Archive for August, 2009

We must trust Him absolutely

I am the vine, you are the branches … I am the true vine: and my Father is the gardner. Every branch in me, that beareth not fruit, he will take away; and everyone that beareth fruit, he will purge it, that it may bring forth much fruit. (John 15:1-5)

GrapevineThis purging or pruning action of the Father is what disconcerts us.  We see an orchard in full bloom, and what has a more delicate charm? And yet those flowers must disappear if the branches are to bring forth fruit. There are many flowers in our life that seem of great value to us. In God’s sight they are only flowers, and in His mercy He removes them that we may yield Him fruit. He alone knows the deep desires of our hearts, and He alone can satisfy them. We must trust Him absolutely if we wish to achieve out heart’s desire. We are not only the children of God, but we are members of the Mystical Body of His well beloved Son in whom He is well pleased. Every single thing that happens is part of a plan for the development of that Mystical Body. The Three Divine Persons are continually directing events towards that end. The Father to the Body of His Son. The Holy Spirit is continually moving each of us interiorly that we may live the life of the Son. The Son Himself is continually pouring His grace into our soul that we may share His own life. Is it any wonder that all things work together for the good of them that love God?

VineyardThe whole trouble is that – literally – we do not know what is good for us; and what makes the trouble still worse is that we think we do. We have our own plans for our happiness and too often we merely regard God as somebody who will help us to accomplish them. The true state of affairs is just the opposite. God has His plans for our happiness, and He is waiting for us to help Him to accomplish them. And let us be quite clear about it, we cannot improve on God’s plans.

Once a man has realized that God wills his happiness and that all that happens to him is ruled and regulated by God with infinite wisdom and power towards that end, and that all God asks of him is to co-operate with that loving will of His – then, that man has found the beginning of peace. And if he would be filled with that peace which is as a river, full, overflowing, rising up from the depth of his own heart, the peace which surpasses all understanding, the peace which the world cannot give – let him devote himself to the practice of abandonment to God’s will, always remembering that where God’s will is to be done or to be accepted, Jesus Christ is waiting to share our doing of it.

He always does the things that please the Father.

Vita hominis militia est

Sono venuto a portare la spada non la pace” ha detto Gesù in una delle sue frasi meno citate in assoluto.

bayeux-tapestry-haroldE si capisce, perché normalmente il cri-stianesimo indagato e mistificato da tanti progressisti è quello talmente dolce, buono e pio da essere scambiato per un ‘batuffolino’ di cotone imbevuto di incenso con cui scaldare sermoni o comizi ‘democratici e pacifisti’.

La battaglia che il cristianesimo introduce nella vita di chi ha la grazia di incontrarlo è invece un dramma senza quartiere, una lotta dura, molto poco democratica e assai cruenta. Nel compierla con scrupolo e coscienza sta la pace del nostro cuore. Si chiama ascesi, oppure memoria. E’ un allenamento continuo, è un impegno serio, è una battaglia, la battaglia più importante della vita. E’ una battaglia contro il male, contro il male profondo e greve della menzogna e della morte, contro il male dell’odio e delle guerre, contro quello dell’inquinamento della terra o dell’inganno delle illusioni che si comprano a poco prezzo, anche quelle più lussuose. Contro le ingiustizie e le oppressioni, contro il furto e l’assassinio.

Bayeux-TapestryE’ una lotta contro la malvagità dei crimini genetici, degli orrori delle droghe o di quelli ancor più gravi dell’inganno dello spirito dei nostri giovani. E’ una battaglia contro la barbarie dell’impove-rimento ambientale del nostro mondo e contro la miseria della fame, contro lo sfruttamento e le nuove povertà che la globalizzazione dei mercati comporta. E’ una lotta contro le malattie e le truffe di tante case farmaceutiche che se ne approfittano.

E’ una lotta contro il disorientamento, il tanto male e la confusione, nostre prima ancora che del mondo, mie e tue prima ancora che degli altri. Ma soprattutto è una battaglia a favore della vita, da quella nascente di ogni piccola creatura a quella dei nostri vecchi, che deve poter terminare in pace. Lo speriamo anche per noi. Anche senza testamento biologico, ma solo confidando in coloro che ci amano e ci hanno voluto bene per tutta la vita.

Per questo è una battaglia a favore della verità e della bellezza, una poetica esistenziale semplice e popolare, alla portata di tutti, una vita rinnovata con gioia dalla fede che è il dono supremo che la nostra ragione di uomini e di laici ci può portare in dote, ma solo se abbiamo il coraggio di chiederla con umiltà.

Una umiltà che è una lealtà ultima e profonda del nostro cuore di fronte al Mistero che ogni istante rende nuove tutte le cose.

Our Holy Father

Critics of the Catholic Church have found much to fret about since the election of Pope Benedict XVI. Though he has exhibited a deep understanding of our postmodern culture and an intense concern for evangelizing the secular West, many modern pundits have dismissed the new Pope as a cranky conservative whose defense of traditional Catholic teachings will lead the Church into inevitable decline.

If he continues to hold the line on such issues as artificial birth control, abortion, homosexuality and women’s ordination, they argue, the pews will empty out and the Catholic Church will forfeit its influence on our public life.

Pope Benedict XVI

The conventional wisdom of the critics holds that a church attracts more converts by conforming to its members than by challenging its members to conform to the church. They argue that in today’s post-Christian culture, the narrow, rugged path of orthodoxy is simply too tough to travel. Since most people have already abandoned that path, the church’s only hope for survival is to follow them down the broader, more comfortable superhighway of theological and moral relativism.

Such conclusions are dominant in public discussions of the Church’s future. They are also dead wrong. As the case of mainline Protestant churches so aptly demonstrates, the liberalization of sexual mores and the dilution of doctrine amounts to institutional suicide for those churches.

By following the siren song of cultural accommodation in the hopes of appeasing disgruntled members and attracting new ones, liberal Protestant church leaders have seen their pews emptied, their Christian witness compromised and their cultural influence diminished. Their members, meanwhile, have fled to churches that defend traditional faith and mores.

A study conducted a few years ago by the Glenmary Research Centre verified this trend. Researchers found that between 1990 and 2000, the congregations that grew fastest were socially conservative churches that demanded high commitment from their members — a category that includes the Traditional Catholic Church, as well as some evangelical and Pentecostal churches. Socially liberal churches, meanwhile, were hemorrhaging members at the fastest rate. As the centre’s director, sociologist Ken Sanchagrin, explained to The New York Times, “the more liberal the denomination, by most people’s definition, the more members they were losing.” That phenomenon is not new. Sociologist Rodney Stark unearthed a similar dynamic when studying early Church history for his book, The Rise of Christianity. Stark’s review of the evidence led him to conclude that many of the characteristics that made Christianity flourish in the pagan culture of the Roman empire are the same ones that make socially conservative churches flourish in our neo-pagan culture today. In contrast to their pagan contemporaries, the early Christians preached a radical message about God’s love, defended the dignity of the human person, and embraced countercultural values. Their distinctive behaviour and beliefs attracted the interest of outsiders, and their unflinching fidelity to the teachings of Jesus made the early Church grow by leaps and bounds.

Such lessons of history — both ancient and modern — are often ignored by the champions of Church reform today. But they are not lost nor overlooked by Pope Benedict XVI.

Pope Benedict XVI has taken up the mantle of the new evangelization, and he has wisely recognized that it will succeed only if the Church proposes a compelling alternative to the dominant relativism of our day, not a baptized imitation of it. His plan for Church renewal disregards conventional wisdom in favour of the supernatural. For that, and for the election of this wise and faithful shepherd, Catholics should be deeply grateful.

Programma odierno …

Clowns

… trarre dalla vita ciò che si può ottenere di buono, di piacevole, di divertente.  La vita ha da esser una gioia, non una punizione.  La leggendaria valle di lacrime deve mutarsi in una valle di piaceri.  Tutto ciò che può rattristare, se appena appena sia possibile deve essere eliminato.  Bisogna abolire il dolore.  Impresa disperata?

Non si deve disperare mai.  Si deve invece lavorare tenacemente per tentare l’abolizione della tristezza, delle spiacevoli cose che possano dar noia, dei bambini che sicuramente saranno un intralcio ad una vita divertente, di tutte le contrarietà che contribuiscono ad amareggiare la vita.  Via, via! Ridere bisogna, ridere sempre, come fanno le ‘star’ con quella loro espressione standardizzata: ridere, per convincere gli altri e se stessi che tutto va bene.  Perciò anche l’amore va addomesticato.

L’amore dev’essere una gioia, non deve dare mai nessuna tristezza. Ridere di felicità deve: non far piangere, mai. Dunque niente struggimenti, né dolorosi sospiri, né sospetti, niente gelosia che fa male al cuore e avvelena la vita. L’amore è una faccenda allegra, è un business che si contratta con la felicità. Se non è allegro, e non dà piacere, si cambia, oggi non c’è problema e non c’è limite. La passione d’amore? Magnifico sentimento, purchè non dia amarezze. Deve essere sempre dolce, rosa rosa, come nei films passionali dove l’amore è tutto zucchero, da far venire il diabete anche a un individuo inacidito.

Idols

The atheist denies the transcendence of the human spirit, the aching need we experience to break out beyond the finite, the limited, the material, into the realm of unending beauty, joy, love and happiness.  But in his practice he contradicts himself, for in rejecting the real God he inevitably sets up and pursues his own self-chosen gods.  He cannot succeed in stifling his own spirit, for he, like the rest of us, requires absolutes, something to glorify and worship. Dostoevsky was correct in his observation that every human being  believes either in God or in one or more idols. What is first secularized, that is, declared autonomous and independent of all religious influence, is eventually deified, that is, declared to be sovereign and authoritative in all areas of life.

Among the idols that replace the living God in modern society four stand out: pleasure, prestige, society and sports.

cheering communist leaderMoney could be considered the supreme idol, but actually it is the supreme means, for without much of it the four gods could not be well served.  That the four idols are four gods can be seen in any large daily newspaper or in any extended viewing of TV.

The pleasure principle is so thoroughly adopted by millions of people that they act according to it without the least advertence.  For many the choice of food, friends, recreation, travel and leisure is based predominantly, if not exclusively, on how much and what kind of pleasure is available.  In its extravagant forms of drugs and self-centred sex, clear moral norms are readily rejected or set aside because the idol must be served.

Living in the minds of other people is idol number two.  One of the ways in which prestige is worshipped is the sheeplike acceptance of the decrees of fashion designers. The dead earnestness of famous dress designers and the meek acquiescence of women to the decrees declared from the heights of Rome, Paris and New York border on the ludicrous.  Men are now increasingly joining women in their worship of vanity via all sorts of idolettes: hair sprays, skin lotions, figure-revealing clothing, jewelry, etc. Far more money is spent on these trinkets than on food for the poor, care for the disabled, comfort for the sick, the enhancing of religious worship. Attending a cocktail party in a dress or jacket that is considered out of date would strike immeasurably more horror in the hearts of some people than being reminded that millions of people will go to bed tonight with empty stomachs.

sportCommunism in one way and capitalism in another worship idol number three, society. The former, however, furnishes the most obvious and ludicrous example of replacing one religion with another.

The fourth idol in many nations is sports. I recently saw a TV documentary that portrayed the intense rivalry between the fans of two football teams.  Not only was it plain that sports had become a type of religion complete with its rituals before, during and after the games, but I noticed an obvious absence of joy in the very playing.  During the interviews the ‘stars’ seldom, if ever, smiled.  The game was deadly serious business.

The void created by the theoretical or practical denial of God is especially obvious in the widespread illusion that the results of sporting games really matter. Nothing in the real world changes as a result of what happens on the playing field.

Il laico ha sempre ragione

communion by lay ministersNegli ultimi decenni è cresciuto e si è diffuso un laicismo anomalo, sia nelle sue formulazioni teoriche che nella vita concreta della Chiesa.  Si è arrivati addirittura ad affermare che “il Concilio ha ribaltato (sic!) la piramide ecclesiale ponendo come elemento costitutivo della Chiesa, i laici”. Un laicismo aggressivo e conflittuale ha preso piede.

Forza, cantiamo!Preti che fanno i laici (nel modo di parlare, di vestire, di comportarsi) e laici che vorrebbero fare i preti. L’influenza del protestantesimo ha ridotto la Chiesa solo ai laici, affermando che non esistono proprio sacerdoti e vescovi come li intende il cattolicesimo.

Dopo il Concilio in un bel po’ di ambienti, si è lavorato per sbiadire o negare la differenza sostanziale tra preti e laici, si è cercato di laicizzare i preti (secolarizzandone il ruolo), la loro specifica identità, il loro unico ruolo, la loro speciale missione, i loro originali comportamenti. Alcuni hanno addirittura affermato che i preti sarebbero stati un’invenzione della Chiesa nel solito quarto secolo dopo Cristo: prima non sarebbero esistiti!

the singing priestDa una parte c’è stata una crescita autentica del laicato, ma dall’altra c’è stata anche un’ipertrofia illecita del ruolo e delle funzioni del laico. C’è stata una forte ed accentuata de-sacralizzazione del sacerdote: il secolarismo toglie al prete la sua figura mistica e di persona sacra con una funzione soprannaturale. Il prete diventa solo il compagno di strada, l’amicone dei giochi e dello svago: non il direttore spirituale ma solo l’accompagnatore, ecc. Abbiamo assistito ad una lunga trafila di grottesche figure: preti-manager, preti-operai, preti-ballerini e cantanti, preti-noglobal, preti-comunisti, preti-guerriglieri, preti-showman, ecc. carismatici romaIl sacerdote spesso è ridotto solo a semplice “coordinatore del consenso”, a solo animatore del sociale ecclesiastico e ad inserirsi nei meccanismi di consenso dal basso. Il prete perde autonomia: è organizzato statalisticamente dalla diocesi, dalle associazioni, dai movimenti, dalla programmazione pastorale. Come nella sgangherata psicologia di Carl Rogers “il cliente ha sempre ragione”, così nel laicismo postconciliare “il laico ha sempre ragione o … quasi”. Il laico avrebbe solo diritti e quasi nessun dovere. Il prete avrebbe solo doveri e quasi nessun diritto. In alcuni gruppi questo laicismo è talmente forte ed evidente che si giunge a giustificare e a promuovere i ruoli abusivi del “catechista” o del “carismatico” o della “pia donna” di turno.

Qui indubbiamente sta una delle cause del gran numero di perdite subite dalla chiesa, perdite che hanno gravemente colpito il servizio pastorale e le vocazioni al sacerdozio, in particolare le vocazioni missionarie.

Now, for me … that’s a miracle!


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Another beautiful day! Praise the Lord.

August 2009
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THE LATIN MASS


The most beautiful thing this side of heaven!




FALANGI, TRUPPE, DIVISIONI CORAZZATE. ECCO CHE AVANZA IL NUOVO CATTOLICO: INNAMORATO DI GESU', INTRANSIGENTE, MOVIMENTISTA, IL CROCIATO DEI VALORI, IL SOLDATO DI CRISTO, UN CUORE TRADIZIONALISTA, AMANTE DELLA MESSA DI TUTTI I TEMPI ...



e-campagna: Io sto con il Papa

IL CANTO DEL PARADISO


Dopo due millenni di studi, di ricerche e di esplorazioni scientifiche, la genesi del canto gregoriano resta un mistero irrisolto


RELIGIOUS LIBERTY MIGHT BE SUPPOSED TO MEAN THAT EVERYBODY IS FREE TO DISCUSS RELIGION. IN PRACTICE IT MEANS THAT HARDLY ANYBODY IS ALLOWED TO MENTION IT.



PRAY THE ROSARY


The story of our salvation!







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IN HOC SIGNO VINCES




INDIFFERENTISM is a mortal sin; a condemned heresy. That's the Catholic view of the matter. INDIFFERENTISM paves the way to MORAL RELATIVISM. I have been accused of the opposite of ‘Indifferentism’, which is defined as ‘Rigorism’, and the charge is not without some merit. I believe in a rigorous following of Church doctrine and in strict accuracy in proper Catholic catechesis, and I openly attack watered-down Catholic doctrine and catechesis whenever and wherever I encounter it. Many friends scold me saying that for me it’s either my way or the highway. But here’s the thing … it’s not my way; I didn’t make up all (or any of) the rules of Catholicism. I’ve been told “you’re too rigid in your doctrine,” as if it were my doctrine. When it comes to Catholic catechesis, there is only one Church teaching, and it is represented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I’m prepared to defend any item in it, against any opponent. I draw the line at ‘indifferentism’ and ‘moral relativism’. All belief systems are not the same. The ones who push it the most are the ones who seek to replace it with something less. Again, indifferentism paves the way to moral decay. Don’t let it seep into your thinking. May you please God, and may you live forever.

“Oremus pro beatissimo Papa nostro Benedicto XVI: Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.”



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MODERN CATHOLICS SEE THE CHURCH AS AN ‘OLD-FASHIONED’ DISCRIMINATORY INSTITUTION OF WHICH THEY ARE ASHAMED – A TRADITIONAL CATHOLIC WILL DIE TO DEFEND IT.

MODERN CATHOLICS WOULD JUST AS SOON LEAVE THE CHURCH FOR A TRENDY ALTERNATIVE IF THEY DON’T GET THEIR WAY – A TRADITIONAL CATHOLIC WILL REMAIN UNTIL THE END OF TIME.


THE CHURCH MILITANT NOW, MORE THAN EVER, NEEDS STRONG WARRIORS.




The Catholic Church doesn’t need progressives, Nor does it need Reactionary Conservatives - It badly needs Catholic Traditionalists that practice faith, hope and charity. So don’t be shy! Come forward.

“When Christ at a symbolic moment was establishing His great society, He chose for its corner-stone neither the brilliant Paul nor the mystic John, but a shuffler, a snob, a coward - in a word, a man. And upon this rock He has built His Church, and the gates of Hell have not prevailed and will not prevail against it. All the empires and the kingdoms have failed because of this inherent and continual weakness, that they were founded by strong men and upon strong men. But this one thing - the historic Catholic Church - was founded upon a weak man, and for that reason it is indestructible. For no chain is stronger than its weakest link.”
(G.K. Chesterton)



Anno Sacerdotale

Pope Benedict XVI has declared a “Year for Priests” beginning with the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 19, 2009. The year will conclude in Rome with an international gathering of priests with the Holy Father on June 19, 2010.
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Quest'anno sia anche un'occasione per un periodo di intenso approfondimento dell'identità sacerdotale, della teologia del sacerdozio cattolico e del senso straordinario della vocazione e della missione dei sacerdoti nella Chiesa e nella società.
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Let your light so shine before men that, seeing your good works, they may glorify your Father in Heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
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In Domino laudabitur anima mea.





"That sense of the sacred dogmas is to be faithfully kept which Holy Mother Church has once declared, and is not to be departed from under the specious pretext of a more profound understanding."- Pope Leo XIII, Testem Benevolentiae

Nessuno di noi entrerà in Paradiso senza portare con sé un fratello o una sorella. Ciascuno di noi deve uscire dalla folla e reggersi sulle proprie gambe, fiero di essere un Cattolico e capace di testimoniare la sua Fede.
Ci stiamo comportando come se la Fede Cattolica fosse un affare privato. Questo non è affatto vero. Penso che potremo andare molto, molto lontano, se riusciremo a convincere tutti i Cattolici a farsi carico della salvezza del mondo intero.
Il mondo ha bisogno di essere salvato e deve essere ciascuno di noi a farlo.




Cantate …


Cantate Domino canticum novum. Cantate Domino omnis terra. Cantate Domino et benedicite nomini Ejus. Annuntiate de die in diem salutare Ejus.

Causa nostrae laetitiae




“We can believe what we choose. We are answerable for what we choose to believe”.
(John Henry Newman)



Pueris manus imponit

Iesus vero ait eis - Sinite parvulos, et nolite eos prohibere ad me venire - talium est enim regnum caelorum.




“There is another essential aspect of Christianity: the interior, the silent, the contemplative, in which hidden wisdom is more important than practical organizational science, and in which love replaces the will to get visible results”.
(Thomas Merton)



Lo Spirito Santo


Uno dei Suoi nomi è "Consolatore"!




Confession

Confession heals, confession justifies, confession grants pardon of sin. All hope consists in confession. In confession there is a chance for mercy. Believe it firmly. Do not doubt, do not hesitate, never despair of the mercy of God. Hope and have confidence in confession.




“Almeno sei volte durante gli ultimi anni mi sono trovato nella situazione di convertirmi senza esitazione al cattolicesimo, se non mi avesse trattenuto dal compiere il gesto azzardato l'averlo già fatto”.
(G.K. Chesterton)



"Whatsoever I have or hold, You have given me; I give it all back to You and surrender it wholly to be governed by your will. Give me only your love and your grace, and I am rich enough and ask for nothing more."

(St. Ignatius of Loyola - Spiritual Exercises, #234)



"Mia madre è stata veramente una martire; non a tutti Gesù concede di percorrere una strada così facile, per arrivare ai suoi grandi doni, come ha concesso a mio fratello e a me, dandoci una madre che si uccise con la fatica e le preoccupazioni per assicurarsi che noi crescessimo nella fede".
J.R.R. Tolkien scrisse queste parole nove anni dopo la morte di sua madre.






Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:13)




“Beati sarete voi quando vi oltraggeranno e perseguiteranno, e falsamente diranno di voi ogni male per cagion mia. Rallegratevi ed esultate perché grande è la vostra ricompensa nei cieli”.