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What the Church really believes regarding poverty, charity, socialism, etc….. September 8, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, catachesis, different religion, episcopate, General Catholic, reading, sanctity, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the return, the struggle for the Church, Virtue.
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…….is I think very well transmitted in The Catechism Explained by Father’s Spirago and Clarke.  Written in the late 19th century, this very practical Catechism is devoid of the baneful influence of modernism and leftism and gives the constant belief and practice of the Faith in a clear and relatively concise manner.

The sections excerpted below are quite counter to so many opinions we hear bandied about in the Church today and might even find disagreement in the 1997 Catechism.  It is certainly opposed to much of the rhetoric we hear from so many priests, bishops, and others in the hierarchy, who have turned poverty into an intrinsic evil and its “eradication” (impossible, according to Our Blessed Lord) into a paramount moral obligation.  This is quite contrary to what the vast majority of the Church, in her history, Saints, popes, and faithful, understood on this vital subject. I think you can also discern, in reading the below, the marked contrast – one might even call it a gulf – between recent addresses made by the highest authority in the Church on these subjects, where class warfare seems frequently to lurk just below the surface, if it is not boldly proclaimed:

God does not distribute talents to all alike; to one He gives five, to another two, to a third only one (Matt xxv).  It is in wisdom that He thus acts: for if the same were given to all, every one could stand alone, and there would be no need of mutual good offices.  What opportunity would there be for the exercise of brotherly love, what occasions of merit?

Poverty is no disgrace in God’s sight; to be poor in virtue and in good works is the only thing of which one need be ashamed, for it leads to eternal damnation.

In the eyes of eternal Truth poverty is not the slightest shame (Lev xiii).  Our Lord Himself being rich, became poor (II Cor viii:9).  He Who was the King of Heaven and of earth passed His life in constant privations; He had not where to lay His head (Lk ix:58). What could exceed the poverty of His birthplace!  A man may be poor in the world’s good sand exceedingly rich before God; and on the other hand, a man may be rich in earthly possessions and utterly destitute before God (Lk xii:21). “The fear of God is the glory of the rich” (Eccl x:25).  Virtues, not earthly treasures, constitute true riches. “He,” says St. Augustine,”is not rich who possesses chests full of silver and gold, but he in whom God dwells, who is the temple of the Holy Ghost.”

The poor save their souls more easily than the rich.

Our Lord declares that ti is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God (Mt xix:24).  Wealth affords its possessor the means of gratifying every inordinate desire………The poor man is better prepared to resist the temptations of the devil, being long accustomed to self-denial.  Consequently many of the poor will have a higher place in the Kingdom of Heaven than their richer brethren…….

God often sends poverty upon a man for his salvation.

Many, if they were rich, would misuse their wealth, lead a vicious life, and be eternally lost.  This God foresees, and therefore He takes their earthly possessions form them. “Poverty and riches are from God” (Eccl xi:14).  Saint Antoninus, Archbishop of Florence, saw angels descending and ascending around a certain house; on hearing that the inmates were a poor widow with three daughters, he made them a liberal allowance. Later on he saw evil spirits coming and going about that same house; he made inquiries and learned that the people he had assisted now lead an idle and dissolute life.  Thereupon he immediately withdrew his gift.  God deals in like manner with us.   [Would that our social welfare programs faced similar scrutiny as to the moral effect such largesse has had on their recipients!  How counter this is to so much rhetoric in their favor!]

The poor are beloved by God.

Those who are unhappy and forsaken by the world are especially dear to God. Christ calls the poor blessed (Mt v:3).  He invites all that labor and are burdened to come to Him, that He may refresh them (Mt xi:28); the oppressed and persecuted are objects of His particular favor.  These truths ought to serve as an encouragement to the poor, and repress the pride of the opulent and powerful.  To the poor first of all the Gospel is preached (Mt xi:5).  The offerings of the poor are more acceptable to God than those of the rich.  Our Lord said the widow’s mite was of greater value than all the gifts that the rich cast into the treasury (Mk xii:41-43)………There is no respect of persons with God (Rom ii:11).  Poor and rich are alike His children (Pr xxii:2).

The poor man who leads an upright life will never be forsaken by God; more, he will enjoy happiness and contentment in this world.

God Who feeds the birds of the air, and clothes the lilies and grass of the field, will also provide for man, who is of so much more value than they (Mt v:25-30).  God does not allow the just to want the necessaries of life. Our Lord says: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His justice [i.e., be solicitous for your salvation and keep the Commandments] and all these things [i.e., the wherewithal to live] shall be added unto you” (Mt vi:33)……..Virtue is generally attended by temporal blessings here below (Ps cxi:2-3).  A poor man may be very happy despite his poverty.  Happiness by no means consists in the abundance of things that one possesses (Lk xii:15), but in interior peace and contentment, and these the just man enjoys, whether he be rich or poor. [And in fact being rich almost invariably involves attachment to one’s possessions (this is our fallen nature), so that the rich man is taken up with concern for worldly things and finds focus on the interior life much harder.  Thus Christ’s statement on the camel and the eye of the needle] St. Paul speaks of himself as having nothing, and yet possessing all things (II Cor vi:10).

The poor are not warranted in wresting from the rich the alms which they have a right to expect; they should rather bear their lot patiently and rely on help from God.  

The duty of giving alms is not required by justice, except in cases of dire necessity.  It is a duty of Christian charity, consequently no man can lawfully be compelled to give.  The Fathers of the Church constantly exhorted the rich to give alms.  “Thou art master of thy property, and canst give or not give at they will,” St. Jerome said to the rich: “Distribute a portion of thy wealth. But if thou refusest, I cannot force thee. I can only entreat.”  The poor can however demand that their labor be sufficiently remunerated. Doubly indeed is that poor man to be commiserated who forsakes God and transgresses His law; for in that case he has nothing in this life, and after death everlasting perdition awaits him.

———–End Quote———–

I don’t think I have to spell out how different so much of the above is from what we so commonly hear regarding poverty today.  Poverty is very frequently – and I speak of within the Church – described as an evil of itself, and even more, the fault of someone else.  We have heard much of late that either directly says, or can be taken to mean, that because one man has more than another it is very frequently, if not always, because he has unfairly taken more than his share.  This fundamentally revolutionary, communist outlook is the source of great misery, causing great discontent among the poor and encouraging strife among the various classes, instead of the concord and mutual concern and caretaking which should be the foundation for inter-class relationships.

A further quick note: “charity” performed at government behest, at the point of a government gun, is not virtuous.  Socialism, thus, is not charity.  Voting for candidates that promise to rob from the rich to give to the poor does not make up for one’s personal failing to give generously to those in need, but the Revolution constantly touts this kind of moral preening.  We are being confronted today even with many prelates who seem to have deeply imbibed the rhetoric of class warfare. Among their many criticisms of Catholics (does one ever get the impression they simply do not like Catholics very much?) is their failure to practice so-called class consciousness.

They have, in essence, supplanted leftism for Catholicism as their religion of choice.

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Finally, a gun for the Christians being massacred in the Middle East! September 8, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Immigration, paganism, persecution, Revolution, scandals, sickness, Society, Tradition.
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If CAIR doesn’t like it, you know it has to have at least some redeeming value.

Millions  of Christians are being persecuted, driven from their homes, beaten, raped, and murdered throughout much of the Mideast, from Iraq to Libya.  The response of the West has been paltry, at best.  The US intervention is oriented far more towards quieting political criticism at home than it is towards either defending the ancient Christian communities the US has long abandoned, or seriously attriting ISIS’ ability to continue its genocidal campaign.

Of course, there are always limitations and down-sides to mass intervention.  We – the US – more or less created the nightmare afflicting the ancient Christian communities through our original, botched invasion and occupation of Iraq.  I am far from certain that another mass intervention would not result in even worse ramifications.  However, there are ways to aid those on the ground to defend themselves without using the typical HULK SMASH methods of the US military.  One method would be to arm and equip them to have at least a fair chance of defending themselves.  This would be a relatively low-cost intervention in terms of money and especially lives.

A Florida gun-maker has come up with what might be the ideal anti-ISIS small arm: an AR-15 based platform called the “Crusader” that contains a verse from Scripture that islam finds offensive:

A new assault rifle being manufactured in central Florida has drawn fire after the gunmaker branded it the “Crusader” and said it was designed “to never be used by Muslim terrorists.”

Spike’s Tactical in Apopka etched its new $1,395 AR-15 with a Bible verse that says “Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle,” MyFoxOrlando reported. [I’ve always seen it read the other way, “who trains my hands for battle, and my fingers for war.”  It is part of Psalm 143, and a very good Psalm it is]

Company spokesman Ben Thomas, a former Navy SEAL, said the scripture is something of an insurance policy to keep it out of the hands of terrorists. The idea came to him during the weapon’s development. At the time, the U.S. government was preparing to arm rebel groups in Syria.

“When you make a rifle, you have to understand that it could be used for ill deeds if it got in the wrong hands,” Thomas told the station….[Alright, this is weak.  The Scripture is plainly intended to be hostile towards islam, and not without reason. You can argue whether Scripture should be associated with a killing device, but the Crusaders certainly used much religious imagery and symbolism in arming themselves for war against islam]

……The gun went on sale this week and was quickly denounced by the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Florida, according to MyFoxOrlando.

“Sadly, this manufacturer’s fancy new gun won’t do anything to stop the real threat in America: the escalating problem of gun violence,” the council told the station. “This is just another shameful marketing ploy intended to profit from the promotion of hatred, division, and violence.” [CAIR is a radical-muslim apologist group and, I believe, element of taqqiyah aimed at disarming the West.  I discount all their feigned exasperation]

Thomas defended the Crusader, saying he would like to take a weapon with scripture etched on the side into battle and that the gun is not meant to be racist. [Islam isn’t even a race, there are muslims of every race, but racism is one of the left’s favorite tools to tar those who do things they don’t like, so it gets used.  It would be less effective to say they are “anti-muslim,” because, more and more people are, and again not without reason] 

“We didn’t say ‘No Muslims,’” he said.

The scripture is etched on one side of the magazine. Etched on the other is a symbol of a cross that dates from the Crusades of the Middle Ages.

Thomas told the Orlando Sentinel the company’s owners did not intend to insult or antagonize Muslims.

I think they’re making a mistake claiming the inscription and other bits worked into it are intended to keep muslims from using the rifle.  They’re being put on there to oppose militant islam with Christian truth, even if the application may be questionable and the truth only partial.  I sort of like it, though I’m not about to drop $1400 on an AR.  I like my guns Russian in origin.

Some other humorous aspects: the select-fire knob is labeled in Latin, “Pax” peace for safe, “Bellum” war for semi-auto, and ‘Deus Vult”- God Wills It – for full-auto?  Or just semi-auto again?  I like the Crusader’s shield, too.

crusader gun image

apopka-gunmaker_0013_1441237285792_152295_ver1.0_640_360

Note protestant Pslam numbering

Crusader-Rifle-2

I’m sure they’re nice guns. They’re loaded with Picatinny rails, flash suppressor and probably have fine, after market triggers.  I can only guess the “Deus Vult” setting would be full-auto or 3-shot groups.

OK, say they’re $1400 but they’re basically hand-made, one would hope in mass production the price would drop to at least $1000.  So, $1 billion for a million rifles, roughly.  Another $2 billion for 10 billion rounds of ammo (10,000 rounds per gun would be enough to keep them in combat for several months, maybe half a year).  So, for $3 billion at least a minimally just means of self-defense could be supplied to the remaining Christians in Iraq and Syria. Training’s another matter.

Eh, it’ll never happen, anyways.  Even should private individuals get together to donate money or arms to Christians in the Mideast, the US gov’t would do all in its power to prevent such aid from reaching them. We are in a period of unprecedented persecution when most of the great powers of the earth – governments, hostile religions, NGOs, much of private industry, the academy – appear ranged against the Church.  At some point, many of us will have to come to decisions as to whether to be martyred or resist.  There are of course moral guidelines governing that resistance, but fundamentally, we do not have to be as sheep led to the slaughter if we can enlist enough people to join us in resistance.  We’re not at that point, yet, but it doesn’t hurt to start calculating how one might respond in different situations. They may not be as far away as we would like to think.

The United States exists in a dangerous duality where the law is used against some as a weapon, while others can do no wrong…. September 8, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, General Catholic, Holy suffering, horror, persecution, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, shocking, sickness, Society.
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……all dependent on which side of the political-cultural divide one finds oneself.  If you are a progressive, woo-hoo!, you can smoke grass, allow theft of classified documents, and engage in union thievery/thuggery, secure in the knowledge you’ll never be prosecuted. But if you’re a Christian conservative, know that all the massive power of the Leviathan State will be – is being – ranged against you.  Know also that many legal experts now view in the mind-boggling panoply of federal laws the potentiality for each and every citizen to be guilty of a good number of federal felonies of which they remain blissfully unaware. Ignorance of the law being no defense, when the decide to come for you, there will be a ready-made case for potentially dozens of felony charges and very long prison sentences.

Think I’m exaggerating a bit?  Is Tantumfrogo falling further into conspiracy nuttery?  Well, read the analysis below by Sean Davis – a very, very partial analysis – of the immense, politically-motivated legal double standards existing in this country at this time, and see if you think I’m exaggerating.  The key point to bear in mind is that Rowan County, Kentucky county clerk is ostensibly languishing in jail for failure to perform her duty as a county clerk in issuing marriage licenses to sodomites (but we all know it’s really about her opposition to pseudo-sodomite marriage).  But look at how many other instances of failure to enforce the supposedly sacrosanct law are willfully ignored in pursuit of leftist hegemony (I add emphasis and comments):

Davis’s arrest was met with cheers by same-sex marriage advocates who for some reason did not demand imprisonment of officials who lawlessly issued gay marriage licenses in clear contravention of state and federal laws. Take, for example, Democrat Gavin Newsom, who is currently the California lieutenant governor. Back in 2004, when gay marriage was banned under California state law, Newsom openly defied the law and used his power as the mayor of San Francisco to force taxpayer-funded government clerks to issue gay marriage licenses…….

…..Just like Kim Davis, who is an elected Democrat, Newsom justified his lawlessness by citing his own conscience and beliefs about right and wrong rather than deferring to the actual laws of his state. [Party affiliation today means less than tribal signaling, having the “right” beliefs and being part of the “right” crowd.  Rule of law is rapidly becoming a joke in this country under these circumstances. It also highlights what I think is brilliant advice from Plinio Correa de Oliveira – it is 100 times more important to gain a cultural victory against the Revolution than to pass a law or prevent a law from passing. The Revolution moves primarily in the culture, and after having subsumed the culture, then enacts laws in its favor.  Preventing a bad book from being published, deconstructing a blasphemous movie, or opposing some immoral cultural trend (as Davis is doing) is much more important than political efforts]

If you look for evidence of gay rights advocates chastising Newsom for his blatant lawlessness, you won’t find it. Because it doesn’t exist. You similarly won’t find any evidence of these principled law enforcement purists chastising California state officials for refusing to enforce or defend the Prop 8 ballot initiative in California, which was passed overwhelmingly by California voters. [Of course not, because all this garbage about the supposed sanctity of the law and the purported duty of elected officials is just a smokescreen for this: do as we will, shut up, or get crushed]

And don’t you dare look for evidence of high-minded progressives demanding prison sentences for the Washington, D.C. bureaucrats who openly defied federal court orders to issue concealed carry permits in the nation’s capital. Nope. Instead of enforcing the law as handed down in multiple Supreme Court cases, D.C. officials kept manufacturing new reasons to justify their refusal to comply with federal gun laws.

Don’t even get me started on federal laws regarding drug possession. You won’t find progressives calling for the prosecution of scores of Colorado officials in open defiance of federal drug bans, or calling for the heads of federal officials who refuse to enforce federal drug laws in Colorado. No, those federal laws are icky. Sure, they’re indisputably the law of the land. And sure, officials have a duty to equally apply and enforce standing law, but icky laws are different. Only non-icky laws need to be enforced. [This ties in closely with calls for more “anti-gun” laws.  There are already copious laws on the books, which, if reasonably enforced, would prevent a large number of the atrocities committed that the media and leftists use to call for more……federal gun laws. That is why so many Second Amendment advocates view these calls as being directed more at law-abiding citizens, with the intent of dis-arming them in the face of an increasingly totalitarian state, than the criminals who already operate with near impunity in spite of the plethora of laws on the books.]

Perhaps natural marriage advocates should abandon their religious liberty arguments and instead declare whole cities to be marriage sanctuaries. That strategy has worked splendidly for open borders advocates. Who cares what the federal law requires when it comes to illegal immigration? Those laws restricting citizenship rights to citizens are icky, so they don’t need to be enforced. Sanctuary cities are great, so long as they provide sanctuary from icky laws of which progressives disapprove. [We were at a park in a rougher side of town just yesterday.  The park was equipped with “drug-free zone” signs.  I had to laugh at all the discarded beer cans and even the roach clip I saw on the ground.  But that’s the left, they’d rather construct a fantasy than deal with the reality]

Oh, and those laws regarding the proper handling of classified national security information? Meh. Yeah, those are icky, too. So lay off Hillary Clinton, you dirty law truther. Who cares if she ignored clear law and policy by setting up an unsecured, unsanctioned e-mail server which was then used to house and distribute classified information? Who cares if President Barack Obama himself signed the executive order mandating the protection of national security information, the unauthorized release of which could damage American safety and security? Who cares if she intentionally sent classified information to people outside the government who were never cleared to receive it? Progressives think that law is icky, too, so you’ll have to excuse them from not caring about Hillary’s blatant violation of it (laws regarding the handling of classified information are totally not icky, though, when applied to Republicans like David Petraeus or Scooter Libby).

The point is obvious.  This nation is becoming a land of politically motivated enforcement and non-enforcement of laws. To put it bluntly, this is no longer a nation of laws, but of men, of will to power, of a deeply totalitarian impulse to serve and advance ONE political agenda at the expense of all others.

There are many other recent, horrifying examples that could have been included with the above.  Things like the use of the IRS to target and persecute conservative groups viewed as being hostile to the present presidential administration, or the refusal to enforce sanctions against employers who knowingly employ large numbers of illegal aliens.  What we are witnessing is a descent into one-party rule and selective enforcement of the law to insure that rule.  It is difficult to distinguish this kind of self-serving application from any of the far-too-numerous banana republics around the world.  Yes, things have perhaps not gotten quite that far, yet, but almost all the trends are in a disconcertingly negative direction.

Ah, well…..’Merica!

 

Dallas notes/Men’s Vigil Reminder September 8, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, North Deanery, Our Lady, priests, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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The next men’s vigil outside the so-called Men’s Club will be this Wednesday, Sept. 9 @ 8 pm!  At least, I’ll be there!  I pray many of you are, as well.  If you are new, for all the details on location, the response we get, etc., go here.

Two other local notes.  A representative from Wyoming Catholic College will be at Mater Dei parish in Irving on Thursday, October 1 at 7:15 pm.  He works in the admissions office and will be on hand to answer any questions you or a  young person you know might have regarding Wyoming Catholic College.  The meeting will be in the parish hall.

Wyoming Catholic is one of a few colleges this blogger would contemplate sending his kids to.  A representative of the university a few years ago said that tuition and fees were not as high as many other small Catholic colleges – $24,000.  That may have been all inclusive, I don’t recall.  The point being, it’s not as prohibitively expensive as many other Catholic colleges. This is not the post to re-examine my concerns over students going into huge amounts of debt for degrees that do not appreciably increase their earning power (thus justifying the investment), but Wyoming Catholic appears more affordable than most.  Plus, horseback riding and Dr. Kwasniewski.

Final note, Fr. Mitch Pacwa will be giving a presentation on “Challenges of the Christian Family in the USA” on Saturday, October 3 at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic parish at 11:30 am.  He will offer Mass on Saturday at 5:30 and Sunday at 8:30 and 11.  His presence there is part of the Lebanese Food Festival offered at the parish every year, which runs from Oct. 2-4.  This is a large festival attended by thousands every year.

I can’t watch EWTN anymore (no cable) and may as well pull the radio out of my truck because I never use it, but I always liked Fr. Pacwa.  He’s been very supportive of Our Lady of Lebanon since serving as priest there many years ago.