30 January 2015

Why Should We Pray?: The Pope's 2015 Agenda

Good evening, everybody.  It just hit me, after reading this excellent blog post about our duty to be vigilant in defense of the faith, that the Pope's already announced schedule for 2015 is a veritable minefield of trouble.  And I have to admit, I don't expect His Holiness to avoid the minefield, or even to tip-toe through it.  I expect him to start throwing bombs at the minefield, with us in it.

But I tend to be a doe-eyed optimist.

Just what, in this calendar year, is so worthy of prayer?  Well, all of the following events are on deck:

-- visit to the United States, with speeches to the U.S Congress and the United Nations included

-- the release of a new Encyclical, believed to be on environmentalism

-- the dreaded Synod against on the Family

Creative Minority Report already posted that the head of the Environmental Protection Agency met with the Pope today.  Great. Glad to hear it.

Imagine the Pope's trip to the United States, where there will no doubt be at least one Papal mega-Mass.  Plenty of good photo-ops for notorious pro-abortion, pro-sodomy, "Catholic" politicians to receive Holy Communion sacrilegiously.  Hey, with any luck, they'll receive it from the Holy Father himself. Imagine him addressing Congress and the U.N., undercutting the efforts of the remaining Catholic bishops, priests, and laity to resist sodomitical marriages, junk science climate change totalitarianism, or whatever else he thinks of that morning.

The upcoming encyclical will be the first for which he is solely responsible, and if it is at all like his Apostolic Exhortation, we're headed for whitewater, as Mike Sexton would say.

Then, finally, the great planned mini-Vatican II to sabotage marriage and Holy Communion, and to set the stage for the normalization of adultery and homosexual conduct.

You can't wait, either?

Oh, and I almost forgot-- he will preach a homily nearly every day and give a public address nearly every week. Who knows what any of those will bring.

What else can we do but pray? 

Remember, though I have written somewhat cheekily here, we don't save the Church, the Church saves us.  But that does not mean we don't get the leadership we deserve.  And what have our sins deserved?  

May the Mother of the Church be our constant aid.  Mater Ecclesiae, ora pro nobis!


May the Salt not Lose Its Savor





"Perhaps the time has come to say farewell to the idea of traditionally Catholic cultures. Maybe we are facing a new and different kind of epoch in the Church’s history, where Christianity will again be characterized more by the mustard seed, where it will exist in small, seemingly insignificant groups that nonetheless live an intensive struggle against evil and bring the good into the world....

"The Church... will be less identified with the great societies, more a minority Church; she will live in small, vital circles of really convinced believers who live their faith. But precisely in this way she will, biblically speaking, become the salt of the earth again."

-- Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Salt of the Earth

Was this rational deduction, speculation, or prophesy, on the part of the future Pope Benedict XVI? Bishop Fellay has hinted at the last. Whatever the origin, it certainly was in the mind of the Pope at the beginning of his reign. And who knows what the Church will look like at the end of his life, the usual time when papal reigns end?

My family are blessed to be in a small, seemingly insignificant group of believers. I know that there are many readers also so blessed.

God bless all of the small, vital circles of really convinced believers who live their faith!


Not a Huge Deal in Light of What Has Already Happened, But...




The Pope has abandoned the traditional investiture of the pallium for Metropolitan Archbishops that has typically taken place in Rome on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. The stated reason is that this way the local churches get to be more involved.

Maybe.

It seems to me that this is another public humility display forced on the bishops at the Pope's whim. But, amazingly, no one asked me.

With typical efficiency, the Pope will still have the Archbishops fly to Rome on the feast day for a concelebrated Mass, so it isn't a money saver. He will just bless the pallia privately somewhere and hand them out privately too.

This way nobody will think he is a real big shot.

Why not? Too much ceremony in the Church these days, right?

29 January 2015

True That

Liquor will get you through times with no money better than money will get you through times with no liquor.

--Bob Dylan

A Complete Divorce from Reality

I want to thank Pewsitter, for without that fine Catholic central clearinghouse site, I would not have read the two posts I link below.  My usual rule is not to give Mark Shea any more hits than he already gets-- he does just fine without me-- but this is an exception.  His post here, read along with the post of Fr. Longenecker, show just how far out there the neo-Catholic normalist crowd has gone, and will go, to prop up their comfortable status quo. There is no logic, no argument, no persuasion, that will reach them.

I mean, wow.  It would be hilarious if the situation were not so dreadfully serious.

Enjoy!

Feast of St. Francis de Sales

Today is the Feast of the great Doctor of Charity, St. Francis de Sales, patron of the Oratory, co-patron of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, patron of journalists and writers, and great agent of the conversion of heretics.

You can still attend Mass today, as the Oratory will celebrate High Mass tonight at 6:30pm.  Faithful who assist at this Mass, or at any Institute Mass today, may obtain a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions.

Dom Gueranger says of the saint who converted 72,000 Calvinists:

God gave him to the Church at the very time that heresy was holding her out to the world as a worn-out system, that had no influence over men's minds.  He raised up this true minister of the Gospel in the very country where the harsh doctrines of Calvin were most in vogue, that the ardent charity of Francis might counteract the sad influence of that heresy.  If you want heretics to be convinced of their errors, said the leaned Cardinal du Perron, you may send them to me; but if you want them to be converted, send them to the Bishop of Geneva.

Thanks to JJR for this great novena prayer to St. Francis de Sales:

O Blessed Francis de Sales, who in your mortal life did excel in all virtues, especially in love of God and of neighbor, I earnestly entreat you to take me under your immediate protection, to obtain from God my perfect conversion, and that of all sinners, especially of (the names of persons for whom you wish to pray should be mentioned here). Teach me, O Father, to fix my eyes on heaven, that I may generously trample under foot every obstacle that presents itself in my way, and attain that degree of glory which you in your mercy hold out to me. Obtain also that particular favor for which I now pray. (mention intention)

Assist us, O Lord, we beseech you, through the merits of St. Francis de Sales. That what our endeavors cannot obtain may be given us by his intercession. Let us pray: O God, who for the salvation of souls, did will that St. Francis de Sales, your confessor and bishop, should become all things to all men and women, mercifully grant that we, infused with the gentleness of his charity, guided by his teachings, and sharing in his merits, may obtain eternal happiness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

______________________

A reflection from Divine Intimacy quotes from St. Francis de Sales:

"O Lord Jesus, when You died on the Cross Your heart was so filled with kindness toward us and You loved us so tenderly, even though we ourselves were the cause of Your death, that You had but one thought: to obtain pardon for Your executioners, even while they tortured You and cruelly insulted You. Help me, I beg You, to endure my neighbors' faults and imperfections with kindness.

"To those who despise me or murmur against me, teach me to reply with humility, mildness, and a steadfast kindness of heart, never defending myself in any way. For love of You, I desire to let everyone say what he wishes, because words are not of value but love is, and he who loves more will be more loved and glorified. Help me, then, my Jesus, to love You; help me to love creatures for love of You, especially those who despise me, without letting myself be disturbed by their contempt, but applying myself to the practice of humility and mildness; then You will be my reward.

"Teach me to comport myself always with mildness and sweetness, and never to disrupt peace with anyone. All that I can do and obtain with love I will do, but what I cannot do or procure without a dispute, I will let be. Help me to make use of the repugnances and aversions I encounter in my contacts with others to practice the virtue of mildness, and to show myself loving with all, even with those who are opposed to me, or who are a cause of aversion.


"Finally, I purpose with Your help, O most lovable God, to apply myself to acquire kindness of heart toward my neighbor by thinking of him as Your creature, destined to enjoy You some day in Paradise. Those whom You tolerate, O Lord God, it is but just that I, too, tolerate them tenderly and with great compassion for their spiritual infirmities."

Blessed feast day to you all!

28 January 2015

Preaching Another Christ: Synod Against the Family 2015

A tip of the hat to the Dyspeptic Mutterings blog, for the scriptural citation relevant to the upcoming Synod:

2 Corinthians 11: 3-4


3 But I fear lest, as the serpent seduced Eve by his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted, and fall from the simplicity that is in Christ.

4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Christ, whom we have not preached; or if you receive another Spirit, whom you have not received; or another gospel which you have not received; you might well bear with him.

Dear readers, with the issues on the table at the Synod against on the Family, kept at bay last year through the resistance of some good Bishops and laity, now coming back with a vengeance, we come close to bedrock principles of just what the Church is, just Who Christ is, and whether the Church will turn her back on her own Divine Spouse.  If the Dogmas and settled doctrines of the faith (and in this case these include those spoken by Our Lord's own mouth) are open to "development" and "interpretation" such that they mean the opposite of how they have always been held, than what in this world is worthy of any belief?

The Church is seemingly headed by a man who urges Catholics not to evangelize-- er, I mean, "proselytize", a man who faults Catholics who seek to maintain the faith as always held and worship as Catholics have always worshipped, and who claims a God of "surprises" wants the Church to forego any attempt to convert and save souls.  

Will the Church lose confidence in her mission for the sake of mob popularity? Will she lay down her divinely-given mission, and refuse her divinely-given guarantee of truth?

Oh, that's right, I'm being too dramatic.  Pope Francis is always just misunderstood and misquoted.  He is a second Benedict XVI, or better. 

Got it.  I wonder, though, whether the men he himself has appointed in positions of leadership are all misquoted.  Or they all have gone rogue and now spout a line of belief different from their boss?  With impunity?  Without even a comment from the Holy See?

As you can read here, here, here, here and here, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the man the Pope appointed Secretary General of the Synod, scolded a group of faithful lay Catholics this week for presuming that doctrine cannot change.  He put Catholics on notice: why call a synod if all we are going to do is to restate what we already believe? 

I'll quote from some of the linked stories above in a moment, but know this:  If Cardinal Baldisseri has his way, the 2000-year teaching on marriage, divorce, adultery, and communion is up for grabs:

--from Lifesite:

An international conference, organised by the Pontifical Council for the Family from 22-24 January, was addressed by Cardinal Baldisseri, organiser of the upcoming Synod on the Family. The expressed purpose of the conference was to provide opportunity for around 80 lay groups to assist the PCF provide input into the synod to be held in October 2015.

Baldisseri defended the right of Walter Cardinal Kasper to assert that divorced persons living in unions not recognised by the Church should be permitted to receive Holy Communion. Baldisseri, in response to a concerned pro-family advocate, told delegates that we should not be “shocked” by theologians contradicting Church teaching.  The Cardinal said that dogmas can evolve and that there would be no point holding a Synod if we were simply to repeat what had always been said. He also suggested that just because a particular understanding was held 2,000 years ago does not mean that it cannot be challenged.

Hearkening back to the modernist playbook from Vatican II, the Cardinal reminded the lay groups involved to mind their own business; the experts will weigh in, it shouldn't disturb them:

-- from Aleteia:

Cardinal Baldisseri responded by saying, “We shouldn’t be shocked that there is a different position from the ‘common doctrine.’”

He cited the example of the many contrasting positions that were in evidence at Vatican II.  “Therefore, there’s no reason to be scandalized that there is a cardinal or a theologian saying something that’s different than the so-called ‘common doctrine.’ This doesn’t imply a going against. It means reflecting. Because dogma has its own evolution; that is a development, not a change.”

The cardinal added that it is “right that there is a reaction” and that “this is exactly what we want today. We want to discuss things, but not in order to call things into doubt, but rather to view it in a new context, and with a new awareness. Otherwise, what’s theology doing but repeating what was said in the last century, or 20 centuries ago?”

Theology, he said, “is meant to be investigated” and therefore “we shouldn’t be concerned.”

We need to wake up.  This isn't just some guy saying these things.  

This is the Pope's handpicked choice to lead the Synod, and furthermore one he kept in that position after last year's near disaster. Ask Cardinal Burke if the Pope knows how to remove a person from his position if he disagrees with the approved agenda.

We need to remain vigilant and prayerful, and hold these prelates of whatever rank to the Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.  We must remain Catholic, even if they don't want to be Catholic themselves.

I leave you with this fine reflection from Monsignor Charles Pope in D.C., who I can't believe still has a diocesan platform from which to speak.  God bless him.  God have mercy on us.

27 January 2015

Meatless Snowday, Snowless Edition

A number of observations on the non-event that was the predicted New York City "Snowpocalypse", based upon my razor-sharp brain mulling over the events of recent history:

1)  I believe the forecast for New York City this week was to receive something like 75 feet of snow, with temperatures hovering around -50 F. The weathermen (yes, I said men) climbed atop their doppler radar dishes to warn the victims of NY that if they stepped outside for one second their children would instantly die.  As it turned out, not so much.  But that didn't stop the people and the government of the nation's largest metropolis to collectively curl up into the fetal position and await The End.

2)  A similar response and media-generated panic occurred when Pope John Paul II made his pastoral visit to St. Louis in 1999. There was an absence of snow, that this caused sadness among all local newscasters, as there was no need to stand on the Tamm Avenue overpass and predict mass deaths from the storm, whether that meant traffic accidents or a shortage of Bunny Bread at Schnucks or what-may-you.  The JPII event was a welcome substitute, however.  Predictions of Trafficocalypse caused similar warnings and yielded similar results.  The Post-Dispatch remembered it recently this way

Remember more than 14 years ago, when the late Pope John Paul II visited St. Louis? Police and traffic planners warned that drivers who parked their cars on surrounding interstates would have those cars towed. MetroLink stations would be packed to Fair St. Louis proportions. All this because traffic was supposed to be bumper-to-bumper. That traffic never materialized. People steered clear. And the “popemobile” rolled through mostly empty streets in downtown St. Louis.

In fact, the streets were so desolate it looked like Downtown at 10 p.m. on a normal Friday night (Zing! I kid because I love!).  Bonus points to any reader who still has an "I survived the JPII traffic jam and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt" souvenir.  

3) Speaking of snowstorms, it wasn't that long ago, in 2010, that a snowstorm caused the NFL to cancel a football game in Philadelphia.  Yes, a pro football game was cancelled for snow. It's common knowledge that snow football is the best! The cancellation prompted this wonderful rant from Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell-- a Democrat, for Pete's sake:

"My biggest beef is that this is part of what's happened in this country," Rendell said. "I think we've become wussies. ... We've become a nation of wusses. The Chinese are kicking our butt in everything. If this was in China do you think the Chinese would have called off the game? People would have been marching down to the stadium, they would have walked and they would have been doing calculus on the way down."

Brilliant.  BTW, why does the NFL get such attention, anyway?

4) Can anyone tell me, why does a prediction of snow override the Constitution, and allow restrictions on the freedom of assembly? The Government has truly become our father, our Big Brother, our master.  I'm scared!  Please, big government, protect me!

5)  Thank goodness we live in such times of safety.  I suppose the Battle of Trenton, when the Freemasonic forces of liberty attacked the forces of the illegitimate Protestant pretender to the throne of England on the feast of Our Lord's Birth, would never have happened today.  Then where would we be?  They hate us for our freedoms! Right? Is snow a terrorist weapon?
What good am I if I’m like all the rest
If I just turn away, when I see how you’re dressed
If I shut myself off so I can’t hear you cry
What good am I?
What good am I if I know and don’t do
If I see and don’t say, if I look right through you
If I turn a deaf ear to the thunderin’ sky
What good am I?
What good am I while you softly weep
And I hear in my head what you say in your sleep
And I freeze in the moment like the rest who don’t try
What good am I?
What good am I then to others and me
If I’ve had every chance and yet still fail to see
If my hands are tied must I not wonder within
Who tied them and why and where must I have been?
What good am I if I say foolish things
And I laugh in the face of what sorrow brings
And I just turn my back while you silently die
What good am I?
-- What Good Am I?, by Bob Dylan

23 January 2015

Bishop Johnston of Springfield-Cape Girardeau Rightly Rebukes Mercy Health

"Lord, I obeyed all your commandments until Caesar told me I couldn't!"  Is that what passes for martyrdom these days?

Bishop Johnston reminds Mercy Health that real martyrdom is a real possibility for real Catholics.

As for complying with unspecified “government regulations,” he said “no believing Christian worthy of the name should violate God's law because of ‘regulations.’ Our ancestors refused to abandon the faith even when subjected to the cruelty and torture of the Roman Empire, but in our age unspecified 'regulations,' government funds, and fear of public ridicule is sufficient in order to secure the compliance of some.”

Objection!

Assumes facts not in evidence.





P.S.  Sustained.

Rabbit Redux

I, like most of you, wish I had never read the Holy Father's rabbit in the air discourse, that perhaps it didn't really happen.  You know, like on Dallas, when Bobby was in the shower and the whole thing was a dream?

So, forgive me for one more rabbit post which just prolongs the embarrassment, but this piece from a mother of six in Brasil caught my eye. She makes her point very well, as only a Catholic mother could.  The article is in English, though be patient with a few idiomatic eccentricities that come from writing in her non-primary language.  There are a few places where she just nails the absurdities and horrors so well, I just had to post it.

_____________________

About those “catholic-rabbits” criticized by the Pope

I have been blessed with six children. Children I had by six C-sections. My C-sections were never because of convenience or fear of labor pains. Quite the contrary. I have always wanted to give birth naturally, but my firstborn went into fetal distress after 13 hours of labor. Meconium[1] and blood made his birth a medical emergency and the C-section inevitable to save his life. Thank God I gave birth in a time when the C-section is an option. Some decades before, and me and my boy would both be dead. Even though he had a very low initial APGAR[2], my firstborn recovered well and is a bright, family loving, good son.

Unfortunately, in Brazil, the practice of VBACs[3] is still very much discouraged. Down here, the saying goes “once a C-section, always a C-section”. And so, by no fault of my own, I had 6 C-sections. Even though I did not go through the pains of labor, I offered to God the post-surgery sufferings, which can be quite long and painful.

I‘ve had good and responsible doctors. Doctors who assured me I could go on having children despite the number of C-sections. I even know mothers who have more than a dozen children via C-section. Anyway, I was blessed 6 times. Seven, if I count a pregnancy that did not went ahead.

Every day, I face the curiosity, the disrespect, the jokes, the whispers and the comments by many people who think that, just because I have six children, they have the right to give their opinion on what is so sacred to me. I have way too many anecdotes. I have been stopped on the street walk and asked if “I did not care about the environment”. I have been laughed at dozens of times when asked if I did not have a TV at home (BTW, no! We do not, Thank God!), if I knew what caused pregnancies, if I did not have a hobby. And all that spoken inconveniently, without modesty, in front of my small children! I have been called ignorant, irresponsible. I’ve had to give financial explanations to strangers. Our family is frequently looked with disdain. Once, a doctor discretely suggested that I abort my 3rd child because it was somehow “dangerous”. My husband is always asked if his six children are from “the same wife”! Once, when we were outside under a pouring rain and in need of a cab, many taxi drivers went past us making signs with their hands meaning we were too many people. Too many people…. Can heaven be too crowded?

Anyway, we have always endured the criticism with a few compliments here and there. The compliments that exalt my so-called courage were never our support for the sacrifice of having many children. People’s opinions, either good or bad, are irrelevant. Our focus, my husband’s and mine, was always Our Lord. It was always to do God’s will. And to do God’s will in what is the very purpose of matrimony: the procreation of children. Despite the antichristian society. Despite the cost. Despite the world! And now, I am afraid to say, despite the Pope!

In all these years, and there goes 17 years of marriage, I have never heard the pearl the Bishop of Rome gave to the mothers of large families: rabbits! His Holiness was, and I say this with an aching heart, vulgar! Yes, vulgar! I would never dare to compare a catholic lady, wife and mother to an irrational animal. And a rabbit too! How would you think fathers would feel if compared to asses for working too much? Or poor people being called rats for not being dressed up? Or if people in a coma were called sloths? Shall I go on? The comparison is vulgar and denigrates the target of the criticism. It is disrespectful. It is, pure and simple, a lack of charity!

In addition, the Pope, he who should confirm our Faith, he who should support us, defend us, just threw mothers and fathers of large families to the lions! My husband just tells me that tomorrow at work he will be questioned about the Pope’s words. Evidently, the neocons, the type of Catholic who appears so clever, so obedient, so faithful, even though so coward and so full of human respect, they will defend the His Holiness’ words with some mental gymnastics saying the media distorted his words, that they put out of context what he said, that he said “rabbits” in the best possible way. They might even say that yes, those mothers of many children are indeed irresponsible. And they will feel so clever, so obedient, so faithful!

Notwithstanding, me, my husband and my six children will not defend him. We will defend what the Church has always taught. I will never perform intellectual pirouettes to publicly excuse Peter whenever he assaults what has been always true and holy! I rather look up to heaven than to bury my head in the sand.

In one of his comments, he even gave the dubious number experts defend is the ideal number per Family: 3. He also said the Church gives “many licit ways to limit procreation”. He used the example of a mother who is pregnant with her 8th child, having had 7 previous C-sections before that. She would be irresponsible. “Does she want to leave 7 orphans”? , asked the Pope. What does he suggest now that the child is already in the belly? Am I the only one who sees the very dangerous implications of the Bishop of Rome’s words? His Holiness does not know what he has done. He threw us to the lions of UN, of the NOW, of the Masons. Those lions, you know?!, that walk around us looking for someone to devour….

But I have something to say to the many mothers of large families (many friends of mine, from our Chapel, in which blessed pews the many families of 3,4,5,6,7,10 children barely fit!), to the mothers who are discriminated for having had multiple C-sections, to the mothers who keep on having children despite the opinions of family members, of society and, unfortunately, of liberal sectors of the Church: “Let us run to embrace the cross! So many Christian women were given to the lions to be martyred. Let us not run from the cross! Ahead! Let us fill this Earth with holy priests and Christian parents andfill heavenwith many saints”. Heaven is the prize, said Saint Therese.


And let us pray for the Pope. He knows not what he’s done.

A Lovely Sermon on the Espousal of Our Lady and St. Joseph, by Cardinal Burke

New Liturgical Movement has it here.  Really, it is so refreshing to hear Catholic content in a Catholic sermon by a Catholic prelate these days.  Yes?

22 January 2015

St. Barnabas Parish in O'Fallon Now Offers the Traditional Mass on Sundays

Jennifer Brinker of The St. Louis Review has the good news: the Traditional Latin Mass is again on the grow in the Archdiocese of Saint Louis. This is a very welcome development, consistent with the stated expectations of Summorum Pontificum, in the Northwest portion of the Archdiocese, and with the exemplary cooperation of many. The parish wanted it, the pastor sought to serve his parishioners, the Archbishop blessed it, the Institute of Christ the King gave its practical support, and the Church as a whole benefits.

Very welcome indeed. This kind of development is possible at the parish level. Though (in my opinion) nothing can beat the majesty and beauty of the Oratory and the Institute's loving and meticulous care of the liturgy, it is a simple fact that the Mass of the Ages is the right and patrimony of every single Catholic wherever they live. It could and should, in time, be celebrated everywhere.

I will excerpt portions of the in-depth article below. If you are pleased with this development, I am sure that letters of thanks to the priest and the Archbishop would be well received and encouraging:

_________________

With a single intoning of the bell, Mass had begun at St. Barnabas.

But this was no Ordinary Form of the Mass.

"In Nomine Patris, et Filii et Spiritus Sancti ..."

For the first time in nearly 50 years, the Extraordinary Form of the Mass -- better known as the Traditional or Tridentine Latin Mass -- is being celebrated at the northern O'Fallon parish. In January, Father Raymond Hager began offering the Mass at 10 a.m. on Sundays, after a group of parishioners wrote a letter last January requesting it.

At one of the first Masses, the pews in the modest church were about three quarters full with at least 300 people -- the church seats about 450; the parking lot was nearly filled to capacity. There was a mixture of young and old, middle-aged -- some who had lived in the boundaries of St. Barnabas but attended the Latin Mass at other churches, and some who were new or had not participated in this form of the Mass since before the Second Vatican Council. Some had come from nearby communities including Warrenton, Millwood and Wright City.

"At the first Mass, people had tears in their eyes," said Father Hager. He said that all of this is "directed toward God and what's called the 'mysterium tremendum,' or the tremendous mystery. The sense of the sacred, and the mystery of God becoming present in His most sacred Body and Blood is proclaimed profoundly in and through the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

[...]

Ordained in 1997, Father Hager taught himself how to celebrate the Mass according to the 1962 Missal. Born in 1960, he has no memories of going to the Traditional Latin Mass as a child. As a seminarian, he would occasionally visit St. Agatha, where the Latin Mass was offered in St. Louis at the time. "I was blown away by the beauty and sacredness of the liturgy," he said.

The process of learning the language and rubrics took several months. Father Hager approached Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, who connected him with Canon Michael Wiener, rector of St. Francis de Sales Oratory, one of two churches designated specifically for the Latin Mass in St. Louis. Canon Wiener, the episcopal delegate for the implementation of the Traditional Latin Mass in the archdiocese, offered his guidance.

[...]

In December, before several members of the parish and finance councils, Canon Wiener and others, Father Hager celebrated the Mass for the first time. There were very few corrections to make, according to Canon Wiener.

"I think it speaks to the spiritual solidity of the spiritual life of the archdiocese," said Canon Wiener. "It's a sign of the normality that these Masses are offered in both forms of the one Roman rite. As the archbishop emphasizes, it should be done well; if it's done well, it's extremely edifying and beneficial for the faithful and a great source of consolation and edification. The rite is full of beautiful and rich symbolisms of the truth of our faith. Every Mass recapitulates the life of Christ, His suffering and resurrection."

Father Hager said he had once been approached by Catholics to offer the Latin Mass when he was pastor at Sacred Heart in Elsberry. "But what I found is it was really coming from outside of the parish, and not the parishioners. Here it's the opposite. I am called to serve my parishioners, and if they're wanting this, if I could possibly do it, I'm going to do it for them."

[...]


Read the whole article. Congratulations to St. Barnabas!






Bob Will Understand


21 January 2015

Temporally Speaking, of Course













All I need is bourbon, Bob, and the Beer Baron.

But not in that order.



I'm Not Saying the Super Bowl is Rigged, but...

... The NFL has unveiled a new design for the fabled Lombardi Trophy:










A Twitch of the Ear...

...to Rorate Caeli for finding and posting Titian's Madonna of the Rabbit, which I have taken the liberty of placing at the sidebar.

God is good.

Run, Rabbit, Run

The Holy Father today in his weekly audience took time to praise large families.  As this article describes it, this is an obvious attempt to undo some of the damage of His Holiness' lamentable Rabbit Discourse in the Air, 2015.

Of course, the modern media being what it is, and modern man being what he is, this is too late to really fix things.

That being said, I like to give credit where credit is due, and you have to admit that this is a rare occasion where the Vatican gives at least some semblance of awareness that the Pope put his sacred foot in it.  That to me is a very welcome development.  So bravo.  Good on him, I say.

However, do not mistake today's remarks for an apology.  That would be progress indeed.  

I had an idea of how this might have been handled a bit better, so I will repost below part of a comment I left at Creative Minority Report's post on this issue:


What would be more effective, and in fact, humble, would be something like this: "In a spur-of-the-moment Q&A, I used a poor choice of words in trying to relate to the press the nuances of the Church's position on contraception and related issues. These words were then taken out of context, and the result is that it is made to appear that I, and the Church, somehow wish to denigrate or discourage large families. This is not true; in fact, large families are a great gift from God, as I have said in the past. They are not the source of problems in the world; in fact, in many ways they are the solution to many of the problems facing the world. 

I apologize for using the coarse expression about rabbits. Human beings are not rabbits! I was merely trying to explain in everyday terms what the Church has always taught-- and the world has always failed to understand-- that there is no requirement that a Catholic couple must have as many children as possible. That is not what being open to life means. 

Large families are heroic witnesses to this openness, but obviously God does not require such a heroic witness from all."


Such a statement and apology would make the point that every Catholic would understand, even if the press didn't. And we wouldn't be left waiting for Mark Shea to assure us we didn't hear what we actually heard, and that in fact, we are stupid.

Now, for a true disclaimer:  What right have I to advise the Pope on humility, being the person that I am?  What right have I to blame someone for saying something stupid, being the non-stop stupid quote generator that I am?

None and none. God bless.

Family Portrait

Sometimes keeping my lame Internet sortanymity alienates me from readers. Thus, to try to firm up our emotional connection, I thought I would give you a peek at my family of ten by posting our latest portrait we commissioned from a famous artist. Quite lifelike. Enjoy.









20 January 2015

Leadership Changes at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary

The Review has the story:

Father James Mason has been appointed president-rector of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in Shrewsbury and Father Paul Hoesing as dean of seminarians and director of human formation. Both appointments were announced Tuesday by Archbishop Robert J. Carlson.

A priest of the Diocese of Sioux Falls, S.D., Father Mason has served as director of spiritual formation and dean of students at Kenrick-Glennon since August.

Father Mason will begin the role July 1, taking the reins from Jesuit Father John Horn, who was named rector of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in 2011. Father Horn, who is working with his provincial on his next assignment, oversaw the renovation and expansion of the seminary facilities after a capital campaign.

Since his ordination in 2001, Father Mason has served as medical-moral adviser, vice chancellor, director of vocations, director of Broom Tree Retreat Center and a parish pastor.

[...]

Father Hoesing is director of vocations for the Diocese of Omaha, Neb. He also serves as president of the National Conference of Vocation Directors and a faculty member for the Institute of Priestly Formation. Father Hoesing attended St. John Vianney Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., and Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordained in 2002 and has served as an associate pastor in addition to teaching and chaplaincy duties at two high schools in Omaha. He was named vocations director in 2008.

[...]








These Are the Jokes, Kid




OK. Today, this happened. I fired up Google and entered the following search: "pope breed like rabbits".

I must admit, that after I typed this phrase, I reflected that this was surely as unlikely a search as I could ever have imagined myself typing. Then I reflected that it would certainly yield many relevant results. And it did.

Do we need a better sign that we are through the looking glass?

The man who prefers the term Bishop of Rome humbly took some time out of his busy schedule to scold another group of Catholics: this time, parents of large families.

Good for him, I say! These people who hold all the power and wealth in the world need to be taken down a peg. They are, on the one hand, mere animals who can't control themselves. Yet on the other hand, they are proud intellects who tempt God's providence. Worst of all, they eat all the food, drink all the water, and spew all the carbon the Holy Father will warn us about in his rumored upcoming encyclical. You can't even find a cool 12- or 15- passenger maxivan to take you from the airport to your hotel anymore. That's right, these self-righteous jerks have scooped them all up.

What did His Holiness actually say? According to the New York Times, after affirming that "openness to life is a condition of the sacrament of matrimony":

At the same time, however, he said it's not true that to be a good Catholic "you have to be like rabbits." On the contrary, he said "responsible parenthood" requires that couples regulate the births of their children, as church teaching allows. He cited the case of a woman he met who was pregnant with her eighth child after seven Cesarean sections.

"That is an irresponsibility!" he said. The woman might argue that she should trust in God. "But God gives you methods to be responsible," he said.


Forget the fact that the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church just threw large families under the bus. Think about two aspects of his particular example of "irresponsibility".

1) The woman he holds up for derision has sacrificed and suffered for the cause of life, and as a witness to love and hope in an evil world. You don't know why she is pregnant. Maybe her "responsible efforts" have failed. Do you know this, Holy Father? How? Certainly one prays he has not heard about it in the confessional and thought it good nightclub fodder. And what if she and her husband desired another child? The risks of such a desire are a matter for prayer, consultation with each other and their confessor, and are no other human being's business. No one is forced to take that risk, but the Pope's remarks eliminate any credit for the intent of a somewhat heroic sacrifice.

2) More importantly, for the wider Church, the Pope appears to set the teachings of Casti Connubii and Humanae Vitae on their heads. Note he does not say that couples are allowed to regulate births, as those encyclicals say is possible for serious reasons. No, he says they are required to regulate births! In the name of responsible parenthood.

Excuse me, but this is appalling. God help us.

But maybe I'm taking this too seriously. It was just a press conference. I'm sure the Pope has already forgotten about it. Today's news cycle has troubles enough of its own.

You doubt me? Well, in another statement that failed to trigger his irony meter, the Pope had this to say:

“Woe to those who give scandal!” Francis said, quoting Jesus’ words. We give scandal, said the Pope, when we fail to bear witness to what we believe, whereas “a faith proclaimed is a life of witness.”

“When a church-going Christian does not live well, he gives scandal,” the Pope said. “How many times have we heard: ‘I don’t go to church; it is better to be honest at home than be like so-and-so who goes to church and then does such and such.’” Scandal destroys, he said, “it destroys the faith!”

“That is why Jesus speaks so strongly,” Francis continued, ‘Watch yourselves!’ And we do well to repeat this today: ‘Watch yourselves!’ All of us are capable of giving scandal.”


Thank you! Good night!


If you want more, Steve Skojec has great commentary on the rabbit breeding fracas at OnePeter5. I'm off to confess the sin of irresponsible parenthood.

Is that mortal or venial?

19 January 2015

Quick Poll

Is the Pope merely pandering to women, or is he taking one more opportunity to stick it to Cardinal Burke?  Both?  Neither?  Poll at the sidebar; comment in the combox if you wish.

Regardless of His Holiness' intent by these comments, news stories like this merely confirm the obvious reality of Cardinal Burke's critique.

This is the Logical Conclusion of Everything Catholic Schools Have Tried to Do for Too Long

I missed this report from the local NBC affiliate; my excuse is that I can't stand local broadcast news.  But this really is a shocker.

Or it ought to be, anyway.

[St. John Baptist] De La Salle Middle School in North City is ditching Catholicism and going public.  Why?  According to them, because they are doing so well that they want public funding to help more students. Because as a Catholic school that relies on donations, they have about 70 students; with public funding, they can increase their enrollment.

All that stands in the way is the Catholic faith.  So, obviously, it has to go. Because what makes the "education" a "quality" one?  Not the faith, that's what.

The funny thing about this is that there is a certain logic to it.  If the school really has no intent to pass along the Catholic faith, it is better to be rid of the sacrifices needed to carry out that mission. Perhaps the shocker is that this doesn't shock anyone.

Look at it another way.  When the Church has city schools that suffer as cradle Catholics move out of the area, they need other Catholics to fill the ranks, or else they must accept non-Catholics. If they accept non-Catholics, the school can either require the non-Catholic to learn about the faith and to observe certain principles attached to it, and actually try to convert them, or else it can accept non-Catholics without conditions, in order to keep collecting tuition and fees.

Which posture has your Catholic school adopted?  I know which is easier, and which promises surer short-term rewards.  Hence, the pretense is dropped, and the public school at heart becomes a public school in name.  St. John Baptist de la Salle need not be bothered with prayers for patronage anymore.

And what is the response of the Archdiocese?  Well the statement contained in the story, if accurate, seems to be as lame as its response to Mayor Slay's illegal sodomite marriage license scheme:


"The Archdiocese of St. Louis supports quality education as an essential component in breaking the cycle of poverty. While we believe the integrated spiritual and academic environment of a Catholic school best serves this purpose, we respect the decision of the board of De La Salle Middle School and appreciate their ongoing commitment to families of the Ville and surrounding neighborhoods."

Not exactly out-on-a-limb stuff, is it?  Does anyone actually believe in the Catholic mission of Catholic education?

May I humbly suggest that if the school were to form 70 Catholics in that program, that it would do more good for them, and the neighborhood, and the city, and the world, than by successfully producing 1,000 secular college students.

If you believe that the Catholic faith is necessary for one's eternal happiness, that is.

16 January 2015

Brace Yourselves; Here It Comes

Just read the news, reported by Creative Minority Report: the Supreme Court will destroy what remains of protection for real marriages hear and decide whether states may decline to pretend that sodomites can marry others of the same sex.

Of course, it is just like the pro-sodomy lobby to avoid popular votes on legislation or constitutional amendments, and instead just ram this through the judicial back door.

Wanting to Give Something One Had Lost Oneself




“… At first I used to stay away with Rex in his friends’ houses. He doesn’t make me anymore. He was ashamed of me when he found I didn’t cut the kind of figure he wanted, ashamed of himself for having been taken in. I wasn’t at all the article he’d bargained for. He can’t see the point of me, but whenever he’s made up his mind there isn’t a point and he’s begun to feel comfortable, he gets a surprise—some man, or even woman, he respects, takes a fancy to me and he suddenly sees that there is a whole world of things we understand and he doesn’t… he was upset when I went away. He’ll be delighted to have me back. I was faithful to him until this last thing came along. There’s nothing like a good upbringing. Do you know last year, when I thought I was going to have a child, I’d decided to have it brought up a Catholic? I hadn’t thought about religion before; I haven’t since; but just at that time, when I was waiting for the birth, I thought, ‘That’s one thing I can give her. It doesn’t seem to have done me much good, but my child shall have it.’ It was odd, wanting to give something one had lost oneself. Then, in the end, I couldn’t even give that: I couldn’t even give her life. I never saw her; I was too ill to know what was going on, and afterwards, for a long time, until now, I didn’t want to speak about her—she was a daughter, so Rex didn’t so much mind her being dead.

“I’ve been punished a little for marrying Rex. You see, I can’t get all that sort of thing out of my mind, quite—Death, Judgment, Heaven, Hell, Nanny Hawkins, and the catechism. It becomes part of oneself, if they give it one early enough. And yet I wanted my child to have it… now I suppose I shall be punished for what I’ve just done. Perhaps that is why you and I are here together like this… part of a plan.”

That was almost the last thing she said to me—“part of a plan”—before we went below and I left her at the cabin door.


Evelyn Waugh, “Brideshead Revisited.”


Even in the Age of Hooper, a Light That Refuses to Die




Two days ago, I posted some reflections on the liturgy, Cardinal Burke's observations on the feminized Church, and the attacks on both under the title "Quomodo Sedet Sola Civitas". The city wherein the holy sacrifice was offered daily and everywhere now seems to sit lonely and destroyed.

Today I popped the latin phrase into google and found this little gem: a blog post about Waugh and the liturgy that I wanted to pass along. It comes from the blog A Heap of Broken Images, and is quite an interesting reflection:

Quomodo Sedet Sola Civitas: some thoughts on the Liturgy and Waugh

The first time those words appear in Brideshead Revisited they are used by Cordelia in a conversation with Charles. She quotes the beginning of the book of Jeremiah in order to express her thoughts after the chapel in Brideshead was left empty. The phrase quomodo sedet sola civitas -how lonely the city stands- is taken from the beginning of book of Lamentations, when the prophet cries over the destroyed Jerusalem; they are also used by the Liturgy of the Church in the office of Tenebrae to lament over the death of Christ.

Surely Cordelia could have explained in her own words her feelings. But using that quote she manages to charge them with extra meaning by putting her personal feelings in relation to others: her sorrow, her desolation at the loss of the Eucharist, is similar to the feelings that made Jeremiah shed tears over her loved one -Jerusalem-, and her tears similar to the ones the Church sheds every year remembering the death of Christ.

But the phrase pops up two more times along the novel. The second time we hear them is when Ryder tells the reader he attended Tenebrae in Guatemala. The third time it is again Ryder -this time in the epilogue of the book- explaining the desolation he feels at the dawn of what he calls the “age of Hooper”, which for him represents the total loss of culture. The formerly joyful and lively Brideshead, has been conquered by Hooper hordes and now the place looks like a Waste Land. No wonder images from that poem come to the mind of Waugh in order to describe this situation: the fountain of the house -a clear symbol of life- stands empty and wired while “all the drivers throw their cigarette-ends and the remains of the sandwiches there” (Compare with the empty bottles, sandwich papers and cigarette ends of Eliot in The Waste Land, 177-178).

It seems to me that the repeated use of that phrase is better understood by looking at the love Evelyn Waugh had for the liturgy of the Church. For him the liturgical offices and specially the Mass were like firm land. Man, modern man, could be adrift in a tempest, but the liturgy would always be there to provide him shelter. The fact that Ryder attends Tenebrae in a country like Guatemala can be seen as a typical trace of Waugh’s humor, but I don’t think it is just that: Tenebrae could be attended in Guatemala, London, Rome or Buenos Aires. The liturgy, specially thanks to the use of Latin, was universal. Two more examples show this more clearly:

--In a little known story by Waugh the protagonist called Rip, if I remember correctly, finds himself lost in London 500 years in the future. The city is ruled by savages and the poor man is totally lost till he goes into a Church and sees the same Mass in Latin celebrated by a black priest.

--In the trilogy sword of honor we find Guy Crouchback somewhere in the Balkans talking to a priest in a rather funny Latin asking him to offer the Mass for his deceased wife Virginia.

In the first case we see the Mass is not subject to change over time; while in the second one, as in the case of Guatemala, the message is that it is same everywhere. Guatemala, London or even Hooper’s Brideshead, might be ruled by savages, but the Liturgy is the same one. No wonder Waugh suffered greatly when as a consequence of the liturgical reform after the Second Vatican Council, he saw this two characteristic of the liturgy damaged. The Mass he loved was changed -not in 500 years time- but during his own life time, while loosing the Latin brought as a consequence that you were not able to be part of the same liturgy everywhere.

However, the lamentation of Ryder over Brideshead at the end of the book ends with him feeling “particularly cheerful”. The reason for the change of mood is discovering that the lamp of the Tabernacle of the Chapel is lit again. True, the artistic glory of the place might be lost, Hooper’s side can win the battle today, but that lamp, that horrible art nouveau lamp, is lit again; and contrary to what might be expected, people actually visit the place often. The city can be destroyed, savages might rule, but that light refuses to die. I think Cordelia would also have been particularly cheerful seeing the timid dance of that little flame.




14 January 2015

Quomodo sedet sola civitas


Well, God is in His heaven
And we all want what’s His
But power and greed and corruptible seed
Seem to be all that there is


--Bob Dylan, Blind Willie McTell


The absolutely true and (to me, anyway) obvious points made by Cardinal Burke in his recent remarks about the "feminization" of the Church have been well covered already.  The outcry against him has been typical in quality and substance, but it seems far more amplified than usual.  I mean, not just the modernist "Catholic" publications, not just the Washington Post, but every Podunk Iowa Shopper's Journal has posted its horror at the Cardinal's comments.

Why? Because His Eminence hits very. close. to. home.

At the time of Pope Benedict's reported abdication, the news was all about the fallout of butler-gate: the so-called "gay mafia" in Rome, as well as any connection it had with the dossier that was leaked, but the contents of which had not yet been revealed publicly.  The Curia was in revolt?  The Pope was forced out? Were names about to be named?

Then the Pope Francis event happened, and "Who am I to judge?", and suddenly, no more problems with the dossier.

When Cardinal Burke talked about the feminized Church, he lamented the loss of vitality that accompanies the loss of the masculine.  But (and this is my own take, don't blame him) the emasculation of the Church is not only accompanied by harpies in the Sanctuary and diocesan or parish administrative offices, but by the lack of masculinity in the male priesthood and laity.  We are victims of the zeitgeist, victims of the educational system as it stands today, both public and parochial (including the seminaries), and most of all, victims of an emasculated liturgy.

Cardinal Burke correctly links the liturgy with the doctrine of the faith.  Both failures cause and are affected by each other.  Both cause the Church to lose Catholic members.

Those in power cannot really defend the liturgical destruction in any credible way.  They cannot deny that the Mass and the faith are losing their outward vitality.  Yet they must keep criticism of the new Mass under wraps.

Those who love the Traditional Mass sometimes get labelled as "integrists".  It is meant as an insult, that we conflate the Faith with the Mass. It never bothered me, though, because I believe the Mass guards and informs the Faith.  It is the practical bulwark of the Faith.

But just this week it finally clicked that the reverse is just as true. The Modernists and the liturgical revolutionaries are integrists. The novus ordo must exist because it enables the obfuscation of the Faith.  The fact that the novus ordo as promulgated is a valid Mass isn't relevant.  It allows and encourages the ambiguities that allow heresy to fester unseen and unnoticed.

I had to attend a novus ordo funeral this week, and it was typically bad.  I don't mean to say that it was typically bad, but rather that it was typically bad.  There was little to mark it out for particular badness, and that was the saddest thing of all.  The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is reduced to a common meal at a community center, MC'd by an aging hippie spouting self-help nuggets, with altar girls in their polyester bathrobes clogging up the Sanctuary.  There of course was no sense that Purgatory is a real thing, that prayers may be helpful for the deceased, or that we are all sinners in need of mercy, in this typical insta-canonization that is the modern funeral Mass.  

Other than the Canon equivalent used (and thank God for the more accurate translations enforced at last by Pope Benedict), there seemed very little about this service that was Catholic.  In the Eucharistic prayer, sacrifice was mentioned, as were prayers for the dead, the communion of saints, and all the rest.  But at every other point the traditional understanding of the faith was undermined or at least ignored.  God is reduced to a mere platitudinous grandfather (or grandmother?) accepting all of the children home for eternal dinner regardless of anything we did here below.

If you believed in the concepts of sin, mercy, judgement, merit, heaven, hell and purgatory going into that Mass, you were still free to believe going out.  But if you didn't believe some or all of that going in, the Mass I saw wasn't going to make you reassess your position for one second.

Thinking about mercy, my brother observed that even one of the favorites of recently canonized saints, the apostle of Divine Mercy, St. Faustina, would have been horrified to witness that Mass. She would have had a hard time recognizing it as Catholic.  And that is the point for the mercy-without-regard-for-truth camp.

And Cardinal Burke is certainly not a man to disregard the truth in pursuit of a false charity.  They are conjoined twins, Truth and Charity.

In my opinion, the Mass as it is now typically celebrated is the bulwark of an obfuscation that allows the modernist to pervert doctrine with impunity.  You want to propound an un-Catholic interpretation of Vatican II, for instance?  You need this Mass. There is not enough ambiguity in the old one.

OK, I rambled a bit.  Sue me.  Cardinal Burke is drawing obvious but uncomfortable conclusions from obvious but previously taboo facts.  That is why he, and you, are being targeted for extinction.

I am reminded of a scene from Brideshead Revisited.  When the private chapel in the Flyte home was decommissioned, the Blessed Sacrament was removed, and the sanctuary lamp extinguished. The pious young daughter, Cordelia, then quoted Jeremias:

Quomodo sedet sola civitas.

How lonely the city sits.

My friends, that is where we are these days.  There will be no progress in restoration of the faith-- the de-feminization of the faith-- until the novus ordo is done and gone.

For the modernists are integrists too.



13 January 2015

She Right

EWTN tweeted this gem from Mother Angelica today:

"A humble person is very, very attuned to truth."

I wonder how Mother Angelica, were her health good enough to still run her network, would fare with the Vatican these days. Patheos would have already slandered her as a misogynist and schismatic, but that goes without saying.

The Octave of Epiphany: The Baptism of the Lord

Today marks the end of the Octave of Epiphany, and the Church celebrates the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  

The Feast of Epiphany itself commemorates the three great manifestations of the Messias: the Adoration of the Magi, the Baptism of Our Lord, and the transformation of water into wine at the wedding in Cana.  

The day of Epiphany, particularly in the West, tends to focus on the Adoration of the Magi.  Today the Church commemorates Our Lord's Baptism in the Jordan, with the great testimony of the Trinity that Jesus is the Messias, the Son of God.  This coming Sunday, the Second Sunday after Epiphany, we will hear the Gospel of Our Lord's first public miracle-- at the prayer of His Blessed Mother-- at the Wedding in Cana.

To honor all three, I post here a prayer by St. Hilary of Poitiers, whose feast day happens to be tomorrow.

Jesus, the merciful Redeemer of all nations, shone forth on this day; let the faithful of every race celebrate him in their songs of praise.

A Star, shining in the heavens, announces his Birth; it leads the way, and guides them to His Crib.

Prostrating, they adore the Infant wrapped in swaddling clothes; they confess Him to be the true God, offering Him their mystic gifts.

Thirty years of His life had passed, and He, the infinitely pure God, seeks the laver of Baptism.

John, the favoured Baptist, trembles as he bends the head of Jesus beneath the waters-- that Jesus whose Blood was to purify the whole earth from its sins.

The divine voice of the Father is heard from heaven, bearing testimony to His Son; and the Holy Spirit, too, is present, the giver of holy grace.

We beseech Thee in humble supplication, O Jesus! protect Thy people; we ask it of Thee by the power Thou didst show when Thou didst command the water to be changed into wine.

May praise, honour, and all power be to the Trinity for ever and for ever.  Amen.

I wish all of you a Blessed Feast Day of Our Lord.

11 January 2015

Feast of the Holy Family




I hope you had a blessed feast day. Good advice on how to imitate the Holy Family, from today's Epistle:

Colossians 3:12-17

Put ye on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience: Bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if any have a complaint against another. Even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also. But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also you are called in one body: and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly: in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual canticles, singing in grace in your hearts to God. All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.


09 January 2015

The West's Problem: A Crusade Presupposes Crusaders

As a Catholic, and particularly with my daughter just having come back from a four month stay in France, I have watched the events in Paris with a mix of sadness, anger, regret, and indignation. Sadness for the families of the victims; anger towards the murderers; regret and indignation that it comes to this in the once-Christian West.

Of course, based upon the coverage of other such events of this type in the last decade or two, I always have to remain skeptical as well.  My point here is not to debate the organic reality of this event, or Sandy Hook, or what have you.  Nor is my point to discuss the areas of external moral behavior where the Mohammedans agree with us.  

Whether or not these recent events are false flags or acts of a real war of jihad, the reality is that Mohammedanism is opposed to the true faith. It denies the Kingship of Jesus Christ, God incarnate, and would reduce him to a mere man.  Not only a mere man, but not even the most important man, and moreover a man they would make testify to a false religion.  God is One God in Three Divine Persons (they still teach that in Catholic schools, don't they?).  He is not the 'Allah' of this sect that Dante considered a Christian heresy.

Anyway, most Catholics who know their history can recall a time that the West was not so anemic. I'm not merely talking about the Crusades, where Catholic Kings, Princes, Dukes and nobles sacrificed their own short term interests for a higher goal, motivated in most part by a chivalrous love of Our Lord and Lady. Limit it to France, if you will:  Poitiers, Tours. Charlemagne, Roland.

And why are we in the West so vulnerable?  The same continent that took 700 years or so to defeat a determined Moorish invasion to protect Christendom has decided to take the last 40 years to invite the descendants of the invaders back in.  The Kingship of Christ has been long repudiated in Europe, and the residual Christian moral order has finally petered out.  The One True Church of Christ now prefers to quote junk science contained in pamphlets printed in Pueblo, Colorado in 1987 as part of its new goal of being the world's largest NGO.  

The Shepherd has been struck, and the sheep are scattered.  

We have no protection from the wolves, physically, and little protection spiritually.

But surely this attack, and others like it, will wake us from our lethargy?  Ha!  

It will take a miracle.  Are you praying for one?  Has the Holy Father consecrated Russia to Mary's Immaculate Heart as she requested?  Are you praying for it?

Can anyone imagine that the greying, gaying, Western populace will shake off the pink mist of godless, Socialist dependency and actually fight?  And for what would they fight?

Like I said, a miracle is needed.  But to end on a hopeful note, the scriptures are instructive:

Judges 7:

1Then Jerobaal, who is the same as Gedeon, rising up early and all the people with him, came to the fountain that is called Harad. Now the camp of Madian was in the valley on the north side of the high hill. 2And the Lord said to Gedeon: The people that are with thee are many, and Madian shall not be delivered into their hands: lest Israel should glory against me, and say: I was delivered by my own strength. 3Speak to the people, and proclaim in the hearing of all, Whosoever is fearful and timorous, let him return. So two and twenty thousand men went away from mount Galaad and returned home, and only ten thousand remained.

4And the Lord said to Gedeon: The people are still too many, bring them to the waters, and there I will try them: and of whom I shall say to thee, This shall go with thee, let him go: whom I shall forbid to go, let him return. 5And when the people were come down to the waters, the Lord said to Gedeon: They that shall lap the water with their tongues, as dogs are wont to lap, thou shalt set apart by themselves: but they that shall drink bowing down their knees, shall be on the other side. 6And the number of them that had lapped water, casting it with the hand to their mouth, was three hundred men: and all the rest of the multitude had drunk kneeling. 7And the Lord said to Gedeon: By the three hundred men, that lapped water, I will save you, and deliver Madian into thy hand: but let all the rest of the people return to their place. 8So taking victuals and trumpets according to their number, he ordered all the rest of the multitude to depart to their tents: and he with the three hundred gave himself to the battle.