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The Most Schadenfreude-Filled Inauguration Ever? January 20, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, fun, Immigration, manhood, Society, Victory.
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On this afternoon where our long national nightmare ends (and we are reminded of how an even worse one was avoided), there’s a lot of schadenfreude in the air.  Not that I mind.  I’m enjoying this as much as anyone.  Some videos from the day, including Trump’s swearing in and inaugural speech:

Promise the moon much?  I worry about the endless infrastructure and educational promises.  I am heartened by reports Trump intends to sharply reduce federal government staffing. We’ll see whether he can deliver.

The ceremonial parade, where Trump drags his vanquished enemies behind his golden chariot, is ongoing:

There have been riots and disruptions flaming tantrums aplenty today from some of those enemies yet unvanquished.  They managed to disrupt traffic and then started devolving into the usual childish violence cum rioting for which the Left is so justly infamous.  Keep it up, boneheads……..that’s how you got Trump.

In fact, as I watch the livestream right now, it seems the inaugural parade could descend into a wild melee at any moment.  Nice.  This is the new normal, folks. The Left would be reacting this way to ANY Republican who won, because all they have left in their rhetorical arsenal is hateful demonization.

Language warning below, but the always funny and on-point Gavin McGinness reviews Obama’s deplorable near-decade in office.  Worst. President. Ever.  McGinness is part of the new, young, very hip right that is – for better or worse – remaking the conservative movement in this country into a much more energized, combative, confrontational effort.  It will be interesting to see if this new movement has persistence or just happened to catch the Trump wave.

“Putin’s Russia has moved considerably to the right of the Pope’s Vatican.” January 20, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Restoration, sanctity, secularism, Society, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Victory.
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If by “right,” one means in the direction of promoting traditional Christian values and beliefs, I’d say that’s correct, and what a damning indictment that is, given how many errors the Russian Orthodox hold, in spite of the ancient nature of that Church and its many beautiful elements.

Reader TE sent a link to an article examining the role of the Russian Orthodox Church in Putin’s Russia.  As in the days of the tsars of old, the relationship between Putin’s government and the Russian Orthodox Church is one of complex interdependence, each supporting and strengthening the other.  Post-Christian libertine Westerners are aghast at this relationship, but it’s very similar to how Church-state relations were conducted in western Christendom for centuries.  It would be fascinating – and one hopes instructive – to see if Putin’s close integration of the Church into Russian society/government leads to an increasingly stable, united, morally upright Russia.  That would serve as a powerful counter-example to the direction of the decadent West.

Some highlights from the piece, which is not exactly what I would call a ringing endorsement of these close Church/state relations:

Putin may not be religious in the traditional sense, but he certainly realizes that Christianity- specifically the Russian Orthodox Church- is the common glue that holds the Russian people together. It has deep historical roots that were dampened, but never extinguished by 75 years of communist rule. And it extends beyond the borders of Russia itself into neighboring lands, especially the Ukraine.

Putin has carefully nurtured his relationship with the Church. He has demanded that the oligarchs fund the rebuilding of almost 25,000 Orthodox churches in Russia. A recent law passed forbids the practice of religion outside of an established church- a law that targets Western religions like Jehovah’s Witnesses that practice in their home……..The Church is consulted on legislation of any nature that may touch upon religion.

Putin, like the Church, view themselves as a bulwark against Western decadence. [In spite of the many problems in Russia’s government, the endemic corruption and continued rot and decay, this is not an unfair assessment, and Russia’s re-embrace of religion (along with that ongoing in much of the former Soviet satellite states) is a damning indictment on the Western belief that the irreversible trajectory of history is towards more secularization, more libertinism, more hedonism, and less and less influence on religion.  We simply have not yet learned the lessons learned in the former communist states, which is that a society that explicitly rejects God is a dystopian nightmare where all manner of evils are prevalent in appalling abundance]  He has criticized Western values and “tolerance” as “genderless and infertile.” To Putin, the new Cold War is one of Western values versus Russian conservatism.

As a result, Russia has rising birth rates. [But still far from adequate] It is perhaps the only developed country where religion is taking on a greater role rather than a diminished one. His stance has been intolerant of divorce. He has banned the advertisement of abortion services. Pornography is banned as is “homosexual propaganda.” Putin’s Russia has moved considerably to the right of the Pope’s Vatican….. [Which is equally a commentary on the radicalism emanating from Rome as it is on Russia’s nascent return to its Christian roots]

……..There is nothing new here as concerns the Putin regime and the Church. Since the time of the czars, the Patriarchate and the Kremlin were allies- each doing the other’s bidding. The Church saw the czar as God’s chosen leader. But underlying the alliance was the belief in a shared and almost sacred vision of Russian exceptionalism and a unique national identity- neither Western nor Eastern.

Perhaps this explains why some have called upon Putin- not the EU, not the UN, not the Pope and not the US despite who occupies the Oval Office- to save Christianity. In fact, the Orthodox Church has specifically asked Putin to do just that and he enthusiastically responded, “Consider it done.”

Such a contrast to our decadent Western elites, who, even among those who do not outwardly mock and scorn Christianity, rarely do more than pay lip service to orthodox Christian belief.  Religion for the vast, vast majority in the West, especially among the elites, is at best a quaint relic from a benighted past, and at worst the most dangerous, corrosive, hateful element of society – something to be fought and crushed at all costs.

I think we shall see over the coming decades which vision produces the best effects.  Russia still faces enormous problems, and while the religious revival may be a mile wide, it is yet only an inch deep.  Massive problems including rampant alcoholism and the lackadaisical work ethic resulting from a lifetime of communist rule remain. But the post-Christian West very apparently has a suicidal death wish, forlornly refusing to learn the lessons of history and embracing the exact same ideologies that have led to endless misery and societal collapse around the world.  Should Russia’s religious revival intensify and work more deeply into the day to day lived experience of Russians, I have no doubt which society, which culture will be the more robust, the more vibrant 50 years from now.

Sooo……..Clinton Global Initiative Was Just a Shakedown/Protection Racket All Along January 18, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, awesomeness, cultural marxism, error, foolishness, It's all about the $$$, paganism, rank stupidity, Revolution, scandals, sickness, Society, unbelievable BS.
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Not that you needed me to tell you that, it was obvious to anyone with eyes to see that the former-billion dollar plus “charity” known as the Clinton Global Initiative was a sick combination of perpetual campaign apparatus and global shakedown machine.  On two fronts, it no longer has a need to exist – there are no more campaigns to staff up and fund, and there are no longer any donors seeking to gain influence with a hopeful future president of the United States.

But I think even more, the rapid shuttering of the Clinton Global Initiative reveals that this was an organization that raked in huge donations from extremely shady characters not only because these characters sought to influence Clinton, but also as a sort of protection racket.  Either cough up a fat $300 million “donation,” or the Clintons might use the power of the US government to destroy that nice uranium mining outfit you’ve got there, or that child slavery/sex trafficking ring.

At any rate, it’s all gone now.  There is no longer any influence to peddle, and it turns out people really didn’t really adore the Clintons to the tune of $5 million speaking engagements after all:

The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) filed a WARN — Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification — with New York State’s Department of Labor on Thursday, announcing that, effective April 15, 2017, it would be closing its doors and laying off 22 employees. The CGI’s stated reason: “Discontinuation of the Clinton Global Initiative.”

Following the election, foreign governments that had been regular donors began cutting their contributions to the Clinton Foundation, some severely. For example, news.com.au noted that the Australian government “has not renewed any of its partnerships with the scandal-plagued Clinton Foundation, effectively ending 10 years of taxpayer-funded contributions worth more than $88 million.” The government of Norway, which had been contributing as much as $20 million a year to the foundation, cut its contribution by nearly 90 percent.

As noted by the New York Observer, these cuts indicate that “the organization’s clout was predicated on donor access to the Clintons, rather than its philanthropic work.”

Surely the most corrupt family in the history of American politics.  They’re kind of leaving Chelsea out to dry, though, aren’t they?  I thought the Clinton’s, like the Bushes and Obama’s, were intent on setting up a political dynasty a la the Kennedy’s?

Probably they’ve amassed more than sufficient cash already to fund whatever political ambitions Chelsea may have.

And the elites wonder why the people are in full, open revolt against their scheming corruption and constant self-aggrandizement?

Good Local News – Another Catholic Homeschool Co-Op Starts This Year January 16, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, North Deanery, priests, Restoration, sanctity, Society, true leadership, Virtue.
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A hearty thanks go out to Fr. Cliff Smith, pastor of St. Mark parish in Plano, for making this new Catholic homeschool Coop a reality.  Starting next fall, St. Mark in Plano will host the area’s second Catholic homeschool cooperative for older students.  Currently there is one at Mater Dei that meets on Thursdays and is intended primarily for high school students, this new one will meet on Tuesdays and be for grades 7-12.  A few details below:

Several of our group members met with St. Mark the
Evangelist Catholic Church in Plano this week, and they are welcoming us to start a Catholic homeschool co-op next school year to serve students in 7th grade through high school. It has been named the Collin County Catholic Co-op (C4).

We will be meeting in the Smyth Pastoral Center on Tuesdays.
The day will start with morning Mass at 8:30am and have classes following after Mass through the afternoon.

Well that is good news.  As I’m sure almost any homeschooling parents can relate, as kids enter middle and high school teaching all the advanced and complex subjects can be quite taxing.  Cooperatives like this help spread the burden by hiring teachers for these subjects. Without them, a mom might be faced with simultaneously teaching 10 or more high school subjects on her own – a daunting task. Coops also provide a great outlet for kids to meet other kids being raised by parents of good will.

Fr. Smith has long been very supportive of homeschoolers and deserves recognition for that.  He is taking his support a step further by enabling this new co-op to use parish facilities.  I’m sure there will be many local Catholics thankful for his generosity.  Anything that encourages the spread and execution of homeschooling is much appreciated.  I pray even more parents in the North Dallas area will embrace this wonderful way of raising children with this latest opportunity.

Some Classic Refutations of protestant Errors on the Bible January 16, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Bible, catachesis, Ecumenism, episcopate, General Catholic, Interior Life, priests, reading, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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From the Preface to the New Testament in the Haydock Study Bible, some excellent commentary on common protestant claims regarding Sacred Scripture as the sole rule of faith under the private interpretation of each individual (or the leader of each sect, as is more typical).  Much of the commentary below comes from Archbishop Rene Fenelon.  All of it is great.  Some of the key points addressed below:

  • The absolute need for a sole authority to settle questions of Scripture
  • The extreme danger that results from private interpretation and the pride that inspires this interpretation
  • The error of protestant use of supposedly superior knowledge of the Bible against Catholics as a weapon to rend souls from the Church, when in fact they simply twist Scripture to their own ends.  Those souls would be far better off with a Catechism than a panoply of biblical studies.
  • Scripture cannot be the sole rule of Faith

Begin quote:

If there be no infallible authority, which may say to us all, “this is the true meaning of the holy Scripture:how can we expect that illiterate peasants, or simple mechanics, should engage in a discussion wherein the learned themselves cannot agree? God would have been wanting to the necessities of almost all men, if, when he gave them a written law, he had not at the same time provided them a sure interpreter, to spare them the necessity of research, of which they are utterly incapable. Every man of common understanding has need of nothing more than a sincere sense of his ignorance, to see the absurdities of the sects, who build their separation from the Catholic Church upon the privilege of deciding on matters far above their comprehension. [Or even if not above their comprehension, per se, we still see the effect of private interpretation in the proliferation of warring sects, each holding a different view of various parts of Scripture and their meaning.  Most of those have to be wrong.  And in point of fact, much of protestant Scripture “scholarship” is nothing of the sort but simply an exercise of ex post facto effort to twist Scripture to find in it the doctrines they’ve already decided upon, as Luther and Calvin did in identifying “total depravity” as a rule of Scripture in order to justify the elimination of works as necessary for salvation and thus most of the 10 Commandments] Ought we then to hearken to the new reformers, who require what is impossible; or to the ancient Church, which provides for the weakness of our nature?” If we listen to the former, we should soon be found to resemble those men of latter days, who St. Paul tells us to avoid: ever learning, and never attaining to the knowledge of truth; (2 Timothy chap. iii. ver. 7,) because they trust to their own lights, and not to the visible authority appointed by Jesus Christ. How evident does all this speak for itself, when we behold a Voltaire extracting mental poison from the Song of Solomon; or, another Cromwell reading to a ruthless soldiery God’s ordinances concerning the smiting of the Ammonites and Chanaanites, in order to induce them to kill every Catholic, man, woman, and child; or the fanatic, maintaining from the Revelations, that no king is to be obeyed but King Jesus; or, finally, when we hear those dangerous comments of our modern Moravian and Antinomian Methodists on St. Paul’s Epistles, importing, that they being made free by Jesus Christ, are not subject to any law either of God or man. Surely, in such cases, it would be advisable, if possible, to withdraw the Bible from every such profaner of it; and instead of it, to put into his hands the Catechism, in which he would find the bread of God’s word, broken and prepared for his weak digestion, by those prelates to whom this duty particularly belongs. This the Protestant owns, when he finds the Socinian [Society of Friends – Quakers] abusing private interpretation, by repeatedly citing and expounding the sacred text against the divinity of Jesus Christ, and the Presbyterian against the episcopacy……

……..The learned Walton (Prolegom. chap. iv. 56,) asserts, what every one versed in antiquity must allow, that “some parts of the New Testament were doubted of for some ages, till at length by consent of the whole Church, all the Books, as they are read at present, were received and approved.” [Indeed.  The Canon of Scripture was settled by the Church.  The protestants accept all of the New Testament canon, even though Luther wanted to exclude at least the Catholic Epistle of James because it was too contrary to his new doctrine.  He was only prevented from doing so by allies of his due to human concerns – rejecting portions of the New Testament so long settled would cause even more division and scandal and undermine his new sect.  But from a standpoint of logic, the protestants have no reason not to exclude all manner of books from Old or New Testament, nor to add works like the Epistle of Barnabas, Gospel of Thomas, or the Shepherd of Hermas – they have rejected Authority in favor of their own private judgment to arrive at answers predetermined in advance, so why not use these other works?  The only reason they do not has to do with human concern, e.g., what people would think] Here then we see that for a chief proof of the inspiration, authenticity, and due rendering of the word of God, we are referred to the general consent of Christians; therefore Scripture, though the rule of faith and life, cannot be the whole rule;since from Scripture alone, an exact canon of the sacred books cannot by human art be learned…………

………St. Augustine goes so far as to say: I would not believe the gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not determine me. (Epis. cont. Fund. chap. v, n. 6.) “This, says Fenelon, is the most simple, short, and decisive of all controversies.”……..[This is the key.  Scripture has authority because the Church determined it to have it, not the other way around.  It was the Church that predated the Canon of Scripture or indeed any individual Gospel or Letter.  Tradition ultimately is greater than Scripture, and it is a sad testimony that far too many priests and bishops today, cowed by supposed protestant knowledge of the Bible, mimic their arguments in favor of Scripture, turning reading the Bible into an end in itself rather than as simply being the support and basis for what the Church believes.  Priests would be far better off advising the souls in their charge to read a solid Catechism like the Catechism of the Council of Trent or This Is The Faith than the Bible, honestly.  Mind, I am not discouraging those sound in the Faith from reading the Bible, I read it every day, but I am saying that in this time when so few people are really able to understand much of Scripture, and with the proliferation, especially in this country, of erroneous protestant biblical studies, and very aggressive “bible study groups” seeking to make converts of poorly formed Catholics, that it is more prudent to first form souls deeply in the Faith before turning them loose on Scripture.]

………..There are such inimitable instructions in the five letters of Fenelon, to a lady who wished to be admitted a member of the Catholic Church, that a brief analysis of the same cannot but be very acceptable to the biblical scholar: — In the first, the prelate shews that there can be but one true religion, and one only Church, the spouse of Jesus Christ. Our Lord would have only one; men are not entitled to make more. Religion is not the work of human reasoning; but it is our duty to receive it, such as it has been given us from above. One man may reason with another man, but with God we have only to pray, to humble ourselves, listen, be silent, and blindly follow. This sacrifice of reason is the only proper use we can make of it, weak and contracted as it is. Every consideration must yield, when the supreme reason decides…….. [Awesome]

……..In the second, he shews the necessity of a visible authority. Religion, he says, is all humility. The mysteries are given us to subdue the pride of reason, by making us believe what we cannot comprehend. Without this authority, the Scripture can only serve to nourish our curiosity, presumption, jealousy of opinions, and passion for scandalous disputes: there would be but one text, but as may interpretations as religions, and as many religions as heads……..

……..In the third, he teaches how to hear the Church, and to obey it without any apprehension of error. The infallible promises of God are our surety. He tells the lady, if she wish for any reform, not to seek it, like Dissenters, out of the Church, but by frequently reverting back to her thoughts upon herself, and by reforming every thing amiss there; by subduing all that savours of self; by silencing the imagination, listening in silence to God, and imploring his grace for the perfect accomplishment of his will……….

……..In the fourth, he gives her comfort and instructions how to act under her trials. The kingdom of God suffers violence. We cannot die to ourselves without feeling it; but the hand that afflicts us, will be our support……..

………..In the fifth, he give excellent instructions, on the promises of Jesus Christ to his one true Church. He remarks the Jesus Christ does not say, if you will not hear the church of this country or that; he does not suppose a plurality of churches, but one universal Church, subsisting through all ages and nations, and which is to speak and to be obeyed from one extremity of the globe to the other. Not an invisible church composed of the elect only, but a Church that can be pointed out with a finger. A city elevated on the summit of a mountain, which all can see from a distance. Every one knows where to see, to find, and to consult her. She answers, she decides; we listen, and believe: and woe to those who refuse to believe and obey her: if he will not hear the Church, &c………

————-End Quote————-

Such sage wisdom!  Thank God for providing us – even if in the somewhat distant past – shepherds whose cooperation with Grace and docility to the will of God inform all they said and make of them a great light to souls of this and every age.  We live in a time when such souls are few, almost non-existent, among the men given the sacred charge of holding watch over the souls of millions, but we have the inestimable gift of Tradition and the wisdom of the past to guide us still, even in this our own faithless age.  That is a gift beyond measure.  And one that, in spite of herculean efforts on the part of modernists, cannot be taken away.

 

Czech Gov’t to Citizens on How to Fight Islamist Terrorists – Shoot Them Yourselves January 13, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Ecumenism, family, firearms, General Catholic, Immigration, Restoration, Society, the enemy.
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That’s a novel approach, especially for Europe:

A couple of months ago, Czech President Milos Zeman made an unusual request: He urged citizens to arm themselves against a possible “super-Holocaust” carried out by Muslim terrorists.

Never mind that there are fewer than 4,000 Muslims in this country of 10 million people [that’s supposed to be a bad thing?!?  Good for the Czechs from keeping the invading hordes of military-age males out of their country]gun purchases spiked. One shop owner in East Bohemia, a region in the northern center of the Czech Republic, told a local paper that people were scared of a “wave of Islamists.”

Now the country’s interior ministry is pushing a constitutional change that would let citizens use guns against terrorists. Proponents say this could save lives if an attack occurs and police are delayed or unable to make their way to the scene. To become law, Parliament must approve the proposal; they’ll vote in the coming months.

The Czech Republic already has some of the most lenient gun policies in Europe. It’s home to about 800,000 registered firearms and 300,000 people with gun licenses. Obtaining a weapon is relatively easy: Residents must be 21, pass a gun knowledge check and have no criminal record. By law, Czechs can use their weapons to protect their property or when in danger, although they need to prove they faced a real threat.

This puts the country at odds with much of Europe, which has long supported much more stringent gun-control measures.  In the wake of the 2015 terror attacks in Paris, France pushed the European Union to enact even tougher policies. The European Commission’s initial proposal called for a complete ban on the sale of weapons like Kalashnikovs or AR-15s that are intended primarily for military use. Ammunition magazines would be limited to 20 rounds or less.

That bill subsequently passed in slightly modified form over the Czech government’s opposition, meaning that this vote is more than a bit of kabuki theater – the EU’s laws will supersede whatever laws the Czech government puts in place.  it also means a great many weapons currently legal in Czech and some other nations will soon be illegal.  If I were the Czechs, I’d be working towards a Czexit right now.

Most of Europe has long been much less free with basic human rights – like the right to self defense – than this nation has been.  While Europeans will giggle and say that’s why Europe has a lot fewer firearms deaths than the US, I would retort that the US also hasn’t ever had a concentration camp nor an endless cycle of totalitarian regimes.  The Czechs used to live under one of those.  That has more than a little to do with Czechs’ desire to own firearms, which is something I’ve seen personally (though I think the number of firearms and firearms owners listed above severely under-represents reality).

Cardinal Burke Offering Mass of Reparation in Dallas 01/22 January 12, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, contraception, Dallas Diocese, different religion, Eucharist, General Catholic, priests, Sacraments, Society, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Virtue.
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It would be awesome if it were at a TLM Mass – which would of course mean Mater Dei – but then again, I wasn’t one of those who put in what I am quite certain was most significant effort in inviting Burke and making arrangements for his travel, etc.  So good for the folks in the “Catholic Action for Faith and Family” who pulled this off.  The Mass is at 10:30am at Mary Immaculate Parish in Farmers Branch.  This is a Mass of Reparation for the sin of abortion, marking of course yet another sad anniversary of this nation’s genocide against it’s own young.

I don’t plan on assisting at this Mass, as grateful as I am for Cardinal Burke’s relative orthodoxy and his stand against the increasingly unhinged and egregious errors and abuses emanating from the pontificate of Francis.  I will note in passing that Mary Immaculate is one of a number of parishes in this diocese with only one hour of Confession a week.  I do pray that Cardinal Burke’s presence and example encourage a much more generous attitude on the part of Fr. Michael Forge and Daniel Rendon to this most vital of Sacraments.  It is a metaphysical certitude that there are numerous souls receiving Communion weekly and even daily at Mary Immaculate in a state of mortal sin, and who have not availed themselves of Confession in years if not decades.  And why should they, when it is evidently of such low priority to those with the solemn duty to pastor their souls to Heaven?

I am a bit reticent to introduce this rant into a post on what is really a different subject and should be a happy occasion, but I must wonder how many souls who may assist at what will surely be a glorious event in the life of this parish (and a significant statement on the part of the clergy in hosting Burke) do not have unconfessed involvement in the deliberately willed termination of perfectly innocent life on their conscience, and who will receive the Blessed Sacrament, in an act of terrible sacrilege, without a second thought?  I’d be willing to bet it’s more than a handful.

Please God that I am wrong, but I strongly suspect I am not.

Lazy Video Post, Hong Kong Flu Edition January 10, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, catachesis, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, priests, Restoration, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I started with a little sore throat Friday, which transitioned to a cough yesterday, and today is full blown Hong Kong Phooey Flu. All you get today is two vids, but they’re both really good, one on the Jezebel spirit and wives rebellion from their husbands……….:

…….and the other from that priest many of us had missed so much these past 2-odd years, on Epiphany, the Holy Family, and the Errors of Russia.  I believe this is new content, from 2016:

There are so often really good book recommendations embedded in this priest’s sermons.

That will be all for today, barring a miraculous recovery, not sure about tomorrow, either.  When I get a high fever, I’m a wimpy as they come.

Any recommendations for home remedies? Pretty sure it is actual influenza, maybe with bronchitis on top.

Your prayers are most appreciated. God bless you!

Some Spiritual Gems from the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer          January 9, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Our Lady, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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A few excerpts from recent issues of the awesome Catholic newspaper, published by the Transalpine Redemptorists quarterly.  The first is on humility, the second contains statements by various Saints in praise of Our Blessed Mother.

On Humility: These lessons may seem superficial, even credulous, but they are actually very powerful.  What we learn below is that all our acts of piety – hours of prayer, great acts of penance, numerous devotions, fasting, etc. –  can all be  undone of spiritual benefit if we lack humility.  In fact, humility is the prerequisite for advance in the interior life.  It’s also one of the most difficult to obtain virtues, so contrary to our nature is it.  Humility comes from meekness, which comes from willed embrace of suffering – something our natures and the entire world scream at us is unnatural and unacceptable.  Enough of me, the quote from Catholic:

The most powerful weapon for overcoming the devil is humility, because as he is a perfect stranger to the employment of it, so he knows not how to defend himself against it – St. Vincent de Paul

One day, as St. Macarius was returning to his cell, he met the devil with a scythe in his hand: the fiend endeavored to wound him, and cut him in two with it; but he was unable to do so, because the moment he came near to him he lost all his strength.  Upon which, being filled with rage, he said to him, “I suffer great violence from thee, O Macarius, because though I greatly desire to hurt thee, I am unable to do so.  Strange indeed it is! I do all that you do, and even more: you fast sometimes, and I never eat at all; you sleep but little, it is true, but I never close my eyes; you are chaste and so am I; in one respect alone you surpass me.”  “And what is that?” replied Macarius.  The devil answered, “It is in your great humility.” And having said this, he disappeared without letting the saint behold him another moment.

On a certain occasion the devil appeared to a monk in the form of the Archangel Gabriel, and told him that he was sent to him by God; but the monk feeling himself altogether unworthy of such a visit replied, “See if you were not sent to another,” and forthwith the devil disappeared.

As an aged priest was exorcising a possessed individual, the devil said he would never leave that body until he had told him who were the goats and who the lambs.  The good priest immediately replied, “the goats are all those who are like me; who the lambs are is known to God.”  At which words the devil cried out aloud, “I am forced by thy humility to go away,” and forthwith he fled.

In Praise of Mary: No introduction needed.

Seek refuge in Mary because she is the city of refuge.  We know that Moses set up three cities of refuge for anyone who inadvertently killed his neighbor.  Now the our-lady-of-the-expectationLord has established a refuge of mercy, Mary, even for those who deliberately commit evil.  Mary provides shelter and strength for the sinner. – St. Anthony of Padua

Let us not imagine that we obscure the glory of the Son by the great praise we lavish on the Mother; for the more she is honored, the greater is the glory of her Son.  There can be no doubt that whatever we say in praise of the Mother gives equal praise to the Son. – St. Bernard of Clairvaux [Dang right!  Listen to that, protestants!]

Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did. – St. Maximilian Kolbe

We never give more honor to Jesus than when we honor His Mother, and we honor her simply and solely to honor Him all the more perfectly.  We go to her only as a way of leading to the goal we seek – Jesus, her Son. – St. Louis Grignon de Montfort

Let us run to her, and, as little children, cast ourselves into her arms with a perfect confidence. – St. Francis de Sales

With reason did the Most Holy Virgin predict that all generations would call her blessed, for all the Elect obtain eternal salvation through the means of Mary. – St. Ildephonsus  [I believe it!]

The devotions we practice to the glorious Virgin Mary, however trifling they may hc-olvic__89945__40559-1405695358-1280-1280be, are very pleasing to Her Divine Son, and He rewards them with eternal glory. – St. Teresa of Avila

As in the natural life a child must have a father and a mother, so in the supernatural life of grace a true child of the Church must have God for his Father and Mary for his mother.  If he prides himself on having God for his Father but does not give to Mary the tender affection of a true child, he is an impostor and his father is the devil. [ouch]  – St. Louis de Montfort

Alright, one more on a different subject, from the Angelic Doctor himself, Thomas Aquinas:

Nothing created has ever been able to satisfy the heart of man.  God alone can fill it infinitely.

Lord, do I ever know that.  I tried to fill it with everything imaginable, but it remained a vacuum until I at least tried to start filling it with You.  It feels much fuller now. I pray it is.

A Very Positive Appraisal of Dallas’ New Bishop Edward Burns    January 9, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, priests, Society, true leadership.
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One reason I’ve been behind the curve with regard to soon-to-be Dallas Bishop Edward Burns is because I was completely offline and out of town in North Carolina when the announcement was made. I missed out on a great deal of coverage, also, because I am not on social media. So, I was very glad to receive an appraisal from a local person who happened to have some interaction with Edward Burns on the day the announcement of his appointment as Dallas’ next bishop was made, essentially the only day he has been in the Dallas Diocese so far.

This individual was very impressed.  They indicated Bishop-elect Burns is very prayerful.  In fact, in spite of having an extremely busy day of travel, introductions, and press conferences/media interaction, he insisted on having a Holy Hour the night of the announcement.  Some folks thought, it’s too late, it’s been a long day, but Bishop-elect Burns was determined to have a Holy Hour of prayer for thanksgiving and for Grace for his upcoming role, and so he had one.  The impression my contact gained of Bishop-elect Burns is that he is a prayerful man, something that even I have been well aware was not an exactly overwhelming characteristic of either of his predecessors.

Bishop-elect Burns also showed a welcome pastoral touch.  Even though he met hundreds of people on the day of his introduction to the Diocese, at the end of the day he thanked many involved by name.  He had involved conversations with many local Catholics, from diocesan staff to lay people who had hurried to the presser to meet him, and all came away very impressed.  He seemed to be happy to make time for local Catholics, to hear their views and any concerns they might have, and did not seem to be in a hurry to get away to more pressing engagements.  That’s again a bit of a change from what has been the experience of local Catholics in recent years.  I know I am far from the only involved local Catholic who found Bishop Farrell a man who was essentially impossible for most laity to reach, even well-connected, involved ones who had serious business to discuss.

It’s too soon to tell where Bishop-elect Burns lands on the matter of the Liturgy and Doctrine, but my contact is very hopeful there, too.  I did get further feedback from local pro-life leaders that they are very excited and expect good things from Burns.  Their brief introductions apparently gave them substantial hope for even more diocesan support of local pro-life, anti-abortion efforts.

Another hopeful sign is this: a local priest who has longed for years to offer Mass Ad Orientem is again doing so.  This priest had introduced Ad Orientem at Mass in 2008, intending the change to be permanent, but he was apparently forced to desist after only a few weeks.  You guys are well-informed readers, you can do the math from there.  I know this priest very well and dearly love him, and am so glad he is again able to offer Mass facing the tabernacle as has been the default practice in the Church for 15 or 16 centuries.

Well, praise God, it looks like Dallas will have a bishop that is, if not a hero of orthodox doctrine, at least approachable, possessed of a solid prayer life, and seems to bend at least somewhat conservative.  I know there are a few indications that have given some folks pause, but for now I will remain hopefully optimistic and give our new Bishop-elect Burns the benefit of the doubt, as he rightfully deserves.  Never a Pollyanna, I’ll certainly be watching his actions with interest and will call things as I see them, but until then, I’ll take these positive assessments from people I know and pray they play out into reality over the next few years.

People often tend to want to give the newcomer, especially an authority figure, the benefit of the doubt, until evidence proves out the contrary, but I think there is a reasonable expectation of hope here.