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A little change of pace February 4, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Tradition, Virtue.
1 comment so far

I read about this pre-Trent hymn called Dum Fabricator Mundi.  It’s actually quite ancient. But since it wasn’t used in the Good Friday liturgy of the Diocese of Rome in the period leading up to Pope St. Pius V, it did not get included in the Missal codified by that Saint.  It was, however, used fairly commonly in Europe in the medieval period.  I like chant a great deal, and thought I’d this one and a few others that are lesser known:

Another version, which sounds a bit more Eastern to me though it features more female voices:

This one is better known, and more polyphony than plain chant:

Anyway, I just needed a little beauty to clean my head.  The bad news just keeps coming.  The severance packages have been chopped in half.  Of course!

Father Michael Rodriguez gives interview expanding on his current situation February 4, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, episcopate, Father Rodriguez, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Latin Mass, manhood, martyrdom, persecution, scandals, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
18 comments

This blog has long had a great love for Fr. Michael Rodriguez.  I was very gratified when reader skeinster sent me a link to this interview Father gave to Louie Verrecchio.  Father gives some updates on his situation viz a viz El Paso Bishop Mark Seitz in this interview.  Since it’s out there in the wide open internet, I guess I can cover it, and comment on it.

Below, the entire excerpt involving the impasse between Fr. Rodriguez and Bishop Seitz (emphasis in original, I add comments). I need to make very clear all commentary below is mine alone and is not based on any input from Fr. Rodriguez whatsoever:

Fr. Rodriguez: At present, January 2016, I am a priest in good standing of the Diocese of El Paso, TX, with no pastoral assignment.

My Bishop, Most Rev. Mark J. Seitz, had appointed me as the Administrator of Sacred Heart Mission in Shafter, Texas (a small mission in one of the most remote parts of the diocese), effective July 11, 2014, for a term of three years. However, as a sine qua non condition of the assignment, he insisted that I offer the Novus Ordo Missæ. At the time, I had already been offering the Traditional Latin Mass exclusively for almost three years!

On July 24, 2014, my Bishop issued a Personal Precept which included the order, “I enjoin you to celebrate the Mass and Sacraments according to the Novus Ordo in the Mission of Shafter. The Mass and the Sacraments must be celebrated in the vernacular of the people (English or Spanish) and not Ad Orientem.” [I know of no possible justification in the Canon Law or rubrics by which a priest could be forced to offer Mass facing the people.  Versus populum has NEVER been codified as a default or required position for the priest in any authoritative Church document above national council level.  And the decisions of national councils are NOT authoritative.]

Throughout my nineteen years as a priest, I have always done my best to practice the virtue of obedience, but now I was put in an impossible situation. St. John of the Cross teaches, “Obedience is a penance of the intellect and therefore a more acceptable sacrifice than all corporal penances. Hence God loves your tiniest act of obedience more than all other homages you might think of offering Him.” What was I to do? Never before had the opening words of the prayer from the Divine Office struck a deeper chord in my soul, “Deus in adiutórium meum inténde. Dómine, ad adiuvándum me festína.” “O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me.” The decision I had to make was my most difficult one yet as a priest. Holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God, intercede for me, a poor sinner.

I wrote many letters to my Bishop. The following is a sample of this correspondence; it is an excerpt from a letter which I wrote to him on September 8, 2014, the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

I am 100% committed to my priestly promise of obedience. You are my bishop, and thus, I have promised obedience to you. It is my firm and sincere intention to be obedient to you. Unfortunately for me (and my conscience), your July 24, 2014, Precept contains an order which is “problematic,” to say the least.

[This is really very important……] The order you are giving contradicts Pope St. Pius V’s Apostolic Constitution Quo Primum, Canon IX (a dogmatic canon) of Session XXII of the Holy Council of Trent, Pope Pius VI’s ConstitutionAuctorem Fidei (see the 33rd of 85 propositions which are condemned, Denzinger 1533), Pope Pius XII’s Encyclical LetterMediator Dei 59, and the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium 36 and 54. Moreover, your order appears to be irreconcilable with the Decree of the Council of Nicea II regarding ecclesiastical tradition (Denzinger 308), and Canon XIII (a dogmatic canon) of Session VII of the Holy Council of Trent.

In addition, the order contained in your Precept appears to (a) deny the Catholic priest’s legitimate right to offer the Extraordinary Formof the Roman Rite (presumably, exclusively) as expressed in Summorum Pontificum Art. 1, and (b) dismiss Summorum PontificumArt. 1, “the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V . . . must be given due honor for its venerable and ancient usage.” Finally, from the pastoral perspective, your order appears to disregard the expressed needs and good of the faithful of Presidio/Shafter, who are specifically requesting parish life based on the Traditional Latin Mass. 

As I wrote to you in my July 1, 2014, letter, as a priest of the Diocese of El Paso, I am committed to do my very best to spiritually nourish, teach, and serve the souls placed under my care. However, I cannot do this apart from what has always been the lex orandi, lex credendiof Holy Mother Church. Thus, with respect to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the celebration of the Sacraments, it is not a matter of “preference” or my “unwillingness” to obey; rather, there are all-important ecclesial, theological, liturgical, spiritual, ascetical, and pastoral reasons which compel me, in conscience, to offer the Traditional Latin Mass exclusively.

[Unfortunately, Pope Benedict XVI never addressed this situation, of a former NO priest exclusively offering the TLM, directly in Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae.  As such, many bishops continue to pretend that the TLM was abrogated in 1970 by Paul VI and requires special permission, or conditions, to be offered.  This is plainly against the spirit of Benedict XVI’s documents, and against his clear statement that the TLM was not, nor ever could be, abrogated.  As a valid Rite, the priest should have the option, based on his pastoral reality, to offer the TLM exclusively, even if not a member of an Ecclesia Dei community. But because that point was never specifically addressed, it is viewed as a matter of opinion, at this time, since virtually the entire hierarchy has chosen to jettison the entirety of the pre-conciliar Magisterium as a practical reality in the day to day operation of the Church. Thus, Father’s very well supported arguments from pre-conciliar sources are simply rejected out of hand.]

In the end, I had to follow what Holy Mother Church has always taught. Out of fidelity to God and to the Church’s immemorial lex orandi, lex credendi, and for the good of the souls entrusted to my care, I could not, in conscience, follow the specific liturgical directive given by my Bishop. [I have very strong sympathy for the conclusion Father has reached.  He feels in conscience he cannot offer the Novus Ordo any more.  Some may feel that he is failing in obedience.  That’s not my take, but I understand it.  I see in this action by Bishop Seitz, especially with regard to the demand not to offer Mass Ad Orientem, as unjust and an abuse of power.  The situation regarding the TLM is perhaps arguable (though I strongly side with Father on this), but insisting that a priest MUST face the people at Mass is totally unjustifiable, to my knowledge.]

Effective November 10, 2014, my Bishop revoked my appointment as Administrator of Sacred Heart Mission. I was unable to hold back my tears during the final Holy Sacrifice of the Mass which I offered in Shafter, TX, on Sunday, November 9, 2014. With a sorrowful heart and plenteous tears, I prayed the words of blessed Job, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, as it hath pleased the Lord so it is done. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21)

I begged my Bishop for a minimum one-year sabbatical, in order to have ample time to pray, study, reflect, go on an extended retreat, and discern God’s will for my future. He refused, and instead gave me only six months, and restricted the use of my priestly faculties. Eventually, he extended my sabbatical to August 31, 2015.

At the beginning of October 2015, my Bishop initiated a canonical process to determine whether or not I have committed a Delict against Ecclesiastical Authority (i.e. disobedience). Currently, I await whatever decision he may make. If necessary, I am prepared to appeal to Rome. I am under no illusion that Rome will intervene to do what is right and just, but at least by appealing, I will know, in conscience, that I went to heroic lengths in the practice of obedience by following the juridical process instituted by the Church for recourse against the abuse of power.

At present, I continue to discern God’s will for the future of my priesthood. What is Thy will, O Lord? What wilt Thou have me to do? (Acts 9:6) In spite of some very difficult trials over the past four years, I am in awe of God’s goodness, mercy, and mysterious ways.

———-End Quote———-

Father then goes on to address how he’s like this situation resolved.  The answers are obvious, but Father is very realistic about where he stands.

Please pray for him.  He’s a very good priest who found himself in a nigh impossible situation.  It is such a tragedy that this has occurred.  I don’t want to pontificate too much on his situation, he just really needs prayers at this point.  The future will take care of itself.

Jesus Christ is not known, nor is He loved, in the Most Adorable Sacrament February 3, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Eucharist, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, priests, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.
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As a corollary to the previous post, why has a revolution overtaken the Church?  One prime reason, among many, is lack of love for our Eucharistic Lord.  That love can certainly be expressed by pious, loving reception of the Blessed Sacrament at Mass, but if one only conversed with one’s spouse for less than one hour a week, would that relationship blossom?  As Fr. Lasance notes below, we should commune with Our Eucharistic Lord much more frequently, not only in formal times of Adoration but also when the Blessed Sacrament is reposed in the tabernacle.

That is a great gift Holy Mother Church gives her children, something the protestant, and even the Orthodox, do not have.  The Orthodox do not reserve the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle.  I dropped by a very small, but beautiful, Byzantine Catholic church this past weekend, and was told by the priest that there is no reserved Host, that they confect and consume the Blessed Sacrament during the Liturgy.  This has long been Eastern practice.

Anyway, Fr. Lasance:

It was only granted to a few chosen souls to know Jesus Christ in His hidden life.  His holy Mother and His foster-tumblr_ni05huoJZI1sknvnko1_500father St. Joseph knew Him; the family of St. Elizabeth knew Him; and the relatives and friends of the shepherds who went to adore Him in the stable at Bethlehem knew Him.  But with the exception of these pious persons Our Lord was unknown to the world at large.  Yet the greater number of Jews believed in the future Messias and desired to see Him.  They entertained the idea of a promised Redeemer Who was to come, but they looked no further.

In the present day it is the same in regard to Jesus Christ dwelling amongst us in the Blessed Sacrament.  He is unknown to the great majority of men, as He was at Bethlehem.  Too many professing Christians have no practical knowledge of the Holy Eucharist.  [Boy if that was true back then, can you imagine what Fr. Lasance would think today?  Most Catholics, even those who assist at Mass regularly, view the Blessed Sacrament not as the Real Presence, but, in protestant fashion, as a symbol. Of course, the new Mass was deliberately changed to excise all possible references to the Real Presence.  And that was a very substantial reason why Bugnini wanted to abrogate the Canon (“Eucharistic Prayer I”), but was not allowed to do so, in a rare moment of sanity.  But, practically speaking, outside of a few parishes, the Canon is never prayed at the Mass]

If St. John the Baptist were to return to earth, into how many parishes might he not go, and, pointing to the tabernacle, say to the people: “There hath stood One in the midst of you Whom you know not” (Jn i:26). If you knew Him you would think of Him, you would come to visit Him.  In like manner, St. John the Evangelist might repeat the same words in the present day that he wrote in the earliest ages of Christianity: “He came into His own, and His own 85440ea31988203a2ad53c16a3bdca93received Him not” (Jn i:11).

Yes, we cannot but say with sorrow: Jesus, living in the Sacrament of His love, is unknown, is a stranger; and we must, alas, add that He is not loved. 

“Where your treasure is,” Our Lord says, “there also will your heart be” (Lk xii:34).  Is Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament the treasure of many hearts?

The mind generally acts in accordance with the affections of the heart.  A mother separated from her son frequently thinks of him……Why does that mother’s heart dwell with her absent child? It is because she loves him.

Would you know for certain, O Christian souls, whether you really love Jesus Christ abiding in the Holy Eucharist?  Ask yourself whether the remembrance of that Prisoner of Love is often present to your mind.  If it is so, you have reason to rejoice, for your heart beats in unison with the Heart of Jesus.  But if – which God forbid – you never think of the Divine Guest dwelling in the tabernacle, we are obliged, however sorrowfully, to tell you that you do not love Him. [That’s really something to meditate on]

Alas, how small is the number of Christians who think of Our Lord Jesus Christ present in the Blessed Sacrament! tumblr_nnqfv91GTF1sknvnko1_500 How small the number of those who in their daily pursuits bear in mind the God of love!

It may perhaps be urged that this teaching is above ordinary Christians, that they cannot occupy themselves with the thought of Our Lord in the sacred Host as religious do. To those who are inclined to put forward this objection, we reply by referring them to the Council of Trent.  It is the wish of the sacred Council that the faithful should communicate at every Mass, not merely spiritually, but by sacramental reception of the Holy Eucharist.

If they desired [thusly]……….would they not be equally desirous that Christian people should think, sometimes at least, of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who deigns to dwell among us under the Eucharistic veil?

The mere thought of the love of Jesus for man moved St. Francis of Assisi to tears, and when he was asked why he wept, he answered: “Love is not known, love is not loved!”

———End Quote———

I haven’t really anything to add, other than that I need to spend much more time with Our Lord!  I am going to make it a point this Septuagesima and Lent to spend much more time before the Blessed Sacrament, either in formal Adoration or simply before the tabernacle.

May God make it so!

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China continues Christian crackdown, finally something worthwhile on tumblr February 3, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Christendom, General Catholic, persecution, priests, Revolution, sanctity, Society, Tradition, true leadership.
2 comments

A couple of quick items.  I posted a while back about the mysterious death of a prominent Chinese priest and the fear many Chinese Catholics – including Cardinal Zen – fear of being sold out in the Vatican-Chinese negotiations, and now there are further reports of Chinese persecution of Christians.  Is China unusual (yes), or is it simply in the vanguard of how progressive regimes, given the chance, would treat Christians generally?

…….The Chinese government has just arrested the pastor of China’s largest official Protestant church, as Time reports:

Pastor Gu Yuese, also known as Joseph Gu, was placed under “residential surveillance in a designated location” — the official term for facilities known more commonly as “black jails” — in the city of Hangzhou last Thursday, according to U.S.-based Christian rights group China Aid.

Gu, who headed Hangzhou’s prominent Chongyi Church, was reportedly removed from his post by China’s Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM), the Chinese Communist Party–sanctioned authority that regulates churches, 10 days prior to his detention. He had been vocal in his opposition to the government’s destruction of crosses atop church buildings in China’s Christian-dominated eastern province of Zhejiang, a campaign that began in 2014.

“His arrest marks a major escalation in the crackdown against those who oppose the forced demolition of crosses,” Bob Fu, president and founder of China Aid, said in a statement. “He will be the highest-ranking national church leader arrested since the Cultural Revolution.”

Pastor Gu’s detention represents the latest development in a dispute between China’s central government and the burgeoning Christian community in Zhejiang Province. In 2013, local authorities began a wide-ranging demolition campaign that was ostensibly aimed at “illegal structures,” most of which turned out to be Christian churches and prominent crosses atop them. An internal government document obtained by the New York Times put the lie to the government’s proclamations of neutrality, as it spells out the provincial government’s intention to “remove crosses at religious activity sites on both sides of expressways, national highways, and provincial highways…Over time and in batches, bring down the crosses from the rooftops to the facade of the buildings.” 

So, big shock.  But perhaps a needful reminder of how leftist persecution of Christians can progress from attempts to dominate the hierarchy and doctrine, to erasing any public sign of the Christian faith.

Next, kind of dumb, but I found a whimsical site on tumblr that is finally actually worth something.  Tumblr is widely known for being a haven of many kooky things – like radical feminists – but here’s a site I can get behind: Polish priests blessing things:

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Lots of cassocks.

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They bless pretty much anything, including supercomputers:

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How Good Friday was celebrated in the Medieval Church February 3, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Christendom, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, history, Latin Mass, Liturgical Year, reading, sanctity, Society, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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With Lent and then the Easter Season approaching, I thought it not a bad time to post this excerpt from A Sense of the Sacred: Roman Catholic Worship in the Middle Ages, concerning Good Friday.   Suffice it to say, the degree of passionate intensity and deep piety prevalent in the Middle Ages is amazing, and, I think it can be said, serves as a stark contrast to the relative indifference that surrounds this most holy of days in the modern Church.

There are some interesting tidbits and factoids below.  From pp. 404-5:

Honorius of Autun: “By the Passion of Christ the four elements are purified, and by the four arms of the Cross, the four quarters of the world are saved.  It is for that reason that he is suspended between Heaven and earth, because by His Passion Heaven and earth are united, and the entire world is dedicated a temple to God in His Blood.

It can be said without exaggeration that on Good Friday the entire medieval Christian world came to a standstill before the Cross and the Holy Sepulcher.  The liturgical texts of this period testify to a shared longing to spend every hour of this solemnity with Christ crucified.  This can best be seen in a rubric of Cardinal Bernard of Porto’s Ordo officiorum for Rome’s cathedral church of St. John Lateran from about 1140:

And because not one hour of this day is devoid of the Passion of Christ, its fitting remembrance by us for that purpose of meditation should run through the individual hours, such that this entire day we should continually remember and unceasingly meditate upon these things, when he would have borne the spittle, the reproaches, the blows, the slaps, the crown of thorns, the scourges, the Cross, the nails, the gall, the vinegar, the lance, and death.

Benedictine customaries in the tenth century prescribed the recitation of the entire Psalter from beginning to end on Good Friday, following the morning office of Prime, a practice that by the thirteenth century was being observed by the popes and the Roman Curia.  The Benedictine customary of Fructuaria, Italy (c. 1085), after prescribing the Good Friday recitation of the Psalter, remarks that the monks should pray “with tears” in order that “He, Who on this day vouchsafed to die for us, may mortify the vices in us and vivify the virtues.  As a penance, the Benedictines of 10th century Europe also spent much or all of Good Friday barefoot, a custom that by the twelfth century had spread to the laity.  At Italy’s Benedictine abbey of Monte Cassino, the reading on Good Friday morning of the martyrology entry for the following day during the office of Prime, in anticipation of Holy Saturday, announced to the monks: “Saturday; Our Lord rested in the sepulcher,” and was marked by a total prostration “to the earth” by all present.

———-End Quote———-

One thing A Sense of the Sacred makes clear is how early so many of our liturgical traditions date from.  For instance, the Palm Sunday Procession of Palms was occurring in Jerusalem in the early 4th century, and may well predate that.  Veneration of the Cross on Good Friday started immediately after the finding of the True Cross by St. Helen in the 4th century.  There are aspects traceable at least to the 3rd century, including most of the Roman Canon – and I remind that simply because evidence of earlier use does not exist, does not mean it was not done.  Liturgical historians have repeatedly found evidence of earlier practice of TLM-type rites than was previously known as study has advanced.

Unfortunately, the earliest Church, after the death of the Apostles, so under pressure from persecution, kept very few written records, or they were lost in the collapse of the Greco-Roman civilization.  Monasteries in England had for centuries from Bede the Venerable specialized in maintaining and expanding historical records from ancient times, but almost all of that precious knowledge was lost with Henry VIII’s sack of the monasteries, driven by his insatiable lust for money and……..

A Sense of the Sacred can get pretty dry at times, however.  It’s almost more of a textbook than a real sit down and read book.  There are golden nuggets throughout, but I find much of the content excessively detailed and a bit repetitive for my taste.  What it makes clear in toto, however, is that St. Pius V certainly did not create a new Mass out of whole cloth with his 1570 Missal, but simply rationalized the several minor variations into one formal Rite, which was just the Rite of the Diocese of Rome (and most other places) already extant.  Thus, any claims that Paul VI’s completely novel, and unjustifiable, creation of an entirely new Mass was simply a redo of what St. Pius V had done 4 centuries earlier simply will not stand.

There is absolutely no comparison between the two, and that is why it is really best to avoid referring to the TLM as the “Tridentine” Mass, which usage only plays into the hands of the liturgical revolutionaries who try to play upon ignorance in drawing an invalid comparison between circumstances surrounding the creation of the Mass of St. Pius V and the Novus Ordo Missae.

Fr. Lasance on preparation for Confession February 2, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, reading, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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I got a new (old) book by Fr. Lasance called The Prisoner of Love.  I really find great value in these older devotional books (this one dates from about 100 years ago) than the newer ones.  The book is focused on being a resource for prayer and meditation during Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, but has some other material for Confession, the Mass, and general prayer outside of church.

I  thought some of the material on preparation for Confession was useful, so here it is.  Note, I don’t get into the detailed examinen, there are numerous resources available for such.  What is below is a prayer and some discourse on how to prepare oneself, on a fundamental level, for making a good confession (all emphasis mine):

Before Confession

Reflect that this confession may be the last of your life.  Therefore, prepare yourself for it as if you were lying sick upon your deathbed, and already at the brink of the grave. Ask God to give you the Grace to make a good examination of conscience, the light to see your sins clearly, and the strength to make a sincere confession and to amend your life.  

Prayer

Most merciful God, Father in Heaven, relying on Thy goodness and mercy, I come to Thee with filial confidence to confess my sins and to implore Thy forgiveness.  Thou wilt not despise a contrite and humble heart.  Bless me and receive me again into Thy favor; I acknowledge that I have been most ungrateful to Thee, but I sincerely repent and detest the wrong I have done, and I desire henceforth to walk in the way of perfection, in accordance with Thy holy will.

O Jesus, my Savior, my good Shepherd, I have strayed far from the path that Thou hast marked out for me; I did not follow in Thy footsteps; I wandered into forbidden places.  Repentant and sorrowful, I beg to be admitted again into the fold of Thy faithful followers.  I want to confess my sins with perfect sincerity, as if I were at the point of death.  My Jesus, I look to Thee with confidence for the Grace to examine my conscience well.

O Holy Spirit, come to Thy mercy; enlighten my mind and strengthen my will that I may know my sins, humbly confess them, and sincerely amend my life.

Mary, my mother, Immaculate Spouse of the Holy Ghost, refuge of sinners, assist me by the intercession.

Holy angels and saints of God, pray for me.  Amen.

Examination of Conscience

Begin examining yourself on your last confession: Whether a grievous sin was forgotten through want of proper examination, or concealed or disguised through shame.  Whether you confessed without a true sorrow and a firm purpose of amendment.  Whether you have repaired evil done to  your neighbor.  Whether the penance was performed without voluntary distractions.  Whether you have neglected your confessor’s counsel, and fallen at once into habitual sin. [Those are all really good recommendations.  Priests relate that failure to confess grave sins out of embarrassment is a rampant problem, by virtue of the fact that they have so many souls reveal to them at a last confession that they had failed to confess this sin or that out of shame.  DON’T DO IT!  Don’t be afraid, the priests have heard everything imaginable. You are not uniquely bad.  If yo have some sin you’ve been too afraid to confess, please don’t sit on it.  Both Liguori and Aquinas say many souls fall into hell out of sins they were too afraid to confess, which is a timorous sin against the charity of God and reveals secret pride.  Also important are performing penance in a focused manner, without distractions, and neglecting counsel.  I know I have been lax in some of the penances I have performed]

Then examine yourself on the Ten Commandments, the commandments of the Church, the seven capital sins, the duties of your state of life, and your ruling passion. Calmly recall the different occasions of sin which have fallen in your way, or to which your state and condition in life expose you, the places you have frequented, the persons with whom you have associated. Do not neglect to consider the circumstances which alter the grievousness of the sin, nor the various ways in which we become accessory to the sins of others.

———-End Quote———

Anyway, maybe some of that is obvious, but I thought the bits on examination and making each confession as if it were your last were good reminders.

Just a thought, are there any “modern” – say, post-conciliar – prayer or devotional books that you consider really good? I have used Fr. Hardon’s Catholic Prayer Book for years but really think some of the older ones are better.  But I’m always on the lookout for good resources to recommend, so if you have any thoughts, let me know.

Start Novena for Our Lady of Lourdes today! February 2, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Domestic Church, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Novenas, Our Lady, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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Start Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes today.  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

Mary, you showed yourself to BernadetteLOURDESMARY_BERNA4inchcopy1
in the crevice of the rock.
In the cold and grey of winter,
you brought the warmth, light and beauty
of your presence,

In the often obscure depths of our lives,
in the depth of the world where evil is so powerful,
bring hope,
return our confidence!

You are the Immaculate Conception,
come to our aid, sinners that we are.474718093_70c533b5f9
Give us the humility to have a change of heart,
the courage to do penance.
Teach us to pray for all people.

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.glory4
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 :
Magnificent !

Glory to you, Virgin Mary,
blessed servant of the Lord,
Mother of God,
dwelling place of the Holy Spirit!

Amen.

Fr. Jason Cargo to St. Joseph in Richardson? February 1, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, priests, shocking, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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A commenter over the weekend asked what I thought of Fr. Jason Cargo being appointed pastor of the very large St. Joseph parish in Richardson starting March 1.  It was the first I’d heard of it.  A perusal of the St. Joseph website provided no confirmation (N. B.: I attended St. Joseph in the late 90s and went through RCIA there – a most unedifying experience.  The shadow – not an unfair term, from my POV – of former longtime Pastor Don Fischer continues to hang over the parish.  It was  under his pastoring that I entered the Church).

But assuming the report is true, I think that is a very hopeful development.  I know Fr. Cargo well and have a great deal of respect for him. While he is not traditional, per se’, he certainly trends orthodox and is a devoted pastor of souls.  I know he has great love for reverent liturgy including Latin and Chant.  He has done some really positive things like leading Rosary Processions every day of Lent last  year.

If this comes to pass, I’d be very happy to eat my words concerning the assignment of orthodox priests to the periphery of the Diocese.  This has been widely accepted as being a fact of life for many years in this Diocese, but perhaps the growing shortage of priests and the inevitability of the younger generation means that is changing.  Or, it could mean I and others have been all wet.  Which, if true, I’d be happy to be the first to admit.

For now, consider this only an assertion and not verified until confirmed.  Whatever Fr. Cargo’s future holds, he may be assured of my prayers for his apostolate and my heartfelt thanks.

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Another insightful Rorate interview with Bishop Schneider; gives strong support to SSPX February 1, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Papa, persecution, sanctity, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Rorate has another interview with Bishop Athanasius Schneider.  You might recall they published one last year.

You might also recall a separate interview +Schneider gave in which he spoke positively of the SSPX.  This was in the wake of his apostolic visitation, conducted at the request of Francis.  That interview contained very positive comments towards the SSPX, comments that developed into a bit of a furball involving CMTV trying to get Schneider to retract or explain his comments away, which he never did, to my mind. at least not to change their meaning.

I excerpt a bit of this most recent interview below.  Bishop Schneider, while drawing necessary distinctions, appears to reveal an even more positive attitude towards the SSPX than he did last summer (among a few other matters addressed – my comments as usual):

The very crisis of the Church in our days consists in the ever growing phenomenon that those who don’t fully believe and profess the integrity of the Catholic faithfrequently occupy strategic positions in the life of the Church, such as professors of theology, educators in seminaries, religious superiors, parish priests and even bishops and cardinals. And these people with their defective faith profess themselves as being submitted to the Pope.

The height of confusion and absurdity manifests itself when such semi-heretical clerics accuse those who defend the purity and integrity of the Catholic faith as being against the Pope – as being according to their opinion in some way schismatics. [It’s a train wreck.  To add to the tragedy, I have now had two different people tell me just in the past couple of weeks that protestants on the cusp on converting have backed off due to scandal and confusion caused by Francis.  I imagine my two examples are hardly the last] For simple Catholics in the pews, such a situation of confusion is a real challenge of their faith, in the indestructibility of the Church. They have to keep strong the integrity of their faith according to the immutable Catholic truths, which were handed over by our fore-fathers, and which we find in in the Traditional catechisms and in the works of the Fathers and of the Doctors of the Church.   [Bishop Schneider is saying in times like these, we cannot always look to the institutional Church for orthodox catechesis, but must turn to the unchanging “Magisterium of the Dead” – Tradition]

………When someone or something is unimportant and weak, nobody has fear of it. Those who have fear of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X ultimately have fear of the perennial Catholic truths and of its demands in the moral and the liturgical domain.

When the SSPX tries to believe, to worship and to live morally the way our fore-fathers and the best-known Saints did during a millennial period, then one has to consider the life and the work of these Catholic priests and faithful of the SSPX as a gift for the Church in our days– even as one of the several instruments which the Divine Providence uses to remedy the enormity of the current general crisis of the faith, of the morals and of the liturgy inside the Church.

In some sectors of the SSPX there are, however, as it is the case in every human society some eccentric personalities. They have a method and a mindset which lack justice and charity and consequently the true “sentire cum ecclesia,” and there is the danger of an ecclesial autocephaly and to be the last judicial instance in the Church. [I think he is pointing at the SSPX-SO here] However, to my knowledge, the healthier part corresponds to the major part of the SSPX and I consider their General Superior, His Excellency Monsignor Bernard Fellay, as an exemplary and true Catholic bishop. There is some hope for a canonical recognition of the SSPX. [That’s a pretty clear and bold statement.  Fellay is an exemplary bishop.  Quite an endorsement.  And not one that seems prone to walking back.]

………We have to believe firmly: The Church is not ours, nor the Pope’s. The Church is Christ’s and He alone holds and leads her indefectibly even through the darkest periods of crisis, as our current situation indeed is. [Something very important to remember. We MUST keep the Faith, in spite of all the temptations to the contrary.  We cannot run away like the twelve Apostles.  But there is a world of discussion surrounding just what “keeping the Faith” means, and how that faith can be best exercised.  I try to be as liberal in understanding as possible in that regard, within the bounds of my mediocre conscience, working out my salvation with fear and trembling]

This is a demonstration of the Divine character of the Church. The Church is essentially a mystery, a supernatural mystery, and we cannot approach her as we approach a political party or a pure human society. At the same time, the Church is human and on her human level she is nowadays enduring a sorrowful passion, participating in the Passion of Christ.

One can think that the Church in our days is being flagellated as our Lord, is being denuded as was Our Lord, on the tenth Cross station. The Church, our mother, is being bound in cords not only by the enemies of Christ but also by some of their collaborators in the rank of the clergy, even sometimes of the high clergy………[Or very often the high clergy.  The crisis in the Church is a crisis of leadership, of bad bishops]

………We have to pray that the Pope may soon consecrate explicitly Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, then She will win, as the Church prayed since the old times: “Rejoice O Virgin Mary, for thou alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world” (Gaude, Maria Virgo, cunctas haereses sola interemisti in universo mundo). [So there it is.  It seems Bishop Schneider believes Russia has not been explicitly consecrated, which, judging from Russia’s lack of conversion and the worsening crisis in the Church, would certainly appear to be the case.]

……..Expressions like “development of doctrine” and “pastoral compassion” are in fact usually a pretext to change the teaching of Christ, and against its perennial sense and integrity, as the Apostles had transmitted it to the whole Church, and it was faithfully preserved through the Fathers of the Church, the dogmatic teachings of the Ecumenical Councils and of the Popes.

Ultimately, those clerics want another Church, and even another religion: A naturalistic religion, which is adapted to the spirit of the time. Such clerics are really wolves in sheep’s clothing, often flirting with the world. Not courageous shepherds – but rather cowardly rabbits.    

There is a great deal more at the link.  Bishop Schneider generally does not mince words and tells it like it is.  He goes beyond what some of the other relatively orthodox bishops are willing to say, especially with regard to the Society.  He seems to really feel they are part of the Church, even in their current situation.  Which is not a point I have ever been inclined to argue, while noting that there are problems and limitations attached to that situation.

+Schneider does seem open to the possibility of confrontation with this pontificate over matters of Doctrine, which is hardly surprising.  Saying so publicly, I imagine, means he has been much more strident behind the scenes, as that tends to be how such things go.  He is careful in his words – which some might find disappointing – but I always try to be reasonable in my expectations of bishops who have to walk a fine line.  Yes we’d love to see fire-breathing excoriations and razor-sharp clarity, but that might mean that bishop is removed from office and loses whatever influence he has.  It’s not easy for lay people to understand the risks relatively good bishops like Schneider take in going even as far as they do, and the enormous pressure and threats they face.

With that in mind, I’d say it’s a very good and helpful interview, overall.  I’m glad we have Bishop Schneider in the Church.

Calgary bishop wages war against the sexular pagan state January 28, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, manhood, persecution, Revolution, secularism, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I don’t know much about Calgary Bishop Frederick Henry.  I think I heard some rumbles a while back that he wasn’t terribly friendly to the TLM, but that was a long time ago and I could be misremembering.  Whatever his general level of orthodoxy and promotion of Tradition, he has done a great thing in opposing the totalitarian imposition on all public and private schools in Alberta of the radical sexular pagan pro-sodomy agenda of the left wing government inexplicably elected to power in Canada’s most conservative province (which, being Canada…….isn’t saying much).

Bishop Henry has released two documents excoriating the totalitarian agenda at work and its promotion of the rankest immorality.  After his first missive, he received some heavy criticism from sexular pagan quarters but has not backed down and had released a second tome solidifying his stand.  As such, Bishop Henry is giving an all too rare episcopal witness to the Truth of Jesus Christ and taking a stand against the dominant, if perverse, secular power.

Some coverage below from the Edmonton rag, then some excerpts from Bishop Henry’s first letter:

If you are reading this piece in the hopes of discovering an apology and/or a retraction, you might as well stop reading right now. That’s simply not going to happen,” Henry wrote on the Calgary Catholic Diocese website.

Henry said he has received much support: “Only God can judge the state of the human soul, but it is pure nonsense to suggest we cannot and should not judge human behaviour.” [Dang right. Which is what makes “who am I to judge” – whether taken radically out of context or not (and the evidence says not) – such a poisonous doctrine.  We’ll never be rid of the attempts to exploit that dreadful statement for nefarious, anti-Catholic purposes]

Henry set off a societal debate and firestorm when he issued a letter Jan. 13, calling ministerial guidelines to help schools create policies to protect the rights and safety of transgender and other LGBTQ students and teachers “totalitarian.” [You’re forcing radical change in behavior on 98% of the population for the sake of 2%.  You’re not just encouraging mentally ill people to embrace their illness (and if you knew some transgenders, you would know exactly what I mean), you are extolling them as the most special, most deserving among us, to whom everyone else should yield without question or rebuttal.  Yes, I call that totalitarian]

The guidelines suggest [BS – require] schools allow transgender students to choose which bathroom they want to use, which sports teams to play on and what pronouns to which they should be referred.

“God created beings as male and female. … In his plan, men and women should respect and accept their sexual identity,” Henry wrote in his first letter. Both letters said: “This approach and directive smack of the madness of relativism and the forceful imposition of a particular narrow-minded anti-Catholic ideology.”…….. [Spot on]

…….“I think the spirit of collaboration and looking after children, especially our children who are most vulnerable, I think will steer the day,” Eggen said.

He said the private Edmonton Islamic Academy has been co-operative about drafting its transgender policies and wants to comply with human rights laws. [That’s because islam has internal rules, viciously enforced, that prevent people from ever “coming out” as inclined to perversion or so self-loathing they desire to be the opposite sex from which they were born.  This is a non-issue for them, by and by]

Now a few quotes from the first letter:

……..The Alberta Government “Guidelines” issued on January 13th show no evidence of consultation with or sensitivity to the Catholic community. They breathe pure secularism……..

……..All persons – married, single, religious and ordained – need to acquire the virtue of chastity……..

……..Chastity unites our sexuality with our entire human nature. It approaches sexuality as related to our spiritual natures so that sex is seen as more than a physical act. Sexuality affects the whole person because of the unity of body and soul. Jesus is the model of chastity.

Chastity includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a training in human freedom“(CCC, no.2339). The acquisition of chastity depends on self-discipline and leads to internal freedom, which enables human beings to temper sexual desires according to God’s plan for the appropriate expression of love in the marital relationship of a man and a woman. [And to overcome the slavery of sin, the greatest weakness of which the Fall left us with was an inclination towards abuse of the faculties suited for the procreation of children]

GSAs and QSAs are highly politicized ideological clubs which seek to cure society of “homophobia” and “heterosexism,” and which accept the idea that all forms of consensual sexual expression are legitimate. [And even some which are non-consensual, in their less guarded moments. Never forget that the perverse lobby has children as their ultimate target.  The Alberta government is trying to force these clubs into every school, including Catholic, which would be absurdly against the US Constitution – if that matters anymore – but Canada is a much more authoritarian government/society than the US] The view of sexuality that they espouse is not Catholic.

The Supreme Court held that “to tell a Catholic school how to explain its faith undermines the liberty of the members of its community who have chosen to give effect to the collective dimension of their religious beliefs by participating in a denominational school”(para.62), “ìt amounts to requiring a Catholic institution to speak about Catholicism in terms defined by the state rather than by its own understanding of Catholicism” (par.63), and “ìt also interferes with the rights of parents to transmit the Catholic faith to their children” and the “rights of parents to guide their children’s religious upbringing”(para. 64 & 65). [So it seems this regulation by unelected officials is also contrary to Canadian jurisprudence.  Does that matter anymore, or are we in a nakedly lawless, will to power situation north and south of the 49th parallel?]

And the second letter:

……Only God can judge the state of the human soul but it is pure nonsense to suggest we cannot and should not judge human behaviour. Reluctance to judge moral behaviour is the inevitable consequence of moral relativism and moral subjectivism that has eroded confidence in the ability to determine objective moral truth on which sound judgment is based…… [And moral relativism is a communist concept and technique deliberately contrived to destroy the moral fiber of the non-communist West and eventually topple the society of Christendom.  Mission dang near accomplished, I am horrified to admit.]

……Having a clear Faith, based on the Creed of the Church, is often labelled today as a fundamentalism. Whereas, relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and ‘swept along by every wind of teaching,’ looks like the only attitude acceptable to today’s standards. We are moving towards a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as certain and which has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires. [And which has most frequently left children abandoned and broken in the wake of these desires.  I repeat, ultimately the immoral left will make “normalized” sexual access to children their openly avowed goal.]  However, we have a different goal: the Son of God, true man. He is the measure of true humanism. Being an ‘Adult’ means having a faith which does not follow the waves of today’s fashions or the latest novelties.

A faith which is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ is adult and mature. It is this friendship which opens us up to all that is good and gives us the knowledge to judge true from false, and deceit from truth”……

Very true.  Bishop Henry’s (and how rare is it today, to see a bishop who refers to himself by not his first, but his last, name) response could have been stronger, but it was far better than the mealy-mouthed response of the Bishop of Edmonton.

Note that this new regulation was issued in early January, and school districts and religious groups were given less than 3 months to draft their plans to implement this regulation.  The left never moves slow, while the restoration, to the degree any moves in that direction occur at all, is achingly so.

Well, while I’m fairly certain Bishop Henry has his flaws and is probably not the shining beacon of orthodoxy and defense of the Faith in all the situations we might like, still, good for him for taking this stand.  I’ve always thought such things, rare as they are, should be recognized and extolled.  Hopefully he will remain as steadfast when in conference with his brother bishops and when negotiating with our sexular overlords.  I pray the Lord may give him strength.

Just an FYI – while the comparison is not entirely apt, relatively speaking, Alberta electing the “New Democrat Party” is about like seeing Texas elect an overwhelming slate of hard socialists.  The election in 2015 was the first time ever Alberta, as I said Canada’s most conservative province, had elected this party to power.  And they did so in dramatic fashion, giving this left wing party a nearly 2/3 supermajority.  It was a thoroughly shocking result.  And now Albertans are going to get to “enjoy” the fruit of having elected a left-wing government, including the now de rigueur attacks on the Church and Christianity generally.

Voters having temper tantrums can be bad things.

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