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Excerpts from an old catechism on the nature of faith July 1, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Grace, Interior Life, reading, sanctity, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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More specifically, our Catholic Faith, but also the virtue/grace of faith.  Some somewhat random excerpts from The Catechism Explained which I think (hope) will form a cohesive whole. I will keep comments to a minimum to try to keep this post brief:

The Christian faith is the firm conviction, arrived at with the grace of God, that all that Jesus Christ taught on earth is true, as well as all that the Catholic Church teaches by the commission She has received from Him.

Christian faith is both a grace and at the same time a matter of the understanding and an act of the will.

Faith never requires us to believe anything that is contradictory to human reason. [While some things, like bodily resurrection, may be beyond our comprehension, they are not contrary to reason]

The man of good will can always find a sufficient reason for believing, a man of bad will an excuse for not believing.

It would be blasphemy to suppose that Our Lord, Who is Truth itself, could ever have, in one single instance, deceived us.  Hence faith gives us a greater certainty than the evidence of our senses.  Our senses can deceive us – God cannot deceive us.

We believe the teaching of the Church because Christ guides the Church to all truth through the Holy Ghost, and guards it against all error, and also because God, even up to the present day, has confirmed the truth of the teaching of the Catholic Church by miracles.

He who willfully disbelieves a single doctrine of the Catholic Church has no true faith, for he who receives some of the words of Christ and rejects others, does not really believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that He guides the Catholic Church.  [I almost hate to say this, but to how many bishops and priests could this statement apply?]

A faith which does not comprise all the Doctrines of the Catholic Church is no faith at all.  It is like a house with no foundation.  A man who believes all other Catholic Doctrines, but rejects the sinfulness of contraception, has no true faith.  What insolence on the part of men to treat God like a dishonest dealer, some of whose goods they accept and others reject!……..He who willfully rejects a single Dogma sins against the whole body of doctrine of the Catholic Church and the guilt of sin is mortal.  Hence no heretic, if he is so through his own fault, can make an act of faith, even in the existence of God or the divinity of Jesus Christ[Think of how many false oaths are offered up weekly if not daily in so many parishes when the Nicene Creed is falsely recited, even by priests themselves]

God bestows the knowledge of the truth and the gift of faith chiefly on those who 1) strive after it with earnestness and perseverance, 2) live a God-fearing life, 3) pray that they may find the truth.

Many men fail to attain to the Christian Faith through pride, self-will, and an unwillingness to give up the indulgence of their passions. [I think the latter is the primary root of every heresy, especially the modern groinal ones, combined with pride]

……in the present day, God allows His Church to be oppressed and persecuted and looked down upon.  Hence there is no miracle at which the proud will not scoff.  God hides the secrets of His Providence from the proud, and more than this, He positively resists them (I Pet v:5).

Without faith, we can do no good works pleasing to God, or which will merit for us a reward in Heaven.  Acts of kindness, etc., done from a natural motive earn a reward in this life, but not in the next. [Contra Pope Francis’ claims that works pleasing to God can emanate from those in other religions]

Faith alone is not sufficient for salvation.  

It must be a living faith, that is, we must add to ti good works and must be ready to confess it openly.

A living faith is one which produces works pleasing to God.  Our Lord says: “Not every one who saith to Me, Lord, Lord shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but he that doth the will of my Father Who is in Heaven” (Matt vii:21).  He who has done no works of mercy will be condemned at the judgment (Matt xxv:41).  Such a one is like the devils, who believe and disobey (Jas ii:19)……..Good works such as are necessary for salvation, can only be performed by one who is in possession of sanctifying grace, and loves God in his heart.  Hence St. Paul says, “If I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains and have not charity, I am nothing” (I Cor xiii:2).  We must also be ready to confess our faith……..Man consists of body and soul, and therefore must honor God, not only inwardly, but also outwardly.  Christ promises the Kingdom of Heaven only to those who confess Him before men (Matt x:32).

———-End Quote———–

And thus we see the calamity that faces us in this Christ- and Truth-hating culture.  We are positively commanded to witness to all the Truth Christ has revealed before men.  We simply MUST confess Him.  And yet the leftist cabal demands that we NOT do so.  Thus the inevitable conflict that looms ahead.

We have the blessed assurance of knowing, however, that no matter how bleak things may look at this or any other time, so long as we remain faithful to Our Lord’s commands we know how our personal stories will work out in the end.  The victory has already been won for us, we simply have to persevere to insure we can share in it.

Sorry if the above is too basic, I thought it might be helpful to put some elementary Doctrine all together in one place because so many people have forgotten (or never learned) even these fundamental beliefs.

 

Men’s Prayer Vigil outside The Men’s Club TOMORROW July 1 June 30, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, manhood, secularism, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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The prayer vigil outside the Men’s Club will be tomorrow Wednesday July 1 at about 8 pm.  I will go again, God willing, on July 15.

I was thinking about pushing the prayer vigil back to next week if many guys were out of town.  I really have no idea, so I’ll leave it as is.  Details below:

I will be praying outside  The Men’s Club, 2340 W. Northwest Hwy, Dallas, on Wednesday July 1, at 8 pm.  I will actually be across the street in the parking lot of the US Post Office.  This is directly across from the entrance to the inappropriately named “gentleman’s club.”  

We’ve had some good turnout.  I pray all of you are able to come back out this Wednesday.

The post office parking lot is well lit and set back some distance from the very busy roadway.  It is public land so we cannot be harassed for being there.  It’s really an ideal situation, we are basically impossible to miss by patrons leaving this sexually oriented business (SOB).  Men over 18 only.  All men are welcome.  You don’t have to be a member of a particular parish.  I will stay for at least an hour, maybe an hour and a half, depending on how many show up.

No protesting, just prayer.  No interaction with the patrons at this time.  That may come later.  We’ll see.  Of course, last month, we had some interaction we did not seek. If that happens again, please keep praying and I will try to engage with whomever approaches us.

This is a small way to push back against the culture of license, perversion, and death.  Maybe it’s even a way to get that canonized “smell of the sheep” we hear so much about.

I pray you are able to make it.  Bring your friends.  Fly in from out of town!  Rent buses!

Deo Gratias.

Call to end tax exempt status is really a call to end churches and plunder their property June 30, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, paganism, persecution, scandals, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, Tradition, unadulterated evil.
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One of the dominant characteristics of the Tudor dynasty in 16th and 17th century England was its totalitarian nature and profound lawlessness.  It was this lawlessness that laid the seed-bed for 17th century rebellion against monastery and the (to the present day) total ascendance of the Parliament over the monarchy.  Henry VIII infamously sacked much of the wealth of the English Church, the better to buy support among certain aristocrats and other unscrupulous souls.  He did so through an instrument of totalitarian government, the Act of Supremacy, which declared Henry the sole head of the “church in England.”

History never repeats, but historical situations do recur.  We don’t quite have an all-powerful king, but we do have a narrow elite hell-bent on pursuing their own narrow interest and using any and all means to do so.  We also have a nation horribly in debt and unable to meet even its present-day fiscal obligations, not to mention the titanic mountain of debt that looms on the near horizon.  These are two very powerful elements that, with this disastrous Obergfell Supreme Court decision, now have the means to plunder the churches both for the wealth that could be gained by so doing and, to paraphrase King Henry II, to rid themselves of these damned meddlesome Christians.

That’s the conclusion (and the extrapolation) I draw from Denny Burk’s warning that the sexular pagans are not nearly done with their revolution, and that they are coming for the churches next, both for our money, and to silence us once and for all (my emphasis and comments):

Mark Oppenheimer of The New York Times is now calling for the government to remove tax-exempt status from churches. After I posted a link to his article on Facebook, a pastor friend commented: “I’m not sure our small church could survive.” That, my friends, is the point. And Oppenheimer knows it. [Well, he admits as much later]

Legal gay marriage is not the endgame for the gay-rights movement. It never was. Moral approval is the endgame. The agenda is not tolerance for different beliefs and lifestyles. The agenda is a demand that everyone get on board with the moral revolution or be punished. That means if you or your church won’t get with the program, then the revolutionaries will endeavor to close you down. [That is it in a nutshell.  Reilly establishes very clearly that this “marriage” movement is all about gaining that precious, precious affirmation these poor souls so constantly crave.  It won’t work, of course, the Law of God written on their hearts will continue to keep them in misery so long as they live these terrible lives of sin]

But they aren’t going to say,”We’ll close you down,” in so many words. They will cover it in propaganda that conceals their real aim. They’ll say, as Oppenheimer does, that taxpayers are “subsidizing” churches, that ministers make fat-cat six-figure salaries, and that government should get those rich priests and preachers off the government dole[I don’t know what our bishops in this country make, but there are some fat cats in the Church in places like Germany.  But in this country, even the pastor of a large parish rarely makes more than $60k a year, though they do have many major expenses covered]

Never mind that the average base salary of a full-time senior pastor ranges from $33,000 to $70,000 (source). Never mind that ministers do pay income taxes. Never mind that it is absurd to suggest not paying taxes is a subsidy…….That doesn’t fit the fictional narrative activists wish to advance—that these churches don’t deserve to have their “subsidy” continued in light of their intolerable views on sexuality. [Yep, that’s the point.  And the rhetoric about “subsidy” reveals for the tweltheenth time that leftists view ALL income as belonging by right to the state, with lowered taxes somehow becoming “subsidies” or even “gifts” from the state to the citizen.  All they need now is their Fouquier-Tinville.]

No, the real intent of removing tax-exempt status is to cripple the institutions that continue their dissent from the sexual revolution. When tax exemptions are removed, donors will give far less than they are giving now. Churches will become liable to property taxes.[Especially in deep blue states, but it could become universal eventually]  That means that many churches will have to forfeit their property to the government because they won’t be able to afford the taxes they have to pay on it.[And what a bonanza that could be]  Many of them wouldn’t be able to pay them now. If donations went down, they would be that much further from being able to pay them. As a result, churches that reside on valuable properties in urban locations would be immediately vulnerable. Eventually, so would everyone else. [Dang right. Maybe it’s been a great grace that so many traddie parishes are in undesirable locales?]

Oppenheimer knows this. That is why he argues that if churches can’t raise the money for their new tax burden, then they don’t deserve to retain their property.[Who the hell is he to say this?  OK, if we ever elect a real social conservative, how about raising taxes on urban elites (especially NYC) to 95%?  If government is going to be all about will to power, punish the minority and squash all dissent, then this could involve into savage persecution of the other side depending on who comes out on top after a given election.  This process won’t last long, it will end in dictatorship – with a lot of people clamoring for it – just to return to some kind of perceived sense of order]   After all, he argues, the government would do a better job than churches at meeting the needs of their community. [This is false, private charities have been demonstrated to be far more efficient distributors of charity, being much closer to local needs.  Oppenheimer’s entire piece is full of such bald, unsupported assertions] He concludes, “So yes, the logic of gay-marriage rights could lead to a reexamination of conservative churches’ tax exemptions… When that day comes, it will be long overdue.”……[Ah – did you get that?  That’s the key.  It won’t be all churches.  It won’t be unitarian  universalists or other churches of the sexular pagan left.  It will be orthodox Christian churches.  So this is entirely about crushing opposition]

………When some of us warned of the religious-liberty implications of making gay marriage a fundamental constitutional right, we were told that such things would never happen. What they really meant was, “That will never happen, but when it does you Christians will deserve it.” Oppenheimer is making the case for why he thinks we deserve it.

————End Quote———-

Is it revealing the degree to which seemingly secular Jews have been playing in the advance of the sexular pagan agenda going back decades now?  Is it revealing that the entire Frankfurt School of avowed communists was made up of deeply self-loathing Jews (and thoroughly miserable human beings)?  Is there an eschatological element to this involvement by the Jews in the unprecedented retreat of Christendom over the past few hundred  years?

Perhaps more immediate questions are: now that we have confirmation that the sexularist revolutionaries are already moving against the Church in the primary area they can influence – funding – and thus all of our dire predictions have been proved right……..does it matter?  Now that we have confirmation that these same pagans are already moving to legalize polygamy and even worse, incest, and we’ve been proved right again……will that knowledge make any difference?  Will enough people care?  Are there enough basically orthodox Christians and protestants of any stripe to stop this runaway freight?

I’m afraid the answers are likely no.  In certain regions, more rural communities in the South, West, and Great Plains, there remains a relatively large number of at least somewhat orthodox Christians and protestants, but everywhere else………we’ll be a tiny minority.  We certainly are in most cities. And once real suffering starts, our numbers will decrease even more.

If persecuting policies aimed at bankrupting churches are enacted at the federal (national) level, it will be very hard on most parishes.  It is possible more friendly state and local policy could offset a good deal of the damage done, however.  So this will likely be a more regional phenomenon, where leftist states are able to even further drive all opposition out but survival may be possible elsewhere.  Rod Dreher seems to be pointing towards rural enclaves a la the early monasteries.  Much will depend on how our bishops respond, but barring an unforeseen miracle I think it will become increasingly difficult to impossible for traditional Catholic communities to exist in liberal areas generally and large coastal cities in particular.  Maybe I’m being a bit too negative, but I don’t believe I am.  While I predicted pseudo-sodomarriage would be the law of the land 2-3 years ago, if you had asked me 10 years ago whether any of this would come to pass, I would have thought you were crazy.  That’s how fast things are moving.

It might not be a bad idea for traditional parishes to start identifying alternative centers for the Sacraments if they cannot maintain their present physical locations.  This might include barns, halls, meeting places, even open fields.

I don’t mean to discourage anyone, but we’re heading into a real, red persecution.  We need to be prepared.

2015 Farm report June 30, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, family, farm, fun, non squitur, technology, Tradition, Victory.
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A little segue into happier matters for a brief bit.  I shot a bunch of videos while I was in Kansas and uploaded a bunch for the heck of it.  When we can time our trips to be there during harvest it’s a lot of fun, the kids really like it and there is much to do.  If we go before or after harvest there isn’t much to do.  I’m hoping next year to take more time off and catch the harvest right and be there even more.  I’d like to help out if I could.

Given that the crop looked all but lost in mid-March due to drought the wheat turned out quite good.  Continuous crop made at least mid-30s per bushel and summer fallow was more probably in the 50s on average.  We might top out over 50 bu/acre for the whole crop.  Milo is looking nice.  They’ve had a lot of rain, but after harvest will need a lot more.

Sorry for bad video quality, half the time I had a kid in my lap and the other half I got distracted by conversation.  It’s not easy to hold a phone steady in a jostling combine.  It’s a lot of fun for me, though, to get up there and see that great bounty of nature and Our Lord’s beneficence all come together.  We need to get a good priest to go up there sometime and bless the land, it’s never been done, I’m sure!

I almost get runned over:

My favorite:

We might make a move on some more land up there.  At this point, I don’t think having another quarter section in my back pocket would be a bad thing.  Now to get at least a single wide and tie into that water they’re pumping out of the Ogallala and we’d have a fair redoubt if things get rough (just enough for home use, not irrigation).  The place is a liturgical wasteland, though.

Various and Sundry as I wind down the week June 24, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Papa, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, shocking, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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It’s harvest time at the farm, so I am going to be out for the next several days.  I might come back with a scintillating combine video I’m sure you’ll just be wracked in anticipation thereof.  Sorry, you’ll just have to wait.

A few items of ephemera for the interim.  I took a couple of these from JP Sonnen’s blog.  First up, a lovely evening/night pilgrimage at La Salette:

la salette procession i

la salette procession iii

la salette procession iv

la salette procession v

I love our Lady’s apparitions. I need to learn more about La Sallete.  I like the idea of a night procession.  That’s beautiful.  Looks like quite a suitable church, too.

These are good ones:

carbon

Et deux:

matrimonio

All three are essential. Since our culture has chosen to forget the God part, it was inevitable that marriage would fall to the state it has.

I also wanted to put up this video from The Remnant, for two reasons.  For one, there is a very interesting quote from Elizabeth Yore regarding the recent “climate change” conference held at the Vatican and, of course, the encyclical Laudato Si.  But even more there is a plug for a small but deserving online video Catholic apostolate called JMJHF Productions.  I’ve posted a number of their videos on the blog before, and they are apparently working on a documentary on this year’s pilgrimage to Chartres, which is something I eagerly await.  It might even inspire me to consider going sometime, though I’ve never been a fan of long distance travel.

Have a watch:

I do find it significant that the Vatican has apparently relied so heavily on input from the radical environmental lobby for both the recent conference and the encyclical, to the point of calumniating other viewpoints, even from very devout children of the Church.  That is a most troubling development, because it points to a politicization of the Vatican we have not seen in a very long time, and represents the ascension of an ideology that has been at war with the Church for hundreds of years.  The message from certain curial figures of late to faithful Catholics has been: buzz off.  And they don’t say it quite so nicely.

Were you aware that the Vatican collaborated with the Obama administration to tie the encyclical to various federal policies, which I assume includes the attempt to label carbon dioxide (which we all exhale) a hazardous pollutant subject to EPA control?

I’ve been pretty skeptical of the New World Order rhetoric, but now…….I’m not so sure.  There certainly seems to be a tremendous amount of coordination going on around the world, directing events on a score of different fronts in a common direction, coordination that speaks of a high level of organization and conducted by individuals with a huge amount of influence.

But Chartres does give one a good deal of hope.  It looks like many hundreds if not more participated?

 

Finally formally announced: Fort Worth gets FSSP parish June 24, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Sacraments, sanctity, Tradition, Victory, Virtue.
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Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth paid a surprise visit to the Fort Worth Latin Mass community parish (Our Lady of thefwlogohiresAssumption) to make a special announcement: Fort Worth will soon have its own full-time FSSP parish.  The names of the two priests to be assigned have already been determined: Fr. Karl Pikus and Fr. Peter Byrne.  Approvals are already essentially complete, it is expected the priests could arrive as early as August.  More below:

This past Sunday The Fort Worth Latin Mass Community had a surprise visitor…Bishop Olson.

He came to announce that an official apostolate parish for the FSSP will soon be established in the diocese.

He said all of the paperwork should be finalized some time in July.  After that we will be welcoming two new priests, Fr. Karl Pikus and Fr. Peter Byrne, no specific date was given.

The Bishop welcomes all of the members of the Fort Worth Latin Mass community to email him, officeofthebishop@fwdioc.org, with name suggestions.  He only asks that it not be a duplicate name of a parish already in the Fort Worth Diocese.

I have heard a rumor, and it is only that, that the new parish will be in White Settlement.  If so, that’s a bit out of the way for a lot of folks.  It’s on the northwest side of Tarrant County.  Nice if you’re stationed at Carswell, though.

I feel rather vindicated. When Bishop Olson blocked the offering of the TLM at Fisher-More College during its final days, due to numerous administrative and other problems ongoing at the former college, I was about the only traditional-leaning blogger who defended his action (and I took it on the chin pretty good for doing so).  I knew a lot more about the situation at Fisher-More and the reasons for Olson’s action than the vast majority of those who commented, almost all of whom really attacked the bishop for an alleged animus against the TLM. I also knew that Fort Worth would not be long in getting a permanent, full-time TLM parish.  I thank Bishop Olson for his generosity and his patience in putting up with some pretty hardcore attacks.*

And so now 1 1/2 years later Fort Worth is going to have a full-time TLM staffed by two priests with daily Mass and Confession.  That’s an enormous good for the entire Diocese and region, and indicates anything but a bias against the TLM.  Fort Worth will now be among a minority of US dioceses to have the TLM available daily.  The DFW area will now have 3 FSSP parishes with two or more priests within about an hour’s drive of central Dallas. That is awesome.

DEO GRATIAS!

14811_10152014974158705_1485981959_n

* – no I’m not saying Bishop Olson is Mr. Traditional nor is he my hero, I’m just saying the situation with the Mass at Fisher-More was all to do about Fisher-More and nothing to do with Bishop Olson’s views on the TLM.

“Cremation is condemned by the Church as being an abominable abuse” June 24, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, episcopate, error, family, foolishness, Four Last Things, General Catholic, paganism, pr stunts, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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If it was belief fit to be included in an 1899 Catechism, how can the opposite be true today?  Or is cremation simply yet another one of those many areas where a doctrine remains “on the books,” but few bishops or priests know it or enforce it?  And, hey, columbaria are a good source of income for relatively little investment, so, what’s not to like?

From The Catechism Explained: An Exhaustive Exposition of the Catholic Religion by Fr. Francis Spirago and published in 1899 by Benzinger Brothers, NY, from an Italian original:

Cremation is condemned by the Church as being an abominable abuse.

Originally the custom of interring the dead in the ground was common to all nations, for the most ancient human remains that have been discovered bear no signs of having been subjected to fire.  Vaults containing skeletons have also been met with, closed by a slab of stone.  We know that the Jews buried their dead; Holy Scripture constantly speaks of the burial of kinds and prophets.  That his corpse should be left unburied was a chastisement threatened to the transgressor (Dt XXVIII:26).  Only during a time of pestilence were the Jews allowed to burn individual corpses (Am VI:10).

The Romans in earlier times buried their dead. Cicero tells us that their graves were considered as sacred, and the profanation of a tomb was severely punished, even by the loss of a hand……..

…...In later times, when manners became corrupt, cremation was practiced among them……It is a noteworthy fact that all barbarous nations, who in an uncivilized state burned their dead, substituted the grave for the funeral pyre as soon as civilization shed its light in their land.  Christianity, did, in fact, abolish cremation.  But in these days, when Christian Faith is on the decrease, cremation is once more becoming a fashion.  St. Augustine denounces the practice as horrible and barbarous.  It offends our Christian instincts. For we are taught to regard death as a sleep; the dead sleep in Christ (I Cor XV:18), for they will rise again; they are laid to rest in peace, and the idea of the repose they enjoy is connected with the churchyard, not with the crematorium.  When we commit our dead to the kindly earth, we tacitly express our belief that our body is like a seed, which is cast into the ground, to germinate and spring up: “It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption” (I Cor XV:42).  [Two additional points: Christian people used to strive to emulate Christ and the Saints in all ways possible. Our Lord was buried in the ground for 3 days, and there has never been a record of a Saint not being laid to rest in the ground.  By partaking of cremation, those who call themselves Christian are deliberately choosing to end their lives in a way different from Our Blessed Lord and His Saints.]

As Christians we have a higher esteem for the soul, which partakes of the divine nature, and consequently for the body, which is the servant and tool of the soul.  No true Christian can fail to shrink from the horrors of cremation; only those who are lost to all sense of the dignity of human nature, to all belief in the truths of religion, can desire it for themselves.  [I will admit I am somewhat taken aback by this really forceful language, because all opposition I have read to cremation previously has been much softer than this.  That only shows how much standards have slipped in the last 116 years?]   Let us remember that Christ, our great Exemplar, was laid in the tomb and rose again. [The key…….] For pagans such considerations naturally have no weight; they disliked the sight of the sepulchral monument, the mount raised over the dead, because it reminded them of death, which would put an end to their earthly enjoyments.  For the same reason unbelievers in our own day advocate cremation.  Burial suggests to them too strongly the immortality of the soul, whereas cremation appears to promise the annihilation that they desire as their portion after death.  Yet let no one imagine that the Christian dreads the destruction of the body by fire as an impediment to its future resurrection, for God can effect the reintegration of the body after it has been dissolved into gaseous elements. 

———-End Quote———

That concluding argument is very interesting, because in previous objections I’ve read on cremation, the idea that cremation implied a denial of bodily resurrection was a primary reason to oppose cremation’s use.   The above seems to say that Christians never feared that God could not resurrect cremated remains, and so it was strictly the act of defiance that was problematic.

I think the excerpt above hits on the key point: the reason for cremation’s sudden spike in popularity over the past few decades has to do with the general paganization of the culture and the desire by people to never have to face reminders of death, but more importantly, the afterlife. More and more people conduct their lives as if there will be no judgment; they certainly hope so, anyway.  Seeing a cemetary is to them a grim reminder of death, whereas columbaria are generally so well hidden one would never know what they were looking at.  Furthermore, most people don’t even bother to have their ashes reposed in some sacred or sentimental place, they simply have them scattered to the four winds.  All of this speaks, at least subliminally, of a great fear of death and judgment.

When some folks say: “Well, I know this good Catholic or that good Baptist, and they’re planning on being cremated,” I’d answer with: a) how do you know they are so good?, moral standards have slipped so much across the boards mere visible membership in a Church is hardly a guide to sanctity (as if it has ever been, there were plenty of depraved souls who attended church every Sunday when such was more or less a cultural requirement), and b) it really doesn’t matter what others do, what matters is what you do and how that correlates to emulating our Blessed Lord in every possible respect.  The latter alone is all the argument I need to dissuade me from being cremated.  I’ve never had an interest in doing so, anyways, I want my bones in the cool, green earth, not burned to ash in a hellish fire.

Then there are other factors not mentioned above: if a loved one were buried somewhere near me, I would visit that cemetery every chance I got to pray for them.  I cannot say the same for a columbarium.  Secondly, very ancient cemeteries are occasionally forgotten, but for the most part, cemeteries are treated as hallowed ground and not often subject to simply being paved over.  At the very least, the remains are relocated, and quite often, whatever development needs to occur happens around the existing cemetery.  We had a case of the latter near our former home.  Can the same be said for a wall filled with urns?  We’d like to think so, but what if the church associated with that wall no longer exists?  What happens when the wall starts to decay and fall down?  You can lift a head stone pretty easily, but walls have to be rebuilt, most often from scratch.  I think there’s going to be a bit of a problem and/or scandal in a few decades when developers come across these strange walls nobody knows or cares much about, whatever legal “guarantees” may have been made aside.

One last point…….the symbolism of cremation is to me inescapable.  Do you really want your last earthly act to be being cast into a fire?  I’d rather be buried at sea……..

 

More on Confession – Resolution/Amendment of life June 23, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Sacraments, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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I posted an excerpt from Treasure and Tradition on the Mass last week, always intending to cover two of the four necessary aspects of Confession – contrition and resolution/purpose of amendment.  I discussed contrition last time, so below is the excerpt on resolving to change our lives to not sin again.  Note there are many aspects of this depending on the sin in question and its severity.  Just a brief background which I’m sure is old news to you, but the four aspects of Confession are:

1. We must heartily pray for Grace to make a good confession (preparation)
2. We must carefully examine our conscience (examination)
3. We must take time and care to make a good act of contrition
4.  We must resolve by the help of God to renounce our sins and to amend our life (amendment)

Now on resolving by the Grace of God to renounce our sins and to begin a new life for the future.

Remember we have to make a purpose of amendment.  Now a purpose is not a mere passing wish, it is a strong intention or determination, it is the making up of our mind about something.  Clearly, then, it needs time and thought.  This purpose, as as been said, is really part of our act of contrition, for there can be no true sorrow for the wrong we have done unless we intend not to do it again.  The purpose of amendment we are bound to have is a firm determination to avoid all mortal sin and the proximate occasion of mortal sin.  [if you are an adulterer, and desire to stop adulterating, continuing to see your adulterous partner, even without the intent to consummate the act, would be a grave proximate occasion of sin and would not indicate a purpose of amendment]

When we have fallen into sin we must look back to see what was the occasion.  Any circumstance leading to sin is called an occasion of sin.  It may be proximate or remote.  A proximate occasion is one which usually leads us into sin.  A remote occasion is one in which we sometimes, though seldom, commit sin.  Persons, places, and things may all become occasions of sin, some to one person and some to another.  Certain things, such as bad companions, improper conversations, and bad books, are always proximate occasions of sin.  Should there be any person, place, or thing which, no matter what we do, always leads us into mortal sin, we are bound to keep away from it at any cost. [upon pain of sin]

We should of course resolve to avoid all venial sins, too, and if we have these only to confess, we should pick out one at least, and make a firm resolve about that.  If you cannot make up your mind what to choose, think what our Lord would advise, and you will make a good choice.

Our natural character lays us open to the same temptation, and the routine of our daily life brings round the same occasions. And therefore it is not surprising if we take the same faults to confession again and again.  What we have to do is to lessen the number; to rid ourselves of them by degrees; to turn occasions of sin into occasions of victory; thus, as Saint Augustine says, using them as steps by which to climb up to Heaven.

We do not make a purpose of transfiguration – to become all at once entirely different from what we were – but a purpose of amendment.  Mending is a gradual and a laborious process, whether it be the mending of a stocking or of a man-of-war.  No one expects it to be done all at once.  If God is patient with us, and willing to wait whilst we mend, why should we be so impatient with ourselves! [Great point. I struggle with one stubborn attachment that still persists to this day.  I have overcome other things I feel were much more insidious and difficult to resist and yet this one remains.  It’s not a mortal sin, thank God!, but it is annoying.  But I will overcome it with God’s help and in His time. When I get frustrated I think about the much worse things I have been blessed to overcome and give thanks for those, rather than allow the frustration to gnaw at me.]

In a few minutes you will be confessing your sins before Almighty God and the grandees of the court of Heaven.  Think how ashamed you would be if you had to confess them before your father and mother, brothers, sisters, schoolfellows.  Should you feel less shame to confess before God, the Holy of Holies; before Blessed Mary, conceived without sin; before angels and saints, standing without spot before the great white throne?  [And yet one day, at the general/final judgment, all our sins will be known to all.] The sense of shame does us good and helps us to sorrow.  Think, too, that all that heavenly court looks down lovingly upon you, and is praying for you, and rejoices to see you purifying  your soul in the Precious Blood to be ready for their company some day.  

It happens, however, sometimes, that we have to wait, not a few minutes, but a long time at the confessional, and that having finished our preparation, we begin to look about and get distracted.  This is a pity.  If we like, we may say our Rosary then, or read some holy book.  These will not distract us, but on the contrary, will help us to make a good act of contrition when our turn comes to go in.

 ———End Quote———

I think that will wrap up my excerpting from Treasure and Tradition.  I hope you’ve found these edifying and useful.  If it is all repetitive and just obvious, you’d actually be helping me out letting me know so I can fine tune what works I spend time copying for you to read.  There is an element of self-benefit in everything I blog, but mostly I post things like this because I think and hope they will help others.

Dominus vobiscum!

IMPORTANT NOTES: PRAYER VIGIL OUTSIDE MEN’S CLUB NEXT WEEK, others June 22, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, Dallas Diocese, family, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Holy suffering, sadness, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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Next week is the first of the month.  Even though it is a holiday week I still plan on doing the vigil.  I am also committing to going twice this next month (July), on the first and third weeks.  I have gotten more notice of interest but some people cannot come on the first week.  Plus, I think a bigger presence is called for.  So, I’ll try twice next month and see how that goes.

More announcements as we get closer to the date.

Please pray for Doug Pearson.  Doug is well known to many listeners of local Catholic (EWTN) radio for his position at the Guadalupe Radio affiliate here in Dallas. He is also a father of nine and a grandfather of 10.  Doug has always been a big, strapping guy and I was always impressed by his vigorous appearance. Tragically Doug has been afflicted with cancer for quite some time.  He was in hospital at the beginning of the month but was released and seemed to be improving, but last week apparently took a turn for the worse and is now in very critical condition.  The family is asking for prayers.  They do hold out hope for a miraculous recovery, but by natural means, his prognosis is not positive.

Please also pray for SL who has been afflicted with a painful injury but is recovering.  If you would, in your charity, pray that his recovery may continue.  He told me not to do this but I’m not such a good listener.  Hopefully with God’s help he will forgive me.

May God reward you abundantly for your charity in these spiritual works of mercy.

 

Battle of Vienna, with glaring errors and atrocious CGI June 22, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Ecumenism, family, foolishness, Glory, history, manhood, persecution, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Victory.
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The older I get, the more I hate CGI movies. I watched Aliens twice over the 3 day weekend, and save for some blue screen shots of aerial scenes, every single bit of that movie stands out as being more realistic and convincing than even the best CGI ever done, and by a wide margin.  I don’t like James Cameron personally, but Aliens was a triumph of art direction, special effects, costumes, and everything else that creates a believable world.  You can argue about the merits of the story told all you want, but I don’t think the fact that it was a technical triumph can be disputed.

Last year, I did a post about a new Polish movie that told the tale of the Second Siege of Vienna (1683).  I didn’t know much about it then, only that it had a scene of the awesome charge of the Polish winged hussars.  That movie (Day of the Siege, 2012) was just becoming available in the US at that time.  Someone has uploaded more extensive scenes from the movie to Youtube, and here they are, in their, ahem, glory:

Pluses:

The movie is respectful of the Church
The movie makes clear that this was a fight not between rival secular powers, but all about religion, and the true Faith.
The film makes clear there was a definite moral difference between Christianity and islam.  One is a religion of peace and love that will fight if it has to, the other is a religion of war and subjugation that tolerates peace when it has to.
F. Murray Abraham is in it
The charge of the winged hussars is awesome and quite well done. It mixes in some live action, thank goodness
There are a few other compelling action scenes
The movie seems to convey a supernatural element to the Christian victory

Minuses:

Production values are atrocious.  I’m sorry, the CGI is incredibly fake looking and abysmal.  I would say that the family made Navis Pictures have quite superior production values, and I cut them a huge amount of slack because they are just a good homeschooling family making deliberately inexpensive Catholic films.
Some glaring errors: Turkey did not exist in 1683.  It was the Ottoman Empire.  Constantinople’s name was not changed until after WWI in the fall of the Ottoman Empire and its replacement by the modern Turkish state.
The monk played by F. Murray Abraham uses a ferula exactly like the hideous, radioactively ugly one of Paul VI/JPII/Pope Francis.  Modernist art in 1683?
The acting is generally of a low standard
The script leaves much to be desired
There is quite a bit of gore.  Probably not suitable for kids.

The movie was made in Poland in 2012.  It came to the North American market last year.  If you really want to see islam get crushed and aren’t particular about production values, then go crazy.  I don’t think I’ll be buying this one, as intensely interested as I am in the subject matter, and no matter how much I’d like to see the largest heavy cavalry charge in history…….but done right.  So I think I’ll skip this one.

A final thought…..Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz said that war is politics by other means.  I would say that prayer is warfare by other means……but could the reverse hold true?  Warfare, conducted lawfully and with the support of the Church, is prayer by other means?  “There is no greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends?”  Our Lord never indicates He is a pacifist, or even hates war.  He has in fact positively encouraged it at times.  Our Lord incarnate Jesus Christ famously took a whip to the moneychangers in the temple.

Just a random thought.

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