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Please Pray For – and possibly support – the Ramirez Family May 7, 2018

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, family, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery, sadness, thanksgiving, Virtue.
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We don’t know this family – I think my wife might know the mom as a friend of a friend sort of thing – but given what we went through just a year ago with our son suddenly having a seizure and then being diagnosed with a brain tumor, it didn’t take a lot of imagination on our part to know what this family was going through as the e-mails and text messages imploring prayers started flying around Saturday afternoon and evening.

This situation involves a local family and their 10 year old daughter.  Via their Youcaring site:

“Maggie was running around with her siblings just this Friday.  She woke up with a bad headache Saturday (the day she was to make her First Communion) and is now on life support with a rapidly growing (inoperable) brain tumor.  They’ve been told there is basically nothing doctors can do and they are still clinging to hope that God will grant them a miracle.”

That was Saturday.  Then yesterday:

Yesterday at 7:31 PM we said goodbye to our beautiful Magdalene Therese. Please forgive me if this is how you are hearing the news. I called everyone I could think of but we are exhausted of mind and body. I rushed Magdalene to the hospital Saturday afternoon where we were promptly careflighted to Dallas Childrens. My darling girl had a brain tumor that was taking up much of one side of the brain. The doctors and ICU team fought for her but the tumor was growing too fast to stop. We had almost no time to prepare for her passing. This was so, so sudden.

Please know that while we are heartbroken we are not in despair. My beautiful girl was and is a testimony of the amazing love of Jesus Christ. She was not afraid to die at any point in her life and often talked about what it would be like for her. She loves Jesus with all her heart. She is now in the fullness of His presence and we completely trust and rest in the resurrection.

Our beautiful Maggie passed away surrounded by family and close friends. We sang her favorite song “How I Need You” by Matt Maher and I held her close.

Please pray for us. We so miss our darling girl. She was and is an amazing sister and friend. I’m so glad that I often told her how happy I am to be her mom and how very special she is to me.

Funeral arrangements will be posted once we have them. This is the last picture I have that she took on my phone. She is so amazing. I miss her so much already.

ETA: Official time was 7:41. I had my hand on her chest the whole time and 7:31 is when I felt her heart stop.

Oh sweet Jesus my heart aches for this family.  My God we are blessed having a son diagnosed with a brain tumor after a sudden set of seizures but our outcome has so far been so very much different.  God’s will be done, but that doesn’t make it easier to understand.

You might consider helping this family by prayer and any material means you have at your disposal.  Obviously this was a sudden loss and there are substantial expenses that were totally unexpected.  The crowdfunding site is here, and I am happy to see that it is being very generously supported.  A  picture of what one prays and assumes will be another Saint glorifying God forever.

May God have mercy on her soul and assuage the loss of her parents and siblings.  Requiescat in Pace.

 

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First TLM in nearly 50 years offered at Dallas Cathedral Dec 30 – UPDATED January 9, 2018

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Restoration, Spiritual Warfare, thanksgiving, Tradition, Virtue.
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I sorely wish I had had the means to share this with folks before the event, but it was deliberately cordoned in a veil of silence.  Nevertheless, an historic event occurred during the Octave of Christmas this year, when, on Dec 30 (thanks to KB and SB for the correction), a Traditional Latin Mass was offered at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Dallas.  Father Thomas Longua, pastor of Mater Dei FSSP parish, offered the Mass.  Our family was unable to attend and I have received few reports on the Mass, the crowd, or the participants (I do not believe Bishop Burns participated), but there are a few pictures available.

Apparently the Mass was requested by some interested folks and new Bishop Burns, along with Cathedral Rector Stephen Bierschenk, approved.  The occasion, in addition to the feast, was a retreat for the altar boys and their families.

The Mass took place at the side altar where the Blessed Sacrament is reposed.  That is of course appropriate for the TLM – though our cathedral at one time had a most beautiful high altar, which was unfortunately and, I think it may be fairly said, callously ripped out during the wreckovations of the early 70s.  Indeed, the former marble altar rail was turned into curbs for the parking lot!  Just a slight triumph of expedience over piety……..

At any rate, some pics, and a bit more commentary below:

I am aware that this is not the first request to offer a TLM at the Cathedral.  Certainly, it is not the first since Summorum Pontificum of 2007.  So it is quite significant that approval was granted.  There is a sense in this Diocese that our new bishop Edward Burns, is more sympathetic to traditional Catholics and the offering of the TLM than was his predecessor, Cardinal Kevin Farrell.  There is growing hope that Bishop Burns may do away with the public, written policy instituted by then Bishop Farrell of banning offering of the TLM outside of the designated FSSP parish.  Certainly there remains much unmet demand for the TLM, even with the explosive growth of Mater Dei, due to Mater Dei’s awkward location (I should know, I live near it and don’t want it to move) and the diocese’s size.

Nevertheless, it is certainly something to pray and hope for.  The possibility appears much brighter than it did a year or so ago.  Unfortunately, there was expressed a wish to keep this event quiet until after it happened, so we may still have a long way to go.

Compare and contrast the bare offering table above, and the former high altar:

I’m not supposed to say this, it might hurt “the cause,” but different religion, much?

UPDATE: A local confrere informed me that this was indeed the first TLM offered in the Cathedral at least since the ascension of the, ahhhh……..one might say problematic, Bishop Thomas Tschoeppe in 1970.  Tschoeppe’s predecessor Bishop Gorman had apparently continued to offer the TLM regularly, until he was forced into retirement (very much against his will) in 1970.  Bishop Gorman was known for his stalwart orthodoxy and adherence to the Faith he was raised in, the Faith of our fathers, Bishop Tschoeppe, for allowing the seminary to collapse into sodomitical anarchy and general liberalism.  If what I am told is correct, one of Tschoeppe’s first acts was to oversee the wreckovation of the cathedral, including the altar rail cum parking curbs imbroglio.  Anyway, a bit of local history.

Trump Makes Major Moral Restitution Repealing Obama Policies October 9, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, contraception, fightback, General Catholic, persecution, scandals, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, thanksgiving, Victory.
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President Donald Trump has reversed two immoral Obama-era policies that instituted in formal governmental practice acts hideous to Catholics and all souls striving after virtue. Both of these policies were intended to further Obama’s religion of sexular paganism at the expense of Christianity as a cultural force, and even more so at the expense of the good of millions of individual souls.

The two policies affected, both of which were ludicrously unconstitutional, were the HHS Mandate forcing Christians opposed to contraceptive use to purchase insurance coverage for its “free” provision (and even forcing celibate Catholic religious orders to do the same!), and the vast expansion of decades old civil rights provisions to include protection from bias on the basis of sex to include those suffering from mental illness and their 875 different, wholly made up “genders.”

First, on the HHS Mandate, Trump has approved broad exemptions for faith-based groups:

The Trump administration announced broad new exemptions to the Health and Human Services’ contraceptive mandate on Friday, that aim to give relief to religious nonprofits and others with deeply held religious or moral convictions regarding contraception.

A senior HHS official told reporters on Thursday that the exemptions are intended to provide full protection for those with religious beliefs and moral convictions. Religious-liberty protections are central to American values, the official explained.

The HHS official told reporters that, on issues of grave moral concern to Americans, where the issue of human life is at stake, policy needs to ensure that religious believers are not “punished” by the federal government. Such policy reflects authentic “tolerance” of divergent viewpoints, he said.

In a May 4 executive order “promoting free speech and religious liberty,” President Donald Trump promised relief from the HHS mandate to the Little Sisters of the Poor, who were present at his May announcement in the White House Rose Garden. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., were also present for the announcement, which came during a National Day of Prayer ceremony.

“I want you to know that your long ordeal will soon be over,” Trump told the Little Sisters present at the White House. Their lawsuit against the mandate dates back to 2013.

The HHS policy announced today adds broad religious and moral exemptions to the mandate.

The HHS contraceptive mandate originated in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which ordered that “preventive services,” be covered in health plans. In 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services mandated that cost-free coverage for contraceptives, sterilizations and abortifacient drugs be included in health plans. [In essence, imposing dogmas sacred to the sexular pagan left onto Christians who regarded such coverage as anathema, just like having to participate in a pseudo-sodo-wedding by baking someone a cake.  This was always about demonstrating religious superiority, whether the Left wants to acknowledge it or not.]

………Catholic theologians and ethicists argued in an amicus brief at the Supreme Court that the accommodation would be considered “either formal cooperation in wrongdoing, or impermissible material cooperation in serious wrongdoing, and would therefore be gravely wrongful.” [Can’t we just say sinful?]

Yes, the Trump administration – or deep state apparatchiks within the executive branch – continued enforcing Obama’s draconian interpretation of religious exemptions until the policy was formally changed.  It’s taken too long, but at last one of the most egregiously unconstitutional executive actions of the Obama administration have been repealed.  If only Republicans in Congress could get their act together and ban this Mandate, all of it, properly, legislatively, but I won’t hold my breath.

Also announced last Friday, where news coverage is the slowest, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in one of his better moments, also directed that his department will abrogate Obama’s expansion of various civil rights acts to include so-called transgenders:

In a reversal of federal policy that pleased marriage advocates and angered LGBTQI groups, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a memo interpreting the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as not intended to apply to transgenders.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote to the country’s federal prosecutors that on “all pending and future matters” the DOJ will go by what Congress originally intended and not add unforeseen deviances when enforcing laws regarding equal treatment on the basis of “sex.”

At issue is the word “sex.” A section of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 criminalized discrimination based on “sex.” Gay activists say that now includes sexual orientation and transgenderism. Strict originalists say the writers of the law clearly intended “sex” to mean male and female……..

……….Sessions went on to explain that the Obama administration overstepped its bounds in ascribing unimagined modern categories to a 52-year-old anti-discrimination law.  Specifically, the former president officially interpreted civil rights legislation to include homosexuality and transgenderism……….

[However, it’s not all good]……….The DOJ offered further assurances that it will enforce modern laws giving special protected class status to gays.

Thus giving them special protections, rights, and privileges – in essence, elevating an affinity for same-sex sodomizing to an elite class above the normal rank and file.  The Left has succeeded in doing this to most all the elements of its coalition, and this manifests in such a broad way that to hold leftist views and to subscribe to leftist philosophy is, in many ways, to have many rights and privileges denied others.  Or, probably more correctly, to not be leftist is to open oneself up for penalties, abuse, denigration, and general second-class status.  The sense that tens of millions of Americans have, that they have become hard-working stooges funding their own tormentors among the self-anointed “better” classes, was one of the largest factors driving Trump’s successful candidacy.  Since the Left will never stop itself from behaving as a new but wholly unworthy aristocracy, Trump will almost certainly have a second term if he wants one.

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.
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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.

Thanks to Your Generous Help, the King Family Obtained the Van They Badly Needed September 14, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, sanctity, thanksgiving, Victory, Virtue.
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I wanted to give a follow-up to the fundraising post I did several months ago regarding the Josh and Mary King family and their two special needs children.  Both of their children Ivy and Cody have been diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, or SMA, which has left older daughter Ivy unable to walk.  There are treatments available, and Cody started to receive them at a young enough age that it is expected he will be able to walk and function more or less normally.  Insurance refused to cover treatment for Ivy for some time, claiming she was too old and outside the window at which the treatments would help, but some options have emerged so that she will be able to receive help that could result in her being able to walk eventually, too.

However the family remained in serious straits because of their ill children and being a young couple just starting out.  They especially needed a handicapped accessible van for Ivy.  That was the purpose of the fundraiser.

Well, you and many other generous people really came through, especially from the extended King family, and sufficient money was raised so the family could obtain a used van in good condition to meet their pressing needs.  And so quickly too, raising nearly $40,000 in barely 3 months is no mean achievement.  I cannot thank those who contributed enough – and I know a good number of readers of this blog did contribute, in addition to some friends of our family who do not know the Kings personally.  I was really amazed by the generosity of everyone involved; the Lange and King families showed once again how central the Faith is in their lives.  The beneficiaries are very grateful and left a lovely note of thanks on the fundraiser page.

They’ve got the van now, which includes an extended warranty that will cover any repairs needed for the next 5 years.  They also have a bit of savings now they have put into a maintenance account specifically for the van and the accessories needed to make it handicap-accessible.

Again thank you all so much, and here is a photo of the happy family with their new van.  Not only do they feel materially blessed but also so spiritually enriched by this great outpouring of generosity and concern, often from complete strangers.

Mary King, the mother in the photo, was the flower girl and my wife and I’s wedding in 1994. I am so glad they are finally getting the help they need after a good 2 years or more of frustration and roadblocks.

Baby Daughter doing much better thank you and some Flightline Friday content August 22, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Domestic Church, family, Flightline Friday, non squitur, technology, thanksgiving.
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Thank you so much for your prayers.  My daughter has been home since late Thursday but required another 2 days to really recover.

Aye what a year.  All I can say is thanks so much and your generosity will not be forgottten. She started to really turn around shortly after I put out the mass request for prayers.  Yet another confirmation for how great our God is and how powerful – beyond our understanding – prayer can be.

I know I haven’t posted beans of late, very sorry, I really haven’t time for much of anything today (hopefully tomorrow), but here’s a little something non sequitur to tide you over if you care about this sort of thing – it’s some absolutely amazing footage of an Su-27P, probably of Belorussian origin, dogfighting with a USAF F-16 over Groom Lake/”Area 51″ in Nevada:

More images of the encounter below:

In truth this kind of thing has gone on non-stop since at least the mid-60s with the Constant Peg and Foreign Technology Division programs.  USAF pretended to kill this off in the early 00s but everyone rolled their eyes.

In reality, the fact that this occurred in broad daylight, in perfect clear conditions, and close to the border of the 8,000 square mile Nevada Test and Training Range (or close enough for super telephoto lens to grab these shots – probably no more than  6-8 miles from the Range’s boundary) almost certainly means USAF has far more modern and capable adversary aircraft for evaluation.  Su-27P is OK but dates from the late 80s.  Sukhoi has certainly turned out better variants of the endless Flanker series since (Su-27M Su-27SM Su-32 Su-33 Su-35 Su-30M Su-30MK Su-30MKK/I/M Su-34).

Space alien conspiracy theorists who try to penetrate the Range near “Area 51” report seeing Sukhois fairly regularly.  Some are surprisingly old – Su-22s, for certain.

That Flanker is a big b—h.  It’s got an absolutely enormous RCS, too, especially from the front, from what I have learned.

PS – May put this up with much more detail on Friday, but F-35 is, finally, 5 years late and billions of dollars over budget, starting to shape up.  Several score are in service with more and more active duty squadrons and the reports are extremely, extremely positive.  It’s kinematic/aerobatic performance is not so bad as it long appeared to be, and the integrated avionics/mission system are simply out of this world, a massive quantum leap in capability over everything that’s come before.

Still got fairly short legs and inadequate internal payload for stealth mode (thanks, Marine Corps and Congress!) BUT it is a far cry from the unmitigated disaster its widely been described as being.  I’ve been a very serious critic of the F-35 for nearly 20 years and think improved F-16s and/or Mudhens with a large F-22 buy would have more than sufficed for far less money, but this is what we’re stuck with and it does finally seem to be coming around.  It would be the height of idiocy to scrap the program now after ~$100 billion invested and with the investment finally about to start paying off.

The first practical functional software block (Block 3F) has been undergoing flight testing for months and should start to hit active training and tactical squadrons next month.  Given 6.5 million lines of code it’s hardly surprising it took some time to iron out difficulties, plus the program was very badly managed from a prototype to test to production standpoint, for political reasons the services were induced to place the aircraft in production far before it was really ready, and this has had the effect of adding a huge amount of cost while delaying overall full operational capability.  The good thing is these extremely extended service trials have revealed about all the bugs that could possibly be found.

We also have to note how much the procurement program has been derailed since McNamara royally screwed it up in the 60s, and then was made worse in the 90s.  The standards products have to meet to be qualified are ridiculously onerous, and teeny tiny corner of the envelope issues get turned into showstoppers.  Yes there have been not so teeny tiny problems with the F-35 but most of what is reported are situations that are unlikely to ever repeat themselves in real life.  That is one reason why it costs so much (and takes so long) to get complex systems into service these days, the test requirements are orders of magnitude more extensive (and in many ways just plain asinine) than they were in the 50s, 60s, and even well into the 80s.  Suffice it to say had the F-35 been developed along 1950s or 1970s lines it would have been judged an  unqualified success years ago.

Then again, it’s really an apples to oranges comparison.  Aircraft in the 50s and even early 80s were not nearly so software dependent, as they are today.

And every other engineer knows just how much the software engineers screw everything up.  Right, TE?

Father Rodriguez on Mary’s Immaculate Heart July 27, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Father Rodriguez, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, mortification, Our Lady, priests, sanctity, thanksgiving, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Good Father Rodriguez with a brief rumination on Fatima and devotion to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart.  From that Immaculate Heart we can especially learn virtues vital to salvation, especially purity, which in this day is so rarely maintained and so easily (and almost always irrevocably) lost.

Father shares how to practice devotion to the Immaculate heart, according to St. John Eudes: “keep in our heart the feelings which are in the heart of Mary the Mother of Jesus.”  The principle feelings in her heart are four: horror and abomination for sin, hatred and scorn for this corrupt world and everything pertaining to it, the lowest possible esteem for self, and profound esteem, respect, and love for all the things of God and His Church.  What excellent advice and direction for all seeking to grow in the interior life and the practice of virtue – and, I might add, how contrary to the “direction” we hear from Rome and most of the powerful episcopal leaders of the Church, including the exalted Cardinal Farrell, who I can assure you hasn’t spent 3 seconds in his life reading Eudes or any similar Saint of the interior life.

I won’t say anymore so I don’t steal all of Father’s thunder:

It would seem very natural and poetic to me should Fr. Rodriguez in some ways fulfill the legacy of Fr. Nicolas Gruner (RIP).  At any rate I pray his collaboration with the Fatima Center grows and grows.

End Catholic circular firing squads!

Please Support King Family in Providing for their Two Children with Debilitating Illness June 8, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, thanksgiving, Tradition, Virtue.
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I inquired a few weeks ago about setting up a giving site for a family who has had two children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a disease which leaves these otherwise healthy children unable to walk.  There are two children, Ivy and Cody.  Cody is just a few months old, Ivy is close to two and very adorable and precocious.  But she can’t walk.  The King family seems to be having most of the medical costs covered at present, but they are young marrieds and need help to buy a handicapped van.

A giving website has been set up.  The family is trying to raise about $30,000.  Whether you can give or not, if you can share their crowdfunding page on social media that alone would be a great help.  But of course all donations are greatly appreciated and will greatly benefit a family in need.

A few pics below:

Ivy in particular is adorable and smart but she can’t walk.  SMA was found earlier in Cody and with treatment and God’s Grace he may be able to walk.  For Ivy, the prognosis is less hopeful.

More about the family here:

Mary and Josh King were blessed to begin their family with the birth of Ivy Elise King, a sweet and beautiful little girl.  In the months after she was born, Ivy seemed to develop slowly, and soon after beginning to roll over at 12 months, she stopped her development and began to lose the abilities she had obtained.  Mary and Josh began searching for a reason why their little Ivy could no longer roll over and never crawled or walked.  In January, at 18 months old, Ivy was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, SMA.

SMA is a rare neuromuscular disorder caused by a genetic defect in the SMN1 gene which encodes a protein necessary for the survival of motor neurons.  Without motor neurons, muscles atrophy causing mobility impairment.  While the SMA impairs Ivy’s muscle strength, it has not affected her mind.  Ivy loves to read books, knows her colors and the names and sounds of many animals.  She loves playing with her cousins and enjoys the outdoors.  The news of Ivy having this rare genetic disease was devastating, but even more tragic was the news that their newborn son, Cody Ryan King, also has SMA.

When the Kings began their family, Mary made a choice to stay home and care for the children.  With only one income, the Kings have lived a simple life, having only one car.  With Ivy diagnosed having SMA and the birth of Cody, they found their family car too small for the wheel chair and other equipment that Ivy and soon Cody will need. The King family needs your help.  They need a wheelchair equipped van with a lift to get their children to the doctors and other appointments.  Any amount you are able to donate to this expense is greatly appreciated.  The King family will remember you in their prayers asking God to reward you for your generosity and please remember this beautiful family in your prayers.

Again the crowdfunding website is here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

———–End Quote———-

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

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

The “Other” Miracle at Fatima after the Sun Danced May 24, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, history, Our Lady, Saints, sanctity, thanksgiving, Tradition.
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Reader TE sent this to me this past week, it’s not a huge miracle but it’s an interesting follow-up to what was the most widely seen miracle in the history of the Church – at least since Pentecost or when our Blessed Lord walked this earth:

Several years ago Carl Malburg had the privilege of speaking with a woman who was present in Fatima at the Miracle of the Sun. But what she really wanted to tell him about was the second miracle she witnessed there at Fatima shortly after she and everyone saw the sun dancing in the sky, hurling toward earth, then returning to its place in the heavens.

…….While following the usual pattern of going to a diocese then traveling through parishes, hospitals, and nursing homes with that Pilgrim Virgin statue, Malburg happened to be in San Diego in 1997. There, a woman told him her mother was in Fatima and saw the miracle.  [So this was a little more than several years go.  It was more like 20.]

Malburg picks up the story. “The woman said my mother has always wished to be interviewed because she’s always wanted to tell the story. She is still living, 92 years old now. She insists Our Lady is keeping her mind sharp until someone interviews her.” 

The custodian told this daughter he didn’t know Portuguese but would get someone he knew to translate. He chuckled at this point because the woman answered him, “My mother’s lived in America since 1942. She lost all her Portuguese years ago.”

Since this was the first-ever person at the Miracle of the Sun that Malburg encountered, he asked John Haffert to go with him to talk to her. But Haffert told him to go by himself.

“I found out why she thought why she should be interviewed,” he well remembers from when he got there. “She said she was 12, and that she and the other girls — four of them — walked all the way up from the coast to Fatima.”

Malburg continued with the story as the elderly woman told it. “We were children, and we pushed our way through the crowd. We came really close to the center where the apparitions would be there, and we climbed on some rocks and blocked the view of people behind. We could look down and see [everything]. The three children [Lucia, Jacinta, Francisco] would never have gotten there unless carried on the shoulders of some big men who pushed their way through the crowds.”

Malburg didn’t go into detail about what the woman, whose name has disappeared in the annals of time and travels, said about the sun, but that “she wanted to tell me something else. She moved on because there was another miracle not in the books,” he says. [So a woman reveals a heretofore unknown, and quite significant, set of details regarding the unprecedented apparitions and miracles at Fatima, and you don’t bother to get a name?!?  Dude.]

She told him, “A lot of people picked the twigs and leaves of the bushes to take” because they smelled so good, so aromatic. Those went quickly. “But we picked up some pebbles around the bush [by where Our Lady appeared] because they would smell good too.” Malburg was amazed that here it was 80 years later and she told him she had those pebbles in her furniture draw, making her clothes smell fresh even then.

The woman continued her miracle story. “People put their rosaries on the ground. They knew what way the Blessed Mother would face, and they put their rosaries out there in front of the place. [The pile of] rosaries were shaped like a cross. [After the apparition] There were so many that when everybody went to get their rosaries, they were all tangled up. And they were trying to find the right rosary.

“The men had the three children up on their shoulders again,” she said. Malburg adds, “Otherwise they would be buffeted and smothered — I knew that for a fact.” The woman told him about the girl’s new dresses and people pulling pieces of the lace around them. Malburg also knew about that.

“It was all adding up except the rosaries,” he says. “Then she said, One of the children saw the people had the rosaries all tangled. Then the children slid down from the shoulders, took a handful of [the tangled] rosaries and just passed them out. None were tangled! And everybody got the right rosary! We watched that happen!” she told Malburg, still in amazement.

The woman had waited to tell someone who someday in her lifetime was going to interview her that story about what she and her friends witnessed with the pile of tangled rosaries miraculously untangled, and each one immediately given to the right owner without the seer knowing who in that crowd owned which one.

“My wife and I got goosebumps listening to that,” Malburg recalls.

He immediately asked Haffert, “Are you aware people laid their rosaries in the mud hoping to get a blessing on them?” No one ever told him that, he answered.

“This lady told me a lot of rosaries were laid around the bush,” Malburg repeated, and she said “rosaries were all tangled up. She insisted they [she and her friends] were standing on the rocks, and saw the children pick the rosaries up and hand them out blindly, and everyone got their right rosary.”

Haffert answered him, “Why would you doubt it?”

About 10 years later Malburg came across a magazine article in Portugal that verified this miracle. “This truly was one of the highlights,” he says of the story of the second, little-known miracle at Fatima right after the sun danced in the sky. 

As I said, not exactly a huge miracle, but interesting.  Have you ever heard of this before?