Friday, December 27, 2013

Duck Dynasty Brings Back Phil Robertson

. . . sort of

In a statement released about the incident A&E stated that "we operate with a strong sense of integrity and deep commitment to these principals."  Yet they had gone on a kneejerk impulsive attack against Phil Robertson immediately following an interview knowing full well what kind of good man he really is and knowing full well the context of what he was saying in the interview.  A&E knew full well that Phil wasn't speaking hatefully, yet fired away at him anyway.  That is not integrity.  So what they describe as their "integrity" and their "principals" [sic] is just their intolerant shallow kneejerk scrambling to the feet of the zeitgeist asking if it was in any way insulted by this insolent Christian.  What "principles" is A&E committed to?  The radical left wing agenda?  They state that "We at A+E Networks expressed our disappointment with his statements in the article, and reiterate that they are not views we hold."  So what "views" do they hold?  Are they staunch supporters of gay marriage?  What "principles" do they believe?  Why must they even claim to believe in anything?  Are they a religious organization?  An organization that is entirely dependent on its world views on American domestic politics?  An organization that feels like it must believe a certain way in order for it to succeed?  They add in their statement that "We will also use this moment to launch a national public service campaign (PSA) promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance".  Why?  Why must they feel compelled to use their entertaining industry to take sides on a social agenda?  They aren't a Church or a political party, but they think they are.

Apparently A&E is an organization that feels it must cling to a belief system and to an agenda instead of just presenting us a show.  Besides, aren't reality shows supposed to show a new take on life?  Reality shows provide their audiences a view outside of the norm.  They are a look into the lives of different people, who interact and see the world in a different light in order for the audience to gain a new perspective.  If Phil Robertson and his family had just tried to be like everybody else, carrying along all the same views as the rest of the country, they would have never caught the attention of A&E in the first place.  For A&E to stab Phil Robertson in the back in an impulsive manner because they believe Phil betrayed their social agenda, and then bring him back when it became apparent that their show would fail, is nothing more than despicable.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

St. John Vianney Sermon for Christmas

In the book Sermons of the Cure of Ars first printed in 1901 and reproduced by The Neumann Press, who is now under the publishing authority of TAN Books (see more HERE), we have the Patron Saint of Parish Priests giving us the following words:

"Beloved brethren assembled in the name of Jesus Christ:

. . . the angels' message on the plains . . . did not come from the palaces of earthly kings, or from the halls of pleasure, or from the markets of the earth; it came from heaven, bringing with it heavenly flowers, heavenly blessings, and heavenly graces.

. . . It is announced, not to one or the other, but to the beggar and the king, the child and the old man, the poor and rich.  The angels announced to the shepherds that it should be made known to all people, in the east and the west, in the north and the south; it shall ring forth and make joyful through all the ages; it shall never cease, not even when the world shall keep its vigil, and the book of humanity will be closed, and then it will ring on in eternity: a Saviour is born to you, who is Christ the Lord.

. . . God with us . . . is the meaning of the joyful message of the angel . . . in His humanity, in His childhood, in His poverty.

. . . In His humanity . . . the second Person of the Trinity had taken a human nature, a human body, and a human soul, the same as we have.  He has become one of us.  He is like us in all things, with the exception of sin, says the Apostle.  That is the first step of the mercy of God, which we devoutly adore, in the crib at Bethlehem.

. . . In His childhood . . . the Son of God took another merciful step when He appeared upon earth as a child . . . the Son of God might have appeared upon earth as a grown man.  But He did not do this.  He abased Himself, and lay in the crib as a helpless infant.  The heathens have represented Jupiter with lightning in his eyes, falcons at his feet, flaming swords in his hands; no hand free to bless.  Our divine Saviour wished to appear very differently.  Not a threatening, mighty figure; not armed with lightning.  No, He appeared as a child full of love, full of tenderness, full of joy.  The child looks at every one; at the sight of the child, all fear vanishes.  All may approach a child without fear, the high and the low, the learned and the unlearned, rich and poor.  How near has God come unto us!

. . . In His poverty . . . He is nearer to us . . . the Saviour wanted to be nearer to the poor man; that is why He appeared upon this earth in the utmost poverty.  The poor have a special right to the love and the association of the incarnate Son of God . . . No mother can provide a poorer bed for her child than that provided for the Son of God upon earth in the crib.  Now, through Him, the Son of God, poverty is no longer despicable, no longer shameful, no longer mean; through Him is poverty ennobled, exalted, and sanctified.

. . . His name shall be called Emmanuel, God with us, with us in His humanity, in His childhood, in His poverty . . . Then we will beseech Him to renew and strengthen in us the spirit of self-renunciation, the simplicity of our hearts, the love of poverty, so that the divine Infant will make us His own, and be and remain with us through all eternity, our Emmanuel, God with us.  Amen!"

This sermon and sermons for every Sunday and Feast Day throughout the liturgical calendar can be found in the Neumann Press book Sermons of the Cure of Ars.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

St. Mary's Academy & College

Hopefully this group will become regularized soon and they can bolster the ranks.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Noah Trailer

Looks like it could be well done . . . it has potential anyway.  However, I've wised up to hollywoods methods of propaganda.  My pessimism with hollywood brings me to the reality that the phrase "if man persists in his ways, God is going to destroy the world" brings me to think, what "ways"?  What values were violated and what was God offended by, according to hollywood?  I see in the trailer, people walking by a field of stumps, then we see an image of violence.  So it stands to reason that using hollywood's "values" and knowing hollywood's use of the big screen as its secular preaching pulpit, that they will try to scare the movie goer into accepting hollywood's values . . . or God will destroy the world.  The evils that hollywood thinks are capitalism, religion, and individual freedom.  But note the field of stumps.  According to hollywood this generally represents man's "greedy exploitation of the earth" for "evil capitalist profit."  And this of course is done by hollywood to throw us off track from the real evils perpetrated today of homosexuality, abortion, and lust.  I'll probably watch it, just to give it a chance, then we'll see if this theory comes true.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Illinois Tornado, Wednesday's Planned Same-Sex Marriage Bill, and Today's Mass Reading

From NBC Chicago:
On the same day next week that Gov. Pat Quinn signs the same sex marriage bill in Chicago, Springfield Illinois Bishop Thomas Paprocki will offer "Prayers of Supplication and Exorcism in Reparation for the Sin of Same-Sex Marriage."

Catholic Governor of Illinois plans to sign into law same-sex marriage, then hears the news about damaging tornadoes across Illinois after probably attending Sunday mass to hear this reading from Sunday's November 17, 2013 Gospel of Saint Luke:

When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first,but it will not immediately be the end." Then he said to them,"Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.
"Before all this happens, however,they will seize and persecute you,they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name.
Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 159

. . . and from CNS News:

“We must pray for deliverance from this evil which has penetrated our state and our church,” the bishop, who testified against the measure before the state legislature in January, declared in a statement.
Quinn, a Catholic, has announced he will sign the bill. “Marriage equality is coming to Illinois. I look forward to signing this landmark legislation on November 20 and celebrating a big step forward with the people of Illinois,” the governor said.

Let us now join Bishop of Springfield, Thomas Paproki in his prayers for deliverance from this evil and that the words of Sunday's Gospel and today's events may compel Catholic Governor Quinn to have a change of heart and choose to love God more than the zeitgeist.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

God-Hating Democrats are at it Again

Democrats will do anything to satiate their bloodthirsty lust for power - even shaking their fist at God, then turning around and winking to their atheistic party for their support.  Not only did the democrat party boo God 3 times at their last Democrat National Convention, have now become the party of hijacking marriage by sliding sodomy as part of the institution designed by God, and they have always been known as the party of killing babies, but this latest desperate attempt at excusing their cowardly acts hits a new low, even for democrats.  Now they are knocking on God's door - God Himself - by contacting Him through a public prayer to shake their fist at Him taunting Him by "thanking the Lord for abortions" then haughtily claiming that their work to perpetuate killing children is "a blessing."  I kid you not.

First of all, according to Breitbart, in 2008 Barack Obama said, “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage.” At the time Obama was running for president. A presidential candidate supporting same-sex marriage in 2008 would have had a difficult time winning the election, as the position was outside the mainstream at that time.

In 2011, just three years later, Obama said, “My opinion on gay marriage is evolving.”  This statement came at a time when he was struggling to raise money for his re-election campaign. The gay community is a significant donor base for Democrats.

And then in May 2012, Obama was needing a draw for his campaign to continue his imperial lordship and announced that he is in favor of gay marriage - then the very next day, the VERY NEXT DAY, he flies to Hollywood with grubby hands out raking in huge sums of money from gay-friendly Hollywood radicals.

Then Obama invoked God's blessing upon Planned Parenthood which obviously fueled Iowa Democrats to pull this latest stunt.  Back in April, President Obama spoke to Planned Parenthood closing with:
“As long as we’ve got to fight to make sure women have access to quality, affordable health care, and as long as we’ve got to fight to protect a woman’s right to make her own choices about her own health, I want you to know that you’ve also got a president who’s going to be right there with you, fighting every step of the way,” said Obama. “Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you.”

Now, the democrats have really sunk to a new low.  Ed Morrissey on HotAir reports the following and sums it up best:

In Iowa, at least Democrats have gone back to openly praying, but perhaps they should be hoping that God isn’t listening:
They made the unusual decision, for Democrats, to begin the event with a prayer. This was likely in response to a prayer vigil being conducted by pro-life activists at the same time nearby.
Des Moines activist Midge Slater took the podium and spent five and a half minutes thanking God for abortion rights, abortion doctors and taxpayer funding for abortions. She also referred to the decision to have an abortion as “a blessing”.
During the entire prayer, State Senator Jack Hatch and Rep. Tyler Olson, both of whom are running for governor, kept their heads bowed and eyes closed, joining in the group prayer.
The Iowa Republican transcribed a bit of the prayer, which goes on for quite a while:
“We give thanks, oh Lord, for the doctors, both current and future, who provide quality abortion care.”
“We pray for increased financial support for low-income women to access contraception, abortion and childcare.”
“Today, we pray for women in developing nations, that they may know the power of self-determination. May they have access to employment, education, birth control and abortion.”
“Today we pray for the families who have chosen. May they know the blessing of choice.”
Here’s my favorite part, very obviously aimed at the pro-life demonstrators:
“We pray for women who have been made afraid by their paternalistic religion.”
Afraid? For feminists, they don’t seem to have much faith in women to decide for themselves whether to live as Christians and follow its tenets without fear forcing them into it.  However, based on this prayer for blessings on abortions and the demand to spread it worldwide, I’d guess that they’re less interested in faith than they are in their own political agendas anyway.
Read more and see video on HotAir

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Selfishness of Contraception

Brand Name of Morning After Pill Says It All

How selfishness is being labeled by the left as "rights."  We now have a judge ruling that "emergency" contraception can be sold over the counter to all women of all ages at any time: no age limit, no ID, no questions, no accountability, no responsibility, no conscience.  There is a saying that goes: "a lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."  Well that certainly applies here with the "emergency" contraception.  Instead of responsibly living up to the Plan of waiting until marriage to accept all the children married life brings with it, we have selfishness gone wild and emergency contraception to bail out America's impulsive sexual greed.

An Associated Press article quotes the Center for Reproductive Rights:

"What it does mean is that generic two-pill products are going to be readily available to women without age restrictions, on any drugstore shelf," Rickelman said. "It'll be like buying Tylenol. You'll be able to go get it off the drugstore shelf, no ID, at the regular counter."

" . . . like Tylenol."  Those pesky headaches . . . and babies.  Nothing is more irritating than a pesky innocent, helpless, completely dependent on us adults for its survival, baby to get in the way of our sexual fun.  Instead, how about a dose of "Self Control" by not having the sex?  

The biggest transparency in selfishness lies in the brand name:

. . . enough said.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Latin Mass Commentary from Cardinal Arinze

"because it suits their spirituality more, it helps them better to pray" - Cardinal Arinze

Friday, May 17, 2013

IRS asked pro-life group about 'the content of their prayers'

The IRS Reinstates the Inquisition

Didn't think I'd actually see this in my lifetime, but whoa!  It's here!  Already!  The thought police are in full swing.  While the liberals jump up and down with their eyes shut tight screaming at conservatives calling us "the Taliban" - they are the ones exemplifying the Taliban.  While liberals decry mormons and Catholics for upholding traditional marriage falsely accusing us of trying to force our beliefs down their throats - they are the ones guilty of what they accuse.  They accuse us of such extreme measures because only the liberal can come up with such bizarre and scary enforcement of ideas.  They are the ones who think this way.  Now we hear that the IRS was in the process of trying to chill and intimidate pro lifers and get into their souls as if they were the Inquisition itself.  My how the tables have turned.  

What liberals falsely think of as the Inquisition, they themselves practice.  While liberals use the guttural phrase "get your laws off my body", they themselves as IRS employees, heavily impose their IRS laws on even our most intimate thoughts and prayers.  While liberals use the disarming phrase of "get out of our bedrooms" they themselves as IRS employees, get into our minds and demand what words we are using to speak to our Creator.  They hypocrisy is astonishing.  But will probably, as with everything else, get swept under the rug by the politically correct system in order to protect their favorite radical agenda.

The Examiner reported the following exchange with video (HERE):

During a House Ways and Means Committee hearing today, Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., grilled outgoing IRS commissioner Steven Miller about the IRS targeting a pro-life group in Iowa.
“Their question, specifically asked from the IRS to the Coalition for Life of Iowa: ‘Please detail the content of the members of your organization’s prayers,’" Schock declared.
“Would that be an inappropriate question to a 501 c3 applicant?” asked Schock. “The content of one’s prayers?”
“It pains me to say I can’t speak to that one either,” Miller replied.
After Schock pressed him further, Miller explained that although he couldn't comment on the specific case, it would "surprise him" if that question was asked.
The report comes from the Thomas More Society, a national public interest law firm for religious liberty.

If you're not familiar with the Thomas More Society, check them out and support them if you can.

Second Case of Grisly Murders from Another Abortion Doc

Of course this kind of primitive barbarism is happening - it just needs to come to the light for the world to see the horrors of what abortion really does - kill children.  What happens when they are just a little smaller and within the legal catch size and bag limits of the abortion "regs"?  Nothing changes, it is still a child, just a little smaller, but still just as mutilated as Gosnell and Karpen's victims.  

It took the UK Mail Online to report this story (HERE) where it revealed:

A second 'house of horrors' abortion clinic is being investigated in Texas, just days after Dr Kermit Gosnell was found guilty of murdering newborns at his Philadelphia termination center.

Houston doctor Douglas Karpen is accused by four former employees of delivering live fetuses during third-trimester abortions and killing them by either snipping their spinal cord, stabbing a surgical instrument into their heads or 'twisting their heads off their necks with his own bare hands'.

America needs to stop sugar-coating what abortion is.  It is gruesome and primitive.  This type of thing outside the womb is exactly the type of thing that happens inside the womb.  Just because the child is one step removed from being the "legal catch size" doesn't make the crime any less when abortions are performed inside the womb of the mother.  Abortion isn't a "choice"; it isn't "women's reproductive health"; it IS the direct and barbaric murder of an innocent child.  The child isn't getting a massage in there.  

The mother doesn't go to an abortion clinic for the doctor to wave a magic wand over the child and "terminate the pregnancy" with pixie dust.  No, the doctor has to physically roll his sleeves up, take weapons into his hands and go to war against a baby.  All for the cause of "choice".  Like slavery, this is a crime that cries out to God for vengeance.  Where slavery was the crime of the 19th century, abortion is the crime of the 20th and 21st.  The crime of the century is hidden under the wraps of smooth and consoling words to bamboozle us into thinking it is a clean, magical, "termination of a pregnancy" - when this story and the Gosnell story proves otherwise to show us exactly what we all must realize abortion is: a cowardly attack on an innocent helpless child resulting in its painful and brutal mutilation.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Abortion Doctor Gosnell Given Life Instead of Death

Will He Now Become a Pro-Life Advocate?

The Associated Press reports today that:

A Philadelphia abortion doctor convicted of killing three babies who were born alive in his grimy clinic agreed Tuesday to give up his right to an appeal and faces life in prison but will be spared a death sentence. 
Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, was found guilty Monday of first-degree murder in the deaths of the babies who were delivered alive and killed with scissors.

His gruesome acts include the following atrocities:

he delivered babies who were still moving, whimpering or breathing, and that he and his assistants dispatched the newborns by "snipping" their spines, as he referred to it.
Authorities raiding Gosnell's clinic for drugs instead found bags and bottles of fetuses, including jars of severed feet, along with bloodstained furniture, dirty medical instruments and cats roaming the premises. 
Prosecution experts said one of the babies was nearly 30 weeks along when the abortion took place, and was so big that Gosnell allegedly joked the baby could "walk to the bus." A second baby was said to be alive for about 20 minutes before a clinic worker snipped the neck. A third was born in a toilet and was moving before another clinic employee severed the spinal cord, according to testimony. 
A fourth baby let out a whimper before Gosnell cut the neck, prosecutors alleged. Gosnell was acquitted in that baby's death, the only one of the four in which no one testified to seeing the baby killed.

One account added that the baby in the toilet was trying to get out using a swimming motion.

The story added:

Gosnell was also convicted of infanticide, racketeering and more than 200 counts of violating Pennsylvania's abortion laws by performing third-term abortions or failing to counsel women 24 hours in advance.

And now the media will drop this story like a hot potato and focus on the Ohio kidnapping ad nauseam.  The question remains: how many other doctors out there are performing these same acts?  How many have not been investigated?  The more important answer to the question "what is abortion" should be answered in this story, if the media would actually give it adequate coverage so that the uninformed American reader can ponder the answer "so this is abortion."  Abortion is barbaric.  Legal, illegal, inside, outside, abortion is gruesome, barbaric, and belongs to a thing of the ancient past, not in an advanced culture where we praise the life saving of 3 kidnapped women while simultaneously give our societal blessing on the life-depriving of innocent unborn children.

So will abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell be able to reflect on his actions and ponder being spared the death penalty and turn into a pro-life advocate from prison?  Let's pray for this.  But in the meantime, while America hails "choice" as "progressive women's health", this story reveals what abortion truly is:

A gruesome, barbaric, attack on innocent unborn children at the hands of society.  May America come to its senses like they did with slavery, that the victims of abortions, the innocent, vulnerable, and helpless of society must be recognized for the freedoms they deserve.  The most fundamental of freedoms: the right to merely exist.

America hails itself for abolishing slavery and allowing women to vote as the great turning points in making our nation a noble country; but since 1973, abortion promoters turned back the clock to barbarian times by legalizing abortion.  Abortion must be overturned if we are to look at our nation as a noble, just, and freedom loving country that it could become.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Obama Wants to Turn Back the Clock to the 350s

Haughty Obama Belittles Pro-Lifers and Mocks the Value of Life Like a Barbarian of Old

Obama today vowed to join Planned Parenthood in perpetuating infanticide like a 4th century barbarian. He did it in a way as if he was campaigning: by smearing his opposition instead of just declaring a position. The perpetual smearer in chief, while attempting to belittle the Pro-Life movement to sway low information citizens to hate Pro-Lifers leaves out one important detail: What does Planned Parenthood promote? It promotes abortion (Planned Parenthood performs 300,000 abortions a year). What is abortion? The direct killing of an innocent unborn child. What old fashioned society also condoned the killing of innocent children? The Barbarians of 350 A.D.  Historians note that:

In the Roman Empire and among some Barbarian tribes, infanticide was accepted practice. A newborn would be placed before its father; if he picked the child up, it would be considered a member of the family and its life would begin. However, if the family was on the edge of starvation, if the child was deformed, or if the father had any other reasons not to accept it, the infant would be abandoned to die of exposure, with rescue a real, if not always likely, possibility. 
Gies, Frances, and Gies, Joseph, Marriage and the Family in the Middle Ages (Harper & Row, 1987), pp. 34-35.

On Friday Obama told a Planned Parenthood conference:

"The fact is, after decades of progress, there's still those who want to turn back the clock to policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century. And they've been involved in an orchestrated and historic effort to roll back basic rights when it comes to women's health."

No, Obama.  The fact is, after centuries of progress there's still those barbarian-minded like yourself who want to turn back the clock to polices more suited to the 350's than the 21st century.  And you've been involved together with Planned Parenthood in an orchestrated and historic effort to roll back basic human rights when it comes to the most fundamental rights of the human person: the right to merely exist.

It was Christianity that finally turned the ancient societies from this barbaric practice by recognizing the intrinsic value of a human being created by a loving God.  It wasn't until Obama's types in 1973 that swooped in and introduced the killing of children once again as an accepted practice not seen in societies since 350 A.D.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

NEW! May 7, 2013: Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles CD - Pre-order NOW!

 . . . or later

De Montfort Music released The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles CD: Advent At Ephesus back in December 2012.  Advent at Ephesus stayed at No. 1 on Billboard's Classical Music Chart for 3 straight weeks.  They were featured in USA Today, Vatican Radio, NPR, EWTN, the Washington Times, and beyond.

Their next CD, Angels and Saints At Ephesus will be available next month, May 7, 2013!  Pre-order from their website.

Click HERE for video.

Only good fruit being born from nuns in traditional habits.

From Maximus Newsroom:

The community of the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, was founded in 1995, originally called the Oblates of Mary, Queen of Apostles. In 2006, the community was established as a Public Association of the Faithful with the new name Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles.
The Benedictines of Mary offer their lives in prayer and sacrifice for priests. The work of their hands is devoted primarily to the making of priestly vestments. They also take care of gardens, an orchard and a small farm.
The community follows the monastic horarium as laid out in the rule of St. Benedict. They partake of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and also chant the Divine Office in Latin according to the 1962 Breviarium Monasticum.
The Priory of Our Lady of Ephesus is named for an ancient city in Turkey. According to tradition, St. John the Apostle made a home there following the martyrdom of St. James the Apostle. Tradition further acknowledges that, on the Cross, Jesus entrusted His mother to the care of St. John, while at the same time entrusting the whole world to her in the person of St. John. He brought her to Ephesus, where he built her a small home. Her presence there is confirmed by the fact that at the time of the Council of Ephesus, churches were named after saints who had lived or died in the locale. Today, the ruins of basilicas to Holy Mary and St. John still stand in Ephesus. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sisters Filmed While Pope was Elected

Cute reaction from the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist at the election of a new pope

Their debut recording is coming this summer 2013 from De Montfort Music.

Only good fruits being born from traditional nuns in habits.  

Get a load of the Dominican Sisters' chapel at Easter Triduum HERE.  

About the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist

Canonically established in 1997 by John Cardinal O'Connor of New York, The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist are a young, vibrant community of consecrated women. Their pattern of life is inextricably bound up with the monastic observance given to them by their Dominican tradition. They espouse the common life, cloister, times and places of silence, the choral Divine Office and daily Mass. They participate in an active charism of education and formation of the young, administering, teaching and preaching in small, private Catholic schools, each named Spiritus Sanctus Academy. The founding of the Dominican Sisters of Mary was and remains an all-embracing "yes" in response to the Church's need for laborers to enter the vineyard to plant, water and yield souls for Christ. Through the witness of their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and a life of prayer and of apostolic service, the Dominican Sisters of Mary seek to transform the world for the good of souls.

Friday, April 19, 2013

St. John Vianney - Example of Virtue

Excerpt from the book The Cure' of Ars, by Fr. Bartholomew J. O'Brien (Tan Books):

"Jesus Himself had His enemies; and he who tried so earnestly to walk in the footsteps of Jesus could not expect to walk in those footsteps without enemies trailing him in his pathway. As late as 1830, an occasional ember of resentment on the part of some families was still smoldering. This hurt the Cure', especially when the resentment burst forth again into flame, and seven parishioners petitioned him to get out of the parish. The petition failed; and as a whole, the parish at Ars was gradually dawning into a new day. Peace, which only God can give, was beginning to spread its radiance throughout the village and the surrounding countryside.

. . . The devil," according to Father Tanquerey, "jealous of God's influence . . . strives to exercise his own dominion, or rather his tyranny, over men.

. . . Soon the Cure' feared to remain alone at night. He invited a husky young man of the village, Andrew Verchere, to stay at the rectory with him. He lasted only one night. At one o'clock, the handle and lock of the front door were violently shaken. Then the blows, like those of a club, pounded against the door. At the same time, the racket of the rumbling of many carts seemed to fill the rectory. "My poor Verchere," the Cure' told later, "was shaking with fear. Though he was holding his gun in his hand he no longer knew he had a gun.

. . . For about 35 years (1824-1858), the devil tried in vain to discourage the Cure' in his work for souls. But the devil fought a losing battle. As the wind fans the flame to burn more brightly, so those diabolical manifestations, far from snuffing out the Cure's efforts for souls, served rather to enkindle his zeal."

Friday, April 12, 2013

Liberal Utopianism

Dr. Jeff Mirus over on Catholic Culture had a very compelling analysis of liberalism:

The underlying attitude of liberalism is locked into a direct conflict with Christianity. It is an opposition so fundamental as to take on a quasi-religious character of its own. It is hardly surprising, then, that while still an Anglican, Newman saw in liberalism the explanation of the spiritual shift which he predicted would soon engulf the Western world:
It will be said that the benefit which Christianity has done to the world, and which its Divine Author meant it should do, was to give an impulse to society, to infuse a spirit, to direct, control, purify, enlighten the mass of human thought and action, but not to be a separate and definite something, whether doctrine or association, existing objectively, integral, and with an identity, and forever, and with a claim upon our homage and obedience. And all this fearfully coincides with the symptoms in other directions of the spread of a Pantheistic spirit, that is, the religion of beauty, imagination, and philosophy, without constraint moral or intellectual, a religion speculative and self-indulgent. Pantheism, indeed, is the great deceit which awaits the Age to come. (Tracts for the Times, #85, 1838)
Let the reader familiar with today’s quasi-spiritualities—the New Age, anti-human environmentalism, and the widespread claim to be “spiritual” without any specific religion at all—judge of Newman’s prescience! In a private letter three years later, he asked, “Are you aware that the more serious thinkers among us are used, as far as they dare form an opinion, to regard the spirit of Liberalism as the characteristic of the destined Antichrist?... The spirit of lawlessness came in with the Reformation, and Liberalism is its offspring.”
Again, what ties all these things together is liberalism’s ultimate rejection of the objective claims of truth, and with it the rejection of every claim of religious authority. This makes liberalism not only incompatible with Christianity but ultimately destructive of the human person. Either man is made in the image of God or he is not. Either he is made for God or he is not. Either he is ever dependent upon grace, or he is not. Either he is called to respond to a religious authority which transcends the limits of his own nature, or he is not. Catholicism affirms and insists on all of these things; liberalism is their absolute negation.
It is precisely in this that liberalism is such a profound disservice to man, for by its very nature liberalism insists that human societies must at all costs be shaped and organized to do exactly the one thing that human persons can never really do at all. I mean to succeed without God—to make it all on our own, bereft and isolated, with no help in heaven or earth.

My similar analysis: When God is brushed aside and the Almighty is no longer the Authority, Framework, and Source of our laws and regulations, then God is eschewed for a new artificial form of societal regulation.  When heaven no longer becomes the prize and goal of individuals in societies, those societies in their heart of hearts still desire heaven nevertheless, but begin barking up the wrong tree.  Liberal utopianism is being manifested in several examples throughout the world.  Venezuela has its socialist regime, China and North Korea hail communism, and America is embracing socialism.  Now New York City has declared a new Commandment of "Thou Shalt Not Purchase a Large Soft Drink."  Then there's the banning of after-school prayer groups, the banning of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization, from Catholic Gonzaga University, because it is exclusively for Catholics.   There's the declaration that "one nation under God" is somehow 'unconstitutional.'  There's the ban on smoking, and heavy penalties associated with purchasing a pack of cigarettes, the tearing down of nativity scenes, memorial crosses, and so on.  Here is a 2010 Super Bowl Ad that shows just how far society could go to fulfill their false dreams of that liberal utopia:

Monday, April 8, 2013

Attention Modern Catholics: Even the Poor Appreciate Tasteful Classical Music

And What Better Place to Express Beautiful Music than for God in Sacred Liturgy

With the election of Pope Francis who has been quoted as saying, "Oh, how I wish for a Church that is poor and for the poor!" many are fearing what liturgical changes may come.  Some modernists may even want to exploit these words to sink classical traditional expression in our liturgies once and for all.  The liturgical changes I'm speaking about are those that remove beautifully orchestrated polyphonic chant, classical music, and the best and most fitting adornment we can give to our worship of the Almighty with the best fruits of our labors and our best God-given talents from the Mass because it does not represent the poor.  Well, who said the poor don't appreciate beautiful music?  Moreover, who said the poor couldn't actively participate in providing such splendor to our liturgies?  The following video proves that, yes even the poor appreciate the splendor and glory of our classical musical tradition.  It further displays that these young musicians, using instruments from recycled garbage, can teach us lackluster Catholic musicians a few things about the splendor and beauty of our western classical music heritage:

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Altar Boy Resources

Serving Mass Activates Spiritual Manhood and Introduces a Deep Understanding of Male Responsibility

I recall in the 3rd grade after our large group of young men graduated from altar boy training, we were each vested in our own surplus and given a ring to wear with the words 'altar boy' and a small cross inscribed.  The sense of dignity was felt by everyone.  It wasn't just the ring we now wore on our finger, but knowing that we had just crossed a threshold of spiritual manhood and entered a new phase of male responsibility that gave us a newfound sense of Christian pride, purpose, and masculine motivation.  An awaking of the image of God within.  An activation of manhood that points to a path of honor and virtue.  

Being part of such holy service with other young men embarks a boy on  a supernatural trajectory in life apart from the world.  It sets a boy apart from mere primitive male identification and it unveils the spiritual man of God.  It unveils that image of God that man was created to follow.  Serving mass was, and should still be, a rite of passage and a thing of Christian pride in young men.

Mass Serving Dispositions

When it comes to serving mass, no amount of resources can replace good training, a pursuit of holiness, and good catechesis.  Patience, genuine love for God and His Holy Church, reverence, attention to detail, and a good prayerful grasp of divine worship are important.  Below you will find resources that I have either used or have heard are valuable in the training of altar boys and in maintaining their skills.  Qualified altar boys need periodic refreshing of their skills and these resources would provide some of that.

One can't start serving unless he is self-disciplined.  Young children can learn discipline early and are capable of being trained properly.  There is no reason for them to wait until their teens or until they are confirmed.  Our 2 sons began serving when they were 5 years old.  They were completely ready to serve on their own after a few weeks.  A trainer must have the will to succeed in training even young children to the highest serving expectations and to the minutest detail.  Children see right through a lackluster attempt.  They also respond with amazing ability when the highest serving standards are expected.  It can be done.  

A trainer should acknowledge who he is working with and explain concepts with clarity and detail.  Children understand detail when it is expected of them.  Sometimes a parent thinks that children are just going to be too restless, untrainable, and the worst outcome will follow - that is, the parents will be embarrassed.  Parents need to remember that it's not about them.  An altar boy trainer must therefore remain patient with the trainee and with himself and in time, the child will be molded into a reverent altar boy.  

Children should also understand Who they are serving.  Children will notice how important their role is when a trainer takes the time to point out each detailed action the server must perform and why they are doing it.   Serving is a manly action and can be likened to the ceremonial changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier.  At the changing of the guard the soldiers' actions are deliberate and precise.  They are done this way out of reverence for the fallen soldier in the tomb.  Much more so should the altar boy be trained to perform his actions deliberately and precisely in reverence to the Almighty Whom they are serving and Who is going to make Himself present at the altar of Sacrifice.

The server should dress reverently: black shoes and black pants, regardless of what he wears to serve.  They should be encouraged to wear the cassock and surplice.  These are the classic Roman Catholic serving attire and if the parish does not have them, their pastors should be encouraged to provide them or, like where I grew up, parents can offer to purchase their own for their kids and donate them to the Church after the altar boys have outgrown them.  The altar boy should well groomed: hair combed nicely, fingernails cut and clean, and hands washed before arriving to church.

The following video can be viewed by altar boys, their parents, and trainers to understand the importance of the server's role and  to receive some helpful reminders:

A prayerful disposition should be expected from each server.  In fact, it is a prerequisite.  His entire day must be a prayer as St. Paul reminds us, "pray without ceasing." The server, like a priest (and all of us), must desire holiness as his priority in life.  Everything the server candidate does, should be centered on his role as God's holy servant.  Serving God at the altar is the most important task he will ever do at his young state in life.  Football players make football their life.  On game day, they carry with them a football and wear their jersey all day so their performance at game time is enhanced by their familiarity with the objects of the game.  The server doesn't have to carry a ciborium with him all day, but he must carry with him the light of Christ at all times so that at mass time, he is ready to shine for God at the altar with joy, love, and devotion. 

These are the essential predispositions a server should either possess or work to attain.  Without these, the server will find himself being drug through the mass, where instead, he should have a mastery of himself and the task before him:

  • Self-discipline
  • Obedience and humility
  • Love for God and His Holy Church
  • Desire for sanctity
  • Dedication to fulfilling his baptismal and/or his confirmation promises (it is a good idea to periodically gather the altar boys together to repeat their baptismal promises as a group)

The Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite

In July 2007, Pope Benedict XVI issued his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, in which he stated that the Latin Mass must be allowed by Bishops, and may be celebrated by any Catholic priest in any parish, especially when a desire for the Latin Mass has been expressed by the faithful of the local parish. Since that time it has become of greater importance to understand the role, not only of priests, but of the altar server in the Extraordinary Use of of the Latin Rite.

I am not a regular Latin Mass worshiper so I can only present the limited exposure to the resources that I have had. There are many out there that I haven't explored, but here are the ones that I have found work best for training my children and studying for my own use.

Instruction Manuals
The manual (HERE) that I personally use fits into your pocket.  I don't serve the Latin Mass often and need the book as a guide during mass.  It contains all the latin responses and provides diagrams showing the movements and positions of the server.  Especially good for beginners, by Rev. William A. O'Brien, M.A.

Another manual (HERE), originally published in 1934, is updated with photos from St. John Cantius Parish in Chicago.  It's a little large to fit into your pocket so it should be studied and used for training, not for actually serving.  Photos illustrate specific actions, and diagrams show the sanctuary positions of acolytes, thurifer, master of ceremonies, etc. Also included are the Latin responses at Mass. 

The following resource is something you can print right now and be on your way.  A section at the end with prayers after mass and a short latin pronunciation guide are a nice addition: Correct Mass-Serving Made Easy
by Rev. H.E. Calnan, D.D.
Fifth Edition by Widdowson's, 1948

(from St. Joseph's

Which is also captured in a different format HERE by Sancta Missa.

Sancta Missa has superb and concise instructional links HERE, actions of the server are in RED.

Instructional Videos
I have used this excellent DVD that instructs how to serve Low Mass HERE.  It can be used to learn serving with one server or two.  The video is made during mass and follows each server's actions where the film is paused and a narrator explains the actions.  Excellent video and highly recommended.

Also offered at a lower price by the FSSP HERE.  Part of the proceeds of this video will go to support the Parish of St. Peter, an apostolate of the Fraternity of St. Peter located in Tulsa.  Support the Fraternity of St. Peter.

The Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite
There's fewer resources available for the Ordinary Form because each parish seems to have their own way of doing things.  The same principles for proper dispositions of the altar server described above, however still apply.  The following recommendation is a great source for serving the new mass with reverence, attention to detail,  and understanding of the great responsibility and privilege of serving God at the altar.

Recommended by Father Z, here is a well done video on serving the Novus Ordo Missae, explained with great detail and reverence.

Lastly, I strongly advocate commissioning altar serving for boys alone. Serving mass is the fertile ground for planting the seeds of the priesthood. This is why it should be reserved for boys. It is a rite of passage for Catholic boys and more often than not, the single most contributor to fostering vocations to the sacred priesthood. Whenever girls serve the mass, they are occupying space that would be otherwise filled by a prospective priest.  If you know of people who are having a problem with this position refer them to the Magisterium's declarations on the priesthood being reserved for men (HERE) which confirms:
In his Apostolic Letter Ordinatio sacerdotalis (1994), the Holy Father Pope John Paul II, declared that “the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful.”  This definitive statement leaves no “wiggle room” for those who would like to continue debating the question. As the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith made clear in 1995, the statement that the Church has no authority to ordain women as priests, is not merely a matter of Church discipline (which can be changed), but belongs to the deposit of faith (which cannot). “This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium 25, 2). Thus, in the present circumstances, the Roman Pontiff, exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32), has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration, explicitly stating what is to be held always, everywhere, and by all, as belonging to the deposit of the faith” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Concerning the Teaching Contained in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis).

and adds:

However, lest it seem that God has honored men above women, we should recall that of all created beings, including the hierarchy of Angels, God raised a Woman to the highest place, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Though she was not an Apostle, she was made Queen of the Apostles, Queen of Angels, Queen of the universe, and the Mother of her own Creator. 

The priesthood will forever be reserved for men, period.  Not convinced?  Let our past popes and the Dominican Order of Preachers try to explain:

In 1970 Pope Paul VI said in Liturgicae Instaurationes, “In conformity with norms traditional in the Church, women (single, married, religious), whether in churches, homes, convents, schools, or institutions for women, are barred from serving the priest at the altar.” And in 1980 Pope John Paul II stated in Inaestimabile Donum, “There are, of course, various roles that women can perform in the liturgical assembly: these include reading of the Word of God and proclaiming the intentions of the Prayer of the Faithful. Women are not, however, permitted to act as altar servers.” - The Southern Rennaissance Vol.4 No.7 July 2003

If there is a shortage of servers, boys will rise to the occasion.  It will happen. If people are thinking, the Church permits girls to serve therefore they should, they should stop for a moment and consider that just because the Church is being extremely pastoral in this regard and allowing girls to serve - that just because they CAN serve, doesn't mean they SHOULD.  It's a question of fittingness.  It is more fitting for boys to serve than girls.