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Start Novena for Our Lady of Lourdes now! February 3, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Domestic Church, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Novenas, Our Lady, Tradition, Virtue.
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It should have started yesterday.  As so often, I’m a day late and a pound of grace short:

Place your petitions at the Lourdes Grotto in France.

Short Novena below:

Our Lady of Lourdes
Feast Day February 11

 O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Health of the Sick, Refuge of Sinners, Comfort to the Afflicted,

you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings. Deign to cast upon me a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it  a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors; and already many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. 

 I come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain,  O loving Mother, the granting of my requests.  (mention your intentions here)

Through gratitude for favors, I will endeavor to imitate your virtues that I may one day share your glory.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us. Amen.

(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.)

Another nice accompanying prayer:

Two prayers to prepare the universal celebration of Our Lady of Lourdes, on February 11

Mary, you showed yourself to BernadetteLOURDESMARY_BERNA4inchcopy1
in the crevice of the rock.
In the cold and grey of winter,
you brought the warmth, light and beauty
of your presence,

In the often obscure depths of our lives,
in the depth of the world where evil is so powerful,
bring hope,
return our confidence!

You are the Immaculate Conception,
come to our aid, sinners that we are.474718093_70c533b5f9
Give us the humility to have a change of heart,
the courage to do penance.
Teach us to pray for all people.

Guide us to the source of true life.
Make us pilgrims going forward with your Church,
whet our appetite for the Eucharist,
the bread for the journey, the bread of life.

The Spirit brought about wonders in you, O Mary :
by his power, he has placed you near the Father,
in the glory of your eternal Son.
Look with kindness
on our miserable bodies and hearts.
Shine forth for us, like a gentle light,
at the hour of our death.

Together with Bernadette, we pray to you, O Mary,
as your poor children.glory4
May we enter, like her, into the spirit of the Beatitudes.
Then, we will be able, here below,
begin to know the joy of the Kingdom of Heaven
and sing together with you :
Magnificent !

Glory to you, Virgin Mary,
blessed servant of the Lord,
Mother of God,
dwelling place of the Holy Spirit!

Amen.

God’s infinite love scandalizes the world, and that is why it rejects Him February 3, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Christendom, General Catholic, Interior Life, persecution, reading, sanctity, scandals, secularism, sickness, Society.
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It’s not the only reason, but I think it is a very important one.  The excerpt below is from the Introduction from the book, The Life of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, pp. 10-11.  I thought it a beautiful description of how fallen men frequently cannot accept the idea that the almighty God of all Creation could love them so much as to die not for their goodness, such as it is, but for the atonement of their sins.  It has always been scandalous, even laughable, to many.  I even believe more and more there is a certain predisposition, not genetic, but a result of upbringing and other influences, that really has a hard time accepting this idea.  And I think that disposition, in the modern parlance, is tightly associated with those who are drawn towards left-wing political beliefs and who seek some kind of paradise on earth.  They have to have that, because they cannot comprehend the idea of an eternal, spiritual paradise.

On to the quote.  Again, I found it very moving:

This love of God for man is so great, so prodigious, that it has become a scandal to the world.  It is the old and universal stumbling block, the final reason of all schisms and all unbelief.  If Arius, for example, separated from the Church, it was because he could not believe that Man who had one day appeared in Judea could, without certain equivocal expressions, without exaggeration, be truly styled the Only Son of God.  There was in such abasement a grandeur of love revolting to the heresiarch. [Which revulsion is fueled sometimes by a sense of our unworthiness of such largesse, but also by pride, because we know that we do not love in such a truly generous manner, and since we know we are so wonderful, how could anyone, even God, love thusly?  Better to pretend, for the sake of our ego, that he does not exist, then]  Nor could Nestorius admit that the Eternal Son of God had reposed in the womb of a humble virgin, that he had been nourished with her milk, and that He had called her mother!  Luther and Calvin – why did they break anew the unity of the Church?  Because they could not believe in the tribunal of Confession, that is, in mercy that makes no account of ingratitude; or in indulgences, that is, in one of the most tender industries of the Savior to supply for our ever-recurring insufficiencies; or in the Holy Eucharist, that is, in His constant abiding with those whom He loves.

Narrow hearts, which know not what it is to love!  And if in our day there are so many men that pass before the Cross wagging their head, who gaze at our altars with a smile of contempt; it is because the folly of the Cross disgusts them.  Man’s egotism, incapable of loving, sinks under the weight of such mysteries; and the Church cannot draw from him this cry that would transfigure him: Et nos credidimus charitati quam habet Deus in nobis: “yes, we believe that God has love for us.”

———End Quote———

And that is why I don’t believe the left will fight islam, for it doesn’t hate islam as it hates Christianity.  It hates Christianity because it is offensive to its sensibilities, which exalts the self over all. Islam, on the contrary, is quite alright with self and self-seeking, provided it is done within broad limits. Christ is such a repudiation of that exaltation of the self that it just drives progressives batty.  And so you will see them don the burqa, and hang the sodomite, before many of them would recognize Christ.  Some will, surely, I pray…..but many will not.

About as good a take down of the current left as I have read February 3, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, paganism, persecution, secularism, self-serving, shocking, Society.
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It’s a bit harsh at times, and of course speaks with a broad brush, as all such pieces must, but I found science fiction author John C. Wright’s description of the modern left about as full and accurate a portrayal as any I have ever read to this point.  He wrote this piece in response to a truly atrocious piece of piffle – that involved no science fiction and was nothing but a left-wing classist rant – winning some major science fiction awards.  This response is tied in with Gamergate (if you know what that is) and the attempted subversion of the video game and science fiction literature markets by what are termed social justice warriors, far leftists trying to turn these markets into additional vehicles for left-wing indoctrination.

This piece has relevance to this blog, not simply due to the general threat the sudden turn towards extremism the leftward side of the political spectrum has taken in this country in the past 10 or 15 years (and the threat that turn poses to the Church and pious souls), but also because it deals with leftist misconceptions regarding Christianity (and their ability to get the culture to accept those misconceptions as “fact” without much thought or argument).  Again, it’s pretty hard-hitting but also very thorough and raises many interesting points. I add emphasis and comments:

They do not say what they are, because, if you listen to them, they say that words mean nothing, that truth is relative, that all civilizations are no better than savagery, that no religion is better than another, and that anything which is not illegal is allowed.  So of course they say they are perfect angels: because the word has no meaning to them, no words have meaning, and telling the truth is not correct. Only political correctness is correct. [I am reminded of some conversations with Catholics who believe Confession unnecessary, and how when you drill down about “not needing” Confession, whether they might have something to confess, etc., they’ll say “well yes, I’ve done some bad things, but it’s not like I’ve KILLED anyone!”  As if that’s the standard, so long as you’re not a murderer, you’re an upright, moral soul. That kind of thinking stems from the moral relativism and post-modern idiocy described above]

Now they have gone fullbore barking moonbat mouthfoaming evil. The last traces of decency were scraped away with an exacto knife the day the Feminists publicly defended Bill Clinton abusing an underling, and no one on the Left rebuked them: and that was decades ago. Now they defend and make common cause with the Jihadists, who use power tools to drill holes in the legs or skulls of small children whose parents they wish to impress.

You see, it does not matter if the Jihadists act like the mass murderer from the movie SAW combined with Freddy Kruger combined with Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Che. Che is a hero of theirs. Mao is a darling of theirs[They are darlings because their fans are ignorant of their true natures. Applies to Stalin, as well.  They think Che a handsome, bearded, romantic freedom fighter, not the man who killed dozens in cold blood, personally.  Mao of course murdered nearly 100 million of his own citizens and unleashed terror after terror, all to solidify his position as unassailable leader of the party and country.  But that’s inconvenient information, so it goes in the memory hole.]

Point out any barbaric act by any Jihadist, and the Leftist will say two things: (1) Christians are just as bad, and therefore cannot make the moral judgement that Jihadists have done bad things; (2) Not all Muslims actively support the Jihad; it has nothing to do with their religions, which is noble and peaceful.

Point number might be confusing to you, like hearing a man over and over saying he can eat the Sun for lunch. It is so far removed from reality that their is no normal explanation for it. It is not the kind of lie one says in order to deceive someone, and certainly no one with an IQ number higher than his shoe size would deceive himself with such a comically unbelievable statement. What does it mean?

[Important…..] The Leftists know it is a lie, but they are afraid that if the Christians discover that Islam is a violent and dishonorable religion, our Christian bigotry, Christian hatred, Christian violence, and Christian loathing of all dark-skinned people will boil to the surface so suddenly, that cities will be in flames, mobs in peaked white hoods will slay all the Negroes, and innocent Muslims be marched into gulags and concentration camps, slaughtered in the same astronomical numbers the Mao slaughtered people, Stalin slaughtered people, and the Muslims slaughter people now.

Is that clear? Every time some Leftist says “But not all Muslims are terrorists” he is accusing you, Christian man or woman, of being a hate-filled bigot one half-inch away from a berserk killing spree, not to mention a theocratic totalitarianism as bad as … well, as bad as any Muslim nation. [I think this is dead on.  It is somewhat about leftist politically correct attitudes and idolization of the “other,” but it’s also about their fear and loathing of Christians, whom they regard as just with abject derision.]

They would rather die at the hands of a mad bomber than be accused of being like you. They think you are  a racist, a bigot, a theocrat. They hate you more than they hate the Devil. The devil they salute as a rebel and freethinkers. To him they dedicate books.

Leftism is hatred. Everything that is normal, sane, healthy, holy, rational, or good, they hate.  They hate the death penalty for murderers and love suicide and euthanasia. They have daydreams about the human race being wiped off the globe, in order to preserve the Guatemalan water snake or the Puritan stink bug. They hate marriage and love sodomy. They hate wealth and success. [and encourage sloth and profligacy] They hate population; they hate people. They are fearless when it comes to Jihad and fearful when it comes to the weather. They love abortion most of all: nothing gives a Leftist hearts in his eyes faster than contemplating a score or a hundred dismembered dead babies piled up in a heap outside an abortion mill, and denied a Christian burial. [Do they contemplate what abortion really is, or what it does for them, what it permits?  I’m not sure……but you have to know that diehards like Cecile Richards and other pro-abort leaders know exactly what abortion is, and love it all the more.]

———-End Quote———-

So a friend asked me offline a while back whether I thought leftism and islam would ever come to blows in some great cultural war.  I said no, the left will, overwhelmingly, cave to islam with nary a peep.  And I think this piece above helps flesh out why quite a bit. It reinforces, to me, anyway, even more that leftism is as much about being anti-Christian as it is anything else.  I’m not talking your slightly liberal Aunt Tilly, I mean the growing numbers of radical leftist activist types in our country today.  I think Wright is correct, they’d rather die wearing a burqa and with all their “precious” sexual liberties completely squashed than admit of Jesus Christ.  I will have a post in just a bit, God willing, that explains why, but it gets down to the world being scandalized by Jesus Christ, by the thought of the God Who loved them so much He died for them.  That thought literally drives a growing number of people near mad, because through the many evils they have embraced as the culture deteriorates, they feel themselves completely unworthy of such a God, and would rather He not exist.  So they pretend He doesn’t.

Islam does not present that view of an infinitely loving, merciful God, and so the left is much more open to it.  They are not as scandalized by it.  They would rather submit to a severe god, than believe in a God that loves them much more than they love themselves. I really do believe leftist anger is fueled by deep self-loathing.  That is why they take such a dim view of others, and tend towards such tribalism and elitism.

As I said, I pray to have more in a bit.

Sign the Filial Fppeal to Pope Francis February 3, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, episcopate, error, family, General Catholic, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society, SOD, the return.
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I assume most readers have already seen and signed the Filial Appeal to Pope Francis on the Future of the Family, but for those who have not, you can do so here.

Let Pope Francis know you would like him to reaffirm categorically the Catholic teaching that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics cannot receive Holy Communion and that homosexual unions are contrary to Divine and natural law.

Please support our urgent Filial Appeal to Pope Francis by completing the petition signature box below now! 


filapp

 

Over 62,000 have signed so far.  The names include such personages as former Senator Rick Santorum, Josef Seifert, Roberto de Mattei, Marjorie
Dannenfelser, Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), Cardinal Raymond Burke, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, a number of other bishops, HRH Prince Dom Duarte, Duke of Braganza, and Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez.  Somehow, my name did not make the cut.  I’m miffed.

Sign it, if you haven’t already.

As for how likely it is to be effective……..I pray it will.  I pray there are a million signatures by next October.  But men in their late 70s are seldom open to change.  I fear it will take much more than a petition, even with many signatures.  I will take a moral miracle.

So prayer is our best recourse.  Prayer can move mountains!  We must have faith!  With faith, prayer, and fasting, anything is possible.

 

 

A Church that was: half-million Rosary rally in 1961 February 3, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Domestic Church, episcopate, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, history, Latin Mass, priests, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Video Sancto has done a great service to all of us in showing the glory of the Church that was, the Church on the verge of the most recent Council.  Fr. Patrick Peyton and his family Rosary crusade had been an increasing movement throughout the 1950s in the United States, and seems to have reached a peak of intensity on the eve of the radical changes that afflicted the Church just a few years, or really months, later.  Half a million souls filled Golden Gate park in San Francisco (of all places!) for the Family Rosary Rally.  It is truly inspiring to see so many souls committed to the Rosary, Our Lady, and God’s Holy Church.

But I would be remiss if I did not note that this Church, in its human element, does not exist in the same way anymore. In fact, this event marks something of an apotheosis for the pre-conciliar Church in the US.  The vibrant and self-comprehending Church so evident below tried to take its own life, in a very real sense, just a short while later. A crisis of confidence, to be sure, but much more than that.  Something more like a complete forgetting of its sacred nature and role. No, the vast majority of the souls involved in this Rosary crusade had no death wish, but they went along, by and large, as many Church leaders, in their pride, exercised a dangerous and destructive program of “renewal.”  The laity had for generations been carefully instructed, and logically, rightfully so, to always obey their ecclesiastical superiors.  They were simply not prepared to deal with the revolution that was even then brewing in their midst.

And is still brewing. I am always so thankful for these reminders of the Faith that was, because it makes the contrast between the Church as it exists now – apparently, unable even to demand souls to keep even the most foundational moral precepts, seemingly ready to excuse even the most grievous of sins – and the Church of the past.  Certainly, the revolution was very far advanced at this late date, and the seeming strength and cohesiveness of the Church – at least among her intellectual elites and a number of prelates – was more fantasy than fact.

But, I tend to doubt most of the souls who took part in this crusade had any hunger for revolution.  They would have opposed it had it been presented to them as such.  That is why it was so very important for the progressive/modernist element at the Council to hide their intent.  Through the careful introduction of noxious concepts and dangerous “reforms,” they were able to gradually woo many souls away from the Faith as it had always been practiced and into something quite different. Contraception was the fulcrum upon which this mighty change occurred, and it was a brilliantly chosen strategy.  Diabolical, one might even say.

But enough with the sad analysis.  Enjoy some scenes of Catholic glory, the Church as it once was, and God willing, will be again (but even better).  I love seeing bishops and cardinals in biretta.  Father Peyton should have worn one, too!  What happened to him, anyway?  He must have been sorely disappointed to see his great work implode just a few years later.

At ~5:00 you can see row after row of habited nuns and priests in cassock.  I wonder how many of them were still nuns or priests even 10 years later?  This was right before California religious started taking the disastrous “sensitivity training” that resulted in the destruction of about 3/4 of those vocations. It is terrifying to realize how quickly something so solid, so holy, could fall apart so fast.

 

Some great catechesis from St. Peter Julian Eymard February 3, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, priests, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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From the ninth volume of the Eymard Library, a catechesis on the the dread danger allowing secular or worldly influences over us has on our interior life, or relationship with God.  When I read this, I was blown away at what a condemnation this was on the whole “aggiornamento” ethos and the opening of the Church to the world.  Sacred things must be kept sacred.  When they are exposed to the world, 9 times out of 10, the faith of those so exposed is not strong enough to resist the allurements of the world.  Writ large, this has meant the collapse of the interior life, religious vocations, priestly vocations, and so much else in the Church. Bear in mind, this was all written nearly 100 years before Vatican II.

But it’s not limited to that.  There is much wisdom to discern below, including allowing our own fallen desires and human pleasures to interrupt the process of conversion to virtue and the life of Grace in ourselves:

Christian life inspired by love is nothing else but the life of Jesus in us.  Its great enemy is self-love.  In fact, we have two lives in us, a natural and a supernatural life.  If we wish to belong to our Lord, the second of these two lives must triumph; the first must be subdued and transformed into a divine life, the life of faith which animates the just man: “It is faith that brings life to the man whom I accept as justified” (Heb X:38).

Let us first find out what is the natural life.  We shall then compare it with the life of Jesus in us and consider how, in order to make Jesus our life, we must being by living with Him.

The spirit of self, of egotism, is the law of the natural life.  Its motto is “Everything for self.”  The means its uses are supplied by human wisdom, just as its knowledge is by natural reason; its end is everything for self, for the present.

The spirit of faith, on the contrary, is the law of the supernatural life.  Its means are the Grace of Jesus and His Law; its end is the glory of God. This is what Saint Augustine said long ago: “The City of the World begins with the love of self and ends with the hatred of God; the City of God begins with the love of God and ends with the hatred of self.” [How wise Saint Augustine was.  That brief comment encapsulates so much.]

The natural life stealthily makes it way into the pious world, into the cloister.  It is everywhere.  Here are the characteristics by which it may be recognized:

(a) It naturalizes supernatural actions as much as it can. We begin them for God, but finish them for ourselves.  We allow our eyes to be lured to earth and our intention to be vitiated.  As a result our actions are not full, are not complete in the eyes of God: “There are tasks my God expects of thee, and I find them unfulfilled” (Apoc III:2).  The difference between two actions lies in the intention: done for God, an action is holy and divine; done for self, it ends at self and it useless for Heaven. [one might add, done for worldly/secular reasons, it ends in the world and is useless for Heaven.  I pray the “nuns on the bus” might contemplate that.]

(b)  It naturalizes Christian virtues.  We can practice all the moral virtues without having any merit for them before God.  That is a truth of experience. What a misfortune!  The absence of the supernatural renders our virtues defective and sterile. They have failed to remain united to the Vine without which we can do nothing for Heaven.  

(c) It naturalizes the graces of Christian piety.  We seek only the honor, the sweetness, the glory of a pious life; but we refuse the sacrifices which it proposes to us and demands of us.  The natural in us contaminates even our Communions when, instead of looking for the strength and virtue this heavenly Bread contains, we wish merely to enjoy it as a source of sweetness, rest, and bliss.

(d) It naturalizes our love for Jesus Christ. We love Him for ourselves in that which flatters and glorifies us, not in that which humbles and keeps us out of the limelight; it is ourselves we love in Jesus Christ.

What an awful power is ours thus to lower and degrade the gifts of God, to make natural and useless, or practically so, His supernatural and divine graces!

How may we recognize this natural life in us?  From its principles, from the motives that prompt it to action. For whom and for what reason do you act?

I admit it no easy task.  Nature or self-love plays a cunning game: it dissimulates its plans.  It conceals and disguises itself under a fine exterior and discloses only the good side of its activities; for in all we do there is usually a mixture of good and bad, a bright and a shady side; we act out of self-love thinking it is out of pure and selfless devotion.

In practice, it is nature’s guiding rule of life to seek and gratify itself in everything.  That is its distinctive characteristic.  You can also know it from the purpose of its actions: it wants to be at rest and independent of everyone; it does its work in hast so as to be rid of it; it takes interest in that only which appeals to it.  [I find myself a bit condemned in that]

A holy and supernatural man is austere in the accomplishment of his duty; he is not always pleasant.  The ceaseless war he wages against himself hardens him towards himself, and sometimes towards others.  

The natural man is amiable, honest, anxious to please.  He has naturalized his virtues.  He enjoys them and takes of them only that which makes him agreeable to others.  [Interesting conflation of what we are normally led to expect regarding how virtuous souls behave.  And certainly not the only opinion on the matter in the Church.  Nevertheless, quite interesting.  I think St. Eymard is right, properly understood.  Too often, amiability may be a mask for the seeking of human respect and affection.  But we also don’t want to turn people off with harshness or unpleasantness.]

The natural, then, behold our enemy! It is a robber….a demon.  IT contrives some way or other ot make a divine life human, a life of faith natural, and to substitute self-love to the love of God, earth to Heaven.

———End Quote———

I pray you found food for thought in the above.  I think austere is a pretty good word to describe aspects of Saint Peter Julian Eymard’s approach to life and the practice of the Faith.  He was very much focused on self-denial.  But as I said, this is one view of many on how to best practice virtue.  While the road to Heaven may be narrow and rocky, and always follows the same general path, there is room for a variety of different approaches in making the climb.  This is a great blessing our Lord gives us for our many different personalities.  I pray I find, or, better, have found the way that works best for me.  And I pray you do as well, too!