St. Peter of Alcantara’s Nine Aids to Improve Devotional Life January 23, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, religious, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
From St. Peter of Alcantara’s Treatise on Prayer and Meditation, pp. 125-8. Much of the spiritual direction given in his book was obviously intended for this with a vocation to the religious life, and while there are one or two recommendations below that may be difficult for those living in the world, with families to care for and jobs to perform, to implement, nonetheless it is very solid guidance overall, and well worth sharing:
Many things contribute to devotion:
1] Firstly, it is very important to enter seriously and steadfastly upon these holy exercises, and with a very resolute heart, ready for whatever may be necessary, to secure this “Pearl of Great Price.” Certain it is that there is nothing great which is not at the same time difficult. So it is in the devotional life, at least for beginners.
2] Keep guard also over the heart, banishing every kind of vain and idle thought, all alien emotions and love, all passionate and tempestuous movements. Clearly enough, these all impede devotion. Like the violin, if we would play on it, so also the heart, if we would pray and meditate, must be kept well tuned.
3] Keep watch also over the senses, especially the eyes, the ears and the tongue, for through the lips is the heart scattered, and by eyes and ears it is filled with varied imaginings and with much that disturbs the peace and repose of the soul. Hence has it been truly said that the contemplative soul should be as one deaf, blind, and dumb, for the less he dissipates his energies abroad, the more will he be recollected within himself. [A particular danger in this age is the electronic media, formerly TV/radio but now the internet in particular. It is not just straight-up porn/immoral material that is bad for souls. Letting our appetites be engorged in any area – even in entertainment/consumption of news/watching “harmless” programs can lead to loss of control of the appetite in other, more vital areas. The first step to a spiritual calamity, many priests have told me, is too great an addiction to even “good” things one finds on the internet. It is necessary to even limit these good things for the sake of performing some penance and maintaining control over our appetites in all areas]
4] For the same reason, incline toward a solitary life, for not merely does it remove from the senses occasions of distraction and from the heart occasions of sin, but it also invites a man to enter more into himself and to occupy himself alone with God, for to this one is indeed much drawn by circumstances of place, when no alien company finds admittance there.
5] Then, make a practice of reading spiritual and devout books. They serve to feed the imagination and to keep the heart recollected, and they lead men of good will to occupy their minds with what has appealed to them, for what the heart is full of is always the first to suggest itself to the mind. [A strong corollary to #3 above]
6] Keep the thought of God continually before you, and walk always in His presence. Make us e of those short prayers which St. Augustine calls “ejaculations”; they guard the mansion of the heart and maintain, as we have said above, the warmth of devotion. Thus is a man ready at any moment to give himself to prayer. This is one of the most essential principles of a spiritual life and among the best resources for such people as have neither time nor opportunity for fixed prayer; and anyone who bears this counsel in mind and puts it into practice will make great progress in quite a short time.
7] Add to this, continuity and perseverance in these holy exercises, at the time and place fixed, especially night and morning, which, as all Holy Scripture teaches us, are the most suitable for prayer.
8] Practice some austerity and bodily abstinence, a poor table, a hard bed, a hairshirt and a discipline and such like. These things result from devotion and also contribute to it, preserving and strengthening the root from which they spring. [I guess priests today recommend you don’t do physically punishing penances like wearing a cilice or taking the discipline without getting their close approval first, but back in St. Peter’s time, that permission seems to have been more freely given.]
9] Lastly, practice works of mercy. In our own sufferings, they give us confidence before God; they contribute much to the value of our prayers, which can no longer be called mere arid petitions, and they secure for them a reception full of mercy, seeing that they themselves proceed from a merciful heart.
That’s all from St. Peter of Alcantara today. Tomorrow, God willing, I’ll share his ten hindrances to devotion, or ten things Catholics should avoid in order to grow in the interior life.
Fr. James Martin, LBGTSJ, Continues to Cover Himself in Dung January 9, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, cultural marxism, disaster, General Catholic, horror, religious, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, the struggle for the Church, unbelievable BS.
A brief final post of the day: many readers will be aware that Fr. James Martin, SJ, is typical for men of the sadly fallen order he represents so fittingly, in being solidly on the progressive, worldly side, frequently (if not constantly) making what should be clear Doctrine into a dog’s breakfast of confusion and uncertainty. He displayed that to excess, recently, in trying to claim that the Holy Family was filled with argument and disunity at times, contrary to the constant belief of the Church dating from Apostolic times, which is that the Holy Family featured three souls for whom sin was totally foreign*, and for whom self-interest was a non-existent commodity, thus making argument an impossibility, even if Mary and Joseph were sometimes confused by aspects of the Savior’s mission on earth:
Perhaps I’m overstating things in claiming that Martin is asserting arguments within the Holy Family, but I think that implication can be plainly drawn. His intent to “humanize” or “de-mythologize” the Holy Family may have good or sinister intent, but it is wholly consistent with the kind of insidious attacks on long-held belief that Jesuits have been infamous for these past several decades.
Our Lady was miraculously preserved from sin from her Immaculate Conception. She was incapable of disagreeing with her Son, of not seeing “eye to eye.” If there were times when she did not understand, fully, the Christ’s actions, she instantly conformed her will to them once their meaning became plain, such as when we read in the Gospel from the Feast of the Holy Family this past Sunday, when Jesus stayed behind in the Temple in obedience to his true Father instead of his earthly one – the completely right priority. Joseph and Mary were naturally worried about their son, but did not chastise Him or argue with Him in any way once He made his reply. The Wedding at Cana is another instance where what may to secular eyes appear as “conflict” is actually the perfect alignment of wills. Our Lady asked Jesus, perhaps prematurely, to address the exhaustion of the wine. She asked this KNOWING that He would accede to her……it wasn’t really even a request, it was more a bald statement of fact, but Jesus, in His perfect generosity, knew what His mother willed……..and that is of course what happened. Any other purported instances of disagreement are simply the natural result of what happens when limited human understanding confronts omnipotence and omniscience – there are bound to be misunderstandings on the human part, but in every case, Our Lady conformed her will to that of her Son as perfectly as a human being can.
This kind of tweet and post are just click-bait, to me. Say something controversial in the hope of attracting hits. It’s as banal as it is predictable – especially for a creature such as Martin. There is no concern over causing scandal or offending the sensibilities of numerous devout souls, the only concern is for the clicks.
But that’s not all, Martin LBGTSJ also feels compelled to jump on the cultural bandwagon whenever something pleasing to progressives comes along, such as Meryl Streep’s breathless hyperventilating at the Golden Globes:
Wow, so deep. You can see how social media so elevates the cultural discourse.
Streep’s comments were offensive, because they equate voting for Trump with holding a foundational disrespect for certain others (whoever the Left wants from one moment to the next). Sure, Trump has said some unfortunate things, but they are off-hand comments made in passing, not points of deliberate policy. Streep, Martin, and their co-religionists of the Left think very little about the “disrespect” shown to the unborn by the outgoing president they so idolize. No, they are fixated on 15 year old off-color comments, not because they really care, but because it serves their political interests to do so. That’s what all this screaming and crying and literal public lunacy on display over the past 2 months has been about, an attempt to de-legitimize the man elected president and prevent his administration from being able to roll back any of Obama’s disastrous policies, policies that have pushed this nation to the brink of destruction.
But politics is what it’s always about with the Left, whether it’s Streep or Martin or Winters or Chittister. They are fervent adherents of an implacably hostile, alien religion, a demonic mishmash of bad science, diabolical philosophy, hatred for sound Doctrine, and unbounded pride – the religion of sexular Leftism.
I’m quite certain you already knew well enough to ignore anything Martin, SJLBGT and his ilk have to say, because you guys is S-M-R-T smart.
The only question I have is, can the Jesuits be reconstituted along something like the lines of their holy founder again through great suffering, reduction in numbers, and eventual replacement by solidly orthodox membership, or will extreme measures like suppression for a century or so be required to snuff out their particularly vile and pernicious set of errors?
*- St. Joseph is regarded – I don’t think it is a doctrine, but it is a strong tradition – to have been sinless from the moment of his betrothal to Mary. For the time Jesus was Incarnate until his death, then, St. Joseph did not sin, even venially.
A Little Blast from the Catholic Past November 11, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in fun, General Catholic, history, manhood, priests, religious, silliness, Society, watch.
I’d never heard of Fr. Bernard Hubbard, SJ before stumbling on the video below last night. It was posted on a channel I subscribe to, that features a wide variety of uploaded videos from 30 to 80 years ago. This one is from the early 50s, I would imagine, and shows Fr. Hubbard – apparently, a well known explorer of Alaska and northern Canada – first traveling up the Alcan Highway and then traversing the Gastineau Channel by boat. Not much Catholicism is present, other than a blessing before eating a giant trout caught by Fr. Hubbard. Lots of product plugs, for the boat company that funded the trip, the Libby canned foods, Johnson outboard motors, and even the hams and bacon Father and his traveling companion brought. You won’t see any clerics, but, then again, they were traversing a wilderness.
A little description:
“Highway to Adventure” is a 1950s-era film that takes accompanies Alaskan explorer Father Bernard Hubbard along the Alaska Highway, referred to in this film as the Alcan Highway. (Hubbard was a Jesuit priest, geologist and explorer who popularized the Alaskan wilderness.) The highway runs through Canada and connects with continental United States with Alaska. The film opens with “polite officials” greeting motorists as they enter Canada and stop at “modern” hotels and restaurants as they pass through the Great North. The film is filled with breathtaking, scenic views including many of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks as the film crew heads to the Alcan Highway.
Meh, I enjoyed it. You may find it boring, but the recommendation is worth what it cost you:
UPDATE: Address for the St. Vincent Ferrer Foundation updated below.
A friend of this blog wrote an article for the Remnant describing the transformation that has occurred among members of the Franciscans of the Assumption who began to embrace the traditional practice of the Faith several years ago. These Franciscan nuns were associated with a “Hogar,” or home, for severely disabled children in the city of Quetzaltenango. They were the principle care-givers to these children for many years. But because of their embrace of Tradition, which occurred under the guidance of a Franciscan priest who experienced a similar spiritual journey, some of the nuns have been forced, in a heart-rending process, to depart the Hogar and were scattered around the country to try to break their “pernicious” attachment to the traditional practice of the Faith. Now, these nuns are trying to establish a new convent on traditional grounds elsewhere and have taken up temporary abode in an SSPX priory. Land has been offered, but there are many obstacles remaining, the principle ones being related to distance from the Sacraments and lack of funds.
Some of the background from the article, telling the kind of tale we have all heard and experienced for ourselves so many times before: souls become discontented with the state of the Church, they learn about and embrace the traditional practice of the Faith, and then they are persecuted for having done so.
………It seems that Father Lazarro’s Ignatian Retreat was not a one-time thing. This retreat appears to have borne great fruit, and Father Lazarro, a zealous man by nature, returned to Quetzaltenango and his life’s work, and was soon offering a daily Latin Mass in the beautiful chapel of the Hogar. Over the previous years he had developed a following within the city of Quetzaltenango given his conservatism, and for most of those faithful who habitually attended his Masses at the Hogar it was an easy transition to the authentic liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. Those residents of the Hogar who are physically able to be in attendance at Mass are also to be seen there on a daily basis, as are those employees who choose to do so. Three of the aforementioned Sisters made their first Ignatian retreat in November of 2010 and for the three of them there has been no turning back. Sor Emilia quietly and somewhat abashedly related some of their experiences in the types of retreats they had previously attended. There is no reason to repeat any of that here, for they are experiences that would surprise few readers. Suffice to say that these Sisters were edified by, and underwent a conversion as a result of, these Ignatian retreats.
As is consistently the case in these situations, love for authentic Catholicism flourished. A number of the religious sisters experienced a whole new and different understanding of and love for their vocations as a result. Soon they, too, were attending Ignatian retreats and Father Lazarro continued to make retreats as his busy schedule would permit. He also invited the Society priests to visit the Hogar on numerous occasions and they would naturally offer their own Masses there, to the delight and edification of the faithful. At one point Father Lazarro ceased to offer the Novus Ordo Missae and exclusively offered the perennial Mass of the Roman Church.
And, as unfortunately is also consistently the case in these situations, not everyone regarded this turn of events as something positive, including a portion of the religious sisters assigned to the Hogar as well as the local Ordinary, who prevailed upon Father Lazarro to offer at the least one novus ordo liturgy weekly and forbade the priests of the Society from offering Mass in his archdiocese. This seems to have had less effect on the priests of the Society, the three of whom are stretched across six countries, than it has upon the local faithful who are not at all disposed to returning to the novus ordo.
The most visible effect, however, has been and is upon those Franciscan sisters who have grown to love authentic Catholicism and have discovered a whole new dimension to their vocations and their Catholicism. Predictably, a rift developed at the Hogar between the sisters drawn to authentic Catholicism and those that had been steeped in the new religion and preferred it. And, as is also predictable, it became not a matter of respecting legitimate choice, but a matter of doing what was necessary to squelch this wildfire that threatened the “unity” of the community. The entire story contains numerous episodes and examples of organized overt persecution and nothing is to be gained by recounting any of that here, nor would such things come as any surprise to anyone who has tried over the years to cleave to a Catholicism dating back to a time prior to 1970. It is simply one more example of the ferocity of liberals who sense that their house of cards may be threatened.
In early 2012, Sor Emilia was removed from her position as Superior of the religious at the Hogar by her own superiors at the Mother House in San Marcos. Seeing the handwriting on the wall, this group of sisters made their first contact with Msgr. de Galaretta on 12 May of 2012 in order to begin to explore their options as a community under the protection of the Society. Finally, on October 24 of 2012, those sisters drawn to the traditional practice of the faith, including Sor Emilia, were separated from each other and reassigned by the Mother House to other apostolates in the country as a means of quelling the Catholic “uprising”. On that same date they contacted the former Prior of the Society of St. Pius X in Guatemala City, Father Gardet, to apprise him of their situation.
This detail is worth emphasizing. Having made a choice for Tradition, these particular nuns’ service at the Hogar was over, and not by their own choice. This is not a case of Franciscan religious abandoning their community in order to initiate a new community in a “traditional” venue. It is a case of these religious being expelled from their lives’ work and further separated from each other by being assigned to different and distant apostolates. Moreover, outside of the work at the Hogar, these religious’ apostolates consist largely in parish work, and now that they had come to the realization that things like Hell and Purgatory exist, that Our Lord indeed founded the One True Church, that receiving Communion in the hand is a questionable if not blasphemous practice, and a whole list of other simple truths not commonly conveyed within the novus ordo structure, they could not conscientiously deny any of these truths – something that would inevitably lead to conflict in any novus ordo parish to which they might be assigned. These nuns made the choice for authentic Catholicism and, having done so, their path was made clear, if not easy.
This group of religious briefly reported to their new assignments, but by November had moved as a group onto the grounds of Our Lady of Fatima Priory in Guatemala City. On December 12 of that year they were clothed in the traditional Franciscan habit for women. The novices who had opted for Catholic Tradition left the Hogar in May of 2012 and by November had already reported to the priory in anticipation of the arrival of the professed religious. By January of the following year, new postulants were in place at the priory and their current number was complete. [Making five professed, and four novices and postulants, I think]
So the nuns are now living in an SSPX priory in Guatemala City, the capital, and are seeking to somehow, by a miracle, raise sufficient funds to create a new Hogar for disabled children in the much more populous part of the country near the capital. This would also allow them access to priests who offer the Traditional Mass. The SSPX priory in Guatemala City is the only traditional parish in all of Central America, whether Ecclesia Dei/SSPX/religious or diocesan.
There are videos on the nun’s situation, experiences, and work below. The first discusses their process of transformation to the practice of more authentic Catholicism. The second shows the Hogar and the work that goes on there:
Contributions to these nuns can be made through the St. Vincent Ferrer Foundation of Texas. Upon making a donation for this purpose please specify that the donation is for these nuns.
The website is http://svfonline.org/
The St. Vincent Ferrer Society of Texas can be contacted by:
Telephone: (915) 500-3025
Mail: 5628 Rosa Ave.
El Paso, TX 79905
The author of this article does not give endorsements lightly. He visits and gets to know a group before he gives his endorsement. That he has given such a ringing endorsement says a great deal to me. If my recommendations carry any weight, this has to be a really spectacular group of women to receive such glowing praise from Dr. Tim Brady.
I have been looking for an additional group of traditional women religious to support. I plan on supporting this group.
Catholic Irving Gets a Bit More Catholic September 19, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, religious, the struggle for the Church, true leadership, Virtue.
One of the reasons Irving, TX is such a Catholic town, it must be admitted, is the presence of the University of Dallas (UD). No, UD is not what it once was, sadly, the effects of modernist influence under Msgr. Milam Joseph’s tenure and some subsequent problems have definitely had their effect, but UD does still remain one of the more Catholic universities in this country. A bit of a step back in the direction of relative orthodoxy was announced recently, with the standing up of a branch of the Nashville Dominicans to both study and teach at UD. No, the Nashville Dominicans are not explicitly traditional, but they are one of the most solid “mainstream” religious orders in this country, especially among the women’s orders.
Several nuns have already arrived in Irving to set up their convent and are teaching this semester. Their presence brings to six the number of monasteries/convents either within Irving or within a few miles (including – Carmel of the Infant Jesus of Prague in Dallas, Cistercians in Irving, Holy Family of Nazareth in Grand Prairie, Carmelites in Arlington, and both male and female Dominicans at UD. Am I missing any?). For this day and age, that’s an unusual density, though, even a few short decades ago, I think any city of 200,000 with a large Catholic population would have had far more than that, so we still have a long way to go. Some details from the announcement:
When classes began on Aug. 24, UD students were greeted by a different combination of white and black on the mall: the white and black of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, a religious congregation more commonly known as the Nashville Dominicans. The Cistercian fathers, the Dominican fathers and the diocesan priests have contributed much to the academic and spiritual life on the campus for many years, but the presence of women religious, so prominent in UD’s early days, has been lacking in recent times.
This past spring, Associate Professor and Chairman of Theology Mark Goodwin extended an invitation to alumna Sister Jane Dominic Laurel, O.P., to teach systematic theology full time at UD. This invitation led to a conversation between President Thomas Keefe and the Nashville Dominican Mother General, Mother Ann Marie Karlovic, O.P., in which they discussed the possibility of a small community of sisters coming to serve at the University of Dallas.
As a result of this conversation, on Aug. 9, three Nashville Dominicans arrived in Irving and established a convent. Sister Mary Edith Humphries, O.P., another UD alumna, is teaching Literary Tradition I while continuing work on her doctoral dissertation on Shakespeare for The Catholic University of America; Sister Rosemary Esseff, O.P., is leading the Schola Rosa Mystica (a Gregorian Chant and sacred polyphony choir) while also working on her doctoral dissertation in sacred music composition for the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome, Italy; and Sister Jane Dominic, of course, is teaching theology.
The two alumnae sisters are happy to be back at UD.
In fact, nine nuns of the Nashville Dominicans are alumnae of UD. So it seems the university remains, still and all, at least something of a bastion of conservative Catholicism, if not outright traditionalism (though, there are many folks very friendly to tradition there, and there present is certainly felt at Mater Dei).
As for me, I always try to maintain a very open mind and find the manifest good (and it is certainly there) in these very conservative, if not explicitly traditional orders. I know from local experience that convents of nuns, in particular, would often love to fully embrace tradition but are prohibited from doing so by their own religious superiors or even diocesan intransigence.
These women do a great deal of good. I pray they continue to grow, and ever more rapidly. Speaking of good, there is a talk being given by the theology professor Sister Jane Dominic Laurel tonight at UD from 7:30 – 9 TONIGHT on the subject of praying as a family. See flyer below:
Childcare is available.
Pray for Norcia August 24, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, Basics, Christendom, disaster, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Latin Mass, manhood, religious, sadness, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
I had heard, vaguely, about an earthquake in Italy this morning, but I had no idea it struck so near to Norcia, a site very dear to all Catholics, but orthodox American Catholics especially, due to the admirable Benedictine community there. In fact, at this very multinational company at which I now work,I heard a co-worker from Italy being queried about this earthquake and lunchtime; apparently, he had been in touch with some family and they were ok, but some could not be found. So, I certainly pray for him.
The good news is that the community in Norcia relates that none of the monks were injured. That’s especially cheering to me, since we know one of them at least a little. The bad news is that the basilica and other facilities they have spent such great effort refurbishing and restoring have suffered significant damage. Even worse, ongoing aftershocks have forced all the monks but two to relocate to Rome for the time being. They are being hosted by the generosity of the Benedictine international headquarters at St. Anselmo, while two brothers remain in Norcia to watch over their monastery, sleeping in tents outside for safety.
The monks are asking for, first, prayer support, and, secondly, financial support. They are going to incur significant expenses, it may be expected, returning the basilica and other facilities to their former condition. Donations may be made here.
This is a very good community that is doing quite a bit of good work to try to restore a much more authentic practice of religious life in the Church today. One of their foremost concerns in this time of trial, as related by Rorate, was their ability to maintain the order of the Rule while they must relocate and undergo what must be a severe trauma. I am certain that with God’s grace they will succeed in doing so with little difficulty. The final note from the monks, that I’ve seen:
Please continue to pray for our community, and consider giving a gift (https://en.nursia.org/donations/) to help our effort to rebuild.
May God bless and sustain them, and shower them in His infinite mercy.
Please also, of course, maintain all those others suffering through this disaster in your prayers. The last I heard was 140 dead, with many more injured. The toll may continue to rise. Apparently, many of the small villages around Norcia were particularly devastated. We do not know why it pleases God to allow such things to happen, but we do know that He causes great good to come from them if we cooperate with His Grace.
Damage to the sanctuary, courtesy Rorate:
That is so sad.
The Model Bishop – St. Alphonsus Liguori August 17, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, mortification, religious, Saints, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Victory, Virtue.
As a corollary to the big news of the day in the post below, a brief overview of some of the great virtues practiced by St. Alphonsus Liguori, as written by Fr. Eugene Grimm, CSsR. If Liguori was the ideal, or some representation of it, it is perhaps a bit depressing to contemplate the degree to which most, if not practically all, current-day bishops correspond to this ideal.
Note, the below has to do almost solely with personal practice of virtue, but it is the personal practice that powers the public apostolate. That is to say, holy men make holy bishops, and not the other way around. From pp. 14-15 of The Victories of the Martyrs:
…..[O]ur revered author was not satisfied with telling us how we may imitate the heroes of faith; he shows us this much better in his wonderful life, which was a prodigy of patience and long martyrdom. There are but few Saints who suffered as much as he suffered.
He was his own tyrant and his own executioner. Although he had never committed a grievous sin from his youth, yet, impelled by his ardent love for Jesus Christ, he gave himself up to the most cruel penances, and God permitted that he could continue them to the age of nearly ninety-one years. He regarded himself as a victim that was to be entirely immolated to divine love without the least reserve; and convinced that this love is manifested by labor and suffering, as he himself teaches us, he thought only of laboring and suffering as much as possible for God. But obedience being better than sacrifice, he bound himself by a vow to follow in all things the advice of the director of his conscience, in which he recognized the Divine Will. By renouncing all worldly hopes, he condemned himself to a life of extreme poverty; his garments, his furniture, and everything that he used, even when he was a bishop, bore the impress of this virtue, and reduced him to what was strictly necessary. At night he took his short repose on a simple straw mattress, and sometimes on a plank; and when travelling, if he could not go on foot, he would use only a donkey for riding.
He took but little nourishment, and was careful to mix it with bitter herbs so as to render its taste very disagreeable; and this he often ate on his knees or sitting on the floor. Besides the ordinary fast and abstinence, he fasted on bread and water on all Saturdays and vigils of the principle feasts. When he studied or wrote, he would stand with small stones in his shoes in order to suffer. He severely scourged himself every day, and frequently to blood; he used, besides, little chains, hair-cloth, and other instruments for the purpose of continually tormenting his flesh. One evening, worn out with fatigue, he fell down in his room, having swooned away, and remained unconscious the whole night and the greater part of the following day; the doctor ordered him to be disrobed, and on him was found a hair shirt that covered his whole body. From this we may form any idea of his austerities, which he strove so much to conceal from the eyes of men. To these self-inflicted penances must be added his great labors in the midst of pain, solicitude, and continual trials.
In reality, many of Saint Alphonsus’ penances were commonly practiced by many saintly bishops, especially those of the early Church and the Age of Faith. And even more salutary for our own souls is less to consider how today’s bishops correspond to his eminent example, but how we ourselves do, not that we are called to be bishops, but we are all called to holiness. I’m a great one for taking extra things on, a sort of positive penance, if you will, but when it comes to self-denial, I’ve always been weak. Please pray for your wimpy blogger.
Victories of the Martyrs is shaping up to be an excellent, excellent book, even by the very high standards of St. Alphonsus. It will take me months to get through it, though.
Probably the last excerpt from The Holy Eucharist, as I am wrapping up at present. From pp. 483-495, in small segments, some advice on making prayer the focal point of our lives, and turning away from created goods, which have the tendency to separate our focus and concern from God. Also, our prayers are not only vital to our own progress in the spiritual life, but are the foundation of all charity for others, including their spiritual conversion:
…..The Almighty complains that many souls go about seeking for fleeting and miserable pleasures from creatures, and leave Him, Who is the infinite good and fountain of all joy……..Wherefore God, Who loves us, and desires to see us happy, cries out and makes known to all: “If any thirst, let them come to me” (Jnm vii:37). He who desires to be happy, let him come to Me; and I will give him the Holy Ghost, who will make him blessed both in this life and the next…….He, therefore, that believes in Jesus Christ, and loves Him, shall be enriched with so much grace, that form his heart (the heart, that is, the will), shall flow many fountains of holy virtues, which shall not only serve to preserve his own life, but also to give life to others. And this water was the Holy Ghost, the substantial love which Jesus Christ promised to send us from Heaven after His Ascension…….
..The key which opens the channels of this blessed water is holy prayer, which obtains every good for us in virtue of the promise, Ask and you shall receive (Jn xvi:24). We are blind, poor, and weak; but prayer obtains for us light, strength, and abundance of Grace. Theodoret said: “Prayer, though but one, can do all things.” He who prays receives all he wishes. God desires to give us His graces; but he will have us pray for them…….
…….A quarter hour’s prayer is sufficient to appease every passion of hatred or of inordinate love, however ardent it may be……..Holy meditation is where love is set in order, so that we love our neighbor as ourselves, and God above everything. He who loves God loves prayer; and he that loves not prayer will find it morally impossible to overcome his passions………..
……The more we love God, the more holy do we become. St. Francis Borgia says that it is prayer that introduces divine love into the human heart; and it is mortification that withdraws the heart from the earth, and renders t capable of receiving this holy fire. The more there is of earth in the heart, the less room there is for holy love……Hence the Saints have always sought to mortify as much as possible their self-love and their senses. The Saints are few, but we must live with the few, if we will be saved with the few; “Live with the few,” writes St. John Climacus, “if you would reign with the few.” And St. Bernard says :”That cannot be perfect which is not singular.” He would lead a perfect life must lead a singular life.
But before all, in order to become saints, it is necessary to have the desire to be saints; we must have the desire and the resolution! Some are always desiring, but they never begin to put their hands to the work. “Of these irresolute souls,” says St. Teresa, “the devil has no fear.” On the other hand, the Saint said, “God is a friend of generous souls.” The devil tries to make it appear to us to be pride to think of doing great things for God. It would indeed be pride in us, if we thought of doing them, trusting in our own strength; but it is not pride to resolve to become saints, trusting in God, and saying, “I can do all things in Him who strengeneth me” (Phil iv:13).
We must, therefore, be go good courage, make strong resolutions, and begin. Prayer can do everything. What we cannot do by our own strength, we shall do easily with the help of God, Who has promised to give us whatever we ask of Him. You shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you” (Jn xv:7).
Nothing exactly unheard of before, but well said and well worth hearing over and over, if you’re anything like me. I can’t recall any time I’ve sat down and read Liguori and come away saying: “Well, I didn’t really learn anything there.” I always do. He, Thomas a Kempis, St. Bernard, St. Catherine of Siena, and St. Teresa or Avila are probably my favorite spiritual readers, but Liguori tends to be the most quotable.
Teen male crushes girls at track and field….. June 7, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, paganism, religious, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, unbelievable BS.
……..the only thing really unusual about this picture, is that the boy was allowed to compete against the girls as a girl. A pretended girl. And now that he placed quite highly in several events, some of the girls are justifiably upset. Silly girls, don’t they know that women’s rights, Title IX, and all that is sooo yesterday. Women’s usefulness to the Left is declining, they’ve moved onto other things:
High school girls in Alaska are crying foul after a male sprinter took home all-state honors in girls’ track and field. According to local reports, it was the first time in Alaskan history that a male athlete competed in the girls’ state championships.
Haines senior Nattaphon Wangyot–who self-identifies as a girl–advanced to the state finals in the 100-meter and 200-meter events. He won fifth place in the 100-meter dash and third place in the 200-meter. In both events, he competed against girls as young as ninth grade. [which is far too young for someone to be exposed to concepts as troubling as self-hatred, body mutilation, and pretending to be “trapped” in the “wrong” body]
……..Another runner, Peyton Young (who competed in a different event) took a similar position. “I don’t know what’s politically correct to say, but in my opinion your gender is what you’re born with,” she told the Alaska Dispatch News.
“It’s the DNA. Genetically a guy has more muscle mass than a girl, and if he’s racing against a girl, he may have an advantage.”…….
……Wangyot — who immigrated from Thailand in 2014, according to the Alaska Dispatch News — also played on the girls’ volleyball and basketball teams. [Strangely, two countries, and only two, have drastically higher rates of “transgenderism” than any other – Brazil and Thailand. Both are longtime libertine countries. Again, so much for “born that way.” But now that the left no longer needs that meme, it’s all will to power, I can identify as whatever I want. Me, I’m a severely brain damaged quadriplegic qualifying for 500% disability. I’m just waiting for the checks]
In related news, the disastrously heterodox and rapidly dying Sisters of Mercy have a tranny teacher working at their – go figure! – San Francisco high school. You can sign a petition here to register your outrage, not that these heretics will care in the slightest:
Although an English teacher at Catholic Mercy High School in San Francisco is a biological woman, she now self-identifies as a man.
Adding to the confusion, the Sisters of Mercy who run the school think it’s fine to have the transgender woman dressed as a man teaching at the all-girls school. [What does Archbishop Cordileone think? Why has he not taken action? Whether ostensibly administered by religious or not, does a bishop not have at least some degree of administrative control – if he wants it – over every school bearing the Catholic name in his diocese? What about his much-publicized insistence that teachers must obey the Doctrine of the Faith? How can that be reconciled with the presence of this transexual activist?]
However, to place a transgender schoolteacher in a Catholic classroom is worse than telling students that 2 plus 2 equals 5. It’s a scandal which Our Lord firmly warned against: “But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt. 18:6)……..[He certainly did warn that, but the modernist progressives who dominate Church administration view such Scripture as quaint at best, and false at worst]
…….[The unmitigated gall of these people…….] In a letter to parents on May 11, Sister Laura said: “Because some students and parents, faculty and staff may appreciate having assistance with processing their views regarding the teacher, who identifies as a transgender man, we have arranged for counselors to be available for you this week at the School.” [Condescend much, leftists?]
In other words, those who disagree with the transgender revolution are the ones who might need “counseling.” [Of course. Just like in the Soviet Union of old, or China today, to oppose “paradise on earth” re: the commie agenda is to demonstrate oneself to be either insane or bearing criminal malevolence, and thus worthy of incarceration in a mental hospital or prison. There are plenty in positions of authority who would be happy locking up observant Christians today in this country.]
And the transgender schoolteacher with a clear agenda said: “For my own sense of authenticity in the classroom, it was important to name myself, to identify myself, to bring the whole self into the aspect of my teaching. It is important to speak to this issue, not to be silent.”
Yes, quite an agenda. The teacher has apparently worked at the school for four years, but the quote above seems to directly contradict the excuse offered up by school administration, that a teacher’s private life should have no impact on their function as a teacher. That’s crap – you think they would condescend to hire many conservative activists? – but we can see the teacher feels their private life isn’t private, but is in fact the perfect subject to indoctrinate students in the perverse lifestyle of self-loathing decadence. Thus the administrations’s justification for employing this individual is revealed for what is is: shameless, hypocritical self-justification.
As if we needed another demonstration that leftism is all about one thing: power for themselves.
A little exegesis from St. Bernard of Clairvaux on the fleetingness of the things of the world, and our unhappiness no matter how much we possess if we fail to know, love and serve God. From a small book called On Loving God.
Not exactly unheard of revelations below, but helpful reminders all the same. As the world has decided to reject God and His Church more and more, people wander about lost, wondering why all this material wealth and comfort fails to satisfy them. Duh, they were made for much better and more enduring things. We can never be fully happy in this life, as we were designed for loving God and spending eternity with Him in Heaven, even if most fail to achieve that happy end.
It seems each generation descends more and more into impiety and lack of faith, and is thus more miserable than the one that preceded it. Have you any idea how many young people under 25 are on powerful psychotropic medications? It is a huge percentage, over 1/3 at last I heard. How many young people in particular, who have never known God, find life pointless and unfulfilling? Were people lost in such existential angst 150 years ago when wealth did not abound nearly so much but love for Jesus Christ did?
Something to consider. St. Bernard:
Men in high places are driven by insatiable ambition to clutch at still greater prizes. And nowhere is there any final satisfaction, because nothing there can be defined as absolutely the best or highest. But it is natural that nothing should content a man’s desires but the very best, as he reckons it. Is it not, then, mad folly always to be craving for things which can never quiet our longings, much less satisfy them? No matter how many such things one has, he is always lusting after what he has not; never at peace, he sighs for new possessions. [Is this not so very true?] Discontented, he spends himself in fruitless toil, and finds only weariness in the evanescent and unreal pleasures of the world. In his greediness, he counts all that he has clutched as nothing in comparison with what is beyond his grasp, and loses all pleasure in his actual possessions by longing after what he has not, yet covets.
…….Ah, but if you wish to attain to the consummation of all desire, so that nothing unfulfilled will be left, why weary yourself with fruitless efforts, running hither and thither, only to die long before the goal is reached?
It is so that these impious ones wander in a circle, longing after something to gratify their yearnings, yet madly rejecting that which alone can bring them to their desired end, not by exhaustion but by attainment. They wear themselves out in vain travail, without reaching their blessed consummation, because they delight in creatures, not in the Creator. They want to traverse creation, trying all things one by one, rather than think of coming to Him Who is Lord of all. And if their utmost longing were realized, so that they should have all the world for their own, yet without possessing Him Who is the Author of all being, then the same law of their desires would make them contemn what they had and restlessly seek Him Whom they still lacked, that is, God Himself. Rest is in Him alone.
Man knows no peace in the world; but he has no disturbance when he is with God. And so the soul says with confidence, ‘Whom have I in Heaven but Thee; and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of Thee. God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. It is good for me to hold me fast by God, to put my trust in the Lord God (Ps lxxiii:25)……….
……….A small thing that the righteous have is better than great riches of the ungodly (Ps xxxvii:16).
That’s all, but I thought it pretty good. Thank you, St. Bernard, and thank you still more, Lord, for so inspiring him.