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A Troika of Awesome Sermons on Fatherhood June 22, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, episcopate, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, manhood, mortification, priests, sanctity, Society, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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I’m not going to try to give a synopsis of each of the three sermons below, I’m only going to say they are from a fantastic and much missed (by me, and others) priest, and on a topic of absolutely vital importance: spiritual and natural fatherhood.  I would agree with the priest that the root crisis in the Church and world today is a total collapse of all forms of fatherhood – the pious and virtuous father in the home, the holy priest who sacrifices himself for his flock in the knowledge that he will be judged severely for every soul that falls away or into sin, and fatherhood stemming from exalted episcopal offices in the Church, by which the souls of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and even millions are affected.

As anyone with eyes to see knows, fatherhood as an institution in every sense in recent decades has been in practically terminal decline.  The manifest problems stemming from failures by fathers in the home are too well known to review, but the enervation of spiritual fatherhood in the Church is perhaps less well known, or at least less recognized, and is even more poisonous to souls and the good of Christendom (what’s left of it) than the divorce rate, fornication, abortion, abandoned children, leviathan state, and other evidences of bad fathers in the home.

These three videos should be watched in order as each builds on the preceding one.  They give an awesome catechesis on all aspects of fatherhood – and the spiritual aspects of familial fatherhood should never be underestimated, as the father is the head of the domestic church! – as well as a powerful exhortation to amend our lives, as few if any fathers in this age, be they spiritual or familial, are performing their sacred and vital office with as much dedication and virtue as they should be.

I don’t know if synopses encourage people to watch videos I post more or not, and while there is a fairly significant time investment in watching or listening to these three, they are absolutely worth the time!  Listen while you do some household chores.  Listen while you drive. These are a must for men but also extremely valuable for women.  I pray you will take the time to listen to all of them, as I have.  There is catechetical wisdom contained in these sermons that is virtually impossible to find elsewhere and of inestimable value.

And yes Father gives me a shiny nickel for each view he gets, so I was really motivated to give a heavy sales pitch*.

Oh, Father does touch on one thing in the first video I thought I’d explore a bit in this post.  He leads off discussing the subject of mission, or being sent, and how only those commissioned by the Church in apostolates really have the right – and solemn duty – to perform various duties related to souls.  Fathers of families get their mission to raise children up in the Faith to be holy souls by the Sacrament of Matrimony.  Of course priests get their mission from the Sacrament of Holy Orders and their incardination in various dioceses or religious orders.

Protestants, however, do not have valid holy orders, nor do they possess valid sacraments.  Related to the post from Tuesday discussing Dave Eubank and his “mission” serving souls in extremely dangerous situations in Iraq, this is a point I wanted to address but did not get to.  But in reality, for all the good Eubank is doing, and it seems to be substantial, he has no proper mission in an ecclesiastical sense.  No protestant does.  Not even High Anglicans/Anglo-Catholics in pseudo-orders have such valid missions. That is something only the Church can give.

But mission is also something that is presently completely misunderstood, and even misrepresented to the point of abuse, in the Church today.  So many priests are horribly abusing their mission in preaching error and kow-towing to (almost always) Leftist politico-religious shibboleths.  Familial fathers have their own grave problems.  Anyway I thought this an interesting point and the concept of mission, as discussed by father, plays and absolutely vital role in all forms of fatherhood.

*-I am, of course, joking.

Multi-Part Tour through the Spanish Missions of San Antone: Part II, Mission June 14, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Christendom, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, history, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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The first part covered Mission Concepion, this post covers Mission San Francisco de la Espada.

I again will give some coverage of the general and liturgical history of the mission, while sharing a number of photographs I took.  Mission Espada – and in particular the chapel – fell into more complete ruins than just about any of the missions.  Mission San Jose experienced a horrific roof/wall collapse in the 1890s during Mass – no death toll was reported, but it gives an idea of the decrepitude into which these structures were allowed to slide.  When locals finally took notice of the significance of these decayed treasures, protestants played a significant role in funding and restoring all the missions.  Strangely enough.

The main facade of the chapel is really about all that is original to the structure.  Most of the rest of the building was replaced in the 20th century.  You can see at the top the local bricks which were made by natives and were used in the construction of this mission.  These are supposed to be some of the first masonry bricks made in Texas.

The door is an interesting shape and attracts a good amount of intention.  It is shaped almost like a keyhole.  I do not think the doors are original.  They are heavily weathered but being cedar I would guess they are somewhere on the order of 80-100 years old.  Again, most of the original doors, furnishings, statues, and even stone structure of the original missions was removed by locals – primarily the descendants of the natives who originally occupied the missions – for their own private use from the 1790s onwards as the missions were forcibly secularized by the Spanish government and the mission communities rapidly fell apart thereafter.

The bells are still functional, and these are the pulls they use to ring them at the start of Mass to this day.  I did not get a clear answer on whether the bells are original or not, but it was great to see a parish that still has real bells and uses them – though not for calling the Angelus, unfortunately.

Another shot showing the interior of the door and the pull cords for the bells.  The stucco interior is a 20th century replacement.

As I said, these chapels are still in regular use.  I had to go to Mission Espada and Mission San Juan twice, in the first case because a Confirmation? was going on, and the second because Mission San Juan is really only on Sundays for Mass and occasionally for special events.

But I’m a trooper, and went back the next day, Sunday, to visit the chapels when I knew they would be open but empty. You can get a sense for the small size of the chapels, this one, I would estimate, is about 3/4 the size of the local Carmelite chapel. Some Dallasites will know how small that is.

Mission Espada has been as thoroughly wreckovated as any of the missions.  While it is gratifying to see a tabernacle in all of them, altar rails and high altars were all removed at some point.

These statues are wonderful, and if not original to the mission they are close period pieces or excellent replicas.  I’m quite certain the statue of our suffering Savior is of Spanish Colonial origin, but I’ll get to that later.

Some kind of structure remains where the proper pre-conciliar altar would have been.  I saw these in two of the missions, a large stone or concrete block.  I am imagining it formed the basic structure of the original altars before they were removed.

Mission Espada contains no trace that I could detect of the original altar or altar rails, which is sad, since at least replicas of the originals or some kind of pre-conciliar replacement would have been in place during the general restoration of the 1920s-30s.

Beautiful statue of Our Lady.  I do love the polychrome.  I don’t what vintage the crucifix is, but it was also very pretty though shunted off to the side and largely blocked by flowers.

Sorry the lighting is so poor on this, even with flash the image was shrouded in shadows. This is a magnificent colonial era crucifix, or a great replica.  The hair would be real human hair, as was the custom min the Spanish colonies.  Polychromed, and possibly carved by local natives, whether they were original natives to these missions or not.  There was no one around to answer any questions about Mission Espada or any of the remaining art.

This is a glorious statue and so evocative of both the period and Spanish liturgical style generally.  The joints are bunched up because the arms can be repositioned for various poses, though I doubt anyone has dared to do that with this statue in many years.  Amazing that such craftsmanship could be achieved with nothing but hand tools.  I imagine all the interior mechanisms are wood.  I have no idea what condition they are in, or whether they have various fabrics with which to dress Our Savior for different festivals or liturgical periods.  I tend to think not.

I also don’t know how old these pews are – they look quite old and worn – but was again amazed by their quality given that they are probably at least a century or so old, and could be quite older.  Again, nothing but hand tools like chisels and awls made such sturdy, long-lasting pews.  Very impressive to an amateur woodworker like me.

Ceiling.  I just love how that aged cedar looks.

St. Francis.

Out of time, I’ll try to post more tomorrow.  And I plan on covering my favorite, the most traditional, liturgically, Mission San Juan Capistrano.

One thing that strikes me is that absolutely NONE of this would exist if the Church had the same attitude towards evangelization then that it has today.  The Church has truly been betrayed by her own, she is almost unrecognizable from her historical self.

Start Sacred Heart Novena today! June 14, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Basics, Domestic Church, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Novenas, Our Lady, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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Two versions of the Novena, as I finally post again.  Sorry folks, work is a factor but I’ll also admit I just don’t have the same drive to post that I used to.  I am spending my time doing other things like making prix dieu for people to pray on and building mobile confessionals.  I don’t know if this latter work is more important, but it seems more suited to my desires right now.

But I have no plans to quit blogging altogether, I’ll keep posting from time to time.  For instance I definitely plan to post on the 3 San Antonio Spanish Missions I have not covered, yet.

Two versions of the Sacred Heart Novena for you to choose from, if you haven’t already got a favorite:

I have two versions, one from Fisheaters and another that is from St. Margaret Mary Alocoque.  First:

O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore Thee, I love Thee and with a lively sorrow for my sins, I offer Thee this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to Thy will. Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in Thee and for Thee. Protect me in the midst of danger; comfort me in my afflictions; Sacred-Heart-Il-Gesugive me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, Thy blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Within Thy Heart I place my every care. In every need let me come to Thee with humble trust saying, Heart of Jesus help me.

Now, what many already pray daily, if you are like me:

I.O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.” Behold I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of……(here name your request)
Our Father….Hail Mary….Glory Be to the Father….Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

II.O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.” Behold, in your name, I ask the Father for the grace of…….(here name your request)Our Father…Hail Mary….Glory Be To the Father….Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.sacred heart bird hand painted colorful.jpg

III. O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away.” Encouraged by your infallible words I now ask for the grace of…..(here name your request)Our Father….Hail Mary….Glory Be to the Father…Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

OSacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of you, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, your tender Mother and ours.
Say the Hail, Holy Queen and add: St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.
— St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Multi-Part Tour through the Spanish Missions of San Antone June 8, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Christendom, General Catholic, history, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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So this past weekend, after probably close to 100 lifetime visits to the San Antonio area, I finally went and visited the four Spanish Mission parishes that are still extant in the southern part of town.  Yes there is technically a fifth, San Antonio de Valero aka The Alamo, but that site has nothing of a religious character left to it and is always annoyingly crowded.

I took a lot of pictures, and want to give some assessment both of the history of each mission – especially it’s liturgical history and changes since the Council – and its current state, so I will cover one mission each in a post on a different day.  First up, the first we went to Mission Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Acuña, aka Mission Concepcion.  I’ll sort of scroll through with some pics and provide a rolling commentary:

Mission Concepcion was begun in San Antonio in 1731.  The actual mission building you see above was started in 1740 and completed in 1755.  Of all the San Antonio missions, Mission Concepcion is by far the most architecturally intact, having been built on bedrock, in never experienced near total collapse as several other of the missions did during the period of their abandonment and neglect from circa late 1790s to 1880s.  What you see above is largely how it would have appeared in its heyday, except for the missing white plaster/stucco and some architectural ornaments which have been lost.

The nicho above is empty, but probably held a statue at one time. Unfortunately during the long years of neglect many features of the buildings were damaged, destroyed, or stolen, including entire sets of 18 foot solid cedar doors.

Inscriptions above the main doors.  Details like this from the other missions have been loss due to the disrepair into which they fell.  But here the inscription is still largely legible though it fails to make sense to me.  Perhaps some parts are missing?

It is known that the interiors and exteriors of all the missions were covered with extensive painted frescoes done by local Indian artisans.  These details were lost on other missions due to their decay, but remain at least a little intact at Mission Concepcion.  All of these are interior frescoes, any exterior painting was lost long ago along with the stucco:

“Brother sun?”  Also perhaps a representation of the Holy Spirit.

Vandalism and lack of care caused the vast majority of the frescoes to be lost.  I was shocked how many statues had their heads shot off by bonehead Texans, Mexicans, or Tejanos back in the day.

The above is a small side chapel.

Main part of the church.  The walls have been repainted.  The sanctuary has been extensively remodeled/wreckovated.  As you will see in later posts, sometimes the high altars were permitted to remain, sometimes portions of them were removed to side chapels, and sometimes they were entirely ripped out.  The huge stone (concrete?) base of the original high altar here remains but little else.  A new table altar fronts the altar of the Immemorial Mass which was offered in these sacred buildings for decades.  At least some altar rail remains though I doubt it is ever used.

That’s definitely 18th-century era Spanish or New World Latin American painting, or a good replica.  I suspect it is genuine, but almost certainly not original to any of the missions, as most such movable art was lost years ago.

It is good to see tabernacles in all the main chapels, which held the Blessed Sacrament.  All the missions are still active parishes.

Looking back to choir loft, which is no longer used.  It is occupied with AC ducts.

Over 250 year old hand-painted Indian art.  Quite good.

Don’t know for certain, but I suspect this may be the Mission’s original altar crucifix, or a near-period piece.  It is definitely Spanish Colonial and I love the polychrome.  Is polychrome even done anymore?  It gives such a wonderful, durable finish!

Period statue.  Our Lady, but bare-headed?  I originally thought an angel, but there are angels under her feet.  I guess it’s Our Lady.

Excellent and I am quite certain original period painting of St. Francis.  Probably mid-18th century. Heavily stained with candle smoke/incense.  I love it.

Ancient baptistry.  It has drain holes, not sure how they recovered the holy water?

You can see the extreme effects 250+ years of South Texas heat, humidity, and pollution has had on the exterior.  Some portions have had to be buttressed with concrete, but most of the structure is original, unlike the other missions, which are mostly reproductions added back since the 1930s.

I don’t think either the chest/stand or tabernacle are period pieces.  This one was empty.

It is amazing to consider that all of this was built with Indian labor using nothing but simple hand tools, fulcrums, block and tackle, etc,. and that it has survived as well as it has.  The period of neglect was almost total, most of the missions were completely abandoned with Masses only held irregularly, if ever, no permanently assigned staff, no money, no maintenance, and general abandonment for extensive periods of time.  That they exist at all is an amazing testament to the Spanish design and native craftsmanship.  Though she has long been besmirched and derided in the Anglosphere, Catholic Spain continues to give, and generously, to the entire world and especially the Western Hemisphere.

And that is all.  More detail on the other missions.

There were varying levels of crowds at all the missions, with the “main mission” of Mission San Jose being the most consistently crowded.  There are not very many folks at the least modified, liturgically speaking – Mission San Juan Capistrano, my personal favorite.  We’ll hit that one next.  God willing.

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.

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga on the Practice of Humility June 6, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in attachments, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Grace, mortification, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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If you’re anything like me, you may have a hard time practicing humility.  I don’t think blogging as an enterprise is well-suited for the development of humility, but it doesn’t have to be incompatible with the practice of this virtue.

In this era of exaltation of the self and the cult of instant gratification, probably few virtues aside from purity have been more trammeled on and disregarded than humility.

Mostly I fail in humility in preferring my own thoughts, plans, and opinions to others.  But I also do so in myriad other ways.  Probably most readers are stronger in this virtue than I am.  If so, please pray for me.

On the other hand, if you feel you could use some help in the growth of the practice of humility, you might consider the counsel given by the great Saint Aloysius Gonzaga. There are no great mysteries or deep behavioral insights below, but I have found that imploring the Lord, the Blessed Virgin, and the Saints for their help in acquiring this virtue can reap great rewards. Especially focus on those Saints known for their humility, such as St. Teresa of Avila and Saint Mary Magdalene dei Pazzi. Also, St. Joseph, especially for men, is our model of humility.  He is barely mentioned in the Gospels, because he married exceedingly well the practice of humility with his role as protector and provider of the two holiest creatures who have ever trod the earth. I find this an especial challenge for fathers, marrying humility with right family leadership, not asserting what I want because of my role, but also not failing in my God-given duty as leader of our domestic church and family.  It is a difficult balance, one I cannot say I always practice with perfection.

Intro aside, here are Saint Aloysius Gonzaga’s two rules for making progress in humility:

The first means is to remember that although this virtue is most becoming to man, on account of his lowliness, nevertheless it does not grow upon our earth, but must be obtained from Heaven by prayer to Him, from Whom every best gift and every perfect gift comes.  Since, then, you are proud, force yourself to ask this virtue of the infinite Majesty of God, its first Source, with all the humility of which you are capable, and ask it through the merits and intercession of the deep humility of Jesus Christ, Who, when He was in the form of God, emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant.

The second means is to have recourse to the intercession of those Saints who have especially excelled in this virtue.

Remember, first, that if the Saints while on earth merited to obtain this virtue in such a high degree, they must certainly now be still more worthy and deserving, since in Heaven they are far more pleasing to God than they ever were on earth. And as they no longer need to humble themselves for their own sake, since by this virtue they have already won their way to the heights of Heaven, beg of them to obtain for you from God this virtue of humility.

Secondly, consider that on earth everyone naturally tries to help those who follow the calling in which he has distinguished himself.  For example, a great general who frequents the King’s Court will recommend to his royal master those who devote themselves to service in the army; a distinguished man of letters will patronize those who follow a literary vocation………So too in Heaven those who excelled in some particular virtue more than in others, whilst they lived on earth, will most favor and help those who are striving most to acquire these virtues, and who seek their intercession in order to obtain them.  These considerations should encourage you, in the first place, to have recourse especially to the Blessed Virgin Mother of God, for she excelled in the virtue of humility far beyond any other mere creature.  Then hasten to the holy Apostles, to St. Peter, who said of himself “Depart from me, O Lord, for I am a sinful man), and to St. Paul, who, although he had been rapt into the third heaven, had such a humble opinion of himself that he said: “Jesus came to save sinners, of whom I am the chief.”

The first of these two thoughts will help you to understand how powerful these Saints are with God in obtaining for  you this virtue; and the second will show you not only how much they are able to do, but also how willing they are to do it.

———-End Excerpt———–

Great Post: Remaining Faithful in the Age of Francis June 1, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, episcopate, error, fightback, Francis, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Interior Life, persecution, Revolution, scandals, secularism, Society, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Thanks to reader T for sending me this link.  I have so little time to read many blogs like I used to.  But below I excerpt (too much) what I believe to be a very helpful and insightful post from Mundabor on how to remain faithful in an age of extreme rebellion and sabotage against the Faith, even by those given great influential offices and responsibilities in the Church.  Mundabor says to share this info, so I copy the most relevant parts, but please click on the link so he knows it is being widely read.

And away we go (my emphasis and comments):

Francis is about to appoint more Cardinals. It is a slow process of erosion, from Cardinals who do not believe in God but feel obliged to fake their faith to Cardinals who do not believe in God and feel obliged to demolish the faith.

At this point it is fair to say that even if Francis were to die tomorrow, the probability of getting a Tagle would be very high. Or a Schoenborn. Or some other CINO. Bar a Divine intervention, the demolition of the Church is going to continue……..[I’m afraid I must concur.  I don’t think it will significantly improve in my lifetime, and will probably become even worse.]

What is, therefore, a poor Catholic to do? I suggest the following:

1. Realise that God is punishing us for the madness and rebellion of Vatican II. He is making us swallow the entire bottle of the poison we wanted to drink. This will teach us a lesson all right. [It may be argued by some that the rebellion is somehow separate from the actual product of Vatican II, the several documents that came out of the Council, but this is a general statement.  There has been a mass rebellion against the perennial belief and practice of the Faith since Vatican II.  It actually was well underway before, but exploded into realization during and after the Council.]

2. Resolve to live and die in your faith no matter the scale of the destruction. [Dang right.  Don’t let them drag you down. Keep the Faith.  Use the tools in previous posts. The revolutionaries can wreak all kinds of destruction.  They can lead souls into error or confirm them there.  They can cause millions to fall away. But you have a special grace, at least some attachment to the constant belief and practice of the Faith (I presume, if you are reading this blog and this post.) Even if they take the TLM away somehow, do not give up the Faith.  Keep going, doing the best you can, whether that means an “illicit” TLM somewhere or muddling through in the Novus Ordo.  No I don’t think God is going to damn any souls who assist at illicit TLMs under severe duress.]

3. Realise that your individual salvation is not decided by Tagle or Schoenborn or Bergoglio. It is decided by God, who expects you to collaborate with His grace towards it.

4. Understand that God’s ways are such that no one, whom God has decreed worthy of Salvation, will be lost because of Francis. [or his predecessors or successors] God does not allow Francis to decide for Him concerning the eternal fate of anyone. Therefore, an age of unbelief and clown Popes is simply an age in which many are Reprobates. But they always were. They were Reprobates from all eternity. God has decreed already that they will refuse, out of their own volition, to collaborate with His grace. Not one of them will be lost because of Francis; rather, they were born in the Age of Francis because God has decreed that they will be lost. [I will admit detailed understanding of the Catholic view of predestination is not my strong suit, but I did not think it Catholic belief that He decrees in advance that souls will be damned?  That sounds kind of Calvinist to me? Yes God knows who will be lost and saved, but I did not think it was a positive decree from God, as that would impede free will. At any rate, I would rather say, God has allowed Francis to become pope because of the sinfulness of fallen men (the electors principally, but the entire Church in its weakness of faith), and as a special challenge and source of Grace for the faithful.  Every time has its own challenges, however, as Mundabor notes below, we live in a time of material plenty, but of spiritual and moral depravity.  Others lived in times of moral rectitude and spiritual fruitfulness but great material want.  Which is more difficult is not easy to discern.]

5. Fight your battle with determination and perseverance, but do not expect to see any improvement during your lifetime. We don’t know how long this punishment will go on. We can do no other but endure it in faith and fight our little battle for as long as we breathe.

6. Realise that this determination will cause you to collaborate with Grace and “merit” (as far as your part is concerned) Purgatory one day. [and even ascending to the Beatific Vision if we are particularly faithful, yes?] Paraphrasing the famous statement, blessed are those who carry on for decades believing what their forefathers have believed in the face of generalised treason from the clergy. Inasmuch as we can gain merit for ourselves, there must be more merit for carrying on for an entire lifetime in an age of sabotage.

7. Use the possibilities modern technology and the wealthy, peaceful conditions of the West give you. You are not living under bombardments, or in time of famine, or pestilence. Nurture your Catholicism on the endless sources you find on the Internet, buy good Catholic books, deepen the faith in its many aspects. React to Francis by becoming more Catholic. [I generally agree, but if you find reading numerous blogs and websites about the atrocities ongoing in the Church gets you down, as strange as it might seem for a blogger to say, STOP!  I have seen people twist themselves off into outright apostasy over the travesties they see occurring in the Church in these days. DO NOT LET THAT HAPPEN TO YOU!!]

8. Ask the Blessed Virgin to intercede with the Lord so that your faith may be strengthened no matter what. Resolve to let your faith grow, not falter, at every papal assault. Pray your favourite Saint every day that he may also intercede for you. [Or Saints. I particularly counsel devotion to St. Joseph, who is such an amazingly powerful intercessor]

9. Reflect that even if you have a very long life, it will be but an instant compared to the eternity afterwards. Whatever pain FrancisChurch gives you, resistance to it is an investment with huge rewards.[!!]

10. Think of this every day: nil inultum remanebit, nothing will remain unpunished. All those popes, Bishops and cardinals who betray the faith and die unrepentant will pay the most atrocious price for their rebellion. When their antics enrage you, reflect that God will not leave anything unpunished.

While, I think, praying for their conversion. I actually look upon my prayers for Francis’ conversion or replacement as a work of mercy, so he will stop piling up offenses against God.  No matter how much destruction they wreak, no matter how much they hurt and offend us, we cannot hope for eternal punishment for any soul.  It is unjust and uncharitable to do so. All have sinned.  We may be afflicted with particularly wicked and unworthy men as leaders in the Church right now (and for the past several decades), but I do not wish hell or upon any of them.  Even their time in Purgatory, should they be so fortunate, are terrible to consider.  As is my own.

In total, a few quibbles aside, great advice from Mundabor.  I thank him for this post.  I pray you find it useful, too, and please make your own suggestions, for the benefit of all, how to survive and even thrive in this dark time. Everyone needs encouragement from time to time.

 

Saint Alphonsus’ 16 Principal Means for Attaining Sanctity June 1, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, mortification, religious, Saints, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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The world may seem to be falling down around us, but our duty is to practice virtue and work towards the attainment of the greatest sanctity possible regardless.  From The True Spouse of Jesus Christ, Saint Alphonsus’ 16 means to the attainment of sanctity.

This list, as it goes along, becomes quite challenging, but it is held up as an example of how to attain perfection, to whatever degree we are capable in cooperation with Grace:

  1. Strong and ardent desire to become a saint.
  2. Great confidence in Jesus Christ and in His Holy Mother.
  3. To avoid every deliberate sin or defect, and after a fault not to lose courage, but to make an act of contrition for it, and then resume  your ordinary occupations.
  4. To cut off all attachment to creatures, to self-will, and self-esteem.
  5. To resist continually your own inclinations. [4 and 5 are very difficult, and will take many a lifetime even to begin, but we are talking about attainment of practical perfection, to the degree humans aided by Grace are capable of such.  The thing is to do  your best and, most importantly, always be advancing, never retreating]
  6. To observe with exactness the rules governing your state in life.
  7. To perform your ordinary duties with all possible perfection
  8. To communicate often – with the permission of your director/priest; to make long and frequent meditations,  and to perform all the mortifications which he will permit
  9. To prefer, on all occasions, those actions which are most agreeable to God, and most opposed to self-love.
  10. To receive all crosses and contradictions with joy and gladness from the hands of God.
  11. To love and serve those who persecute you. [10 and 11 are also very difficult. They are so contrary to our fallen natures. But again we are talking about working towards perfection]
  12. To spend every moment of your time for God.
  13. To offer to God all your actions in union with the merits of Jesus Christ.
  14. To make a special oblation of yourself to God, that He may dispose of you and of all you possess in whatever way He pleases.
  15. To protest continually before God that His pleasure and love are the only objects of your wishes.
  16. Lastly, and above all, to pray continually, and to recommend yourself, with unbounded confidence, to Jesus Christ and to His Virgin Mother and to entertain a special affection and tenderness towards Mary.

On the need to always be advancing in sanctity, and never retreating, a further excerpt:

“Not to advance,” says St. Augustine, “is to go back.” St. Gregory beautifully explains this maxim of spiritual life by comparing a Christian who seeks to remain stationary in the path of virtue to a man who is in a boat on a rapid river, and striving to keep the boat always in the same position………Since the fall of Adam man is naturally inclined to evil from birth……..Because, in the way of God, a Christian must either go forward and advance in virtue or backward and rush headlong into vice.

In seeking eternal salvation, we must, according to St. Paul, never rest, but must run continually in the way of perfection, that we may win the prize and secure an incorruptible crown.  So that you may obtain (I Cor ix:24). If we fail, the fault will be ours; for God wills that all be holy and perfect.  This is the will of God – your sanctification (I Thess iv:3). He even commands us to be perfect and holy.  Be you therefore perfect, also your Heavenly Father is perfect (Matt v:48). Be holy because I am holy. [Lest we think God demands more of us than is possible……..] He promises and gives, as the holy Council of Trent teaches, abundant strength, for the observance of all His commands, to those who ask it from Him.  “God does not command impossibilities; but by His precepts He admonishes you to do what you can, and to ask what you cannot do; and He assists you, that you may be able to do it.”

———-End Quote———–

Earlier in the week we had the four practices that principally sanctified Saint Aloysius Gonzaga.  St. Alphonsus breaks those down into more detailed steps with a bit different emphasis.  There are many mansions in the Father’s house. There are many paths to sanctity.  But all revolve around constant prayer, devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady, self-denial, practice of virtue, and eschewing all sin.  Not difficult to understand, but extremely difficult to practice.

Especially in this fallen age.  But it has always been such, I suppose.

Novus Ordo Anointing of the Sick Not a Sacrament – Not “Equivalent” to Extreme Unction? May 31, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, catachesis, different religion, disaster, error, Four Last Things, General Catholic, horror, priests, religious, scandals, secularism, sickness, Society, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.
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A very interesting little bit of catechesis below from The Fatima Center.  The traditional Dominican priest who answers these questions (since Fr. Gruner’s demise, RIP), Father Albert, claims that not only is the modern, post-conciliar sacrament “Anointing of the Sick” deficient compared to the Sacrament of Extreme Unction in its practical application, the way “anointing of the sick” is done in most parishes is so bastardized in its minimalist reductio ad absurdam that it no longer even constitutes a Sacrament:

“There is an essential difference between “anointing of the sick” and the traditional Extreme Unction.” “Often, the anointing of the sick that is given in the Novus Ordo is not a sacrament at all.”

I was always gravely disturbed by the monthly “anointing of the sick” ceremonies that occurred in some local NO parishes.  Literally everyone lined up to receive an entirely perfunctory blessing, irrespective of their general health.  I mean 25 year old marathon runners were getting blessed.  There was no examination of conscience, no contrition expressed, only the most minimal of anointings, and, I long ago concluded, little grace conferred.  I have long wondered if such a truncated service could indeed be considered a Sacrament.  According to Father Albert, most of the time, it is not.

So, Extreme Unction, properly received, removes temporal debt due to sin.  It is a Sacrament ordered almost entirely towards aiding those in serious threat of death or with serious health problems in attaining Heaven at their particular judgment.  It is not a “sacrament of healing” as “anointing of the sick” is generally called now in the Novus Ordo world.  It was never a Sacrament intended to be received over and over again on a monthly basis in a totally perfunctory way.  And what is even more sad, is that I have seen the mentality of this bowdlerized group blessing translate into the hospital and sick bed, where only the most dilatory of blessings are conveyed on those who truly are gravely ill instead of the thorough preparation for death and blessing for the passage of the soul from the body which has traditionally been given in the Church.

As with so much in the Novus Ordo, and as Father Albert notes, the accidental aspect of the Sacrament has assumed the primacy, whereas its primary role has been reduced to distinctly secondary place.  In this case, the accidental healing qualities of Extreme Unction have become the focus in the “sacrament of healing”  – and note once again the humanistic nature of the change, with most all the focus on bodily healing in this life rather than the preparation of the soul for its real life, that is the next life, which shall be eternal.

I had long felt there were grave deficiencies with the anointing of the sick as it is practiced in most all Novus Ordo parishes but had never managed to put the concerns so precisely and succinctly.  Thanks to The Fatima Center for these helpful  catechetical videos.

 

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.