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Liguori – Love is a Light that Enlightens the Soul and Overcomes our Fallen Passions July 20, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, reading, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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A little bit more from St. Alphonsus, also from his book The Holy Eucharist.  This really struck me as a beautiful reflection on how great our need is for God’s Grace to convert us, to see st-alphonsus-2through the stains of sin that so blind us to our failings.  But through love of God, our eyes can be opened, and we can begin a much better, holier form of life:

One of the greatest evils that the sin of Adam has produced in us, is that darkening of our reason by means of the passions which cloud our mind.  Oh, how miserable is that soul that allows itself to be ruled by any passion!  Passion, is at it were, a vapor, a veil which prevents us from seeking the truth.  How can he fly from evil, who does not know what is evil?  Besides, hqdefaultthis obscurity increases in proportion as our sins increase.  But the Holy Spirit, who is called “most blessed light,” is He who not only inflames our hearts to love Him, through His divine splendor, but also dispels our darkness, and shows us the vanity of earthly things, the value of eternal goods, the importance of salvation, the price of grace, the goodness of God, the infinite love which He deserves, and the immense love which He bears us.  The sensual man perceiveth not those things that are of the Spirit of God (I Cor ii:14). A man who is absorbed in the pleasures of earth knows little of these truths, and alphonsustherefore, unfortunate that he is, he loves what he ought to hate, and hates what he ought to love.  St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi exclaimed: “O love not known! O love not loved!”  And therefore St. Teresa said that God is not loved because he is not known. Hence the Saints were always seeking light from God: “Send forth Thy light; illuminate my darkness; open Thou my eyes.”  Yes, because without light light we cannot avoid precipices, nor can we find God.

A prayer from St. Alphonsus related to the above: O holy and Divine Spirit, I believe st-alphonsus-liguorithat Thou art really God, but one only God with the Father and the Son. I adore Thee, and acknowledge Thee as the giver of all those lights by which Thou hast made known to me the evil which I have committed in offending Thee, and the obligation which I am under of loving Thee.  I thank Thee for them, and I repent with all my heart of having offended Thee.  I have deserved that Thou shouldst abandon me in my darkness; but I see that Thou has not yet forsaken me.  Continue, O eternal Spirit, to enlighten me, and to make me know more and more Thy infinite goodness; and give me strength to love Thee for the future with my whole heart.  Add grace to grace; so that I may be sweetly overcome, and constrained to love none other but Thee. I implore this of Thee, through the merits of Jesus Christ.  I love Thee, my sovereign good; I love Thee more than myself.  I desire to be entirely Thine; do Thou accept me, and suffer me not to be separated from Thee any more.  O Mary, my Mother, do thou always assist me by thy intercession!

———-End Quote———

I found the metaphor of our passions as a veil barring us from the truth to be very familiar, very meaningful.  Really beautiful.  I pray these little postings are helpful to you!  To be honest, these are some of my favorite posts, so I’d do them anyway!

Dominus vobiscum!

“I had an abortion, on Good Friday” she screamed. And the feminists cheered. July 20, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, asshatery, contraception, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, suicide, unadulterated evil.
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Shorter Ann Barnhardt below.  Diabolical narcissism defined in 12 seconds:


Also see: feminist solipsism.

Pro tip: that baby is not in Heaven, tragically.  Abortion is not a Sacrament.  Telling women their aborted babies go to Heaven only encourages them to go through with it.  They actually convince themselves they’re doing a good thing.  The constant belief of the Church, whether it be a solemn Dogma or not, has been that babies innocent of actual sin who die unbaptized cannot enter Heaven.  That’s not to say they endure eternal suffering, but they do not receive the blessedness of the Beatific Vision for having been ripped limb from limb at their mother’s command.

In reality, this soul is in enormous pain and needs a lot of prayers.  She’s desperately trying to convince herself that what she did was morally acceptable, even though on some level, she knows it is not, hence the desperate need to appear brave and transgressive.

Want to be Prepared for a Persecution?  Read the History of the English Martyrs July 20, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Christendom, Domestic Church, General Catholic, history, Holy suffering, martyrdom, persecution, priests, reading, Revolution, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I just finished a great book on the life of William Weston, one of the many Jesuit priests sent to England during the hellish reigns of the later Tudor monarchs.  Amazingly, even though this man was revered by many Saints for his incredible holiness and record of service to others, which they felt far surpassed their own, he is not only not canonized, he doesn’t even have a cause of canonization.  That’s a shame, as his book is the best of the 6 or 7 I’ve read on the subject.

Anyway, more to the point of this post, I’ve had people request from time to time resources that could help them survive what many feel is a coming persecution.  I’ve thought about it for a long time, and I’ve conclude that nothing could prepare one better for a persecution than the historical record of one that has already occurred.  And I don’t think any preceding persecution can better inform Catholics of the horrors that await, nor the heroism they are called to, than the history of the the English persecution of Catholics.  I believe this for the following reasons:

  • The persecution occurred in early modern times. While those times were very different from today, they are much more similar than, say, the persecutions of Decius or Diocletian.  In fact, the Anglosphere of today grew directly out of this time period, and was fundamentally shaped by it.
  • We can read the record in its native tongue. While flowery, we can understand the language of the English Saints and martyrs.
  • The English persecution was one of the first to use the power of the totalitarian modern state to extend the persecution as deep into people’s lives as possible. At times, Catholics could not travel more than a mile or two without being accosted by pursuivants, sheriffs, bailiffs, etc., all bent on finding them out and receiving the reward for putting them in prison.  The organs of state repression invaded people’s homes, tore them apart looking for priests (whether one was there or not), and then charged the homeowner for the privilege of having his home wrecked!
  • It was fueled by unbridled hatred for the Catholic Church. Nothing makes a man more wicked than an guilty conscience, and in Elizabethan England, there were many, many to go around. This was an especially vicious, personal persecution.
  • The persecution was justified by the state’s fear of Catholics holding beliefs different from the officially-sanctioned state religion. Sound familiar?
  • The government used false flag operations and the use of deeply embedded spies as a matter of course. Plot after plot was hatched by government representatives and then innocent Catholics were blamed for them.  Greed abounded. After thousands became incredibly rich from the rape of Church lands, government agents found they could steal still more wealth by throwing Catholic landowners in prison and stealing their property for themselves.

There’s a great deal more, of a more positive nature: the endlessly edifying example of the English Catholics, the great number of Saints, the extensive writings they left us, the fact that the Church bore up under this, one of the longest persecutions in world history (nearly 300 years).  The fact that there were still Catholics after 250+ years of constant abuse, theft, murder, wrongful imprisonment, and worse is a shining example for us all.

As far as very good sources to turn to from the English persecution, here are some of my favorites:

  • Edmund Campion, A Life by Evelyn Waugh  –  straightforward, easy-to-read modern biography.  Waugh kept the opinionating to a minimum and reported the facts more or less straight.  Much appreciated, that.
  • Autobiography of a Hunted Priest, by Fr. John Gerard, SJ Excellent autobiography, especially for its details of his priestly mission, the lives of good Catholics of the time, the lengths to which pursuivants would go to find priests, and the horrors of torture and prison. Very good.
  • The King’s Good Servant, but God’s First by James Monti – provides great background on the genesis of the English persecution, the protestant greed and errors that caused it, and of course much on the life and writings of one of England’s greatest Saints, Thomas More. The book is modern in outlook and is perhaps wounded a bit by modern sensibilities, but it’s still a solid resource
  • An Autobiography from the Jesuit Underground – Father William Weston, SJ, foreward by Evelyn Waugh – perhaps the best book of the bunch. Extremely extensive notes that add a great deal of valuable information, especially of the role played by turncoat Catholics who spied and reported on their former co-religionists.  The damage they did was unbelievable.  Cannot recommend this one enough
  • Blessed Margaret Clitherow by Margaret Monro – short but good 1940’s biography from when the Saint was still a Blessed.  I liked it.  It’s a good source of inspiration.  Clitherow’s death was grisly, however.
  • The Cleaving of Christendom – Warren Carroll’s history of the period is a very good reference work but of necessity has to gloss over specific events since it is a broad tour of the entire history of the Church
  • The Outlaws of Ravenhurst – Yes, it’s a kid’s/teen’s novel but it still gives a very good sense both for how severe was the English persecution, and its very long reach. Catholics really were abducted back from Belgium, France, and even Maryland and made to suffer.
  • Treason by Dena Hunt – I am torn recommending this one, it is a solid enough novel on the subject of the English persecution, the lengths Catholics would go to maintain their Faith, and the kinds of horrific moral quandaries persecution could cause, but there is one unfortunate scene in an early chapter that is really inappropriate and unnecessary. Be forewarned, when the gentleman goes upstairs to the woman of ill-repute’s room in the inn, it’s a bad scene.  Probably not what you think, but bad nonetheless.

I’m afraid I’ve forgotten one or two I wanted to recommend.  Another good source of information and inspiration, of course, is reading about the Cristiada, the persecution of Mexico’s Catholics, which was much shorter but equally fierce.  Mexican Martyrdom and The Power and the Glory are good books on that subject.

I’m open to your suggestions.  I pray you find this post useful.

Wild Weasel Wednesday July 20, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Flightline Friday, fun, history, non squitur, silliness, Society, technology.
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Instead of a Flightline Friday, I’m doing a Wild Weasel Wednesday this week.  May as well, I haven’t done a Flightline Friday in forever.

Wild Weasel is the nickname of the airborne defense suppression mission set.  It primarily involves the suppression or destruction of enemy air defenses (SEAD/DEAD).  The air defenses in question are ground- or sea-based, destruction of enemy aircraft is a different mission (air combat/air superiority).

As far as the United States and the West is concerned, the Wild Weasel mission evolved from the hard and embarrassing lessons of the early days of the Vietnam conflict.  US defense policy under Eisenhower (and it was absolutely the right policy) focused almost exclusively on strategic nuclear warfare, rather than the development of a broad range of tactical capabilities and, especially, the retention of a large standing army.  Ike did this for several reasons – it was much cheaper, it reduced the manpower drain on the nation, and, most especially, not having Wild-Weasel_Patcha very large army and tactical air force virtually guaranteed the US would not get sucked into another “brushfire conflict” like Korea.

Kennedy, of course, had different ideas, and ran and won in 1960 on the argument that Ike had allowed US defenses to seriously weaken (this was a false statement).  Kennedy wanted “flexible response,” that is, a very large strategic nuclear force but also a large army, navy, tactical air force, etc.  Ike’s prediction came true within a few  years, that a large standing army is an irresistible temptation to politicians.  If you have one, it will be used, and we were in Vietnam in force by 1964/5.  Unfortunately, the tactical buildup was still in its early stages.  A number of weaknesses were quickly revealed, especially with regard to tactical air forces (Air Force, Navy, or Marine).

The biggest of these was in spite of the capabilities of Soviet surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) being clearly revealed in the 1960 shootdown of Francis Gary Power’s U-2, no one had thought to provide any of the tactical aircraft in service with defenses against radar-guided missiles.  Not only did they have no defenses, they didn’t even have the ability to tell when they were being painted by radar and under threat of attack.  Within a few months of the start of the will o’ the wisp, on again, off again air war against North Vietnam, US aircraft were falling to Soviet-installed (and frequently operated) SA-2 missiles.

These growing losses were the genesis of a crash program to equip aircraft with what is called radar homing and warning equipment, or radar warning receivers – which let aircrew know they are being targeted, where that radar is, and what kind it is (search, track, targeting, AAA, etc) – and eventually “anti-radiation” missiles designed to home on emissions from SAM radars and destroy them.  These two elements in concert with exceptionally well-trained and brave crews working aboard dedicated defense-suppression aircraft was, in essence, the Wild Weasel concept.  They were called Wild Weasels because the mission was judged to be similar in intensity and danger to a weasel taking on a poisonous snake.

That’s a background to the videos below, the first two of which are truly excellent.  Produced, I’m sure, in the mid-80s during the height of the Reagan defense buildup, they provide a very loving, very detailed account of the early days of the Wild Weasel program not only from the perspective of the pilots and EWOs who flew the missions, but also the industry teams that provided the life-saving equipment.  There is a great deal of commentary from early leaders of the Wild Weasel community, all of which is very good.  There are also some very intelligent statements about how defense suppression/electronic warfare tends to be one of those mission sets that is the first to get dumped once the pressure of war is no longer present to force the issue.  Sadly, that is exactly what has happened in the Air Force since Desert Storm.

It then turns into sort of an extended commercial on the F-4G Wild Weasel IV or Advanced Wild Weasel, but that oft-ignored aircraft deserves much praise.  It was a dark day when the last Weasels were retired without replacement, and Scott O’Grady’s shootdown weeks later sort of proved the point that they were still needed.

After the first two videos are some more recent ones from the early 90s.  Then, the F-4Gs were leaving service and being replaced with F-16s with scabbed on targeting pods.  Many Wild Weasel professionals gravely doubt the modified F-16CG, as it is called, comes anywhere close to the capabilities of the F-4G.  Fortunately or not, we’ve only been fighting wars against third world goat herders for the past 15 years, with no air defenses to speak of, so the matter has never been put to the test.  But it will be, eventually.

To the vids (warning the first video especially has a few occasions of foul language):