O Lord Thou shalt open my lips and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ember Wednesday: Rorate

Here is a nice rendition of the hymn Rorate, with a picture of today's Mass (Ember Wednesday in Advent), which in some places is celebrated in the dark with extra candles. The words (Latin/English below) are a nice summary of the texts of today's Mass and what they are trying to say.

(Scroll down for English)

Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum.
Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum.

Ne irascaris Domine, ne ultra memineris iniquitatis: ecce civitas Sancti facta est deserta: Sion deserta facta est: Jerusalem desolata est: domus sanctificationis tuae et gloriae tuae, ubi laudaverunt te patres nostri.

Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum.

Peccavimus, et facti sumus tamquam immundus nos, et cecidimus quasi folium universi: et iniquitates nostrae quasi ventus abstulerunt nos: abscondisti faciem tuam a nobis, et allisisti nos in manu iniquitatis nostrae.

Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum.

Vide Domine afflictionem populi tui, et mitte quem missurus es: emitte Agnum dominatorem terrae, de Petra deserti ad montem filiae Sion: ut auferat ipse iugum captivitatis nostrae.

Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum.

Consolamini, consolamini, popule meus: cito veniet salus tua: quare maerore consumeris, quia innovavit te dolor? Salvabo te, noli timere, ego enim sum Dominus Deus tuus, Sanctus Israel, Redemptor tuus.

Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum.

Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One.
Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One.

Be not angry, O Lord, and remember no longer our iniquity : behold the city of thy sanctuary is become a desert, Sion is made a desert. Jerusalem is desolate, the house of our holiness and of thy glory, where our fathers praised thee.

Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One.

We have sinned, and we are become as one unclean, and we have all fallen as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast crushed us by the hand of our iniquity.

Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One.

See, O Lord, the affliction of thy people, and send him whom thou hast promised to send. Send forth the Lamb, the ruler of the earth, from the rock of the desert to the mount of the daughter of Sion, that he himself may take off the yoke of our captivity.

Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One.

Be comforted, be comforted, my people; thy salvation shall speedily come. Why wilt thou waste away in sadness? why hath sorrow seized thee? I will save thee; fear not: for I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Redeemer.

Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

He is coming...

This is a powerful rendition of Veni, Veni Emmanuel (all Latin of course, or else it wouldn't be here):

I was moved by it while looking at this image of OLG, as she is pregnant:

Since December 12 (of all days), I've gotten quite a devotion to her, both for personal reasons and because she's the titular of the FSSP Seminary that, God willing, will be my alma mater.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Which Do You Prefer: Venereal Pleasure or Spiritual?

The devil and his minions in the world (demon and human alike) love to tempt us with physical pleasure. Regarding carnal pleasure vs. other temptations, St. Alphonsus Liguori said that when the devil temps people, he fishes with a hook. When he tempts people with venereal pleasure, he fishes with a net. God also offers us pleasure, but that pleasure is spiritual, not physical. We must choose one. Which is more important to us?

One can liken it to a silver coin and a gold bar. The silver coin is carnal pleasure and the gold bar is spiritual pleasure.The two types of pleasure are very different. One is in the flesh, the other is in the soul. They are different as gold and silver are different. They are both precious and necessary. Carnal pleasure is needed for procreation and spiritual pleasure (union with God) for sanctification. However spiritual matters are above physical, as gold is more precious than silver. Carnal pleasure is of a certain quantity and is precious to a certain degree, and so it is with a coin. Carnal pleasure is from man, who is finite, thus rendering carnal pleasure finite and the coin is small.

On the other hand, spiritual pleasure is from God. Thus, spiritual pleasure is of greater size and value, and so is the bar. In fact, since God is infinite, spiritual pleasure has an infinite intrinsic value (the value of what God does or tries to do). It's extrinsic value however (what we allow God to do), is based on the soul receiving it. Since the soul is finite, it has a finite capacity for spiritual pleasure. The better disposed the soul is, that is, the more the soul opens itself up to God, the greater the extrinsic value of the spiritual pleasure, thus the soul receives more spiritual pleasure. The gold bar then, has an infinite source of gold to melt in the furnace and the soul is only limited by how big of a mold it provides the Goldsmith (God). The more the soul offers itself to God and dedicated itself to God, the bigger the mold and the more gold it receives from God. The silver coin however, has a finite source of silver, as well as a finite capacity.

Further, the coin is offered by a crooked salesman waving it in your face and pressuring you to take it. The gold bar sits on a table. Nobody pressures you. Nobody sells it. It's yours for the taking. Which do you take? There is a vast amount of pressure put on you to take the silver coin. There is no mention made of the gold bar, but you can see that it is there offered to you without any pressure. Nobody is telling you to take it, but everyone is trying to make you take the coin. The problem is that the gold bar is far more of a treasure than a silver coin. Such is the dilemma of a soul trying to be chaste.

P.S.: I know someone will bring up the issue of those who are married, as they are expected to have carnal pleasure and spiritual pleasure through union with God like everyone else. I suppose we can say that their gold bar has a different silver coin embedded in it, with the same pressure as above: take the coin and ignore the bar (even though the bar has a coin, which according to the salesman is an inferior coin).

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cd. Wuerl not a Dope

Cardinal Wuerl of Washington has shown that his red hat was worth at least the price the pope paid for it, as he has condemned pro-gay groups. The Rainbow Sash Movement and Catholics for Equality claim that the latter's appearance at Georgetown comes with archdiocesan approval. Now, Georgetown is the same place that complied with the request of US Dictator, sorry, President, Obama's request to cover up the Holy Name. Georgetown obeys liberals, not the Catholic Faith, so this appearance by "Catholics" for Equality is no surprise. They readily deny the faith to support people's "feelings".

The Archdiocese of Washington had this to say (via LifeSiteNews, via CatholicVote.org):
“Putting the label ‘Catholic’ on a group doesn’t make it Catholic. It’s not a Catholic organization. It was formed in opposition to Catholic teaching.”

Darn right...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Go Take a Shower!

II Sunday of Advent - I Cl.

Epistle: Rom 15:4-13
Brethren: Whatever things have been written have been written for our instruction, that through the patience and the consolation afforded by the Scriptures we may have hope. May then the God of patience and of comfort grant you to be of one mind towards one another according to Jesus Christ; that, on in spirit, you may with one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive one another, even as Christ has received you to the honor of God. For I say that Christ Jesus has been a minister of the circumcision in order to show God’s fidelity in confirming the promises made to our fathers, but that the Gentiles glorify God because of His mercy, as it is written, Therefore will I praise You among the Gentiles, and will sing to Your name. And again He says, Rejoice, you Gentiles, with His people. And again, Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles; and sing His praises, all you peoples. And again Isaias says, There shall be the root of Jesse, and He Who shall arise to rule the Gentiles... in Him the Gentiles shall hope. Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Gospel: Matt. 11:2-10
At that time, when John had heard in prison of the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples to say to Him, Are You He Who is to come, or shall we look for another? And Jesus answering said to them, Go and report to John what you have heard and seen: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not scandalized in Me. Then, as they went away, Jesus began to say to the crowds concerning John, What did you go out to the desert to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Behold, those who wear soft garments are in the houses of kings. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before Your face, who shall make ready Your way before You.’

Today we get the first of three Advent exhortations concerning St. John the Baptist. We are to make ready for the Lord's arrival. The Lord has three arrivals, three comings. The first coming was in the flesh, in Bethlehem. It is a past event. It is not happening now, even though many people who celebrate Christmas act as if it is. The Novus Ordo acts as if it does. The first coming has come and ascended back to heaven. While we celebrate that coming, for it is Our Savior's birthday, we must not make it the primary aspect of the celebration. Instead, we focus on the second coming, which is in the spirit. The second coming is now. The second coming is the coming of the Lord into our souls. It is His dwelling in us through the Sacraments. It is us treating Him as Our Divine Lover and not some Guy we see once a week. It is us having an intimate relationship with Him. That acceptance of Him is the second coming, the coming in the spirit, our spirit, our soul. The third coming is the coming at the end of time. Protestants and doom-sayers falsely claim that the third is really the second. They leave out the second coming in the spirit. This is not all to surprising. They do not have the Eucharist, so they cannot be intimate with Him and He cannot dwell in them.

So while we celebrate the first coming, we cannot let it be the primary focus of the Advent and Christmas seasons. I'll cover the focus of the Epiphany season when we get there. (Preview: It's the three-fold manifestation of Christ.) While we also prepare for the third coming, we cannot let that get out of control and start thinking we know the day or the hour, for God alone knows that. Instead, we focus primarily on the second coming-receiving the Lord and keeping an intimate relationship with Him.

If we are going to be able to receive Him in this way, we need to make ready, as St. John the Baptist says. We must clean our souls. St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, paraphrasing St. Peter Damian (double sainted for that extra saint goodness) says "that all the obscenities of the sinner shall be one day converted into pitch, which shall eternally nourish in his bowels the fire of hell." So to travel along on the logic of Sts. Peter Damian & Alphonsus Liguori, a sin is like a measure of tar on the soul. It blackens the soul. It is very difficult to remove. If you try to remove it yourself, you only rub it in more. You need a powerful grease-cleaner. This grease cleaner is Confession. There is no other path to cleanliness. If you remain covered in tar, then that tar will be lit aflame and will be the unending fuel for the eternal hellfire. It's as if a soul's judgement is an attempt by God to set it on fire. It it bursts into flames, it is cast into Hell. If the amount of fuel is minuscule, but still present, it isn't enough to light, but still must be cleaned, so it is cast into Purgatory. If the soul cannot light at all and has no pitch at all, it is pure enough for Heaven.

If God is going to dwell in us, then we must clean ourselves. We would certainly clean our homes if someone famous would visit. The same is true if God is to visit our souls and accept each of us. In today's Gospel, Christ asks the crowd who they went to see in the desert, if it was just anyone. They did not go to see just anyone, but a prophet. Likewise, it is not just anyone that we go to see at Mass, but God Himself that is there waiting for us, waiting to be intimate with us at the Communion rail. If we are going to have Christ as Our Divine Lover, then we would of course have "dates" by way of hearing Mass and approaching the altar rail. If we are to have dates, we must get ready first. No one dares show up for a date dressed like a slob, covered in filth and smelling like who knows what. That person would never get a second date with any living, breathing, human being. That is exactly what sin does to the soul. Sin leaves the soul dirty and with a foul stench. If God is to welcome us and be willing to dwell in us, we must get ready and wash our souls in Confession. The confessional is like a shower stall for the soul. A person that never showers their soul, is like a person that never showers their body. St Jean Marie Vianney once saw a wealthy and famous woman at his church, making an appearance just to look good. She wasn't there because she loved God, but rather she wanted to look good, she was only concerned with her appearance and reputation. The priest-saint, knowing full well why she was there, said to her, "Madame...I am sorry, but the stench of your soul is so great, I must vomit." Let us not be the same way. Let us go to Confession.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sexual Self-Control

Saint Bibiana, Virgin, Martyr - III Cl.

St. Bibiana was a roman girl who was orphaned by Julian the Apostate martying her parents. She was, with her sister Demetria, taken to prison and had all her possessions taken away by the Roman Praetor, Apronianus. The girls resisted arrest and Demetria was beaten to death before her sister's eyes. Bibiana survived to be coerced into loosing her virginity by a woman named Rufina, but refused and survived with her virginity intact, only to be scourged to death. The priest John retrieved her body, after it had been rotting outside for two days, and buried her with her parents and sister. A church dedicated to St. Bibiana now stands over the graves. 

In an age where sex is seen as a normal, healthy part of any relationship, and as something casual, that every couple is expected to have, the human nude is reduced to an instrument of pleasure, that it is no more than a means of making yourself happy. At that point, your just being used by your partner. Few people see the body as something that is, in a certain sense, sacred; something to be veiled and treated with awe and wonder, for it is the masterpiece of physical creation and thus the most beautiful and dignified thing created by God among physical creation, so it gets special treatment. Many say that the Saints' Calendar in the 1962 Missal needs to updated to include recent canonizations, and it does, but it also needs more martyrs. In our times, marked by the increased persecution of the Catholic Church (both from enemies outside the Church looking to silence the Church and enemies inside looking to change and eliminate the practices dating from the years 30-1962), we need more martyrs on the calendar, especially virgin martyrs, since sexual sins are so rampant and so many beautiful young women grow up to be objects of pleasure, just because they want to keep their boyfriends happy or rebel against their parents (who themselves are probably committing similar sins-some role models they are). We all can name a number of individual girls that were beautiful once in grace of the sacraments, but have fallen away from the Church and their bodies have been desecrated by their sins. The horrifying nature of these sins is only made more horrifying by the fact that there are so many people committing them. How many are confirmed, fall away, and cohabit? Surely it's millions in the US alone. O St. Bibiana, virgin pure, pray for us!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Pope on Condoms

The media and "Catholics" in open rebellion against the Church and her "old" teachings claim that the pope has "finally" approved condom use.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Here's what he said:
"There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants. But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection. That can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality.
Are you saying, then, that the Catholic Church is actually not opposed in principle to the use of condoms? 
She of course does not regard it as a real or moral solution, but, in this or that case, there can be nonetheless, in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality."

B16 is saying that by using condoms, you are not, not, I repeat, NOT doing good, but rather trying to do good. By using condoms to fight AIDS, you have good intentions, but are still doing evil.

Liberals/progressivists/moderists/those wishing to "update" and "revise" Church teaching think they have won a key battle in getting the last remaining Christian group to allow condoms, but condoms are still intrinsically evil and condom use is always a mortal sin. The Church cannot change what is and what isn't a sin. Only God can do that. B16 isn't claiming to do that. B16 is NOT a heretic. He condemns condoms in these quotes. It's just that those opposed to tradition only read what they want to read because they want the Church to surrender to the world on moral issues and legalize condoms. The problem is that the Church does not have the jurisdiction to do such a thing.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Abolish the TSA (they're peeping toms)

CatholicVote.org has not just one, or even two, but three (!!!) articles on why the TSA and it's security standards need to go. In short, it is financially inefficient and an expression of the government's paranoia about airline security. The second article is the shortest and gets to the point: How is disbanding the TSA a “Catholic issue”? Well, human dignity, modesty and privacy are absolutely important to Catholics, as is the security of our country. I think the TSA is a government bureaucracy run amok; an intrusive, ineffective system which limits the freedoms of citizens (while wasting large amounts of public money).

Current airport security procedures and not only fueled by paranoia, but they also are invasions of privacy.

These pics will explain:

This is from CV (the second post linked above):
When you're searching a nun, game over, your paranoid. I know what some will say: But what if a female terrorist disguises herself as a nun?! Saying such a thing is a symptom of paranoia. What ever happened to trusting in Divine Providence?

Here's another that I easily found via Google Images & had to censor myself:
The gun censored her donkey for me. The picture (literally) speaks for itself. Everyone is entitled to privacy. It's a basic part of being human. Your not allowed to peep at someone without their permisson, unless it is a matter of safety and security. If the "security" is being randomly chosen by a computer, then there is no security reason. There has to be a legitimate suspicion that your dangerous, not a random draw to see who has been shaving where. 

I know that I will be flying back and forth from Massachusetts and Nebraska when I enter OLG Seminary and the FSSP, and there are no direct flights, so I know I will be spending lots of time in airports. Now, I have nothing to be embarrassed about "down there" (I've chosen celibacy, so ladies, it's your loss), but choosing passengers at random for scans like the one above is just an invasion of privacy based on paranoia. It's not based on security, it's based on paranoia. If someone were to leave explosives in an airport restroom toilet, you can bet your last dollar that every toilet in every airport (at least in the US and EU) will have a camera and someone on the other end of the feed will be watching you relieve yourself-all in the name of your "safety". Sometimes we just need to let it go and trust in Divine Providence, or else paranoia will set in-a rather disturbing paranoia. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Quod est Caritas?

     Pilatus dixit, Quod est Veritas? Ego dico, Quod est Caritas?

     Let us take as an example a woman. She meets a man, and filled with lust and deceived by his romance, lies with  him and falls into grave sin. This becomes habitual. Among the youth of today, the vast majority do so by the time they're 24. Many have multiple such partners by that time. Some at the same time. One major characteristic of such people is that they are Catholics who have abandoned the practice of religion. They have been confirmed, and the following day simply left. Each of us can list dozens of such people.

     Let us also take for example a man. He is a priest. He is a priest of great piety and each day his heart longs to offer the Holy Sacrifice. Whispering the words of consecration is the highlight of his day and of his life. Pronouncing the words of absolution Dominus Noster Jesus Christus te absolvat at ego per auctoritate Ipsius to absolve ab omni vincula exommunicationis et interdicti, in quantum possum et te indiges. DIENDE, EGO TE ABSOLVO IN NOMINE PATRIS ET FILII ET SPIRITUI SANCTO. AMEN. gives him great satisfaction. He too knows dozens of people such as described above. Let us suppose that he knows the specific woman of the example. Every time he whispers that Sacred Form, he thinks of her. His heart is weighed down by her sin. As an Alter Christus, it is his very duty to bear her sins, to take them to the altar, and there make satisfaction for them.

     The man with whom she habitually lies is of course not her husband. They say that they're in love. He says that he loves her. He, like most men, is constantly trying to convince her to lie with him. He is a foolish young man; a youth with no sense. [Pr. 7:7] Deceived by his scandalous temptations, she too wishes to dive with him into sin. They resolve themselves to lead each other into sin, all of it under the pretense of "love". And catching the young man, she kisseth him, and with an impudent face, flattereth, saying: I vowed victims for prosperity, this day I have paid my vows. I am come out to meet thee, desirous to see thee, and I have found thee. I have woven my bed with cords, I have covered it with painted tapestry, brought from Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us be inebriated with the breasts, and let us enjoy the desired embraces, till the day appear. ...She entangled him with many words, and drew him away with the flattery of her lips. Immediately he followeth her as an ox led to be a victim, and as a lamb playing the wanton, and not knowing that he is drawn like a fool to bonds, Till the arrow pierce his liver: as if a bird should make haste to the snare, and knoweth not that his life is in danger. [Pr. 7:13-18,21-23] He likewise speaks to her. It is merely, I want pleasure NOW under MY terms. I want to be happy NOW in MY way, and you are the path to that happiness. It is mutual manipulation to attain lustful pleasure. The world calls it "love". That is not what love is. Love is self-sacrificing. No act that leads to sin is an act of love. Any act that leads to sin, because it kills the soul and leads directly to eternal hellfire, is an act of either hate or carelessness. Care comes from the Latin caritas meaning love, so carelessness is just simply lovelessness.

     Let us go to our priest. His heart is weighed down by her sin. He cannot bear to think of her going to hell. He must make a saint of her. He absolutely must make her holy. Not even Satan with all the demons in hell can stop him, he cannot abandon her to the devils. He bears her sin ad altare Dei. He asks the Lord, quare me repulisti, et quare me tristis incedo, dum affligit me inimicus? The Lord gives him the joy for which he seeks in union with Him at the altar. There he finds the Lamb that deletes the sins that pain him. Quare tristis es, amina mea, et quare conturbas me? Spera in Deo, quoniam adhuc confitebor illi: salutare vultus mei, et Deus meus.  He knows that his Redeemer and hers lives, and that she, the lost sheep, can be found. There, at the altar of God, he offers himself up in propitiation in order to make present the Holy Sacrifice. There he giver her his love. There he pays his vows to her. There he sacrifices his very life to make present the Self-Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, who alone can  completely wipe-out and completely delete her sins.

     Which man loves her? Clearly the priest. How? Only because he lives in persona Christi. Christ alone truly loves her. Christ is her only legitimate Lover. Although, she has not been intimate with Him in longer than she can remember. Christ loves her more that any boy ever could. Never mind would, but could. Christ loves her so much, that He is perfectly willing to take this man, leave him dead to the world and wrapped in a black cassock, take possession of him, ordain him, and use him as a tool to sanctify her. Any love anyone has for her is just a reflection of Christ's love. If it is not a reflection of Christ's love, it isn't love. It is just manipulation, or "niceness": a vainness that attempts to make the other happy in this life.

Hic est Caritas.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Relics of the Iraqi Martyrs

Here are the relics of the newly crowned martyrs of Iraq. As is the norm for relics, it's pretty gory. It includes images of the Church.

This is Islam. This is how they "love" their neighbors. This is the religion fools and imbeciles believe is a religion of peace.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Be afraid: the Day of Wrath approaches.

Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed - I Cl.

First Mass:
   Epistle: 1 Cor. 15:51-57
   Gospel: John 5:25-29
Second Mass:
   Epistle: II Mac. 12:43-46
   Gospel: Jn 6:37-40
Third Mass:
   Epistle: Apoc. 14:13
   Gospel: Jn 6:51-55

(Omitted in the 2nd and 3rd Masses)

Day of wrath and doom impending,
David’s word with Sibyl’s blending!
Heaven and earth in ashes ending!

O what fear man’s bosom rendeth
When from heaven the Judge descendeth,
On whose sentence all dependeth!

Wondrous sound the trumpet flingeth,
Through earth’s sepulchers it ringeth,
All before the throne it bringeth.

Death is struck, and nature quaking,
All creation is awaking,
To its judge an answer making.

Lo! the book exactly worded,
Wherein all hath been recorded;
Thence shall judgment be awarded.

When the Judge His seat attaineth,
And each hidden deed arraigneth,
Nothing unavenged remaineth.

What shall I, frail man, be pleading?
Who for me be interceding,
When the just are mercy needing?

King of majesty tremendous,
Who dost free salvation send us,
Fount of pity, then befriend us!

Think, kind Jesu, my salvation
Caused Thy wondrous Incarnation;
Leave me not to reprobation.

Faint and weary Thou hast sought me,
On the Cross of suffering bought me;
Shall such grace be vainly brought me?

Righteous Judge! for sin’s pollution
Grant Thy gift of absolution,
Ere that day of retribution.

Guilty, now I pour my moaning,
All my shame with anguish owning;
Spare, O God, Thy suppliant groaning!

Through the sinful woman shriven,
Through the dying thief forgiven,
Thou to me a hope hast given.

Worthless are my prayers and sighing,
Yet, good Lord, in grace complying,
Rescue me from fires undying.

With Thy favored sheep O place me,
Nor among the goats abase me,
But to Thy right hand upraise me.

While the wicked are confounded,
Doomed to flames of woe unbounded,
Call me with Thy Saints surrounded.

Low I kneel, with heart submission,
Crushed to ashes in contrition;
Help me in my last condition!

Ah! that day of tears and morning!
From the dust of earth returning,
Man for judgment must prepare him;
Spare, O God, in mercy spare him!

Lord all-pitying, Jesu Blest,
Grant them Thine eternal rest. Amen.

   Requiem Masses accomplish two ends: they are offered for the deceased who need our prayers as they undergo judgement, and they remind us of our inevitable doom. We humans are the only creatures who die who are aware that we will indeed die. We humans are afraid of death because we know we cannot avoid it and we do not know what waits for us on the other side. In this life, we have no guarantee of salvation whatsoever as sin is always possible. We also have no guarantee of damnation as the Sacraments are always available. Either Baptism or Confession is always an option. It is the greatest unsureness we human can ever know. That is why skulls and crossbones strike fear into the hearts of people: they are afraid of their demise. Typically sinners are more afraid than the righteous. The wicked often loose the faith and become less sure of what might happen after death. The righteous keep to virtuous living and have faith so they have less reason to be afraid, even though they never have a guarantee.

   If we are unaware of our own fate, then much less are we aware of the fate of others. That is why we must pray for the deceased. Sadly today man in the Church have forgotten what death is. When someone dies, they praise the person, as if they are already canonized. They omit the Dies Irae from the funeral as they don't want to be reminded of death. Their lack of faith causes death to scare them so they use the positive points of the person to cover their anxiety and fear. That is of no help whatsoever to the deceased. The only way to do something useful for someone who has died is to pray for them, that God might grant them eternal rest and not eternal fire. That is the entire point of having a funeral: we know that the person has arrived at the day of wrath and beg Almighty God to have mercy on them. That is why clergy are buried in violet vestments. For them it is the most penitential time possible. For us, that time of penance is overshadowed by the fear of not knowing what has become of the person and the fear that we will one day be the one in the coffin; that we will be the one standing before the Almighty Judge. This great fear induces mourning and prompts the Church to wear black vestments and tone down the Mass somewhat. The candles are not bleached. Incense is used less often. The Gloria Patri and Psalm 42 are omitted. Many details of the Mass are changed to reflect this mourning.

   So today we sing the Dies Irae. We know the doom and destruction of death. This knowledge causes a fear of not knowing what is to become of us and not knowing what has become of those we love. All we can do is to fall on our knees and beg Almighty God on whose sentence all dependeth to be merciful. We know that some will be on the right and counted as sheep, invited into Heaven and that others will be on the left, counted as goats and damned to eternal fire. We recognize that all are sinners. Even the greatest saints had a funeral and those who knew them mourned. Even martyrs have black vestments at their funerals, not red and they too were mourned. All we can do is pray. Many times, the only constructive thing we can do is pray, and the death of a loved one is one of those times. So we cry out: Spare, O God, in mercy spare him! That is the only thing a devout soul can say when someone close to him dies. It is a devastating loss for we know not where the deceased person has gone. Adding to our fear, we know that we too will one day reach that day of tears and morning when we shall return to the dust of the earth. All we can do is beg Almighty God to be merciful, so we beg the Lord, With Thy favored sheep O place me, Nor among the goats abase me, But to Thy right hand upraise me.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vote for Christ the King!

Feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ - I Cl.

Epistle: Col 1:12-20
Brethren: We give thanks to God the Father Who has made us worthy to share the lot of the saints in light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness, and transferred us into the kingdom of His beloved Son, in Whom we have our redemption through His blood, the remission of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature. For in Him were created all things in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether Thrones, or Dominations, or Principalities, or Powers. All things have been created through and unto Him, and He is before all creatures, and in Him all things hold together. Again, He is the head of the body, the Church; He, Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the first place. For it has pleased [God the Father] that in Him all fullness should dwell and that through Him He should reconcile to Himself all things, whether on the earth or in the heavens, making peace through the blood of His Cross, in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Gospel: John 18:33-37
At that time, Pilate said to Jesus, Are You the King of the Jews? Jesus answered, Do you say this of yourself, or have others told you of Me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Your own people and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done? Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My followers would certainly have fought that I might not be delivered to the Jews. But, as it is, My kingdom is not from here. Pilate therefore said to Him, You are then a King? Jesus answered, You say it: I am a King. This is why I was born, and why I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.

Today we begin a sort of triduum. Today we celebrate Our King, the Head of the Church Militant, the visible Catholic Church on Earth. Tomorrow, we celebrate the Feast of All Saints: all those that have entered heaven-the Church Triumphant, whether they are already on the Church calendar or not, whether they are canonized or not-everyone in Heaven. The day after, All Souls Day, we pray for all those in suffering in the flames of Purgatory-the Church Suffering. Thus we celebrate the three parts of the Catholic Church. The three are scheduled together for this very reason. Most years, there is a gap between the feasts of the Kingship of the Lord and All Saints, but this year, the grouping is as tight as possible and the union of the three parts of the Catholic Church, the Church Militant, the Church Triumphant, and the Church Suffering, is expressed as perfectly as possible. It is also fitting that Christ the King falls on Halloween, as Halloween celebrates Satan, the self-proclaimed ruler of this world, and this year the secular (and anti-Catholic) celebration of Halloween, coincides with Christ the King, the true Ruler of this world.

While this is going on, in the US, we have an absolutely massive election on All Souls Day. We have a very serious moral obligation as Catholics to spread the reign of Christ the King. One of most powerful means of doing so is by elections. We do not vote according to our own interests, that would be selfish, rather we vote to enforce Christ the King's moral law. A faithful Catholic has no political party save for the Social Reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King. When we vote, we have a moral obligation to vote in favor of the truth. The truth is decided by God not by us. We follow His will, not ours. We say, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done." Today we celebrate that Kingdom and submit to that will. On All Souls Day, which is election day, we must also submit to that will, or else it will result in many unborn souls being prayed for on All Souls Day next year. We don't want them to be prayed for under such circumstances for many, many years.

If we truly belong to the Kingdom of Christ and ever hope to enter Heaven and be celebrated on All Saints Day, we must bear witness to the Truth. One of the loudest ways to bear witness to the Truth is by voting, since it fundamentally effects the lives of so many, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. To vote in favor of Christ the King's moral law, which condemns abortion, gay "marriage", and so many other atrocities promoted under the banner of "tolerance" is to testify to the Truth. To vote against His moral law and in favor of abortion, gay "marriage", and such or to simply say that those issues are not the most important is to bear witness against the Truth. At that point you are making up your own "truth" as to which issues are the most important, or which stance is sinful and which stance is morally clean.

Rather, we must realize that abortion and other "medical procedures" that end innocent lives are the most significant. Far more significant than the economy and the issues that effect only the comfort of those already born. The right to life of all people is more important than the comfort of ourselves or the comfort of others. If we vote for sin, we must answer for it at the last judgement. If we act like a particular sin, such as abortion or homosexuality is not that important an issue, then we must answer for it at the last judgement. How appropriate is it that we will hear the Dies Irae on election day. If you vote in favor of sin or act as if those sins are not the most significant issues, then you will have to answer for doing so on the "Day of Wrath".

The Truth of the matter is that the right to life is the most basic human right and any issue effecting it is automatically the most significant, no matter what. Any issue regarding an intrinsic evil, such as homosexuality, is the next most significant. Those who bear witness to the Truth already know this and act accordingly. Issues regarding our comfort, such as the economy, are the least important. To put the economy ahead of abortion is to put the desire for money ahead of our neighbor's most basic human right. This is the example Christ Our King gives us: This is why I was born, and why I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice. We must bear witness to the Truth. Disobeying He who is Truth Itself is far more wicked than disobeying the government. That is the very reason why we have so many martyrs. They belonged to the Truth and thus obeyed It, even if it cost them their lives for breaking a law. The laws of man mean nothing and hold not authority and are just perversions of law unless they are in accord with God's law. We must spread and enforce God's law and one of the most powerful ways of doing so by voting in favor of God's Law. If we belong to Christ, if we are Christian, we will bear witness to the Truth at the polls: the right to life is always first, intrinsic evils (like homosexuality) are always second, and money (the economy) is always last. So be it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

ObamaCare: The Facts On Abortion

Obama is a liar. Watch for yourself:

We need this corrupt tyrant and all his allies out of power. We must vote based on God's morals, not our wants.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Our Champion Against Lust

If yesterday wasn't Sunday, it would have been the feast of St. Raphael the Archangel. St. Raphael is prominent in the book of Tobias (Tobit), where he, disguised as a human, helps the younger Tobias (named after his father) go and retrieve a sum of money that his father had invested, since the elder Tobias has gone blind and is near death. Along the way, Tobais catches a large fish, and at the angel's request keeps it's liver and gall bladder. When they arrive at the house of Raguel, from whom they are to get the money, he gives Tobias the hand of his daughter Sara in marriage.

Now, Sara had been married seven times previously, each time a demon named Azmodan (also Asmodeus and a number of other variations, he's the demon traditionally associated with lust) killed her husband before they could consummate the marriage. People gossip as to whether or not she really killed the men herself. So she is seven times a widow, still a virgin, and some people accuse her of seven murders. While Sara's relatives go and dig an eighth grave, Tibias fearlessly enters the bridal chamber and, at the request of St. Raphael, burns the fish liver on hot coals in the room to cast the demon out, whereupon St. Raphael defeated him: "And Tobias remembering the angel's word, took out of his bag part of the liver, and laid it upon burning coals. Then the angel Raphael took the devil, and bound him in the desert of upper Egypt." (Tb 8:2-3). The two remain in prayer for three days before successfully consummating the marriage and returning home to Tobias' father. Tobias then uses the fish's gall as an ointment to cure his father's eyes. It is this event that St. Raphel is best known for, since his name means "God heals".

St. Raphael is thus a powerful intercessor for those who are sick and those afflicted by lustful temptations. As far as intercessors go, very few are more powerful than angels. There are only two times in Sacred Scripture that an angel fights against a demon. This is one. The other is in Revelation, when St. Michael defeats Lucifer, the demon lord of pride. St. Michael gets the fame for being a war-hero, and rightly so, but it is easy to forget that St. Raphael defeated the lord of lust, not just defeating him, but binding him. If we look at the world today that is no mean feat.

Today's world is addicted to the sin of lust. Men are not considered to be true men if they do not have an absolute obsession with having sex. People argue over the acceptability of homosexuality, which is pure lust. In many places the sin of Sodom is exalted and placed on the same level as pure sex, sex without perversity, as God designed it. The end of sex is procreation and pleasure, the union of man and wife is a means to attain that goal. The world, tempted by it's demonic mentors, separates sex and procreation and exalts pleasure as an end unto itself. At that point, with the union as the goal, any two (or sometimes more than two) things can be united by sex, not just a man and a woman. I say "thing" because it's not just homosexuality, but also other sins I dare not speak of. Marriage then is seen as merely a contract and unnecessary. This great sacrament is thus neglected and concubinage (cohabitation) becomes accepted, as does divorce, in order to void the contract. Everything is about pleasure. Even to the point where a person can be addicted to lust and consider themselves as having self-control, for compared to others they do and they have been so desensitized to the sin. The dignity of people's bodies, which are artworks created by God, is gone and their bodies are degraded by being treated as objects of lust; sources of pleasure.

The same way that in terms of Liturgy, the Church is overrun by modernists and their lies about the faith, so too the world at large is overrun by those who erroneously see pleasure and union as an end to sex, when pleasure and union is really a means to attain the end of procreation. How many Catholics fall away from the faith because the Novus Ordo does not please their souls since it is congregation-centered, not God centered like the TLM? 80% of Catholics reject the Novus Ordo by abandoning the practice of the faith. The same way, most Catholic fall into the world's lustful view of sex. All the above sexual sins are rampant in the Church, nevermind the rest of the world. The spirit of Vatican II's complete inadequacy at dealing with temptation is most clearly manifest at it's ineffectiveness against lust. Just on sexuality alone, the Church has lost her identity and been so ravaged by this sin-committed even by the clergy. Let us pray to St. Raphael, that he may come down and bind these demons of lust and restore our dignity.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Another scandal commited by liberal "nuns".

PA Catholic hospital closings a sign of things to come, unless we take action! | CatholicVote.org: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

As we know, scandals in the Church are, without fail, committed by liberals and modernists, who themselves should be committed, if you take my meaning. "Sr." Keehan seems to get herself involved in almost every scandal that relates to health care. By their fruits you will know them...

This is a truth that must be spread with Midterm Elections in the US only a couple weeks away.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Victory in the Sacrifice of the Priesthood.

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross - II Cl.
Third Anniversary of the enactment of Summorum Pontificum

Epistle: Philippians 2:5-11
Brethren: Have this mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus, Who though He was by nature God, did not consider being equal to God a thing to be clung to, but emptied Himself, taking the nature of a slave and being made like unto men. And appearing in the form of man, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient to death, even to death on a cross. Therefore God also has exalted Him and has bestowed upon Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven, on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.

Gospel: John 12:31-36
At that time, Jesus said to the multitudes of the Jews, Now is the judgment of the world; now will the prince of the world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to Myself. Now he said this signifying by what death He was to die. The crowd answered Him, We have heard from the Law that the Christ abides forever. And how can You say, ‘The son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man? Jesus therefore said to them, Yet a little while the light is among you. Walk while you have the light, that darkness may not overtake you. He who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.

On Sunday I spoke about the devout soul and her connection to the Crucified Christ, who is her Divine Lover and Nymphios (Bridegroom, the Eastern name for Ecce Homo), so today I will speak about the priest's union with Christ. This is of course a very important topic for me because God is calling me to join the FSSP (the only major obstacle is getting the money to pay for the seminary education, so keep me in your prayers). 

The priest not only must act but live in persona Christi (in the person of Christ). He is the ministerial presence of Christ. At his ordination, he essentially dies and Christ possesses the body to use it as an instrument for salvation. The priest sacrifices himself in order to make Christ's self-sacrifice present. The priest, in order to be an effective, successful, and efficient instrument of salvation, must join his sufferings to Christ. The priest must join his wounds to the wounds of Christ. The priest must sanctify himself and join himself to Christ to profoundly that when he whispers "hæc dona, hæc múnera, hæc sancta sacrifícia illibáta" (these gifts, these presents, these holy unspotted Sacrifices) the words refer not just to the bread and wine, but just as easily to himself as well, for Christ is both Priest and Victim (Host) and that is what the priest must make of himself if the life-giving death of Calvary is to be made present. The priest must make of himself a "hóstiam puram, hóstiam sanctam, hóstiam immaculátam" (pure Host, a holy Host, an unspotted Host) in order to make present the "Panem sanctum vitæ ætérnæ, et Calicem salútis perpétuæ." (holy Bread of eternal life, and the Chalice of everlasting salvation).

Why is self-sacrifice so important? That is the path to glory. It is laid out for us in today's Epistle, that Christ "humbled Himself, becoming obedient to death, even to death on a cross. Therefore God also has exalted Him and has bestowed upon Him the name that is above every name". It is humility that leads to glory. Not, the humility by which we make doormats of ourselves, but rather the humility by which we give ourselves entirely to get someone to heaven. That is what the Nymphios did on the cross and that is what we must do for each other-we must get each other to Heaven at all costs. It is that self sacrifice, so profoundly manifest in the Holy Priesthood, that leads to Exaltation. All are enemies are crushed and put to the sword by Christ's self-sacrifice and we shall too be victorious if we join our suffering to His.

The priest says in the Preface of the Holy Cross today that "he who was victorious by a tree might be defeated by a tree", referring to Satan's victory in Eden and the Crucifixion. The Devil was so put to shame by Christ's victory that it was his own weapon that slew him. Satan was slain by his own sword. In the original words to Pange Lingua, which are sung at Matins and Lauds today (those written by Fortnatus in the 6th Century, which inspired St. Thomas Aquinas to write new lyrics in the 13th Century), we sing "Sing my tongue the glorious battle! With completed victory rife: and above the Cross's trophy tell the triumph of the strife: How the world's Redeemer conquered by the offering of His life." That is how conquest comes. 

Not only is this the path to victory, but it is the only path to victory. Christ alone wins the day. Only He is both human, since it is our sin, and also Divine, thus bearing the authority to cancel out the Divinely imposed penalty of death. That is why God had to become man. It was man's sin, so the one offering atonement had to be a man and Divine authority was needed to cancel out a Divinely imposed penalty. Christ is not just a promise of victory on the condition that we do not loose faith, but also the only possibility of victory; out only hope for surviving our inevitable deaths. That is why we proudly sing at Vespers tonight: "O crux, ave, spes unica, in hac triumphi gloria! Piis adauge gratiam, Reisque dele crimina." (Hail O Cross our only hope, on this triumphant day! An increase of grace for the pious and efface the sins of criminals.)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pain is a blessing

XVI Sunday after Pentecost and II September - II Cl.

Epistle: Ephesians 3:13-21
Brethren: I pray you not to be disheartened at my tribulations for you, for they are your glory. For this reason I bend my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from Whom all fatherhood in heaven and on earth receives its name, that He may grant you from His glorious riches to be strengthened with power through His Spirit unto the progress of the inner man; and to have Christ dwelling through faith in your hearts: so that, being rooted and grounded in love, you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know Christ’s love which surpasses knowledge, in order that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God. Now, to Him Who is able to accomplish all things in a measure far beyond what we ask or conceive, in keeping with the power that is at work in us - to Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus down through all the ages of time without end. Amen.

Gospel: Luke 14:1-11
At that time, when Jesus entered the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees on the Sabbath to take food, they watched Him. And behold, there was a certain man before Him who had the dropsy. And Jesus asked the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to cure on the Sabbath? But they remained silent. And He took and healed him and let him go. Then addressing them, He said, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fall into a pit, and will not immediately draw him up on the Sabbath? And they could give Him no answer to these things. But He also spoke a parable to those invited, observing how they were choosing the first places at table, and He said to them, When you are invited to a wedding feast, do not recline in the first place, lest perhaps one more distinguished than you have been invited by him, and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Make room for this man’; and then you begin with shame to take the last place. But when you are invited go and recline in the last place; that when he who invited you comes in, he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher!’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who are at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted.

St. Paul says, "I pray you not to be disheartened at my tribulations for you, for they are your glory." This life is full of suffering. There are many different sources of suffering for us. Problems with marriages and relationships, problems at work, problems finding work, problems at home with family members, health problems, problems with an addiction to a particular sin, or having any of these problems happen to someone you love. Life has no shortage of pain and suffering. The world sees this as something to be avoided. There is a pill for everything these days. Every problem it seems has some sort of pill. From a swollen prostate to depression to a case of the sniffles, there is a pill for everything. There are self-styled experts that offer advice for everything, all with the intent of relieving pain and suffering in some way. The world hates pain. The world flees from pain the way it flees from God, but in some Divine irony, the world inflicts pain better than it does anything else. 

Shining through all this is the light of Christ emanating from the cross. The world sees the cross as pain and defeat, the Church sees it as pleasure and victory. The Church, upon looking on the cross, sees only her Nymphios (Bridegroom, the Eastern name for Ecce Homo) and the Holy Sacrifice that atones for her sins and makes possible entry into heaven. It is quite appropriate that we have this theme of suffering and humility today as on Tuesday we will celebrate the Feast of the Holy Cross and follow that with the penitential Ember Days of September next week to begin Autumn, which continues until Ember Week in Advent, which starts Winter. 

The cross serves two purposes for the devout soul. First, the devout soul sees that Christ is suffering more than her, no matter how much she may be suffering. Christ's pain on the cross was far greater than any pain any other person could ever endure for two reasons. First, Christ had a greater capacity for feeling pain because His Divinity augments the abilities of His Humanity, so he felt more pain because He has a greater capacity for feeling pain than any other Human. Second, He bore the emotional pain of every sin ever committed through all of time: past, present, and future. So when she sees Christ suffering on the cross, the devout soul knows that He is suffering much more than she ever could. No amount of emotional pain, even the greatest pain an extramarital affair or the death of a loved one can cause does not compare to the pain of every sin ever committed-including that same affair. Physical pain is likewise eclipsed. No physical pain the body could ever endure, even the most painful, excruciating death or the most painful childbirth, can compare with the pain Christ felt simply because He has a much greater capacity to feel pain due to His Divinity. This knowledge is a great source of strength for the devout soul, that Christ knows what it is like to suffer because He experiences our suffering more intensely than we do. It is a very powerful source of hope and strength to endure suffering. 

The other purpose that the cross serves for the devout soul is that suffering unites the soul to Christ. Suffering results in pleasure since the pain we endure is a way of uniting ourselves to the Suffering Lord on the Cross and union with Him is the most pleasurable thing a soul can experience. The devout soul knows her suffering and pain and she joins it to Christ's suffering on the Cross so that the two are united through suffering. Pain is a source of union with Christ so while it hurts at first, if she joins her pain to Christ's pain, then the soul feels joy at being united to Christ. Thus, as St. Paul tells us, our tribulations are our glory. Some people ask, "If God is loving, then why is there is there so much suffering?" There is so much suffering simply because God is loving. Suffering is the path to Salvation and without suffering, no one can be saved. The perpetual refrain repeated in the face of suffering is, "Offer it up." It is one of those Catholic catch-phrases. The devout soul welcomes suffering as a way to unite herself to Christ and once she has connected her suffering to Christ's she experiences joy at being so intimately united to her Divine Lover on the cross. Once the soul has made that connection, then she can say, I bend my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ...to Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus down through all the ages of time without end. Amen.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The beauty of virginity

The other day, for the Feast of the Nativity of Mary, I spoke about the beauty of the purity of the BVM. This is the example we all must imitate. I repeatedly speak about respect for the human body for what it is: God's artwork, the masterpiece of physical creation. Once we connect nudity with sexuality, then the body is degraded to a source of pleasure. It is something to be sought after because of the pleasure we can get out of it. We become blinded by lust and the most we can do is use modesty to run in fear from nudity.

Once the connection between nudity and sexuality is broken, then we see clearly. We see that the body is the ultimate creation, the last and greatest thing the Divine Artist created. We admire it because we see on it the fingerprints of God and it is no longer seen as being sexual. Now modesty is the least we can do, for the good of those around us who are not mature enough to look at a human body. We recognize that the greatest masterpiece of physical creation has been entrusted to each of us. The sexual organs previously were sought after most for being the greatest source of pleasure, now they are seen as the greatest treasure, to be protected most. It creates a certain sense of the sacred since the sexual organs are "set apart" from the rest of the body. They are like the "Holy of Holies", to which nobody has access.

This is what makes virgins so beautiful. They have not been desecrated by the world. They are still pure and in the state in which God made them. Women especially are exalted for being virgins, since Eve was created after Adam and thus women are more beautiful and a greater masterpiece. Once someone looses their virginity, they usually (these days) commit a sin. The soul can always have it's life restored in Confession and returned to it's beautiful state. The same privilege is not extended to the body. It's similar to original sin. Once human nature was distorted by the first sin, there was no going back. Ever. Even though we can be Baptized and heal, we all permanently bear the scar of a fallen nature. This is why the Church venerates female virgins as their own category of saints. They remained in their natal state. They guarded their purity and wouldn't let their "holy of holies" be desecrated. The ways of the world never reached them. St. Maria Goretti is one the greatest examples of this.

Whenever I serve Holy Mass, one of my favorite duties is holding the Communion Paten. It is a great wonder being there as the people receive Holy Communion. Being so close to that intimacy between the person and her Divine Lover is a privilege that I will be able to enjoy for the rest of my life as a priest of the FSSP (after I somehow find the money to enter the seminary in Nebraska of course, so pray for me). There really are no words to describe it. The best description is that of St. Thomas Aquinas in Panis Angelicus: "O res mirabilis! manducat Dominum" "O what wonder! who consumes the Lord" A beautiful soul, made so by confession, joined to the masterpiece of physical creation is nourished by the Lamb of the Sacrifice that washes away her sins with His Blood. It is all the more beautiful if the communicant is a virgin. Many times the communicant's age gives away that she is a virgin. Whenever this is the case, I see someone who is pure, not defiled by the world, who has kept her body and reserves it for the Lord, now being intimate with Him at the Altar rail. It is a thing of great beauty to see someone pure and beautiful be together with the Nympios (Bridegroom) of the Church.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Seek pleasures of the Spirit and God will provide

XV Sunday after Pentecost and I September - II Cl.

Epistle-Gal 5:25-26; 6:1-10
"Brethren: If we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also walk. Let us not become desirous of vainglory, provoking one another, envying one another. Brethren, even if a person is caught doing something wrong, you who are spiritual instruct such a one in a spirit of meekness, considering yourself, lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so you will fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, whereas he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let everyone test his own work, and so he will have glory in himself only, and not in comparison with another. For each one will bear his own burden. And let him who is instructed in the word share all good things with his teacher. Be not deceived, God is not mocked. For what a man sows in the flesh, from the flesh also will reap corruption. But he who sows in the spirit, from the spirit will reap life everlasting. And in doing good let us not grow tired; for in due time we shall reap if we do not relax. Therefore, while we have time, let us do good to all men, but especially to those who are of the household of faith."

Gospel-Luke 7:11-16
"At that time, Jesus went to a town called Naim; and His disciples and a large crowd went with Him. And as He drew near the gate of the town, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a large gathering from the town was with her. And the Lord, seeing her, had compassion on her, and said to her, Do not weep. And He went up and touched the stretcher; and the bearers stood still. And He said, Young man, I say to you, arise. And he who was dead, sat up, and began to speak. And He gave him to his mother. But fear seized upon all, and they began to glorify God, saying, A great prophet has risen among us, and God has visited His people."

Lately I have not been able to stop preaching meditating on sexual morality. I suppose that the same way perverts are addicted to committing sexual sins, I am addicted to admonishing them. St. Paul tells the Galatians (and by extension all of us as well), "Be not deceived, God is not mocked. For what a man sows in the flesh, from the flesh also will reap corruption. But he who sows in the spirit, from the spirit will reap life everlasting. And in doing good let us not grow tired; for in due time we shall reap if we do not relax." If we seek pleasures of the flesh, then we will rot and corrupt as the flesh corrupts. We then become enslaved to our passions. Someone who is addicted to sex is constantly seeking more. Life becomes about finding pleasure and other people become sources of pleasure and stop being human beings. Once nudity and sexual pleasure are equated with one another, then the body is just about pleasure. Their worth is judged by how much pleasure they can give you. An artificial standard of beauty arises by which everyone must be physically perfect according to a man-made standard in order to be of any value. One just simply uses others to please oneself. Life rots away. There is nothing but addiction and manipulation. When sex is used just for pleasure, it is nothing more than the stimulation of nerves to get high. Someone who sees sex as something for pleasure is sowing in the flesh and will reap corruption, decay. He becomes a drug addict and his drug of choice is sex. 

Let's look at the second part of that excerpt of today's Epistle. When one reaps in the spirit, it is the spirit and not the flesh that becomes one's master. The spirit sets you free because then you see the human nude for what it really is: it is a work of art made by God. It is the ultimate thing God made in physical creation, the last and greatest creation. Once the body is seen as God's masterpiece of physical creation, then it is accepted as is and not forced into a man-made mold of physical perfection. It is accepted in just the way God made it, and seen as beautiful just because it is God's work. It is only here that people see their true dignity. Once nudity and sexual pleasure are disconnected from each other, we see the true dignity of God's creation and are able to respect it in a manner keeping with the moral law. The body is no longer scandalous and no longer enslaves us. It is now that eternal life is within reach.

Let's look at the last part of that piece of the Epistle. "And in doing good let us not grow tired; for in due time we shall reap if we do not relax." It is very difficult to live this way. Human weakness compels us seek sexual pleasure. It is innate. It is necessary for procreation. The problem arises when sexual pleasure becomes  an end, a goal. In reality, sexual pleasure is not an end but rather an instrument, a means, to procreate. On top of that, society forces us to think that sexual pleasure is an end, and that it is a right of all people. Sexual pleasure in never a right, it is a privilege extended to married couples, in order to give physical life, similar to how God extends certain privileges to clergy to give spiritual life. We are in a fight against the world. It's not about people's rights. It's about obedience to God. Sexual pleasure is not a right. Only addicts and fools think that way. Sexual pleasure is a privilege, the same way that the ability to be intimate with the Lord at His Altar through the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice is a privilege. It is never easy to be faithful to God, but if we are, the pleasure He offers is far greater than any pleasure a human body can give. 

It is God that gives us joy, so let us not abandon Him. Others present us with sin and want us to sin with us in accordance with the ethics of our times, but we must admonish and correct them, not only for their salvation, but for our own good as well. The apostle tells us, "Brethren, even if a person is caught doing something wrong, you who are spiritual instruct such a one in a spirit of meekness, considering yourself, lest you also be tempted." Sin is very contagious. Since we are a social species, we pick up habits from each other. When we see another sin, we must correct him not only for his salvation, but for the salvation of those around him, including ourselves, for he sets an evil example. 

So upon hearing this, the soul becomes quite penitent. throughout the season after Pentecost, the verses and collects of the Sunday Masses are rather penitential. That is because people do not sin only during Advent, Septuagesima, and Lent. We sin all year, so we must be reminded to recant our sinful beliefs and practices always. This is all very difficult to accept in our times, but we must trust in God and put Him first. Today's Gospel is simply a lesson in Divine Providence. Trust in God and He will provide for you as He did for the widow of Naim. She had only her son to provide for her and when he died, she trusted in the Lord, so He helped her. He had compassion for her in her difficulty because of her faith in Him. Christ never worked wonders where faith was weak, only where faith was strong. Christ only worked wonders for those who had faith, so let us trust in Him and He will not let us break; He will let us bend, but never break. Even the strongest sexual addictions can be broken by Him. There is nothing He cannot do, but we must trust in Him first. Great wonders require great faith. So be it.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Do you see sex as an end or an instrument?

A thought occurred to me today at Lauds & Prime. I've many times laid out the difference between being "nice" and being "loving". "Nice" is giving someone what they want to be happy now. "Loving" is giving someone what they need to be happy in Eternity. We should be nice as much as possible, but we must be loving always, no matter what. If the person being loved submits to God's will, then being "loving" and being "nice" will be the same thing, since union with God makes the person happy now. If the person loved does not submit to God's will, then being "loving" and being "nice" are opposed to each other.

Having considered this, there are two basic types of romantic relationships. The first is one of mutual niceness. Men commonly seek out sexual pleasure and women commonly seek emotional pleasure. In a relationship of mutual niceness, each one is willing to give the other the pleasure he/she seeks in order to get his/her own pleasure. Each person is nice in order to gain pleasure in return. So a man is willing to do all sorts of crazy romantic things just to have sex and a woman is willing to have sex to get romantic things. The two mutually use each other to attain their goals. The more one is willing to please the other, the stronger the relationship becomes and the more they use each other to gain the particular pleasure they seek.  Sex is reduced to an end, it is sought after for it's pleasure. Sexual and emotional pleasures are the ultimate ends, the man and the woman each having different ends.

The other type of relationship is one of mutual love. Each person wants to take care of the other within the context of raising a family. Each gives the other what he/she needs to get to heaven even of the other doesn't like it and has to admit that he/she is wrong. The pleasure is seeing the other in heaven. Sexual pleasure and emotional pleasure are put back in their place as instruments in raising a family and are no longer ends in and of themselves. Sexual and emotional pleasures are used to maintain a happy relationship because that relationship is the foundation of a good family. Getting each other to heaven is the ultimate end and raising a physically and spiritually healthy family is the penultimate end, the man and the woman each having the same ends.