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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Of Noisy Mass and Quiet Parking Lot

We just returned from 11:30 Mass -- a very noisy Mass, I might add. The funny thing was at the end of the Mass we walked out amidst little groups of laughing and talking families and friends who couldn't wait 90 seconds to take their conversations out of the church. Once we threaded our way through the chattering throng we found ourselves in the blissful peace of....the parking lot. What's wrong with this picture?

Perhaps it's because I just read the article on the Mass by Dietrich Von Hildebrand which I posted earlier this morning, but I found the experience particularly disturbing. So I came home and reread Dietrich Von Hildebrand's article. Let me highlight some points he made and questions he asked that were illustrated by this morning's Mass which was certainly not unorthodox:

The Wisdom of Dietrich von Hildebrand

Visiting my granddaughter, a freshman at the University of Steubenville, I took a turn around the bookstore and picked up Alice Von Hildebrand's biography of her husband Dietrich, The Soul of a Lion. Pope Pius XII called Dietrich Von Hildebrand the "20th century doctor of the Church." As I was reading the initial chapters I remembered he wrote a book called Trojan Horse in the City of God. I haven't read it, but plan to.

Recently, I've been in a few discussions where traditionalists are being trashed and it made me ponder what this great traditionalist defender of the faith said about the changes to the Mass after Vatican II.
Actually, he had plenty to say. The article below was written in 1966, but remains relevant today. Despite the "reform of the reform" that we have seen in recent years, many of Von Hildebrand's criticisms accurately describe our modern Mass. (Hat tip to Traditional Catholic Priest):
“The arguments for the New Liturgy have been neatly packaged, and may now be learned by rote.

Pat Buchanan on Fergusonn

As usual...a voice of common sense in a world that has very little of it!

Race-Based Justice

Friday, August 29, 2014

James O'Keefe Crosses Border Dressed as Osama

And more:

Terrorist Attack on Texas/Mexico Border Imminent?

Are you praying?

Become Like Little Children

When Jesus said, "Become like little children," I think one of the traits he had in mind was children's sense of wonder. I remember our little son once chortling from the back seat as we drove by our house, "Look, there's our tree!" All he could see was the top of the trees but he recognized our tree as something special.

And if anyone understood the attitude of wonder in children, it was G.K. Chesterton. Here's what he wrote in his essay, Sandals and Simplicity:
[I]n nothing is the child so righteously childlike, in nothing does he exhibit more accurately the sounder order of simplicity, than in the fact that he sees everything with a simple pleasure, even the complex things....To the child the tree and the lamp-post are as natural and as artificial as each other; or rather, neither of them are natural but both supernatural. For both are splendid and unexplained. The flower with which God crowns the one, and the flame with which Sam the lamplighter crowns the other are equally of the gold of fairy-tales.
If you want to understand the simple things of life (which are usually the most profound), spend time conversing with children.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thoughts for the Day from St. Augustine

Happy Feast Day, St. Augustine!

I think every Catholic must be familiar with St. Augustine's statement (which I put in poem form to remember):
O Lord, you made our hearts for thee
And ever restless will they be
Until they rest in thee.
But there's another saying that makes me reflect frequently on my life and what I'm doing:
It is better to do great good among few than little good among many. 
Toward the end of his life, St. Thomas Aquinas put down his pen calling all his brilliant writings "straw." Well, my writing doesn't add up to a pile of cow pies. And my grandkids are the treasures of my life, each a pearl of great price. With several home schooling families who would happily enjoy some assistance from Gramma, I wonder if putting down my pen and putting on my apron is a better use of my time.

Prayers for discernment would be most welcome.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ben Carson and Common Sense on Ferguson

Ben Carson nails the tragedy and real problems reflected in Ferguson with some hard questions:

Could it be that we are erroneously being manipulated into making this incident a racial issue, when, in fact, it is a component of a much larger social issue? 
Why are there so many young black men in the streets of America with defiant attitudes that frequently lead to incarceration or death?

Could it be that a large number of them grow up without a father figure to teach them how to relate to authority and the meaning of personal responsibility?
He also suggests some solutions:
As a society, we must concentrate on ways to break this tragic cycle that has produced a higher poverty rate in black communities across America with the increasing frustrations that underscore potentially explosive, tinderbox situations, as we have seen in Ferguson. 
Once we get the most powerful economic engine the world has ever seen back on track with sensible economic policies, we should devote some of the tax revenues generated to child-care facilities that would allow many of those unwed mothers to get their General Education Development or higher degree and become self-supporting.

There are also a number of programs across the nation that offer free classes that teach social and job skills, which would give many of the young men some different options.

We must concentrate on these kinds of programs because we cannot afford to lose large segments of our society to despair and underachievement in an increasingly competitive world. We have a social crisis brewing if we continue down the path we are on now, but we have the power to change our downward course with true compassion that allows people to rise and escape dependency.
Is anybody listening?  (Read complete article here.)

A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two on Your Head?

Or two on your hat?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What You Don't Know about Stealth Euthanasia Can Kill You!

What do you know about...
  • terminal sedation
  • living wills that can kill you
  • "futile care" provisions to hasten your death (Think death panels.)
  • false declarations of death
St. Francis University in Loretto, PA is hosting a conference on November 15th, Defending Life at Risk in a Throwaway Culture. Want to learn more? See their brochure here.  I'm hoping to go.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Is This the Namby-Pamby Jesus of Liberalism?

Today's gospel shows Jesus the head of the Church Militant in warrior form. Can't you almost see Him brandishing the "sword of the Spirit, the word of God."
"Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter. 
"Woe to you , scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves. 
"Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'If one swears by the temple, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.' Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that made the gold sacred?" (Matt 23: 13ff)
Jesus is certainly the lover who won't break a bruised read or quench a burning ember. But he never flinched at condemning hypocrisy, especially from the Jewish clergy of His day. And John the Baptist, among other saints, imitated Him. No one could ever accuse him of being non-confrontational!

So what are we called to do in imitation of Christ? Certainly pray and fast. The Bible makes it clear Jesus often went away to a deserted spot to pray. But are we not also called to confront the evils of our culture and admonish sinners? Shall we not follow Christ into battle with the "sword of the Spirit?"

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Little Ones Hear for First Time!

This is what science is meant for. Praise God for these advances -- "medical miracles."

St. Rose of Lima, Pray for Us!

Wouldn't it be wonderful if all of us loved Jesus the way Rose of Lima did? Her name was really Isabella, but she was such a beautiful infant everyone called her Rose. She lived a quiet life making a little hermitage in the back yard of her family's home, refused to marry, and even did things to disfigure her beauty like rub her face with pepper. She didn't want the young men flocking around her like bees to a flower. Here's a brief summary of her heroic life:
When her parents fell into financial trouble, she worked in the garden all day and sewed at night. Ten years of struggle against her parents began when they tried to make Rose marry. They refused to let her enter a convent, and out of obedience she continued her life of penance and solitude at home as a member of the Third Order of St. Dominic. So deep was her desire to live the life of Christ that she spent most of her time at home in solitude. 
During the last few years of her life, Rose set up a room in the house where she cared for homeless children, the elderly and the sick. This was a beginning of social services in Peru. Though secluded in life and activity, she was brought to the attention of Inquisition interrogators, who could only say that she was influenced by grace. (Read more here.)
Rose was the first saint of the Americas. She died in 1617, only 31-years-old, was beatified 50 years after her death, and canonized a few years later.  What a wonderful saint for our coddled age! We would do well to imitate her humble life.

I am happy to have two little granddaughters named after her, Amelia Rose and Marianna Rose. Happy feast day, girls!