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Jesus Christ is not known, nor is He loved, in the Most Adorable Sacrament February 3, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Eucharist, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, priests, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.
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As a corollary to the previous post, why has a revolution overtaken the Church?  One prime reason, among many, is lack of love for our Eucharistic Lord.  That love can certainly be expressed by pious, loving reception of the Blessed Sacrament at Mass, but if one only conversed with one’s spouse for less than one hour a week, would that relationship blossom?  As Fr. Lasance notes below, we should commune with Our Eucharistic Lord much more frequently, not only in formal times of Adoration but also when the Blessed Sacrament is reposed in the tabernacle.

That is a great gift Holy Mother Church gives her children, something the protestant, and even the Orthodox, do not have.  The Orthodox do not reserve the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle.  I dropped by a very small, but beautiful, Byzantine Catholic church this past weekend, and was told by the priest that there is no reserved Host, that they confect and consume the Blessed Sacrament during the Liturgy.  This has long been Eastern practice.

Anyway, Fr. Lasance:

It was only granted to a few chosen souls to know Jesus Christ in His hidden life.  His holy Mother and His foster-tumblr_ni05huoJZI1sknvnko1_500father St. Joseph knew Him; the family of St. Elizabeth knew Him; and the relatives and friends of the shepherds who went to adore Him in the stable at Bethlehem knew Him.  But with the exception of these pious persons Our Lord was unknown to the world at large.  Yet the greater number of Jews believed in the future Messias and desired to see Him.  They entertained the idea of a promised Redeemer Who was to come, but they looked no further.

In the present day it is the same in regard to Jesus Christ dwelling amongst us in the Blessed Sacrament.  He is unknown to the great majority of men, as He was at Bethlehem.  Too many professing Christians have no practical knowledge of the Holy Eucharist.  [Boy if that was true back then, can you imagine what Fr. Lasance would think today?  Most Catholics, even those who assist at Mass regularly, view the Blessed Sacrament not as the Real Presence, but, in protestant fashion, as a symbol. Of course, the new Mass was deliberately changed to excise all possible references to the Real Presence.  And that was a very substantial reason why Bugnini wanted to abrogate the Canon (“Eucharistic Prayer I”), but was not allowed to do so, in a rare moment of sanity.  But, practically speaking, outside of a few parishes, the Canon is never prayed at the Mass]

If St. John the Baptist were to return to earth, into how many parishes might he not go, and, pointing to the tabernacle, say to the people: “There hath stood One in the midst of you Whom you know not” (Jn i:26). If you knew Him you would think of Him, you would come to visit Him.  In like manner, St. John the Evangelist might repeat the same words in the present day that he wrote in the earliest ages of Christianity: “He came into His own, and His own 85440ea31988203a2ad53c16a3bdca93received Him not” (Jn i:11).

Yes, we cannot but say with sorrow: Jesus, living in the Sacrament of His love, is unknown, is a stranger; and we must, alas, add that He is not loved. 

“Where your treasure is,” Our Lord says, “there also will your heart be” (Lk xii:34).  Is Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament the treasure of many hearts?

The mind generally acts in accordance with the affections of the heart.  A mother separated from her son frequently thinks of him……Why does that mother’s heart dwell with her absent child? It is because she loves him.

Would you know for certain, O Christian souls, whether you really love Jesus Christ abiding in the Holy Eucharist?  Ask yourself whether the remembrance of that Prisoner of Love is often present to your mind.  If it is so, you have reason to rejoice, for your heart beats in unison with the Heart of Jesus.  But if – which God forbid – you never think of the Divine Guest dwelling in the tabernacle, we are obliged, however sorrowfully, to tell you that you do not love Him. [That’s really something to meditate on]

Alas, how small is the number of Christians who think of Our Lord Jesus Christ present in the Blessed Sacrament! tumblr_nnqfv91GTF1sknvnko1_500 How small the number of those who in their daily pursuits bear in mind the God of love!

It may perhaps be urged that this teaching is above ordinary Christians, that they cannot occupy themselves with the thought of Our Lord in the sacred Host as religious do. To those who are inclined to put forward this objection, we reply by referring them to the Council of Trent.  It is the wish of the sacred Council that the faithful should communicate at every Mass, not merely spiritually, but by sacramental reception of the Holy Eucharist.

If they desired [thusly]……….would they not be equally desirous that Christian people should think, sometimes at least, of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who deigns to dwell among us under the Eucharistic veil?

The mere thought of the love of Jesus for man moved St. Francis of Assisi to tears, and when he was asked why he wept, he answered: “Love is not known, love is not loved!”

———End Quote———

I haven’t really anything to add, other than that I need to spend much more time with Our Lord!  I am going to make it a point this Septuagesima and Lent to spend much more time before the Blessed Sacrament, either in formal Adoration or simply before the tabernacle.

May God make it so!

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How can ecumenism be reconciled with St. Paul and the entire pre-conciliar Magisterium? February 3, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, catachesis, different religion, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, General Catholic, horror, Papa, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, suicide, the struggle for the Church.
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Older Catholics will tell you, they remember a day when it was clearly taught that to even step foot in a protestant church was a mortal sin.  Participating in the kind of “joint ecumenical service” that Francis – and he is not the first post-conciliar pope to do so – would have been utterly unthinkable.  The mind of  the Church was guided by St. Paul’s 2nd Letter to the Corinthians:

Bear not the yoke together with unbelievers. For what participation hath justice with injustice? Or what fellowship hath light with darkness?

 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath the faithful with the unbeliever?

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? *For you are the temple of the living God: as God saith: **I will dwell in them, and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Wherefore, go out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing:

Pope Pius XI taught that Catholics were forbidden to engage in liturgical celebrations with protestants, and in doing so he was only reiterating what the Church had clearly taught for some 350 years.  The post-conciliar Church has most frequently tried to pretend that protestants and Catholics both belong to some “invisible church” consisting of “believers” (usually reduced to a shared baptism), but this kind of thinking was rejected by numerous pre-conciliar popes.  Thus very clear statements such as those by St. Paul, which served as justification for “fundamentalists” like Saint Athanasius to have no contact with, and to give no recognition to, even the heretical Arian “Catholics” of his day.  St. Basil stated that the faithful should even go into the desert to offer Mass, rather than participate in the liturgies of the heretics of those days.

And yet here we are, 2000 years later, after a completely novel council, the first ever in the history of the Church to proclaim no dogma and declare no anathemas, with a radically changed mindset, a mindset that much more plays to worldly thinking and approval than to the constant belief and practice of the faith.

50 years ago, in the immediate wake of Vatican II, there was a great outburst of ecumenical efforts.  Thank God, those efforts largely subsided under the previous two pontificates (obviously, there were some scandalous exceptions, like Assisi), but they have come roaring back under Francis and especially in this run up to the 500th anniversary of the outbreak of the protestant heresy cum revolution.  It must be remembered that many leading lights at Vatican II were scandalous in their acceptance of protestant belief, from Congar to Bugnini, who felt that in many cases the protestants had got in more right than the early Church Fathers directly informed by the Apostles.  Congar reverenced Luther greatly, and Bugnini desired to create a Mass so bowdlerized of Catholic content that it would never be offensive to protestants.

Michael Matt and Christopher Ferrara have a valuable video on this subject below.  I found it providential that I read a biblical verse with a note that pointed me to II Cor vi:14-17 just hours before I saw this video show up in my Youtube feed.  I especially like the early reference Matt makes to St. Thomas More and his excoriation of protestants for loathing order and seeking to create a society based on disorder and the triumph of the will (which, perhaps, makes subsequent German history rather less than surprising).

Some more important points regarding the below.  I have already reported on the disturbingly pro-protestant nature of elements of this joint “liturgy” composed by uber-liberal Catholics in the Congregation for Christian Unity and the Lutheran World Federation. As Matt notes below, this Federation is exceedingly modernist/liberal in and of itself, and is rejected by more conservative Lutheran bodies like the Missouri Synod.  So what this amounts to is a self-congratulatory confab of progressives in the two bodies patting themselves on the back for their progressive beliefs.  But such has been the practical nature of the ecumenical movement since its inception, it’s far more about confirming progressives in their beliefs than it is concern for souls, arriving at the truth, or, most especially, conversion:

Is it too much saying that Francis is trying to destroy the Church, or complete its destruction?  As I said, these kinds of things have gone on for years, though not always with such fanfare, with such high-level participants, or with as much significance as the quincentenary portends.

Having said all that, I plan, for a time, to start ignoring the many problematic statements emanating from the Vatican, and limit myself to discussion/analysis of actions.  At this point, I think we, who pray we adhere to what the Church has always believed, know who and what this man is.  We know his penchant for highly destructive rhetoric.  To some degree, reporting on that is feeling like repetitive non-news (water is wet), and I also need to do so to preserve my own faith and sanity.  This planned confab with Lutheran heretics, and modernist ones at that, is a concrete act of such monumental significance that it does merit a good deal of coverage.  I pray somehow, by some miracle, there may be an end to all this, but I won’t hold my breath.

I think it important to stress that the ecumenical/interreligious dialogue movements are radically counter to the Church’s pre-conciliar approach, and serve as one of the prime indicators that the Council, no matter what was intended (those arguments are endless, and quite possibly were intended to be), ushered in an era where practice, and belief, was irreconcilable with the Catholic ethos before 1962.  That’s the take-home point.

China continues Christian crackdown, finally something worthwhile on tumblr February 3, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Christendom, General Catholic, persecution, priests, Revolution, sanctity, Society, Tradition, true leadership.
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A couple of quick items.  I posted a while back about the mysterious death of a prominent Chinese priest and the fear many Chinese Catholics – including Cardinal Zen – fear of being sold out in the Vatican-Chinese negotiations, and now there are further reports of Chinese persecution of Christians.  Is China unusual (yes), or is it simply in the vanguard of how progressive regimes, given the chance, would treat Christians generally?

…….The Chinese government has just arrested the pastor of China’s largest official Protestant church, as Time reports:

Pastor Gu Yuese, also known as Joseph Gu, was placed under “residential surveillance in a designated location” — the official term for facilities known more commonly as “black jails” — in the city of Hangzhou last Thursday, according to U.S.-based Christian rights group China Aid.

Gu, who headed Hangzhou’s prominent Chongyi Church, was reportedly removed from his post by China’s Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM), the Chinese Communist Party–sanctioned authority that regulates churches, 10 days prior to his detention. He had been vocal in his opposition to the government’s destruction of crosses atop church buildings in China’s Christian-dominated eastern province of Zhejiang, a campaign that began in 2014.

“His arrest marks a major escalation in the crackdown against those who oppose the forced demolition of crosses,” Bob Fu, president and founder of China Aid, said in a statement. “He will be the highest-ranking national church leader arrested since the Cultural Revolution.”

Pastor Gu’s detention represents the latest development in a dispute between China’s central government and the burgeoning Christian community in Zhejiang Province. In 2013, local authorities began a wide-ranging demolition campaign that was ostensibly aimed at “illegal structures,” most of which turned out to be Christian churches and prominent crosses atop them. An internal government document obtained by the New York Times put the lie to the government’s proclamations of neutrality, as it spells out the provincial government’s intention to “remove crosses at religious activity sites on both sides of expressways, national highways, and provincial highways…Over time and in batches, bring down the crosses from the rooftops to the facade of the buildings.” 

So, big shock.  But perhaps a needful reminder of how leftist persecution of Christians can progress from attempts to dominate the hierarchy and doctrine, to erasing any public sign of the Christian faith.

Next, kind of dumb, but I found a whimsical site on tumblr that is finally actually worth something.  Tumblr is widely known for being a haven of many kooky things – like radical feminists – but here’s a site I can get behind: Polish priests blessing things:

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Lots of cassocks.

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They bless pretty much anything, including supercomputers:

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Reader asks – gun recommendations February 3, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Domestic Church, family, Society, technology, the struggle for the Church, true leadership, Virtue.
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A reader sent me the following request concerning what kind of firearm I would recommend for someone starting out.  I hope he doesn’t mind, but since my own experience is fairly limited I thought I would open the query up to the readers who can make their own recommendations.  Here ’tis:

I am finally getting serious about arming myself, in no small part due to your recent post and some others by Father Z.  Can you recommend a good dealer for both a handgun and a long gun in the Richardson/Plano area?  What about shotgun vs rifle? My brother (a police chief in a small town in Illinois) suggests the former for home defense, but if the crap hits the fan I think it’s wise to have both. Any favorites you’d suggest?

As far as where to buy a gun in the area requested, I suggest Gunmaster on Ave. K in Plano, just south of Spring Creek, near the old Wells Bros farm store.  They usually have a good selection of new and used guns but may be a bit light on handguns.  For a lot of new handguns, Cabela’s or some other big box might be the best alternative I know of.

But what kind of gun to get?  That’s a difficult question.  There are so many out there.  My initial inclination is to go semi-auto in a long gun and hand gun.  Don’t mess around with a revolver.  You know I like Russian-style guns.  I think they’re great for beginners because they take abuse and will function even if you don’t clean them so well.  But price range is a really important consideration.  And not just the price of a gun, the price of ammo, too.  That’s another reason I like SKS and AKs, the guns are equal to or less than many competitors and the ammo is generally substantially cheaper.  So maybe start with a used SKS and see how that goes.  Those don’t require magazines, you feed 10 rounds in through the top with stripper clips and you’re ready to go.  A good quality used SKS can be had for $300 range today.

Other options in semi-auto (again, knowing your price range would be very helpful, prices below new):

AR – a billion varieties, all kinds of calibers prices from generally $600-up
PTR91 – US-made semi-auto version of the HK91/G3.  Generally $900-up.
Ruger Mini-14/Ranch Rifle – .223 (same as AR), lots of people swear by them, not always as customizable as an AR, a bit more expensive ($700 – up)
M1A – I’d love one.  7.62×51 NATO (.308 Winchester).  Very rugged. Based on M14 design.  But expensive. $1000-up

One benefit of an AR for new gun owners is the low recoil.  An AR-15 clone in .223 kicks waaay less than an AR in 7.62×39, and that can really help new shooters stay on target. I just happen to prefer a larger round with greater penetration, so I put up with the extra recoil.

Military surplus – If you’re willing to go with a used guns, aside from the Russian types and derivatives you can get excellent former military rifles.  M1 Garand would be high on my list, but ammo is expensive and sometimes hard to find (you cannot use regular .30-06, have to get Garand-compatible ammo), and for bolt-action, Mosin Nagant is a great gun and can often be had for less than $300 (and ammo is incredibly cheap), also Lee-Enfield, Mauser K98 (these two can be found cheap but ammo may be high due to rarity)……

As far as handguns, again, price is a big factor.  I originally thought I wanted a .40 or .45, until I looked at the ammo prices.  While 9 mm may not have as much stopping power if you’re dealing with someone all cranked out or, inexplicably, wearing armor, the ammo is waaaay cheaper.  And there are a million good handguns in 9 mm.  I chose an EAA Witness in 9 mm for myself. That was about $350. I know people who have Springfield XD or XDM 9 mm and really like them, but I didn’t like their feel in my hand that much.  I do have one beef with the Witness, after quite a few rounds the hand grips can start to come loose.

My wife got a Bersa Thunder .380.  .380 is another fairly inexpensive handgun ammo, though its stopping power is even less than 9 mm, for the most part.

Shotguns are great for home defense, and again, there are tons.  You can go pump action or semi-auto.  Prices vary widely as does quality. I’m not much of a shotgun guy.  But I would tend to agree that while a shotgun is great for home defense in a normal, relatively peaceful law/order type scenario, if things go to crap a rifle would probably be better.  Shotguns are terribly limited in range.

If it were me, I’d probably get a lower-priced AK/SKS/AR clone and a 9 mm pistol.  If you want high quality like Glock or Kimber you’re going to pay for it.  A 9 mm “automatic” can go from under $300 to well over $1000.  Glock’s are good (I’m not high on the safety) quality and are in the $500 range.  If you have some experience with firearms or want more power then an AK instead of the AR.

Maybe the requester could give us some more details, like price range and level of experience.  Readers are welcome to respond.

How Good Friday was celebrated in the Medieval Church February 3, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Christendom, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, history, Latin Mass, Liturgical Year, reading, sanctity, Society, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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With Lent and then the Easter Season approaching, I thought it not a bad time to post this excerpt from A Sense of the Sacred: Roman Catholic Worship in the Middle Ages, concerning Good Friday.   Suffice it to say, the degree of passionate intensity and deep piety prevalent in the Middle Ages is amazing, and, I think it can be said, serves as a stark contrast to the relative indifference that surrounds this most holy of days in the modern Church.

There are some interesting tidbits and factoids below.  From pp. 404-5:

Honorius of Autun: “By the Passion of Christ the four elements are purified, and by the four arms of the Cross, the four quarters of the world are saved.  It is for that reason that he is suspended between Heaven and earth, because by His Passion Heaven and earth are united, and the entire world is dedicated a temple to God in His Blood.

It can be said without exaggeration that on Good Friday the entire medieval Christian world came to a standstill before the Cross and the Holy Sepulcher.  The liturgical texts of this period testify to a shared longing to spend every hour of this solemnity with Christ crucified.  This can best be seen in a rubric of Cardinal Bernard of Porto’s Ordo officiorum for Rome’s cathedral church of St. John Lateran from about 1140:

And because not one hour of this day is devoid of the Passion of Christ, its fitting remembrance by us for that purpose of meditation should run through the individual hours, such that this entire day we should continually remember and unceasingly meditate upon these things, when he would have borne the spittle, the reproaches, the blows, the slaps, the crown of thorns, the scourges, the Cross, the nails, the gall, the vinegar, the lance, and death.

Benedictine customaries in the tenth century prescribed the recitation of the entire Psalter from beginning to end on Good Friday, following the morning office of Prime, a practice that by the thirteenth century was being observed by the popes and the Roman Curia.  The Benedictine customary of Fructuaria, Italy (c. 1085), after prescribing the Good Friday recitation of the Psalter, remarks that the monks should pray “with tears” in order that “He, Who on this day vouchsafed to die for us, may mortify the vices in us and vivify the virtues.  As a penance, the Benedictines of 10th century Europe also spent much or all of Good Friday barefoot, a custom that by the twelfth century had spread to the laity.  At Italy’s Benedictine abbey of Monte Cassino, the reading on Good Friday morning of the martyrology entry for the following day during the office of Prime, in anticipation of Holy Saturday, announced to the monks: “Saturday; Our Lord rested in the sepulcher,” and was marked by a total prostration “to the earth” by all present.

———-End Quote———-

One thing A Sense of the Sacred makes clear is how early so many of our liturgical traditions date from.  For instance, the Palm Sunday Procession of Palms was occurring in Jerusalem in the early 4th century, and may well predate that.  Veneration of the Cross on Good Friday started immediately after the finding of the True Cross by St. Helen in the 4th century.  There are aspects traceable at least to the 3rd century, including most of the Roman Canon – and I remind that simply because evidence of earlier use does not exist, does not mean it was not done.  Liturgical historians have repeatedly found evidence of earlier practice of TLM-type rites than was previously known as study has advanced.

Unfortunately, the earliest Church, after the death of the Apostles, so under pressure from persecution, kept very few written records, or they were lost in the collapse of the Greco-Roman civilization.  Monasteries in England had for centuries from Bede the Venerable specialized in maintaining and expanding historical records from ancient times, but almost all of that precious knowledge was lost with Henry VIII’s sack of the monasteries, driven by his insatiable lust for money and……..

A Sense of the Sacred can get pretty dry at times, however.  It’s almost more of a textbook than a real sit down and read book.  There are golden nuggets throughout, but I find much of the content excessively detailed and a bit repetitive for my taste.  What it makes clear in toto, however, is that St. Pius V certainly did not create a new Mass out of whole cloth with his 1570 Missal, but simply rationalized the several minor variations into one formal Rite, which was just the Rite of the Diocese of Rome (and most other places) already extant.  Thus, any claims that Paul VI’s completely novel, and unjustifiable, creation of an entirely new Mass was simply a redo of what St. Pius V had done 4 centuries earlier simply will not stand.

There is absolutely no comparison between the two, and that is why it is really best to avoid referring to the TLM as the “Tridentine” Mass, which usage only plays into the hands of the liturgical revolutionaries who try to play upon ignorance in drawing an invalid comparison between circumstances surrounding the creation of the Mass of St. Pius V and the Novus Ordo Missae.