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Yes, but what of God? April 30, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, Basics, disconcerting, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, paganism, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, sickness, Society, SOD, the return, the struggle for the Church.
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A certain very well known Catholic said yesterday that the increasing problem of delayed or forlorn marriage, divorce, and low birth rates, is due to chauvinism. Or, perhaps, that to “blame women” for this is chauvinism.

Is that true?  Does it matter?

In reality, both sexes bear quite enough shame for the current status of marriage in Western countries.  And there may be some chauvinism in some men, for instance among the “manosphere” “red pill” blogs that increasingly put almost all the responsibility for the crisis afflicting their own marriages (mostly past) and the state of marriage in the US and other Western countries solely on women.  Not that those blogs don’t at times make some important points.  The broader issue is, where does any of this blame shifting get us?  Just who is being helped by singling out men for bad behavior when it comes to the collapse of Western civilization. As I said before, there is plenty of blame to go around, and neither sex has covered itself in glory.

What got me thinking about the significance of that was another article I stumbled across, regarding the recent “climate conference” hosted by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the revelation that the “report” it released was pre-prepared and almost entirely one-sided, having been written by a narrow group of climate activists.  As such, it’s something of a piece with the midterm Relatio of last year’s Synod, and also the final report, which, when the “important” statements from the Relatio failed to gain the requisite votes, was included anyways.  It was almost as if to say there was a conclusion that was supposed to be reached, and it was going to be reached whether the Synod fathers wanted it or not.

But what’s really bugging me is not the frequent progressive-pleasing, PR-friendly quotes that are dropped, nor what was included in this climate report, but what was not.  What is missing from both, and much else besides, is reference to God as the solution to many problems facing us today.

Why is marriage in a shambles in Western countries? Because people have become callow, self-pleasing, and forgetful of God.  If there is really a global environmental crisis, or if free markets really are run amok with greed and lack of concern for either the little man or cute fuzzy animals, doesn’t that also point to a lack of virtue?  And who is the Author of all virtue?  The solution to virtually any crisis is God – either through direct calls for His intervention to avert some catastrophe, or through begging forgiveness for our sins, calling down Grace upon ourselves, and praying that His Grace may move us to amend our lives. In other words, those old Catholic standbys, prayer and penance.

I’m not saying prayer and penance is the only solution to the marriage crisis, or baby-murder, or the gerbal worming scam.  There can certainly be more worldly solutions proposed, as well.  But shouldn’t the bedrock be a call to repentance, a return to God, and a rejection of the very forgetfulness of God and His rights that has caused the entire culture of the world to regress morally to an incredible degree over the past few centuries?  Our collective moral standards are about as bad, if not worse, than those standards that existed, such as they were, before Our Blessed Lord was first Incarnate.  Doesn’t it seem like such calls to conversion at least ought to figure in any major document a Pontifical Academy would produce on a subject it considers vital to the life of the entire world?

Well, I’ve read it, and I can tell you that there isn’t a single such exhortation in the entire document, and, more than that, the words “Lord” or “God” are also entirely absent.  This wretched document is nothing but progressive boilerplate chock full of the same lectures and visions of doom we’ve been bombarded with by commumentalists for years now.  It could have been written by any of dozens of leftist NGOs around the world.  And, in point of fact, it was, because such individuals – including those who have mocked and berated the Church for years, and make no bones of their hatred for God and the Church He created – dominated the panel convened to write it.

For a little bit different approach, this time to the subject of marriage, a brief quote from Dom Prosper Gueranger (The Liturgical Year, Vol 8, Third Sunday after Easter, old Solemnity of St. Joseph):

Glorious guardian of the Holy Family!  The family of Christendom is placed under thy special patronage’ watch over it in these troubled times.  Hear the prayers of them that seek thine aid, when about to choose the partner who is to share with them the joys and the sorrows of this world, and help them to prepare for their passage to eternity. Maintain between husbands and wives that mutual respect which is the safeguard of their fidelity to each other. Obtain for them the pledge of Heaven’s blessings. Fill them with such reverence for the holy state to which they have been called, that they may never deserve the reproach given by St. Paul to certain married people of that day, whom he compares to heathens, who know not God (I Thess IV:5)

And more generally:

How truly may we say of these our times: There is now no saint; truth has vanished from among the children of men (Ps XI:2).  See this world of ours, now it is become one great volcano of danger by the boasted liberty granted to sin and heresy! 

Indeed. And from most surprising sources.

Abandoning the concept of contrition means abandoning souls to hell April 30, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the return, the struggle for the Church.
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Noah Moerbeek at Unam Sanctam Catholicam has a great post up regarding the mania over mercy we are seeing so much in the Church today, and its significance for souls.  I personally believe that the heresies of universal salvation and rank indifferentism are the greatest errors abounding in the Church today, forming the background for so many other errors and heresies (after all……if we’re all saved, why go to Mass?  Why not contracept?  Why not get that divorce and screw the annulment?  Why bother with anything?).

If you want to watch people freak out, approach just about any priest or parishioner in a large, suburban (or urban, or ex-urban) parish, and tell them that all are damned who have not been baptized.  See what kinds of reactions you get.

Onto Noah (as usual, I excerpt far more than is fair, because USC is always so good – emphasis in original, I add comments):

The Mercy of God cannot be praised, worshiped, honored or exaggerated too much. As children of wrath, inheritors of that first sin of Adam we are hoping in the Lords mercy to avoid the just punishments which we all have merited through our daily sins and negligence……

…..If one has the Passion as the chief wellspring from which one drinks when one thirsts for righteousness, then you drink also from the well of mercy, for as St Thomas Aquinas teaches:

“But by suffering out of love and obedience, Christ gave more to God than was required to compensate for the offense of the whole human race. ” Summa Question 48

But, perhaps you, dear reader cringe at the mention of the Lords mercy. The Fear of the Lord, one of the gifts of the Holy Ghost, the beginning of wisdom, and a great gift to restrain vice and sin today seems to be despised by many, and if they do grant the idea of it they are quick to dismiss any ideas of a wrathful God (which one would get even from an elementary reading of Scripture). 
In fact to them fearing God is the exact opposite of what we should do, and it is certainly nothing we should ever preach or teach, as that might turn people away they say. People might feel that they are being condemned, and not realize how merciful God is. [Which reminds me of the post  yesterday, where you had an official Vatican news site declaring universal salvation right there on their Facebook page]
The problem with this line of thinking is simple: the entire human race save those who have been regenerated in baptism are condemned! Anyone who has ever committed a mortal sin after baptism, without repentance is also condemned. And you know what, the fact that they feel condemned is actually a good thing! Our Lord explicitly teaches “and He (the Holy Ghost), when he is come, will convict the world in respect of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement” John 16:8 [A wonderful reminder, all too often forgotten today.  This is why there is more to “traditionalism” than just the TLM.  It is regular formation from priests on exactly subjects such as these, seemingly verboten in the “Novus Ordo world,” and much more besides, such as highly efficacious forms of piety dismissed today as “antiquated” – things like praying Novenas for the Poor Souls, or voluntary acts of mortification for to ease their suffering]
I hope no one actually believes they are doing Gods work when they present God to the world as some sort of cosmic muffin man who does not even get the respect you might give to an officer when getting a speeding ticket. [Another great point, though the term I tend to use is “cosmic Pez dispenser,” automatically delivering Grace and salvation to any who pull His top.  It is in fact a view of God that is below childishness, it is only the kind of self-serving construct one lost in sin could come up with]
We spend a lot of time discussing what the enemies are of Tradition, but these attitudes come from the enemies of Contrition. Would you agree that it is too common that many of our brethren forget that our Lord cares for how He is approached?……
Isn’t that the whole root of the problem with giving adulterers holy communion? These people may very well be sorry for their situations, but they are not broken hearted enough, not contrite enough to stop breaking the 6th commandment and remove themselves from occasions of sin. [I added emphasis in that paragraph.  That is the WHOLE problem, aside from the massive blasphemy and sacrilege it will entail]
“For, whilst the sinner is in a state of mortal sin, his back is, as it were turned upon God; but when he is in a state of grace his face is joyfully turned toward God. Now, this change, namely, the sorrow of heart, and detestation of sin, is necessary; as, otherwise, the sinner would be and would not be, at the same time, turned towards God. If there were no contrition, no change of heart required, the sinner could be, at the same time, both the friend and enemy of God, which is absurdFather O’Keefe from  “Contrition” on Alleluia Audiobooks…….
……..Without contrition, without sorrow for our sins, without detesting our sins and turning away from them, without amendment of life we cannot be forgiven. It cannot be any other way.
———-End Quote———-
Absolutely.  And I thank Noah very much for his most charitable reminder.
My concern is that all the fevered typing of all the faithful Catholic bloggers and other commentators in the world is absolutely crushed, in terms of influence, by one disastrous papal pronouncement, whether unfairly interpreted by the media, or not.  Not that I think we should stop – we should redouble our efforts, to reach as many as we can – but it just highlights the fact that we are very much faced with a crisis, and a situation, unprecedented in many, many centuries, if its ever been equaled at all.
While we all get exasperated over all the very bad catechesis emanating from the highest levels of the Church today, please do not forget to pray for the poor souls who hear this bad catechesis and think that’s a free pass to just about any behavior they care to rationalize. Sadly, I know that people do think this way, and I have seen numerous instances of people already choosing to take immoral actions or follow disordered paths because they are convinced “the Church has changed,” and what was a sin 26 months ago no longer is.
Of course, just as a persecution was beginning to ramp up in this country, we should be saddled with a leader such as this – I guess to make our offerings more complete.  Fully expect to have his pronouncements thrown in your face all the way to the literal or metaphorical gallows.

Padre Pio on acceptance of suffering April 30, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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So I’m reading a book that’s a little lighter than my usual fare, Send Me Your Guardian Angel, about Padre Pio, by Fr. Alessio Parente OFM Cap. The book covers Padre Pio’s incredibly intimate relationship with his guardian angel.  If nothing else, the book has furthered my devotion to my guardian angel and reminded me that I am neglectful of my relationship with “him.”

The portion I am excerpting below contains some discussion from Fr. Parente regarding our need to accept suffering with willed joy, and follows with some anecdotes from the great Saint himself.  I thought this was very helpful material below. I hope you find it edifying:

[We] who sometimes want things done our own way; who want to obtain things that please us, but, as Padre Pio’s companion said, must remain “in exile a little longer” even though Jesus delights in having us with him.   And as regards gratitude; I think most of us are inclined to take everything for granted.  We believe, generally speaking, that we should reach Jesus in the easiest manner possible, forgetting that we are in exile and that Heaven can be reached only if we suffer without “any consolation;” if we become victims; if we understand the full meaning of “consummatum est” (it is finished) and “in manus tuas” (into your hands).  “My son,” said Jesus to Padre Pio, “love is recognized through suffering; you will feel it acutely in your soul and even more acutely in your body.”

In his soul, suffering came to him through the continuous trials of the devil, in his body, from the physical suffering which oppressed him throughout the entire span of his life. Sometimes, Padre Pio, like any other human being, complained about his sufferings as can be seen from the following letter which he wrote to Father Agostino: “I complained to my Guardian Angel,” he said, “and after giving me a little sermon, he continued: ‘Thank Jesus who is treating you as one chosen to follow him closely up the steep ascent of Calvary; soul confided by Jesus to my care, I behold with joy and deep emotion this behavior of Jesus towards you.  Do you perhaps think I would be so happy if I did not see you ill-treated like this?  I, who in holy charity greatly desire your good, rejoice more and more to see you in this state. Defend yourself, always reject and despise the devil’s evil insinuations, and when your own strength is not sufficient, do not be distressed, beloved of my heart, for I am close to you'”.

Did we ever experience such love and affection from our guardian angel?  If not, perhaps it is because we do not have so much trust and confidence in him as Padre Pio did in his.  Perhaps if we were to search deep down in ourselves, we would discover that we doubted, to some small degree, the ability of this, our angel, or even his very existence.  “The cleverest trick of the devil is to convince us that he doesn’t exist,” said Carlo Baudelaire. Perhaps, too, it is his work that makes us sometimes doubt or forget this companion by our side.

———–End Quote———-

Not much to add, except to say that it is a great gift to make a close friend of one’s guardian angel.  They are with us always.  They are most powerful intercessors and want nothing but to help us. And yet they are also almost completely neglected and ignored by even many devout Catholics.

ThirdSecret

Carmelite Hermits of Christoval need support for beautiful new chapel April 30, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Liturgy, religious, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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No, they are not explicitly traditional, but the Carmelite Hermits of Christoval, TX are a small order that has been near and dear to my heart for many years.  I have met their founder, Fr. Fabian, on a number of occasions.  A few years ago he related to me his dream of building a new chapel for their community.  He fully intended this chapel to be designed to be bi-ritual, meaning, to offer both the TLM and Novus Ordo.  This is a group that was founded entirely within the standard post-conciliar religious environment with no explicit attraction to the TLM, but over time they have developed such an attraction.  Fr. Fabian intended, as of a year or two ago, that the TLM and NO would be offered about 50/50, side by side, as it were……but you know how that goes.  So many groups have found that once they get a taste for the TLM on a consistent basis, they find themselves moving more and more in that direction!

Apparently the time has come for this new chapel to be built, and if it resembles the plans below, it should be a very beautiful one.  I’m jumping the gun a bit, they haven’t started construction, yet, but they have started fundraising.  No word on how much they need to raise, but I’m sure it’s a substantial amount.

Chapel_Fundraising_2

You know, we all whine (especially me) about the terrible liturgical art and architecture we have been cursed with for the past many decades, going back to before the Council. Well……..here is a concrete way to start changing that paradigm and building traditional churches/chapels again.

I know there are so many worthy orders, groups, and charities out there.  But if you have some attraction to Carmelite spirituality or want to contribute to a solid order’s move towards further embrace of Tradition, this could be a good effort to support. I plan on doing so.  And since building funds for new construction are often given a substantial break on assessments taken by higher bodies (such as a diocese), this might be a good choice for those who have qualms about the activities those assessments tend to support (I really have no idea how it goes in the Diocese of San Angelo, but I don’t think they’re particularly great in that regard).

Even more, you’d be helping a young and growing religious order build a chapel that will not only serve their own needs for many years to come, but also provide a liturgical and spiritual oasis for many souls in that arid region.  I understand one motive for the new chapel is to provide more space for souls assisting at Mass…….apparently their present small chapel is often filled to overflowing.

If so moved, you can donate here.

Br. Alan 121crop