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Saint Alphonsus Liguori on how to pray and grow in virtue in times of strife October 13, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, manhood, mortification, reading, sanctity, SOD, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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If I had to recommend one Saint to read, if I had to be limited to one, I would probably choose the great Moral Doctor Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori as the one.  Many of his writings have been translated into English (and translated very well by Rev. Eugene Grimm) and they are a constant treasure of guidance in the interior life and the practice of virtue.

With all the strife in the Church and world today, and growing portents of persecution, I found the exhortation below to be timely and helpful. Hopefully you will, too:

Wherefore the Apostle says, By all prayer and supplication, praying at all times in the spirit; and in the same watching with all instance and supplication for all the Saints (Eph vi:18).  Thus, prayer is the most powerful of the arms with which the Lord gives us victory over our evil passions and the temptations of hell; but this prayer must be made in the spirit; that is, not with the mouth only, but with the heart.  Moreover, it must last through our life – “at all times;” for as the struggle endures, so must our prayers.  It must be urgent and repeated; if the temptation does not yield at the first prayer, we must repeat it a second, third, or fourth time; and if it continues still, we must add sighs, tears, importunity, vehemence, as if we would do violence to God, that he may give us the grace of victory.  This is what the Apostle’s words, “with allo instance and supplication” mean.  The Apostle adds, “for all Saints,” which means that we are not to pray for ourselves alone; but for the perseverance of all the faithful who are in the grace of God, and especially of priests, that they may labor for the conversion of unbelievers and all sinners, repeating in our prayers the words of Zacharias: “To give light to them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death” (Lk i:79).

It is of great use for resisting our enemies in spiritual combats, to anticipate them in our meditations, by preparing ourselves to do violence to them to our utmost power, on all occasions when they may suddenly come upon us.  Thus the Saints have been able to preserve the greatest mildness, or at least not to reply by a single word, and not to be disturbed when they have received a great injury, a violent persecution, a severe pang in body or in mind, the loss of property of great value, the death of a much loved relative.  Such victories are ordinarily not acquired by the aid of a life of long discipline, without frequenting Sacraments, and a continual exercise of meditation, spiritual reading, and prayer.  Therefore, these victories are with difficulty obtained by those who have not taken great heed to avoid dangerous occasions, or who are attached to the vanities or pleasures of the world, and practice very little the mortification of the senses; by those, in a word, who lead a soft and easy life. [In our present age and location, even those of modest means have easy access to levels of comfort that would have exceeded even the very richest mere decades ago.  Air conditioning?  Indoor plumbing?  Refrigeration? Instant light/heat/power?  Practically instant global communications? Soft mattresses and comfy chairs?  Automotive transportation?  No dealing with smelly animals or doing back-breaking labor 12-14 hours a day? It is exceedingly difficult to build up virtue when comfort and ease are so widespread, and, even more, expected.  How I grumble when we have to set the temp inside high in the summer to save some money!  How much have I whined that it is still 94 in October?  Which reminds me…….DON’T MOVE TO TEXAS, YA’LL ‘LL HATE IT!] St. Augustine says that in the spiritual life, “first, pleasures are to be conquered, then pains,” meaning that a person who is given to seek the pleasures of the senses will scarcely resist a great passion or temptation which assaults him; a man who loves too much the esteem of the world will scarcely endure a grave affront without losing the Grace of God.

It is true that we must look for all our strength to live without sin, and to do good works, not from ourselves, but from the Grace of Jesus Christ; but we must take great care not to make ourselves weaker than we are by nature through our own fault. The defects of which we take no account will cause the divine light to fail, and the devil will become stronger against us.  For example, a desire to display to the world our learning, rank, or vanity in dress, or the seeking of superfluous pleasure, or resentment at every inattentive word or action, or a wish to please every one, though at the loss of our spiritual profit, or neglect of works of piety through the fear of man………trifling but cherished aversions, trivial falsehoods, slight attacks upon our neighbor, loss of time in gossip or at work, or the indulgence of curiosity – in a word, every attachment to earthly things, and every act of inordinate self-love, can serve as a help to our enemy to drag us over some precipice; or, at least, this defect deliberately consented to will deprive us of that abundance of divine help without which we may find ourselves fallen into ruin.  

We grieve to find ourselves so dry in spirit and desolate in prayer, in Communions, and in all our devout exercises; but how can God make us enjoy His presence and loving visits while we are thus niggardly and inattentive to Him?  If we cause so much displeasure, how can we expect to enjoy His heavenly consolations?  If we do not detach ourselves in everything from earth, we shall never wholly belong to Jesus Christ, and where shall we go to protect ourselves?……….[I]f we are cold in the love of Jesus Christ, and neglect to pray continually to Him to help us, and nourish in our hearts any earthly affection, with difficulty shall we persevere in a good life.  Let us pray, let us pray always.  With prayer we shall obtain every thing.

———-End Quote———-

We want to be active.  We want to do something. We want to make a difference.  If you are like me, you want to fight, even physically, against the evil we see all around us.  And all those things are good and at times necessary.  But all of that must first be built upon a solid interior life, the foundation of which is prayer, prayer, and more prayer, really focused, intense prayer, not half-hearted prayer.  In addition to prayer, penance, meditation, spiritual reading, and then beginning a program of self-denial.  I’m in one now. I am offering it up for the Synod.  If I make any progress, it is all due to the Grace of Jesus Christ, as the great Liguori says, but I know he is also right that I can help myself by trying to break my attachment to earthly things, especially all the little pleasures I think I merit so much.

I don’t see how I can pretend I could stand up to a real persecution – loss of job, loss of family, imprisonment, physical threats, even direct violence – if I cannot do without my many woobies for a day or 10.  Yes certainly we could only stand up if we cooperate with Grace, but will God grant extraordinary graces to those who lead ordinary worldly lives?  On rare occasions, maybe.  But should we not prepare ourselves as well as we possibly can, not only for our earthly fate, but far more importantly, for our eternal one?

Permitting the Sacraments to be invalidly received is an unbelievable sacrilege October 13, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, episcopate, error, Eucharist, General Catholic, horror, Papa, reading, secularism, Society, SOD, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Tradition.
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For a bit of Catholic sanity, an excerpt from the late 1800s Catechism Explained on the unbelievable evil of invalid/sacrilegious reception of the Sacraments.  This may be something of a water is wet revelation to most readers, but given what’s abroad in the Church today, I thought it not a bad reminder:

Due preparation must be made before receiving the Sacraments, in order to obtain the graces they convey.

Anyone who approaches the Sacraments of Baptism or Penance without a thorough change of heart, or who receives the other Sacraments in the state of mortal sin, commits the terrible sin of sacrilege and will not obtain the graces of the Holy Ghost until the hindrance to Grace has been removed [and the original sin and the sacrilege be confessed]

On this account, in the early ages of Christianity a two years’ probation was required before admission to Baptism, the object of this being to give the heathens time to reform their life.  St. Peter in his preaching insisted on the necessity of penance and sincere conversion (Acts ii:38, iii:19).  To this day the Church requires those who approach Holy Communion to go to Confession first.  How reprehensible is the conduct of those who, from force of habit, or because of some special indulgence, go to Confession without purposing a serious amendment of life!  “The Sacraments,” St. Augustine says, “are the salvation of those who use them aright, the damnation of those who misuse them.”  That which is meat to the healthy is poison to the sick……..And if any one is so unhappy as to receive the one of the Sacraments sacrilegiously, he may yet participate in the grace of the Sacrament, if the obstacle to it be removed.

———-End Quote———-

Why is changing practice regarding distributing the Blessed Sacrament to the divorced and civilly remarried wrong?  Because it will pile sacrilege upon sacrilege, no matter what the discipline may pretend.  It will only encourage the sins that lead to still more sacrilege.  It is an attempt to turn the Church into a mockery of herself, into something very akin to the devil’s playground.  I don’t think there could be any worse sacrilege than that.

 

Italian bishop invites SSPX to offer Mass in diocesan parish October 13, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, episcopate, General Catholic, huh?, Latin Mass, Liturgy, Papa, SSPX, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.
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I don’t want this to turn into a war of the traddy camps, but I found this report more than just interesting, I wondered if it is just a one off or could it be a harbinger of future developments?

The report is this: an Italian bishop who in the past has exhibited hostility towards the TLM has asked/invited the SSPX to offer Mass in a regular diocesan parish twice this month.  Whether this is temporary or intended to be an ongoing series of Masses is not clear.  There is also speculation that Pope Francis’ recent declaration of faculties – totally without any enabling legislation or juridical structure – for the upcoming Year of Mercy could be the genesis of this sudden change of heart on the part of at least one bishop.

Far too early to cite this as a trend, but something that bears watching:

As auxiliary bishop of  Reggio Emilia-Guastalla (2006-2012)  Msgr. Lorenzo Ghizzoni was a bitter opponent of those faithful who sought to celebrate the Holy Mass in the Immemorial Rite of All Ages.   It was an opposition which undermined the Motu Proprio  Summorum Pontificum.

As Archbishop of Ravenna-Cervia,  Msgr. Ghizzoni is allowing, on the first and second Sundays in October, a priest of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX) to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. 

The celebration will take place in the parish of Saint Maria del Torrione and follows from the formation of a stable group of  the faithful desiring the Traditional Rite, who’ve asked the Archbishop for it. [In the light of the granting of faculties, which some argue is just the recognition of faculties that already exist, could diocesan bishops facing requests for the TLM but with no priests trained in the immemorial Rite turn to the SSPX, at least during the Year of Mercy.  Of course, that holy year has not yet begun, it starts on Dec. 8]

The celebrant was Father  Enrico Doria of the priory of  “Madonna di Loreto” in Rimini.

The online edition of the paper „Prima Pagina Reggio“ described it: “It seems that Pope Francis’ recognition of the legitimacy of the sacrament of reconciliation given by lefebvrian priests has also quickly led to a new course in the Italian Episcopate.  This, what was unthinkable yesterday, (the opening of parish property to Lefevrians, who had previously been regarded as lepers), are today not only tolerated but welcome.  Those of the faithful community close to Econe will celebrate, but also all other faithful of the Catholic Church, we are convinced, will make use of this.”

You know the story of the prophet Balaam and the donkey from the Book of Numbers, how even though he was enlisted by an enemy of the Jews to pronounce a curse on them, by God’s Will, he could not?  Sometimes God uses very strange means, even those opposed to His Law and His goodness, to testify to the Truth.

Perhaps something to ruminate on regarding this granting of faculties from on high, as it were.

Parental advice: the fifty worst books of the 20th century October 13, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in disaster, Domestic Church, error, foolishness, General Catholic, rank stupidity, reading, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society.
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Plus, I add some of my own.

The conservative Intercollegiate Review has put together a list of the 50 most disastrously influential books of the 20th century.  You’ll have heard of some of them, others probably not.  Since I have a lot of readers with school-age kids, I thought this use might be useful.  Homeschoolers probably won’t come across many, if any, of these books in their curricula, but those with kids in public or private school likely will, and they are even more likely to be seen at the college level.

I highlight a few of what I agree are the worst “idea” books of the 2oth century, then add some of my own:

1. Margaret Mead, Coming of Age in Samoa (1928)

So amusing did the natives find the white woman’s prurient questions that they told her the wildest tales—and she believed them! Mead misled a generation into believing that the fantasies of sexual progressives were an historical reality on an island far, far away. [progressive fantasies and practiced perversions have played the dominant role in bringing about the sexual revolution – misery loves company, and they have long sought to bring as many down to their level as possible. Also explains their hatred for God]

3. Alfred Kinsey, et al., Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948)

So mesmerized were Americans by the authority of Science, with a capital S, that it took forty years for anyone to wonder how data is gathered on the sexual responses of children as young as five. A pervert’s attempt to demonstrate that perversion is “statistically” normal. [Actually, there is tremendous evidence Kinsey even sexually abused infants.  This is a man who was a close disciple of the satanist Crowley and who practiced almost all the perversions he “discovered” were so “widespread.”  They were not, his methods were near total crap, but he provided the rationalization for perversion as “normal” and introduced previously unmentionable subjects into polite society. No single man probably did more harm to souls in the 20th century than Kinsey, precisely because he made progressives feel their kinks were normal, and he struck a huge blow against Christian morals]

4. Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man (1964)

Dumbed-down Heidegger and a seeming praise of kinkiness became the Bible of the sixties and early postmodernism. [On this point, run from Heidigger, Hegel, Harnack, Nietzsche……really any philosopher post-1600 that is not named Suarez, Teresa, or orthodox Catholic.  Only read the endarkenment philosphes with great caution and a firm grounding in the Faith.  I think everyone from Locke and Hobbes to Voltaire and Montesquieu should only be read by mature minds]

5. John Dewey, Democracy and Education (1916)

Dewey convinced a generation of intellectuals that education isn’t about anything; it’s just a method, a process for producing democrats and scientists who would lead us into a future that “works.” Democracy and Science (both pure means) were thereby transformed into the moral ends of our century, and America’s well-meaning but corrupting educationist establishment was born. [American education has never recovered.  The implosion started here.]

Theodor W. Adorno, et al., The Authoritarian Personality (1950)

Don’t want to be bothered to engage the arguments of your conservative political opponents? Just demonstrate “scientifically” that all their political beliefs are the result of a psychological disorder. [Crap research from a progressive to arrive at a predetermined result – all non-progressives are Nazis waiting to happen]

Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, Our Bodies, Our Selves (1976)

Or, Our Bodies, Our Liberal Selves. A textbook example of the modern impulse to elevate the body and its urges, libidinal and otherwise, above soul and spirit.

Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb (1968)

What this scientist proclaimed as an inevitable “fact”—that “hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death” in the 1970s—turned out entirely “evitable.” [Just leftist wishful thinking – and the constant trend among scienticians to fail to incorporate vital data into their analyses just because it would prove them wrong. In this sense, he is the godfather of the global warming industry]

Harvey Cox, The Secular City (1965)

Celebrated the liberation that accompanied modern urban life at the precise moment when such liberation came to mean the freedom to be mugged, raped, and murdered. Argued that “death of god” theology was the inevitable and permanent future for modern man just before the contemporary boom in “spirituality.”

Herbert Croly, The Promise of American Life (1919)

A pernicious book that celebrates the growth of the welfare state and champions the unlikely prospect of “achieving Jeffersonian ends through Hamiltonian means.” [Yeah, how has that worked out.]

John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society (1958)

Made Americans dissatisfied with the ineradicable fact of poverty. Led to foolish public policies that produced the hell that was the 1960s. [And the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s…….]

John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money (1936)

This book did for Big Government what Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring did for the tse-tse fly.

Elaine Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels (1979)

Bored with the real Gospels and real Christianity, professors of religion were thrilled to find out how important—not to mention feminist and pre-Socratic—these fragments were.

The Pentagon Papers as Published by the New York Times, Based on Investigative Reporting by Neil Sheehan (1971)

Publicizing the blunderings of “the Best and the Brightest” did nothing but undermine the new president’s—Nixon’s—statesmanlike efforts to salvage the mess in Vietnam bequeathed to him by JFK and LBJ. [Funny how it always works like that. Of course, Nixon didn’t help himself by panicking at the revelations. He could have turned them to his political advantage quite easily. Yet another mistake from a fatally flawed man]

Walter Rauschenbusch, Christianity and the Social Crisis (1907)

“[The Church] should therefore strengthen the existing communistic institutions and aid the evolution of society from the present temporary stage of individualism to a higher form of communism.” Eek! [I include this to show how long modernism – which is nothing but a program to make Christianity subservient to leftism – has been around]

Margaret Sanger, Woman and the New Race (1920)

This founder of Planned Parenthood published Adolf Hitler’s eugenics guru in her magazine in the early 1930s. That Women and the New Race sprang from Sanger is no surprise.

H. G. Wells, The Open Conspiracy (1928)

Wells emerges as the comically earnest would-be John the Baptist for a new religion of temporal salvation to be ushered in by a vanguard embracing “the supreme duty of subordinating the personal life to the creation of a world directorate.” Oh, my. [SF writers are often nuts]

My own list.  First, in addition to some names mentioned above, anything by:

  • Norman Mailer
  • Gore Vidal
  • Susan Sontag
  • Carl Rogers (whose methods played a HUGE role in destroying religious life)
  • Bertrand Russel
  • Arthur Schlesinger, Jr
  • Skinner
  • HG Wells
  • Arthur C. Clarke: once my favorite science fiction writer, his relentless, militant atheism and constant jabs at Christianity compromise whatever good elements he has.  Plus, it seems his atheism may have been driven by grave personal sins including abuse of boys.
  • Rachel Carson
  • Betty Friedan
  • Gloria Steinem
  • Naomi Klein
  • Howard Zinn
  • Upton Sinclair
  • Karl Marx
  • Freiderich Engels
  • Charles Darwin
  • Ralph Nader
  • Foucault
  • Leftists generally
  • Descartes:  Yes, brilliant, but also insidious.  Be very wary.

Specific other books:

  • The Catcher in the Rye: convinced whole generations of youth that authority was irretrievably corrupt and that rebellion/being an aloof, condescending jerk were “good”
  • Anything on the Gnostic Gospels: unless you have a rock-solid grounding in the Catholic understanding of Scripture avoid these like the plague
  • Les Miserables – anti-Church bias at its finest
  • The Grapes of Wrath:  just too preening
  • Atlas Shrugged – I don’t like Ayn Rand, she was amoral and had essentially no love for her fellow man
  • Mein Kampf

Enough for now.  I look forward to your recommendations.  If you include the 19th century a number of other books should jump on the list: Das Kapital, The Communist Manifesto, The Origin of Species, etc.

Rosary Rally/Planned Barrenhood protest report October 13, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Latin Mass, Society, Spiritual Warfare, the enemy, Tradition, Virtue.
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There was a pretty good turnout for the Rosary Rally/Planned Barrenhood protest held outside the PB abortuary in south Dallas Saturday, Oct. 10.  While most of the 60 odd people that turned out were protestant, there was a good Catholic showing, including three nuns and a traditional priest.  He did a minor exorcism on the property and liberal distributed blessed salt and holy water.  The banner attached a lot of strange looks from our protestant friends.  C’est la vie.

We stayed for nearly two hours.  I had a thought to take the banner and my kids to another location because there isn’t much traffic in front of the baby slaughterhouse, but the timing did not work out.  I did take some pics, however.  I’m past due for a new phone, the camera lens is scratched so there’s a bit of haze in all the pics:

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Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth

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Sister Corona will turn 90 on Nov. 13

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SHAME: Cardinal Dew preaches “new language” on sin, says condemnatory language doesn’t help people October 13, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, different religion, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, Revolution, scandals, secularism, sexual depravity, Society, SOD, the struggle for the Church.
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Before I get to the meat of this post, it has been confirmed that the following 13 cardinals did indeed intervene, I think it can be fairly said, against the synod’s orientation, direction, and management under Cardinal Baldiserri and even Pope Francis.  The signatories included:

Di Nardo – Houston
Njue – Kenya
Rivera – Mexico
Sgreccia – Italy
Caffara – Bologna
Collins  – Toronto
Dolan – NY
Eijk – Holland
Muller – CDF, Germany
Napier – CDW, S. Africa
Pell – Sydney
Sarah
Urosa

But a different Cardinal, Cardinal Dew of New Zealand and a well known modernizer, gave the following disastrously worldly, indifferent comments to Catholic News Service:

“When we have documents, which talk about intrinsically disordered, or being evil, that’s not going to help people. We’ve got to try to find ways to express what the teaching actually says, but not putting it in ways that people feel that they are being branded, or that they are bad or they are evil”

OK, that’s plain modernist indifferentism and obviously points at destroying Doctrine by simply passing over sin in “practice,” but wait till you get a load of this:

Scripture was written for a particular time, Paul was writing about particular issues, so, for people to just pick up something, or even, for Chruch authorities to quote something without putting it in context, is not helpful for people.

These are arguments straight out of New Ways Ministry or the ludicrous “metropolitan community churches” that change 2000 year old beliefs to appease those given over to perversion.

It’s always sex with these guys.  Notice they don’t yammer on about changing doctrine regarding usury or the call on all Catholics to aid those in material need, no…….it’s always the sexual sins that are just too darned difficult to avoid these days.  Talk about want of faith.  These guys act like Grace doesn’t exist.

Let me tell something, Cardinal Dew – I KNOW Grace exists.  I wouldn’t be writing here today were it not for Grace.  I would likely be dead, certainly I’d have a ruined marriage and destroyed my kid’s lives, if it weren’t for Grace. I’ve done all the sins you think people just can’t get over, BUT I DID GET OVER THEM, not because I’m good or special, but because of Grace. I had a lot of people praying for me.  I don’t think it any coincidence that my pious mother-in-law had passed away almost 3  years to the day that I finally stopped using drugs.

I could go on forever.  I am so distraught at seeing lies like this because I know I was converted because I had the Grace of coming across a relatively orthodox priest.  Hundreds of millions are not so fortunate.  Without that, without someone willing to take the risk of making people mad by holding souls to account, so very very many will be lost.  FOREVER!

But the Truth doesn’t play well on CNN or the BBC, so I guess those poor souls who never hear the Truth will just have to suck it up and meet whatever fate is waiting for them.

Shorter post: leftist spouts soul-crushing error, film at 11.