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Tuesday 26 November 2013

Home Schoolers Alert

If you have not taught your ninth graders de Tocqueville, do it now. If there was ever a time when this prophetic piece needs to be understood, it is now.

The tyranny of the majority is upon us, killing freedoms and forcing America into gross conformity.

More good words from Francis

Our commitment does not consist exclusively in activities or programmes of promotion and assistance; what the Holy Spirit mobilizes is not an unruly activism, but above all an attentiveness which considers the other “in a certain sense as one with ourselves”.[166] This loving attentiveness is the beginning of a true concern for their person which inspires me effectively to seek their good. This entails appreciating the poor in their goodness, in their experience of life, in their culture, and in their ways of living the faith. True love is always contemplative, and permits us to serve the other not out of necessity or vanity, but rather because he or she is beautiful above and beyond mere appearances: “The love by which we find the other pleasing leads us to offer him something freely”.[167] The poor person, when loved, “is esteemed as of great value”,[168] and this is what makes the authentic option for the poor differ from any other ideology, from any attempt to exploit the poor for one’s own personal or political interest. Only on the basis of this real and sincere closeness can we properly accompany the poor on their path of liberation. Only this will ensure that “in every Christian community the poor feel at home. Would not this approach be the greatest and most effective presentation of the good news of the kingdom?”[169] Without the preferential option for the poor, “the proclamation of the Gospel, which is itself the prime form of charity, risks being misunderstood or submerged by the ocean of words which daily engulfs us in today’s society of mass communications”.[170]
200. Since this Exhortation is addressed to members of the Catholic Church, I want to say, with regret, that the worst discrimination which the poor suffer is the lack of spiritual care. The great majority of the poor have a special openness to the faith; they need God and we must not fail to offer them his friendship, his blessing, his word, the celebration of the sacraments and a journey of growth and maturity in the faith. Our preferential option for the poormust mainly translate into a privileged and preferential religious care.

Some particularly good sections from the Apostolic Exhortation

The problem is not always an excess of activity, but rather activity undertaken badly, without adequate motivation, without a spirituality which would permeate it and make it pleasurable. As a result, work becomes more tiring than necessary, even leading at times to illness. Far from a content and happy tiredness, this is a tense, burdensome, dissatisfying and, in the end, unbearable fatigue. This pastoral acedia can be caused by a number of things. Some fall into it because they throw themselves into unrealistic projects and are not satisfied simply to do what they reasonably can. Others, because they lack the patience to allow processes to mature; they want everything to fall from heaven. Others, because they are attached to a few projects or vain dreams of success. Others, because they have lost real contract with people and so depersonalize their work that they are more concerned with the road map than with the journey itself. Others fall into acedia because they are unable to wait; they want to dominate the rhythm of life. Today’s obsession with immediate results makes it hard for pastoral workers to tolerate anything that smacks of disagreement, possible failure, criticism, the cross.
83. And so the biggest threat of all gradually takes shape: “the gray pragmatism of the daily life of the Church, in which all appears to proceed normally, while in reality faith is wearing down and degenerating into small-mindedness”.[63] A tomb psychology thus develops and slowly transforms Christians into mummies in a museum. Disillusioned with reality, with the Church and with themselves, they experience a constant temptation to cling to a faint melancholy, lacking in hope, which seizes the heart like “the most precious of the devil’s potions”.[64] Called to radiate light and communicate life, in the end they are caught up in things that generate only darkness and inner weariness, and slowly consume all zeal for the apostolate. For all this, I repeat: Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of the joy of evangelization!....

Spiritual worldliness, which hides behind the appearance of piety and even love for the Church, consists in seeking not the Lord’s glory but human glory and personal well-being. It is what the Lord reprimanded the Pharisees for: “How can you believe, who receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” (Jn5:44). It is a subtle way of seeking one’s “own interests, not those of Jesus Christ” (Phil 2:21). It takes on many forms, depending on the kinds of persons and groups into which it seeps. Since it is based on carefully cultivated appearances, it is not always linked to outward sin; from without, everything appears as it should be. But if it were to seep into the Church, “it would be infinitely more disastrous than any other worldliness which is simply moral”.[71]
94. This worldliness can be fuelled in two deeply interrelated ways. One is the attraction of gnosticism, a purely subjective faith whose only interest is a certain experience or a set of ideas and bits of information which are meant to console and enlighten, but which ultimately keep one imprisoned in his or her own thoughts and feelings. The other is the self-absorbed promethean neopelagianism of those who ultimately trust only in their own powers and feel superior to others because they observe certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style from the past. A supposed soundness of doctrine or discipline leads instead to a narcissistic and authoritarian elitism, whereby instead of evangelizing, one analyzes and classifies others, and instead of opening the door to grace, one exhausts his or her energies in inspecting and verifying. In neither case is one really concerned about Jesus Christ or others. These are manifestations of an anthropocentric immanentism. It is impossible to think that a genuine evangelizing thrust could emerge from these adulterated forms of Christianity.

Great selections from Evangelii Gaudium

Pope's First Apostolic Exhortation can be seen in part at the link above and selections below.

“As the bishops of the United States of America have rightly pointed out, while the Church insists on the existence of objective moral norms which are valid for everyone, ‘there are those in our culture who portray this teaching as unjust, that is, as opposed to basic human rights. Such claims usually follow from a form of moral relativism that is joined, not without inconsistency, to a belief in the absolute rights of individuals. In this view, the Church is perceived as promoting a particular prejudice and as interfering with individual freedom’. We are living in an information-driven society which bombards us indiscriminately with data – all treated as being of equal importance – and which leads to remarkable superficiality in the area of moral discernment. In response, we need to provide an education which teaches critical thinking and encourages the development of mature moral values."

“Demands that the legitimate rights of women be respected, based on the firm conviction that men and women are equal in dignity, present the Church with profound and challenging questions which cannot be lightly evaded. The reservation of the priesthood to males, as a sign of Christ the Spouse who gives himself in the Eucharist, is not a question open to discussion, but it can prove especially divisive if sacramental power is too closely identified with power in general. It must be remembered that when we speak of sacramental power “we are in the realm of function, not that of dignity or holiness”.

Entire letter is here on the Vatican website.

United States Will Close Vatican Embassy

Can you believe this? Another sign of the times.....I find this disgustingly rude and this move will cut off necessary communications with the hub of the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church is being marginalized, dear readers.

Actually, this news is making me teary, and I am not an emotional person.

from my article on another blog...this is a slap heard round the world.

The Obama Administration has just announced the future closing of the American Vatican Embassy.

This is a shock to many, including me, although the scorning of the Church from this government has been obvious. That intimate communications between perhaps the nation which is the world's leader and the hub, the center of the largest religion in the world, will be compromised.

But, this administration does not care about dialogue with Faith. This move is not for the silly reason given-security. The reason is the marginalizing of the one, true, holy and apostolic Church.

Marginalization is a step on the way towards out and out persecution. This were outlined a few years ago by Father Joseph M. Esper over a few days on EWTN in 2012.  Father was reiterating findings from social psychologists who studied the movement of persecution in Germany which led to the killing of over six million Jews in a systematized manner, all legal, all supported by millions of people.

Marginalization is the next to the last step before laws are passed to outlaw the target group and begin fines, imprisonment and finally, death.

I am grateful for one thing. This administration is showing its true colors of its hatred of the Catholic Church in America. The Church is the one institution standing up to the abortion mandate, same-sex-marriage and other moral issues which in the past would have been shared with good Christian leaders.

We have moved far beyond those days. In this post-Christian era, the Church will increasingly be targeted as anti-American.

Antonio Gramsci, who I have studied in great detail, wrote clearly in one of his letters from prison, that the only group of people who understood what the atheist communists were actually doing in the kulturkampf was the Catholic Church. He cited several popes including Leo XIII, as understanding the great enemy of Christian, Western culture and civilization.

The removing of the embassy will be a rude rebuke, a slap-in-the-face to the Vatican, to the Church.

As an American, I am ashamed and horrified. But, this is merely one sign of the times....

Thoughts After Some Conversations with Converts

Among young Catholics of a certain age and among some slightly older converts, there is a huge confusion as to objective and subjective truth. For some reason, mainly the pushing of relativism in the educational systems for over 40 years, most younger Catholics cannot think rationally or logically (not quite the same think) concerning the Teachings of the Catholic Church.

I have written on this before on this blog-follow the tags on thinking like Catholics, etc.

But, the problem does not merely make discussions or teaching difficult for the orthodox, catechist, but makes conversion difficult, as many people want to come into the Church for emotional reasons.

That there is a huge confusion on the application of doctrine to individual moral cases seems so widespread that one can hardly imagine such a large group of Catholics who have never be taught to think like Catholics.

Protestant thinking invaded the Church over 40 years ago with the weakening of the teaching of catechism and the introduction of charismatic renewal, with the emphasis on emotional religious experience.

But, lately, I am concerned at the number of young converts who are not being challenged in RCIA or in personal catechesis to think rationally.

The problem becomes compounded by the acceptance of so-called emotional conversion experiences which take the place of a slower, methodical  approach.

Some dioceses in the States are moving to a two-year RCIA format. To me, this is excellent, as one cannot cover the doctrines of the Church with people who are coming out of absolutely no Christian background or who have been brainwashed by relativism in less than a year, and two years would be better.

If a convert has been reading the Doctors of the Church, or the Early Church Fathers a la Newman, the conversion classes could be shortened. Good priests who do the teaching one on one can make such decisions on an individual basis.

The worst catechized are the college and university students who have converted in that setting and have been accepted after cursory courses.

How can we change the entire thinking structure of a person to think like a Catholic?

I am convinced we need to go back to St. Thomas Aquinas, to the Socratic Method of question and answer and demand a real digestion of the CCC. Also, as I taught Mystagoia in the past, the Church should require that extra year, and not make it optional.

The Church is weakened by those who convert and do not understand the basics. I am talking almost daily with converts who have never heard basic teachings on sacramental theology, the meaning and definition of grace, or the ideas of salvation in and through the Catholic Church only.

There are few who understand the huge difference between objective criteria and subjectivity.

Can we pull back on the numbers games and slowly bring in people who will not be confused, or who fall away once they come to understand what should have been introduced along the way in RCIA or private catechesis?

Here are some past posts on thinking like a Catholic....

10 Jul 2013
To think like a Catholic is to see the reality of the world through the Eyes of God and not one's own eyes. If you have lost the gift of discernment or wisdom given to you in baptism through sin and compromise, pray for such.
13 Apr 2012
Too many of the courses are based on a particular professor's private interests instead of a Catholic world-view. Our priests, bishops and cardinals need to learn to think like Catholics and in too many cases, this perspective is ...
13 Nov 2013
Too many people think America will not become like the broken big brother of Europe, too ... The City of God is not a millennial-type of utopia, but the spiritual city to which we, as baptized Catholics, all belong. But, it must be ...
13 Nov 2013
I have met too many people who are leading Catholics astray by a false emphasis on feelings and experiences, and I have many articles on such here on this blog. ... I cannot trust him, as he is thinking like a Protestant.

18 Nov 2013
Think like a Catholic, pray like a Catholic, and live daily life in the counter-culture which is true Catholicism. God gave us His Son, Who established the Church on earth to help us in our salvation. Do not waste this great grace.
15 Nov 2013
Who is stopping the marginalization of Catholics from discussions in the public sphere? Who is stopping the core curriculum, which is brainwashing? Who is preparing their children to think like Catholics even under stress?
07 Aug 2013
There is a huge campaign in the States at this time and some Catholics are allowing themselves to join the group which is calling a prominent person a name. Let me explain something. Arguing a moral point should never include a reference ... I think these are sins of hatred. Logic was required in private Catholic high schools in the States, at the freshman or .... Let's get back to being like Jesus....Yes, by challenging the present fear of offending. 8 August 2013 16:42.
17 Jul 2012
One piece looks like bones, and another is in the shape of a small crustacean. I was thinking of how my dwelling is built with the ruins of another ancient time of ancient creatures which were once alive. Will there be any ...

21 Nov 2013
We are blessed as Catholics to have both the gift of faith given to us in baptism, and The Faith, passed down to us through the Teaching Magisterium of the Catholic Church. I would like to ask you, dear readers, in these last ...
15 Feb 2012
Because I am thinking of the Catholic use of the media today, here is Campion's Brag. If you remember, he printed this up at Stonor House, and distributed it, among other places, at the parish in Oxford. Brave, brave member ...
11 Apr 2012
Traditional Catholic Blog .... from the pulpit on such matters. He's likely to come off as some Mooslim-like perv who gets excited at the thought of a women's ankle, or sound like an old gay queen in the process. If there's no one ill dressed in the church, why lecture. If someone has got on long tailored shorts in hot weather in church in a tourist area, they'll think they are being singled out for persecution and they may never darken the church door again. Not a good thing.
28 Apr 2013
... knew Catholic doctrine and we today don't. Besides, in times of crisis and distress, when we are not thinking clearly, it is precisely the things we have memorized that come most readily to our aid when we need them. ...The suggestions you make are wonderful, and I have spent a great deal of time with websites like Catholic Icing, Catholicmoms, and A Shower of Roses to get inspiration and mentoring on this journey. It is of great comfort to me to hear of someone ...

16 Nov 2013
Traditional Catholic Blog ... Fair-weather friends tend to be those who only want to be friends if they can gain something from the relationship, or think that what they are gaining are material benefits. I have found out recently that I have been dropped by middle-class minded people who are not interested in understanding or ... These nuns radiate the love and grace of God, and shine like little, hidden saints. They promised to pray for me. I was very touched by their real ...
12 Jul 2012
Here are my reasons why liberal Catholics, especially and some trads have fallen into the trap of the "single vocation", which I do not think exists, except for the above calls. One, selfishness. Our individualistic, selfish and.... I do agree with you, that the single life is not a vocation but in rare circumstances, yet I and some friends like me are really really uneasy with (or perhaps lack the courage for) the dating site concept. I now wonder, are we culpable of not seeking ...
02 Oct 2013
If you are a Catholic and a socialist, you are not thinking like a Catholic. One needs to repent of holding on to false ideologies of all kinds, if one is going to follow Christ in the teachings of His Church. One cannot pick and ...
15 Nov 2013
Think about the travels of SS. Francis, or Dominic, or Catherine of Siena, or Francis Xavier, or Isaac Joques. The Catholic Church is the only institution in the world which has always transcended boundaries. Missionaries, nuns and priests, brothers and sisters, have travelled the world in the past without problems on entry or stay. Convents could set ... Please join me in prayer, as, like St. Paul, I feel called to Europe to work for Christ and His Church there. I have a great ...

25 Jun 2012
Some of these wreckovations are politically, ideologically motivated by "Catholics" who either think like Protestants or Marxists. Still, like a worn-out mantra, people decry the use of beauty in church architecture, vestments, ...
16 Jan 2012
I also think there has to be good reason for not having children. The grand example are two of my favorite Catholics, Jacques and Raissa Maritain, who on the Isle of Wight, as Benedictine Oblates, took a vow of celibacy "for ...
10 Sep 2013
Perhaps Catholics have never read the Decree Against Communism, written in 1949 by Pope Pius XII and reconfirmed in 1962 by Bl. John XXIII. .... Labels: Gramsci, heresies, rabbits, socialism, thinking like Catholics ...
18 May 2013
The Renaissance and the Reformation have shaped the modern western individual, who is not weighed down by external burdens like merely extrinsic authority and tradition; people feel the need to “belong” to institutions less and less (and yet .... The purpose of this contribution is to help Catholics find a key to understanding the basic principles behind New Age thinking, so that they can then make a Christian evaluation of the elements of New Age they encounter.

19 Apr 2012
Many great writers already quoted on this blog, including Garrigou-Lagrange, believe this is not a call only for those special mystics who are obviously given such graces, but for all Catholics. .... I think perhaps the relationship of those who live by the private revelations, those people I have met in abundance in both the Midwest of America and in Ireland and England, indicated that they do fall into a community of people who live ...... Wear Your Tribulation Like A Rose.
30 Nov 2012
Think that the FSSP is a compromising order (I really do not like this one) 5. Think ... I know many good Catholic trad priests who have told me the faculties are not given to SSPX priests and that the Confessions are not valid.
16 Sep 2013
16) (= "to speak to the heart" or "to oneself"), mean "to think." The heart .... Labels: love, marriage, thinking like Catholics ... I think that it is a great book, but the last part from the Makarian Homilies is the best bit of the comment.
08 Jan 2013
The European friends of mine cannot understand wanting to be in charge of your own space. They are think like socialists, even the Catholics. What shocks me is their blind trust in their governments, and worse, the feeling of ...

02 Jun 2013
These good people are self-deceived into thinking that the externals of faith mean they are saved. Interior disposition is ALL in .... to TwitterShare to Facebook. Labels: catholic teaching, magical thinking, thinking like Catholics ...
12 Nov 2013
Are you acting as if your children will not need to be different, special, super-Catholics and saints in the days to come? Do you think they will face a world like yours and mine growing up? Are you forming saints? I see too ...
02 Feb 2013
All I know is that I don't "get" them and would like to understand more - how is that they are so "switched on" and single-minded about TOB? It's interesting, too, that the "TOB" camp promotes the YOUCAT to Catholic youth, ...
04 Dec 2012
I am truly concerned about the present youth who cannot and will not think objectively. If you have ... Now, we shall see the triumph of the Prince of Darkness, unless Catholics begin to think like Catholics-objectively.

16 Nov 2013
He said that right now in these difficult times, many Catholics were not paying attention to building the Kingdom of God, but asleep, busy about other, less important things. Like the unjust judge, they were ignoring not only the ...
04 Jun 2013
I have written about this many times, but one more time will not fact, this post is another contradiction of more magical thinking ... Labels: catholic teaching, magical thinking, private revelations, thinking like Catholics ...
02 Dec 2012
Most people I know could not function like that, traditional Catholics or otherwise. 3 December 2012 04:40 · Supertradmum said... Matthew, one of your comments accidentally got deleted. Please re-post. Thanks. I think it was ...
08 Sep 2013
One would think that it, and its author, never existed. Fortunately, it was written in a manner which is ideal for spoken-word production. It is clear, forthright, concise, descriptive, it is like a mountain stream in a desert, with a reputation of miraculously curing spiritual blindness. Rev. Hugh Thwaites ... Hugh Thwaites SJ, Humani Generis by Pope Pius XII: This encyclical concerns false opinions which threaten to sap the foundations of Catholic Teaching. It corrects the false ...