hairs” January 26, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society.
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In light of recent prominent events and statements, I thought I would offer the following.  The reason the Church has Doctrine and Dogmas is not just for the sake of having a rigid set of beliefs to enforce some kind of Catholic legal code.  The Doctrines were developed because a) they were revealed directly by God in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, b) because they they can be inferred by human reason through the same Scripture and Tradition over time, and c) because 2000 years of experience has confirmed the wisdom of that Doctrine as setting necessary limits on human behavior and directing human activities towards its ultimate goal, salvation.

Recently, we have been told that Church law “must be oriented toward salvation and must not degenerate into splitting hairs.”  Taken in context with many other similar statements made by the progressive wing of the Church of late, this appears to emanate from a mindset that sees Doctrine in constant conflict with wise pastoral care.  This is a non sequitur, and reveals a terrifying lack of understanding of the glorious cohesiveness of Catholic Doctrine, its great applicability to human life, and its plain truthfulness as being the best if not only guide for the achieving of eternal salvation.

If the last 50 years have revealed anything, it is that it is quite possible to set up highly disordered and destructive pastoral applications that are in direct opposition to Doctrine.  Though not necessarily emanating from the papacy, numerous cardinals, bishops, and priests have said things and encouraged behaviors that have proven destructive not just to the individual faith lives of millions, but also the entire human aspect of the Church.  And we see that these same behaviors not only have disastrous spiritual consequences for the souls that, in effect, fall away from the Faith in all but name, but they also have disastrous real-world consequences for the souls in particular and for the Church at large.

Thus, contraception is given a wink and a nod, and vocations have plummeted.  Fornication is excused, and divorce, with all its attendant misery, explodes.  Faith in the Real Presence is savagely undermined, and millions of souls are lost forever to the Church through conversion to erroneous sects.  Many married souls are told that it is perfectly acceptable to avoid having children for any reason, and then we worry about their loneliness in old age.

But even more is the fact that every single one of the examples given above reflect rejection of beliefs that have were either directly revealed in Scripture or date to the Church’s very inception through the Tradition.  The Apostles condemned contraception in the Didache, God himself excoriates fornication, Christ could not have been more plain over the nature of the Blessed Sacrament, and the Bible constantly exhorts child-bearing as a tremendous blessing from God.  As too many Saints, Popes, Doctors, and other holy souls to list have noted, every single one of these beliefs is also vital toward salvation.  You cannot reject them and still remain a part of the Church in Her real, mystical sense.

In addition, and I cannot believe I have to say this, while everyone is welcome in Holy Mother Church, to be a real part of that Church in good standing, one’s behavior must align, in all parts and to the best of our ability, with the belief of the Church.  Those who mutilate themselves seeking to become the opposite sex, and who are so manifestly disordered as to be utterly consumed by unnatural desires they either cannot, or do not seek to, control, cannot be considered part of the Church if they do not have great repentance for these sins against God and try their utmost to never commit those sins again.  Yet, even this obvious fact seems to escape many in the Church today.

One thing I have been most amazed by in studying the deposit of Faith is its interconnectedness. The Faith is an elaborate and very delicate tapestry, the pulling of one thread can literally cause the entire thing to fall apart.  And we have seen this in the lives of those millions who have fallen away from the Faith, or who remain Katholyc in name only: they started out by rejecting one or two offending beliefs, and pretty soon found they rejected the whole lot, or at least thought the Church had got enough wrong as to not be trusted in such matters.  Although it is passe’ in most circles in the Church today to claim such, these are people who have put their salvation in the gravest jeopardy.  Yes, they likely knew not what they had, but they also have rejected their golden inheritance for serving pigs slop.  All we can do in such situations is to beg God’s mercy, but the guidance of the Saints does not give one a panoply of hope.

We do souls no favors by pretending that sin no longer exists, or at least, that their preferred sins are perfectly excusable.  We do souls no favors by telling them they are so wonderfully good and holy that of course God would not condemn them.  We do souls no favors by constantly muddying doctrinal waters and spreading chaos and confusion with regard to what the Church believes. In fact, all this results in massive and often irreparable harm to souls, because another experience of the past 50 years shows that souls malformed by those in positions of authority in the Church (such as most Catholic schools) are virtually impossible to convert back to the Truth.

This enormous loss of the Truth – and it is incredible that it is LAYPEOPLE who are the loudest and most consistent in saying this in the Church today – is of the utmost importance because ALL the orthodox guidance we receive from the entire Magisterium and Tradition of the Church (including all those Saints, Doctors, priests, bishops, religious, etc, who have died in the Church) says that the Church proposes many things for belief with assent of faith, and that failure to accept and practice even one of them means the rejection of the entire Faith and the placing oneself outside the community of the faithful. That is to say, one is no longer in the Church, in such a circumstance.  And salvation for those outside the Church, especially for those who formally and deliberately reject core Church beliefs, is all but impossible, according to those same Saints, Doctors, and others.

So debating points of Doctrine is not about hair-splitting. It is about discussing and applying matters of the utmost consequence for souls.  But it’s more than that.  Doctrine, and even clear but firm “enforcement” of it, is the truly charitable and merciful way to present the Faith to souls.  Casting doubts, spreading errors, and undermining doctrinal clarity in the name of “pastoral care” is a diabolical malformation of the Faith. It is in fact the representation of a false religion of man, with pleasing fallen man as its highest end, rather than being the true Faith, which seeks to uplift and convert man from his fallenness to an exalted, supernatural state.

But, of course, if you believe All Dogs Go To Heaven, and that all churches (and other religions) are created equal, you’re not likely to find any of the above convincing, or important.  Tragically – more than tragically, but words fail – much if not most of the current leadership of the Church believes exactly that. We have a Church of men worshiping other men ignoring the God who does not terrorize but who died for them out of love.  Incredible, but true.

This is not meant to be a theologically precise treatise, but to give some clarification and rebuttal to recent events.

 

 

A brief backgrounder on why evolution is false January 26, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Latin Mass, priests, secularism, Society, true leadership.
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A local priest has been giving some catechesis on evolution recently.  He has typed a handy dandy 2 page sheet that gives a 30,000 ft view on many of the problems of evolution, primarily from a Scholastic philosophical standpoint.  I will try to summarize his arguments, and add a few of my own, but the entire summary is here——>>>>>1305_001.  I should add that the analysis the priest produced is based in large part on the thinking of a great Australian Thomist and heir of Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange, Fr. Austin Woodbury.  It goes from very basic first principles to a concise refutation of evolution.

All true philosophy, and Thomism is the truest of all, is based on various first principles, or self-evident propositions.  Examples of this include propositions such as: the whole is greater than its part, nothing can give what it does not have, the principles of identity and non-contradiction, etc.  Evolution-Of-Man-Parodies-333

It is not possible to contradict these principles in fact, and to attempt to do so in thought is to make the very act of thought impossible.  For example, to deny the principle of non-contradiction is nuts, since you have to use hte principle in order to deny it.

But in our twisted age, this is actually done every time someone denies there is any objective truth. Why?  Because the man claiming that “there is no truth” is asserting that his statement is true.  But if that statement is true, that means the statement is false.  It’s like telling someone “everything I say is a lie.”  Captain James T. Kirk used that trick to make 23rd century supercomputer’s heads explode, even if they looked like bits of plastic with some blinking lights.

NO ONE can deny fundamental self-evident principles. If he does, he is a madman and cannot be reasoned with (we have apparently had thousands of these in the academy over the past 200 years, although few, if any, really understood what they were arguing, and what they were opposing).

Define terms: evolution is a molecules to man natural transformation in which new, “higher” genetic information is gained which was not possessed by one’s ancestors.

Step 1: from nothing came something, but nothing gives what it hasn’t got, and you can’t get more out of less (Stop the press for my interjection.  Evolution also violates the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, which stipulates that all enclosed systems, whether a room in a house or the entire universe, tend towards theimages (4) lowest state of energy possible over time.  Entropy, a semi-fictional measure of disorder or lack of energy, must always increase as the total sum of energy in the universe decreases.  That is to say, in terms of energy, the way the universe was made (by God) means that there was a certain (huge) amount of energy at the beginning, and that is steadily being lost while lack of energy (entropy) is increasing. While it is possible to reverse entropy in a given small, closed system by expending a lot of energy (by, say, warming a room with a fire on a cold night), it requires an external source of energy to do so AND energy is lost to entropy in the process through inefficiencies. Also, 2nd Law posits that highly organized, highly energetic systems like stars will eventually die and degrade down to lower energy components. A body, for instance, generates power and movement and all that till death, and then rapidly degenerates (the process of degeneration providing tiny amounts of energy) until it all gradually goes down to an energy state of zero. Evolution completely violates the 2nd Law by proposing that systems, or organisms, can achieve greater order and higher states ENTIRELY ON THEIR OWN, without an external “energy” source, such as from God.  It proposes HIGHER organization and, in essence, MORE energy over time, rather than the opposite. There are some rebuttals against this, claiming that simple proteins were struck by lightning and that somehow caused them to form into organized single cell organisms, but that is basically calling forth a miracle to generate the first life).

Step 2: From non-life came life, but nothing gives what it hasn’t got, and you can’t get more out of less (and 2nd Law again)

Step 3: From so-called primitive life forms with vegetative powers only – like bacteria, mushrooms, or plants – can come higher forms with animal powers, such as sense organs and complex movement.  Again, nothing gives what it hasn’t got and you can’t get more out of less, and the 2nd Law is still standing there shaking its head

Step 4: From the non-intellectual brute animals supposedly arise man, but, again, the same problems remain.

The whole process of atheistic evolution, from start to finish, is not only false, but absurd, and simply not possible.  The whole process consists of more coming from less, of things giving what they haven’t to give, and violates the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

False and True EvolutionWhat about the fact that in certain ecclesiastical documents, the position of Theistic evolution is given some credibility, where it is held that God assisted in or directed the process outlined above, in order that it be made possible?

The fact of the matter is that God could, theoretically, make anything possible.  God could, theoretically, make any botched-up theory work – one even worse than the current model of evolution.  Perhaps the idea of theistic evolution might be entertained if the science was solid, but it is not.  Unfortunately, many in the Church naively treat evolution as a matter of fact, and therefore are seeking explanations of God’s role in the process.  They also naively assume that continually casting doubt or even rejecting the first 3 or 10 chapters of Genesis will have no impact on the broader claims of the Catholic Faith, but we have seen repeatedly that this is not the case.  Casting doubt on Genesis as real history has had a very negative effect on the Church’s whole theological approach of the past century or so, and has undermined the faith of millions.  It has led directly to the whole notion of “universal salvation” through its rejection of Adam and Eve as our literal first parents.  If Adam and Eve were not our first parents, then Original Sin never occurred, and Christ’s whole mission is thus called into question.  And yet it is this rejection of Original Sin that informs all the modern day heretics in the Church who pretend virtually everyone, if not everyone, is saved.

But the science isn’t solid. It’s a joke. It’s just another failed anti-theistic 19th century materialist theory, like Marxism (which was really evolution’s twin, in the social sphere, and incredibly dependent on evolution’s assumptions.  The fact that Marxism, which is in a sense evolution applied to whole nations, has failed so miserably, should have served to discredit evolution at least somewhat, but has not done so).

The reason why evolution is so strongly extolled and defended in the academy is because it serves the academy’s predominant atheist interests: it functions as a materialist myth to explain away Creation without God…….it’s just an agenda-driven fairy tale for adults.

Apparently, the Boy Scouts have not submitted enough, yet January 26, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, error, General Catholic, Holy suffering, horror, paganism, persecution, reading, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society.
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I fear in a few years you will be able to replace wherever “Boy Scout” is used below, with Catholic.  More on that later.

The California Supreme Court has ruled that freedom of association does not apply to dirty hate-filled bigoted groups that won’t, ahem, bend over to the demands of the cultural elites, even when those organizations are totally private.  They’ve also ruled that when it comes to the Sexual Left, one terrible cave of principle is never enough, they will always make you go the full nine yards:

California has been among 23 states with an ethical code that prohibits judges from belonging to organizations that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. But the state’s Supreme Court in 1996 approved an exemption, unique to California, for “nonprofit youth organizations” to accommodate judges affiliated with the Boy Scouts.

The Bar Association of San Francisco and other legal organizations sought to repeal that exemption in 2003. The court refused, and instead instructed judges to disclose connections to the Boy Scouts when they heard cases involving gay rights and related issues, and to disqualify themselves for any conflicts of interest.

At the time, the Scouts also barred gay youths as members, a policy the U.S. Supreme Court had upheld in 2000. The organization repealed that ban at a national meeting in May 2013, effective the following January, but maintained the prohibition on gay and lesbian youth leaders.

The people of California have a right to an impartial and unbiased judiciary,” [HA! i.e., one that is incredibly biased in favor of the agenda of the sexular pagan left.  That’s “unbiased” today.  But such neanderthal notions as, you know, modesty, chastity, moral rectitude…..those are biased and partial representations of right-wing extremism!  You literally cannot make this stuff up.  These guys are utterly transparent, but they get away with it day in and day out because they have succeeded in catering to the lowest common denominator, and that is a low one indeed]  Richard Fybel, a state appeals court justice in Santa Ana and chairman of the high court’s ethics advisory committee, said Friday. “This is important to accomplishing that.”

I will also say this: these guys are brilliant in their rhetoric.  It is quite an achievement to make adhering to even a modicum of Christian morality now an act of hate-filled bigotry and horrid bias, while being an advocate of sodomy is evidence of impartiality and clear-headed reason.  Amazing.

Friend and reader SB lent me a book to read, recently.  It is called Treason, and describes a few days in the life of a dozen or so English Catholic suffering under the Elizabethan persecution.  This books completes a sort of triumvirate of books on that subjects I’ve read of late, and while one was a fairly scholarly history and the other a great autobiography of a saintly priest from that era, this fiction book actually ties the whole bloody mess together and makes the diabolical reality of that nightmarish persecution sink in.

For it really was nightmarish.  The Elizabethan persecution was not like that of Rome, with scads of blood martyrs and a whole bunch of people fleeing to the catacombs.  It was much more subtle, and more evil, than that.  It was the death of 100,000 cuts.  It was the slow, deliberate, tortuous bleeding of people’s faith over generations.  It was a society so incredibly totalitarian it would have given even Adolf himself pause.  Catholics were subject to all manner of penalties. While there certainly were red martyrs, there were thousands of more long, drawn out white martyrdoms.  Martyrdoms of not being able to practice the Faith at all.  No Sacraments. No Mass. No Confession.  Being unable to hold public office. Being unable to will land to the next generation.  Of taxes and penalties of all kinds that took some of the wealthiest families in England and made them paupers over the course of 5o or 60 years. Of constant fear.  Of being unable to marry another Catholic.  Of seeing beloved priests brutally murdered. Of seeing every possible lie and calumny directed at you and being utterly unable to respond.  Of having a profound call to the priesthood or religious life and being unable to follow that call. Of having to travel roads infested by bandits impoverished morally and physically by the willful destruction of the monastery system (which amounted to a rape of the poor, since the monasteries were the network of welfare for Britons in those days, and did a remarkably effective job at caring for them) and without a decent place to stay, since those monasteries which were the hoteliers of England for 1000 years had all been closed. Catholics were held to be treasonous and unloyal simply for their faith. It was amazing that anyone at all persevered, as this persecution went on for nearly 300 years.  And yet, though often malformed from the experience, thousands of English did remain Catholic.

One must wonder how long it will be before being a faithful Catholic will be held to be treasonous?  If mere association with the Boy Scouts can now bar one from serving as a judge in the most populous state in the union (yes, there will be a court challenge, but who knows how it will fare?), how long until being Catholic carries similar costs?  How long until merely professing the Faith will result in joblessness, impoverishment, and social ostracism?  How many will remain faithful, especially if “pastoral” attitudes taken by our own Church seem to indicate we are in the wrong, as the English Catholics were made to feel “heretics” by the manifest errors of the established religion?

Of course, I’m not sure of the extent to which I identify with this country anymore, anyway.  The country I feel in my heart seems to have died years ago, if it ever existed.

And as for those who perpetrated this foul work of satanic persecution, Elizabeth died terrified of approaching death and essentially insane, tortured at the thought of her many, many sins.  James I faced a troubled reign and the rise of radical protestant sects that usurped the authority of the government-established “church.”  That religious extremism resulted in James’ successor, Charles I, being beheaded, and established the pattern for subjugation of the English crown to the will of Parliament.  No king of queen of England has ever had true kingly power since that time.

Our Lord allows our own sins and excesses to work havoc on us, to the extent we allow them to.  He works in His time.  “Vengeance is mine,” saith the Lord.  Sometimes that vengeance takes 100 years, or even much longer, to play out.  Most often that vengeance occurs through some human agency directly related to, or serving as a repercussion of, those evils perpetrated at some earlier date. The Tudor line died out, and the Stuarts were ejected by the Parliamentarians.  The current monarchical line is a shrunken rump fewer and fewer English see any need for.  While our own Church is certainly afflicted and many of us are concerned for what the future holds, the Anglicans are in a coma and are soon to be declared brain dead (for organ harvesting).  That is, all those who were key players in this English persecution met a very unhappy end.  The monarchy itself is just a form of movie-stardom for Brits.

UPDATE:  For a very good Catholic alternative to the Boy Scouts, check out the Troops of St. George.  It has apparently grown by leaps and bounds and there are more and more troops being established around the country.

Sad news: no more First Friday at the Carmel January 26, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, Eucharist, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Liturgy, religious, sadness, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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It was announced recently that there will be no more First Friday All Night Adoration at the Carmel of the Infant Jesus of Prague and St. Joseph in Dallas.  The nuns are concerned over security and having the gate open all night.  I believe Holy Face devotions on Sunday will continue.  This is a very sad development, as it represents a sort of final separation of the links that joined the Dallas Carmel with the local TLM community.  For a long time, the Sunday TLM offered by FSSP priests was generously hosted by the Carmelites.  When Mater Dei got its own parish facility, continuing to have the priests offer the First Friday TLMs during the Adoration was a link that kept the TLM community close to the Carmelites, whose prayers have surely played a significant role in all the spectacular growth Mater Dei has experienced in the last several years.  Now, sadly, that appears to be over.

Before she died, Vicki Middleton paid to have an off-duty policeman serve as security guard during the Adorations.  That seemed to go away after her passing, God rest her soul.  So perhaps that was also a factor.  I may try to investigate whether having a dedicated security guard could reinstate the all night vigil.  I think that would be good, because it was a very special experience for all of us to be able to assist at Mass at the Carmel (which you can still do on Sundays, but it is Ad Orientem Novus Ordo) and to join the nuns in many prayers.  It was a great blessing to have that contact with such a holy group of nuns.  I will certainly miss that Adoration at the Carmel.  There will still be some occasional special events.

Mater Dei is going to try to continue the tradition of all night Adoration on First Fridays.  For those who are interested in the Adoration but are not part of the Mater Dei, per se‘, there is a sign up sheet for Adoration times here.  The priests at Mater Dei are rightly insistent that a good number of people volunteer to cover slots for the entire duration, because the Blessed Sacrament can not be left unattended.  That was not a problem at the Carmel as the nuns would always be there.  So if you are not a Mater Dei parishioner but have attended Adoration at the Carmel in the past or would consider doing so in the future, please make sure you sign up for whatever time you think appropriate at the link.

The schedule of events at the Mater Dei Adoration will be as follows:

  • 6:30 PM – Sacred Heart Devotions and Exposed Eucharistic Adoration/Confessions
  • 8:00 PM – Low Mass/Confessions
  • 9:00 PM – Eucharistic Adoration after Mass
  • 3:00 AM – Low Mass (no Confessions)
  • 3:45 AM – Eucharistic Adoration after Mass
  • 7:30 AM – Benediction and Repose of the Blessed Sacrament
  • 8:00 AM – Low Mass

This First Friday devotion has become a tradition with the local TLM community so I pray it is well supported and will continue.

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Who says big families aren’t fun? January 26, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Basics, Domestic Church, family, farm, fun, General Catholic, sanctity, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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If one wastes one time searching on such topics, you can find a number of studies that purport to find that parents are generally “less happy” than those without children.  And perhaps this is so (though, personally, I dispute even that, but how do I know how “happy” someone else is?).  But I think the surveys ask the wrong question.  Happiness is a frequently a shallow emotion, and fleeting.  Our goal in this life is not to be happy, but to be contented. And I think the surveyors are very careful to frame their questions the way they do, because they would not get the answers they were looking for were parents and those without kids asked how contented they are in their life.

I must say, when I see scenes like the below, where kids from two Catholic families turn chasing chickens into the height of entertainment, I am very contented:

That glee reminds me of some of Venerable Pope Pius XII’s words on large families.  There is a special joy that only comes from the unique dynamic (and chaos) of a family with a large number of children.  Yes there are many trials, and yes smaller families have certain advantages, but having been blessed with a large family, I certainly am very contented with my lot.  I would be very happy were God to make it still larger, but that does not appear to be His Will, and I am contented with that, too.

I also consider the above, and the countless benefits my several children bring, generally, and I laugh at the idea of missing out on all that fun in order to save precious Gaia or, even more, filthy lucre.

Sometimes readers ask for more scenes from my personal life, so…….there you go.  I have never made a claim that I am even a decent photographer/videographer.

PS – Yes, there used to be grass there.  Kids and chickens have managed to reduce that grass to a patch of bare earth.