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On the proper manifestation of zeal for souls September 30, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, reading, Saints, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.
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I haven’t posted anything from Divine Intimacy in ages, because a while back I got the impression that most readers perused Divine Intimacy at least as often as I did, and so the posting wasn’t helping anyone.  BUUUUT……this little bit from yesterday is so timely and good I thought, what the heck, I’ll post it.  There are sure to be some readers who don’t crack open Divine Intimacy daily (I highly recommend you do!).  The section below is on zeal for souls, and how to properly practice that zeal (this is a partial re-post but also update of a post from 2012. I’m putting the material in a new post):

Zeal for souls finds its source in charity, and in the contemplation of of Christ crucified. His wounds, His Blood, the excruciating sufferings of His agony, all tell us how much God values souls, and how much He loves them.  But this love is unrequited, and it seems that ungrateful men strive more and more to elude His action. It is this sad spectacle of all the ages which is renewed even today,  as though men wished to insult Jesus and renew His Passion.  “The world is on fire. Men try to condemn Christ once again, as it were, for they bring a thousand false witnesses against Him. They would raze his Church to the ground” (St. Teresa of Jesus, Way of Perfection, 1). If Teresa of Jesus could speak these words in her century which was troubled by the protestant heresy, how much more can we say it in ours, when the struggle against God and the Church has increased immeasurably, and has now spread over the entire world. [And even into the Church. Or perhaps especially into the Church. The bastions must be re-erected.  But how is beyond me at this point. I fear it’s going to take a great fall and then perhaps they can be built again, from the rubble.]Happy shall we be if we can say with the Saint: “It breaks my heart to see so many souls traveling to perdition. I would the evil were not so great……..I felt that I would have laid down a thousand lives to save a single one of all the souls that were being lost.” (Way of Perfection, 1)  But it is not a question of merely formulating desires; we must work, act, and suffer for the salvation of our fellow men.

St. John Chrysostom affirms: “Nothing is colder than a Christian who does not care about the salvation of others.” This coldness comes from a very languid charity. Let us kindle and revive our charity and it will inflame us with zeal for the salvation of souls.  Then our apostolate will no longer be merely a duty which is imposed from without, one which we are obliged to attend to because of the obligation of our state in life, but it will be an exigency of love, an interior flame of charity which burns spontaneously. [Is this not what the traditional movement, overall, is about – zeal for souls?!  Yes there are probably some motivated by less edifying motives, but I see in much of the traditional “critique,” if you will, of the crisis in the Church a profound love for souls AND Holy Mother Church.  We desire to see souls taught properly again, for disciplines to be reinstated for the good of souls, and for our glorious Mother to return to her proper, exalted status.  For me, anyway, but I think for many others, as well, being a traddie isn’t about just wanting things our way, it’s about what we know, what our sensus fidei tells us, is best for souls]

Devoting ourselves to the spiritual life does not mean shutting ourselves up in an ivory tower to enjoy God’s consolations undisturbed, with no concern for the welfare of others. [!!] It means concentrating all our powers on seeking God, working for our own sanctification in order to please God, and thus acquiring a power of action and impetration capable of obtaining the salvation of many souls[INDEED!]

St. Teresa of Jesus says:

O my dear Lord, how much oppressed are You by those to whom You have shown so much good! It seems as though these traitors [me, for I speak boldly, but I am weak] would send You to the Cross again and that You would have nowhere to lay Your Head. My heart cannot conceive this without being sorely distressed!

O eternal Father! Surely all these scourgings and insults and grievous tortures will not be forgotten. how, then, my Creator, can a heart as loving as Yours endure that an act which was performed by Your son in order to please You the more and to obey Your commands (for He loved You most deeply, and You commanded Him to love us) should be treated as lightly as the heretics treat the most Holy Sacrament today, destroying His tabernacles and demolishing His churches? [Can you imagine how the great St. Teresa would see the Church today?!?!  Today, the destruction comes not from without, but from within!  It is to weep…..] Could it be that Your Son failed to do something to please You? Has He not fulfilled everything?….Has this most loving Lamb to pay once more whenever we relapse into sin? Permit it not, my sovereign Lord! Look not upon our sins, but upon our redemption by Thy most sacred Son, upon His merits and upon those of His glorious Mother and of all the saints and martyrs who have died for You!……

…..Behold my desires, my God, and the tears with which I beg this of You; forget my sins, for Your Name’s sake, and have pity on all these souls who are being lost, and help Your Church (The Way of Perfection, 1-3)

———–End Quote———–

“now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church” (Col i:24).

Could the Church have fallen into her present deplorable state had the faithful not fulfilled this edict from St. Paul, to complete the sufferings of Christ’s Sacrifice in our own flesh?  Are we doing all we possibly can to “fill up those things that are wanting?”  I sadly must declare that I am not.  I could do much more.  I pray that I will.

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President of Ghana’s Bishop’s Conference: “Homosexuals go to hell” September 30, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Bible, catachesis, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, manhood, paganism, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, SOD, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Well, we’re seeing a few examples of Christians willing to call a spade a spade today. First it was the Russian Orthodox Church calling the war against ISIS a holy war, and now the President of the Ghanian Catholic Bishop’s Conference says that practicing, unrepentant sodomites will go to hell:

Bishop Joseph Osei Bonsu of Konongo-Mampong in Ghana disagreed with the notion that aberrosexuals [German site Katholisches’ term for sodomites/those of perverse inclinations] could go to heaven. The President of the Ghanaian Bishops’ Conference, who is descended from the ancient royal family of the Ashanti, is of a quite different opinion.

Homosexuality, said Bishop Osei Bonsu  was “not natural.”  The assertion  that some could already be born as homosexuals, was placed  by the Ghanaian prelate in the realm of “political myth-making”. They had been invented to agitate for “gay rights” and to justify one’s actions. [Absolutely correct. To date, there is absolutely zero evidence for a genetic component to perverse proclivities, but the lie has been repeated often enough that the vast majority of the soft-headed people today accept it unquestioningly, as an article of faith.  In fact, there is actually much more evidence that these inclinations stem almost entirely from environment, with poor relationships with their fathers being almost the constant factor in these afflicted souls]

“The Bible tells us in the Letter to the Romans, chapter one, clearly, that those who practice homosexuality and those who  support gay marriage political, religious or not, will be guilty before God.” 

“Gays, lesbians, liars and child molesters and others do not get into heaven, and the Bible says that very clearly. There is not a man who says, and not a bishop, that they do not go to heaven, but the Bible. It is the Holy Scriptures that says that they do not go to heaven,” said Msgr. Osei-Bonsu [Thus, the authority of this determination does not rest with men, but with God, who through inspired and inerrant Scripture hath revealed this unto us]

Just what does Romans 1 have to say about sodomy?  It could hardly be more clear, and even more, seems to forecast a day when men, rejecting God’s law, would pretend that this perversion was actually normal and acceptable:

21 Because that, when they knew God, they did not glorify him as God, or give thanks: but became vain in their thoughts, and their foolish heart was darkened:

22 For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.

23 *And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God, into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man, and of birds, and of four-footed beasts, and of creeping things.

24 Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, *to uncleanness: to dishonour their own bodies among themselves.

25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie: and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

26 For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature.

27 And, in like manner the men also, leaving the natural use of the woman, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error. [St. Paul is referring directly to the Canaanites and their perverse practices in support of their satanic religion, but he is also speaking of all of those who give themselves over to such unnatural lusts]

28 And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge; God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient,

29 Being filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness, full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity, whisperers,

30 Detractors, hateful to God, contumelious, proud, haughty, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31 Foolish, dissolute, without affection, without fidelity, without mercy.

32 Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they, who do such things, are worthy of death: and not only they who do them, but they also who consent to them that do them.

It is frightening the degree to which St. Paul describes our culture today.  “They liked not to have God in their knowledge; [so] God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient [or natural]”……..”They, who do such things, are worthy of death: and not only they who do them, but they also who consent to them that do them.”

There’s a lot of folks in a lot of trouble, spiritually, and the truly frightening thing is, there is almost no one to tell them what danger their souls are in.

I just want to say one more brief thing: good for Bishop Bonsu for teaching the Truth with charity.  But really, that’s not heroic virtue, that’s his minimum duty as a prelate in Holy Mother Church.  The only reason it seems heroic is because so very few of his brother bishops are willing to stick their necks out and proclaim the truth in that manner. That is, so many other manifestly fail in their duties, it seems heroic when a bishop actually fulfills it. So pray like mad for our bishops, which I know so many of you already do.  But apparently there is still much to be done.

+Liguori: “Jesus died for us; we ought to live and die for Him” September 30, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, manhood, Saints, sanctity, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Saint Alphonsus Liguori on the proper gratitude we should have for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in all things, but especially in thankfulness for his Passion, death, and Resurrection.  From The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ, pp. 330-331:

Saint Augustine says that Jesus Christ, having first given His life for us, has bound us to give our life for Him; and, further, that when we go to the Eucharistic table to communicate, as we go to feed there upon the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, we ought also, in gratitude, to prepare for Him the offering of our blood and of our life, if there is need for us to give either of them for His glory.  

Full of tenderness are the words of St. Francis de Sales on this text of St. Paul: The charity of Christ presseth us (II Cor v:14). To what does it press us?  To love Him.  But let us hear what St. Francis de Sales says: “When we know that Jesus has loved us even to death, and that the death of the Cross, is not this to feel our hearts constrained by a violence as great as it is full of delight?” And then he adds, “My Jesus gives Himself wholly to me, and I give myself wholly to Him; I will live and die upon His breast, and neither death nor life shall ever separate me from Him.” [How do we stay close to Jesus?  By the practice of virtue and especially charity for God and for souls, but just as importantly, by accepting and practicing to the best of our ability ALL the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church.  This latter part has been greatly forgotten  over the past 50 years]

St. Peter, in order that we might remember to be ever grateful to our Savior, reminds us that we were not redeemed from the slavery of hell with gold or silver, but with the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, which He sacrificed for us, as an innocent Lamb, upon the altar of the Cross. Great, therefore, will be the punishment of those who are thankless for such a blessing, if they do not correspond to it.  It is true that Jesus came to save all men who were lost (Lk xix:10); but it is also true what was said by the Venerable Simeon, when Mary presented the child Jesus in the temple: Behold, this child is placed for the fall and the rising again of many in Israel, and as a sign of contradiction which shall be spoken against (Lk ii:34). By the words for the rising again he expresses the salvation which all believers should receive from Jesus Christ, who by faith should rise from death to the life of Grace.  But first, by the words he is set for the fall, he foretells that many shall fall into a greater ruin by their ingratitude to the Son of God, Who came into the world to become a contradiction to His enemies, as the following words imply: He shall be a sign which shall be spoken against; for Jesus Christ was set up as a sign, against which were hurled all the calumnies, the injuries, and the insults which the Jews devised against Him.  And this sign is spoken against not only by the Jews of the present day, who deny Him to be the Messiah, but by those Christians who ungratefully return His love with offenses, and by neglecting His commands.  

…….Wherefore, if we do not love Him, and obey His precepts, of which the first is that we should love Him, we are not only ungrateful, but unjust, and deserve a double punishment.  The obligation of a slave rescued by Jesus Christ from the hands of the devil is to devote himself wholly to love and serve Him, whether he live or die.

————End Quote———-

Once again, the topic of mercy comes to mind.  There are plainly efforts afoot from the highest authorities in the Church to propagate a false concept of mercy that puts Doctrine and justice in conflict with charity/mercy.  As we see from the above, however, it is impossible to show proper gratitude for God if we do not accept All that He has told us, including those things which are deeply unpopular and countercultural today.  At least, that’s how a great Saint, perhaps the greatest expert on moral doctrine in the history of the Church, viewed things.  It is not that he was wrong, or overly zealous, nor that his exegesis is somehow dated and out of place, but that many have fallen under the dread influence of modernist indifferentism and general weakness of Faith.  And for those, St. Alphonsus predicts a dire end, being among those Christians who return Christ’s love with offenses by neglecting His commands.

Not an enviable state. They definitely need many prayers.

 

Quick reminder: Wyoming Catholic College presentation in Irving Thursday 10/01/15 September 30, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Christendom, Dallas Diocese, family, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Society, Tradition.
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Just wanted to give a quick reminder that an administrator from Wyoming Catholic College will be on hand at Mater Dei parish in Irving, TX this Thursday October 1 at 7:15 pm (or immediately after the 6:30 pm Mass).  Trevor Lontine, alumnus and admissions counselor at WCC will be on hand to answer your questions about what WCC has to offer you or your children.  WCC is probably one of the least expensive, if not the least expensive, faithful Catholic colleges around.  I don’t know that they are explicitly traditional, yet, but with Dr. Peter Kwasneiwski one of their most prominent faculty, the traditional practice of the Faith is growing there.

So come check it out!  You don’t have to be affiliated with Mater Dei in any way to attend.

Slick flyer —–>>>>> Mater Dei TX Poster

Russia Strikes in Syria September 30, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Christendom, Ecumenism, General Catholic, persecution, Society, technology, the enemy.
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The Russian Parliament today gave President Vladimir Putin approval to begin military operations in Syria.  Operations began almost immediately thereafter.  Operations appear limited to airstrikes at present, with a strong ground presence around the airbases housing several types of Russian fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft.  Russian forces gave any US forces that might be in their area of operations 1 hour notice to clear out before attacks began.  Since the US and other nations have been engaged in a very low-intensity air campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, it remains to be seen how operations with Russian forces can be coordinated, or whether they will, at all (big potential for problems, there, but I imagine Obama will just surrender, again, and force ROE on US forces that keep them hundreds of miles from anywhere Russians might be operating).

Note this – Russian bombing will not be the extremely precise, minimum collateral damage that the US and its “coalition partners” have been practicing.  Many of these attacks have amounted to pinpricks with many high-value targets excluded due to ostensible fear of causing “civilian” casualties (or perhaps because Obama really doesn’t want to fight his co-religionists very hard).  Russia won’t do that, for one thing, they have very few and very poor precision guided munitions, secondly, their aircraft don’t carry advanced sensors to aim precisely, and thirdly, they rarely care about civilian casualties.  In the Chechnyan War, in Georgia, they frequently made use of carpet bombing by Tu-22M3 bombers.  None are deployed to Syria, but they don’t need to be – they can easily reach Syria from Crimean bases recently annexed, involuntarily,  from the Ukraine.

In an interesting development, the Russian Orthodox Church has decreed the Russian intervention in Syria a “holy war” and indicated its full support.  Nah, not a bit of nationalism in Orthodoxy!  Nevertheless, it’s nice to see that some Christians understand the existential nature of the fight against islam and use a bit of militant terminology:

The Russian Orthodox Church has backed the country’s parliamentary decision to give President Vladimir Putin permission to use military force in Syria, saying the fight against terrorism is a “holy war”.

The head of Synodal department for church and society, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, told journalists on 30 September that the decision from the upper chamber of parliament, the Federation Council, to authorise air strikes in Syria was “consistent with international law, the mentality of our people and the role that our country has always played in the Middle East”, according to Interfax news agency.

He added that Russia cannot be indifferent while Christians and other minority groups are being destroyed in the region. [Well, they’ve been being wiped out for years, so don’t paint yourself as too much the hero] The interreligious council of Russia released a statement in support of military operations against terrorism in the Middle East. “The fight against terrorism is a holy struggle and today our country is perhaps the most active force in the world to combat terrorism,” the priest said.

None of the preening moralism of “interreligious dialogue” from the Russian Orthodox.  It’d be nice to see such a muscular faith from our own

Blessing Russian jets headed to Syria

Blessing Russian jets headed to Syria

leadership occasionally.

It should be noted that Syrian President Assad – who controls perhaps 1/4 of the main populated areas of his country now – requested this intervention.  He has been gradually losing this war for  years, especially since ISIS became involved.  This is really a last ditch effort to keep his regime alive – which is something I hope happens because if ISIS takes over, it will be curtains for Christians in a land where millions have lived for thousands of years.

While Russia may be covering their actions in a cloak of high morality, there are also of course geo-political reasons for the intervention. Syria is Russia’s last client state in the western Mideast.  Aside from Iran, which is very much an independent actor, they are their only remaining client.  Naval bases in northern Syria are their only access point in the entire Mediterranean now, since Qaddafi fell.  So they have strong reasons to see the regime survive.

But I don’t think airstrikes alone are going to do it.  Assad has lost so much territory and support they’re going to have to intervene on the ground and in large numbers in order to make a substantial difference. Not initially, but the inevitable logic of this kind of open-ended commitment is to gradually get sucked in more and more.  If Russian bases fall under mortar or rocket attack, for instance, there will be a great temptation to expand their security perimeter by several miles.  That will mean contact with the enemy, which will in turn create pressure for even more ground forces and even further contact.  The generals will be screaming for more intervention if all this comes about.  And that will mean large losses, and the potential exposure of Russian kit as being well below Western standard yet again (which really kills Russian arm sales overseas, one of their prime means of funding procurement for their own armed forces at home – it’s the same model the French use).  It will take enormous strength on Putin’s part not to get gradually sucked in – unless, of course, he’s planned that all along.  But counter-insurgencies are a nightmare to fight, as both Russia and the US have found out repeatedly over the years, take a long commitment and a willingness to take high losses.  Is that commitment there?

Are the Russian people in favor of this intervention?  Western media say no, pointing to some polling data that ostensibly shows broad Russian opposition to involvement in Syria.  Russian people have generally been supportive of Putin’s various escapades in Chechnya, Georgia, and the Ukraine.  But further afield?

A little bit more:

Fox News has published more details on its claim that Russia has demanded that American warplanes exit Syrian airspace immediately.

Citing a senior U.S. official, the network reports that Russian diplomats “sent an official demarche ordering US planes out of Syria, adding that Russian fighter jets were now flying over Syrian territory”

US military sources told Fox News that US planes would not comply with the Russian demand:

There is nothing to indicate that we are changing operations over Syria

We have had every indication in recent weeks that [the Russians] were going to do something given the build-up

Airspace de-confliction in a combat area can be a b—h.  Generally it requires positive radar coverage of the area (which AWACS can provide, but do we have enough, and are they flying over Syria?).  The Russians will probably get positive radar control from the remaining Syrian government ground stations.  But without an overall plan and coordination, unfortunate accidents could certainly happen.

And what would it be like if armed US and Russian warplanes happen upon each other?  Will we finally get to see how much better the F-22 is than the Su-30MK?

One final thought – is ramping up the scale of the Mideast conflagration an attempt by Putin to drive oil prices, upon which the Russian economy is utterly dependent, up, and a great deal?

IMPORTANT: Adopt a Synod Father! September 30, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, different religion, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Papa, Sacraments, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, SOD, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church.
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Someone has set up a website that will, upon request, assign anyone who requests it a Synod father to pray for.  With the Ordinary Synod on the Family starting this Sunday, time is of the essence.  The way it works is that you will go to the website and click on a link that launches an e-mail for you to request a father to pray for.  They then send you the name and you can offer a Novena or whatever prayer you feel is appropriate for the circumstance.

I hope they send me Cardinal Kasper or Daneels.  They won’t know what hit them!

Look, this whole crisis afflicting the Church certainly has its human element and we spend a lot of time dealing with that, but our main battle remains with the principalities and powers that have influenced the minds of many in the Church in a most horrifying way.  In terms of human influence or natural means to change the direction the leadership of the Church has taken since March 2013, I don’t think we laity have many effective means of intervention.  But in the spiritual realm we can exercise great power.  I have been trying to ramp up my own efforts in that regard with perpetual Novenas and other prayers to change the hearts and minds of so many of our leaders, or, failing that, to at least prevent them by some supernatural means from doing something irretrievably destructive.

So!  I pray you will consider praying for one Synod father in particular. It’s the best response we have at this point.  Perhaps we can move the God of surprises to really shock the revolutionaries in the Church!

Again, you can sign up here.