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The Trials of the Martyrs: Saints Julitta and Quiricus, Her Son August 30, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, martyrdom, reading, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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From the Victories of the Martyrs by Saint Alphonsus (translated by Fr. Eugene Grimm, CSsR), the story of St. Julitta and St. Quiricus, her son.  This is one of the more heart-rending martyrdoms of the early Church, not for the horrendous tortures to which the Saints were subjected, but for the situation of a young mother and son martyred together, within sight of each other.  Saint Alphonsus makes clear the tortures of many of the martyrs were almost beyond imagining.  He also makes clear that what gave power to the endless cruelty of the torturers was the hatred with which the pagans have always held the Christian religion, and the demonic influence which dominates those unpossessed of Grace.  s1098004

Pagans hate Christians because our existence – lived rightly – is a reproach upon their conscience.  Something for us to consider as we see the world growing increasingly dark all around us.  Another source of their hatred is the exclusivity of belief that faith in Jesus Christ demands; the world will tolerate weak, worldly Christians after a fashion, if they are willing to not be too serious, too committed, too “fundamentalist,” too, ultimately, convicted.  Amazingly, we see this same hatred of truly devout, believing Christians even among most of the leadership of the Church today, even, to the very highest office entrusted by God to man.  This last factor is what makes the present crisis the worst the Church has ever experienced, in the minds of many.

At any rate, Saints Julitta and Quiricus, who died because they were viewed as so “obstinate” and “intolerant,” refusing to burn a pinch of incense to false gods.  What a contrast to the conduct of so many in the Church today, who are happy to light veritable bonfires to the false gods of this present world, whether that god be called ecumenism, leftism, secularism, or what have you:

St. Julitta was a noble of the city of Iconium.  During the reign of the Emperors Diocletian and Maximiam, a most cruel tyrant called Domitian was governor of the province.  While the persecution was raging most violently, St. Julitta took her infant son Quiricus, only three years old, and saint-julitta1accompanied by two female servants, fled for safety to Seleucia in Isauria; where, however, she found Alexander, the Proconsul of Cilicia, who exercised a no less barbarous cruelty than Domitian against those Christians who refused to sacrifice to the Gods.  The Saint passed from Seleucia to Tharsis, where Alexander arrived about the same time.  Having been recognized, she was arrested and conducted before the judge with the infant Quiricus in her arms.  Fire and incense were produced, in order that, renouncing Jesus Christ, she might sacrifice; but the Saint answered: “I am a Christian and therefore am prepared to lose not only my property, but even my life, rather than deny my God.”  The judge frequently urged her to abjure her faith; but she who wished to compensate her temporal loss by the acquisition of eternal gains uniformly replied: “I am a Christian: I cannot deny Jesus Christ.”

Alexander, infuriated by her constancy, ordered that the child should be torn from her embrace, and that she should be cruelly scourged; but the holy lady under this torture fervently and continually repeated: “I am a Christian; I cannot sacrifice to your gods.”  Quiricus, meanwhile, was beholding the agonies of his mother, and struggled to return to her embrace; but Alexander, to quiet him, placed him on his knee, and endeavored to kiss him.  The child, however, kept his eyes fixed on his mother, and by plunging and kicking, tried to free himself from the tyrant, crying out at the same time: “I also am a julitta2Christian.”  The inhuman wretch dashed the child from him, and the agonizing mother, seeing the steps of the throne bespattered with the blood and brains of her infant, exclaimed: “I give Thee thanks, O my God! for having called by boy before me to Thyself!” [Oh what strength can Grace impart!  While I have grave doubts as to how I would hold up under physical torture, the torture of seeing my children threatened with harm, even death, would, I fear, be a very great temptation to me.  May God grant that this never pass.  Obviously, such strength is beyond human nature and is due to a supreme supernatural influence.  If such tortures should ever threaten, I pray God grant me such Grace, otherwise I know I would fail]

194116The brutal judge, still more infuriated by this exclamation, caused her sides to be torn with iron hooks, and boiling pitch to be poured upon her feet.  Meanwhile one of the bystanders said to her: “Julitta, have pity upon thyself; perish not as thy son has perished; sacrifice to the gods.”  “I cannot,” she replied, “sacrifice to devils and mute statues.  I adore the Lord Jesus, and wish to meet my son in Heaven;” upon which the judge decreed that she should be beheaded.  This sentence filled the Saint with joy. Arrived at the place of the last struggle, she cast herself upon her knees, as Father Massini relates in his beautiful work of the lives of the Saints, according to the acts of the martyrs by Ruinart.

She then prayed after the following matter: “O God who hast been pleased to admit my child to a participation of the glory of Thy Saints, turn Thine eyes of mercy towards me also, and grant me a place among the souls destined to love Thee and adore Thee forever.”  Having finished her prayer her head was at once cut off.  I is thus that Julitta, with her heart inflamed with holy love and full of joy, consummated her sacrifice in the year 304.

———–End Quote———-

There is some assertion that Saint Alphonsus confused the location of the martyrdom, and where the martyr lived prior to her assent to Heaven.  But this is of no import to the overall meaning and value of this story.

Saint Julitta and Quiricus, pray for us!  Pray that our world return from the precipice of final descent into atheistic barbarism and total impiety!  Pray that we may be a light that, through Grace, guides souls back to faith in Jesus Christ and His Church.  Soften the hearts of the leaders of our Church so that the Truth, the full Truth, may be taught at all times.  And, should the worst happen, pray for us to have the strength of faith and cooperation with Grace that you so gloriously evidenced.

Start Novena for the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin 08/30/16 August 29, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Novenas, Our Lady, Restoration, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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The Novena below is also for the intention of increased holiness in our marriages and families.  It is from marriage and the family that societies are built, or fall.  It is from the family that the sanctity or worldliness of the Church flows.  There are few things for which we could possibly have more cause to pray than for holy marriages and families, including, of course, our own. This Novena starts tomorrow 08/30 and ends on the Vigil of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Novena
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Prayer for Marriage and Family

Jesus, I trust in You. Please grant through Your mother’s intercession that I may always bring Your hope into my family.

Jesus, I trust in You. Please grant through Your mother’s intercession that I may always bring Your love into my family.

Jesus, I trust in You. Please grant through Your mother’s intercession that I may always bring Your mercy into my family.

Our Lady, on this feast of your birth, please pray for stronger and holier marriages.

Amen.

Day 1

Most lovable Mother Mary, our Father in Heaven created you with delight. You are His creature whom He made worthy to become the holy Mother of His Son. You were born into a family of Saints. Pray for me today that my joy in your Son will increase and that my family may become more holy.

Dearest Mother, please pray for me and for these my intentions…

(State your intentions)

Hail Mary…

Day 2

Oh most holy daughter of Adam, your precious Son chose you as the vessel for his entry to the world. Where our first mother, Eve, fell short, you fulfilled God’s call for a Mother’s holiness. Pray for me today that the feast of your birth may give great joy to my soul that I may be born to new life through your Son.

Dearest Mother, please pray for me and for these my intentions…

(State your intentions)

Hail Mary…

Day 3

Immaculate daughter of Saints Joachim and Anne, you are the door to the Eternal Word who made you the source of His Sacred Blood. You are a model for all Christian sons and daughters. Pray for me today that the feast of your birth may give great joy to my soul and that I may have a greater devotion to your Son’s Precious Blood.

Dearest Mother, please pray for me and for these my intentions…

(State your intentions)

Hail Mary…

Day 4

Oh most holy daughter of the line of King David, the Redeemer of the world loves you with the singular love of a Child for His mother. Pray for me today that the feast of your birth may give great joy to my soul that I may have a greater love and devotion to my Mother and Father.

Dearest Mother, please pray for me and for these my intentions…

(State your intentions)

Hail Mary…

Day 5

Most holy Mary, the Holy Spirit preserved you from sin so that our Lord would have a fitting vessel to enter the world. Pray for me today that the feast of your birth may give great joy to my soul that I may remain faithful to your Son until the end.

Dearest Mother, please pray for me and for these my intentions…

(State your intentions)

Hail Mary…

Day 6

Oh holy Mother, St. Joachim and St. Anne were delighted to love and care for so holy a child. Pray for me today that the feast of your birth may give great joy to my soul that I may show greater charity to my parents and grandparents in word, prayer and deed.

Dearest Mother, please pray for me and for these my intentions…

(State your intentions)

Hail Mary…

Day 7

Holy Mother, your birth caused great joy to the angels, because they saw your holiness caused by your Son’s resurrection. Pray for me today that the feast of your birth may give great joy to my soul that your graces may rain down on all married couples.

Dearest Mother, please pray for me and for these my intentions…

(State your intentions)

Hail Mary…

Day 8

Heavenly Mother, your birth gave great joy to all the world because it signaled the coming of Jesus Christ, who would save the whole world by His life, death and resurrection. Pray for me today that the feast of your birth may give great joy to my soul that I may be exceedingly patient with my family and loved ones.

Dearest Mother, please pray for me and for these my intentions…

(State your intentions)

Hail Mary…

Day 9

Mother Mary, you pray for me as your child. Thank you for welcoming me into the Holy Family. Pray for me today that the feast of your birth may give great joy to my soul that I may increase my devotion to the Holy Family.

Dearest Mother, please pray for me and for these my intentions…

(State your intentions)

Hail Mary……

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How to Keep Faith During Martyrdom: St. Alphonsus August 25, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, catachesis, Christendom, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, martyrdom, mortification, persecution, reading, Saints, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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If you’ve read many of the lives of the Saints, especially those involved in martyrdom, you may have wondered as I have, at the amazing ability of these Saints to keep their faith through all manner of unimaginable tortures: being cooked alive on a grill, flayed alive, crushed to death, torn limb from limb by wild animals, etc.

While Grace is the most obvious source of their success, Saint Alphonsus notes that God gives more Grace to those who cooperate with it, and that the martyrs had certain behaviors that helped them become Saints where others failed.  And it’s important to note that many put to the trial of a blood martyrdom HAVE failed, they have fallen away, and sometimes in great numbers.

That is the subject of Saint Alphonsus’ guidance on the characteristics of successful martyrs I quote today, part of a series of characteristics that I hope to cover over the next several days.  All of the above comes from The Victories of the Martyrs, pp. 38-9:

The examples of the martyrs teach us also to have immediate recourse to the assistance of God, by earnest supplication, when we feel ourselves disconsolate or weak under affliction.  Thus did the holy martyrs.  As their torture increased, they multiplied their prayers and secured the victory.  St. Theodore, after a long endurance of his tortures, was stretched upon burning tiles; feeling the pain penetrating to his very heart, he besought the Lord to mitigate the torture, and persevered to the end.  There have, on the contrary, been examples of Christians, who, failing to invoke the assistance of the Almighty, have fallen off from the confession of the Faith, and forfeited the glorious crown. An example is found in the acts of the martyrs of Japan.  An aged man, having the torture for a considerable time, but failing to invoke heavenly aid, denied his faith a few moments before he expired – a startling warning to all, that perseverance in prayer, in times of temptation and distress, is that which alone can insure us the victory.

But the most important lesson which we learn from the martyrs in the necessity of the love of God: He who loveth not abideth in death (1 Jn iii:14). We cannot manifest our love of God so well by a multitude of actions performed for his glory, as by a willingness to suffer for his sake.  St. Gordianus replied to the tyrant, who threatened to put him to death if he did not deny the name of Jesus: “You threaten death! but my greatest regret is, that I can die but once for Jesus Christ.” In a similar manner, St. Procopius exclaimed to the tyrant, who was directing further tortures: “Torment as much as thou wilt, but know that to one who truly loves Jesus Christ, nothing is dearer than to suffer for his sake.” “And did the Saints speak thus,” says St. Bernard, “because they were insensible to torments? No.” continues the holy Doctor, “they were neither frantic nor insensible, but their love of Jesus Christ caused them to esteem it all joy to suffer and to die for his glory.” This ardent love of God is certainly the greatest spiritual advantage to be derived from the perusal of the acts of the martyrs; the recollection of their conduct will make us ashamed to repine under the tribulations which divine Providence sends  us, and will strengthen us to receive them with resignation.

I add that death, which is the tribute that everyone must pay, is the greatest of all our tribulations, and that makes not only sinners but the just tremble. Our Savior Himself as man wished to show the fear that He felt in the face of death, so that He began to pray to His Father to free Him from it.  But at the same time He teaches us to accept death according to the good pleasure of God by saying: Nevertheless not My will, but Thine be done (Matt xxvi:39).  The following is the way in which we acquire the glory of martyrdom: It is by accepting death to please God and conform to His will.……

———–End Quote———

Incredible though it may have seemed a few short years ago, Catholics in this country have reasonable cause to start preparing themselves for martyrdom, even to the point of blood.  No, there is no particular, imminent threat of this, but the general societal trends all point in this direction: the rise of militant atheism, rank indifference and even apostasy among the ranks of self-professed Catholics, a government on acquiring unlimited power and brooking no competition, and a sexular pagan ethos that is increasingly becoming a sort of litmus test to be accepted into a whole range of activities necessary to life.

I pray this meditation on the elements of a successful martyr will be useful to you.  Above all, stay as close as possible to Our Lord and Lady at the Foot of the Cross.

From Indifferentism to Apostasy August 25, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, different religion, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, It's all about the $$$, priests, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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Some good material from Catholicism.org of the St. Benedict Center of New Hampshire, on how the attitude of religious indifference that crept deeply into the Church in the mid-20th century has transmogrified into open, practical apostasy.  The wounds to the Church have been unbelievable, and continue to grow and spread.

I cut and paste below some of the parts I found most interesting (adding my own emphasis and comments):

Indifferentism is the condemned heresy that advances the possibility of salvation in any religion. Apostasy (according to Father Hardon) is the “complete abandonment of the Christian religion and not merely a denial of some article of the creed.” There is a certain inexorable logic — or at least a psychologically coherent dynamism — that facilitates the journey from indifferentism to apostasy. It may take some time — a few generations perhaps, which is a brief span in the life of the Church — but indifferentism will feed the beast of apostasy.

Do we live in a time of widespread apostasy? [I don’t see how this can even be open to question at this point. If you want to read the “proofs” for this, go to the link]

………So, too, to speak of a “silent” apostasy of the former Christendom is to make a very loud denunciation of a people who once produced saints but have now forgotten God.

For decades, we here at Saint Benedict Center have warned that, to advance the possibility of salvation for non-Catholics who live and die in their various religions — without the benefits of baptism and without the divine and catholic faith — will seriously harm the Church’s missionary zeal. We have further warned that it will confuse Catholics themselves, who will wonder why they have to live the strict moral code of the Catholic Church when the rest of humanity can apparently be saved without it. [EXACTLY!  Why on earth can’t I contracept,  divorce, commit usury, etc., and be a “good Catholic,” when all these other people abide by religions that tolerate or even promote such and are apparently “saved?”]

Whatever the details of his own theology concerning these questions, “Pope Emeritus” Benedict has agreed with us that such fears are not only warranted, but, indeed, have also been realized in our day as a “deep double crisis”……[A good quote from Benedict follows basically emphasizing what was contained in the preceding paragraph.]

………..So, according to the Pope Emeritus, the abandonment of the conviction that infidels are lost led to a double crisis of the death of the missions and the questioning, by the faithful, of the “obligatory nature of the faith and its way of life.”

It is the second half of this crisis that led to the “silent apostasy” mentioned by Benedict’s predecessor. [I think it is much more accurately termed a practical apostasy, if not a formal one, but it is increasingly indistinguishable even from formal apostasy] It may be summarized in the following rhetorical questions: If Catholicism is not necessary for someone born into a Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist family, why is it necessary for me? If natives of desert islands can be saved by living according to what they know of the law of nature, why do I have to believe something supernatural? If Jews do not need Jesus Christ, His teaching and His Church, why do I? [And, of course, tens or hundreds of millions of “Catholics” have answered this question for themselves, and determined that, of course, they don’t have to.  Thus, Catholic rates of divorce, contraception, and even abortion are generally indistinguishable from the general populace, if not a bit worse]

Ireland’s online newspaper, Independent.ie, recently ran an article entitled, “Bobby Kennedy: the parish priest of the clan.” It gives us a some insight into how indifferentism and apostasy — at least in its beginnings — go hand-in-hand. [The Kennedy’s do make an object lesson in how this process occurred, aided and abetted by modernists in the Church who co-opted the Kennedy clan in their own plan to remake the Church into a liberal protestant denomination that moved absolutely no one to any kind of piety or devotion but which played very well with the powers of the world]

“Back in his undergraduate days, he joined other Harvard Catholics at lectures by Father Leonard Feeney, an influential Jesuit priest who… preached that only Catholics could be saved. Bobby was embarrassed enough by those diatribes to discuss them with his brother Ted and his father, who arranged for him to meet Archbishop Cushing to convey his concern.” [Boy was that a fateful meeting for Fr. Feeney and the St. Benedict Center]

This same Bobby Kennedy, who, as I was told by Brother Francis, argued with Father Feeney that his Protestant friends were going to be saved as Protestants, was not exactly a stickler for the Catholic Faith on other points, as that same Independent.ie article witnesses: “He called it ‘an awful thing’ that the Church taught that babies, his or anyone’s, were born in sin.”

So this indifferentist rejected the doctrine of original sin? At least according to his biographer, Larry Tye, who penned that piece, which is an excerpt from his book, Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon.

And that Archbishop to whom Bobby went “to convey his concern” about Father Feeney? He not only persecuted Father Feeney for teaching that there is no salvation outside the Church, but also helped to legalize the sale of contraceptives in Massachusetts. [Very true, and that’s only a small part of it.  Cushing worked mightily to break the natural opposition of Catholic politicians in Mass to approve contraception.  He actually went around pressuring people to abjure their faith, so he could have contraception legalized.  And, of course, he closely coordinated his activities with Planned Butcherhood]

It should be remembered that Bobby’s brother, John, thought Jesus Christ essentially had no business in politics.

I asked my friend Joe Doyle, frequent SBC conference speaker and Executive Director of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts, whether there was ever a formal apostasy in the political family. He could not think of one, but sent this informative reply:

Over the course of five generations, the Kennedys have transitioned from being nominal Catholics to being liberal, nominal Catholics, to being dissenting, liberal, nominal Catholics, to being non-practicing, dissenting, liberal, nominal Catholics. To use an accurate phrase disfavored by the post-conciliar church, they are all obstinate and notorious heretics. [In addition to being scandal-mongers and deeply immoral people]

Nor should we forget that, as has been said before, when it comes to morals, they not only refuse to impose Catholic teaching on others, they refuse to impose it on themselves. [In which sense, they are standard bearers for the kind of politicized, worldly Catholicism we see promoted by most bishops and clergy in the Church over the past 50 years.  That such Catholicism has very little appeal to souls and seems very poor at inspiring them seems to matter very little to these folks]

This is what comes of not wanting to appear “unreasonable,” or “harsh,” of fudging on absolutely vital Dogmas of the Faith in order to win worldly approval and not upset those with power and influence.  The story of the “Feeneyites,” whatever their “sin,” is a microcosm and antecedent of the story of the Church as a whole in these very dark days.

Ultimately, many, many leaders in the Church have decided -and this goes back decades or a century or more – that they would much rather serve men than God.  Maybe they don’t think that consciously, but, effectively, that is the decision they have made.

Pray for Norcia August 24, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, Basics, Christendom, disaster, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Latin Mass, manhood, religious, sadness, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
2 comments

I had heard, vaguely, about an earthquake in Italy this morning, but I had no idea it struck so near to Norcia, a site very dear to all Catholics, but orthodox American Catholics especially, due to the admirable Benedictine community there.  In fact, at this very multinational company at which I now work,I heard a co-worker from Italy being queried about this earthquake and lunchtime; apparently, he had been in touch with some family and they were ok, but some could not be found.  So, I certainly pray for him.

The good news is that the community in Norcia relates that none of the monks were injured.  That’s especially cheering to me, since we know one of them at least a little.  The bad news is that the basilica and other facilities they have spent such great effort refurbishing and restoring have suffered significant damage. Even worse, ongoing aftershocks have forced all the monks but two to relocate to Rome for the time being.  They are being hosted by the generosity of the Benedictine international headquarters at St. Anselmo, while two brothers remain in Norcia to watch over their monastery, sleeping in tents outside for safety.

The monks are asking for, first, prayer support, and, secondly, financial support.  They are going to incur significant expenses, it may be expected, returning the basilica and other facilities to their former condition.  Donations may be made here.

This is a very good community that is doing quite a bit of good work to try to restore a much more authentic practice of religious life in the Church today. One of their foremost concerns in this time of trial, as related by Rorate, was their ability to maintain the order of the Rule while they must relocate and undergo what must be a severe trauma.  I am certain that with God’s grace they will succeed in doing so with little difficulty.  The final note from the monks, that I’ve seen:

Please continue to pray for our community, and consider giving a gift (https://en.nursia.org/donations/) to help our effort to rebuild.

May God bless and sustain them, and shower them in His infinite mercy.

Please also, of course, maintain all those others suffering through this disaster in your prayers.  The last I heard was 140 dead, with many more injured.  The toll may continue to rise.  Apparently, many of the small villages around Norcia were particularly devastated.  We do not know why it pleases God to allow such things to happen, but we do know that He causes great good to come from them if we cooperate with His Grace.

Damage to the sanctuary, courtesy Rorate:

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That is so sad.

 

Trust in Saint Joseph! August 24, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Basics, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Glory, Good St. Joseph, Grace, Interior Life, Novenas, Saints, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Victory, Virtue.
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My dear readers, I have intended for some time to share some testimony I have of good St. Joseph’s incredible intercessory power.  As St. Teresa of Avila said, I have stjoseph34_000never known St. Joseph to fail in a intercessory request made with a fervent heart.

Longer-term readers will recall that I was laid off from my job this past February.  I already had a very strong devotion to St. Joseph, offering daily prayers and two perpetual Novenas to this great Saint, so very powerful and so perfectly suited for the needs of fathers and workers.  I of course turned to him in this time of need, less for myself, but so that I could continue to provide for the many souls who depend upon me.

Needless to say, St. Joseph – with the help of my reader’s many prayers, I am sure – came through in spectacular fashion. I am sort of “maxxed out,” if you will, in my Go-to-Josephcareer field and profession.  Without a move into some kind of mid- or upper-management, it would be very difficult for me to find a job with compensation to match the one I lost in February, let alone improve upon that.  And yet, within a week of being laid off, I was already in discussion on a new job that did just that!  And I had that job offer within 5 weeks of being laid off!  The compensation was even a little better than I had previously, which I thought would be almost impossible, humanly speaking, to obtain.  I was not out of work for even two months.  If you recall the circumstances of my layoff, getting notified just days after the birth of our seventh child, you can see how well the Lord, through St. Joseph’s intercession, provided for me and my family!

But that’s not the half of it.  I have had a continuing, ongoing need for the st-josephpast several months. It’s rather personal and I’d rather not go into what it is, but it’s sort of a constant need that requires continuous intervention or intercession.  And, to be quite frank, meeting this need requires what amounts to a miraculous intervention, because, by human  means, there is really no way this need could be met.  There are far too many variables, far too many unprecedented coincidences, for this need to have not only been met once, but over and over again over months.  I attribute this amazing benefit I’ve received to the intercession of St. Joseph, along with the Blessed Mother and my Guardian Angel. All I can say is, St. Joseph, Deo Gratias!

I must also say that St. Joseph played a critical role in my initial conversion and my abstinence from drugs and alcohol, as well as other, even more deeply attached sins.

family-driven-faith-3 St. Joseph has played a huge role in the transformation of my life, and continues to provide amazing, really supernatural blessings to myself and my family.  I cannot recommend an ongoing, deep devotion to the foster father of the Lord strongly enough.

In mentioning that need above, which has required truly miraculous intercession, this is the prayer I have used as a perpetual Novena going back 2  years or more now.  I pray this every day with my family, and St. Joseph has always provided for us in our needs:

O Glorious St. Joseph, you who have power to render possible even things that are considered impossible, come to our aid in our present trouble and distress. Take this important and difficult affair under your particular protection that it may end happily. (mention your request)

O dear St. Joseph, all our confidence is in you. Let it not be said that we would invoke you in vain; and since you are so powerful with Jesus and Mary, show that your goodness equals your power. Amen.

St. Joseph, friend of the Sacred Heart, pray for us.

We follow that with an Our Father, a Hail Mary, and a Glory Be.

That’s it!  I think it does help that we pray on our knees and with great devotion. 51josephworker1 Such a short prayer, but one that is very, very powerful.  I can attest to that.

I am not doing this post to brag, or to toot my horn in the slightest.  I have done nothing, other than rely on one of the best gifts Our Lord makes available to us through His Church.

I am doing it to express my heartfelt gratitude to St. Joseph and to encourage others to rely on this benefactor of such sublime power and efficacy.  He is my most trusted Saint and heavenly friend/intercessor, after Our Lady, of course.

St. Joseph, pray for us!

St. John Vianney on the Torments of Purgatory and Our Duty to Pray for the Poor Souls August 24, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, priests, reading, Saints, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Sort of a long excerpt, so the intro and conclusion will be brief.  One of the great forgotten acts of charity in the Church of the past 50 years has been the duty to pray for the souls in Purgatory.  With seemingly almost every Requiem Mass turning into an instant canonization, most people no longer bother to pray for the departed souls, blithely assuming they have no need to do so.  But Saint John Vianney, and our Catholic ancestors, knew far better.  From pp. 171-3 of The Sermons of the Cure of Ars:

Oh! How we suffer, they cry to us.  Oh!  You, our brethren, deliver us from these torments.  You can do it!  Ah, if you only experienced the sorrow of being separated from God!  Cruel separation!  To burn in the fire kindled by the justice of God!  To suffer sorrows incomprehensible to mortal man!  To be devoured by regret, knowing that we could so easily have avoided such sorrows!  Oh!  My children, cry the fathers and the mothers, can you thus so readily abandon us, we who loved you so much?  Can you then sleep in comfort and leave us stretched upon a bed of fire?  Will you have the courage to give yourselves up to pleasure and joy while we are here suffering and weeping day and night?  You have our wealth, our homes, you are enjoying the fruit of our labors, and you abandon us here in this place of torments , where we are suffering such frightful evils for so many years!  And not a single almsgiving, not a single Mass which would help to deliver us!  You can relieve our sufferings, you can open our prison, and you abandon us!  Oh!  How cruel these sufferings are!

Yes, my dear brethren, people judge very differently, when in the flames of Purgatory, of all those light faults, if indeed it is possible to call anything light which makes us under such rigorous sorrows. What woe would there be to man, the Royal Prophet cries, even the most just of men, if God were to judge him without mercy.  If God has founds spots in the sun and malice in the angels, what, then, is this sinful man?  And for us, who have committed so many mortal sins and who have done practically nothing to satisfy the justice of God, how many years of Purgatory!  [A quick note: I know the belief widespread in the Church in recent years has been that Purgatory is out of time, and thus the idea of “years” or “decades” in Purgatory has no meaning.  This belief is attributed to God being outside time, and so Purgatory/Heaven/hell must be outside time, too.  But I think this idea is a bit reductive, in addition to being quite counter to the wisdom of the Saints from the earliest Church through to at least the mid-20th century.  God may exist outside time, but He also created time, and has chosen to enter into time when it has pleased Him to do so.  As such, it is entirely possible that He could have instituted a temporal sense outside of creation, even in Purgatory.  Human beings are contingent creatures bound by a sense of time. We cannot escape contingency, or, perhaps better said in this case, our changeable nature, until we reach our final destination, be it Heaven or hell. Thus, it seems to make eminent sense to me, that while we remain contingent or changeable, while we are still not at our final destination, that a temporal sort of existence could remain.  Something to consider, anyway]

“My God,”  said St. Teresa, “what soul will be pure enough to enter into Heaven without passing through the vengeful flames?”  In her last illness, she cried suddenly: “O justice and power of my
god, how terrible you are!”  During her agony, God allowed her to see His holiness as the angels and the Saints see Him in Heaven, which caused her so much dread that her sisters, seeing her trembling and extraordinarily agitated, spoke to her, weeping: “Ah Mother, what has happened to you; surely you do not fear death after so many penances and such abundant and bitter tears?”

“No, my children,” St. Teresa replied, “I do not fear death; on the contrary, I desire it so that I may be united forever with my God.”

“is it your sins, then, which terrify you, after so much mortification?”

“Yes, my children,” she told them. “I do fear my sins, but I fear still another thing even more.”

“Is it the judgment, then?”

“Yes, I tremble at the formidable account that it will be necessary to render to God, Who, in that moment, will be without mercy, but there is still something else of which the very thought alone makes me die with terror.”

The poor sisters were deeply distressed.

“Alas!  Can it be hell, then?”

“No,” she told them. “Hell, thank God, is not for me.  Oh!  My sisters, it is the holiness of God. My God, have pity upon  me!  My life must be brought face to face with that of Jesus Christ Himself!  Woe to me if I have the least blemish or stain!  Woe to me if I am even in the very shadow of sin!”

“Alas,” cried these poor sisters. “What will our deaths be like!”

What will ours be like, then, my dear brethren, we who, perhaps in all our penances and our good works, have never yet satisfied for one single sin forgiven in the tribunal of Penance?  Ah!  What years and centuries of torment to punish us!……How dearly we shall pay for all those faults thatw e look upon as nothing at all, like those little lies that we tell to amuse ourselves, those little scandals, the despising of the graces which God gives  us at every moment, those little murmurings in the difficulties that He sends us!  No, my dear brethren, we would never have the courage to commit the least sin if we could understand how much it outrages God, and how greatly it deserves to be rigorously punished, even in this world.

———-End Quote————

I try to make prayer for the poor holy souls in Purgatory my number one prayer intention every day.  I try to give special focus to those souls who have been forgotten or ignored for who knows how long.  May God have mercy on them, and on us.  And may the holy souls during and after Purgatory pray for us always!

Short but Nice Video on St. John Vianney August 19, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Father Rodriguez, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, manhood, persecution, priests, Restoration, Saints, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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From this blog’s favorite priest, too!  Some very good points below, and it only lasts about 4 minutes, so you have NO excuse not to watch it.

Just a few excerpts from some of the good Saint’s sermons:

“If people would do for God what they do for the world, my dear people, what a great number of Christians would go to Heaven.”

So very, very true.  And yet today, not even bishops speak of Heaven, or what it takes to get there, with any regularity.  Heck, ever at all.

It’s been a busy week at work, sorry if posting was short and/or lame.

Have a blessed weekend and especially Sunday!

Please Pray for Mr. John Vennari August 18, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Four Last Things, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Interior Life, manhood, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership.
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It has been revealed that Mr. John Verrari has a very serious cancer.  He is requesting prayers.  His prognosis, according to his own testimony, is very grim.  I’ve never been a big reader of Vennari or Catholic Family News, but I have long appreciated his work.  But that is neither here nor there at this point, one of the brethren is in grave trouble, and needs our prayers on many counts, at the very least, for his healing, and for his preparation should the Lord call for the separation of his soul from his body in the near term:

I had not yet intended to reveal this news, but today it was leaked on to another website. I am reluctantly compelled go public earlier than I had hoped.

On August 11 I received a grave prognosis.I have a cancerous tumor in my colon and the cancer has spread to the peritoneum.

The only thing the cancer institute offers is chemotherapy. And even this is not something that will cure, but only contain it for a time.

As I am not interested chemotherapy, I am now pursuing alternative/natural means under the guidance of competence medical personnel, including an MD.

I only mention this now because the news was sent out prematurely by a well-meaning individual who circulated a private email on the topic that ended up posted on a website. I had intended for this news to remain private for the moment.

In any case, as time goes on, I will reveal more.

The case is remarkably serious. I am keeping busy and staying upbeat. For now I’ve been feeling well.

The malady first manifested itself in the form of intense indigestion, something that does not necessarily send one running for cancer screening. Through a series of events, however, we received the diagnosis last week.

Saint Philomena has featured heavily in this drama in a manner I will perhaps describe in the future (look at the date of prognosis, the feast of St. Philomena).

My family is making a novena to both Our Lady of Good Success and Saint Philomena.

I ask you to please remember my condition in your prayers and get others to pray, including convents of nuns.

Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.

In JMJ,

John Vennari

PS: A number of generous souls have already asked if we need financial assistance in this fight. I regret to say we do, but I have nothing formally set up. In the meantime, anyone who would like to help can go to this temporary webpage. Go to: http://www.oltyn.org/page5/page5.html

It is very remarkable that Fr. Nicholas Gruner, with whom Vennari had a very close relationship, died just over a year ago.  It may seem strange that the Lord would call two such men in this time of increasing crisis, but perhaps there is mercy in that, at least for them.  Suffice it to say, no one could ever doubt Mr. Vennari’s concern and love for Holy Mother Church.  I am reminded of the death of my friend and colleague Vicki Middleton, who felt similar symptoms (serious problems of digestion), received a very grim cancer prognosis in summer 2012, and was dead a few weeks later.  I wondered why the Lord would call a woman at the prime of her apostolate, who had done and was doing such great works on behalf of the Church and souls.

Then we saw the re-election of Obama, the abdication of Benedict, and the election of Francis.  Vicki had been a late-life convert to the Faith, and even though very much on fire, still had a lot of protestant in her. Perhaps our Blessed Lord knew all those blows would have been very hard for Vicki, and instead of letting her endure more suffering in this life, with all the risks that involved, exercised a mercy far beyond our comprehension.  I still pray for her every day.

This may ultimately develop into a sad event with Vennari’s passing, but even that may be a very blessed thing.  We should not lament the passing of such souls, but have great hope for them, and pray with great fervor for the repose of their souls.

But, I suppose, I am getting ahead of myself.  Perhaps the Lord will work another kind of miracle, which will astound and edify many souls.  May that be His Will.  Please keep Mr. Vennari in your prayers, which I know you will.

St. Francis de Sales on How to Live in the World August 18, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Christendom, Domestic Church, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Saints, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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From Thy Will Be Done: 58 Letters by St. Francis de Sales, advice given to a young, pious man who had to go live at the notoriously decadent French court, on how to maintain his virtue and practice of the Faith in such a harmful environment.

Today, however, almost the entire world is even more decadent and amoral than even the worst of the baroque period courts of Europe.  We are all forced to live in a moral sewer, with those of us who have to go out into the world every day to work or otherwise interact with an increasingly satanic society facing the gravest threat.

St. Francis de Sales advice to this young man on how to keep his virtue and maintain his strong faith is, then, of great use to all of us.  I pray you will find these excerpts from pp. 72-75 useful:

[S]ir…….continue to nourish your soul with divine meats, for they will make us strong against vanity and just against ambition.

Keep carefully to frequent Communion: believe me, you could do nothing more certain to strengthen yourself in virtueTo make yourself quite safe in this practice, put yourself under the orders of some good confessor, and beseech him to charge himself with making you give an account in Confession of the failures you may make in this exercise, if by chance you make any.  Always confess humbly, and with a true and express purpose of amendment.

I solemnly implore you: before leaving your home in the morning, never forget to ask on your knees for the help of our Lord; and before going to bed at night, never forget to ask for the pardon of your sins. 

Especially beware of bad books; and for nothing in the world let your soul be carried away by certain writings that weak brains admire, because of some vain subtleties that they find in them.  Such are the works of certain of our age, who profess to doubt everything, to despise everything, and to scoff at all the maxims of antiquity.  On the contrary, read books of solid doctrine – especially Christian and spiritual ones – for recreation from time to time……..[Of course, we have much, much more than bad books to be concerned about in this our age.  While bad books can be particularly devastating, probably nothing is more destructive than the electronic media, most especially, the television and internet.  A local priest just gave a very strong sermon asking parents whether they really need the internet in their homes.  This is a very tough matter, because many homeschooling programs are internet-based or highly dependent on internet access.  But the priest has heard the confessions of so many young people, most all of them from families assisting at the TLM, who are addicted to internet porn, that it is really something to consider, whether the internet is really vitally necessary.  At the very least, you MUST have a very robust filter.  TV is full of filth these days, too, and, even worse, is one of the prime means by which the powers that be indoctrinate people in the culture of sexular paganism and religious indifference.  Beware of both.]

………I would wish that, first, in speech, in bearing, and in relations with others, you should make open and express profession of wishing to live virtuously, judiciously, perseveringly, and as a Christian.

I say “virtuously” that no one may attempt to engage you in immoralities.  “Judiciously,” that you may not show extreme signs, exteriorly, of your intentions [towards piety]…..

…”Perseveringly,” because unless you show with perseverance an equal and inviolable will, you will expose your resolutions to the designs and attempts of many miserable souls, who attack others to draw them to their company.

Lastly, I say “as a Christian,” because some make profession of wishing to be virtuous philosophically, who, however, are not so, and can in no way be so, and who are nothing else but phantoms of virtue, using their graceful manners and words to hide their bad life and ways from those who are not familiar with them.

But we, who well know that we cannot have a single particle of virtue but by the Grace of our Lord – we must employ piety and holy devotion to live virtuously; otherwise we shall have virtues only in imagination and in shadow…..

….It is also of the greatest importance to make some friends who have the same aim, with whom you can associate and strengthen yourself.  For it is a very true thing that the company of well-regulated souls is extremely useful to us to keep our own soul well-regulated [This is so key, and one of the greatest challenges of these dark times, finding pious souls to associate with, to grow with, to even compete with, in a holy sense, in the practice of virtue.  This is one of the enormous, often unseen benefits of belonging to an explicitly traditional parish, where there are many souls driven to serve our Lord with a powerful fervor.  The breakdown of the old Catholic neighborhoods and Catholic culture is one of the most pernicious influences of our times, and it was done, according to E. Michael Jones and others, quite deliberately]……..

……..I wish you further, a vigorous heart.  Do not flatter your body by delicacies in eating, sleeping, and other such softnesses; for a generous heart has always a little contempt for bodily comforts and pleasures…….

…..I mean, then, that I would like you to sometimes correct your body so far as to make it feel some rigors and hardships by contempt for delicacies and by frequent denial of things agreeable to the senses.  Again, reason must sometimes exercise its superiority and the authority that it has to control the sensual appetites…….[Once again, this fallen age tells us to satisfy our every desire in an instant.  It is the ultimate culture of self-gratification on demand. TV is one a great one for creating such disordered appetites.  No wonder so many self-described Catholics today view self-denial as an intolerable imposition]

……In a word, that is what we must seek: to be no less brave for being Christian and no less Christian for being brave. For this we must be very good Christians – that is, very devout, pious, and if possible, spiritual.  For, as St. Paul says: “the spiritual man discerneth all things” (I Cor ii:15). He knows at what time, in what order, and by what method each virtue must be practiced.

Form often this good thought, that we are walking in this world between Paradise and hell, and that our last step will place us in an eternal dwelling.  We do not know which step will be our last, and so, in order to make our last step well, we must try to make all the others well. [Such excellent advice]

O holy and unending eternity! Blessed is he who thinks of you. Yes, for what do we play here in this world but a children’s game for who knows how many days?  It would be nothing whatever, if it were not the passage of eternity. [Which is why the West is now sunk into a suicidal nihilism – having rejected God, and recognizing the emptiness of a strictly material existence, more and more souls see life as meaningless, nothing more than a continuous series of pleasures that leave the soul more empty than it was before.  Little wonders Westerners are now so enervated they cannot even bother to reproduce. Without God, there is no point to existence, and all falls to decay and ruin.]

On this account, therefore, we must pay attention to the time we have to dwell here below, and to all our occupations, so as to employ them in the conquest of the permanent good………

————-End Quote—————-

Well that’s long enough.  Saint Francis de Sales, pray for us, pray for the conversion of this increasingly dark and fallen world, and for the restoration of Holy Mother Church!

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