Monday, December 9, 2019

Tradition is a River --Bishop Rey

Saint Apollinare Ravenna Sarcophagus
"Tradition is not a museum but a river, which has its source in the mystery of Christ and which, through its doctrine, the worship, and the life of the Church irrigates the succeeding generations through the centuries."

His Excellency Dominique Rey, Bishop of Fréjus-Toulon

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Cardinal Sarah, Traditional Retreat for Priests: Rome 2020

Philip Neri at Mass, Joan Llimona (Antoni Gaudí pose)

The tenth annual traditional retreat for priests in Rome will be Sunday, February 16 to Saturday, February 22. The retreat will be in Italian.

Below is the announcement from the website. Use the e-mail address to register or for further information.

10° corso degli esercizi spirituali per sacerdoti e religiosi 16-22 febbraio 2020
Il Sodalizio "Amicizia Sacerdotale Summorum Pontificum" organizza il 10° corso di Esercizi spirituali per sacerdoti, religiosi, seminaristi e giovani in discernimento vocazionale. L'arrivo è previsto nel pomeriggio di domenica 16 febbraio. Gli Esercizi spirituali inizieranno alle ore 19,00 della domenica con il canto del Veni Creator e i Vespri. Gli Esercizi si concluderanno col canto del Te Deum e la Benedizione Eucaristica di sabato 22 febbraio alle ore 12,00 e il pranzo. Sede degli Es.Sp. sarà la Casa Divin Maestro dei Padri Paolini in Ariccia (RM), Strada Statale 218 km 11.

Quota per la settimana: euro 400,00

Per informazioni e prenotazioni:

Predicatore del corso degli esercizi spirituali: S.Em. il Sig. Card. Robert Sarah

Tema: Sacerdozio e vita ascetica

N.B. Si ricorda ai sacerdoti che gli Esercizi si svolgeranno in assoluto silenzio e le celebrazioni si svolgeranno secondo la Sacra Liturgia latino-gregoriana. Verrà data la possibilità di celebrare la Santa Messa anche nella "forma ordinaria". E' previsto indossare la veste talare o l'abito religioso durante gli Es.Sp. Inoltre è necessario portare la biancheria personale per la celebrazione individuale della Santa Messa quotidiana (amitto,camice, cingolo, purificatoio), la cotta, la berretta e il Breviarium Romanum (con i testi dei salmi della Vulgata) per la recita in comune delle Ore canoniche.Grazie.

Gli Esercizi sp.vengono offerti "secundum intentionem Vicarii Christi".

Friday, December 6, 2019

Catholic Hyperdulia is Greater than Protestant Latria

"Brownson, who never like to minimize anything Catholic, remarked that while Catholics did give to [the Blessed Virgin] practically the same devotion as Protestants gave to God, they did not give a millionth part of what Catholics gave to God. Catholics offer to God the sacrifice of the Mass."

Daniel Sargent, Four Independents, New York: Sheed and Ward, 235. 1935.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

33 Ways to Save Virginity for Marriage, for those 21 and Older, and those who Live Away from Home

In a world filled with sexual imagery, and boyfriends demanding sex, so many girls are wondering how they can possibly keep their virginity till marriage. Here are some rules that help you keep your virginity by guarding and cultivating real relationship, chastely.

Please note that teenagers should never “date” without supervision.

Alas, there is little one can do for college students who live in co-ed dorms except follow the below rules to the best of their ability.

May St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother be your witnesses.

1. Turn the lights on. Getting caught up in the moment is much easier in the dark. Darkness hides things, but if you keep everything in the light, you’ll be able to see more clearly both in your head and in your heart.

2. Get out. It’s easy to let your hangout default become something that involves snuggling while glaring at a screen. Too much of that and you’ll get super comfortable and then super bored. Bored and comfortable can lead to trouble. Get out and get active. Volunteer for a worthy cause, do adventures in the great outdoors, pick up a new hobby, play a sport, learn a new skill, whatever it is, your time discovering new things together will help you discover new things about each other. And while you’re at it, invite another couple, or your entire posse, to join you.

3. Put yourself in interruptible situations. While this isn’t always possible, do your best to allow yourself to be interrupted. Something as simple as cracking the door to your dorm room ensures that you won’t let things go…

4. Be accountable. If you’ve struggled with sexual purity in the past, find yourself an accountability partner who will ask you how things are going. It will motivate you to know that you can give a good report when prompted.

5. Spare the details. Having the “how far have you gone” conversation is mainly about idle curiosity and can stir up unnecessary images and desires. You don’t owe your boyfriend/girlfriend a detailed account of your sexual history. There may come a time when general information that will affect your relationship needs to be shared, but again, spare the details.

6. Give yourself a curfew. The later it gets the longer you might let things go too far. Set a time to say goodnight and go home. Grandma is right: “Nothing good ever happens after 2 AM.” Or is it midnight? Decide what is reasonable beforehand, and stick to it.

7. Be committed. Know who you are and whose you are. Know why keeping your virginity till marriage matters. Then make a commitment–to God, to yourself, and to each other–that you will strive for keeping your virginity till marriage. If you’re halfhearted, your resolve won’t last long. And if you’re not on the same page, it’ll be very difficult. But if you’re both serious about being holy and keeping your relationship pure, you have a real shot.

8. Pray for each other. The purpose of dating is to discern marriage; the purpose of marriage is to get each other to heaven. If you’re not praying avidly for your partner’s sanctification, what are you doing? Pray to keep your virginity, of course, but pray for your partner even more. It’s easier, I think, to be willing to compromise your own salvation in the heat of the moment than to endanger the soul of someone you love and for whom you pray daily. Making little sacrifices and offering them for your partner’s virginity will keep this at the forefront of your mind–and probably bring that desire to mind when other desires threaten to push it aside.

9. Set boundaries. “We’re not going to have sex” is a great start, but there’s more to keeping your virginity till marriage than just avoiding intercourse before marriage. Sit down early in the relationship and discuss what you think is appropriate in different stages in your relationship. Of course, touching things you don’t have (pause to make sure everyone’s grasping my euphemism) is reserved for marriage. “Don’t do anything you wouldn’t do with your grandma looking on” is a good guide. Maybe you don’t want to kiss before you’re engaged. Maybe you want to talk about how many feet should be on the floor when you’re cuddling. Try not to be too legalistic but do be aware that there’s more to keeping your virginity till marriage than sex. If you’re not comfortable having this conversation with your partner, you might want to reconsider either this relationship or your readiness to be in a relationship. It might be awkward but it’s important enough to endure.

10. Dress chastely. Your bodies are lovely and there’s nothing dirty or wrong about them. But they were made to be given only to the body–and the eyes–of your husband. Even if you’re not willing to dress chastely for the myriad men in your life who are trying desperately to see you as a person and not an object, do it for the one man you love. If you’re dressed like you’re wearing clothes, not underwear, then he’ll have less trouble.

11. Don’t watch pornography! It is no solution to temptation to indulge that temptation in another venue. Using pornography and masturbating don’t release sexual tension, they distort it and cause it to grow. Pornography is also as addictive as crack and has serious consequences on more than just your love life. Here are some tips on leaving pornography behind. Do it now.

12. Repent. You’re going to fall. Don’t give up! Get up, get to confession, and redouble your effort. Reconsider your relationship and the rules you’ve set for yourself. Talk to a trusted friend. Cry and pout and punch a wall but do NOT give up. It’s a hard road but remember that you follow a God who fell three times under the cross. He knew you would fall. He forgives you. He wants you to try again.

13. In the same spirit, avoid activities—whether together, alone, or with other friends—that will fill your mind with carnal themes and heighten your sexual arousal. Resist the devil (James 4:6-8) as he tempts you to sext, talk dirty or posture your body in suggestive ways, surf or rent even “soft” porn, wear revealing clothing, participate fully in a rowdy, worldly party like a bachelor or bachelorette party (e.g. where strippers or unrestrained drugs or alcohol will be present).

14. Don’t be fixated on physical intimacy. Learn hobbies, skills, new challenges, gifts, talents, ministry and personal goals, conflict resolution, and communication skills are all necessary facets for developing a solid and interesting friendship on the spiritual foundation of Christ.

15. Go to church regularly. Participate in ministry together. Serving together in a shared ministry will increase your awareness of the world around you and dilute your focus on each other.

16. Do more group activities than alone-together activities, especially if physical intimacy is becoming a distraction. Hang out in public places, hang out with family and friends, and don’t spend too much time in the dark or alone in your vehicles or residences.

17. You may have to go on a “relationship fast” to help reset your relationship on purity, if you have become physically involved. This would involve breaking off all communications for an agreed amount of time to seek the Lord and His direction and strength as well as consult others to restart the relationship on a clean note.

18. Encourage him to be the kind of man that you want him to be. Positive reinforcement goes a long way, but don’t do it in a condescending way, like he’s a well-meaning child. “I love going to adoration with you,’ with an affectionate hand squeeze (or, if appropriate, cheek kiss) is more likely to produce the desired results than a two-hour heated debate. Good men love to do things for the women that they care about, and knowing how much you appreciate these gestures will make him want to do them even more.

19. Invite one another to pray. The easiest way to pray more is… to pray more. It’s great when he takes the lead on this, but it’s just fine for you to do so, too. If he’s smart, he’ll get the clue. Pray at the start and end of dates. If you’re on the phone in the evenings, pray together before you go to bed. Frame your relationship in prayer until it’s the most natural thing to do in the world.

20. Develop non-physical ways of showing affection, love (if appropriate), and contrition. Guard against the temptation to say “I’m sorry” or “I love you” physically.

21. Location! Avoid anything that’s a near occasion of sin. Avoid any situation that could quickly take a turn. One of the best ways to do this is always to remain within eyesight and earshot of others.

22. Don’t be afraid to leave a situation, if that’s what virtue demands. Sometimes, ladies (especially, but also men) won’t want to end the night early because they’re afraid of being rude… even when they recognize that sticking around longer will only lead to trouble.

23. The purpose of dating is to find the person you wish to marry, the one who will become the father or mother of your children. Keep that always in mind and terminate the relationship if and as soon as you realize this is not the person.

24. Never allow yourself to be alone in a closed room or parked car with your date.

25. Always plan to be active on a date. Have activities lined up (backup plans too) so you don’t find yourself in a position or situation of idleness. Offense is good defense. Think of activities that will provide opportunities for growth in knowledge of God, each other, and self. Make a regular practice of worshiping and praying together.

26. Dress appropriately for the occasion but always modestly.

27. Regardless of who “pays” for the date no one “owes” anybody anything.

28. Any actions that cause sexual arousal (need I define them?) are to be avoided, including forms of dancing that are designed to cause it. Help each other to say no.

29. A peck, a quick kiss (mouths closed), a brief hug or holding hands are permissible, they are non-sexual expressions of affection.

30. Don’t kid yourself. You are no different from anyone else. Don’t count on your self-control. You are weak! You just can’t go “so far.”

31. Your soul is at stake and perhaps a happy marriage and a possible vocation.

32. The road to keeping one’s virginity till marriage is paved with prayer, the Eucharist, and reading of the New Testament. If you fail, have recourse to the Sacrament of Penance as soon as possible and begin again.

33. Follow these rules and make sure your date or companion does also and the search for a spouse and courtship can be a joy. Otherwise you may become accomplices in deadly sin and guilty of objectifying another person for sexual pleasure. Keep these rules and you will be able to look at your children right in the eyes when you must guide them on their way to marriage and family.

Friday, November 29, 2019

The Cassock Fine: Clergy Reform 101

Saint Claret reformed and promoted the clergy in holiness.

One of the essential elements of The Council of Trent was the reform of the clergy; and the enforcement of clerical attire was an integral part of that.

Recently, I came across a passage in Saint Anthony Mary Claret's Autobiography in which he indicates how he reformed the clergy in Cuba during his seven years there in the middle of the 19th century (1850-1857). Among other measures, he mandated the cassock for all of the clergy and imposed a stiff fine for any violators.

"I made...the Canons and the pastors alike, and the other priests...always wear the cassock, mandating it by decree, with the penalty of ten duros ($330)* for those who should fail. Only one failed. And I bound him to wearing mufti and made him pay the fine; and, since he was caught in a house with a reputation for women, I removed his faculties and put him in seclusion."

"Tanto a los Canónigos como a los párrocos y demás sacerdotes...[l]es hice vestir siempre hábitos talares, mandándolo por edicto, con la pena de diez duros al que faltase. Sólo faltó uno. Yo le hice comparecer vestido de seglar y le hice pagar la multa, y como fue cogido en una casa sospechosa de muejeres, le recogí las licencias y le metí en reclusión."
Antonio María Claret, Autobiografía, Barcelona: Claret, 1985, 280.

*The "duro" coin of Spain is a five peseta coin which. One peseta in 1850 Spain would be equivalent to 6 euro today. That would be 30 euro per duro. Ten duros = 300 euro, around $330 USA today. Seems fair, though I would suggest a fine today of $500 per infraction, according to the Claret reform.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Caution in Criticizing the Pope

Principem populi tui non maledices. Acts 23:5

Saint Thomas says that normally a subordinate should not correct his superior. He can do it only when he must do it, only when necessary, and then, only with the greatest deference.

Detraction is the sin of unnecessarily exposing the sins of another.

Calumny is spreading lies about another.

Those sins, committed against one's superior, would be aggravated by being a sin also against piety, the proper respect due to one's superior.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Prayer to the Immaculate Conception for Purity

Per tuam immaculatam Conceptionem, O Maria, redde purum corpus meum et sanctam animam meam.
O Mary, by your immaculate Conception, restore my body pure and my soul holy. #326* (Plinthos translation)

O Virgin Mother, who were never touched by any stain of original or actual sin, I give you the purity of my heart. Cf. #322

Cor Mariae dulcissimum, sis mihi salus. Bonaventure
Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation. #352

O Heart most pure of the Blessed Virgin Mary, obtain for me from Jesus a pure and humble heart. #353.

Fiat, Domine, cor meum immaculatum, ut non confundar.
Let my heart, O Lord, be made immaculate, that I may not be ashamed. #662

Munda cor et corpus meum, sancta Maria.
Holy Mary, clean my heart and body. #663 (Plinthos translation)

Ure igne Sancti Spiritus renes nostros et cor nostrum, Domine; ut tibi casto corpore serviamus et mundo corde placeamus. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen
Lord, burn our reins and our hearts with the fire of Thy Holy Spirit, that we may serve Thee with chaste bodies and pure minds. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. #664

Da, quaesuus, omnipotens aeterne Deus, ut per integerrimam virginitatem purissimae Virginis Mariae, puritatem mentis et corporis consequamur. Amen.
Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty and everlasting God, that we may attain to purity of mind and body through the inviolate virginity of the most pure Virgin Mary. Amen. #665

Praecinge me, Domine, cingulo puritatis, et exstingue in lumbis meis humorem libidinis; ut maneat in me virtus continentia et castitatis.
Gird me, O Lord, with the cincture of purity, and quench in my heart the fire of concupiscence, that the virtue of continence and chastity may abide in me. Vesting Prayers

Benedicta sit sancta et immaculata Conceptio tua, Sanctissima Virgo Maria!
Mary most holy, blessed be your holy and immaculate Conception! (Plinthos, ejaculation and translation)

*Reference numbers, The Raccolta (1944).

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Byzantine Patriarch Call for New Pope Viganò

The Amazon Synod confronts us with three options:

Option 1: Cardinals and bishops will remain passive. At this turning point, when the Amazon Synod is taking place, this is a crime and betrayal!

Option 2: The orthodox cardinals will choose a rightful Pope in an extraordinary election and he will declare the heretic Bergoglio an invalid Pope.

Option 3: If cardinals remain passive, a team of rightful and orthodox bishops must take over their duty to give a rightful Pope to the Church.

Question: What means will Bergoglio use in order to inconspicuously transform the Catholic Church into the anti-Church of the New Age?

Response: He has a plan to create extreme chaos right at this time. He wants to do so by abolishing celibacy and allowing marriages of priests.

Question: Is it possible to prevent his plan to abolish celibacy?

Response: It is possible only if a rightful Pope is elected as soon as possible. This will cause a great stir in the Church and completely change the spiritual atmosphere.

Question: Who does the Byzantine Catholic Patriarchate propose should be the Pope?

Response: We are convinced that it is the will of God that Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò should be elected and proclaimed Pope.

+ Elijah
Patriarch of the Byzantine Catholic Patriarchate

+ Methodius OSBMr + Timothy OSBMr
Secretary Bishops

Friday, November 15, 2019

Philosophy is Necessarily Christian --Pieper

"'Christian philosophy' is not a more or less abstruse brand of philosophical activity corresponding to the special ('religious') interests of individuals. It is the only possible form of philosophy--if it is true that the Logos of God became man in Christ, and if by 'philosophy' we understand what the great forefathers of European philosophizing (Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle) meant by it. The thinkers of the Middle Ages perceived that a 'Christian philosophy' depended upon the conjunction of fides and ratio. This was the task they set themselves, and into this task they poured their full intellectual resources. This task is continuous and never-ending. Anyone who addresses himself today to this same task cannot afford to ignore the demanding and multiform paradigm of medieval philosophy. But in answer to the questions posed he cannot take the medieval view; he will have to find his own answer."
Josef Pieper, Scholasticism, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964, 162.

Philosophy is the slave of the Deposit of Faith and the Deposit of Faith is the slave of Philosophy, both being bound to the Truth. Rupture of that mutual servitude causes the pathologies peculiar to faith without reason and reason without faith.
Cf. Joseph Ratzinger: The Dialectics of Secularization, San Francisco: Ignatius, 2006, 77-80.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Why I have no Pocket-Phone

1. Simplicity and romance. "If it ain't broken, don't fix it." The land-line works perfectly well. It pained me, in 1996, to get rid of my analogue phone, with the beauty of its real bell.

2. Charity and poverty. In a rare emergency, I can afford my fellow man the opportunity for an act of mercy; simultaneously, I should wish to edify him with a spirit of poverty and the vulnerability of decidedly not having an ubiquitous pocket-phone.

3. Convenience. An unbecoming convenience would be a contradiction. Beauty, simplicity and willful poverty are great goods which should be manfully defended, not to mention piety, modesty and study. Any purported convenience threatening those goods would be quite inconvenient.

4. Liberty and life. And what about the distraction and impropriety,  bordering on idolatry, of spontaneous and obsessive screen-gazing? Audio podcasts may be very effective tools for spreading the word of truth; but, for that, pocket-phones are entirely unnecessary; all you need is any upload-able recording device and access to a computer. The video-sphere, however, is largely vampent, alienating man, even if just for a moment, from the infinite marvel of the circumstance--the persons, places and things--with which he finds himself. It is an insidious lure and a false escape.

5. Exclusive fidelity. My only constant companion, as per my solemn ordination promise, is the Breviary (1962); and a Rosary, a silver pocket crucifix, a Spanish pocket knife, a clean handkerchief and a dry book of matches.

6. Living deliberately. I don't have a pocket-phone because I don't want one. And I don't want one because I don't need one. What I don't need, I don't want.


“GOOD MORNING," said the little prince.

"Good morning," said the merchant.

   This was a merchant who sold pills that had been invented to quench thirst.

You need only swallow one pill a week, and you would feel no need of anything to drink.

   "Why are you selling those?" asked the little prince.

   "Because they save a tremendous amount of time," said the merchant. "Computations have been made by experts. With these pills, you save fifty-three minutes in every week."

   "And what do I do with those fifty-three minutes?"

   "Anything you like..."

   "As for me," said the little prince to himself, "if I had fifty-three minutes to spend as I liked, I should walk at my leisure toward a spring of fresh water.”

― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Five Pachamama Frauds

Diversity, Political, Idolatry, Tolerance, Inculturation

Por P. Andrés Esteban López Ruiz. Dominus Est. 5 de noviembre de 2019

A la luz de la Divina Revelación, contenida en la Palabra de Dios, en la Tradición de la Iglesia y en el Magisterio el hecho es muy sencillo: fabricar ídolos para darles culto es un pecado gravísimo. Postrarse delante de los ídolos es idolatría. Hacerles ofrendas, sacrificios, llevarlos en andas, entronizarlos, coronarlos, quemarles incienso, todo esto es culto idolátrico y es gravemente inmoral. Llevarlos a los altares y templos consagrados para venerarlos es profanación.

I. Teología india «unificada» que anula la «diversidad»

La Pachamama es un engaño. Se trata de una diosa que pertenece a la cultura y religión inca del Perú. En la Amazonía hay cerca de 400 pueblos indígenas distintos, la mayoría de ellos no tiene ni la misma cultura, ni la misma religión que aquellas tribus del Perú que conservasen elementos incas incluyendo la Pachamama. Presentar a la Pachamama como el icono indígena amazónico es violentar la «diversidad» de las culturas indígenas amazónicas e imponer una teología india unificada extrínsecamente con intereses políticos e ideológicos. Este intento, sin embargo, es más amplio, no se reduce a la Amazonía sino que abarca todo el continente llegando hasta México. ¿Qué tiene que ver un indígena tzotzil, maya, o purépecha, con los incas o con la Pachamama? Nada. El engaño, entonces, es tan grave que pretende imponer una teología india latinoamericana unificada que anula la riqueza de la diversidad de los pueblos indígenas originarios de toda América Latina.

II. Preside una agenda política unificada en América Latina

La Pachamama es un engaño político. Se impone a los pueblos indígenas y al imaginario colectivo de la comunidad latinoamericana como representativa de una unificación india desde el poder político. ¿Por qué el Presidente de México ha hecho un ritual a la Pachamama, divinidad peruana, para pedirle permiso de construir el tren maya en el sureste de México?

Hugo Chavez, Nicolás Maduro, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Evo Morales, Daniel Ortega, son sólo algunos jefes de estado que han participado en actos de culto a la madre tierra y que promueven esta ideología india unificada.

No se trata, entonces, sólo de un hecho religioso peruano, se trata de un hecho político y de una agenda política. Esta agenda política incluye la promoción de un pensamiento panteísta fabricado en dónde la idea de la Pachamama recapitula la cultura latinoamericana en ruptura con la herencia hispánica incluyendo la religión católica.

Curiosamente este panteísmo es ajeno a la mayor parte de las culturas indígenas y proviene de otras tradiciones filosóficas, tanto occidentales como orientales, sin descartar algunas fuentes esotéricas. Pero no se trata sólo de una cosmovisión panteísta sino de un proyecto político que excluye de hecho el concepto cristiano de un Dios trascendente a la creación y pone por encima de la dignidad de la persona una presunta dignidad de la tierra. Estamos experimentando un intento de giro cultural copernicano: superar el antropocentrismo de la modernidad, diluyendo la persona a la tierra. Por eso es que encontramos declaraciones en donde se atribuyen derechos a la tierra que limitan los derechos humanos.

III. La Pachamama es un ídolo

La Pachamama es un engaño religioso para los cristianos. La Pachamama es una diosa inca. Las imágenes que se hacen de ellas merecen una valoración moral desde la teología muy precisa: son ídolos. El hecho de que un teólogo, un pastor o un fiel, o un grupo significativo de creyentes, pastores o fieles, no puedan tener la capacidad mínima para emitir un juicio en el que reconozcan que se trata de un ídolo es todavía más preocupante que el hecho mismo.

Podemos decir que se trata de un nuevo eclipse de la conciencia, ya no en el ámbito del derecho a la vida, sino en el ámbito del primero y más importante de los mandamientos, del derecho de Dios. Con el agravante de que no es la conciencia de un pueblo la que se oscurece, sino que pareciera oscurecerse la conciencia de la Iglesia.

A la luz de la Divina Revelación, contenida en la Palabra de Dios, en la Tradición de la Iglesia y en el Magisterio el hecho es muy sencillo: fabricar ídolos para darles culto es un pecado gravísimo. Postrarse delante de los ídolos es idolatría. Hacerles ofrendas, sacrificios, llevarlos en andas, entronizarlos, coronarlos, quemarles incienso, todo esto es culto idolátrico y es gravemente inmoral. Llevarlos a los altares y templos consagrados para venerarlos es profanación.

IV. El engaño de la tolerancia

Por lo tanto, la sensibilidad de los fieles justamente queda vulnerada cuando ve a los ídolos recibiendo culto en los templos católicos. Se trata de un hecho profundamente indignante que exige el más amplio rechazo. No es una falta de respeto o tolerancia a las personas que profesan religiones distintas. Se respetan las creencias de todos, sin embargo, estamos frente a la imposición de una tolerancia a un culto idolátrico en los templos y en los ambientes católicos que se profanan con los ídolos. Esto no es aceptable. Tolerarlo es ser cómplices. Por eso la idoloclasia (destrucción de los ídolos) que hemos visto es expresión del más noble sentido de la fe y lejos de merecer reprobación merece reconocimiento.

V. El engaño de la inculturación

La Pachamama no es inculturación. El principio de la inculturación es el anuncio del Evangelio que es capaz de ser asumido por todos los pueblos y todas las culturas. La dinámica misma de la evangelización establece un proceso gradual de transformación de la cultura en la que la Palabra de Dios entra en el corazón de las culturas conservando los bienes convergentes, purificando las contraposiciones y divergencias, fomentando la progresión de las expresiones siempre nuevas de la fe y renovándolo todo.

De modo que sin tomar en cuenta el criterio de contraposición no se puede hablar de inculturación. Es claro que la evangelización implica una contraposición con los aspectos gravemente inmorales de las culturas y desde luego, en este caso exige la renuncia a la idolatría.

El modelo de inculturación que tenemos en América Latina es Santa María de Guadalupe, quien recuperó los mejores elementos de las culturas prehispánicas, los llenó de Evangelio, exigió la ruptura con las conductas inmorales y acabó con las tinieblas de la idolatría

Santa María de Guadalupe, estrella de la nueva Evangelización, debe presidir la Evangelización en América y sólo en ella se puede establecer un proyecto de teología india unificada, pues ella ha sido el instrumento de Dios para alcanzar a nuestros pueblos. A ella invocamos con afecto filial y confianza para que disipe estas tinieblas y restablezca la paz y la serenidad en la Iglesia.

Saint Leo the Great

In the year 452, Pope Saint Leo the Great saved Rome, convincing Attila the Hun to withdraw from Italy.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Reasonableness of Resurrection --Dawson

"...[I]f mind is the key to reality and the cosmic process has a spiritual significance, then we should expect that the most permanent things in the world would be not atoms or elements, but persons, and there would be nothing shocking to the reason in the belief that the goal of the cosmic process was to be found in an order which restored and preserved that which was spiritually valuable in the present world..."

"The Future Life" in Christopher Dawson, Religion and World History, New York: Image, 1975, 344.

...I believe in the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Vade retro Satana! Say it!

Blessing a Saint Benedict cross/medal yesterday, I noticed that the blessing included a prayer for those who will pray the prayer of the medal. It says... "...exoro, ut omnes diabolicas insidias et fraudes expellas ab eo, qui Nomen sanctum tuum his litteris et characteribus a te designatis devote invocaverit, et eum ad salutis portum perducere digneris, qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

"...I pray that you expel all diabolic snares and deceits from him who will devoutly invoke your holy Name with these words and symbols designated by you, and deign to lead him to the port of health/salvation, who live and reign forever and ever. Amen."

Devotees of the medal of Saint Benedict should often recite the prayers which are inscribed on the medal. It has three prayers: 1) one of the Holy Cross, 2) an exorcism and 3) a prayer for a happy death:

1) Crux Santa sit mihi lux, non draco sit mihi dux. (May the Holy Cross be the light for me, may not the dragon be the leader for me.)

2) Vade retro Satana, numquam suade mihi vana; sunt mala quae libas, ipse venena bibas. (Go back Satan, never lure me with vanities; what you proffer are evil, drink the poison yourself.)

3) Eius in obitu nostro praesentia muniamur. (May we be protected by its [the cross of the Holy Father Benedict's] presence at our death.)

Pray those prayers often, in Latin. They are very easy to memorize, and they are written on the medal itself! I have had them memorized for years but never recited them devotionally, until yesterday. They are intended to be prayed frequently; as I have shown, one of the blessings of the person wearing the medal depends on his praying of the ejaculations on it.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Clinton Led US Swindling of Haiti

Port du Prince Cathedral Post-2010 Earthquake Ruins

That is the title I would give to a recent article in The Guardian which outlines how the Clintons used Haiti to further their own interests, at the rate of many millions of dollars. The post-earthquake US policies in Haiti over the past decade, largely led by the Clintons, have served US interests and done great further harm to Haiti. Haiti has gotten practically none of the money or other help which was supposedly for Haiti. Farms were destroyed and people displaced, thus depriving them of their only livelihood, and nothing has been done to fill the breach.

Haiti and the failed promise of US aid, Friday October 11, 2019, The Guardian
After an earthquake struck in 2010, the US pledged to help rebuild the Caribbean country. A decade later, nothing better symbolises the failure of these efforts than the story of a new port that was promised, but never built. By Jacob Kushner.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

"Truth is the bread without which the mind cannot live."

"[Gaudium et spes, Article 14]... sees the affirmation of the soul (i.e. man's spirituality) as an affirmation of metaphysics and therefore as the affirmation of man's capacity for truth, man's openness to truth. And contact with truth is not only possible to man, it is as necessary as love. Truth is the bread without which the mind cannot live." 130

"The conciliar statement... [points] to the fact that man only attains the real truth of being when he goes beyond the zone of what is merely verified to be correct. The soul cannot be found in the realm of purely observable facts. Anyone who restricts himself to the latter may come to regard the soul as an abstract collective term for a multiplicity of elements which can be accounted for as the reflex of physical (biological) and social factors. In fact to reject metaphysical statements on principle in this way, posits an anti-metaphysics, it makes a principle out of the methodical renunciation of truth in the exact sciences, which have to be positivist and therefore restricted to what can be correctly established. Consequently it does the most inhuman and destructive thing possible; it robs man in principle of the capacity to attain truth..." 130

"...[T]he theme of the two Councils [Vatican I and II] is ultimately the same; the question of metaphysics and the question of God are fundamentally the same. The problem of God is not a supplementary section of metaphysics, but is posited simultaneously with the question of being itself, while conversely, the question of being implies the question of God. Consequently the present text [Gaudium et spes, Article 15] simply deepens the statements of Vatican I by inserting the problems connected with the question of God into the context of the relation between scientia and sapientia. In this way it exhibits the specific form of knowledge of God in contradistinction to the world of modern science. At the same time the reference to sin as endangering knowledge of God only assumes its full meaning in this light, for purely objective, demonstrative knowledge is of course not hindered by sin. With sapientia, on the other hand, what is involved is man's very humanity, and this is hampered by his tendency to be inhuman or less than human. Only where he is light can he see the real light; but since so often he is darkness and aversion from the light, he sees nothing. The dynamic character of the metaphysics of light, in which knowing and being are inseparable and both are envisaged as vital activities, makes plain the demands made on man in his totality by knowledge of God (and by the knowledge of 'truth' generally). The affirmation of metaphysics which Articles 14 and 15 formulate with regard to the question of man and of God, in one of the fundamental positions of the schema. Where the metaphysical question is definitively rejected, the 'death of God' is the inescapable consequence. But equally inescapable is the mutilation of man of the dimension of wisdom, and any theology which survives is inconsequential chatter." 132-133

Joseph Ratzinger, "The Dignity of the Human Person" in Herbert Vorgrimler editor, Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II, Vol. V, New York: Herder, 1969.

Theology without truth is no theology at all, it denies the Logos and the Theos.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

"A Ministry of Abominable Ruin" --S. Claret

Saint Anthony Mary Claret (Dec. 23, 1807, Oct. 24, 1870), Apostle of Cuba

Today is the traditional feast of Saint Anthony Mary Claret (in the new calendar, tomorrow). Below are some passages from a page of The Autobiobraphy of the Saint, who dedicated his apostolic life to extending the knowledge and love of God, including through his publishing work. Saint Anthony Mary Claret exposes, condemns and challenges the unjust position, the evil work, and wrong-headed intention of a modern mass media which presumes to place itself above the Word of God.

"The right to speak and to teach, which the Church received in the persons of the apostles from God Himself, has been usurped by a mob of dark journalists and of most ignorant charlatans."

"Every intention of salvation will be sterile if the great catholic word is not restored in all of its fullness."

"The ministry of the word, which, is, at the same time, the most august and the most invincible of all, since by it the world was conquered, has converted itself everywhere from a ministry of salvation into a ministry of abominable ruin. And just as nothing could contain its triumphs in apostolic times, so nothing and no one will be able to contain its havoc if an attempt is not made to confront it by means of the preaching of Priests and of a great abundance of good books and other holy and salutary writings."

Autobiografia, Barcelona: Claret, 1985, 225.

Saint Anthony Mary Claret's tomb is in the Church bearing his name in Vic (Catalonia), Spain.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Discito Graece

Saint John Henry Newman's Library

De utilitate Graecae linguae

Quisquis Grammaticam vis discere, discito Graece.

Ut recte scribas, non prave, discito Graece.

Si Graece nescis, corrumpis nomina rerum.

Si Graece nescis, male scribis nomina rerum.

Si Graece nescis, male profers nomina rerum.

Lingua Pelasga vetat vitiosos scribere versus.

Lectio quem Plinii delectat, discito Graece.

Hieronymum teneas vigilans tu discito Graece.

Ne versus scribas vitiosos discito Graece.

Argumentari quisquis vis, discito Graece.

Quisquis Rhetoricen vis discere, discito Graece.

Scire Mathematicam quisquis vis, discito Graece.

Artibus es medicis qui captus, discito Graece,

Morbis nam cunctis sunt indita nomina Graeca.

Argolicum nomen cunctis liquet esse figuris.

Artes ingenuae Graio sermone loquuntur,

Non alio; quibus haud nomen dat lingua latina,

Ad summam doctis sed debent singula Graecis.

Catholicum eucologium

Here is a slavishly literal translation of the Greek Bible and other Greek texts.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

My Cassock and I

Here is a short apology for the long-standing custom of the cassock, based on its history in my life.

My first thoughts about being a priest go back to my first days in grade-school seeing the parish priest, Msgr. Jones, wearing his cassock at that parish in Wilmington, NC. I remember him in his black house cassock as my first inspiration towards a priestly vocation, and the cassocks we altar boys wore to serve Mass. I wanted to be a priest from the first time I saw the priest wearing the cassock. The school nuns (Sisters of Mercy, Belmont Province) still wore habits throughout the 1970's. The pastor of that same home parish during my high-school and college years also wore his cassock for Sunday Mass. Surely I had seen the cassock before those school-day years, along with the religious habits of sisters, at religious shrines and churches which I frequented with my family from the time I was conceived in the womb in upstate NY. My first living memory, in fact, is of a nun, in full habit, taking me joyfully and tenderly by the hand to the lollipop jar. I was probably three.

In my catholic university/seminary years in the North Eastern US there were some senior priests who regularly wore the cassock, and, by that time I was frequenting the Traditional Latin Mass of a priest from another parish of my NC hometown, for which, of course, he wore the cassock. In the diocese of my seminary there were priests who always wore cassocks for ministry, and gave monthly days of recollection for seminarians and clergy. And there was an annual seminar for seminarians/priests in the Boston area which I attended from the late eighties throughout the nineties and there we, the seminarians, also freely wore cassocks. Throughout my eleven years of seminary we wore cassocks to serve Mass and we loved to wear it such that even after Mass we would often leave it on for breakfast at the University dining hall with all the students. Everyone seemed to love the cassock (except perhaps a few of the seminary faculty who were suspicious of it because of some personal hangups).

In 1999, the year after I was ordained a priest, the Conference of Bishops of the United States specified that the the cassock was considered legitimate clerical attire. Of course my contemporaries and I knew that from the universal norm of the Church and the immemorial custom of the clergy, which I had witnessed throughout my life, and which was also influential in my vocation to the priesthood. I have worn the cassock habitually for over two decades of parish priesthood, continuing the tradition of many men whom I admire and strive to follow. The cassock is a normative and simple yet elegant and supernatural and eminently practical priestly attire. And the saturno (the distinctively clerical street hat) goes very well with it! The only people that seem to have a problem with the cassock is a certain number, ever decreasing, of clerics. The faithful and the unbiased love it, not to mention the majority of the younger clergy.

Lest we forget the obvious, the most visible priest in the world during my lifetime is always in his cassock, even, at times, heroically so: the Successor of Saint Peter, the Bishop of Rome, the Holy Father, the Pope. Along with all things traditional and Roman, we love the cassock. It is a sign of "romanitas," and we follow the good example of the Holy Father in this. Pope John Paul II even wore the cassock to Mexico when it was still illegal for any priest to do so. Pope Benedict humbly, yet boldly, even wore the red papal saturno on occasion, for the glory of Holy Mother Church and the furthering of the Catholic faith in the world, boosting the number of priestly vocations world-wide! We are ambassadors of Christ, dispensers of the mysteries of God, that supernatural office, with the cassock, is obvious for everyone to see.

Question. Why do some clergymen despise the typical and traditional attire of the priest while never seeming to mind the religious attire and headdress of Muslims or Jews, etc.? Shall we call it self-hating Catholicism, or simply anti-clericalism? It is the tyranny of a false pluralism, a symptom of religious and doctrinal relativism, that everything is good except, of course, Christian/Western/European civilization. That all started with the Black Legend, the mocking, despising, smearing and destroying of all things Roman, Catholic and/or Spanish, which continues to our own day.

Saint Francis Borgia, SJ, pray for us!
N.B. "[Saint Francis Borgia] was typical of the patrician saints, self-effacing, determined, enterprising, winning people of all ranks by his kindness and courtesy." Donald Attwater, A Dictionary of Saints, Penguin, 1965, 139.

Thirteen Reasons I Wear the Cassock Rather Than the Clerical Suit

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Three Witnesses to the Truth of the Catholic Faith

The Orthodox Church provides a separate Christian witness to the truth of the Catholic religion.

The Jewish religion provides a separate Monotheist witness to the truth of the Catholic religion. Islam provides a similar type of testimony.

And, of course, you have the testimony of the Church Herself in Her profession of faith.

The Protestants are, ex professo, just bad Catholics, a witness by defect of the Catholic faith.

Non-believers are simply bad men, because the first commandment requires all men to worship the one true God. "I am the Lord your God..." that is the first commandment. God must be your Lord. They also, therefore, are a witness by defect of the Catholic faith.

"Catholic" means the religion of/for all men.

Sacred Heart Basilica, Barcelona

I saw it from far away on my first day in Barcelona, for it occupies the highest peak of the city, Mount Tibidabo, and is quite visible in the distance when standing at the shore. It is run by the Salesians and has perpetual adoration.

This grand shrine reminds me of another worthy though much less grand Salesian monastery in another iconic city, the monastery overlooking the city of Nazareth in the Holy Land, the Church of Jesus the Adolescent.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

None Dare Call it Homosexual --E. Michael Jones

E. Michael Jones exposes the denial of the homosexual cabal of the Catholic Church. He calls that cabal the Jesuits, a fifth column in the Church. Proof, the second most famous Jesuit in the world, the notorious homosexualist James Martin.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Cuba's $11 Billion Slave-Doctor Industry Exposed --Bolsonaro

Brazil’s Bolsonaro Accuses U.N. of Aiding ‘Slave Labor’ at General Assembly, New York

by Frances Martel
24 Sep 2019

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro made his debut on the world’s biggest stage for world leaders, the U.N. General Assembly, on Tuesday, warning against the “cruelty of socialism” and accusing the U.N. itself of engaging in slave labor.

Bolsonaro made the accusation in relation to Cuba’s slave doctor system, in which the communist regime forces doctors to work without pay abroad, taking almost the entirety of their salaries and investing them in the luxury lifestyles of the regime’s leaders. The doctors are expected to live off of a “stipend” that many say often fails to cover basic food needs. Cuba makes an estimated $11 billion off of the slave doctor trade in deals with African, Latin American, and Pacific Island states.

One of Bolsonaro’s first acts after taking office in January was to end the Brazilian Cuban slave doctor program, known as Mais Médicos (“More Doctors”). Bolsonaro demanded that Cuba give a reasonable salary to its doctors from the payments that Brasilia makes Havana, prompting the regime to end the program entirely.

In New York, Bolsonaro noted that U.N. bodies like the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) openly aid and benefit from the Cuban slave doctor trade.
“In 2013, an agreement between the former[ly ruling] Workers’ Party [PT] and the Cuban dictatorship brought to Brazil 10,000 doctors,” Bolsonaro explained. The agreement “prevented [the doctors] from bringing their spouses or children and 75 percent of their wages were confiscated by the Cuban regime.”

“They were further prevented from enjoying fundamental rights like, for example, coming and going [from Brazil,” Bolsonaro noted. “It is truly tantamount to slave labor.”

Bolsonaro made clear that this slave labor was “supported by human rights organizations in Brazil and United Nations organizations.”

The PAHO was a signatory to the deal between Brazil and Cuba that created Mais Médicos. Inviting PAHO to participate in the deal would allow the then-socialist government of Brazil not to have to put the plan to import thousands of Cuban slave doctors before Congress, where it would have failed. An agreement between only Brazil and Cuba would legally be a treaty and thus require legislative approval. An agreement with the aid of an international organization like PAHO made the terms of the agreement secret and out of reach of the voters or lawmakers.

PAHO took a payment from the Brazilian government to be involved in the deal.

The Brazilian president also made the case that his country had direct experience with the evils of Cuba’s communist regime, when mass murderer Ernesto “Che” Guevara attempted to foment revolution in South America.

“In the 1960s, Cuban agents were sent out to several countries to collaborate towards implementing dictatorships in the region. A few decades ago, they tried to change the Brazilian regime … they were defeated,” Bolsonaro said, making a vague reference to the right-wing Brazilian military regime that took over in response to communist agitation.

Bolsonaro ended his remarks warning the world that socialism and communism have “left a path of death, ignorance, and stark poverty wherever [they go].”

Monday, September 23, 2019

Men are Made Best Molded in Mary

Medieval Virgin Mary, Sto. Domingo de Silos

Mary is the Living Mold of God

"Mary is called by St. Augustine, and is indeed, the 'living mold of God.' In her alone the God-man was formed in his human nature without losing any feature of the Godhead. In her alone, by the grace of Jesus Christ, man is made godlike as far as human nature is capable of it.

"A sculptor can make a statue or a life-like model in two ways: 1) By using his skill, strength, experience and good tools to produce a statue out of hard, shapeless matter; 2) By making a cast of it in a mold. The first way is long and involved and open to all sorts of accidents. It only needs a faulty stroke of the chisel or hammer to ruin the whole work. The second is quick, easy, straightforward, almost effortless and inexpensive, but the mold must be perfect and true to life and the material must be easy to handle and offer no resistance.

"Mary is the great mold of God, fashioned by the Holy Spirit to give human nature to a Man who is God by the hypostatic union, and to fashion through grace men who are like to God. No godly feature is missing from this mold. Everyone who casts himself into it and allows himself to be molded will acquire every feature of Jesus Christ, true God, with little pain or effort, as befits his weak human condition. He will take on a faithful likeness to Jesus with no possibility of distortion, for the devil has never had and never will have any access to Mary, the holy and immaculate Virgin, in whom there is not the least suspicion of a stain of sin.

"Dear soul, what a difference there is between a soul brought up in the ordinary way to resemble Jesus Christ by people who, like sculptors, rely one their own skill and industry, and a soul thoroughly tractable, entirely detached, most ready to be molded in her by the working of the Holy Spirit. What blemishes and defects, what shadows and distortions, what natural and human imperfections are found in the first soul, what faithful and divine likeness to Jesus is found in the second!"

"The Secret of Mary: Concerning the Slavery of the Blessed Virgin," in Saint Louis Marie de Montfort, God Alone, Bay Shore, New York: Montfort Publications, 267-268.

N.B. The preparation for the total consecration to Mary.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Chemical Abortions

"This was horrific. This was me, alone, afraid, and feeling like I'm gonna give death."

People are claiming that the abortion rate in the US is the lowest it has been in 40 years, while chemical abortions are consistently on the rise. Moreover, what is ignored in the discussion is the abortifacient nature of most chemical contraception: e.g. "the morning after pill." Only God knows how many abortions are induced by the poison of contraception. One must suspect that the abortion rate is not actually lower, it has simply been re-allocated. The abortions are increasingly caused by contraception, and nobody is counting them.

Chemical contraception is poison, it kills countless untold babies, in addition to harming (and sometimes killing) the women who use it.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Communist Infiltration of the Catholic Church

Michael Voris is absolutely right on this one. The Church today, especially in the West, is largely homo-communist. That was somewhat corrected by JPII and Benedict XVI. It is a well known fact that both of those men at some point during their careers had communist spies tracking their activities.

I have heard that narrative before and have the Dodd book, Bella V. Dodd, School of Darkness, New York: Angelico Press, 2017.

I read a small book years ago, I think by TAN, on the issue of communist plants in the Church.

One very effective way to ensure against that is by requiring and enforcing the celibacy and doctrinal integrity of all of our candidates to the priesthood and to any position of authority in the Church, as required by Canon Law, Canon 521!

Cf. 1 Timothy 3:1-13 (The Epistle for the Mass today, Tuesday of the 24th Week of Ordinary Time, Week I).

The Appointment and Tolerance of Bad Pastors is Contrary to the Law of the Church

Sunday, September 15, 2019

The World is Either Meaningful or Meaningless --Ratzinger and Einstein

"...[B]elief in God does not claim to offer a fictitious and abstract union of different modes of action; it claims to be more than a subjective conviction inexplicably juxtaposed to a godless objectivity. It claims to reveal the essence, the root, of the objective, to bring into sharper focus the demands of objective reality. It does so by leading to that source which unites object and subject and offers the only true explanation of their relationship. Einstein pointed out that the relationship of subject and object is, ultimately, the greatest of all puzzles, or, more exactly, that our thinking, our mathematical worlds conceived solely in our consciousness, correspond to reality, that our consciousness has the same structure as reality and vice versa.85 That is the principle ground on which all science rests. It acts as though this were a matter of course, whereas, in fact, nothing is less so. For it means that all being has the same nature as consciousness; that there is present in human thought, in human subjectivity, that which objectively moves the world. The world itself has the same nature as consciousness. The subjective is not something alien to objective reality; rather, this reality is itself like a subject. The subjective is objective, and vice versa. This affects even the language of natural science, which here, under the pressure of objects, often reveals more than its users are aware...[e.g. In neo-Darwinism {N}]ature...has appropriated the very place ascribed in the Old Testament to wisdom."

85 Quoted here from Josef Pieper, "Kreatürlichkeit bemerkungen über lie Elemente eines Grundbegriffs", in Ludger Oeing-Hanhoff, Thomas von Aquin 1274-1974 (Munich: Kösel, 1974). 47=70. Quotation is on 50.

Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, San Francisco: Ignatius, 1989, 71.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Let the Kingdom of God Build Us!

Below is my correspondence with a brother priest regarding the parish mission statement of the parish of which he is the pastor for just over a year, and which I recently visited.

Plinthos: I have a question about the parish mission statement, which you surely inherited. It says "Our goal is to continue to build the kingdom of God..." I have never been comfortable with that type of expression because it does not seem scriptural or to be from the tradition. Isn't the kingdom of God God Himself and our participation in the life of God? We enter the kingdom, we participate in the kingdom, but, to my knowledge we don't "build" the kingdom or the city of God, it is already built: "His Kingdom will have no end."

There is another related point and it is that according to Ratzinger this expression "kingdom" in the kingdom of God means God's presence among us, the divine Visitation, God's reign. It has an active sense: God's work in the sense of God's active presence among us. God's kingdom is not a place but a Person, Three Persons.

Taken together the sense is that God is the protagonist. His kingdom is His doing through and through, and we must enter into that work, God's work, opus Dei. The other, though a very common expression in the Church, sounds Pelagian.

Joseph Ratzinger, in Chapter 3 of Jesus of Nazareth (Part One, Ignatius 2007), "The Gospel of the Kingdom of God," explains the proper understanding of the kingdom of God.

"Our main criticism of the secular-utopian idea of the Kingdom has been that it pushes God off the stage..." 55

"When Jesus speaks of the Kingdom of God, he is simply proclaiming God, and proclaiming him to be the living God, who is able to act concretely in the world and in history and is even now so acting. He is telling us: 'God exists' and 'God is really God,' which means that he holds in his hands the threads of the world. In this sense, Jesus' message is very simply and thoroughly God-centered. The new and totally specific thing about his message is that he is telling us: God is acting now--this is the hour when God is showing himself in history as its Lord, as the living God, in a way that goes beyond anything seen before. 'Kingdom of God' is therefore an inadequate translation. It would be better to speak of God's being-Lord, of his lordship." 55-56

"Jesus himself is the Kingdom; the Kingdom is not a thing, it is not a geographical dominion like world kingdoms. It is a person; it is he." 49

"Ethics is not denied; it is freed from the constraints of moralism and set in the context of a relationship of love--of relationship to God. And that is how it comes truly into its own." 62

Friday, August 9, 2019

How Homosexual Became Ideal Citizen --E. Michael Jones

I have no idea how this video disappeared. It is not uncommon with my YouTube links.

Alternative links on the same topic are to podcasts. Google "Homosexual Ideal Citizen E. Michael Jones" and these podcasts come up.

"The homosexual takes on an air of moral superiority!"

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Twelve Stars for Perfection --St. John of the Cross

Twelve Stars to Arrive at the Highest Perfection:
Love of God, Love of Neighbor,
Obedience, Chastity, Poverty,
To Assist at Choir [Liturgy of the Hours],
Penitence, Humility, Mortification,
Prayer, Silence, Peace.

Any Appetite in the Soul Causes Five Harms:
The First, That it Disquiets it;
The Second, That it Confuses it;
The Third, That it Dirties it;
The Fourth, That it Weakens it;
The Fifth, That it Darkens it.

It is Great Evil to have More Eye for the Goods of God
than for God Himself.

Wisdom Enters Through Love, Silence and Mortification.
It is Great Wisdom to Know to Keep Quiet
and to Not Look at the
Sayings nor the Deeds nor the Lives of Others.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Recovery of Theology and Philosophy Today --Ratzinger

Joseph Ratzinger considers the rejection of ontology the underlying motive of the movement of dehellenization which is the cause of the modern intellectual crisis. Nature and Mission of Theology (Ignatius, 1995), 20-21.

That essay, "Faith, Philosophy and Theology" (given in Minnesota in 1984) makes the point that without ontology theology has nothing to say about God or about man because it is deprived of the very ground of truth; and, if ontology is rejected there is no way for faith to express itself to the world. Reason is set aside as being outside of the bounds of faith, so there is no common ground for conversation between believer and non-believer.


a. Both faith and philosophy must continue today the fundamental human quest on how to live rightly, and what it means to be a man, theology and philosophy, each within its own competence and in cooperation with each other; the chief question of the age being the relationship between metaphysics and history. "The central concern is the relationship between history and ethos, between human action and the unmanipulable character of reality." 23

b. "[F]aith advances a philosophical, more precisely, an ontological claim when it professes the existence of God." 24 It is a claim regarding the whole of reality which is valid for all men, not just a private opinion.

c. Faith's love of the logos leads to apo-logia, eros for the truth, and the duty, in charity, to spread it, also in human terms, philosophically. "[L]ove for Christ and of one's neighbor for Christ's sake can enjoy stability and consistency only if its deepest motivation is love for the truth." 27

Friday, July 26, 2019

The Richest Man of Singapore on the Unum Necessarium.

We are all broken.
Without Jesus Christ, something essential is missing.
Every man needs God, in the Person of Jesus Christ.

If I have everything and do not have God, I have nothing.
If I lack everything but have God, I have everything.  --Saint Francis of Assisi

Thursday, July 25, 2019

A Shepherd Turns Back to God

Turning Toward God: Celebrating the Mass Ad Orientem
A Letter from Bishop James S. Wall, Gallup

Celebrating Mass Ad Orientem, Ad Deum, and Versus Populum

My dear friends in Christ:

Recently Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI released a powerful letter, in which he touched on a number of topics, including especially the sexual abuse crisis that has impacted the Church and even society as a whole. In his letter, he also addressed the Eucharist. He acknowledged, and rightfully so, that we have become too lax in our approach to the Eucharist. There were a number of reasons for this, even extreme cases when Holy Communion has been distributed to non-Catholics at weddings and other large events for the sake of “inclusion.” We know, however, that such “inclusivity” is actually quite dangerous, for it can put someone’s soul at risk in the name of not hurting feelings. Remember St. Paul: “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself” (1 Cor. 11:27-29). We would do well to remember, then, that the Eucharist is not simply a nice “sign” or “symbol” of communion with God, but rather truly is communion with God. (In fact, it is so far from being a mere symbol in the modern sense of that term, that Flannery O’Connor once famously said that “if it is just a symbol, to hell with it!) For the Eucharist is nothing less than the very Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, and the “source and summit of the Christian life” (Lumen gentium, 11).

Pope Benedict’s letter thus provides an opportunity for us to reflect on how better to respect the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist. There are of course many ways to do this: arriving early to prepare for Mass in prayer; staying after to offer an Act of Thanksgiving; dressing appropriately at Mass and in Church (“Sunday best” is still a thing!); keeping the one-hour Eucharistic fast; making regular (even monthly) sacramental confession; and reverently, not hurriedly, receiving Holy Communion readily come to mind (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1385-1389). There is, however, one particular practice that I would like to highlight here. It is about exercising the option to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass facing “toward the East” (ad orientem) or “toward God” (ad Deum) as distinct from “toward the people” (versus populum).

Let me say at the outset: I know this can be a contentious topic. To make changes to the way we pray can be difficult, especially when it comes to liturgical prayer. By explaining and advocating for this, I am in no way trying to disrupt the way the people of this Diocese pray. Rather, I am trying to open the treasury of the Church’s patrimony, so that, together, we can all experience one of the most ancient ways that the Church has always prayed, starting with Jesus and reaching even to our own day, and thereby learn from the “ever ancient, ever new” wisdom of the Church.

With that in mind, let me start with just a brief historical note. Essentially, we can say that celebrating Mass ad orientem is one of the most ancient and most consistent practices in the life of the Church—it is part of how the Church has always understood the proper worship of God. Uwe Michael Lang has published a book showing just this, entitled Turning Towards the Lord: Orientation in Liturgical Prayer and published by Ignatius Press. His extensive and thorough research shows this very fact: that, in the words of Cardinal Ratzinger, “Despite all the variations in practice that have taken place far into the second millennium, one thing has remained clear for the whole of Christendom: praying toward the east is a tradition that goes back to the beginning” (The Spirit of the Liturgy, p. 75). This means that celebration of Massad orientem is not a form of antiquarianism, i.e. choosing to do something because it is old, but rather choosing to do something that has always been. This also means, in turn, that versus populumworship is extremely new in the life of the Church, and, while a valid liturgical option today, it still must be considered novel when it comes to the celebration of Mass.

Allow me now to give a brief explanation of ad orientem or ad Deum worship. Prayer and worship “toward the East” (ad orientem, oriented prayer) “is, first and foremost, a simple expression of looking to Christ as the meeting place between God and man. It expresses the basic christological form of our prayer. […] Praying toward the east means going to meet the coming Christ. The liturgy, turned toward the East, effects entry, so to speak, into the procession of history toward the future, the New Heaven and the New Earth, which we encounter in Christ” (Joseph Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy, p. 69-70). By facing Christ together at Mass, we can see how “[o]ur prayer is thus inserted into the procession of the nations to God” (ibid., p. 76).

Ad orientem worship is thus a very powerful reminder of what we are about at Mass: meeting Christ Who comes to meet us. Practically speaking, this means that things will look a bit different, for at such Masses the Priest faces the same direction as the Assembly when he is at the altar. More specifically, when addressing God, such as during the orations and Eucharistic Prayer, he faces the same direction as the people, that is, toward God (ad Deum). He does so literally, to use a phrase dear to St. Augustine, by “turning toward the Lord” present in the Blessed Sacrament. In contrast, when addressing the people, he turns to face them (versus populum).

Some of you may be familiar with this, and perhaps have even been at Masses celebrated this way. The common way of describing such Masses is usually to say, by way of objection, that “the priest has his back to the people.” Now, while this is technically true, it largely misses the main point, which is one much grander and more beautiful: ad orientem worship shows, even in its literal orientation, that the priest and the people are united together as one in worshipping God, even physically with their bodies, “in a common act of trinitarian worship…. Where priest and people together face the same way, what we have is a cosmic orientation and also an interpretation of the Eucharist in terms of resurrection and trinitarian theology. Hence it is also an interpretation in terms of Parousia [end of the world], a theology of hope, in which every Mass is an approach to the return of Christ” (Joseph Ratzinger, Feast of Faith, p. 140). Celebrating Mass ad orientem, then, is meant to remind us of all these important factors of our faith, and, ultimately, that the Mass is not first and foremost about us, but rather about God and His glory—about worshipping Him as He desires and not as we think best. It is His work after all, not ours, and we are simply entering into it by His gracious will. In 2007, Pope Benedict spoke of just this fact in his address to the monks of Heiligenkreuz Abbey in Vienna:

“In all our efforts on behalf of the liturgy, the determining factor must always be ourlooking to God. We stand before God—he speaks to us and we speak to him. Whenever in our thinking we are only concerned about making the liturgy attractive, interesting and beautiful, the battle is already lost. Either it is Opus Dei [the work of God], with God as its specific subject, or it is not. In the light of this, I ask you to celebrate the sacred liturgy with your gaze fixed on God within the communion of saints, the living Church of every time and place, so that it will truly be an expression of the sublime beauty of the God who has called men and women to be his friends!”

Notice the emphasis on looking toward God together!

Another common objection or at least misunderstanding is that this particular way of celebrating Mass was disallowed at or after the Second Vatican Council. This is not accurate, as none of the conciliar documents even mention this. Additionally, a close reading of the rubrics of the Roman Missal will still show today that ad orientemis assumed to be the normal posture at Mass: they often describe the priest “turning to face the people,” which implies he is facing the altar before and after doing so.

Finally, let me say a few words on the matter of preference. There is an old saying that holds de gustibus non est disputandum: when it comes to taste, there is no room for dispute. To a point, that is true. Nobody can fault anybody for liking chocolate chip ice cream more than mint, or Chevrolet more than Ford. When it comes to the ways in which we worship God, however, nothing is simply a matter of taste. Msgr. Charles Pope explains this well: “Preferences should be rooted in solid liturgical principles. […] People matter, and they should be nourished and intelligently engaged in the Sacred Liturgy—but not in a way that forgets that the ultimate work of the Liturgy is not merely to please or enrich us but to be focused on and worship the Lord” (National Catholic Register, “5 Things to Remember in the ‘Ad Orientem’ Discussion,” 8 August 2016).

For all these reasons, I have decided that, since the recent solemnity of Corpus Christi, the 11:00am Sunday Mass will henceforth be celebrated ad orientem at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Gallup.

This provides the faithful with the opportunity to attend the Mass in this way—indeed, in this way which is still approved and generously allowed by the Church. This is also a practice I would like to encourage throughout the Diocese of Gallup. I believe it is pastoral to offer Masses both ad orientem and versus populum, so that, together, we can all be exposed to the varied riches of the Church and Her prayerful history. With St. Augustine, allow me to conclude with this heartfelt prayer: in our worship, hearts, and lives, “let us turn towards the Lord God and Father Almighty, and with a pure heart let us give Him sincere thanks as well as our littleness will allow…. May He increase our faith, rule our mind, give us spiritual thoughts, and at last lead us to His blessedness, through Jesus Christ His Son. Amen.”

May God bless you!

The Most Reverend James S. Wall
Bishop of Gallup

Given in Gallup, at the Chancery/Cathedral, this 22nd day of July, in the Year of our Lord MMXIX, the tenth of Our Episcopate, on the liturgical memorial of St. Mary Magdalene.

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