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It is not too late for us to implore God’s pardon for sin and stay His mighty Hand of judgment May 4, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Liturgical Year, reading, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Victory, Virtue.
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It is not too late for us to implore God’s pardon for sin and stay His mighty Hand of judgment.  Thus, according to Dom Prosper Gueranger in the reading from Rogation Tuesday, Vol. 9 of The Liturgical Year.  A suitable reminder for our time, when so much seems lost, and the world seems determined to force the Hand of God.  The excerpt below causes me to consider whether the Judgment of God, yes, the Parousia, is not closer than we thought.  Not that I overly concern myself with the day or the hour, but we can all read the signs of the times, and the beginning of the second paragraph in particular makes chilling reading.  Something for us all to contemplate, and much more pray over.

This is one of the very best bits of Gueranger I have ever read.  It is incredibly prescient of our own times, and show how the decline of Christendom goes back 150 years and more.  I pray you find the material below as edifying – if troubling –as I did (my emphasis and comments):

Let us think, for a moment, of the countless sins that are being committed, day and night; and let us sue for mercy.  In the days of Noah, all flesh had corrupted its way (Gen vi:22); but men thought not of asking for mercy.  The flood came, and destroyed them all, says Our Savior.  Had they prayed and begged God’s pardon, the hand of His Justice would have been stayed, and the flood gates of heaven would not have been opened (Gen vii:1).  The day is to come, when not water as heretofore, but fire, is suddenly to be enkindled by the divine wrath, and is to burn the whole earth.   It shall burn even the foundations of the mountains (Deut xxx:22); it shall devour sinners, who will be resting then, as they were in the days of Noah, in a false security.  [And what terror shall fill their hearts when that day  comes!]

Persecuted by her enemies, decimated by the martyrdom of her children, afflicted by numerous apostasies from the faith, and deprived of every human aid, the Church will know that the terrible chastisement is at hand, for prayer will then be as rare as faith. [Does that not succinctly, if brutally, describe our own day?] Let us, therefore, pray; that thus the day of wrath may be put off, the Christian life regain something of its ancient vigor, and the end of the world not be in our times.  [These things do not have to happen. Incredible though it may seem, God threatened to destroy the world even during the 13th century, at the very height of faith, but used St. Vincent Ferrer to convert enough souls back to piety that God’s judgment was stayed]There are even yet Catholics in every part of the world; but their number has visibly decreased.  Heresy is now in possession of whole countries, that were once faithful to the Church.  In others, where heresy has not triumphed, religious indifference has left the majority of men with nothing of Catholicism in them but the name, seeing that they neglect even their most essential obligations without remorse.  [And now we have whole swaths of the Church, including most bishops and priests, who openly hold and proclaim heresy.  This goes to the very highest level of the hierarchy]

Among many of those who fulfill the precepts of the Church, truths are diminished.  The old honesty of faith has been superseded by loose ideas and half-formed convictions.  A man is popular in proportion to the concessions he makes in favor of principles condemned by the Church. [To the extent that even now, unworthy leadership in the Church adopt the same false beliefs, and call it, blasphemously, mercy.] The sentiments and actions of the Saints, the conduct and teaching of the Church, are taxed with exaggeration, and decried as being unsuited to the period.  The search after comforts has become a serious study; the thirst for earthly goods is a noble passion; independence is an idol to which everything must be sacrificed; submission is a humiliation which must be got rid of, or, where that cannot be, it must not be publicly acknowledged. Finally, there is sensualism, which, like an impure atmosphere, so impregnates every class of society, that one would suppose there was a league formed to abolish the Cross of Christ from the minds of men [Ummm……freemasonry, sexular pagan leftism?]

What miseries must not follow from this systematic setting aside of the conditions imposed by God upon His creatures?  If the Gospel be the Word of infinite Truth, how can men oppose it without drawing down upon themselves the severest chastisements?  Would that these chastisements might work the salvation of them that have provoked them!  Let us humble ourselves before the sovereign holiness of our God, and confess our guilt.  The sins of men are increasing both in number and in enormity. [Not least of all, within the Church, and most tragically, those given the enormous Grace of being Her leaders] The picture we have just drawn is sad enough; what would it have been, had we added such abominations as these, which we purposely excluded: downright impiety, corrupt doctrines, which are being actively propagated throughout the world [paging AD 2016!] ; dealings with satan, which threaten to degrade our age to the level of pagan times [Once again, paging 2016!] ; the conspiracy organized against order, justice, and religion, by secret societies?  Oh!  Let us unite our prayer with that of Holy Church, and say to our God: From Thy wrath, deliver us, O Lord!

———–End Quote———–

As I said, some really powerful stuff.  I don’t need to add much, except to repeat that no matter how bad things look now, how dim the hopes for the earthly future, our prayers and penance can work miracles.

We should never give up trying.  Even if we don’t save the world, we may help save ourselves, in cooperation with Grace.

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Does Cruz’s defeat mean the end of social conservative influence in the US? May 4, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, paganism, Revolution, scandals, secularism, sickness, Society.
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Ted Cruz suspended his campaign after a severe defeat in Indiana last night.  It appears, barring highly unlikely events, that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee, facing Hilary Clinton.  This leaves essentially no one in the major parties for faithful Catholics to support, to my mind, though I know that some disagree with that assessment.  I will have to see what beliefs the Libertarian candidate holds with regard to moral issues, and whether the Constitution party will be on the ballot in most states.  At this time, the latter seems an open question.

More broadly speaking, some observers are now concluding that the virtual certitude of Trump being the Republican nominee means that the social conservative movement is dead, or at least so moribund as to no longer matter.  That was the opinion voiced by David Frum yesterday in a piece in The Atlantic.  Now, it must be noted that David Frum is not an unbiased observer.  He has long been a liberal Republican, especially on social issues, and has long taken a very critical, one might even say hostile, stand towards making traditional moral beliefs an important part of a party platform.  So when he declares the social conservative movement to be dead, he’s not simply stating an observation, but a deeply held wish.

Nevertheless, his analysis is worth considering, even though I think much of it is wrong, or self-serving:

[H]ere’s something that traditional ideological conservatives will want to consider: Trump rose by shoving them aside. Trump’s rise exposed the weakness of social conservatives in particular. For a third of a century, social conservatives imposed a pro-life litmus test on Republican nominees for both presidency and vice presidency. They pulled the party into confrontations over sexuality and religion that many Republican elected leaders would have preferred to avoid. And then, abruptly, poof: The social conservative veto has vanished. New York values have prevailed, with a mighty assist from Jerry Falwell Jr. and other evangelical leaders. It seems unlikely the religious right will return in anything like its awesome previous form. A visibly conscientious objector to the culture wars easily defeated candidates who elevated the defunding of Planned Parenthood to the top of their agenda. That lesson, once demonstrated, won’t soon be forgotten….

The big internal conservative struggle of 2017 will be the fight to write the narrative of how Trump emerged and why he lost. Anti-Trump conservatives will want to say that Trump lost because he wasn’t a “true conservative.” But 2016 to date is proposing that “true conservatives” constitute only a pitiful minority of the Republican Party, never mind the country as a whole. Why should any practical politician care about them ever again?

Several things.  First, this is a very strange year.  This is a year when a sizable portion of the public has determined they will teach the establishment a lesson, once and for all.  Ted Cruz thought he was the most anti-establishment candidate around, having fought a brutal battle against the Texas Republican Party to get elected to the Senate in 2012 and then standing out as the most reliably conservative Senator, but Donald Trump was able to project an image of being even more of an outsider, and really harm Cruz for his associations with Wall Street bankers (which, you think Trump doesn’t have  even MORE association with them, being a New York financier?!?).

This is an election cycle where emotion has ruled the day and logic has not applied.  This is a cycle where a very large number of people have determined they would only support a perceived outsider, even when that perceived outsider is as inside as they come.  Trump has also made a lot of hay attacking political correctness/cultural Marxism, which I think is a major factor in his rise.  I think people are just about sick of having leftist values shoved down their throat.

Don’t discount the impact of open primary states, either.  Trump has done best in open primary states, where many democrats may be crossing over to vote for him in the assumption he’ll get killed  in a general election.

Another factor is this: I know a fair number of extremely committed pro-lifers/social conservatives who are willing to ignore the past and believe Trump’s present claims that he is strongly against abortion and other social ills.  They are willing to ignore his extremely immoral personal life.  They are willing to do this, because they see that decades of supporting the mainstream Republican party has gotten us very little in return.

Millions are fed up with the political establishment and are willing to support a dark horse candidate who tells them very much what they want to hear, even against all the evidence that the rhetoric does not match the real belief.  I know several folks who openly acknowledge that Trump is probably selling them a line, but at this point, they simply don’t care.  They are willing to chance that this supposed outsider really has changed, because they feel this country is just about gone, anyway, so why not take a gamble?

Frum, in his analysis, seems to totally discount that voters could be willing to take a chance that the lifetime-liberal Trump could have suddenly changed his beliefs.  He seems to assume that the vast, vast majority of voters, including former social conservatives, simply don’t value these issues that much anymore, otherwise, they wouldn’t support Trump.  I think that’s a major flaw in his analysis.

Even more, the number one factor still driving Trump’s popularity is his early very strong rhetoric about stopping the torrent of unrestrained illegal immigration into this country.   That is the top issue for a good 35-40% of Americans and his primary selling point.  I don’t think you can understand the Trump phenomenon, and the willingness of many of his supporters to ignore how his present rhetoric contradicts a lifetime of belief, without taking into account his immigration stand.  To me, it seems Frum practically discounts all of the above, and more.

Having said all that, I fear that Frum is correct in his primary conclusion: that there has been a sudden and severe drop off in the number of committed social conservatives, or at least in the degree of conviction conservatives assign to social/moral matters.  I think this can be seen in numerous areas: the way the entire conservative movement has more or less caved to pseudo-sodo-marriage now that the Supreme Court has ruled, the institutionalization of the pro-life movement and its subsequent ineffectiveness, the increasing tolerance for grave immorality within the Church and many of the protestant sects, the lack of outrage over incidents like the persecution of Aaron and Melissa Klein and the poor Indiana pizza shop.  Far too many Christians are willing to simply go along to get along, meekly changing their beliefs to whatever the cultural Marxists dictate, much more concerned about the state of their career and 401k than they are the state of their souls.

I’m interested to know what you think.  Does Trump’s rise signal a temporary, or final, collapse of the strongly social conservative movement, or is it driven more by other things?  Even if Trump’s rise is not specifically fueled by the collapse of cultural conservatism, do you see cultural conservatism in the decline?  Polls show that Trump is pulling a pretty hefty portion of the cultural conservative vote.  Does that probably temporary support mean those conservatives have forever given up on their primary moral concerns?

I can’t say my own thoughts on this are fully developed.  I’m still of two minds. I’m interested to see how things play out in the general.  I am afraid Trump will get absolutely pummeled by Dems quoting some of his noxious statements, dealings, and past moral failings.  But he’s proven unusually resistant in the past.