Gueranger – humility the basis for all virtue August 4, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Liturgical Year, reading, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
I’m short on time, but Dom Prosper Gueranger, from the 11th Sunday after Pentecost, on the great virtue of humility. Humility is the basis for all virtue, according to the great liturgist. He makes a convincing argument. For me, it is a great reminder that even fighting against the crisis in the Church is not worth falling into pride and losing humility. That’s a constant temptation in blogging and one I pray I do not fall into, at least too often.
“By the Grace of God I am what I am.” The just man should make this language his own, and when this fundamental truth is thoroughly impressed upon his soul, then may he fearlessly add with him: “His grace in me hath not been void.” For humility is based upon truth………and, as it would be contrary to truth were one to refer to man what man has from God, so likewise would it be an injury to truth not to recognize, as the saints did, the works of Grace where God has wrought them. In the former case justice, in the latter gratitude, would be offended, as well as truth. Now, humility, whose direct aim is to avoid these unjust infringements on the glory due to God, by repressing the risings of pride, is also the earnest prompter of gratitude – so truly so, indeed, that a proud man can never be a grateful one, or, to say it in other words, the greatest enemy to the generous virtue of gratitude is pride.
It is quite true that it is good, and prudent, and, generally speaking, necessary, for souls to dwell on the consideration of their faults rather than upon the favors they have received from God, and this more especially in the first beginning of their conversion; still, it is never lawful for any man to forget that, besides being grieved for his past sins and being vigilant as to present temptations, he has also the bounden duty of ceaselessly thanking the divine Benefactor, who gave him both the grace of a change of life and the subsequent progress in virtue. [Indeed! Much of our conversation with God should consist in giving humble thanks for all that He has given us so freely and without our meriting any of it] When a Christian cannot see a grace or any good in himself without having immediately to struggle against self-complacency and a tendency to prefer himself to others, he must not be troubled, of course, for the sin of pride is not in the evil suggestions which may arise within him, but in the consent which is yielded to such suggestions; and yet this weakness which accompanies the thought of God’s graces is not without its dangers in the spiritual life; and the Christian who is resolved on making any advance in perfection must gently endeavor to get altogether rid of such weakness. Aided by Grace, he will gradually find the eye of his soul growing stronger by the infirmity of nature being cured, and by the removal of the involuntary remnants of sin, which, as so many vicious tumors, falsify the beautiful light of God’s gifts, or even sometimes distort it altogether by an unhappy refraction…….
…..It is holy simplicity, daughter and inseparable companion of humility, that will show us how, when a soul is what she should be, these two things coexist, and mutually tell on each other, viz., the close, deliberate consideration of the favors she has received from Heaven, and the clear consciousness of her own miseries. This admirable simplicity will lead us to the school of the Scriptures and of the saints, there to teach us that the soul’s being praised in the Lord, and our glorying in the Lord, is really a giving praise and glory to God Himself. When our Lady declared, in her canticle, that all generations would call her blessed, the divine enthusiasm which was inspiring her was quite as fully the ecstasy of her humility as of her love. The lives of God’s best servants are, at every turn, showing us these sublime transports, wherein they make the Magnificat of their Queen become their own praise to God, magnifying Him for all the great things which He, the mighty One, has vouchsafed to do through their instrumentality………God must not, and shall not, be disappointed in His gifts, either by the self-appropriation of pride, or by the silence of ingratitude.
…….humility, [is that] that indispensable virtue, on which depends not only all progress, but even all security, in the Christian life.
I’ve seen it related, that the interior life works best like this: meekness–>humility–>acceptance of suffering–>charity–>sanctity. You can argue about the order, but almost all solid resources on spirituality tie humility closely to charity and thus, sanctity. Thus, the revolution which afflicted the Church can be viewed as a massive exercise in pride and rejection of humility, since a generation of fallen men took it upon themselves to judge the Faith that had been handed onto them, and found it wanting. Nevertheless, pride, especially secret pride, is probably the greatest trap satan lays for faithful souls.
It is so easy for pride to creep into our thinking, especially when we self-segregate (by great necessity) into a sort of elite within the Church. It is very easy for us to start thinking: “well, at least I’m not one of those modernist/progressive/leftist/post-conciliar types.” If we are blessed to follow a stronger or more authentic practice of the Faith than many do, that is because God has blessed us so abundantly, and those given more are called to a much stricter accounting at their judgment. I don’t want to belabor the point, enough said (and I say this mostly to and for myself. I cast no aspersions).
….along with some post-conciliar schlock, but c’est la vie, I guess. There is a store in Mexico City called Las Fabricas De Lyon. They sell all manner of Church-related items, from vestments and communion wafers to glorious Church art, some of it antique and truly beautiful.
I love to buy art like this!
I’m having a bit of trouble communicating with them at present but hopefully that will get sorted out. I did. Kind of. And hopefully I’ll also find that they ship to the states! They do. I still have a wife, though. But for now, I can dream……..
There’s tons more. That’s just two items I could get pics of. Most of the site has right click blocked. Yes its Mexico but you can get awesome art for parish or home for dimes (not quite pennies) on the dollar.
Maybe D could help me out here. You know anything about them?
The Bear at St. Corbinian’s Bear – who I swear writes exactly like a Senior Chief Petty Officer I used to know spoke – has a most relevant post regarding the affliction many Catholics are feeling under the current pontificate. We feel spiritually and even psychologically harmed by the ongoing scandal and fear over even greater disasters in the future. Some have called it Francis Derangement Syndrome, but that’s a hypermontanist calumny against people honestly feeling stressed and worse in confronting the constant antics in Rome. I think Francis Shock Syndrome might fit better. Kind of like Toxic Shock Syndrome, but from an ecclesiastical perspective.
The Bear has properly diagnosed the spiritual and psychological discomfiture many souls have been experiencing over the past two-plus years, seeing in it a form of cognitive dissonance. For those who don’t know, cognitive dissonance occurs when deeply held beliefs are suddenly challenged (if not obliterated) by reality. Catholics have been taught to believe that popes are infallible but many have taken that into impeccability. How can the current pontificate be reconciled with that very deep belief?
This pain is worsened by being told that they are not just wrong, but bad, horrible people and eve worse Catholics for feeling that something is very awry at the highest echelon of the Church. The Bear notes that such attacks are simply some people’s way of relieving that same stress themselves – they declare criticism of the papacy out of bounds, so they don’t have to think about the ongoing scandals. The Bear also examines other ways of trying to relieve that stress, and how valid or invalid they are with respect to reality. The worst case is when people create alternate realities that basically define the problem away.
Hopefully I’ve given sufficient set up. I think we’re dealing with an unusually bright bear here……he gives much to consider (emphasis in original, my comments):
If you believe that the Church is a divine institution, carrying out God’s plan of evangelization and the cure of souls, maintaining a tradition that ensures its integrity, and if you envision popes in the mold of Benedict XVI, John Paul II, and even Pius XII, Pope Francis comes as much of a shock as a spaceman from……..planet Clarion. [Clever picture at the link]
………So how do we deal with cognitive dissonance? The Bear is not pretending to provide counseling, but will propose a few ideas. In general, there are four effective defense mechanisms that kick in to reducing dissonance.
- nail your foot to the floor in front of your favorite pew and die there (Holy Stubbornness) [a very good one]
- seek out the pre-1960 comfort zone of the past in different ways, e.g. the traditional Latin Mass, Douay Rheims Bible, etc. [highly recommended, but beware, doing so will inevitably reveal startling differences in practice between the pre- and post-conciliar Church]
- draw comfort from like-minded people at blogs like St. Corbinian’s Bear and others (if others are with you, you will feel safer), and that may include using comment boxes
- on the other hand, avoid, as much as possible, all news and discussion of Pope Francis [Is this what Catholics are reduced to? Avoiding mention of the Pope at all costs?]
- more Jesus, less Francis — a regular classic prayer life (Divine Office, rosary, etc.), reading scripture (which has many examples of suffering under bad leaders) [!!]
- recognize that this will be a relatively short papacy, and things will undoubtedly get better [This gets back to learning the pre-conciliar Faith and coming to recognize the rather stark differences at all levels between what we do/know now, and what was done/known then.]
- therapy — the biggest thing in your life is being seriously messed with; people who are particularly at risk might benefit [Unless you can find a really orthodox Catholic therapist, I advise strongly against this one. Loads of people have been therapied right out of the Church]
- God permitted this to happen — you don’t need to know everything, but it does test our faith
A commenter with an evangelical orientation left a comment on a recent post on the massive changes made to the traditional Breviary to produce the new Liturgy of the Hours (let alone the changes to the lectionary). He gets a 15 yard penalty and loss of down for a non sequitur comment on a post that had nothing to do with the Canon of Scripture, but he opines that because the New Testament was written mere decades after the Resurrection and Ascension of our Savior Jesus Christ, that means protestants are right to rely on Sola Scriptura as the basis of all their belief. Now, I could attack this claim from many directions – private interpretation leading to tens of thousands of competing sects each disagreeing with the other, routine failure to keep various bits of Scripture in context, the novelty of Sola Scriptura, unheard of prior to the 15th century, its complete rejection by all the ancient Churches (over and above the tendency of evangelicals to fixate on Catholic belief, the Orthodox, Copts, Chaldeans, all base belief on both Scripture and Tradition), etc., but I won’t. The main claim was that because books that eventually wound up being included in the Canon of Scripture (settled by whom………oh that’s right, the Catholic Church) were available from a very early date, that means the faithful had all the truth they needed to properly observe the Faith absent Sacred Tradition.
But is this correct? Is it sensical? To start, while yes, I believe that the Gospels were written very early, even earlier than our protestant commentator claims (and St. Matthew was, of course, first*), there were also scads of apocrypha about, sometimes containing novel beliefs that contradicted the ultimate Canon of Scripture and causing great confusion among the faithful. There was huge debate even among many books that wound up being included in the Canon itself, as to whether or not they were truly inspired. It took many decades of very careful study and prayerful guidance before it was discerned that books like The Apocalypse of St. John, the 2nd and 3rd Letters of St. John, the 2nd Letter of St. Peter, etc were indeed inerrant and inspired works. Meanwhile, dozens of books that many found to be very spiritually edifying – the Shephard of Hermas, the Epistle of Barnabas, among others – were discerned after equally close study and review to be not inspired.
The point being, even with what eventually was discerned to be authentic, inspired Scripture floating around, it had to be discerned from that which was either inauthentic or, at least, judged to be uninspired (and judged by spiritual giants: Saint Jerome, Saint Augustine, Saint John Chrysostom, etc). Over and above spiritually valid but uninspired works, there was also a whole panoply of strongly heretical, Gnostic-inspired works (totally 52 separate texts!) like the “Gospel of Thomas” and the “Gospel of Mary.”
All of these works, ranging from the very helpful but uninspired Shepherd of Hermas, to the blatantly heretical Gospel of Thomas, were available from very early on, as well, contemporaneously with the authentic, inspired Scripture.
This leaves aside just how common even the eventually accepted Books of the New Testament were, and how many could actually read them. That’s an entirely different problem, and one that frequently escapes those ensconced in modernity, where virtually everyone can read and where there are literally hundreds of millions of bibles floating around. In the early 1st century, all books had to be laboriously copied by hand onto fragile papyrus scrolls. At best, each community of believers might have a partial set of the authentic books of the New Testament, and early on, in the timeframe referenced by the commenter, it is most likely that most had only very partial sets, or none at all.
Thus, in the early Church, inspired and inerrant Scripture was available, but so was a whole bunch of other stuff, some of it relatively benign, others horribly destructive and full of errors. Which was which was hotly debated even among many great Saints and Fathers of the early Church, with some very notable early Church leaders doubting whether works eventually included in the Canon of Scripture were actually inspired. If such division existed among very holy and learned souls, how were the faithful to discern, prior to the formal declaration of the Canon, that which was divinely inspired, and that which was not? How was it determined that even those elements which came to make up the Canon of Scripture were inspired and thus, inerrant?
TRADITION. St. Paul said in his Catholic Epistle to the Galatians that anyone who preached a Gospel other than that which he had conveyed to them – orally, that is, by oral TRADITION – even if he be an “angel,” let him be anathema. St. Peter warns that there is much in the then extant written Scripture that is confusing and that men would twist it to their own destruction, and counsels the faithful to judge these twisters of Scripture according to the Gospel which had already been revealed to them. Which, mind, is exactly what the Church did when the protestant revolutionaries first proclaimed their novelties to the world – they judged them according to 1500 years of practice and belief, and found them wanting.
Tradition is the glue that held the early Church together, and which has been the binding force ever since. Even after two thousand years of having the works of the Bible available to us, it is ultimately Tradition, the continuing of belief and practice handed down from the Apostles to the very first believers by word of mouth, typically, then later reinforced in writing, that informs the right understanding and interpretation of that Scripture and ties the Church together, past, present, and future.
The Church maintains that Scripture and Tradition are each fully equal pillars upon which all belief and practice stands. This belief is shared by ALL the ancient Churches that date to the Roman times. We see that when a group rejects Tradition, it rapidly develops beliefs that are counter to those of the earliest Church and novel interpretations of Scripture almost invariably follow. Personally – and it’s nothing but that, my personal belief – I believe that Tradition is slightly more important than Scripture, since even the earliest dates for the creation of Scripture mean there was a 10-15 year window when no Scripture existed, and all knowledge about belief and practice was based on Tradition, but even more, because it was Tradition itself that was much relied on to help settle the Canon of Scripture. Those works being the most consistently in accord with the practice of the Faith handed on from one person, from one generation to the next, were held to be the most likely to be inspired and inerrant. There were certainly other factors, as well, as I said, much debate, prayer, and reflection went into that vital process of determining the Canon, but Tradition informed and undergirded them all.
There is more that I could include but this post is already getting fairly long so I’ll leave it at that, for now. I guess one more telling point I could make is that all the protestant revolutionaries, and their revolutionary antecedents (like Wycliffe and Jan of Hus) arrived at their novel conclusion that Scripture should be the sole rule of Faith not because they had some hard evidence or divine revelation to that effect, but because they found in Tradition things they did not like, or more significantly, did not want to live in accord with. Thus, Luther threw out much Tradition (and Catholic interpretation of Scripture!) because he could not control his sensual appetites, so works inspired by but also efficacious of Grace had to go out the window. The harsh, cold, and calculating Calvin envisioned a harsh, cold, and calculating God. That later “reformers” like Melancthon had to come along and further “reform” (really, re-Catholicize) much of the radical belief of their various sect’s founders because of the horrors they inspired only confirms that these were men twisting Scripture to their own ends, just as St. Peter warned. But fallen man loves to hear that salvation is easy, that a one-time altar call is sufficient to insure eternal salvation, that morality is fungible and God doesn’t really expect much from us, and so these errors have proven very persistent and difficult to eradicate.
*- the belief that St. Matthew’s Gospel was first was practically universal until the mid-19th century, when Bismarck, Chancellor of Germany, commissioned liberal protestant scholars, some of the first modernists, to investigate Scripture from a “modern scientific” viewpoint. This effort was marked with strong political overtones and an anti-Catholic bias (Bismarck being then engaged in his Kulturkampf with the Church). This was the birth of the historical-critical method, which has been attacking and undermining Scripture ever since. It was these German advocates of the “higher criticism” which really began the advocacy that St. Mark’s Gospel was first. However, more and more evidence is now telling against the “historical-critical” method, and many of its claims from 50-60 years ago, then touted as the final word in biblical scholarship, have now been overturned. Much of that overturning has pointed back to the more traditional understanding of Scripture as being correct, including the traditional belief that St. Matthew’s Gospel was written first, and within a decade or so of Our Lord’s Ascension.
Fifth undercover video: Planned Barrenhood Houston admits selling fully intact murdered babies – UPDATED August 4, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, contraception, disaster, disconcerting, General Catholic, horror, paganism, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, unadulterated evil.
The hammers continue to drop. This slow drip release of increasingly damning videos is just obliterating Planned Barrenhood’s already shattered credibility. Anything they attempt to say in way of defense or explanation may well be exploded in a future video release. No wonder they’ve resorted to lawfare try to enlist the power of the leviathan state in blocking further releases.
In the latest video, Melissa Farrell, research director for Houston area Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast admits to selling fully intact aborted babies, which strongly implies delivering babies intact and then allowing them to die of neglect (or other, even more foul means):
The pro-life advocates behind the four shocking videos exposing Planned Parenthood selling the body parts of aborted babies for research have released a 5th video today that catches a Planned Parenthood official discussing how the abortion business sells “fully intact” aborted babies.
The video, which follows Senate Democrats defeating a bill to de-fund Planned Parenthood, makes it appear the Planned Parenthood abortion business may be selling the “fully intact” bodies of unborn babies purposefully born alive and left to die.
Planned Parenthood could be breaking the federal law known as the Born Alive Infants Protection Act that requires abortion clinics, hospitals and other places that do abortions to provide appropriate medical care for a baby born alive after a failed abortion or purposefully birthed to “let die.” That would be one of the potential ways Planned Parenthood could produce a “fully intact” baby to sell to StemExpress for research. Most “crunchy” abortion methods would do damage to the baby’s body.
The fifth undercover video in the controversy over Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted baby parts shows the Director of Research for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Melissa Farrell, advertising the Texas Planned Parenthood branch’s track record of fetal tissue sales, including its ability to deliver fully intact aborted babies……..
……….The investigators ask Farrell how she will frame a contract in which they pay a higher price for higher quality fetal body parts, and she replies, “We can work it out in the context of–obviously, the procedure itself is more complicated,” suggesting that “without having you cover the procedural cost” and paying for the abortion, the higher specimen price could be framed as “additional time, cost, administrative burden.”
Farrell finally summarizes her affiliate’s approach to fetal tissue payments: “If we alter our process, and we are able to obtain intact fetal cadavers, we can make it part of the budget that any dissections are this, and splitting the specimens into different shipments is this. It’s all just a matter of line items.”…… [I wonder, do you think this poor creature would use such cold and calculating terms if she were discussing, say, parts removed from murdered puppies? That’s the thing about WASPs……they love animals, but they can’t stand people]
…….Farrell also indicates to the investigators over lunch that the specimen sales from her department contribute significantly to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s overall finances: “I think everyone realizes, especially because my department contributes so much to the bottom line of our organization here, you know we’re one of the largest affiliates, our Research Department is the largest in the United States. Larger than any the other affiliates’ combined.”
And that same Planned Barrenhood Gulf Coast is currently in federal court fending off charges of millions of dollars in Medicaid fraud. Why anyone would think an organization whose sole purpose is the murder and sale of human beings for profit would have moral compunctions regarding theft, enabling child rape, or any other evil is beyond me.
Now for the video. I must warn this is perhaps the most explicit yet in terms of horrors to be seen. It explicitly shows an aborted 20 week twin being torn apart for its valuable organs. I have twins that were born at 34 weeks. 14 weeks……..life or death……..heaven or hell. Someone made the wrong choice. And I think how my wife and I are praying and struggling to bring one more life into the world!:
If you watch the discussion around the 5 minute mark (starting maybe 4:45) you can see one of the investigators allude to the fact that they are giving valuable remuneration for these baby parts, which is illegal per federal law. This part of the discussion basically involves yet another Planned Butcherhood official – for the 4th, 5th time – stating that they can simply create false costs and pretended expenses to cover the large amount of income they will receive for murdering babies for their body parts. The whole conversation was about saying “we sell baby parts for profit” without saying it. She admits at a luncheon that her job is to create new revenue streams. What other streams could there be from the murder of perfectly innocent children? I bet Abby Johnson underestimated how much this Houston PB makes off the sale of murdered babies.
What do you think of this campaign by Center for Medical Progress? Will it be successful in converting people away from their support for abortion? Will it result in Banned Parenthood being defunded at the federal level? What of the states, will PP be hounded out of the more conservative states by constant litigation and investigations? Or with Obama in office will all this effort just get flushed down the memory hole?
We’ve seen so many exposes, so many revelations, and yet this evil organization remains in operation. Have we reached the point where a large enough majority of Americans can simply no longer be reached by appeals to decency and morality to effect any real change? Put another way: have Americans, by and large, become so addicted to all manner of hedonism, fornication, and adultery that they will never allow abortion – the backstop to it all – to be completely taken away from them? Might it become a regional phenomenon, where abortion remains legal in 30 states but is unobtainable in 20?
It is an incredible indictment of this nation that after the very first, shocking exposes of Planned Barrenhood it was not sued and legislated out of existence.
Speaking of indictments, that Obama-loving judge in Sodom by the Bay just extended his emergency restraining order against Center for Medical Progress from releasing video footage taken at the National Abortion Federation (NAF) convention from being released until at least the end of August, when a full hearing on the matter will be held. NAF is arguing that if the footage is released, they fear “its members that they would suffer harassment, intimidation and even violence……..” which begs the question……..just how damning is the footage?
Further, it has been revealed that the NAF requires all participants to sign non-disclosure agreements in order to even attend their convention, which seems to point to a very strong motivation to hide what is discussed therein.
I’m sure there will be even more explosive revelations to come. Right now, it appears Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast lied in testimony given to Louisiana state investigators, claiming they never, ever sell butchered baby parts.
UPDATE: The Repubniks were unable to pass a bill defunding Planned Barrenhood last night. The broken Senate, where nothing can happen without a supermajority of 60 votes, failed to pass the defunding effort in spite of a vote in favor of 53-46. Mitch McConnell refuses to use the same “nuclear option” (advancing legislation based on a simple majority of 51 rather than a supermajority of 60) that Harry Reid used with abandon.
Sure, the Repubniks are better than demonrats…….just not better enough to ever make even the slightest difference. With historic majorities in both houses they still cannot block even the most atrocious evil imaginable.