jump to navigation

The theological significance of veiling March 26, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Lent, priests, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.

If you assist regularly at a TLM parish, or maybe a very reverent and tradition-leaning Novus Ordo one, you have seen all the statues and crucifixes veiled since Passion Sunday.  That will continue until the Easter Vigil Mass.  Many may not know why that veiling has taken place, or perhaps have only a partial understanding.  The sermon below is very illuminating in that regard.  It does more than merely explain the practice of veiling (statues and women), but also delves quite deeply into the great theological significance of so many of the physical aspects of church design as they relate to the Sacred Liturgy. Compare and contrast with modern church architecture and you can easily see how the Lex Orandi has been radically changed, leading to a problematic if not disordered Lex Credendi and Lex Vivendi.

So much thought has gone into traditional liturgical design!  It is otherworldly, beyond human.  I love the thought of the altar being the place where Heaven opens up and we get a literal, physical (if unseen) connection between the eternal world of God and the temporal world of creation.  Such a great vision!

I love all the photos of churches, veiled and otherwise, in the video. Anyone know which church is shown @~2:50-2:55, or @11:58?


Also valuable is the catechesis on the symbolism and importance of chapel veils. I may risk the ire of some female readers, I don’t know, but with such powerful and meaningful arguments in favor of chapel veils, I remain surprised that some long-time female TLM-goers still seem to have a problem with the practice. I won’t even begin to question motives there, but given, as Father says, that every woman is a living icon of the Church, it seems odd that some would still refuse.  In the local context, I don’t think it’s a case of lack of catechesis or understanding for the importance of chapel veils.

My only problem with this priest’s sermons and general catechesis, is that he gets too excited and talks too fast for me to follow sometimes.  I really appreciate his work in so many respects, I think he is a great teacher on so many subjects, but at times he just really flies while speaking.  I’m glad he slowed down quite a bit from the midpoint on.

Thanks to Sensus Fidelium for all those beautiful images of our Catholic Faith.  BTW, please do consider supporting Sensus Fidelium!  That apostolate needs some monetary support and I think it is very deserving.

A beautiful if bitter lament on the Church that was and is no more March 26, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disconcerting, episcopate, General Catholic, history, Holy suffering, paganism, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society, the struggle for the Church, Tradition.

So many people who come into the Church, or even those who have been raised in it but develop a particular fire of devotion, often feel that there is A1zOCiGdxYL._SX425_something missing.  Something big, but undefinable.  They often find that the Church whose beliefs they read about in a good catechism or that they see in old pictures is not the Church they experience on a daily basis.  Something very significant has changed.

I think that sense of absence, of loss, is conveyed very well in a recent post at the Ignatius Press website, as relayed by Pertinacious Papist.  It’s a lament for a Church that no longer seems to quite exist, and for a past, we are told over and over again, we can never return to. I found it quite moving.  Perhaps you will, as well:

Eamon Duffy’s The Stripping of the Altars forced professional historians and casual readers alike to revise assessments of the Catholic religion in England in the years immediately preceding the Reformation:

If medieval religion was decadent, unpopular, or exhausted, the success of the Reformation hardly requires explanation. If, on the contrary, it was vigorous, adaptable, widely understood, and popular, then we have much yet to discover about the processes and the pace of reform.

downloadIn the almost six hundred pages following this observation, Duffy develops support for this thesis: that the Reformation in England was more of a revolution against a popular, widely-revered institution than an effort to reform something rife with problems and corruption. He can only build his case by reference to contemporary written accounts and a study of Church artistic works that somehow managed to survive state-sponsored efforts to obliterate the past. [And many of us feel that what happened in the mid-20th century was another revolution against the Church, from within]

The Tudor and Puritan road he guides his readers down is littered with burnt books, defaced statues, destroyed altar screens, and melted down church vessels. Destroy the artistic creations and traditions of an age, and when the last person who remembers it dies, a world dies also. This is where the road ends.

In our own time, those of us old enough to remember the Catholic Church as it was prior to Vatican II are also living with an obliterated past on a road marked ‘Dead End’. Inevitably, as the days move along, we are a vanishing breed on an all but forgotten journey. [Not forgotten.  Some of us who were not even alive then are striving to remember and keep that Church alive]OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

These days much is made of the Catholicity of celebrated writers Chesterton, Tolkien, and Waugh. The latter two lived long enough to experience firsthand changes wrought by Vatican II, and both railed against them. (Details are at hand in the Ignatius Press edition of A Bitter Trial.) Tolkien and Waugh would never again feel at home in the Church. G. K.’s childhood memory of successful businessmen, bankers, and shop clerks falling to their knees as Cardinal Manning passed by along Kensington High Street seems to come from a world other than this one. G. K.’s old nemesis, George Bernard Shaw, might think the Church has become a bit more palatable, but what would G. K. himself think? Given his sense of humor, he might have somehow managed whereas Belloc—had he lived to see the day—would have blown a fuse.

Tolkien is said to have been dismayed by the exiling of Latin to what would become in our time a liturgical antique shop. Pope Francis the other day spoke approvingly of the vernacular replacing it. Pope Francis knows more languages than I do, but Tolkien, who understood 800px-Whitby_Abbey_ruins_18Old English well enough to translate Beowulf, was irate. At times I myself am not even sure what to make of the English version, let alone the German or the Polish, which I do not grasp at all. From the current Psalm translations, O Lord, deliver us!

Complaints in this vein are now seen as coming from the make-believe world of annoying and tiresome fuddy-duddies. It has not taken long to obliterate a world where liturgical Latin could flourish. And there is no going back, except in memory. Eamon Duffy understands this. The last sentence of The Stripping of the Altars sounds a mournful note. [See my final comments below. I am not quite as hopeless as this, but I do fear the Church cannot go home again, and even a “restored” Faith of the future will be in many significant ways different from that of the past.]

Along the way he has argued that sixteenth century English Catholics—peasant farmer and local aristocrat alike—had a Iconoclasm_Clocher_Saint_Barthelemy_south_side_La_Rochellegeneral grasp of the Latin used in liturgical celebrations of their day.

I would argue that much the same was true of the farmer, the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick-maker of my time. You did not have to be a Jesuit to know what was going on in an age when—by the way—not everyone at Sunday Mass trooped forward to receive communion. (Barely a majority did.) Share that fact with someone today, and mention fasting from midnight; the smell of tuna fish sandwiches for breakfast in your classroom after ‘First Friday’ Masses, etc.

BeeldenstormWith respect to the past, we are all ‘cafeteria Catholics’.
[Interesting, and disturbing point. I fear he is right. Even as Catholics striving to be faithful, it is very difficult to reformulate the Catholic existence of the past into our own lives in this present time, so cut off, even if only by 50 years!, from a Church that no longer exists]]

Tell someone you fondly remember Pope Pius XII from an age when pontiffs were not expected to smile like beauty queens. Attempt to explain why he is your favorite pope. Mention the Marian Year while you are at it. Describe his serious, ascetic demeanor. As likely as not, your listener will bring up the Nazis.  

To adapt a line from the novelist L. P. Hartley, “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.”

————-End Quote————-



The one thing I will add, the one bit of disagreement I have with the notion of irreparable loss, is the fact that that past is still available in little pockets, Mary Queen Of Peace Catholic Church Ulysseshere and there.  I feel the author must not have access to the TLM, or even more, a traditional community.  But I do recognize that even these pockets are unable to recreate in full that glorious past.  People try, we hopefully all try, but we have to recognize that we are isolated geographically, historically, and culturally from the full vibrancy of the Church that was.  Experiences vary from location to location and community to community, but being as isolated as we are, there are surely gaps.  For one thing, we are at best islands in a hostile culture and, even more, a frequently hostile Church.  We no longer have the whole Catholic culture surrounding us, as it used to be, though never very fully in this country.  Unable to draw on past experience, what we are able to create is necessarily limited, though I pray not stunted and deformed.  That is the greatest tragedy of the collapse of Christendom and the Church’s voluntary retreat from her historic role……something that was centuries in the making can be lost literally overnight, and it will take literally centuries to build it back up again……..if it can be.  I fear you cannot go home again, and even if the Church does regain some semblance of her historic and God-given role, it will be necessarily be quite different from the Church that was.  That may not necessarily be a bad thing, but, then again, it could.  It all depends on who ultimately wins the struggle for the Church, and how complete their victory is.


What are you willing to do? March 25, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, persecution, scandals, secularism, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.

My dear departed friend Vicki Middleton, God rest her soul, was quite a hoot.  She was a woman of conviction, and much more.  She was willing to put herself on the line on things that she felt important.  When her husband Jim was still President of ARCO Oil and Gas Vicki started protesting outside the office in Plano regarding ARCO’s investments in Myanmar/Burma.  Since Burma had a very repressive government and was jailing dissidents, Vicki thought ARCO should not be doing business there, so she protested outside.  If I remember right, her actions eventually led the board of directors to divest of their operations there.

Years later, Vicki converted to Catholicism.  She was the same rabble-rouser she always was.  Longtime readers may remember the radio show Vicki invited me on a number of times.  Vicki and Jim spent a pretty penny buying air time on 660 AM KSKY to bring an authentic Catholic voice to the area. You may ask, “what about the local EWTN radio station, isn’t that authentically Catholic?”  Well, Vicki was on the local EWTN station for a while but was removed for being too critical of the leadership of the Church both locally and globally, although she only asked things like “when are our priests going to really stand up and oppose abortion, or porn, etc”.

But Vicki did more than that.  She and Jim were well off, and had been very generous with the Diocese.  But when they found out about many scandalous activities ongoing, such as support for Alinskyite organizations at many parishes and lack of preaching the Faith whole and entire, she went so far as to demand her donations be returned and protested outside the cathedral, sandwich-board and all, calling out the ongoing scandals.

The point is, Vicki was willing to do anything, say almost anything, to do what she felt was the best for souls – both her own, and those of others.  She loved people tremendously and wanted what was best for them.  She was willing to risk being attacked and vilified to make her stand – and she was, often quite vociferously.

I bring this up, because in light of recent posts regarding division among orthodox (or faithful or traditional or conservative – all of which simply serve to distinguish from the great Mass of self-styled Catholics who reject core aspects of the Faith or hold heretical views), some commenters have brought up a point that has been on my mind for quite some time, as well: what are we willing to do to respond to the crisis and effect change in the Church?

I can think of a number of responses, and have suggested some on this blog.  One is to really carefully consider the degree to which we support the entire parish-diocese-national conference monetarily, if at all.  And, there are examples from Catholics in other areas. Catholics in El Paso conducted prayer vigils outside the chancery for months in the wake of the dismissal of the former priest of San Juan Bautista parish, and with regard to the long interregnum between Bishop Ochoa’s departure and Bishop Seitz’ consecration.

I’ve spoken with Catholics near and abroad about this matter many times.  There always seems to be a consensus that something should be done, but no one seems to be ready and willing to take the lead on some concrete action.  For the most part, efforts seem to fall apart over disagreement on which issue is paramount to address, what action should be taken, and, even more, who should lead it.

But, just to throw out some ideas, I could see a series of efforts calling attention to the “ghettoization” of the TLM in Dallas.  Or, regarding the lack of preaching on the evil of contraception.  Or on the abysmal standard of catechesis in parish formation programs.  Or on the continuing support of left-wing “social justice” groups.  Take your pick.  There are dozens if not hundreds of such issues to choose from.

As for me, I am going to commit to finally kicking off an effort I proposed some months back – to start praying outside some of the  many falsely named gentleman’s clubs in this area.  So here is the plan: I will pray across the street from The Men’s Club, 2340 W. Northwest Hwy, Dallas, on April 8, Easter Wednesday, at 8 pm.  There is a post office directly across the street.  I will park there and stand near the road and just pray.  No confrontation or picketing with signs at this point, just prayer.  I’ll stay for about an hour.  Any local Catholic men are welcome to join me.  

No, that won’t do much for the crisis in the Faith, and I don’t expect any miraculous reaction on the strip joint front, either, but it’s a start.  We’ll see how the first attempt goes and proceed from there.

Look, I’m just one guy, and I don’t know that I’m a natural born leader.  The broader point of this post is, what are we willing to do as faithful Catholics to really start opposing the crisis in the Church and the general decline and advancing perversion in the culture?  Are we just going to continue to complain on blogs (which have their place, obviously!), or do we start to take concrete action?  If so, what action could you take, either here in Dallas, or wherever you live?  What are you willing to do?

I think it would be fantastic if readers could make their own suggestions and efforts.  The militant left in this country makes up a tiny percentage of the population, but because they are motivated and willing to spend much of their time in support of their diabolical cause, they have managed to radically re-shape all of the former Christendom over the past 150 years or so.  They have bullied people into accepting all kinds of evil because their commitment and tirelessness gradually wore down opposition – including us. Goodness, they have even managed to get a rough majority of people to accept a definition of marriage both completely unnatural and utterly hostile to its many-thousand year history!

Are we just going to let them continue to steamroll us?  Yes, prayer is the foundation of everything, but if now is not the time to make a stand (it may already be far too late), then no time will ever be.  I pray my good readers consider how they can respond, individually and collectively. I pray we start to see a lot more Vicki Middleton’s out there obeying the Pope’s command to mix things up and make a mess.  The modernists count on us doing nothing.  In fact, it is precisely the fact that good men have done nothing that has allowed the modernist/progressive revolution in the Church to advance as far as it has.

I ask again……what are you willing to do?

Help a very good apostolate in need March 25, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, priests, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.

I don’t know about you, but I have found Sensus Fidelium – formerly known as Video Sancto – one of my top resources for edification in the Faith.  The sermons are just fantastic, including the one I post below.

Unfortunately, the man who posts all these videos and takes the time and effort to add all the pictures and whatnot is in need of financial assistance. He has had a hard time of late and as such may have to give up producing the videos.  He is asking his Catholic audience to help him out to the extent feasible for them.

He has a fundraising site. He has a short term goal of $5000 and is already over $3000.  Given how much value I’ve found in Video Sancto/Sensus Fidelium, I had to help him out.  Perhaps you may feel similarly moved.  God bless you and thank you.

As for the video – if you are at all like me, you may have habitual sins you have struggled to overcome.  By the Grace of God and prayers of others, I have managed – at present – to overcome some really long term sins.  But I have a couple of others that still like to hang around.  So I really appreciated the guidance of this video, relying on compunction to overcome these kinds of lifelong/habitual sins:

Summary from Video Sancto on the video below:

Many of us suffer from habitual sin, which must be overcome with God’s gift of compunction (definition: ‘piercing of the heart with habitual contrition’). Compunction makes mortal sin and deliberate venial sin very rare. This habitual hatred for sin also preserves us and fortifies us against temptation. This is because sin and compunction are mutually exclusive. St. Teresa of Avila became a mystic through compunction. In order to receive this gift one ought to (1) pray for it, (2) meditate upon the Passion of our Lord while considering his own lowliness and ingratitude, (3) remember his future death, and (4) persevere in all this – pray for it every day.

It is always good to pray for the priests in these sermons.  3 Aves are recommended.

Yeah, what they said – Matt and Ferrara on the crisis and faithful response March 24, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Christendom, General Catholic, Latin Mass, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, SOD, the return, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership.

I’ve got to agree with most everything said in the video below.  The only question it left me with was whether asking for our Church back is the right response, or is it simply to take it back, without “asking?”  No, I’m not entirely sure what that means, either.

The video below came out on Saturday, but I didn’t get around to watching it until last night.  So, to some it may have seemed that posts yesterday were just singing this same tune, but I was ignorant of the similarities in argument.  Having said that, I’m very glad to see the similarity in opinion displayed below. I also feel the bit of exasperation with trying to appease all the different factions among faithful/orthodox/traditional Catholics, an impossible and frustrating task.  You can’t do it, the only approach to take is a big tent, inviting in all people of good will who are willing to take part in the fight to restore the Faith.  Excluding this group because they are not of my tribe or that person because, well, they aren’t on board with all my dogmatic prudential judgments…….as has been passionately argued in the comments of recent posts, good luck with that.  I guess some folks would prefer their doctrinal purity to an improved shot at really aiding in the restoration of the Church:

You know, one thought that crosses my mind from time to time – I try to keep it out, but it likes to return – is whether some of these folks who seem to have a bit of addiction to rageohol and the excoriation of foreign tribes don’t really rather prefer the Remnant, whatever that means to them, to be small, and for there to be essentially no earthly chance to restore the Faith.  I pray that’s never the case with anyone, but sometimes I see such closed mindedness it really seems hard to just explain as adherence to some ideological position.  Then again, ideology is an incredibly powerful thing, as Pope Francis frequently reminds us.

Video is probably old for most folks so I won’t load it up with a bunch of commentary, other than to say it’s very, very good and I am gratified that there are very good, dedicated souls out there who seem to agree with my overarching point of view.

Yes, in other words, it’s all about yay me!  But that’s what you come here for, no?

Lenten Alms? Fund the badly needed renovation of the Cathedral of Santa Rosa, CA March 24, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Liturgy, Tradition, true leadership.

My old blogging pal Dr. Jay Boyd took a break from her sabbatical (ummm………..) to post about a project to significantly improve the Cathedral of the

Bishop V

Bishop V

Diocese of Santa Rosa, CA.  Santa Rosa is Bishop Vasa’s see, and Vasa used to be in Baker, OR, which is where Jay is located (in case you were wondering at the connection).

Already a beautiful marble high altar and baldacchino have been acquired.  There is an accompanying altar rail.  These were acquired from a Philadelphia parish in the process of demolition (surprise!).  What are needed now are funds to pay for alterations to St. Eugene’s Cathedral in Santa Rosa and the installation of these new pieces, as Jay tells below:

St. Eugene’s, the Cathedral parish in the Diocese of Santa Rosa, is trying to raise funds for a renovation of the sanctuary of the cathedral. A “go-fund-me” page has been set up for that purpose. Go here for more information and/or to make a donation. The Bishop of the Diocese of Santa Rosa is Bishop Robert F. Vasa, who seems to be making some strides into the tradition-minded sphere. (I am happy about that!) The contact who gave me this information also informs me that Santa Rosa has at least one solidly tradition-minded seminarian.

Apparently, a high altar, baldachino, and altar rail have been purchased from a church that was scheduled for demolition in Philadelphia, PA. The pieces have been brought to Santa Rosa and await installation. They are perfect for offering the Traditional Latin Mass – which is offered each Sunday at St. Eugene’s in addition to Mass in the Ordinary Form.

The current cathedral is far from inspiring.  These are the “best” pics I could find in a 30 sec search:

St. Eugene's Catholic Church Santa Rosa



The new high altar acquired, however, is something quite different:

st eugene altar purchase

And with proper statues of angels in adoration on the sides!  That is quite beautiful!

It seems like Bishop Vasa is trying to improve the liturgical standards in Santa Rosa, at least at the cathedral.  This looks like a significant step in the right direction.  From the gofundme site, it is plain the intent is to return to a much more authentic and traditional form of liturgy:

Would you like to be a part of this ongoing effort to recover this “mystical element” within the liturgy and architecture? The Church has been returning to such venerable practices as the use of Latin, chant and incense during the Holy Mass. Establishing a sense of awe through such tangible means has also helped to restore a sense of the sacred within our church.

We want to give our best to God. We want to uplift the minds and hearts of those who worship here; for this is where heaven touches earth. Please help us make this a reality!  Thank you and may the Lord bless you for your prayers and generosity.

I think this is a worthy effort.  I am glad to support it.  If you would like to support it, perhaps as a sort of Lenten alms, again, there is a gofundme site for the project.  You can make your donations there.  If we want to see a return to truly Catholic liturgical art and beauty, well…..someone’s going to have to pay for it.  I know that’s not often a popular topic, but there it is nonetheless.

Good on Bishop Vasa for undertaking/approving this effort.

Faithful Catholics need to keep the real adversary in sight (and cease the circular firing squads) March 23, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, error, foolishness, General Catholic, history, manhood, rank stupidity, reading, scandals, secularism, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.

I have been reading a sort of autobiography of part of Dietrich von Hildebrand’s life for the past week or so, and I found a very interesting bit in it recently that has great bearing on a matter I touched on last week.  I had two posts on obedience last week representing two somewhat differing points of view.  In the second, I again reiterated my sort of live and let live with regard to the SSPX and maybe some other groups.  I figured I’d get some flak or questioning about that stand, and I did, and that’s where von Hildebrand’s bio comes in.

In 1933, Dietrich von Hildebrand fled Germany after Hitler became Chancellor.  Being a constant opponent of Hitler (and all totalitarianism) since the 51zHwVpwjnLearly 1920s, von Hildebrand had both written and said things that had severely displeased the Nazis.  He was quite certain they would eventually come for him if he remained.  He also feared being forced to make moral compromises through a slow slide of acceptance, something he witnessed many fellow Catholics doing.  After spending a brief bit of time in Italy, he moved onto Vienna where he worked to help shore up the Dolfuss government and there wage an intellectual and moral battle against the evils of Nazism (and battle he did).  von Hildebrand rightly saw Dolfuss as the most Catholic leader in Europe at that time, and a man who was committed not only to erecting a morally acceptable modern Catholic state, but also equally committed to opposing Hitler and keeping Austria (populated with Germans) out of the “Greater Germany” Hitler and the Nazis pursued.

Of course, there were many Nazis and Nazi sympathizers in Austria, too, which is why the Anchsluss eventually happened. There were also other factions, including the socialist “Social Democrats.”  Dolfuss had felt compelled to dissolve parliament and form a unity party called the Patriotic Front to oppose both the Nazis and the Social Democrats.  Certainly, as socialists, the Social Democrats were inimitable to von Hildebrand.  However, Dolfuss’ party also included an organization called the Heimwehr, which was a sort of militant wing of his corporatist Catholic movement.

Now, secular historians often view Dolfuss as authoritarian, which von Hildebrand did not believe (and, I think, demonstrates as false), but whether he was or not, he did encounter a great deal of opposition.  In late 1933, the “Austrian Civil War” developed when open fighting broke out between the militant Heimwehr and the socialists.  Dolfuss and his government quickly restored order, and he remained in power until murdered by Nazis in a putsch in July 1934, but it is von Hildebrand’s reaction to the little civil war that I found most telling.

von Hildebrand was exasperated that fighting had broken out.  He recognized that Nazism was the main existential threat to not only Austria but all of central Europe at that moment.  He also knew that both the Heimwehr/Patriotic Front and the Social Democrats were  – more or less – unalterably opposed to Nazism. The conservative elements in the Patriotic Front and the socialists had been enemies since long before Nazism ever came along. And what he saw as the great tragedy of this fighting that broke out between the two was that they had taken their eye off the really deadly enemy – Nazism – in order to engage in their internecine strife with each other.  This only weakened Austrian and made it less likely to stand against Hitler.  Even more, he feared that this long enmity would always be a temptation for the two groups, Catholic conservatives and socialists, distracting them from what should have been their prime effort against Hitler.

In saying this, von Hildebrand noted his own life long opposition to socialism.  He was no friend of the Social Democrats. But in the hour of direst crisis, all opponents of the gravest evil should be welcome.  It is also important to keep the relative scope of evils and scale of threat in perspective – the Social Democrats were erroneous, to be certain, but not advocates of such obvious, criminal evil as the Nazis.

I hope the point is clear.  You and I and many others may have concerns, even very serious ones, regarding the SSPX or any other such groups, but in the face of the overwhelming threat posed by the progressive-modernist revolution within the Church, is that where we should really direct our efforts?  We may not agree with the SSPX on every point, we may have points of profound disagreement, but when it comes to the absolutely vital matter of the day – recognizing the crisis in the Church and reacting against it – the SSPX is clearly a leader in this field, as well as being a source of unalterable opposition to the efforts to remake the Church into something She can never be.  I think were he alive today, von Hildebrand would counsel cooperation with the SSPX, despite any disagreements, in the matter of overwhelming importance – the crisis in the Church – and to not focus on the points of disagreement which will only have the effect of weakening the already small and rather disjointed “reaction” to the ongoing revolution.

At least, that was the very strong impression I got from reading von Hildebrand’s lament on the division within the small and weak nation of Austria in its struggle against the German juggernaut.  I was struck when I read von Hildebrand’s words how applicable they were to search for the best response to the crisis in the Church.  I have always been a “big tent” guy when it comes to this response.  I welcome all those who recognize that things are going very badly for the Church and that the revolution has been profoundly harmful to Her earthly mission, even if they see that revolution as somehow separate from Vatican II (as many conservatives like Jeff Mirus and Lawler do).  The main point, the critical point, is opposing the errors abounding and the ongoing efforts to radically alter the Church with the most cohesive, loudest, most articulate coalition we can assemble.  Insisting on doctrinal perfection or adherence to one’s preferred “party” and “platform,” if you will, distracts from this most vital mission and only weakens the response.

And that is just what the progressive/modernist cabal both wants, and expects, from us. They have a long history of weak responses from the faithful Catholics because we are more concerned about the divisions between ourselves than we have been with the real, true, and present threat.

That’s my point of view, anyway.  As always, it’s worth what it cost you.

Fr. Terra’s offering of thanks to Our Lady March 23, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, horror, Latin Mass, martyrdom, Our Lady, priests, Tradition, Virtue.

Readers will recall that Fr. Joseph Terra, FSSP, was nearly beat to death last summer in Phoenix.  This was the same atrocity that resulted in the death of Fr. Kenneth Walker, FSSP.  Fr. Terra was gravely wounded and has spent months in recovery.  However, he is, apparently, making steady improvement.

Fr. Terra is what you might call a handyman, but even more.  He is more like a craftsman in many media.  He hand-made some of the vestments in use at Mater Dei.  And he apparently also has quite a bit of skill with hammer and saw, because he built this very tastefully done shrine to Our Lady in thanksgiving for saving his life:

11071084_934466263251934_4623749912459178328_n  Not sure where this shrine is located, but it’s nicely done.  As someone who tries to do a bit of woodworking himself, I’m impressed.  I could certainly make the stand, but I’m not sure about the rest.  I’d be interested to know whether he made the columns or got them somewhere (some advanced woodworking tools nowadays being essentially the equivalent of CNC controlled 3-D mills that can make anything).  What a great work of love and devotion. God bless Fr. Terra.  I have to think if he was able to make this, his recovery is coming along pretty well?

I never met Fr. Terra.  He left Mater Dei just a couple of months before we started there.  But I have heard tell he has led quite a varied existence, including time as a truck driver.  Sounds like I really missed out in not getting to know him.  Perhaps I will have an opportunity someday.


Feast of St. Joseph TODAY March 19, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Good St. Joseph, Grace, Interior Life, Lent, Novenas, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
comments closed

Well, I’m late, but I would be most remiss if I did not pay at least some homage to the Saint who has been so incredibly generous in his aid to me, St. Joseph.  If my recovery from active addiction was miraculous, and I certainly believe it was, and even more, if my conversion to a (I pray) strong practice of the Faith was even more miraculous, then I owe all that to St. Joseph.  Yes, there were many other Saints called upon then and now, but I have always looked to St. Joseph as my prime intercessor and model in the Faith.  I fall very short of his high example, unfortunately, but he has been so instrumental not just in an ongoing process of conversion but also in (again, I pray) vastly improving my struggle to be a decent husband and father.stjosephicon-1 (1)  I know I have turned to St. Joseph repeatedly in prayer in times of need, and I can say without equivocation that those prayers have all been answered.  I have received far too much aid from this Saint to even begin to tell the full truth of the matter.  St. Joseph was truly instrumental in overcoming another addiction I had had for decades, even after I was blessed to quit opioids.

I’m a bit ashamed that I failed to give a notice a week and a half ago for the St. Joseph Novena. I realized the oversight 3 or 4 days ago, but then it felt too late to give notice.  But since there is also a practice in the Church of not only praying Novenas anticipatory to a Saint’s Feast, but also beginning on the feast day, I present some Novena material below.  I will certainly be praying!

Saint Joseph, you are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. I have special confidence in you. You are powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me, to your intercession. By the love you have for Jesus and Mary, do not abandon me during life, and assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the immaculate Virgin, Foster-father of Jesus Christ, obtain for me a pure, humble, and charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the Divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore: (Mention your request). Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I am confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.

Prayer: Let us Pray! In Your ineffable providence You were pleased to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Your Most Holy Mother. Grant, we beg You, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our protector. You who live and reign forever and ever. AMEN

You can also add 3 Ave’s or a Pater Noster, Ave, and Gloria at the conclusion of the Novena, each day.

Another option:

Saint Joseph, you are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. I have special confidence in you. You are powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me, to your intercession. By the love you have for Jesus and Mary, do not abandon me during life, and assist me at the hour of my death. Glorious Saint Joseph, be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.  Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I am confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.  Through Christ, our Lord.  AMEN. (MENTION YOUR INTENTIONS)

EWTN, as is typical, has a very long Novena here.


The other side of obedience March 19, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disconcerting, General Catholic, Interior Life, Latin Mass, persecution, scandals, SSPX, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
comments closed

I did a post yesterday on the subject of obedience, one I thought might generate quite a bit of discussion, but I was wrong.  I even noted at the bottom of the post, the ones I expect to be explosive often pass quietly into the ether, and the ones I just kind of randomly throw out as no big deal will randomly attract all kinds of attention.  C’est la vie, I suppose.

There was one response, however, from my good friend Steve B, and I thought it good enough to stand as its own post as a bit of a counterpoint to the views presented yesterday.  I include his comment below, and add a few thoughts of my own:

Unfortunately, however, we live in an age when the modernists within the Church try very diligently – and sometimes very forcefully (e.g. in the case of Fr. Volpi with the FFI’s and the FSI’s) use the matter of obedience to advance their agenda.

“Obeying one’s religious superiors in every circumstance except where sin is involved” is where the SSPX and many traditional Catholics would VERY strongly disagree.

As a faithful Catholic, I’m still trying to figure out the issue of obedience (that alone attests to the horrific state of crisis in the Church today). Here are a couple of articles which take opposite sides of the matter of obedience for Catholics: [Indeed, I do not claim to have anything like the final word on this matter. I am no trained theologian and I just struggle along like everyone else trying to figure out how to best respond to the crisis and deal with matters as they present themselves.  I tend to think most everyone else is in the same position I am, so I tend to give a pretty wide latitude to opinions on both sides]

1) The anti-SSPX side (btw, the SSPX are NOT in schism, as this article wrongly contends):
http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=9500 [so there I was at Mass last night when the Fraternity priest argued quite passionately that the SSPX is in schism, and even more, that the permission given to assist at SSPX Masses, which incidentally according to the CDF satisfies the Sunday obligation, was more an ecumenical gesture than anything else, since a similar courtesy is extended to Ukrainian Orthodox or whatever Masses.  And I thought…..hmmmm]

2) The pro-SSPX side:

Without taking sides myself (and I’ve never set foot in an SSPX chapel), I think that it is high time that traditional Catholics (it’s sad to even have to distinguish ourselves) STOP standing around in a circle shooting at each other. [Well that’s always been my main point. And not just traditional Catholics, but all of us who are more or less faithful and understand the situation the Church is in at present, because the modernist threat is orders of magnitude greater than any ostensible failings in groups other than our own]

Can’t we just look at our differing approaches to dealing with and trying to correct the crisis engulfing the Church much like different religious orders having different spiritualities?

United we stand; divided we fall. At the very least, we should be praying for each other to remain faithful, despite the lack of faith, courage, and exceedingly poor spiritual direction of our Church leaders….

———End Quote———

I detest these internecine fights for a variety of reasons.  For one, I think they are highly counterproductive and detract effort and focus away from the real enemy, if you will.  There is some need to occasionally make necessary distinctions and give reasoned analysis of the various merits and problems with this group or that, but much of the rhetoric goes way, way over the top.  And no side is innocent in this, I have seen vehement screeds against the FSSP from SSPX sources, and I have seen vice versa.  There are certainly concrete situations that at times need to be addressed, but, again, much of the back and forth generates a lot more heat than light, and seems profoundly counterproductive.

Another reason I hate these fights is because they are endless, and virtually no one winds up changing their position.  I have seen inch thick folders of “evidence” attacking this group or that, and I have seen inch thick folders defending them, all quoting Scripture, Saints, Doctors, papal documents, etc.  In the end, it is very rare that anyone is moved to change their mind by any of this.

But at the same time, I do see great value in obedience and I know that, in the long haul, the Church without obedience will fragment into protestantism. This is no insignificant matter, and plays a big role in confirming where I am at today, parish-wise and otherwise. Obedience is such a critical matter to me that I overlook the compromises that obedience seems to inevitably force on the obedient by the current ecclesiastical system. However, given the crisis in the Church, I just can’t and won’t clobber people who happen to hold a different view, who simply cannot make those compromises or who feel they have to take a stronger stand.  I do make what I believe are the necessary distinctions but I’m not going to go so far in using strident terms as to just clobber those that feel a bit differently, and I pray they return the favor.

Sum, I think we could use a lot more unity among orthodox/faithful Catholics, a lot less internecine strife, less pride, and more humility.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 510 other followers