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Holy Hour in Various Parishes of Dallas Diocese Tonight at 7pm September 7, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, Eucharist, fightback, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.
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Bishop Edward J. Burns has asked the 74 Catholic churches in the Diocese of Dallas to hold a Holy Hour with Eucharistic Adoration on Thursday, September 7, 2017 at seven o’clock in the evening. Bishop Burns will preside at the Holy Hour at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe at 2215 Ross Avenue in Downtown Dallas. He also asked that all churches in the diocese ring their bells five minutes before the Holy Hour begins. [Dang.  Wish we had some bells to ring.]

According to Bishop Burns, “This is an opportunity for Catholics to come together to pray for those affected by the hurricane, and in particular for those who have lost their lives. This is something that is being done, to the extent possible, in every diocese in Texas as an act of solidarity and prayerful support with our suffering brothers and sisters.” [Perhaps we should also make acts of reparation during this Holy Hour for the sins of our nation which are bringing Lord knows what calamities down upon us.]

The Bishop has asked that parishes also pray the Rosary before Masses on September 9th and 10. Donated Rosary beads will be distributed before Mass and gathered up to be given to evacuees with the message that the prayer had been offered for them and all victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Mater Dei parish in Irving will be joining all the parishes in the diocese to offer a Holy Hour on Thursday evening for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. At Mater Dei, Benediction and Adoration begin immediately after the 6:30p Mass on Thursday, September 7th and will last for one hour.

As for other parishes, I really don’t know which are joining in this spiritual work of mercy.  I haven’t time to check.  Time is getting short, but you might call to see if your parish is joining in this.  I know of several which are not participating.

I do very much appreciate Bishop Burns calling for the Holy Hour, and for leading one himself at the Cathedral.  I’ll be at Mater Dei.

h/t reader MJD

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The Four Sacred Devotions that Drove Saint Aloysius Gonzaga to Great Sanctity May 30, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, Eucharist, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, manhood, mortification, religious, Saints, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, thanksgiving, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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From the Life of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Patron of Christian Youth by Maurice Meschler, SJ, the four pious practices the Saint felt were most efficacious in achieving great sanctity and practice of devotion to our Blessed Lord.  None of  these particular devotions will be strange or unfamiliar to readers, but the passion and fervor with which they were practiced were spectacular.  Our Catholic Faith is not difficult to comprehend – many wholly uneducated people have  become hidden saints – but it is very difficult to put into practice.  That is why the Lord has blessed His Church with many canonized Saints, to provide us with direct examples of how to conduct lives pleasing to Him:

The practice of the various Catholic devotions is an important point, and an excellent means of promoting the spiritual life.  Aloysius had four special devotions.  The first of these was the devotion to the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.  In his father’s house and in the midst of his life in the world, it had been a joy to him to serve Mass; and now in the novitiate he could do this to his heart’s content.  Very often during the day he visited the Blessed Sacrament in the church, or in an adjoining chapel.  In order to prepare well for Holy Communion, he divided the week into two parts, the first of which he devoted to thanksgiving for his last Communion, and the second to preparation for the next. [Back then, even such obvious Saints as Aloysius Gonzaga could only receive weekly, if they were fortunate.  Today we can the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar daily, but do we really adequately prepare ourselves, or render due thanksgiving, for this unspeakable Gift? Do we sometimes, or perhaps often, take it for granted, or allow the concerns of the world and the flesh to crowd our souls and cause us to receive the Sacrament in a blasé fashion? While we may not have the time or the gift of such immense sanctity to make such preparations or thanksgivings as Gonzaga did, perhaps we could do a bit more?]    On the eve of his Communion day he would speak with touching piety of the happiness in store for him the next morning.  Many of his companions, and even those who were already priests, who wished to prepare well for Holy Mass, sought to be with him on such days, in order to be moved to greater fervor by his piety and the ardent love which his words displayed.  On the morning of the day itself, his first thought was of the Savior he was about to receive, and he passed the whole hour appointed for meditation in pious reflections upon the Blessed Sacrament.  He sought out a quiet corner of the church to make his immediate preparation and thanksgiving, and his heart overflowed with the sweetest consolation. Many other worshippers who saw him, but did not know him, concluded merely from the sight of his fervor that he must have a special devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and even that he must be a Saint.  He spent the whole morning after his Communion in silence and recollection, praying and reading passages from St. Augustine or St. Bernard. [If Saint Aloysius devoted days and hours to preparation and thanksgiving, perhaps we could arrive to Mass a 10 or 15 minutes early (or more) to properly prepare ourselves, and not move to depart the church the instant Mass ends?] Thus the precious seed, planted by Saint Charles Borremeo in the child’s heart at his First Communion, had grown into a beautiful tree that enriched his whole life and character with its blossoms and fruits.  [For it was from this Saint that Aloysius Gonzaga received his First Communion]….And the Church herself has raised an imperishable memorial to this beautiful trait of his piety, in the Collects of the Mass for his feast, in which she commemorates his excellent method of preparation and thanksgiving for Communion, and begs God to grant us the grace to ever appear at this heavenly banquet adorned with the wedding garment of Grace, whose beauty Aloysius enhanced as with pearls of inestimable value by his pious preparation and copious tears.

A second favorite devotion of the Saint was that to the Passion of Our Lord.  The life of suffering and mortification he led naturally urged him to seek in the mysteries of the Passion a model of strength and comfort.  Everyday at noon he recited an antiphon in honor of the Passion, and placed himself in spirit before the Cross of Our Savior……

…….His third devotion was his ardent love of Our Lady. Since his sojourn in Florence she had been the Queen of his heart and the guiding star of his life, and he never tired of thinking of her, honoring her, praising and loving her, especially now that he could appreciate the inestimable benefit he owed to her in his vocation.  In his letters to his mother he frequently recommends her to have a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin, holds up to her in her trials the example of the Mother of God and encourages her to be faithful in the service of the Queen of Heaven……

..Lastly, Aloysius had a special devotion to the holy Angels.  Virginal souls have a certain affinity to the Angels, and always feel attracted to them.  His veneration for these blessed spirits was so well-known to his companions that when Fr. Vincent Bruno was about to publish a book of meditations, he asked Aloysius to write the meditation on the Holy Angels, and the Saint joyfully complied.  Thus originated the little “Treatise upon the Angels, especially the Holy Guardian Angels.” After having cited the principal passages of Scripture in which the Angels are mentioned, he speaks in the first part of Angels in general, showing the necessity of devotion to them, first, from the example of the Church, secondly, from their nature and dignity, third, from their number, and lastly from their ninefold order. It is remarkable and very characteristic of Aloysius, that he unites devotion to the HOly Angels with his favorite virtue of humility in this first part of the meditation: “Consider how fitting it is, that on the feast of the invincible Arcangel the Gospel of the virtue of humility is read; for while proud Lucifer, on the one hand, was precipitated from his lofty throne in Heaven down into the depths of hell, because he presumed to arrogate divine honor to himself, the humble Archangel Michael and the whole host of the good Angels were highly honored and raised to the  highest rank, because they submitted to their Creator and full of zeal for his honor, opposed the proud serpent.”

……A colloquy with God after the meditation teaches us “to beg Him, Who bestowed such abundant graces upon the Angels, to grant unto us also through their intercession the grace to imitate their humility, clarity, and purity.”…..

…….A slip of paper has been preserved, upon which Aloysius had noted down for his own use a few “pious practices in honor of the Holy Angels”: “Imagine yourself standing in the midst of the nine choirs of Angels, as they pray to God and sing that hymn of praise: ‘Sanctus Deus, Sanctus Fortis, Sanctus Immortalis.’ Repeat this prayer nine times in union with them – Recommend yourself three times daily to the special care of your Guardian Angel.  Every morning and evening, and during the day, when you visit the church and pray at the altar, recite the prayer ‘Angele Dei.’ [Angel of God…..] Remember that you must follow the guidance of your Angel, like a blind man who does not know the way, and trusts entirely to the care of the person who leads him.”……….

……..One of the effects of his frequent and fervent prayers was an uninterrupted union with God.  It cost Aloysius more effort to put the thought of God away from his mind than it does others to turn their thoughts away from creatures to God.

———–End Quote———-

I was unfamiliar with Saint Aloysius before reading this biography, but what a great Saint he was.  And is.  A patron for Christian youth, indeed, his purity was unequaled.  He often did not even know what women he had been met numerous times before looked like, so skilled was he in practicing custody of the eyes.  His practice of prayer and penance was so immense his superiors in the Jesuit novitiate actually had to restrict his activities to some degree in these regards, so as not to so surpass his confreres as to disrupt the unity of the group nor cause discouragement in others.

I would strongly encourage parents to learn about Saint Aloysius Gonzaga and have their children do the same.  He is a great example and powerful protector in this time of gross immodesty, unchecked lusts, and a million lurking dangers for children.

Eucharistic Devotion of the Saints May 24, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Eucharist, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, reading, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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From Eucharistic Miracles by Joan Carroll Cruz, some thoughts by great Saints on the nature and benefits of the Eucharist.  More specifically, this excerpt and the quotes contain therein highlight once again the enormous, wholly unearned and amazingly generous Gift Christ makes of the Eucharist.  What really struck me is how careful we should be in receiving the Blessed Sacrament.  Not in a Jansenist sense where an 18th century French Jansenist priest bragged there were zero sacrilegious communions at his parish that Christmas because there were NO communions at his parish!  But we’re in the opposite extreme in the Church now, where it is metaphysical certitude that people persisting in a manifest state of mortal sin are receiving Communion – literally re-crucifying Christ in a mystical way.  And not just a few people, but millions, likely tens or even hundreds of millions every day.

So if you fall into a sin make sure you make a good Confession before receiving!   There is a union there we cannot really even comprehend in this life, but we will in the next, God willing.  It is so sublime and generous on God’s part we can only dimly perceive its outer edges.  But it is not something we should ever trifle with, take advantage of, or assume we have “earned” or is our due.  It is always the most incomprehensible Gift imaginable and we should do all we can to be as little unworthy – as inoffensive, as our own “worthiness” will never happen –  as possible:

Devotion to the Holy Eucharist has been expressed in one way or another by all the Saints of the Church.  This is a statement that cannot be contradicted.  Since Our Lord instituted this holy Sacrament to unite Himself with us, to nourish our souls, and as a means of retaining His presence among us in tabernacles throughout the world, the saints have embraced this treasure with faith and love…….

Saint Alphonsus de Liguori expressed his heartfelt appreciation for the Blessed Sacrament in this way:

Our most loving Redeemer, on the last night of His Life, knowing that the much-longed-for time had arrived on which He should die for the love of man, had not the heart to leave us alone in this valley of tears; but in order that He might not be separated form us even by death, He would leave us His whole self as food in the Sacrament of the Altar; giving us to understand by this that, having given us this gift of infinite worth, He could give us nothing further to prove to us his infinite love. 

This same thought is also expressed by St. Peter of Alcantara, who wrote in one of his meditations:

No tongue is able to express the greatness of the love which Jesus bears to every soul.  Hence that His absence might not be an occasion of forgetting Him, He left to His spouse the Church, before His departure from this world, this most holy Sacrament in which He Himself remained, wishing that between them there should be no other pledge than Himself to keep alive the remembrance of Him.

St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi expresses her faith and love for the Sacrament by praying:

O Lord, You are as truly present under the sacramental species as You are in Heaven at the right hand of the Father.  Because I have and possess this great wonder, I do not long for, want, or desire any other. 

St. Teresa of Avila had the following consideration:

I cannot doubt at all at Your Real Presence in the Eucharist.  You have given me such a lively faith that when I hear others say they wish they had been living when You were on earth, I laugh to myself, for I know that I possess You as truly in the Blessed Sacrament as people did then, and I wonder what more anyone could possibly want.

St. Teresa of Avila gives us cause to consider the great wisdom and kindness of Our Savior in veiling Himself under the appearance of bread.  She prays:

How could I, a poor sinner, who have so often offended You, dare to approach You, O Lord, if I beheld You in all Your majesty?  Under the appearance of bread, however, it is easy to approach You, for if a king disguises himself, it seems as if we do not have to talk to him with so much circumspection and ceremony.  If You were not hidden, O Lord, who would dare to approach You with such coldness, so unworthily, and with so many imperfections?

Saint Bernard calls the Sacrament of the Altar “The Love of loves,” while St. Thomas Aquinas said that the Holy Eucharist is “a Sacrament of love and a to ken of the greatest love that a God could give us.”

Saint Lawrence Justinian tell us, “We have seen the All-Wise made foolish by an excess of love” – to which the Cure of Ars, St. Jean Baptiste Marie Vianney, adds, “I tis the destiny of every consecrated Host to melt with love in a human heart.”

It is said of St. Francis of Assisi that “every fiber of his heart was kindled into love for the Sacrament of Christ’s Body,” and he constantly urged his brothers to bring others to know and love Christ living in the Blessed Sacrament.  From this love sprang  St. Francis deep reverence for priests.  He declared that if confronted  with an angel and  an unworthy priest, he would kiss the hand that had touched the Body of Christ before saluting the angel.  One day someone pointed out a priest living in notorious sin. Francis instantly knelt before him, kissing his hands and saying, “These hands have touched my Lord, and out of love for Him I honor His vicar.  For himself he may be bad; but for me he is good.”  Even before his conversion, St. Francis honored Our Lord in the Eucharist by sending costly and beautiful gifts to adorn poor churches.  He felt nothing was good enough for the dwelling place of Christ. [Contrast that with  the brutalist bathhouse design of most parishes today and of the past 70 years]

Our Lord’s words, “Take ye and eat, this is My Body……” inspired St. John Chrysostom to remark, “It is as if He had said, ‘Eat me, that the highest union may take place.’” The Saint further remarked, “To that Lord on whom the angels even dare not fix their eyes, to Him we unite ourselves, and we are made one body, one flesh.” Of this union St. Cyril of Alexandria observed that “as two pieces of melted wax unite together, so a soul that communicates is so thoroughly united to Jesus that Jesus remains in it, and it in Jesus.”

St. Francis de Sales concludes:

In no action does our Savior show Himself more loving or more tender than in this one, in which, as it were, He annihilates Himself and reduces Himself to food in order to penetrate our souls and unite Himself to the hearts of His faithful ones.

———End Quote———-

Upcoming Processions for the Anniversary Year of Fatima May 15, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Eucharist, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Our Lady, Restoration, sanctity, Society, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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I really really meant to get this post out last week, but due to the death in the family and travel, I was unable to do so.

Because of that, the first of 6 Marian processions to be held at Mater Dei parish in Irving on the 13th of the month from May to October has already passed.  Sorry about that.  The turnout was great.  I’d say close to 300 people.  While certainly intended for regular parishioners, everyone is welcome to attend these processions and, of course, to avail themselves of the Sacraments at Mater Dei at any time.

The details for the remainder are below:

Yes it is also important to note that the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue will be at Mater Dei on June 22nd, as shown above.

The other announcement concerns a diocesan Eucharistic Procession for Corpus Christi being held June 17:

Yes I know the Feast of Corpus Christi is June 15.  I did not schedule the event.

FYI, there is a Mass before the procession at 5:00 pm at Most Holy Trinity parish on Oak Lawn but given that parish’s reputation…….well, you are forewarned.  I have had recent experience of Novus Ordo Masses due to the death in the family and all I can say is that it was a travesty.  Instant canonization.  I stood up and addressed the 200 odd souls present, imploring them to pray for the deceased (not at Mass, at the non-standard Rosary and wake the night before).  Several thanked me for that afterward.

The priest refused to distribute the Blessed Sacrament, so I did not receive.  So typical of San Antonio, the choir director and some lay liturgical coordinator (both female) – I have no idea what their formal role or title is- just dominated events, with the priest sitting back as a dude who steps in to just sort of confect the Sacrament and then get out of the way.  He did give a sermon, but it was far more entirely to assuage the feelings of the bereaved, with nothing about praying for the deceased.  The entire ethos conveyed seemed to be that this life is the only source of our trials and sufferings, and that essentially everyone (except actual Catholics, mean and nasty as they are, believing all those harsh old things) goes to Heaven instantly upon death, where its sunshine and lollipops forever.

I could say a great deal more but won’t.  And this was one of the, reputedly, less heterodox parishes in SA.

Announcement Post: Two Upcoming Events of Interest February 2, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, catachesis, contraception, Dallas Diocese, Eucharist, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Restoration, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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The Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation will be presenting a series of talks at Mater Dei Latin Mass Parish in Irving on Feb. 18-19.  I am not certain if the director of the Center, Mr. Hugh Owen, is giving the talks or not.  Details are below:

All are invited to attend a seminar presented by the Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation on Creation and Evolution.

This will be a six part presentation on the philosophy, theology, and science behind creation and evolution.

 

The seminar is free, but a free will offering will be taken up to help cover the cost of this event.

 

Dinner will be served at 5pm on Saturday with a

suggested donation of $5 for adults; $2-3 per child.

Where: Mater Dei Parish Hall

When: (part 1) Saturday, Feb. 18th: 5-8/9pm

            (part 2) Sunday,  Feb. 19th: 2-5pm

BTW, in addition to overnight Adoration (TLM at 8p, Adoration starts after, ends before 8a Mass on Saturday) on the FIRST FRIDAY of each month, Mater Dei is experimenting with having Adoration from 1-5p on every Friday.  If attendance is sufficient to insure the Blessed Sacrament is never left unattended, it will become a regular thing.

The other upcoming local event is a series of protests to de-fund Planned Baby-Butchery at a couple of locations in the Diocese, to be held from 9-11a at Feb 11.  The principle one, to me, is at the baby-murder super center in South Dallas:

Dallas

Planned Parenthood – South Dallas Surgical Health Services Center
7989 W Virginia Dr, Dallas, TX 75237 (Map & Directions)
Time: 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. on February 11

The other protest is in Plano:

Plano

Planned Parenthood – Plano Health Center
600 N Central Expy, Plano, TX 75074 (Map & Directions)
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on February 11
Note: This event will consist of a prayer vigil. Street parking is available next to Fry’s Electronics on Executive Drive.

I plan to be at the protest in South Dallas.  Maybe I will see some of you there.

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.

Our First Duty Is to Adore God with Great Humility October 14, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Eucharist, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Liturgical Year, sanctity, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I’m continuing to wrap up The Liturgical Year.  It may happen sooner than I thought, I might be done before this month is over.

At any rate, I found some catechesis from Vol III Christmas Book II pp. 16-7 that I thought was edifying and helpful.  Pray you shall agree with my assessment, it concerns our need to adore God first, before all else (which is shown, among other ways, through our conformity to the moral law) but to do so with great humility.  Our “successes” are not our own.  If we make progress, if we grow in holiness, the best we are doing is cooperating with Grace, and sometimes we’re actually fighting Grace more than cooperating with it:

The first of our duties to our Savior is Adoration.  Adoration is Religion’s first act; but there is something in the Mystery of Our Lord’s Birth which seems to make this duty doubly necessary.  In Heaven the angels veil their faces, and prostrate themselves before the throne of Jehovah; the four and twenty elders are for ever casting their crowns before the throne (Apoc iv:10)of the Lamb; what, then, shall we do – we who are sinners, and unworthy members of the Tribe of the Redeemer – now that this same great God shows Himself to us, humbled for our sakes, and stript of all His glory?  Now that the duties of the creature to His Creator are fulfilled by the Creator Himself?  Now that the eternal God bows down not only before the Sovereign Majesty of the Godhead, but even before sinful man, His creature?

Let us endeavor to make by our profound adorations, some return to the God Who thus humbles Himself for us; let us thus give Him back some little of that whereof He has deprived Himself our of love for us, and in obedience to the Will of His Father?  It is incumbent on us to emulate, as far as possible, the sentiments of the Angels in Heaven, and never to approach the Divine Infant without bringing with us the incense of our soul’s adoration, the protestation of our own extreme unworthiness, and lastly, the homage of our whole being.  All this is due to the infinite Majesty of the Babe of Bethlehem, who is the more worthy of every tribute we can pay Him, because He has made Himself thus little for our sakes.  Unhappy we, if the apparent weakness of the Divine Child, or the familiarity with which He is ready to caress us, should make us negligent in this our first duty, or forget what he is, and what we are!

The example of His Blessed Mother will teach us to be thus humble.  Mary was humble in the presence of her God, even before she became His Mother; but, once His Mother, she comported herself before Him Who was her God and her Child with greater humility than ever.  We too, poor sinners, sinners so long and so often, we must adore with all the power of our soul Him Who has come down so low; we must study to find out how by our self-humiliation to make Him amends for this Crib, these swathing bands, this eclipse of His glory.  And yet all  our humiliations will never bring us so low as that we shall be on a level with His lowliness.  No; only God could reach the humiliations of God.  

———-End Quote———–

To expand on the point touched on in my intro, how do we show our love to God? Do we do it better by words, or by actions?  What did Our Lord have to say?  He told us repeatedly that it was our actions that would lead to our salvation, much more than our words.  In fact, He frequently criticized the Pharisees for their many failures of action in spite of many golden words that fell from their tongues.

The prerequisite for works of charity is conducting our lives in accord with the moral law.  If we are sinning, especially mortally, God forbid, we are not in the state of Grace and none of our works of charity, none of our praise of God, none of our sacrifices outside sin matter a whit.  Works only accrue salvific Grace when they are done in the State of Grace.  We can even grievously offend God by performing works normally pleasing to Him if we do them in a state of mortal sin, such as reception of the Blessed Sacrament.

Sorry if this little addition seems obvious.  To far too many people, it is anything but.

Saint Justin Martyr Proves Ancient Church Belief in Real Presence – ca AD 150 October 6, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Ecumenism, Eucharist, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, history, martyrdom, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Victory, Virtue.
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Saint Justin Martyr was a cultured man of letters and one of the first great post-apostolic apologists for the Faith.  He carried on a unique and extensive correspondence with the 15th Emperor of Rome, Titus Fulvus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius, commonly %d0%b8%d1%83%d1%81%d1%82%d0%b8%d0%bd_%d1%84%d0%b8%d0%bb%d0%be%d1%81%d0%be%d1%84_%d0%b0%d1%84%d0%be%d0%bdknown as Antoninus Pius, who reigned from AD 138-161.  This correspondence is well known among those with more than a very limited knowledge of early Church history, and is one of numerous testimonies from the earliest Church Fathers that prove, without equivocation or the slightest doubt, that the Faith of the Catholic Church of Rome is the exact Faith that was practiced by the earliest Church.  This is confirmed in numerous doctrinal beliefs, but one of the most important, and, concomitantly, easiest to confirm, is the total belief in the Real Presence of Our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar held by the early Church.  This is confirmed by numerous writings dating to the earliest part of the 2nd century (over 200 years before Constantine supposedly “corrupted the Church,” according to protestants) from St. Ignatius of Antioch and others on (adding to several FIRST century references a la Pope Saint Clement’s Epistles to Corinth, among others) to the best of the 2nd century, Justin Martyr.

You have to understand the context in which Saint Justin Martyr was writing.  Christianity was still almost entirely a secret religion due to persecution.  The Mass was not open to the public. As part of the persecution, and partly due to human nature when encountering anything new and different, wild, calumniating rumors flew regarding what went on during the Mass, which was known to feature a Sacrifice.  Many of these wild rumors and innuendo’s were started by the earliest Church’s first enemies, the Jews.  Jews claimed that stjustinmartyrChristians sacrificed babies and ate their bodies during the Mass, mixing up scattered bits of the Nativity and Easter narratives, or just being plain malicious.  These rumors added further fuel to the already extant persecutions, making them much more severe.

At any rate, the educated, urbane Justin set out to set matters straight, and rather than mess around with middlemen, went straight to the top man himself.  He used his connections to establish a correspondence with the Emperor Antoninus Pius.  The critical part of the exchange, quoted by St. Alphonsus Liguori in the Victories of the Martyrs (but far more and better coverage is in either Jurgen’s The Faith of the Early Fathers Volume 1, or the The Anti-Nicene Fathers by Roberts and Donaldson but beware the anti-Catholic notes in this Anglican work):

Wherefore having explained the sacred ceremonies of baptism, he proceeds to speak of the Eucharist in the following terms: “He that presides in the assembly is presented with bread and a chalice of wine, mixed with water; whereupon, in the name of the Son and the Holy Ghost, he renders glory to the Father.  And by these gifts doth he make thanksgiving, which all the faithful confirm by the word ‘Amen.’  The prayers, praises, and thanksgivings being terminated, the deacons take of the bread and the wine, mixed with water, over which all these holy prayers have been recited, and having distributed them among those present, they carry some to the absent also.
[Liguori here notes that these men would have been the equivalent of today’s full deacons, acting as delegates of the priest or, as he was then called, the presbyter.  They were considered separate and “above” lay persons and had received consecration for the task of handling the Sacred Species.  The circumstances of the Church under justin-martyrpersecution made recourse to use of deacons (and, yes, sometimes lay people) commonly to distribute the Eucharist necessary, and are not an endorsement of lay handling of the Blessed Sacrament as per modern practice.  By the late 4th century, doctrine had clearly evolved, as demonstrated in the Spanish Council of Elvira, against ANY lay handling of the Blessed Sacrament.  This Doctrine came into place as soon as the period of vicious persecution ended] This food is by us called Eucharist; of which no one can partake who believeth not our doctrines, and who hath not been cleansed from sin in the laver of regeneration.  This is not common food or drink; but as Jesus Christ our Savior was, for our redemption, by virtue of the Divine Word, composed of flesh and blood; so we are aware that, by virtue of the prayer containing His Divine words, the food by which we are nourished is the Flesh and Blood of the Word Incarnate.”  [This is really our Faith in a nutshell.  From the Eucharist, everything else flows.  That is why the protestants had to turn the Eucharist into a symbol, because with the Eucharist intact, all their changes to the moral law and claims of private interpretation would, in time, crumble upon themselves.  And this is no outlier.  From the early Fathers you can find confirmation of virtually any Catholic Doctrine you choose, almost always directly but occasionally by inference.  Confession?  Absolutely.  Works vital for salvation?  Certainly.  Communion/”membership” in the Church necessary for salvation.  Heck yes.  A hierarchical Church with the pope at its head?  You bet.]

Thus we see that the present doctrine of the Catholic Church is that which was believed and practiced in the apostolic times, in which our Saint flourished.

———-End Quote———-

Unfortunately, Saint Justin failed to convince the obstinate infidel “Pius.”  He also got his head lopped off for his trouble.

There you go.  You get a double-dose of catechesis today.  Perhaps this bit of knowledge might come in handy when dealing with protestant family and/or friends.

 

St. John Vianney: Don’t Leave God Behind at Mass….. September 8, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Eucharist, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Liturgy, priests, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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……….but carry all that Grace home with you, and bring it into your life every day. Don’t treat Mass as something to be escaped from, bolting for the door the second it ends and hoping to find some secular, worldly topic to discuss as soon as you are outside.  Or even before that.  I had to assist at Novus Ordo Masses for the first time in almost 3 years this past weekend, and aye yay yay, people behave with more decorum in a movie theater.  There was virtually no focus on the Lord (of course, His Eucharistic Presence was absent from the sanctuary in both parishes I attended), no silent, reflective preparation, just gab gab and the blaring tones of the over-eager 10 piece band and Ms. Music Minister making a spectacle of herself again up front.  Not that I’m harshly critical or anything.

From The Sermons of the Cure’ of Ars, pp. 196-7:

On her return to her kingdom, the Queen of Sheba could never weary of relating all that she had seen in the temple of Solomon; she talked of it unceasingly, with fresh pleasure.  The same thing should happen to the Christian who has assisted properly at holy Mass.  When he comes back to his house, he ought to have a talk with his children and his servants and ask them what they have retained of it and what touched them the most.  Alas!  Dear God, what am I going to say?

How many fathers and mothers, masters and mistresses, are there who, if someone wanted to talk with them about what they had heard at Mass, would laugh at all that and say that they were tired of it, that hey knew enough about it…..Although generally speaking it seems that people still listen to the holy word of God, the moment they come out of church, they fall into all sorts of careless and frivolous ways.  They get up with a sudden rush.  They hurry.   They jostle at the door.  Often the priest has not even come down from the altar when they are already outside the door, and there they give themselves up to discussions upon all sorts of secular subjects.  

Do you know what the result of this kind of thing is, my dear brethren?  This is it.  People derive no profit and gain no benefit from what they have heard and seen in the house of God.  What graces have been lost!  What means of salvation trodden underfoot!  What a misfortune that is, to turn to our loss what should have helped so much to save us!  You can see for  yourselves how many of these services are a burden to the majority of Christians!  For those few moments, they stay in the church as if it were some kind of prison. and as soon as they are out, you will hear them shouting at the door, like prisoners who have been given liberty.  Are we not quite frequently obliged to close the door on the church in order not to be deafened by their continual noise?  [Ahem. This is even something of a problem at the local Fraternity parish, at least on Sunday]

Dear God, are these really Christians, who ought to leave Your holy temple with minds filled only with all kinds of good thoughts and desires?  Should not they be seeking to engrave those in their memory, that they may never lose them and that they may put them into practice as soon as the opportunity presents itself?  Alas!  The number of those who assist at the services with attention and who try to profit from them is a little like the number of the elect; how small it is!


Closely related, via the same book, is the following exhortation on properly preparing oneself for Mass:

If you desire that the worship that you give to God to be pleasing to Him and valuable for the salvation of your soul, put it properly into practice.  Begin by preparing for Holy Mass as soon as your are awake, uniting yourself to all the Masses which are being said at that moment.  When the bell rings to call you to the house of God, consider the fact that ti is Jesus Christ Himself calling to you.  Start out immediately, so that you will have a moment to meditate upon the tremendous act at which you are about to assist.  Do not say, like those people who have no religion, that you have plenty of time, that you will be there soon enough.  But say, rather, with the holy prophet: “I rejoice when I am told that we are going into the House of the Lord.”

When you come out from your home, think about what you are going to do, and what you are going to ask God.  Begin by clearing your mind of earthly matters so that you will be thinking of God only.  Avoid all sorts of unnecessary conversations which serve no purpose than to make you hear Mass badly.  When you enter the Church, recall to yourself what the holy patriarch Job said: “How awesome is this place!  How holy it is!  It is truly the house of God and the gateway to Heaven!”

When you get to your place, humble yourself profoundly as you think of your own unworthiness and the greatness of  your God, Who, nevertheless, in spite of your sins, wishes to suffer you in His holy presence.  Make an act of faith with all your heart.  Ask God to give you the grace to lose none of the m any favors which He grants to those who come here with good dispositions.  Open your heart so that the word of God may enter it, take root in it, and bear fruit there for eternal life.  Before leaving the Church, do not fail to thank God for the graces He has just given you and go straight home, fully occupied with the thoughts of what you have seen and heard.  [I don’t know if one must go “straight home,” so long as one keeps in their heart what they gained during the Mass.  There is definitely something to be said for community, for brotherhood and fellowship.  But I’m gratified to know that a great Saint has recommended something that fits in so well with my native predispositions…….heh]

Yes, my dear children, if we conducted ourselves in this manner we should never come away from the services of the Church without being filled with a fresh desire for Heaven and a new disgust for ourselves and the things of this earth.  Our hearts and our minds would be given over altogether to God and not at all to the world.  Then the house of God would truly be for us the gateway of Heaven.  That is what I desire for you.


——–End Quote———

I think the key is, make Mass about God, keep the focus on Him and give Him the respect, reverence, and attention He is due.  Perhaps that is to say, when it comes to Mass, the before, during, and after, keep it in the supernatural, not the natural.

Start Novena to the Exaltation of the Holy Cross Today! September 6, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Eucharist, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Novenas, Tradition, Virtue.
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Actually yesterday would have been the normal start day, finishing on the Vigil, but it’s not improper or anything to finish a Novena on the feast day proper.  Via MJD, a quick Novena:

Jesus, Who because of Your burning love for us willed to be crucified and to shed Your Most Precious Blood for the redemption and salvation of our souls, look down upon us and grant the petition we ask for …(mention here)

We trust completely in Your Mercy.
Cleanse us from sin by Your Grace,
sanctify our work,
give us and all those who are dear to us our the grace of Thy Eucharistic Presence, lighten the burden of our sufferings,
bless our families,
and grant to the nations, so sorely afflicted,
Your Peace, which is the only true peace, so that by obeying Your Commandments we may come at last to the glory of Heaven.

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