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Friday 3 October 2014

Lord, Have Mercy Kyrie Eleison

Hello to Readers in Ukraine

And to those in the Independent Republic of the Crimea.

Hello to Readers in Denmark

from SPUC

Friday, 3 October 2014

Cardinal Pell: A change in Catholic discipline on marriage would be sociologically disastrous

Cardinal Pell (right)
I  am currently attending a press conference in Vatican City featuring His Eminence Cardinal Pell (pictured). It's the launch of a book, to which the cardinal has written the preface, entitled The Gospel of the Family, which takes issue with Cardinal Kasper on the reception of Communion by divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.

“Doctrine and pastoral practice cannot be contradictory,” writes His Eminence.

In his address to this afternoon's press conference, Cardinal Pell posed the question: "Was Catholic resistance to Henry VIII all for naught?"

I am here with the Voice of the Family team, founded by SPUC, to support bishops at the Extraordinary Synod as they seek to defend marriage, parents as the primary educators of their children, and Catholic teaching on contraception. Contraception, involving the separation of the unitive and procreative dimensions of the sexual act, has been the catalyst and major source of the culture of death.

In this connection, His Eminence referred to the landmark academic work of Mary Eberstadt, on which I have previously blogged.

He said: "A change in Catholic discipline on marriage would be disastrous".

Comments on this blog? Email them to 

Let The Dead Bury The Dead

Luke 9:57-60Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

57 And it came to pass, as they walked in the way, that a certain man said to him: I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
58 Jesus said to him: The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
59 But he said to another: Follow me. And he said: Lord, suffer me first to go, and to bury my father.
60 And Jesus said to him: Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou, and preach the kingdom of God.

This is one of those harsh sayings of Jesus. He is talking to those who want to be His disciples, but are holding back for one reason or another.
One of the reasons is that one must give up comfort and one's own idea of order to follow Christ. Radical poverty is called for if one really wants to spread the Gospel.
A person cannot be attached to anything physical.
But, what about the second statement of Christ? Does not a son have a duty to bury his father, even in Jewish Law at the time of Christ? We have the example of Tobit, who was considered holy in fulfilling the duty of burying the dead.
So, what does Christ mean?
An over-attachment to the past, to one's family can very well be a barrier to holiness. Those who love Christ, put Him first in life, not second, nor third.
Christ may also be referring to the idolatry of the family, which keeps many Catholics from building community. Christ also may be alluding to a condition of mind, when one escapes facing sin and reality by living in the past. I have written about this many times on this blog "in the past".
Letting the dead burying the dead means moving on, choosing life, not fear or some fantasy of life in the past.
We need to move on from our past sins and not dwell on these. We need to pursue the present, live in the Present Moment, a moment which God ordained for us to live in from all time.

Choose life, not death, and serve the Lord.

On Virginia and West Virginia

Virginia has to be one of the most beautiful states in America. West Virginia is as well.

The countryside of Virginia reminds me of Sussex and "deep Surrey".

God bless all the Virginians. The air has been thick here today and now it is raining. The nine four-month-old kittens just found shelter outside. They are strictly outside cats. Here is a summer photo.

For UK Readers--Any Comments from Other Countries?

What Does A Safe Haven Look Like?


  • Has enough food and water supply for six months.
  • Is off-grid.
  • Has enough bedding and thermal clothes for severest of winters.
  • Has essential, personal documents.
  • Is off the beaten track with no way of outside tracking; ergo, no electronics.
  • Is available only by foot.
  • Includes weapons for both food and protection
  • Has a few books for keeping the mind growing
  • Has Catholic things as in description of Catholic BOB
  • Best case scenario, is not on any map
  • Can hold up to a dozen people.
  • Has essentials for Mass, including vestments, altar ware, hosts, missals


For the past several months, I have been considering BOPs or Bug Out Places.

Every family should have one. And, every family should adopt on elderly person to take along if possible.

But, before choosing a BOP, one must ask one's self these questions regarding one's self and one's children.

Am I planning for me and my family to be survivors? Or,

Am I planning for me and my family to be martyrs?

If I had a family, I would be making these decisions based on these facts

1) If I had teen boys and girls, I would be pursuing a close relationship with a male and female monastery which would take them in case of emergencies. These young ones would have a better chance of keeping their faith and dying as martyr in such a location. Which children of mine need a more intense spiritual disciplined place than I can provide in my family?

2) If I have college age children at university or college, I would have a plan of communication via mail. You decide whether this would include air tickets and instructions.

3) I would send my college or university age children ONLY to either TAC, Christendom or Wyoming Catholic. Professions cannot be based on the status quo, but on what is necesary.

4) I would be teaching all my children survival techniques.

5) Which brings me to the last point, if one is not at a safe haven, and you all need to pray about where those are, where does one go and where does one take one's family? In other words, where is the BOP?


Camps you have bought and which are stashed with six months of provisions.

Isolated land where you have provisions and, of course, a water supply, with the capacity of a six month sojourn.

Small towns, not middle size and absolutely not large urban areas where one may have relatives, or on private, nor corporate, farms.

Places near small TLM communities already established, such as Clear Creek.

God will lead people He wants to survive to such places, but you need to plan NOW.

Roads will be shut. Airports will be shut. Train stations will be shut.

Do not take cell phones or internet computers and tablets.

Do not take GPS systems

Take a military blanket like this below. Drones cannot read body heat through these. Your body signature is blocked.

Bug Out Bags and Bug Out Places

Many Catholics I know across the US, from coast to coast, have bought what they think are safe places.

Safe havens will be rare and depend on supporting communities. I was talking with someone about being self-sufficient today. Very few families are ready. They need to be ready now.

Last Christmas, some friends of mine have a mother who bought them all bug-out bags as Christmas presents.

After some thought and prayer, here are my suggestions with the help of some sites.

First of all, if you are in the country in what you consider is a safe haven, have up to six months provisions, including fuel and food.

Second, make sure you have a BOB with Catholic things added, like your sacramental documents, holy water, rosary, crucifix, breviary, missal, Bible.

Here are some suggestions from

1. Water

It should go without saying that water is a survival basic for any situation. In a survival situation water quickly becomes the most precious commodity.
1 Liter per day per person is really the bare minimum. So your 3 day Bug Out Bag should have at least 3 liters of water.
To expand your capability or survive longer than a couple of days you will need a water purification system. This can be as simple as boiling water and iodine tablets, or a serious water filter.

2. Food

Backpack Meals
Backpack Meals
For a 3 Day Bug Out Bag Backpack Meals and Energy Bars can be sufficient. Back pack meals are freeze dried meals that you just add boiling water to. They are light weight and last a long time.
Obviously you will need a longer term food solution in any type of wide area catastrophe, but for your basic Bug Out Bag backpack meals are a good set up.

3. Clothing

Your Bug Out Bag clothes should be similar to what you would pack for a weekend backpacking trip.
  • A pair of sturdy boots or shoes
  • A pair of long pants (preferably not blue jeans)
  • 2 Pairs of socks (preferably not cotton)
  • 2 Shirts (Maybe 1 long sleeve and 1 short sleeve for layering)
  • A Jacket that is both warm and protection from rain
  • Warm long underwear of some kind
  • A hat
  • A Bandana (30 Uses for a Bandana)
This list could go on for a while and many people would never dream of leaving their Bug Out Bag without twice that much, but in a pinch that set up could get you by for 3 days.
Be sure to plan for the weather in your area: Do You have Seasonal Clothes in Your Bug Out Bag

4. Shelter

Tarp Tent
They Don't have a ground tarp...
If you are going to survive for 3 days you are going to need protection from the elements and a warm dry place to sleep. You need at least:
  1. Some type of tent or tarp and a way to set it up
  2. A ground tarp for underneath your shelter to stay dry  or a sleeping pad (Never underestimate the importance of this)
  3. Some type of Bedroll, preferably a good sleeping bag.

5. First Aid Kit

Trying to cover everything you need in your Bug Out Bag First Aid Kit is another article entirely to itself, probably several more. I won’t try to cover it because I would surely leave something out.
What I will do is recommend that you build your own First Aid Kit instead of buying one of those prepackaged first aid kits that claim to have 1001 things to get you through any emergency. While some are ok, in my experience these types of kits are usually filled with a lot of stuff you are unlikely to need and not enough of the things you will probably need a lot of.
Plus, building your own first aid kit gives you an intimate knowledge of what it contains and how to use it. How many people buy one of those pre-made set ups and just assume they are prepared because there’s so much crap in it there must be what I need? Bad Idea.

6. Basic Gear

MatchesBasic Gear sounds repetitive (what have I been talking about?) but it is my category for the things you absolutely cannot live without but don’t really fit well into another category. Many survivalists will not like this list because it is not exhaustive by any means, but again I will say: It will be enough to get you by for a couple of days.
Rain Gear – at least 2 ways to stay dry in the rain. Poncho and Coat are good coupled with your Tent/Shelter
Fire – A bare minimum of 3 different ways to make fire. I wrote more about this here:Do You have 5 Ways to Make Fire? With that you can get a flame but you will have to actually build the fire up too: 5 Ideas for Fire Tender.
You’re also going to need something to cut your firewood and a knife uses too much energy long term: Choosing the Best Survival Chainsaw
Cooking – Bare minimum here is a small pot/large cup to boil water in for both drinking and freeze dried meals. A small backpacking stove and fuel are better.
Light – At least 2 dependable flashlights and a backup set of batteries for each.
Survival Knife – The most used and most versatile tool in your Bug Out Bag is yoursurvival knife.  I wrote more about this here:  7 Things You Should Consider before Choosing Your Survival Knife

7. Weapons

Glock 19The fact of the matter is you are might be dealing with a “Without Rule of Law” situation, or close to it, and people are likely to do crazy things. Being prepared to defend yourself is part of the survivalist mindset.
Obviously a firearm of some sort is best for this. (Though not in all situations) I will not go into specifics about what type of gun you should bring because that is hotly debated and really a personal choice. Take what is comfortable to you.
Outside of guns your survival knife could be used as weapon if you had to. Also something as simple as a big walking stick or club can be a strong deterrent for bad guys. It’s all about giving yourself options.
Time for hesitating about these BOBs is over!
Here are some suggestions for bags.


The Sandpiper


The sandpiper is made of polyester, has the capacity to carry enough gear for several days, contains multiple compression loops, tie downs and attachment points for equipment and accessories. This bag measures 26″ long 15.5″ wide 10.5″ deep.
Average Rating: 

The Tactical Military MOLLE


The Molle is made of durable 600 D nylon material. It’s easy to organize with one large compartment and six smaller compartments. This bag is MOLLE strap and PALS compatible, is 20″ x 11.5″ x 11″ plus it can expand another 3″, has shoulder straps and a belt that can be stowed for protection during flights.
Average Rating: 

The Spec-Ops T.H.E Pack


The Spec-Ops T.H.E Pack is made from super durable 1000D Cordura Nylon fabric (by far the toughest 1000D nylon fabric on the market today). Has huge YKK #10 zippers on main compartment and large outer pockets. Double Layer Pack Top eliminates stress failure associated with excessive use of carry/drag handle. CAPACITY: 2550 cubic inches.
Average Rating: 

The 511 Rush


The 5.11 Rush 24 Pack is a full-size day pack with a 20″H x 12.5″L x 8″D (2,000 cu in) main compartment and numerous smaller individual pockets and pouches, several with zipper closures. This pack features adjustable, dual density closed-cell foam shoulder straps with Duraflex(TM) hardware.
Average Rating: 

The Maxpedition Vulture


This pack is made of nylon. The main compartment is 20.5″(H) x 16″(W) x 7.5″(D) and the bag has a total capacity of 2810 It has a 1″ Sternum Strap, and a 2″ Integrated Belt. The Maxpedition has a solid nylon back, but still has the mesh on the straps. It carries well, even over long distances.
Average Rating: 

The Condor Three Day Assault Pack


The Condor has a large load cargo capacity compartment with separate pocket to fit up to two 3L hydration bladders, BOlive Draby contour shoulder straps with D-Ring for equipment attachment, sternum starp and waist belt, and External side compression straps. It has a heavy-duty carry and drag handle, two double zipper pulls on the main compartment for easy access, and an individual foam pad back panel for extra comfort and maximum airflow.
Average Rating: 

Next post will be on BOPs.

Reflection Time

Next week, from Wednesday for a few days, I shall be on a small retreat.

However, I need to write some sense on this blog for my dear readers for the next several days. It is time now to stop thinking of normal. If you are in the Boomer Generation and the GenXers and think your grandchildren and children can live as if the world will be the same next year, you are wrong.

You cannot enter into your children's pretenses that the usual majors in college and university will be possible in the near future.

There will be no jobs for most research and fine art majors in the near future. Great scientists are being fired because of cutbacks in research. But, these cutbacks are the tip of the iceberg.

If you are sitting down with your college-age children and thinking they will have a life like yours, you are not listening to God and seeing the signs of the times. If you are not helping them prepare for very hard times both in religion and in the economy, you are doing them a great disservice.

If you are not preparing your children to be saints, either to be martyrs or survivors, you are lying to them as well as yourself

The world in a short time will not look like the world into which you entered as a college or university graduate.

If we enter into a great depression, worse than 1929, what jobs will be worth doing? What will people pay for daily?

My dad's family did not experience the 1929 depression because his family was in the coal industry and had a coal company. Fuel was always needed by someone.

On the other hand, by mother's family experienced the depression as the wage-earner was an accountant, a profession hit by the financial collapse of many businesses and banks.

Stop pretending. The blogs for the next few days will be on the reality of the times. You have the perfection series to show you the way forward spiritually.

It is wake up time.

We shall not have enough priests, we shall need to move in many cases. and families may have to face splitting up for good reasons.

We shall not have real Catholic schools, we shall not have parishes. we shall not have church buildings, we shall not be able to build communities not already started.

We may most likely not be able to move about freely.

I have been reflecting on information given to me by several sources on my travels in Virginia over the past day.

I cannot share details, but I can say that we are very near the collapse of our democracy.

Are you still pretending, Catholic parents? Even the Holy Family had to flee to Egypt.