Join Father Jason Cargo on Rosary Walks in Richardson March 22, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, North Deanery, Our Lady, priests, Restoration, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, thanksgiving, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
Continuing a tradition he began a year or two ago while pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Corsicana, Fr. Jason Cargo of St. Joseph parish in Richardson is conducting daily Rosary processions in public this Lent in order to evangelize and witness to our glorious Faith, in addition to rendering publicly the honor and glory rightly due to God. You have to check Father’s Facebook page for the time and location, which varies from day to day as Father seeks to witness to as much of the city as possible. Starting times and locations for this week are given below:
Thursday 3/23 at 5:30 pm (Yale Elementary School)
Friday 3/24 at 5:30 pm (Yale Elementary School)
Saturday 3/25 at 5:30 pm (Yale Elementary School)
Sunday 3/26 at 4:00 pm (Lookout Park)
Monday 3/27 at 4:30 pm (Ridgecreek Dr. and Bellview Court)
Tuesday 3/28 at 6:00 pm (Sherrill Park Golf Course)
Wednesday 3/29 at 5:30 pm (Ambleside and Pickwick)
YALE ELEMENT. is on Yale and Collins. meet at parking lot that faces Yale Park.
LOOKOUT PARK can be accessed off of Lookout Drive and Plano
Ridgecreek Dr. and Belleview Court is the intersection of two streets. Its in the neighborhood of Windmill stables off of Jupiter.
SHERRIL PARK GOLF COURSE – is accessed off of Lookout and Jupiter
Ambleside and Pickwick – can be accessed off of Renner and Owens
A nice video on the effort was put out by Texas Catholic, the diocesan media platform:
Good Father Cargo. Rockin’ the cassock and cappa romana. He is really a good priest. I pray he is well received at St. Joseph and that his apostolate reach more and more souls.
I am really sorry I did find out about this sooner, as Lent is about half gone. I suspected Father Cargo would take up this great work of mercy and faith since his reassignment to St. Joseph around Easter last year, but not being on Facebook I missed it until I saw about this on Youtube. That’s the second time today I’ve missed some big news because I’m not on Facebook. But I’m setting up a reminder to check Father’s Facebook, which I can do without rejoining, next week to help get the word out.
If you have time and live or work in the Richardson/North Dallas area, consider joining Father on one of his “walks.” They usually take about 45 minutes and cover 1 1/2 miles, praying all 15 decades of the Rosary.
I really like this kind of effort and it makes me feel rather ashamed I’ve let the prayer vigils outside strip clubs lapse. As Father Cargo says, we never know what fruit giving such public witness of our Faith will yield – not only for those on the outside, but also for ourselves. I pray that more priests take the time to do such good works. Father Cargo is pastor of a huge parish but he is still prioritizing these efforts at evangelization. May God bless him and all those who participate abundantly.
And please pray for him! Our good priests are always especially under attack, from both the world and the devil and the fallen angels. Pray Father is able to do all that good he wants to do, which is substantial. He was very generous with me in something I was trying to do at one time and I shall not forget that. Deo Gratias!
You could say this is a Saint I have developed a particular devotion towards given what is going on with my son’s health. We hope to find out more tomorrow just what this tumor he has is, and whether it has grown at all in the past 6 weeks.
A little bio on St. Peregrine Laziosi from Joan Carroll Cruz’s book Miraculous Images of Our Lord, p. 160, including the history of how Saint Peregrine came to be invoked by those stricken with cancer:
Born in Forli, Italy, Peregrine was taught the ways of prayer by his devout mother, but instead of being influenced by her, he preferred to devote his time to athletic endeavors and won the acceptance of his peers by indulging in his impetuous nature. When St. Philip Benezi was preaching in the public square, Peregrine displayed his contempt by striking the Saint soundly in the face. The Saint prayed for Peregrine’s return to virtue, and some years later, through the workings of grace, St. Philip Benizi welcomed Peregrine into the Servite Order at Siena.
The number of persons Peregrine converted to the Faith was outstanding, his work among penitents and sinners was extensive, his travels on errands of mercy were numerous and his miracles were countless.
When Peregrine was about 60 years of age he was stricken with a cancer on the leg that pained him, but did not interrupt his works of mercy nor ihs customary exercises of virtue. Eventually, when gangrene consumed the flesh of his leg to the bone, the amputation of the leg was recommended as they only means of preserving his life.
On the eve of the operation, St. Peregrine visited the chapter room of the monastery to pray before a painting that depicts the Crucifixion. We are told that he remained praying there throughout most of the night. After Peregrine had been praying for many hours, the picture became animated. Christ stretched forth His hand from the painting and touched the Saint’s diseased leg, which was later found to be completely healed with no trace of the former ailment. The renowned surgeon who was scheduled to perform the amputation arrived the next morning for the operation and promptly acknowledged the miraculous nature of the cure. Because of this miracle, countless victims of cancer devoutly pray to St. Peregrine for the cure of their disease.
Here is a Novena to Saint Peregrine, which I will be praying:
Glorious wonder-worker, St. Peregrine, you answered the divine call with a ready spirit, and forsook all the comforts of a life of ease and all the empty honors of the world to dedicate yourself to God in the Order of His holy Mother.
You labored manfully for the salvation of souls. In union with Jesus crucified, you endured painful sufferings with such patience as to deserve to be healed miraculously of an incurable cancer in your leg by a touch of His divine hand.
Obtain for me the grace to answer every call of God and to fulfill His will in all the events of life. Enkindle in my heart a consuming zeal for the salvation of all men.
Deliver me from the infirmities that afflict my body (especially…..).
Obtain for me also a perfect resignation to the sufferings it may please God to send me, so that, imitating our crucified Savior and His sorrowful Mother, I may merit eternal glory in heaven.
St. Peregrine, pray for me and for all who invoke your aid.
There is also a website dedicated specifically to the Saint.
I do want to thank all of you for your continued prayer and support regarding my son’s condition. We pray we get good news tomorrow, but no matter how it turns out, we thank God for all we receive.
Tempting Christ – Avoiding Satan’s Trap March 7, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, Francis, General Catholic, horror, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church.
In posting this video, The Remnant asks why St. Augustine called the Cross “satan’s trap?”
Strange question, isn’t it? How could the Cross, the very vehicle of our salvation, be a “trap” for faithful souls?
Watch the video, and see if you can figure it out:
From the standpoint of this very good sermon, the “trap” was satan’s belief that he could undo this Messiah by having him killed. Satan was unable to determine that Christ was truly God, and so erred in believing engineering the most horrific, shameful death possible would destroy all the good this Messiah was intending to accomplish.
But I think the analogy works on another level, too. How else can the Cross possibly be a trap? We have no need but to look at the present Bishop of Rome, and, shuddering, find the reason.
The Cross also becomes a trap when people reduce the act of salvation to it, and it alone. When protestants, and their unimaginative emulators in the Church, proclaim that one is saved, wholly and entirely, by Christ’s salvific Sacrifice, independent of one’s actions, this is a terrible error that has led countless millions of souls to their eternal doom.
Personified in the totally novel, made in America phrase (invented in the late 19th century) “once saved always saved,” this pernicious error has grown and multiplied until it has come to dominate most sects and made very deep inroads into the Church herself. This is the opposite error of Pelagianism, which posits that it is possible to earn salvation entirely by one’s own efforts at virtue, independent of God’s Grace flowing through that one-time but constantly re-presented Sacrifice.
Salvation through a one time proclamation that Christ is one’s “personal Lord and Savior” is refuted numerous times in Scripture, most notably I Cor xv:31, Heb iii:13 and especially Mt xxv:31-46, but the supposedly “scriptural” protestants have twisted it to their own destruction, as St. Peter warned they would.
Of course, Catholics know the truth, that we are saved through Christ’s Sacrifice, yes, but also by cooperation with Grace through the good works we do and the sins we avoid. Christ tells us repeatedly through Scripture that we establish the fact of our existence in the state of Grace through good works, and that those works are necessary for our salvation. Christ’s Sacrifice offers us the potential for salvation, which was all but impossible before, but does not guarantee it based on a silly one time altar call. Such an American concept, anyway, that salvation is like placing an order in a drive thru.
It is terrifying to contemplate that the man elected to the Chair of Peter so openly seems to hold protestant beliefs as much superior to the Sacred Doctrine of the Faith. Francis has heaped praise on the sects and feted numerous sect leaders, and seems to never tire of heaping scorn and derision on faithful Catholics. It is the inversion of the Truth and the damage being done to souls is incalculable by human means.
Our Lady, however, revealed the answer, at least figuratively, at Fatima, when she showed Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco the souls falling into hell like snowflakes.
Not me for a change. Reader and longtime helper of this blog MJD is having severe breathing problems that impacting her ability to sleep, among other things. Please pray that doctors may diagnose the cause, which has been elusive, and devise a more effective treatment.
More generally speaking, apparently there is an effort afoot by pagan witches worldwide to curse President Trump. The Nineveh 90 group sent out an e-mail to all the thousands who signed up for that effort of prayer and penance to spiritually support the president through prayers and spiritual warfare tomorrow, Feb. 24 2017, the day the curses/spells are supposed to be unleashed. You are especially encouraged to pray the Chaplet of the Holy Face. More from Fr. Richard Heilman:
TO ALL … ESPECIALLY NINEVEH 90 WARRIORS!!
This is Friday. It is also our fasting day. I am calling upon everyone to add the Chaplet of the Holy Face on Friday, and also add special prayers of protection and blessing upon President Trump. Offer up your sufferings for the President this Friday!
The Gospel on this day also has the explicit teaching of Christ against divorce and remarriage.
THIS IS A SPIRITUAL WARFARE DAY!!!
Thank you for your charitable generosity in these matters. May God bless and reward you abundantly.
St. Francis de Sales on Dealing with the Sins of Others February 1, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, reading, Restoration, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
Another excerpt from Finding God’s Will for You, a collection of letters sent by the great Doctor of the Church over the course of his exceptional apostolate. This one deals with how to deal with the sins of others, and not falling into despair because we can’t “save” all we would like to see saved. From pp. 102-5:
God has supreme hatred for sin, and yet He most wisely permits it. This is to allow rational creatures to act according to their natural condition; it is also to render the good more worthy of commendation when they do not violate the law, even though they are able to violate it. Let us therefore adore and bless this holy permission. [I have heard priests describe the gift of free will as “strange,” even hard or cruel, because why didn’t God just create everyone as mindless followers of His Will and thus to be saved. St. Francis informs us as to why: because He didn’t, we should not have been made in His image if we did not have free will, and because he wanted us to freely choose Him and His Love from among all the enticements and pleasures of the flesh.]
However, since the same Providence that permits sin has infinite hatred for it, let us together with Providence detest and hate it, desiring with all our power that sin permitted may never become sin committed. As a result of this desire, let us use all possible remedies to prevent the birth, growth, and domination of sin. In this let us imitate our Lord, who never ceases to exhort, promise, threaten, prohibit, command, and inspire us in order to turn our will away from sin as far as possible without depriving us of liberty.
But when a sin has been committed, we must do all in our power to have it wiped away. We should be like our Lord, who assured Carpus, as has already been noted, that if it were needful, He would submit to death a second time in order to deliver a single soul from sin. But if the sinner is obstinate…..in company with the Savior of our souls, let us weep, sigh, and pray for him………
……Meanwhile, no matter how obstinate sinners may be, we must never lose courage in aiding and serving them. How do we know whether perhaps they will do penance and be saved? Happy is he who, like St. Paul, can say to his neighbor, “day and night I did not cease with tears to admonish every one of you. Therefore I am innocent of the blood of all, for i have not shrunk from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” As long as we are within the limits of hope that the sinner can amend, and they are always of the same extent as those of his life, we must never reject him, but rather pray for him and help him as far as his misfortune will permit. [Thus, many of our corrections and blandishments of those many lost in sin and error in the Church must continue, so long as there is hope that they may repent.]
But at the very end, after we have wept over the obstinate and have rendered them our duty in charity of trying to reclaim them from perdition, we must imitate our Lord and the apostles. That is, we must turn our mind from them and place it on other objects and tasks more useful to God’s glory. “It was necessary that the word of God should be first spoken to you,” said the Apostles to the Jews, “but since you reject it and judge yourselves unworthy,” of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, “behold, we turn to the Gentiles.” [A true and hard saying, but one that must be borne in mind. There are many fields for the spread of the Gospel, if not turns out to be sterile, we must move onto another. That is incredibly sad, especially when it involves someone we love, but if we tried and prayed and wept for years over loved ones no progress, our efforts may be put to better use elsewhere.]
“The Kingdom of God,” says the Savior, “shall be taken from you and shall be given to a nation yielding its fruits.” We cannot spend too much time weeping over some men without losing time suitable and necessary to procure the salvation of others. True, the Apostle says that he has a “continuous sorrow” over the loss of the Jews, but this is the same as when we say that we bless God at all times, which means simply that we bless Him very frequently and on every occasion. In the same manner, the glorious St. Paul has a continuous sorrow in his heart because of the reprobation of the Jews, since on every occasion he lamented their misfortune.
For the rest, we must always adore, love, and praise God’s avenging and punitive justice, just as we love His mercy, since both are daughters of His goodness. [Well now, isn’t that contrary to the church of infinite mercy and zero justice we hear preached today. In point of fact, mercy cannot be separated from justice. If it is, it becomes mere weakness and sentimentality. Those who wish to replace justice with a false sense of mercy will get neither, but will only gather a harvest of rank indifference and moral decline – which may well be what the purveyors of the church of infinite mercy want in the end, anyway] By His Grace, He wills to make us good, for He is good, yes, supremely good. By his justice, He wills to punish sin because He hates it, and He hates it because, being supremely good, He hates that supreme evil which is iniquity.
In conclusion, note that God never withdraws His mercy from us except by the most equitable vengeance of His punitive justice, and that we never escape the rigor of His justice except by His justifying mercy. Always, whether He punishes or gives grace, His good pleasure is worthy of adoration, love, and everlasting blessing. Always, whether He punishes or gives grace, His good pleasure is worthy of adoration, love, and everlasting blessing. Hence, “the just man” who sings the praises of God’s mercy over such as shall be saved likewise “shall rejoice when he shall see vengeance.” With joy the blessed shall approve the judgment of damnation passed on the reprobate as well as that of salvation on the elect.
Since the angels have exercised their charity toward the men they had in their keeping, they shall remain in peace when they see them obstinate or even damned. Therefore, we must acquiesce in God’s will and kiss the right hand of His mercy and the left hand of His justice with equal tenderness and reverence.
Now this is a Francis I can really get behind. Too bad there aren’t more like him around these days.
Start Novena for Our Lady of Lourdes Tomorrow Feb 2! February 1, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Novenas, Our Lady, Restoration, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
Start Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes tomorrow, Feb 2. She Is The Immaculate Conception!
O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Health of the Sick, Refuge of Sinners, Comfort to the Afflicted,
you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings. Deign to cast upon me a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors; and already many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal.
I come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain, O loving Mother, the granting of my requests. (mention your intentions here)
Through gratitude for favors, I will endeavor to imitate your virtues that I may one day share your glory.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us. Amen.
(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.)
Another nice accompanying prayer:
Two prayers to prepare the universal celebration of Our Lady of Lourdes, on February 11
In the often obscure depths of our lives,
in the depth of the world where evil is so powerful,
return our confidence!
Guide us to the source of true life.
Make us pilgrims going forward with your Church,
whet our appetite for the Eucharist,
the bread for the journey, the bread of life.
The Spirit brought about wonders in you, O Mary :
by his power, he has placed you near the Father,
in the glory of your eternal Son.
Look with kindness
on our miserable bodies and hearts.
Shine forth for us, like a gentle light,
at the hour of our death.
Together with Bernadette, we pray to you, O Mary,
as your poor children.
May we enter, like her, into the spirit of the Beatitudes.
Then, we will be able, here below,
begin to know the joy of the Kingdom of Heaven
and sing together with you :
Glory to you, Virgin Mary,
blessed servant of the Lord,
Mother of God,
dwelling place of the Holy Spirit!
There are actually nine counsels in total, but that would make far too long of a post, so I picked a few I thought might be common temptations people experience when trying to focus on prayer and/or meditation. I pray you find this commentary useful, they come from pp. 136-9 of St. Peter’s Treatise on Prayer and Meditation:
Against temptations to infidelity, the remedy for a man is to reflect on the littleness of human nature, on the one hand, and on the greatness of God on the other. Let him think of the Commandments of God without being curious to scrutinize His works, since much that we see altogether exceeds our understanding. As for one who would enter into this sanctuary of the works of God, let him approach with great humility and reverence and lift up the simple eyes of the dove, not those of a malevolent serpent, and let his heart be as that of a disciple and not as that of one ready to judge rashly. Let him become as a little child, for to such does God declare His secrets. Let him not strive to know the why of the works of God; let him close the eye of his understanding and open that of his faith, for this is the instrument with which to examine the works of God. For studying the works of man, it is excellent, this eye of human reason; but for seeing those that are divine, there is nothing more completely unfit.
As this temptation is also usually most trying……..so is the remedy the same – viz;, to make light of it. It is a trial rather than a fault. There can be no fault where the will is opposed, as we have already declared.
Some people, when the set themselves to pray alone and by night, are harassed by terrifying imaginations. The remedy for this temptation is to do violence to oneself and to persevere in one’s exercises. Our fear increases if we fly from it, while our courage grows stronger as we resist. It is well to reflect that neither the devil nor any power at all can devise anything to our harm without Our Lord’s permission. Useful also is it to remember that we have by our side our Angel Guardian and that he is even nearer to us in prayer than at other times, for then he stands by to help us and to bear our prayers heavenwards and to shield us from the enemy, who thus is powerless to do us any harm.
…….As for temptations to distrust and to presumption, these being contrary vices, differing remedies must naturally be applied. For distrust, the remedy is to consider that in this business success is not to be achieved by personal efforts alone, but by the Grace of God, which is secured all the more promptly in proportion as a man is distrustful of his own strength and confident in the sole goodness of God, to whom all is possible.
For presumption, the remedy lies in remembering that there is no surer sign of being far away from God than fancying one is near, for on this journey those who cover the more ground are those precisely who are the quicker to see how very much is still wanting to them. Hence they make little of what they have when they compare it to what they long for. Use the lives of the Saints and of other holy persons still living as you would a mirror; consider yourself therein, and finding that compared to them you are like a dwarf in the presence of a giant, you will no longer be filled with presumption.
I especially like that last one. If souls striving to be devout have a weakness, it might be towards presumption or self-exaltation. Thank God I am not like those dirty sinners over there. Being always cognizant of our own sins and failings is, as Saint Peter relates, a great means to overcome this particular temptation to pride.
This book is very good. I strongly recommend it.
A few weeks ago, I did a post announcing Cardinal Burke coming to the Diocese of Dallas to offer Mass on 01/22. I received some hot criticism of this post, offline. Those upset over the post were either involved in bringing Cardinal Burke in, or were particular admirers of the pastor of the parish that hosted him.
So, what is at issue in this little local imbroglio? Confession, and whether I was unfairly harsh towards a local priest my local correspondents feel is very good. Admittedly, I was pointedly critical in a post that perhaps should have been both happier and more bland, simply announcing the good Cardinal’s upcoming arrival and congratulating those who arranged for his visit (both were in the post, along with some other more critical thoughts).
Now, everyone’s definition of good is relative. My definition of a good priest in these days starts with offering the TLM, or at least the Novus Ordo in Latin, or having serious aspirations to do either but being frustrated by episcopal obstinance/malfeasance. Frankly, a handful of exceptions aside, all the extraordinary priests I know are members of explicitly traditional orders.
Taking Confession extremely seriously is requirement #2. This is what separates the men from the boys in my mind. Confession is the great ignored, even inconvenient Sacrament of our time. It is inconvenient because it is a standing rebuke to much of the new theology and ecclesiology that has been imposed on the Church in the past several decades, beliefs that say that whether one is Catholic or not doesn’t count for much, that basically all men are saved, that virtually no one ever commits a mortal sin, etc. These kinds of beliefs are the primary reason why Confession is so little available.
There used to be a sort of rule of thumb in the Church, back in those dark unreconstructed manualist days before the “sainted” Council, that for every hour of Mass, there should be at least an equal number of hours of Confession. In fact, most pre-conciliar parishes had priests (plural) in the Confessional before, during, and after virtually every Mass, along with other set times. This was when the Church, and the souls within, took things like sin and Grace and damnation and redemption very seriously.
But today, in this Diocese as in almost every other, Confession is limited to perhaps an hour a week, if one is lucky, or “by appointment only,” if one is not. This in spite of the fact that our former Bishop, now Cardinal, Kevin Farrell, repeatedly (and a bit uncharacteristically) exhorted his priests and especially pastors to have more REGULAR hours of Confession. Many pastors responded to these exhortations, by adding one more hour weekly to the one they already had (such generosity!), while some did not. A few relative heroes did even more, adding maybe 2 or 3 hours more Confession, and staffing those hours with more than one priest.
In the dearth of Confession, the tyranny is in the numbers. If there is only one priest hearing confessions for one hour a week, and each soul has only 3 minutes with the confessor and there are no gaps in people in the confessional, that one priest can hear 20 confessions a week or 1040 a year. That may sound like quite a lot, but when you have numerous parishes with 7,000, 8,000, 10,000 souls ostensibly belonging, one can instantly see the problem. Of course, the reality is different. What tends to happen is that the same handful of relatively serious souls go to Confession with at least some regularity, while the great mass never go at all.
Couple this with what is known of Catholic belief, even among self-described regular Mass attendees, and the crisis grows into stark relief. The vast majority of Catholics, regular Mass-goers or not, find nothing immoral in contraceptive use or fornication. A near majority even think abortion is morally permissible in at least some cases. The large majority are fine with pseudo-sodo-marriage and think divorce and remarriage are perfectly acceptable. The vast majority believe the Blessed Sacrament to be nothing more than a symbol. The former, if engaged in personally, constitute grave sins requiring sacramental Confession before the Blessed Sacrament is received (recent emanations from Rome notwithstanding). The latter places one outside the community of the faithful; reception of the Blessed Sacrament in this state constitutes the horrible sin of sacrilege and again immediate recourse to Confession is vitally necessary.
Taken together, what we have in the Church today is a great mass of people regularly receiving the Blessed Sacrament in a state that St. Paul decried perfectly in 1 Corinthians 11:27-29 (a bit of Scripture infamously and deliberately excluded from the readings of the Novus Ordo Mass), and with little to no means to correct this dire condition. Adding to that, the very lack of Confession time communicates to the faithful that this is something that isn’t to be taken very seriously. Writ large, this is very close to what Pope Saint John Paul II decried as the “fundamental option,” the idea that God is infinitely loving (and apparently no longer just) and that virtually no one, if anyone (short of evil right wingers like me) is damned. That this is utterly contrary to our Blessed Lord’s clear Word as revealed repeatedly in Sacred Scripture and the guidance of vast numbers of Saints and Fathers seems to count for very little these days. Confession remains generally unavailable.
Not only that, but we have numerous warnings from the Blessed Mother and many of these same Saints about the number of souls condemned to hell. While such warnings are widely viewed as quaint relics from a benighted age to most priests and prelates in the Church today, they have been so numerous, so consistent, and so emphatic that to doubt or deny them is a fool’s errand. I certainly do not. I take these warnings deadly seriously, as I take the biblical types that reveal to us the very small number of the elect, and the great number of the damned.
So, yes, I take Confession very seriously, and its lack of availability as one of the greatest scandals afflicting the Church today. In fact, lack of Confession and unwillingness to take its vital necessity seriously constitute very large elements of the present crisis in the Faith. Thus, the great number of souls falling to hell like so many snowflakes, to quote Our Lady of Fatima.
Several years ago, at the time when former Bishop Farrell was making his exhortations, I did a post that summarized the availability of Confession in the Diocese. I checked most every parish. Some had zero regular hours for Confession. Most had one. A few had two. A tiny handful had somewhat more. Two parishes stood out as placing a great (or, one might say, adequate) emphasis on Confession. I’m sure locals know which two those are (Mater Dei, and St. William in Greenville).
So, even as someone who has admitted mistakes and made public apologies in the past, I don’t feel particularly bad about the post announcing +Burke’s visit and Mass. I didn’t criticize Cardinal Burke in the slightest (in fact I praised him quite a bit), all my critical comments were directed towards confession and the probability, the virtual certitude, that, on a daily basis, souls with unconfessed mortal sins receive the Blessed Sacrament – and the role the diminution of the importance of Confession plays in that. Perhaps I erred in prudence in combining critical commentary in an announcement post for a happy event. Perhaps I could have chosen more artful phrases. But if I erred in charity, it was for the souls of those in gravest risk of eternal damnation, preferring their eternal destiny over more human concerns like the feelings of my correspondents or the pastor of the parish I criticized. Of course, even that may be argued as simply misplaced zeal, but that was my intent, nonetheless.
PS – There were claims I had erred in stating Mary Immaculate – the parish that hosted Cardinal Burke – had only one hour of Confession a week. That was all that was listed on their website (in addition to “by appointment”). I also perused a few bulletins. I saw no other times listed. But apparently, there is a monthly meeting/confab called “Arise” (not entirely unproblematic in its own right) where priests hear Confession. I have no details as to how many priests are present, or for how long Confession is available. Whether this constitutes “regular” Confession or not is arguable. But I thought I’d include this only substantive rebuttal of my arguments for completeness’ sake.
I certainly welcome your comments and appraisal of the matter, if you have any. Thank you.
Late Notice: Novena to Our Lady of Good Success January 27, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Novenas, Our Lady, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
This Novena should have started on the 25th but I only got a reminder late last night. I do appreciate MJD for sending that out. I know it’s late, but better late than never, I guess. Anyway, Our Lady of Good Success is a powerful intercessor who made amazing prophetic revelations to Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres hundreds of years ago, accurately predicting the coming collapse of the human element of the Church in the 20th century. If you haven’t started this Novena, why not start now? Sure, you’ll finish a couple of days after the Feast (Candlemas), but that’s OK. Mom won’t mind if you call her a bit late, so long as you call her. Moms are awesome like that:
Say once a day for nine days, especially starting on 25 January and ending on 2 February
Pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be
Saint Michael, pray for us.
Hail Mary Most Holy, Admirable Mother of God the Son Through the intercession of Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres, grant thy good success to this request.(mention your intentions here)
Pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be
Saint Gabriel, pray for us.
Pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be
Saint Raphael, pray for us.
Hail Mary Most Holy, Temple and Sacrarium of the Most Holy Trinity. St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, pray for us.
Our Lady of Good Success, thou who art the all-powerful intercessor before the Most Holy Trinity, consent to hear and answer my request – so long as it contributes to the salvation of my soul and the glory and exaltation of Holy Mother Church.
Hail holy Queen, mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us. And after this our exile show unto us the blessed Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Amen.
And here is a separate prayer, in the form of a Litany, to Our Lady of Good Success. You can add this to the Novena or just pray it year round:
Soul of Mary, sanctify me,
Body of Mary, purify me,
Heart of Mary, inflame me,
Sorrow of Mary, comfort me,
Tears of Mary, console me,
O Sweet Mary, hear me.
With thy benign eyes, look on me,
Through thy holy steps, guide me,
To thy Divine Son, pray for me,
Pardon for my sins, achieve for me,
Devotion to your holy Rosary, infuse in me,
Love for God and my fellow man, grant me,
Permit me not to ever be separated from thee.
In the hour of my death, comfort me,
From my enemies, defend me,
With the shield of thy holy name, protect me,
With thy mantle, cover me,
In the fatal instant of my agony, assist me,
From dying in sin, free me,
Into the arms of Jesus, deliver me,
To the eternal mansion, bring me,
So that, with the angels and saints
I can praise thee forever and ever, Amen
Just another reminder, you will also start the Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes on Feb 2. The Novena finishes on the vigil of the Feast on Feb. 10.
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.