jump to navigation

Good Sermon on Sobriety and Drunkeness December 5, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Liturgical Year, Novenas, priests, Restoration, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
comments closed

A nice sermon from Padre Romo, who I guess I can identify since his website does the same.  As someone who has struggled with addiction to drink and drug, I always find the Catholic approach to the consumption of liquor and other intoxicating substances so wonderfully balanced and reasonable.  While I, due to my past excesses and the tendency, over many years, I developed to consume intoxicants to a sinful extent, can no longer partake of any drink or mind-altering drug, I appreciate the fact that the Church does not take the position of some protestants or the non-Christian Mormons, who excoriate all use of drink as sinful.  That is not the case.  How could it be, when our very Lord Himself confected wine out of water, when He uses wine as a means of transmitting His very being, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, in the Blessed Sacrament?

The issue, of course, is moderation.  Like all goods, they can be abused if consumed immoderately.  This may be basic for some, but I find in this sermon many helpful reminders, and a particularly timely one during this penitential season of Advent.  Speaking of, have you charted out a plan of penance for Advent?  Lenten penances get so much focus, but Advent as a penitential season is almost universally forgotten. I was particularly heartened and edified by the sermon a priest at out local parish gave this First Sunday of Advent on that very topic -what were we going to do for penance in this penitential season?  I’m particularly glad this year that my vacation schedule will start right before Christmas and then go through the 7th, meaning I am off work the entire 12 days of Christmas.  Thus, I hope to use Advent as the time of preparation for the joyous time to come, just as we should use this life as our time of preparation for our real life, or eternal life, which we pray will be in Heaven.

I also lacked the time yesterday to put up a post for the Novena of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  That Novena should have started Sunday or yesterday.  At any rate, just in case, here it is:

Our Lady of Guadalupe, according to THY message in Mexico I venerate THEE as the Virgin Mother of the true God for whom we live, the Creator of all the world, Maker of heaven and earth. In spirit I kneel before thy most holy image which thou didst miraculously imprint upon the cloak of the Indian Juan Diego, and with the faith of the countless numbers of pilgrims who visit thy shrine, I beg thy for this favor:

[Mention your request].

Remember, O Immaculate Virgin, the words thou hast spoken to thy devout client: “I am a merciful mother to thee and to all thy people who love me and trust in me and invoke my help. I listen to their lamentations and solace all their sorrows and sufferings.” I beg thee to be a merciful mother to me, because I sincerely love thee and trust in thee and invoke thy help. I entreat thee, our Lady of Guadalupe, to grant my request, if this should be the will of God, in order that I may bear witness to thy love, thy compassion, thy help and protection. Do not forsake me in my needs.

Recite “Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us” and Hail Mary three times.

Brief Reminder: Fall Ember Days Start Tomorrow Wed 09/20 September 19, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Liturgical Year, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, thanksgiving, Tradition.
comments closed

The Fall Ember Days start tomorrow Wednesday September 20.  Partial fast and abstinence on Wednesday and Saturday, partial fast and full abstinence on Friday (partial fast: two snacks and one meal; partial abstinence, one meal with meat, two snacks without).

Ember Days were, of course, along with so much else of inestimable value, squashed as a law of the Church and obligatory practice, in the Western Church anyway, by Pope Paul VI in the wreckovating days of the 1960s. Nevertheless, observing these ancient seasons is eminently pleasing to God and very much good for our souls.  If we desire a restoration of the Faith, should that not include many of the old penitential days and seasons, which played such a vital part in raising up so many Saints in the holy days of old?  I think so, anyway.  I pray for the day when Ember Days, Rogation Days, fasts before major feasts outside Lent, and all the rest will be restored to their proper place in the life of the Church.

Gentle Reminder: Switch from the Angelus to the Regina Caeli April 17, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Liturgical Year, Our Lady, priests, religious, Restoration, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Victory, Virtue.
comments closed

I remembered this year, to start praying the Regina Caeli, as opposed to the Angelus, on Easter day.  Sometimes in the past, it’s taken me a day or three to remember.  I’m sure most of you have not had this problem, but if any have, here is your reminder.

To beef out the post a bit, a few pictures from Good Friday:

It was nice having a religious priest present during Holy Week

I pray you are enjoying this glorious Octave.  I think next year I will take off less time before Easter and more time after.  I’ve taken off most of Holy Week for years, but I feel ready for a change.  I’d like to enjoy the great feast more, and not just go back to work the day after Easter. I’ve always enjoyed that aspect of Christmas.  I wish I had the time to take off the entire week of Easter, but that’s not going to happen.  Oh for the days when working men had every great feast day off work, a true holy day holiday!

Now On To Really Important Topics: When Should Christmas Lights Come Down? November 28, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Christendom, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Liturgical Year, paganism, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society.
comments closed

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.

Lots O’ Stuff for the Octave of All Saints and the Election November 1, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Liturgical Year, sanctity, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
comments closed

Sorry folks, I am absolutely blasted at work.  My boss has got a hugely important trip to China next week and we’re scrambling around like raccoons in a KC light trying to get a really complex project done before he leaves so he can present on it.  No design……haven’t done any in months, I miss it.

It’s one of those things that I have seen happen so many times………I piled up a ton of great material to post on this weekend and then work just has to intervene.  I’ll do my best but posting will be spotty.

At any rate, obviously this is a very important time of the liturgical year, we just had the great ignored Feast of Christ the King, I shot video of the whole procession but haven’t had time to upload it.  Today is All Saints, of course, and tomorrow, All Souls.  I’m sure most readers are already well versed in the incredible availability of indulgences during this holy Octave, but just for the record, here are the details:


The month of November is dedicated to the Holy Souls. On all the days from November 1 to November 8 inclusive, a plenary indulgence, applicable only to the Poor Souls, is granted to those who visit a cemetery and pray, even if only mentally, for the departed (standard requirements for indulgences apply*).

Partial indulgences are granted to those who recite Lauds or Vespers of the Office of the Dead, and to those who recite the prayer, “Requiem aeternum, dona eis, Domini, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescant in pace” (“Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace”).

*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),
Pray for the pope’s intentions (Our Father and Hail Mary, or other appropriate prayer, is sufficient),
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.
Requirements for a partial indulgence: The work must be done while in a state of grace and with the general intention of earning an indulgence.


Only baptized persons in a state of grace who generally intend to do so may earn indulgences.
Indulgences cannot be applied to the living, only the dead.
Only one plenary indulgence per day can be earned (except for prayer at the hour of one’s own death).
Several partial indulgences can be earned during the same day. [I would say an unlimited number of works suited towards partial indulgences can be earned in a given day, either through prayers said (The Raccolta is, to me, the best source for this), or acts of penance.]
If only part of a work with plenary indulgence attached is completed, a partial indulgence still obtains.

OK, that’s your review for the indulgences of this great Octave.  As to the election, there are many prayer efforts underway to implore God’s mercy on this falling nation and bring Grace down upon the souls who will decide this most vital election – perhaps the final one that will matter in this nation’s history, if we’re not already past this point.

First of all is this report on the Catholic Advisory Group created by – it is said – Donald Trump, and their request for intensive prayer in the days leading up to the election:

The Catholic Advisory Group created by Donald Trump, and led by former Senator Rick Santorum, put out the following:

Trump/Pence Campaign Catholic Advisory Group Launches First-Ever Presidential Campaign Rosary Prayer Chain

New York – Inspired by the power of prayer and the successful ministry of the late Father Patrick Peyton, also known as “The Rosary Priest” the Trump/Pence Campaign Catholic Advisory Group is launching the first-ever presidential campaign Rosary prayer chain for Catholics and all people of good will in the United States.

“Beginning today, and daily for the next three weeks, we are calling on clergy, religious and lay Catholics, across the United States, and our citizens abroad, particularly our servicemen and women to say one Rosary each day,” stated Joseph Cella the Catholic Liaison to the Trump/Pence campaign……….



…….The Rosary prayer chain calls for every family or individual to recite the Rosary once daily for the following intentions:

A. For Messrs. Trump and Pence and their families, the campaign, the staff and volunteers, and for victory in the election.

B. For the renewal of the United States through a restoration of our faith and culture, through the message of the Gospel and a dialogue with all people of good will.

C. For the softening of the hearts and the enlightening of the minds of Hillary Clinton and her staff so they may be more respectful to Catholics, the Catholic Church, and its teachings.

D. For the unity of our country during this transition of power and the fostering of peace and unity at home and abroad.

Participants are asked to conclude each decade by saying: “Our Lady of the Rosary, Saint Thomas More, Saint Pope John Paul, pray for us” and then conclude each Rosary with the prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel.

My comments: this is a noble effort, one welcome to see, and I really appreciate the tie back to Fr. Peyton’s famous Rosary Crusade of the 1950s.  Would to God it would have borne more visible fruit at least on a national/cultural level.  I’m certain it was very efficacious for the souls involved, at least until they many went nuts in the following decade(s).  

Having said that, I would personally prefer a bit more specifically Catholic intentions, including the conversion of Trump and Pence to the One True Faith, the conversion of our nation and its fundamental re-orientation as a Catholic nation with Jesus Christ as its visible Head and final Authority.  That’s a great deal to pray for, but shouldn’t that be our ultimate goal?  If it were achieved, all else would take care of itself in a natural, organic manner.  

Here’s another option for your electoral prayer intentions, assuming you haven’t been praying your own for months, via the Knights of Columbus. I have to say I find the KoC’s prayer a bit better and perhaps more efficacious in its initial focus on Our Lady than the intentions of the Trump Catholic Advisory Group, but you might want to refine the specific intentions a bit.  I would put the moral and spiritual conversion of this nation along Catholic lines the first intention. This was supposed to start on Sunday, so travel back in time and get goin’:

Novena for the Election

Most Holy Trinity: Our Father in Heaven, who chose Mary as the fairest of your daughters; Holy Spirit, who chose Mary as your Spouse; God the Son, who chose Mary as your Mother, in union with Mary we adore your majesty and acknowledge your supreme, eternal dominion and authority.

Most Holy Trinity, we put the United States of America into the hands of Mary Immaculate in order that she may present the country to you. Through her we wish to thank you for the great resources of this land and for the freedom which has been its heritage.

Through the intercession of Mary, have mercy on the Catholic Church in America. Grant us peace. Have mercy on our president and on all the officers of our government. Grant us a fruitful economy, born of justice and charity. Have mercy on capital and industry and labor. Protect the family life of the nation. Guard the precious gift of many religious vocations. Through the intercession of our Mother, have mercy on the sick, the tempted, sinners — on all who are in need.

Mary, Immaculate Virgin, our Mother, Patroness of our land, we praise you and honor you and give ourselves to you. Protect us from every harm. Pray for us, that acting always according to your will and the will of your divine Son, we may live and die pleasing to God. Amen.

Pick yer favorite, or just keep doing what I’ve been doing, which is maintaining and expanding the perpetual Novenas, Rosaries, and other prayers and penances you’ve been offering for this increasingly sick and perverse land for a long, long time.

I’ll try to knock out a couple of other quickie posts before I have to leave for Mass.

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.
comments closed

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.

Gueranger: islam Has Long Been a Scourge Against Unfaithful/Heretical Christians October 6, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Immigration, Liturgical Year, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
comments closed

We human creatures seem to have some built in flaws we are simply unable to overcome.  Or we refuse to do so.  One of the most critical of these is our steadfast refusal to learn from the lessons of the past.  This applies in all imaginable fields – economic, political, military, technological, spiritual, you name it.

Dom Prosper Gueranger gives us a little bit of a history lesson from Vol. 4 of The Liturgical Year, pp. 168-9, concerning God’s permitting islam to be the punishment visited upon Christians who fall into persistent error and schism.  While written 150 years ago, it may as well have been written for today, when, I am quite certain, Dom Gueranger would be mortified into shocked silence by the specter of a Christendom so utterly devoid of faith and already deeply into the process of being overrun by islam in its very heartland:

When, later on, the Christian nations of the east had lost the Faith which they themselves had transmitted to the western world; when they had disfigured the sacred symbol of faith by their blasphemous heresies; the anger of God sent upon them, from Arabia, the deluge of Mahometanism.  It swept away the Christian churches, that had existed from the very time of the Apostles.  Jerusalem, the favored Jerusalem, on which Jesus had lavished the tenderest love, even she became a victim to the infidel hordes.  Antioch and Alexandria, with their patriarchates, were plunged into the vilest slavery; and at length Constantinople, that had so obstinately provoked the divine indignation, was made the very capital of the Turkish empire.

And we, the western nations, if we return not to the Lord our God, shall we be spared? Shall the floodgates of of Heaven’s vengeance, the torrent of fresh Vandals, ever be menacing to burst upon us, yet never come?  Where is the country of our own West, that has not corrupted its way, as in the days of Noah?  That has not made conventions against the Lord and His Christ?  That has not clamored out that old cry of revolt: “Let us break their bonds asunder, let us cast away their yoke from us?” (Ps ii:3).

Well may we fear lest the time is at hand, when, despite our haughty confidence  in our means of defense, Christ our Lord, to whom all nations have been given by the Father, shall rule us with a rod of iron, and break us in pieces like a potter’s vessel (Ps ii:9).

Let us propitiate the anger of our offended God, and follow the inspired counsel of the royal prophet; Serve ye the Lord with fear; embrace the discipline of His Law; lest, at any time, the Lord be angry, and  ye perist from the just way (Ps ii:12).

———–End Quote———–

Heavy, heavy stuff. But none too remote a prophecy, I fear.

My brethren, we are of course afflicted with an even worse situation than that which faced Dom Gueranger.  While he could easily and accurately extrapolate the then nascent trends in Christendom towards liberalism, modernism, atheism, and hedonism, Gueranger did have the Grace to live in a time when Holy Mother Church was, herself, quite strong and robust of Faith and Doctrine.

We do not have a like situation today.  We live in a virtually unprecedented time of apostasy and faithlessness from the vast swaths of the masses up through the highest echelons of the church.  We can, however, hold some solace in the fact that such periods of faithlessness have been numerous in the history of the Church, and she has always recovered. However, it is quite possible that this our present age is the worst our glorious Mother the Church has had to endure.

And thus the rod of iron, stayed so long by Mary’s arm, presses down with ever more relentless weight and pent up fury upon our Mother’s exhausted, outstretched hands.  Only we can sustain her through our prayers, as she has so often implored us to do, from Lourdes to La Salette to Fatima to Akita and beyond.  Only we can turn back the Lord’s vengeance through prayer and penance, though I comprehend how many find the burden to be too great, and the shirking of duty by others leaving us with too great a task to face, a task that is not fairly borne by us.

But no one ever said life was fair.  This is our lot, and we must try to do our best.

Saint Leo the Great on Offering Penance September 21, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Liturgical Year, mortification, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.
comments closed

Even though the excerpt below was spoken, and primarily intended, for the start of Lent, it is not without its usefulness in an Ember Week.  Saint Leo effectively, gracefully communicates the Church’s steadfast belief in the efficacy of fasting (penance) and its salutary effects on our souls. I don’t know if you ever need inspiration to fast/works of penance, but if you do, I think you’ll find this mighty motivatin’.  What Grace there is waiting for us in penance, and how few avail themselves of it! What a tragedy for the Church and the world!

From pp. 121-3 of The Liturgical Year, Vol. V:

The Holy Church, seeing her children…….speaks to them in her Office of Matins, these eloquent and noble words of St. Leo the Great: dfsasf

“Having to announce to you, dearly beloved, the most sacred and chief fast, how can I more appropriately begin, than with the words of the Apostle, in whom Christ Himself spoke, and by saying to you what has just been read: “Behold!  Now is the acceptable time!  Behold, Now is the day of salvation!For although there be no time which is not replete with divine gifts, and we may always, by God’s Grace, have access to His mercy, yet ought we all to redouble our efforts to make spiritual progress and be animated with unusual confidence, now that the anniversary of the day of our redemption is approaching, inviting us to devote ourselves to every good work, that catholic-penanceso we may celebrate, with purity of body and mind, the incomparable mystery of our Lord’s Passion.  

It is true that our devotion and reverence towards so great a mystery should be kept up during the whole  year, and we ourselves should be at all times, in the eyes of God, the same as we are bound to be at the Easter solemnity.  But this is an effort which only few among us have the courage to sustain.  The weakness of the flesh induces us to relax our austerities; the various occupations of every day life take up our thoughts; and thus even the virtuous find their hearts clogged by the world’s dust.  Hence it is that the Lord has most providentially given us these days, whose holy exercises should be to us a remedy, whereby to regain our purity of soul.  The good works and the holy fastings of this season were instituted as an atonement for, and an obliteration of, the sins we commit during the rest of the year.  [Such a beautiful sentiment. They were also specifically intended for the sanctification of priests and especially those seminarians to be ordained this season/year]

Now, therefore, that we are about to enter upon these days, which are so full of mystery, and which were instituted for the holy purpose of purifying both soul and body, let us, dearly beloved, be careful to do as the Apostle bids us, and cleanse ourselves from all defilements of the flesh and the spirit; that thus the combat between the two substances being made less fierce, the soul, which, when she herself is subject to God, ought to be the ruler of the body, will recover her own dignity and position. [Dang right!]  Let us also avoid giving offence to any man, so that here be none to blame or speak evil things of us.  For we deserve the harsh remarks of infidels, and we provoke the tongues of the wicked to blaspheme religion, when we who fast lead unholy lives.  For our fast does not consist in the mere abstinence from food; nor is it of much use to deny food to our body, unless we restrain the soul from sin.


Dom Gueranger on the Gift of Fear September 7, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Liturgical Year, reading, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
comments closed

Holy Fear is one of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost imparted during Confirmation.  It is a Gift that can be open to misinterpretation, perhaps, but even more, it is prone to be ignored.  In recent Church history, fear of the Lord has been not just ignored, but frequently mocked and ridiculed as a sign of “an immature faith” or some other meaningless barb. That’s been one of the primary reasons for the crisis in, or collapse of, the Faith in these past several decades – a lack of fear of God, as human pride is heaped up in before unheard of heights.

I found this to be good catechesis on the subject, from The Liturgical Year Volume 9 pp. 333-5:

Pride is the obstacle to man’s virtue and well-being.  It is pride that leads us to resist God, to make self our last end, in a word, to work our own ruin.  Humility alone can save us from this terrible danger.  Who will give us humility?  The Holy Ghost; and this by infusing into us the gift of the fear of God.  [Bing, bang, great, straight to the point]

This holy sentiment is based on the following truths, which are taught us by faith: the sovereign majesty of God, in comparison with whom we are mere nothingness; the infinite sanctity of that God, in whose presence we are but unworthiness and sin; the severe and just judgment we are to go through after death; the danger of falling into sin, which may be our misfortune at any time, if we do not correspond to grace, for although grace be never wanting, yet we have it in our power to resist it.  

Man, as the apostle tells us, must work out his salvation with fear and trembling (Phil ii:12); but this fear, which is a gift of the Holy Ghost, is not the base sentiment which goes no further than the dread of eternal punishments.  It keeps alive within us an compunction of heart, even though we hope that our sins have long ago been forgiven.   It prevents our forgetting that we are sinners, that we are wholly dependent upon God’s mercy, and that we are not as yet safe, except in hope. [And it keeps us from reveling in a false pride that says we’re saved no matter what we do, a la protestants and Church “liberals,” or a pharisaical pride that thinks our actions are somehow sufficient for our salvation.  Both are just as wrong]

The fear of God, therefore, is not a servile fear; on the contrary, it is the source of the noblest sentiments. Inasmuch as it is a filial dread of offending God by sin, it may go hand-in-hand with love.  Arising as it does from a reverence for God’s infinite majesty and holiness, it puts the creature in his right place, and, as St. Paul says, it contributes to the perfecting of sanctification (II Cor vii:1).  Hence this great apostle, who had been rapt up to the third heaven, assures us that he was severe in his treatment of himself, lest he should become a castaway.

The spirit of independence and of false liberty, which is nowadays so rife amongst us, is a great enemy to the fear of God; and one of the miseries of our age is, that there is little fear of God. Familiarity with God but too frequently usurps the place of that essential basis of the Christian life.  The result is, that there is no progress in virtue, such people are a prey to illusion; and the Sacraments, which previously worked so powerfully in their souls, are now well-nigh unproductive.  The reason is, that the gift of fear has been superseded by a conceited self-complacency.  Humility has no further sway; a secret and habitual pride has paralyzed the soul; and seeing that these people scoff at the idea of their ever trembling before the God of Heaven, we may well ask them if they know who God is……….

……..This holy fear does not stifle the sentiment of love; on the contrary, it removes what would be a hindrance to its growth. [Another lie we hear today, that if we have a proper fear of the Lord, we are weak in love or faith.  What evil, manipulative claptrap!] The heavenly Powers see an ardently love their God, their infinite and eternal good; and, yet, they tremble before His dread Majesty……..And shall we, covered as we are with the wounds of our sins, disfigured by countless imperfections, exposed on every side to snares, obliged to fight with so many enemies – shall we flatter ourselves that we can do without this strong and filial fear?

———-End Quote———-

Yes, indeed.  The wisdom of the ages, but such wisdom has been judged unhelpful to a “modern,” “mature” faith -meaning a different faith.  I don’t mean to be overly repetitive, I know I say this a lot, but I just had a reminder this weekend  of how easy it is for folks to  unlearn what they have learned and slip back into easy things, comfortable things, maybe things they have been manipulated into a bit, but which they know – or knew at one time – are wrong.  That’s a major reason why I warn frequently about the influences we allowed ourselves to be exposed to, even if it be in the parish down the road.

Why Mercy and Joy Without Penance Lead to Spiritual Barrenness September 1, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, different religion, episcopate, error, General Catholic, history, Liturgical Year, sanctity, scandals, secularism, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
comments closed

A little blurb from Dom Prosper Gueranger below, intended originally for Easter, but applicable, really, to the entirety of the year.  To make that applicability more clear, I alter the text, changing references to Easter to a more generic Sunday, but the truth, the message, remains the same.

The key point is that an inordinate focus on Sunday joy and open-ended mercy, without a call to conversion and penance, does not lead to great spiritual fruit, but to spiritual emptiness.  There can be little Easter joy without a Lenten “sadness,” meaning penance, and this is something fundamental to human nature:

“There are certain carnal minds, that seem unable to open their eyes to spiritual things, unless roused by some unusual excitement; and for this reason, the Church makes use of such means.  Thus, the Lenten Fast, which we offer up to God as our yearly tithe, goes on till the most sacred night of Easter; then follow fifty days without so much as one single Fast. [Gueranger makes plain, that it was long the practice in the Church, up to at least the 13th or 14th century, that during the Easter season, there used to be NO fasting of any kind, not even Rogation or Ember Days.  I am not certain about Friday abstinence, but from what he has said, that may not have been observed at that time, either, as it was seen as being contrary to that most festive of seasons.  The Church, in her wisdom and for a number of good reasons, changed that practice over the last 700 or 800 years, to what we have today]  Hence it happens, that while the body is being mortified, and is to continue to be so until Easter Night, that holy night is eagerly looked forward to even by the carnal-minded; they long for it to come; and meanwhile, they carefully count each of the forty days as a wearied traveler does the miles. Thus, the sacred Solemnity is sweet to all, and dear to all, and desired by all, as light is to them that walk in darkness as a fount of living water is to them that thirst, and as a “tent which the Lord hath pitched” for wearied wayfarers.

What a happy time was that, when, as St. Bernard expresses it, there was not one in the whole Christian army, that neglected his Sunday duty, and when all, both just and sinners, walked together in the path of the penitential observances!  Alas, those days are gone, and Sunday has not the same effect on the people of our generation!  The reason is that a love of ease and a false conscience lead so many Christians to treat the law of penance with as much indifference, as though there were no such law existing.  Hence, Sunday comes upon them as a Feast – it may be a great Feast – but that is all; they experience little of that thrilling joy which fills the heart of the Church on this day, and which she evinces in everything she does……They have not observed the fast, or the abstinence…..even the mitigated form in which the Church now presents them to her children, in consideration of their weakness, is still too severe for them!  They seek a total dispensation from this law of mortification, and without regret or remorse. [And they receive it, even to the point of now being encouraged by the highest authority to obviate the moral law, as being too hard, or “unmerciful!”]  How can the Alleluia find a response in the soul, when penance has not done its work of purification; it has not spiritualized them; how then, could they follow their risen Jesus, whose life is henceforth more of Heaven than of earth?

———-End Quote———-

Hopefully the point is clear, typing it out, it didn’t seem to leap off the page quite as much as it did when I first read it.  What is being said, is that the present emphasis of so many in the Church, and going back fifty years, is not working because it is contrary to human nature and contrary to God’s order of things.  Penance before celebration. Conversion before salvation.  Reversing them isn’t a shortcut up the long, narrow, rocky path of eternal life, it’s a diversion onto the wide highway of destruction.

My schedule on Gueranger is screwed up now, I’m almost done reading the entire series (well – almost = 6 months left on a 5 year project), so I’m just reading bits and pieces from each volume I hadn’t had time to get through before as I polish off the series.  That’s why I’m reading Paschal Volume II during…….September.

Meh. You takes what you gets when you gets it for free.

I’m bailing early today for a long weekend, don’t know if I’ll have time for another post or not.  If not, have a blessed weekend!