Circumcising the Root of All Evil January 18, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Christendom, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, huh?, manhood, sadness, silliness, Society, Tradition.
The post title is a bit tongue in cheek, Sensus Fidelium on Youtube posted the video below yesterday, an upload from a recent episode of the Crusade program of the St. Benedict Center in New Hampshire. The topic is voluntary male circumcision, which is done to the large majority of males (Jewish or otherwise) in infancy, generally at the hospital within a day or so of birth. I’ve always thought circumcision was mostly a question of taste with perhaps some overtones of cleanliness and moderation, but it appears at least one Catholic philosopher/ethicist has determined circumcision to be a barbaric practice that causes a huge gamut of (potential) deleterious health effects. None of which any of the males on either side of my family has ever experienced going back at least 4 generations, and all of which were circumcised.
I’m posting this not because I really care either way, this is a very personal decision. There are pros and cons on both sides and you can decide where you line up. It’s quite possible the medical benefits of circumcision have been overstated, but I think the dire claims made in the program of negative effects are also being dramatically overblown. Love, and do what you will, and all that.
The reason I’m posting this is the fascination I had with the responses on Youtube. People who had almost certainly never heard such a detailed (and one might even say, extremely opinionated) presentation on this subject before were suddenly lining up declaring circumcision to be a barbaric practice that must be stopped NOW. Which is odd, because, this is just one presentation, which may or may not be accurate. Why are folks getting so exercised over something they may have never heard a cogent argument on before? Are those expressing instant shock and outrage really in a position to judge whether or not this guy is really telling the truth, or maybe has gone a bit around the bend?
There was another aspect to that drew my attention – some pretty hardcore comments regarding Judaism. Certainly circumcision and Judaism have a long connection, but some of the direct commentary – leaving alone snide implications – regarding filthy Jews, et. al., was a bit extreme. I found that unfortunate.
As I said there are arguments on both sides, some people say circumcision negatively effects a man’s ability to feel certain pleasures, some say being uncircumcised can lead to accumulation of dirt and disease. I’ve never known anything different, so I have no way of knowing if these claims are right or not. I do think maybe we should tone down the instant outrage generation on every single little issue that comes along. If one wants to argue that circumcision is a bad practice that has outlived its usefulness, fine. He’s probably right. But for folks to turn it into a giant conspiracy and start to allude that you’re somehow less Catholic if you’ve been involved in this very optional, tangential practice, I think that’s where the circular firing squad and the shrinking of the membership of the True Remnant Church (TM) down to one (me!) starts to get a little extreme.
Good Local News – Another Catholic Homeschool Co-Op Starts This Year January 16, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, North Deanery, priests, Restoration, sanctity, Society, true leadership, Virtue.
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.
Lazy Video Post, Hong Kong Flu Edition January 10, 2017Posted 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.
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!
Prayer Request and Thanks January 5, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Holy suffering, reading, sadness, Tradition, Virtue.
A couple of “housekeeping” items, if you will – please pray for A, wife of longtime reader “ADG,” who gave birth to their 9th child a couple of months ago and shortly after developed some serious medical conditions. She is still recovering and her health remains under 100%. If you could please add her to your prayers, I know it would be greatly appreciated.
The thanks comes from me, to those who sent me items from my Amazon wishlist and/or a gift certificate. I thank you very much and feel quite humbled by your generosity. I have just come across some really good new sources of Catholic catechesis and have added a number of items to my wishlist. If any feel called to buy something on there for me, all will be greatly appreciated. Pretty much everything on the list is directly blog related, and if you do send me something, you can rest assured any good material I draw from it will show up on this blog at one time or other.
One of those new items of catechesis is The Catechism in Examples, a five volume set produced by Fr. D. Chisholm and published over 100 years ago in Britain. Reader SL sent me a link to this massive tome (over 2000 pages!) and it looks really powerful. Many find the 1990s Catechism painfully dry, and sometimes questionable doctrinally. I tend to imagine the doctrine in this 100 year old set of volumes will be unimpeachable, while its format is easier to read since it gives concrete examples for each point of doctrine discussed, rather than relaying them in a purely theological way. The Catechism in Examples is also available at The Internet Archive for free if you happen to read books online.
A New Miracle at Fatima, and the End of the World January 5, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Christendom, Domestic Church, error, family, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, priests, sanctity, sickness, Society, The End, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
A sermon in two parts from the priest whose online presence is most warmly welcomed back. He discusses the original Miracle of the Sun in 1917, and a new one that occurred this past year in Fatima, which was witnessed by about 100 pilgrims to that great Marian shrine. The sermons are fairly long – the first, 38 minutes, the second, almost 43. So, you’ll be investing quite a bit of time, in spite of the priest’s fast speech. A huge amount of catechesis is contained herein, though much of the history of the original apparitions and miracles at Fatima may be review for most readers.
Regarding the new miracle that occurred, it happened on May 4, the day the Novena for Our Lady of Fatima typically starts. It happened in the 99th year since the original Miracle of the Sun.
Sadly in these times almost all people, including Catholics, have very little Faith in Our Lady, take very little heed of the warning present in the Miracle of the Sun, and basically dismiss any thought that they will be held strictly accountable for their actions in their lives (Catholics even more strictly so), either at their individual judgment or when this world will cease to exist. I am not as concerned as the priest is that Fatima, Francis, and other things point to an imminent Parousia. But the message he conveys is just as valid whether the world is scheduled by God to end in 10 months, or in 10,000 years.
An absolutely chilling recounting of the horrors of dying in the Flood, and even surviving it in the Ark, closes out the sermon. It’s worth listening to if only for that.
Moving on to part 2. Father leads off this second half of the sermon with a reassurance that, simply because many signs and portents may point to a relatively imminent end of the world, we don’t need to freak out and lose our sense of peace over that. More than likely, every one reading this will face their individual judgment before the Last Judgment occurs, but even should the Last Judgment occurs in our lifetimes, what, precisely, should we be doing differently than what we should already be doing? Be in the state of Grace, remain obedient, practice virtue, perform your vocation in life to the utmost of your ability, try to reach out to souls in charity by giving good example, etc., etc. The point of the warnings is to make sure people know they REALLY REALLY REALLY need to be doing their duty, because the time is probably much shorter than they think, but that applies whether the Parousia is happening this year or not. I could be hit by a bus tomorrow, whereas the Church has always declared that anyone who tries to fix a particular time for the end of the world is in error and cannot be believed.
Having said that, Father goes through the Apocalypse and various writings of Fathers and Doctors to explain how the end times will go down, starting with the Great Apostasy, which will occur within the Church toward the end of days. He notes that most Church Fathers believe the Great Apostasy will start within the clergy and bishops, and from there spread out to the faithful, corrupting the vast majority of souls.
I’ll not steal any more of Father’s thunder and reveal how the sermon ends, but I think you will find it as edifying and helpful as yesterday’s.
Please say at least three Hail Mary’s for the priest. He’s been relocated out of Texas.
Does a Wife Owe Submission to Her Husband? How Should That Work? December 7, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Interior Life, mortification, priests, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
A fairly good video below from the Fatima Center, but I thought the priest could have gone much further in both giving concrete examples and on insisting on the primacy of the husband’s role in the spousal relationship. Some in the comments at Youtube noted the same. I am out of time for the year, pretty much, I might be able to get on a little next week but I’ll be in North Carolina so that’s dubious, at best.
Too many even traditional priests take St. Paul’s statement regarding “husbands, love your wives, as Christ loves the Church” to mean that wives are obviated of their duty to obey their husbands if the husbands exercise less than Christ-like perfection. That’s an exception that completely eviscerates the rule, and is said, I fear, because too many priests either accept some degree of cultural marxist inspired feminism themselves, or they simply don’t want to have an upset woman on their hands. This is not what St. Paul meant at all, and there are few priests in my experience who are really willing to lay out, clearly, what owing obedience to one’s spouse entails.
This does not mean that a husband gets to come home and act like a prince, doing little and being waited on hand and foot. It does mean, however, that when there is a disagreement between the spouses on matters, the wife should, absent anything the husband might command that would result in the commission or near occasion of sin, generally yield to the husband’s will. The wife can certainly make her case, and lay out her reasons why the kids should be treated in such a way or this car should be bought, or whatever it may be, but if the husband decides otherwise, ultimately, the wife should submit, happily, to his decision. I have found that even among devout Catholics women prepared to make such submission are all too rare. Not that even devout Catholic husbands are absent their own faults, either. And of course this does not mean that husbands will necessarily decide wisely in every case, nor that a husband may use his authority to rule his home severely or tyrannically.
But obedience means nothing if it is predicated on either getting one’s way – through outright disobedience, drama-filled hysterics, or calculated manipulation – or near-perfect behavior on the part of the husband. One of the biggest failings of Catholic married men of the past 60 or so has been their failure to insist on their duty and right to lead the family, for which he will be strictly judged by God. Feminism and broader cultural trends have exacerbated this shirking of duty to a heinous degree, so that we now have whole generations who have never seen proper Catholic married male leadership in action, and which have picked up many bad, destructive beliefs from the culture. This is a major point of contention in many families and is something that is very hard to do right.
Great topic I hope to expand on when I return. The Fatima Center indicated they would try to get the Dominican priest in the video to expand on this topic in future, addressing more concrete situations and the widespread problem of spousal disobedience/failure to lead. That would be an excellent way of framing a post, if anyone at the Fatima Center is reading.
And, yes, I am appreciative that the Fatima Center has found a traditional religious priest to replace the much-beloved and missed Fr. Gruner.
Start Novena to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Today! November 29, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Interior Life, Novenas, Our Lady, Saints, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
That’s today, 11/29/16. Ideally, you’d start today. If you would, in your charity, consider adding MJD, who provided the prayer below, to your intentions. She is having eye surgery next week (on Dec. 8th itself).
Immaculate Virgin Mary, you were pleasing in the sight of God from the first moment of your conception in the womb of your mother, St. Anne. You were chosen to be the mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I believe the teaching of holy Mother the Church, that in the first instant of your conception, by the singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race and beloved Son, you were preserved from all stain of original sin. I thank God for this wonderful privilege and grace he bestowed upon you as I honor your Immaculate Conception.
Look graciously upon me as I implore this special favor:(mention your request).
Virgin Immaculate, Mother of God and my Mother, from your throne in heaven turn your eyes of pity upon me. Filled with confidence in your goodness and power, I beg you to help me in this journey of life which is so full of dangers for my soul. I entrust myself entirely to you, that I may never be the slave of the devil through sin, but may always live a humble and pure life. I consecrate myself to you forever, for my only desire is to love your divine Son Jesus. Mary, since none of your devout servants has perished, May I too be saved. Amen.
Another version of the Novena is below, so that you may have your choice:
O most pure Virgin Mary conceived without sin, from the very first instant, you were entirely immaculate. O glorious Mary full of grace, you are the mother of my God – the Queen of Angels and of men. I humbly venerate you as the chosen mother of my Savior, Jesus Christ.
The Prince of Peace and the Lord of Lords chose you for the singular grace and honor of being His beloved mother. By the power of His Cross, He preserved you from all sin. Therefore, by His power and love, I have hope and bold confidence in your prayers for my holiness and salvation.
I pray first of all that you would make me worthy to call you my mother and your Son, Jesus, my Lord.
I pray that your prayers will bring me to imitate your holiness and submission to Jesus and the Divine Will.
Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.
Now, Queen of Heaven, I beg you to beg my Savior to grant me these requests…
(Mention your intentions)
My holy Mother, I know that you were obedient to the will of God. In making this petition, I know that God’s will is more perfect than mine. So, grant that I may receive God’s grace with humility like you.
As my final request, I ask that you pray for me to increase in faith in our risen Lord; I ask that you pray for me to increase in hope in our risen Lord; I ask that you pray for me to increase in love for the risen Jesus!
Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.
Finally, the Saint Andrew 25 day Novena for Christmas also starts tomorrow 11/30. The prayer is below, though I know you already know it:
The 25 day St. Andrew Novena starts today, Nov. 30. The prayer is as follows, pray it 15 times a day through Christmas Eve:
HAIL AND BLESSED BE THE HOUR AND MOMENT IN WHICH THE SON OF GOD WAS BORN OF THE MOST PURE VIRGIN MARY, AT MIDNIGHT, IN BETHLEHELM, IN PIERCING COLD.
IN THAT HOUR, VOUCHSAFE, O MY GOD, TO HEAR MY PRAYER AND GRANT MY PETITIONS,
(MENTION YOUR INTENTIONS HERE)
THROUGH THE MERITS OF OUR SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST AND OF HIS BLESSED MOTHER. AMEN.
I typically just make an en bloc petition for the day for all 15 recitations. If you say them all together, it only takes a few minutes.
Our house is one of “those” houses. The one with the Christmas lights up until February 2nd. Because that’s when the season ends, people! We also don’t put them out on Thanksgiving, but generally just a few days before Christmas itself. It varies, depending on the amount of time we have, because we put up quite a bit, usually, though the kids have thankfully taken over much of the task in recent years. We certainly don’t put them up the day after Thanksgiving and rip ’em down the day after Christmas, or even New Years.
Apparently this topic was worthy of a news story, and, interestingly, not only do most people believe Christmas lights should come down very quickly, a growing number of municipalities are instituting laws to that effect:
When we see the first twinkle of the lights in early December, it is amazing, even magical. But eighteen days after the holiday? So, when is the right time to take down Christmas decorations?…….
………“Today while I shoveled, somebody honked at me, I waved. He slowed down and said ‘Christmas is over’ and with an expletive,” he said.
It’s not like with political campaign signs. It’s Minnesota law those have to be down 10 days after the election. But in San Diego, California, you can get a $250 fine if your lights are still up after Feb. 2. [Well at least it’s till the 2nd. But a fine? C’mon.]
The Urban Dictionary even has a term for these people: Nerkles. It’s a combination of nerd and sparkle.
In Minneapolis, Brad Sutton admitted his giant wreath probably should be unplugged.
“I’ll be honest, we’re past that point. A week past the New Years, that’s enough,” said Sutton, as he sheepishly walked to the second story of his house and pulled the power cord.
Lisa Scherber said the end of January is her drop-dead point for leaving the lights on.
“It starts to look a little pathetic when the snow is melting, so we do turn them off,” she said.
Todd Zimmerman proposed a staggered system of light deadlines: “Christmas Lights stay on until the day after Christmas then they are off period. I actually don’t take down the outside Christmas lights until is is warm enough (like March, April, June, whatever) and the snow is off the roof. Inside Christmas lights and decorations come day New Years Day.”
But as Nancy Aleshire wrote on my blog, “Keeping lights up is a matter of personal preference. There are no laws against it. If people don’t like it they should get a life.”
This is a small thing, in the grand scheme, but indicative of a culture that has completely lost the meaning and spirit of Christmas. Christmas isn’t a day, a build up to a much longed for greed fest that ends
the day hours after the presents start getting unwrapped, it’s a season that STARTS on the 25th, extends through a glorious Octave, and continues on until Candlemas on February 2nd. We see the continuing commercialization and diminution of all the great holidays, both secular and religious. I was disgusted to see “Black Friday” commercials advertising stores opening at 6pm, 3pm, even noon on Thanksgiving day. And we’ll be inundated with “after Christmas sales” and all the rest – starting almost certainly on the holy day itself. I remember when the whole world was pretty much shut down on Christmas day. It was a big thing when a few convenience stores started staying open on Christmas in the mid-80s. Now it’s just another freaking day to shop. The religious nature of the holiday has been almost completely turned upside down, with the commercialization subsuming the sacred character of the season, as it has virtually everything else. ‘
But it’s happened, because people have wanted it to happen. If stores and businesses received a very cold shoulder, and, more importantly, absolutely no customers, then they wouldn’t be opening on these holy days. They do it because people want it, they want to exchange their not quite perfect gift for a more perfect one, which will be old and forgotten hours – days at best – after being bought.
I have tried in the past few years to be off work the entire 12 days of Christmas, from the 25th to the 6th. That probably won’t work this year because of my new job but I hope to return to the practice next year (inability to transfer vacation from one year to the next can be frustrating). Something else my wife and I try to do is to only allow the kids to open some presents on Christmas day and keep some for following days, allowing them to open one each day for a while. We usually haven’t enough for the full twelve days, and to be honest our attempts at spreading the joy haven’t always completely worked out. We’ll try again this year, and as the kids get older, it tends to get a bit easier.
But the lights are staying up until the 2nd, period. I really miss it when they come down. It’s very sad and contributes – as it should – to the sense of termination of a festive season and the start (nominally) of Septuagint, which often follows closely on Candlemas when it does not preempt it.
Economic Reasons for Birth Control/Frustrating Fecundity: “Hypocrisy at Its Zenith; Folly at Its Height” November 17, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, catachesis, contraception, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Interior Life, mortification, sadness, scandals, Society, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
That, according to Fr. Fulgence Meyer, OFM, from his 1920s treatise Plain Talks on Marriage. Of course use of artificial contraception of any type is always and everywhere sinful. Periodic abstinence can of course be practiced legitimately, but even here there are moral dangers, contrary to what far too many NFP promoters convey to their followers. While there may be occasional, and, according to Father, quite rare, family economic situations that couples may find themselves in, permitting them to engage in periodic abstinence to prevent reproduction, Fr. Meyer notes that the economic justifications for such are often self-serving and dominated by worldly, materialist concerns. What is far more virtuous for Catholics to engage in, should circumstances force a perceived need to minimize the likelihood of reproduction, is total cessation from the marital act if at all possible, rather than recourse to periodic abstinence. Of course, this must be agreed to by both parties to the marriage, and if periodic abstinence is all that can be withstood by one or both, they must of course keep the most open heart and soul towards any children that may still result. I still believe, however, that some couples do make use of NFP in a way that is identical to contraception, and with the same overall intent. But that may be getting a bit far afield.
Fr. Meyer presents a very compelling case for the mainstream of Catholic opinion on this subject in the first half of the 20th century, before much of the rot had risen to the surface and broken out into the open. From pp. 83-87, cut and paste to make a concise point:
The economical reason is perhaps the most universally alleged justification for sinful birth control. It is at the same time the most flimsy and hypocritical, and nowhere more so than in our country of great and splendid opportunities for making a living. People say: “We want to give our children a good education. Education costs money. Our money will only erach for the education of one or two children. it would therefore be folly and unfair to have more.” Very well. But conduct yourself accordingly, and practice virtuous abstinence while you desire no more children. No matter to what schools and colleges they send them, parents, who through sinful and selfish prevention have but one or two children, give these children the worst possible education by their own unvirtuous conduct and godless selfishness. They would do immensely better by their children, whether they have few or many, if they did their own duty to God conscientiously, and transmitted to their children this, the best element of true education, the fear of the Lord.
Large families thrive much better economically than small families. This is accounted for naturally……..and supernaturally, since God always provides for those who serve Him in truth and rely upon His fatherly providence. Educationally, too, a child of a large family as a rule is better off for many reasons than the solitary child. The best education of life is in its main elements obtained in the home. At any rate, if selfish couples succeed in deceiving themselves with specious reasons, they must know that they will never deceive God, Who searches the heart and mind……..
What are the reasons of the spread of this moral cancer among our American Catholics? One reason is the husband’s neglect of his duty to assert himself as, and actually to be, the head of the wife, even as Christ is the Head of the Church. The head should lead by superior intelligence and a higher sense of duty, instead of yielding in weak connivance or acquiescence when the woman feels, and winces under, the burdens of her sex and its responsibilities in married life, and directly or indirectly pleads for sinful consideration in asking her husband “to be careful” in the performance of the marriage act. [A clear reference to frustration by withdrawal, or limiting the act to less fertile times] From the very beginning a Catholic man should set himself firmly against the very suggestion. He will be willing and glad, for good reasons, to observe continence to spare his wife; but he will never consent to any unnatural process of conjugal love. Much less will he ever himself take the initiative in intimating or insinuating so wicked a conduct. By weakly yielding to the suggestion and invitation of Eve, Adam brought a tremendous series of evils upon himself and her and all their descendants……
……In reality, however, man is probably as often, if not oftener than woman, the more guilty party in the sin of contraception. Maybe it were more correct to say that the guilt is about equally divided. If so, it is a sign that they both are practically ignorant of the high privilege and inestimable distinction of parenthood. This, more than anything else, accounts for the prevalence of the detestable sin of the violation of nature in marriage. If our Catholic husbands and wives truly recognized what it means to be a parent, they would never be tempted sinfully to shirk or evade their sacred responsibilities in marriage. To be a parent means to be assumed by God as an active partner in the procreation of an immortal being, made after God’s own image and likeness, redeemed by the Precious Blood of His only begotten Son, and destined to shine before the throne of God in indescribable glory and blessedness throughout all the ages of eternity. [Conversely, those who embrace the contraceptive mentality, whether they use artificial contraception or not, on some level reject this beautiful theology of life just outlined by Fr. Meyer. They must, otherwise, they would not make use of the means they do to frustrate fecundity immorally] But, for this parent, this being will never be called into existence to give glory to God, and enjoy God, forever and ever……[That’s a really beautiful point. It is horrifying to consider how many billions of souls have been snuffed out of existence by chemical contraception, or never came into being at all through barrier or other means. This country alone has been economically devastated by the lost tens of millions of souls who should have been born.]
…...If you then appear before the judgment seat of God with but one or two children, or even none at all, [Which some NFP advocates maintain is perfectly fine, to use periodic abstinence to prevent having any children] when, as you and your partner enjoyed the privileges of married life, you should have had 6, 8, 10 or more; and the Judge asks you sternly: “Where are the rest?” – it will not avail you to answer, “Lord, I was the richest man in town, or the whole territory round about; I had the most sumptuous mansion, the finest automobiles, and the largest number of friends”……..All this will be futile over the cutting question of the Judge: “Where are the rest?”
Nor will you have the heart to advance as an excuse of your conduct the empty and futile pretexts of poverty, economic stress, disease and what not, with which you now try to ease and hush your conscience; for in the light of the omniscience of God all their hollowness and speciousness will be apparent and ghastly……..
……But if in judgment you can appear with all the children God gave you, and you can say in the words of Our Lord: “Of them whom Thou hast given me, I have not lost anyone” (Jn xviii:9); then no matter how poor and struggling you were on earth,how socially inconspicuous and politically obscure, the Judge will compliment you highly, and rewarded you amply, saying: “Well done, good and faithful servant: because thou hast been faithful over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” (Mt xxv:23).
I should stress in fairness, as Fr. Meyer does, that of course periodic abstinence done out of necessity and with a will open to having children should God provide them even during supposed periods of infertility can be morally acceptable, and often is. But in this culture of diabolical narcissism and endless selfishness, I would simply caution that it is incredibly easy to fool oneself into concluding that what are actually prurient reasons for preventing children are morally justifiable. The “default setting” for Catholics should be – totally contrary to what the culture tells us – be completely open to children throughout marriage, and take no steps to reduce or block fecundity if at all possible. Some couples follow that precept and have only two or three kids – that’s perfectly fine, it’s what God willed for them. Others may have 9 or 10 or 15. God knows what we need for our salvation, and what we can stand in terms of work or suffering, and will provide to us both in perfect measure.
I know this topic is probably preaching to the choir for readers of this blog, but perhaps you have some friends, family, or acquaintances with which you could share it.
Local Boy with Disfiguring Disease Refuses Surgery….. November 11, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Latin Mass, manhood, mortification, persecution, sadness, sanctity, Society, Virtue.
…….so he won’t lose his smile. This is a bit different for me, but we’ve seen this family around occasionally at Mater Dei and while I’ve never had the opportunity to speak with them, their story is quite inspirational.
Ethan D’Amato was born in 2003 with obvious defects. He was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 1, which causes tumors to grow on nerve endings on his face. He lost his right eye and obviously has some disfigurement of his face. But he refused surgery to remove the tumors because it likely would have left part of his face paralyzed and left him unable to smile.
He has received a fair amount of media coverage but I had never heard of him until earlier this week. There is a Youtube channel dedicated to sharing aspects of his life and helping spread awareness of this disease. There is also a GoFundMe page which I think is still active. Apparently the boy has experienced bullying or negative reactions caused by his appearance, which is a tragedy but typical of human nature.
Some videos on his situation and experience below:
One way we’ve seen Ethan around Mater Dei is through violin practice he takes there. He’s quite a good violinist for his age:
Not sure if I can get this video to load. Not a big fan of Maury Povich or any shows of that type, but here is some background on the bullying Ethan has suffered:
That’s an inspiring boy and family. I commend them for their faith in our Lord and trust in His will. That is a heavy cross to bear. I don’t know if I would bear up under that load as well as they seem to. God bless them.
Shoot, I meant to include this prayer in the post. Updating now. A prayer to Our Mother of Sorrows composed by Pope Pius XII:
O clement and pious Mother, whose soul was pierced by the Sword of Sorrow, behold us poor sick beside you on the Calvary of your Jesus.
We, chosen for the sublime grace of suffering and desirous of fulfilling also in our own flesh that which is wanting in the Passion of Christ, for that body of His which is the Church, consecrate to you our persons and our sufferings, so that you may offer them both on the altar of the Cross of your Divine Son as the humble victims of propitiation for our spiritual well-being and that of our brothers.
Accept, O Sorrowful Mother, this our dedication and confirm in our hearts the great hope that, as we share the sufferings of Christ, we may thus share in His comfort here and in eternity. Amen.