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.
Some Spiritual Gems from the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer January 9, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Our Lady, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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 Lord 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!]
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.
Want More Holy Priests? Dissatisfied with the Fidelity of Your Pastor? A Suggestion for You. December 5, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, priests, Restoration, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.
I was told this past weekend about an apostolate that has quietly sprung up at a few traditional parishes around the country. It is a most remarkable apostolate, I feel, and something I think should be strongly considered by all who have great concern over the state of the Church today.
We often ask ourselves, as lay faithful, what we can do to help arrest, let alone reverse, the crisis that has afflicted the Church these past several decades. Many of us have had experience with priests who promote error and who seem wholly gone over to the revolutionary changes that have bowdlerized our glorious Holy Mother the Church.
Being the laity whose feelings – being politically unpopular at this time – apparently matter very little to even local priests/pastors, let alone bishops and the rest of the hierarchy, we haven’t much power besides prayer and penance. I most certainly encourage all laity to make use of their power of the purse very wisely to try to support those small areas of the Church that are not morally and/or doctrinally compromised, but after years of making such encouragements, and even feverish arguments, I realize that there aren’t very many who are willing to turn off the monetary tap to the local parish to which they belong, no matter how heretical or abusive Father X or Y may be.
Our best recourse has always been prayer and penance. That’s where this “new” (as in, new to me) apostolate fits in. It’s really simple – get a group of seven women, or groups of women in multiples of seven – and have each individual commit to devoting one holy hour a week for the purpose of encouraging the sanctity/doctrinal rectitude of their priests but especially their pastors. I suppose it could apply to men, as well, but this seems an apostolate uniquely suited to the particular gifts and virtues of women. As I said, this has been ongoing in at least a few locales.
Where or how you do the holy hour is entirely up to do. The apostolate operates on the honor system. This prayer effort can be focused on a particular pastor/priest or for pastors and priests generally, but in general the intention is to pray for those priests assigned to one’s own parish.
This is not meant to be a large, structured effort that has centralized leadership. It’s up to women (or men) at individual parishes to identify likely participants, divvy up days, and just get started with the prayers and holy hours. If you can’t find 7 people, a few individuals could certainly commit to making a holy hour one day a week to the same end. Of course, should someone’s schedule permit, they could perform this service more than one day a week. Individuals can certainly contribute, as well, and some of you may already be way ahead of me. One thing I do recommend that is that groups be segregated according to sex, if possible – that is, groups or women or men but not both.
This apostolate is not intended only for those with sketchy priests. Even if you are blessed to be at a parish with good priests and a good pastor, as some of us are, this is a most worthy effort to help them become still more holy and effective shepherds of souls, and to stave off any potential fall into error or moral turpitude. I can think of about 500 reasons to do this, but I’m sure many will be apparent to you so I won’t waste your time with that. If you do have success getting a group started, I would certainly be gratified to know about it.
In fact, those who know me locally are invited to contact me if you are interested in finding a day a week in which to undertake this effort. There are many similar groups out there, but they tend to have a little different focus. This one is very much focused on the sanctity and doctrinal rectitude of those who can have the most impact on our spiritual lives, our priests. I realize many of you probably already pray for priests generally or even for particular priests, but perhaps making a holy hour at least weekly could help take the spiritual warfare to another level.
Thank you for your kind consideration.
Father Rodriguez on Devotion to Our Lady…… December 5, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Father Rodriguez, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Our Lady, persecution, priests, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
…….and the end of the liturgical year. You know me, I have to upload pretty much any material from Fr. Michael Rodriguez that goes public. He just helped me out this weekend with advice on a thorny moral problem afflicting someone dear to me. Please keep him in your prayers, his situation in El Paso remains difficult, to say the least; he is a priest in good standing and is doing much good work but he still has no official assignment/role with the Diocese. The powers that be rarely, especially in a fallen age such as ours, like having their failings called out, and the failings of Church leadership locally and universally have been as spectacular as they have been numerous in recent decades. These are the times that try good men’s souls, indeed.
Father ties in devotion to Our Lady with the end of the liturgical year, demonstrating how it is so appropriate for the liturgical year to end on a Saturday, Our Lady’s day. As we should end each day with devotion to Our Lady, so the liturgical year ends. He also discusses the Salus Populi Romani, a sacred image of Our Lady painted by St. Luke on a table top built by Our Blessed Lord (I was not aware of that last detail until now).
It’s a short video and well worth your time, I think you’ll pick up several amazing bits regarding this sacred painting and evidence of devotion to Our Lady going back to the early Church. Of course, it was popular demand, indicating immense devotion of very long practice, that drove the 4th century Council of Ephesus to dogmatically define, as required of belief by all the faithful, that Our Lady is truly the Mother of God, and eminently worthy of veneration and emulation.
An Exhortation to Assist at Mass Daily December 1, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Liturgy, reading, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
Not that many of the present company probably require an exhortation to do so, if the option is available, there is still a lot of good in this excerpt from The Incredible Catholic Mass by Fr. Martin von Cochem, on assisting daily at Mass if at all possible. For those who believe strongly in their souls that assisting at the Novus Ordo is at least problematic, if not spiritually dangerous or worse, this can present a problem of access, of course, as the TLM is still generally only available at most at one or two places in most dioceses, often only on Sundays, and most probably in inauspicious locations. Nevertheless, for those who have the TLM available every day or most every day, assisting at Mass should be perhaps their highest priority, something they are willing to suffer a good deal of inconvenience and even some potential lost work opportunities to do. As Fr. von Cochem notes, our God is a great and generous God, and will not long let such generosity on our part go unrewarded, both spiritually, but in most cases also materially:
In the first place, let me tell you, O Christian, that no hour of the whole day is so precious as that wherein you hear Mass and offer that Mass to the ever-blessed Trinity. It is indeed a golden hour, for all that you do in cooperation with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is changed to gold. The other hours of the day, in comparison with it, may be likened to copper. It may be alleged that work is of greater importance than hearing Mass to those who earn their bread. To this I reply that hearing Mass is more important than our work, because it contributes largely to our eternal welfare. I do not say that a man should neglect his work altogether, but that he should spare half an hour from it for the service of his God: his work will get on all the better for it, for God will bless it more abundantly. Those who absent themselves from Mass out of indifference or for the sake of some temporal advantage change the hour that might be golden into one of lead and sustain a loss incalculably greater than any earthly loss, for in that hour they might have won a hundred times more than they could earn by a whole day’s labor. Our Savior teaches us this in the memorable words of His: “What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul?” (Mt xvi:26). By not going to Mass on weekdays for the sake of temporal profit we do our soul an immeasurable injury, for which no worldly wealth can compensate. Shall we, then, heedless of Our Lord’s warning, throw away eternal riches for the things of time and sense?
…….How short-sighted, then, is the man or woman who prefers to lose the treasures contained in Holy Mass rather than deprive himself of a few pennies! By going to Mass they might earn treasures wherewith to purchase Heaven, but they will renounce these if the least diminution of their wages is involved – not that I believe they would be losers in the end, for God, of His divine bounty, would so prosper their work as more than to make up for the time they took from it………
……..Yet, of a truth, in every Mass, not earthly riches, but celestial riches from Heaven are showered down on all who are present, and all who are free to possess themselves of them. But what are the riches which drop down from above? An increase of divine grace, an increase of merit and virtue, an increase of eternal glory, celestial consolations, the divine blessing in temporal affairs, the pardon of venial sins, the remission of a great part of the temporal debt due to Divine Justice, a share in the infinite merits of Christ. Grace and mercy, temporal welfare and eternal salvation – such is the heavenly dew which distills from above…….Wherefore, if on account of the slight trouble it costs us or the trifling pecuniary sacrifice it entails, we omit going to Mass on weekdays when we might do so, we are guilty of great folly…..
…….The object and end of our existence upon earth is to praise the Divine Majesty according to His great glory. This cannot be done better than by hearing Mass, for it is the most Sublime Sacrifice of praise……….We cannot bear fruit better than by hearing Mass in the state of grace, for it is the most perfect Sacrifice of satisfaction. We daily stand exposed to the danger of falling into sin, of being overtaken by misfortune; we cannot guard against these perils better than by hearing Mass, for it is the most efficacious Propitiatory Sacrifice. Death and the devil constantly dog our footsteps and lay in wait for us, desirous to snatch us away and precipitate us into hell; we cannot shield ourselves against their arrows better than by hearing Mass, for it is the surest protection against the evils that threaten us. Finally, let us not forget that in the hour of death we shall be in some need of the Savior’s assistance; there is no better means of assuring ourselves of this than by hearing Mass devoutly, for have we not heard how Christ Himself gave to one of His servants the promise that he would send for his solace and support at his last moments as many blessed spirits as he had heard Masses with devotion during his lifetime? Reflect upon these truths and resolve from henceforth to hear Mass, if possible every day.
I will not be around much through to next year. A little early next week, than that’s probably it for the year. This blog will probably change a lot next year. Most posts will, God willing, be like this one. Seven years in, I feel it’s about time for a change. I feel like in some regards I have said the same thing 50 or 100 times, so I think I’ll let others speak for the most part for a while, like this quote from Fr. von Cochem. We shall see.
I met Father Maximilian Mary, FFI, at Clear Creek monastery about two or three years ago. At that time, I believe he was headed to be near the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles (order their new CD!) and possibly serve some kind of chaplaincy with those traditional nuns. He is now trying to live as a hermit in the Diocese of Harrisburg, PA, and Deo Gratias to Bishop Ronald Gainer for being open to Father’s apostolate. However, he needs financial support to do so, and is making the following appeal:
Grace, peace and joy to you in the Most Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary!
I have been a longstanding member of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and, in 2013, I obtained permission from our Apostolic Commissioner to discern my contemplative vocation outside the walls of the Order. Thanks be to God I have recently been welcomed by a benevolent Bishop to be a hermit in his Diocese.
One of the conditions for being received into his Diocese is that I be “self-sustaining.”
Providentially, a group of the lay faithful who used to assist the missionaries and contemplatives of the Franciscans of the Immaculate through a Latin Mass Novena website have recently offered the use of this website to me. Besides my normal expenses (food, utilities, healthcare, etc.), there are the initial costs of getting set up as a hermit, so I was wondering if Rorate Caeli might be in a position to let people know about my upcoming Christmas Latin Mass Novena which, besides enrollment in 9 Tridentine Masses, includes a beautiful Christmas enrollment card and a CD (anthology of sacred and classical music I have recorded as a seminarian and friar over the past 26 years). All of the information can be found HERE.
Thank you and God bless you.
In Corde Matris,
Fr. Maximilian Mary
Here is more from his website:
A Christmas Novena of Traditional Latin Masses according to the 1962 Roman Missal (extraordinary form) will be offered for THE SANCTIFICATION OF ALL FAMILIES (or persons) enrolled in the Novena. The nine Masses will begin with the Christmas Midnight Mass and will conclude on Jan. 1st, Solemnity of Our Lord’s Circumcision. The suggested donation is $20 for each enrollment which includes an enrollment card and the CD Memorare. These will be sent to each family (or person) enrolled. The Masses for this year’s Christmas Novena will be offered by Fr. Maximilian Mary of Jesus Crucified in his hermitage and/or on the high altar of the Carmelite Monastery of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Elysburg, PA.
You can enroll in the Novena of Masses and make a donation for Father here. As I said, I had the pleasure to meet Father Maximilian Mary some time back, and was very impressed with his candor, piety, and devotion. He was able to avoid some of the unpleasantness surrounding the Franciscans of the Immaculate, at least directly. I fully support his effort to become a hermit and pray he finds generous support in this season of Advent and beyond. I am very pleased to have enrolled my family in this Novena of Masses, which is such a powerful source of Grace. I pray the abundant fruit of these Masses will result in great spiritual fruit for my family and our friends during this upcoming Christmas season!
Thanks to Father Maximilian Mary for making this kind exchange possible.
Two Great Saints on Prayer November 28, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Saints, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
From the first Chapter of St. Peter of Alcantara’s Treatise on Prayer and Meditation, two meditations on the absolutely vital role of our prayer lives in the working out of our salvation through God’s Grace. The first is ostensibly from St. Bonaventure, but may in fact come from another Franciscan called Joannes a Caulibus. The second most definitely comes from St. Lawrence Justinian. Both clearly relate the importance – the absolutely vital role – a deeply committed prayer life must play in our development of virtue and growth in the interior life. Just some spiritual fruit for you as we launch into a new liturgical year and a season that should be deeply immersed in prayer and penance, Advent. I pray you find this excerpt edifying:
“If you would endure with patience the adversities and miseries of this life, be a man of prayer. If you would acquire strength and courage to vanquish the temptations of the enemy, be a man of prayer. If you would crush your self-will, with all its inclinations and desires, be a man of prayer. If you would know the wiles of satan and defend yourself against his snares, be a man of prayer. If you would live with a joyous heart and pass lightly along the road of penance and sacrifice, be a man of prayer. If you would drive away vain thoughts and cares which worry the soul like flies, be a man of prayer. If you would nourish the soul with the sap of devotion and have it always filled with good thoughts, be a man of prayer. If you would strengthen and establish your heart in the ways of God, be a man of prayer. Finally, if you would uproot from your soul all vices and plant virtues in their place, be a man of prayer. For herein does a man receive the unction and grace of the Holy Ghost, who teaches all things. Nay more, would you mount to the summit of contemplation and enjoy the sweet embraces of the Spouse, exercise yourself in prayer, for it is the road that leads to contemplation and to the taste of what is heavenly. Do you see now how great is the strength and power of prayer? In proof of all that has been said – apart from the witness of the divine Scriptures – let that suffice for the moment as proof sufficient what we have heard and seen, what we see every day, viz., many simple persons who have achieved all we have enumerated above, and even greater, by the exercise of prayer.”
Such are the words of St. Bonaventure. What treasure could one find richer or fuller than that? Listen again to what another very religious and holy doctor says on this subject, speaking of the same virtue (St. Lawrence Justinian):
“In prayer the soul cleanses itself from sin, charity is nourished, faith is strengthened, hope is made secure, the spirit rejoices, the soul grows tender, and the heart is purified; truth discovers itself, temptation is overcome, sadness takes to flight, the senses are renewed, failing virtue is made good, tepidity disappears, the rust of sin is rubbed away. In it are brought forth lively flashes of heavenly desires, and in these fires rises the flame of divine love. Great are the excellences of prayer, great its privileges. The heavens open before it and unveil therein their secrets, and to it are the ears of God ever attentive.”
I don’t know about you, but I found both exhortations to prayer moving and beautiful. May God be praised for sharing His Divine wisdom with such Saints, who in turn share it with us, prayerfully groping along the hard and rocky path to salvation, while we watch others laughing at us and mocking us as they speed by on the wide road to perdition.
Spare some prayers for them, too. And may God keep us on the narrow way to salvation, rather than the superhighway to destruction. Pray for the grace of always making good, thorough confessions! Many souls are lost because they are too embarrassed to share some sin they keep hidden away in the recesses of their soul. The priests have heard everything! Don’t let embarrassment and shame – tricks of the devil – keep you from making a good, full, detailed confession, and implore God the grace also to have true contrition for your sins and the firmest purpose of amendment.
Plenary Indulgence Available Today at Dallas Cathedral November 18, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Restoration, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
Thanks to reader MJD. I think this is associated with the “holy doors” for the Year of Mercy.
Guadalupe Cathedral in Dallas (confessions still offered M, T. W, TH, F before the 12 Noon and 7 PM Masses – arrive at least 30-45 minutes before the mass starts)
St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Ft. Worth
Friday, Nov. 18 – earn a plenary indulgence for yourself or the holy souls in purgatory/departed loved ones
“A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who visit a Cathedral on the feast of the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle and there recite an Our Father and the Creed – (Nicene or Apostle’s Creed)
**Requirements for obtaining a plenary indulgence:
・Do the work while in a state of grace,
・Receive Sacramental confession within 20 days of the work (several plenary indulgences may be earned per reception),
・Receive Eucharistic communion (one plenary indulgence may be earned per reception),
・Have no attachment to sin (even venial) – i.e., it is sufficient that the Christian makes an act of the will to love God and despise sin.
Priest: Catholics Morally Forbidden to Vote for Hillary November 1, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, manhood, priests, sanctity, Society, Tradition, true leadership, Victory, Virtue.
What can I say? I agree, completely. She is, inconceivably, even worse than the present occupant of the White House in terms of moral dereliction, promotion of outwardly evil policy, propensity to persecute the Church, and personal immorality. Hillary Clinton can and must be virulently opposed on a huge swath of issues, from her manifest support for abortion to her likely Supreme Court nominees to her support for the government’s endorsement of immoral acts to her manifest disdain for faithful Christians and her willingness to openly persecute them. We are, after all, deplorable:
The priest in the sermon directly states that Catholics are morally permitted to vote for Trump under the principle of double effect, while it is morally impermissible to vote for Hillary Clinton, and while he does not say so, I would argue that doing the latter constitutes a grievous sin due to her disastrous record and numerous statements to the effect that she will seek to expand and force the public funding of abortion in all possible circumstances. Note he does not say it is morally obligatory to vote for Trump, only that it is permissible, with which I agree. There are other options that are also morally permissible, though they have no chance, at all, of being elected. It’s this last bit that finally convinced me to most likely cast my ballot for Trump, not because I am supportive of him to any real extent, but to prevent the election of somebody I find utterly unacceptable on numerous levels. There is, in this terrible time, no perfect, or even reasonably good, alternative.