02 July 2015

Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today is the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is one of the beautiful feasts of Our Lady, and Mary as usual gives us the example of discipleship.

The Gospel of St. Luke recounts how Mary, who had just learned that she was to be the Mother of Christ, did not merely dwell upon her own blessedness, but instead went with haste to Elizabeth, about whom the angel told informed Mary that she, too, was with child:

Luke 1:39-45

39 And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda. 40 And she entered into the house of Zachary and saluted Elizabeth. 41 And it came to pass that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost. 42 And she cried out with a loud voice and said: Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 43 And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord. 46 And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord. 47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
The Lesson from the Canticle of Canticles describes the beauty of Mary and the Love God has for her:
Canticle 2: 8-14:
       8 The voice of my beloved, behold he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping over the hills.  9 My beloved is like a roe, or a young hart. Behold he standeth behind our wall, looking through the windows, looking through the lattices.  10 Behold my beloved speaketh to me: Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come.  11 For winter is now past, the rain is over and gone.  12 The flowers have appeared in our land, the time of pruning is come: the voice of the turtle is heard in our land:  13 The fig tree hath put forth her green figs: the vines in flower yield their sweet smell. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come:  14 My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hollow places of the wall, shew me thy face, let thy voice sound in my ears: for thy voice is sweet, and thy face comely.
Sharing in the glory of this great feast are Saints Processus and Martinian, whose commemoration is today.  These early Christian Martyrs were guards of Saints Peter and Paul in the Mamertine Prison, and were converted by the Apostles after a miraculous spring appeared in the prison.  They were baptized by the Apostles in this miraculous water. They paid the ultimate price for their love of Christ and His Apostles and are buried in St. Peter's Basilica. 
May our lives, either before or during our imprisonment for the faith, be such a spur for the conversion of our persecutors.
Holy Mother of God, Our Lady of the Visitation, pray for us!
Saints Processus and Martinian, pray for us!

01 July 2015

Carmelite Novena and Holy Hour of Reparation

A reader belonging to the Secular Carmelites has asked me to post some news of upcoming events, and I am happy to do so.  First the annual Novena to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is coming up, beginning July 11 and ending on July 19.  The speaker at the first event is Fr. Fadi Auro.

Secondly, members of the OCDS community along with some friends will be meeting at the Chapel of the Precious Blood at the Monastery (this Saturday, July 4th for a Holy Hour of Reparation in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament over the recent fiasco at the Supreme Court. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Both events are at the Carmel of St. Joseph, on Clayton Road in Ladue.  Map here.

The Secular Carmelite Facebook page is here.

Tax-Exempt Mailbag

I said "mailbag", even though it is just one email.  But it is topical, so I reprint it here, with names removed to protect the innocent.  The email:

To: saintlouiscatholic@hotmail.com



I know you are an attorney and I have a question for you.



The news is now full of articles about gay rights advocates calling for the revocation of tax exempt status for churches.



I thought tax exempt status of churches could only be revoked for endorsing specific candidates under current law. Is that not right?


Is there currently a legal means by which they could revoke tax exempt status of churches? Would they not have to enact new laws at the very least to do this?



If you know the answer, I'd appreciate it.



Thanks,

________________

My response:

From: saintlouiscatholic@hotmail.com




 

This article shows the campaign has already begun.  The money section:



In the 1983 Bob Jones University case, the court ruled that a school could lose tax-exempt status if its policies violated “fundamental national public policy.” So far, the Bob Jones reasoning hasn’t been extended to other kinds of discrimination, but someday it could be.



If sodomy equals race, then discrimination on grounds of sodomy equals discrimination on account of race.



Ipso fatso! ;-)



So, yes, they're coming.  The best case scenario for us is that priests will not be compelled to perform them and that they can speak as they like inside the Church and her liturgical and religious functions.  If we are given that much space, then we have access the sacraments.



Lots of lawsuits until the Supreme Oracle speaks on that one.  Remember the second amendment case was only 5-4, and that is as black and white as the Constitution gets.



Best,

thetimman



30 June 2015

Pope to Visit Western Hemisphere's Last Communist Holdout

Apparently, His Holiness will also visit Cuba.

Red Flag Taki Trio: History is an Inconvient Truth That Must be Flushed and Its Memory Sanitized

In all of the brouhaha over the Confederate Battle Flag-- its further vilification in light of the Charleston shooting, its ability to make politicians unite, its utter horribleness, its memory-hole trajectory-- is it not easy to notice yet again that we are played for suckers?

To highlight this, I am going to excerpt three articles from three different authors within the conservative/Christian/libertarian spectrum (which, despite some problems, remains the only spectrum of American political thought worthy of the term "thought") that all appear on the spunky and funky Taki's Magazine site.  A warning to you, dear modern readers: you might find some parts of the articles of one or the other of these men offensive, especially if you are the product of public education.

First, from the Paleo's Paleo Pat Buchanan:


“Take Down a Symbol of Hatred,” rails The New York Times.

But the battle flag is not so much a symbol of hatred as it is an object of hatred, a target of hatred. It evokes a hatred of the visceral sort that we see manifest in Jenkins’ equating of the South of Washington, Jefferson, John Calhoun, Andrew Jackson and Lee with Hitler’s Third Reich.

What the flag symbolizes for the millions who revere, cherish or love it, however, is the heroism of those who fought and died under it. That flag flew over battlefields, not over slave quarters.

Hence, who are the real haters here?

Can the Times really believe that all those coffee cups and baseball caps and T-shirts and sweaters and flag decals on car and truck bumpers are declarations that the owners hate black people? Does the Times believe Southern folks fly the battle flag in their yards because they want slavery back?

The Times’ editorialists cannot be such fools.

Vilification of that battle flag and the Confederacy is part of the cultural revolution in America that flowered half a century ago. Among its goals was the demoralization of the American people by demonizing their past and poisoning their belief in their own history.

The world is turned upside down. The new dogma of the cultural Marxists: Columbus was a genocidal racist. Three of our Founding Fathers—Washington, Jefferson, Madison—were slaveowners. Andrew Jackson was an ethnic cleanser of Indians. The great Confederate generals—- Lee, Jackson, Forrest—fought to preserve an evil institution. You have nothing to be proud of and much to be ashamed of if your ancestors fought for the South. And, oh yes, your battle flag is the moral equivalent of a Nazi swastika.

And how is the Republican Party standing up to this cultural lynch mob? Retreating and running as fast as possible.

If we are to preserve our republic, future generations are going to need what that battle flag truly stands for: pride in our history and defiance in the face of the arrogance of power.


Next, from Southern man Jim Goad:


Would it be “racist” of me to suspect that ever since the War Between the States, every political move designed to protect the “oppressed” was also designed to enhance federal power? Is it paranoid to ponder whether under all the nonsense we hear about civil rights and hate crimes and terrorism are convenient covers for what is essentially a bald----, butt-naked power grab?

[…]

Dylann Roof should be tried for murder, and that’s it. Any attempts to criminalize his thought processes during the course of the alleged murders are by their very nature totalitarian.

But apparently nine counts of murder aren’t enough for some people. And apparently even a “hate crime” enhancement—which isn’t a separate charge, merely a recommendation for a longer sentence if “hate” was somehow involved in the crime—isn’t sufficient for them. They’re clamoring for the feds to take it to the hoop and also charge Roof with domestic terrorism.

[…]

I wrote long ago that I suspected all rhetoric and laws against “hate speech” and “hate crimes” were designed to ultimately block all criticism of the government. Nothing has happened in the interim to dissuade me from this suspicion.

I don’t generally like to make predictions, but I sense a gradual phasing out of the term “hate crime” in favor of “domestic terrorism.” Any criticism of nonwhites OR the government, no matter how intrinsically nonthreatening, will eventually all be lumped together as terrorist threats. The very idea of domestic terrorism provides huge growth opportunities for the federal government—opportunities it’d be foolish not to seize. And the feds are no fools, at least not like the rest of us are.


Finally, from uber-hipster Gavin McInnes:



The American flag is a symbol of Native American genocide. We need to take it down. While you’re at it, take down the Union Jack. It symbolizes 700 years of war against Scotland. The Kiss logo has an SS that looks like Hitler’s SS. That’s offensive to all the Holocaust survivors in the audience. The Young Turks is offensive to the 1.5 Armenian Christians they murdered. They need to #ChangeTheName. I’m offended when rednecks call themselves rednecks because the term comes from Scotch-Irish slaves who couldn’t handle the Southern heat. That word should be as illegal as “kaffir” is in South Africa. White people themselves are a symbol of hatred and oppression, which is why I’ve begun a social media campaign called #TakeUsDown where white people post pictures of themselves facedown on the pavement. Anything that anyone deems offensive should be taken down immediately. Except, of course, for depictions of Mao or Stalin. They may have collectively killed more than 100 million people, but they did it for the greater good so it’s cool. Also, if a massacre killed rich people, it’s funny.

Just kidding. Going back over history and taking out the naughty bits is about as un-American as it gets. Yet here we are. South Carolina may be taking down the Confederate flag from its “perch in front of the State House” at the end of the month. Alabama removed the Confederate flag from capitol grounds on Wednesday. Mississippi is talking about removing the Confederate emblem from its flag, while Virginia and Maryland will be taking it off their license plates. Apple is removing App Store games with the Confederate flag. Walmart, eBay, Sears, Target, Etsy, and Amazon have banned it too (rumor has it Amazon was instructed by the government to do so). All this because a lunatic shot up a church.

 



The Prelates Speak

In response to my last post, a kind reader referred me to this blog of the USCCB in response to the unconscionable Obergefell decision. In fairness, I think it is good to link it here to show that, yes, many prelates are speaking out. The post references a statement from Archbishop Kurtz, also linked there:

Archbishop Kurtz compared the decision to Roe v. Wade and how it doesn’t change the truth- which is “unchanged and unchangeable.” He continues on to say that, “Neither decision is rooted in the truth, and as a result, both will eventually fail. Today the Court is wrong again. It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage.”

It is a deep truth that the human being is an embodied soul, male and female. The archbishop writes, “The unique meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is inscribed in our bodies as male and female” and notes that this is part of what Pope Francis has described as “integral ecology.” “The law has a duty to support every child’s basic right to be raised, where possible, by his or her married mother and father in a stable home.”

The bishops follow Jesus Christ who taught these truths unambiguously, and the president of the USCCB encouraged Catholics to keep speaking for the truth and moving forward with the theological virtues of faith, hope and love. Archbishop Kurtz ended by saying, “I ask all in positions of power and authority to respect the God-given freedom to seek, live by, and bear witness to the truth.”


His Grace Archbishop Carlson issued this statement:

"The decision issued today by the Supreme Court to effectively change the legal definition of marriage in the United States does not alter the unassailable truth that marriage is, and always will be, the life-long, life-giving union of one man and one woman."

These statements are necessary, of course. And it is not surprising that the press orgy over the destruction of marriage in the law should largely ignore them.

This does not mean that all of the bishops' statements are as clear and forceful as they could be. Archbishop Cupich's statement is simply the worst, and basically cedes the field with a whimper.

This does not explain the lack of discipline for Catholic politicians and judges who support this abomination. This does not explain a lack of clear and forceful teaching for decades, as we tumbled down the hill of dung we've piled up.

Catholics, in the pews as well as in the chanceries, are about to be imprisoned and killed over this issue. We should act as though there is something wrong with that. What is there left to lose? The writing is on the wall, in letters forty feet high.

And we're afraid to offend Anthony Kennedy?

Some of these statements are a good start, but they must be backed up by a steely resolve. The faithful need leadership here, and the last five decades give some cause to wonder whether they'll get it.


29 June 2015

I'm Signing On

Though no one there asked me to, I am hereby officially signing on to Rorate Caeli's editorial about the Catholic response to legalized habitual sodomy and its threat to religion and culture, posted today.

I agree with it in full, and will add that not only must Catholic prelates speak out against this, but all of us must.  We cannot be silenced by a public policy that can only be characterized as unnatural and diabolical.

That being said, of course the hierarchy of the Church has the ability to speak for the Church as no layman can.  So why not do it already?  Late, very late, even too late, is still better than never.  So far, the Vatican's response to the Obergefell decision can be read here.  (Don't worry, the link is working properly.  Open your mind.).

As stated I agree with the editorial in its entirety.  After taking the particularly abysmal statement of Abp. Cupich to task, Rorate continues with the generally applicable portion, which I will repost below:

_______________________


It's time for Catholic prelates to speak as true Catholics

[...]


By putting the bulk of their efforts into lecturing the Catholic faithful about the need to be "welcoming," "respectful," "charitable" and "kind" towards the homosexual lobby, not a few prelates and clerics play right into the homosexual playbook. It is even more heart-rending that many "conservative" and "traditionalist" clerics, perhaps due to fear, are joining the bandwagon of niceness by distancing themselves from "harsh" Catholics, whose only "harshness" lies in using language that would have been mild and normal for Catholics until the 1960's.



By legitimizing the false homosexual narrative of "victimhood" by "harsh, uncharitable and cruel" Catholics and other Christians, they implicitly concede that the homosexuals have the right to define who is the victim and who is the oppressor. This will only make it harder, if not virtually impossible, for our brethren to continue standing up to the new "orthodoxy" that the American State now wishes to impose.



For the "gay lobby," any statement of Catholic orthodoxy is by definition "hateful" and "harsh." Any sign of opposition against their demands is a form of "bigotry" that must be dealt accordingly with increasingly stringent legal measures -- with the next most likely step being the stripping of tax exempt status for religious institutions.



The homosexual lobby will not be content with anything less than the full rejection of Catholic doctrine on sexuality and the acceptance of their beliefs as the new, fabulous orthodoxy. They will exploit any sign of weakness, any sign of surrender, as openings to press more and more outrageous demands, secure in the knowledge that our side has little real stomach left for a fight.



The reality is that in the past few decades, Catholics have rendered great respect to homosexuals and the followers of various erroneous if not perverse ideologies and doctrines, to the extent of sacrificing the militancy that the defense of the truth rightfully requires. If the Church had fought homosexual pseudo-marriage with half the militancy with which it used to resist godless ideologies only a few decades ago, not a single Western country with an appreciable number of Catholics would have legalized this perversity -- at least not without Catholics first daring genuine martyrdom in vast numbers.



And yet, faced by one defeat after another, the only solution that so many Catholic prelates -- including Pope Francis -- can see is to insist on avoiding "hurtful" and "offensive" language even more. In the infamous words of the Synod of 2015's Instrumentum Laboris #78, language that is "clear and inviting, open, which does not moralize, judge or control" is the demand of the Church, not just on the Church.



This is the language of a Church that refuses to fight, refuses to stand up for its Faithful, and that will sooner rather than later find itself thrust back into the catacombs. The Church will now be in the closet.