Life in a small town

Weathernation …

-38 Degrees C on the car thermometer this AM at 08:00 when I started one of our vehicles. Yup, winter is definitely here … so much for Global Warming. And our Liberal Carbon Tax grab is underway just as the coldest weather in decades descends on the west. It sounds like whining but the west truly is getting screwed by Ottawa and the east.

Here is a link to a post by Rick Mercer a few years ago about “Torontarded”. This pretty much says it all for easterners and their beliefs and attitudes. Eastern Canadians make French Surrender Monkeys look like Sampson before Delilah.

Anyway, here is the link: http://www.rickmercer.com/Rick-s-Rant/Blog/December-2007/Weather-Nation.aspx. 

and of course we have the classic satirical skit … set somewhere in southern Ontario …

This is why Liberal Socialists get elected and elected and elected … because “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.” ― G.K. Chesterton

Cheers

Joe

G.K. Chesterton

Told ya …

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Life in a small town

Found a new interesting YouTube channel …

Hey, found a new and very interesting channel on YouTube, the tip came through a FaceBook contact, who knew?

I guess some good things can come out of FaceBook after all.  The first link was to a talk given by Father Chad Ripperger who I have mentioned here and also posted on the same theme (of “The Big Lie”) here  and here.

So this talk that got my attention is titled “How to Kick Back the Devil by Fr.Ripperger”

But even better is all the other content at this site where I found the Fr. Ripperger talk:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMcv5f67Cbw8aIyGk2n3v0w

Anyway, hope you enjoy this if this is where your head is now. If not, well no harm no foul.

Cheers

Joe

it’s all so crazy making …

 

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Life in a small town

Incarnation and Resurrection … reality and fantasy and Happy New Year?

This post was supposed to come out the day after New Years Day but took much longer to write than I anticipated. Sometimes one spends more time thinking about how to say what one is thinking about than in the actual writing of it. Can’t be helped.

The gateway to Belief is flanked and supported by the two pillars of reality, the Incarnation and the Resurrection supporting the lintel of Faith … how can one express such a reality to any person confined to, imprisoned in, secular material reality? “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy”. ( Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio). But how are we to describe color to the blind or music to the deaf?

Much of what we learn in life, what makes up our daily lives and the manner in which we conduct ourselves, at home, at work and in public and private is learned by following the examples and instructions of others. Parents, friends, teachers, people in positions of authority, people we respect as worthy authorities, and even, without much thought, we believe and trust relatively unknown people, characters on social media, and the news are all sources and examples, because “all right minded people know this” but have these sources of our learning acceptable behavior and thinking brought us to joy and happiness or led us into ever deepening wells of despair and distress? Do these examples spark joy?

So what about those “examples” and joy? Or is it more about “examples” and envy? Most of our society, at least here in the West, what was once known as “Christendom”, is deep in the throes of an era of self worship and infatuation with self. Our lives, and the lives of our “examples” are certainly not the lives of saints nor anything remotely resembling saints. And daily our society tells us and reinforces the mantra that man is the measure of all things, and this is OK. Joy is found in a new trip, a new car, a new girlfriend or boyfriend, a faster computer, a new dress or suit, a new house or a new husband … a nice coffee and a couple of donuts? Really? Joy?

It’s OK to be “bad”, even fun to be “bad”, to “reward” ourselves with bouts and binges of “bad” behavior for sticking to some middling good behavior for some arbitrarily short period of time, some New Year’s resolution which lasted for a week, maybe, if we really, really, tried hard. “Bad” in this context refers to behavior lacking in “virtue” and in a cultural twist, the 7 deadly sins have been “rehabilitated” into acceptable and perhaps in some cases even desirable behaviors in a self gratification centered life style. Most lately we see Narcissism being raised to the exalted state of a “secular virtue”. And where did Love, as in self sacrificing Love go in this blizzard of self worship?

We were created and called to strive to be good, “as our heavenly Father is good”.  We do know what is good and what is not in the same way we know what is quality and what is not. It is written in our DNA, some call it “Natural Law”. Yes, the God deniers are legion and yet none would exist absent God the Creator calling them into existence with love and keeping them in existence with an even greater love, imprinting us with the Natural Law at conception and calling us endlessly home to Him.

Examples …

These days we are all like riders on a train thinking that reality is contained in the vista dome car of our little lives, looking out through the windows of our screens at whatever Potemkin Village our “Examples” care to show us, with no awareness of the rest of the train, nor where it came from nor where it is headed and how it all ends. And who are our “examples”? Justin? Donald? The beautiful people of “The 5”, of the Golden Globe awards? Whichever celeb has risen to the top of the Social Media pond this week?

At the very pinnacle of the man-centered universe are our real examples, right? The intellectual giants of modern academia, the self declared “Brights”, whose wisdom we are expected to accept and implement in our daily lives. We are talking about the academics, authors, journalists, and media stars who are arguably the shapers of what matters to modern enlightened society, our attempt at “culture”.

We have been obediently marching down this road at least since the French Revolution, a watershed event in modern European history that began in 1789 and ended in the late 1790’s with the ascent of Napoleon Bonaparte. And that road, that “road to perdition” has led us inexorably to what we have today. Looking around you, can anyone believe that this is the best of all worlds, the realized daily experience of our society following the wisdom of the “Brights” for the last 200 or so years?

This road, this man centered “road to perdition” has lead us into 200 years of more savage death than all of previous human history combined. In a mere 2 centuries we have flipped over our whole system of beliefs, from a culture of life, focused on the seasons, on growing, on harvest, on children as necessary and even desirable, on large nuclear families and religions folks believed in, had true faith in, faith in the divine, in God, now flipped over to a culture of death and destruction ever more deeply buried in euphemism and baffle-gab but clearly death focused in a most horrifying way and we have much more faith in government and our alleged leaders and their civil servants than medieval man ever had in the church. And we think the Medievals were gullible superstitious peasants … what does that make us?

Our New Society, our “Enlightened” modern culture, with man at the center, at the pinnacle, finds itself enslaved to our self gratifying passions. Are we not enslaved by anxiety, sadness and obsessions, by hatred, fornication, and envy, enslaved by thoughts of jealousy, rage, and death? We have gotten so desperate that we turn to thoughts of suicide and abortion, for distraction we turn to many forms of sinful sexuality, we are oppressed and enslaved by divisions in our families, and by harmful friendships, and in our despair we turn to every sort of emotional fantasy, and spells, and rituals, and strange beliefs in primitive pre-Christian paganism and even to witchcraft, and the occult masquerading as New Age Gnosticism, and pride ourselves in being “spiritual”.

I recently read a list of the 50 top atheists at the “Best Schools” web site. The BS site is all about the best of the best in academia and one gets the impression that the writers consider “atheism” to be one of the hallmarks of an intelligent human being, in fact it seems at first blush that philosophical academia and journalism is peopled exclusively with atheists and anyone who is not an atheist is somewhat primitive and “unsophisticated”. And yet, we see in these “Elysian Fields” nothing but the promotion of death.

Now, Elysium, also called Elysian Fields or Elysian Plain, in Greek mythology, was originally the paradise to which heroes on whom the gods conferred immortality were sent. It has come to refer to any promised desirable future to which we are being steered by our “betters”. But all we have seen in reality is death and death and more death, death industrialized and raised to a higher order of efficiency with “modern tools and technologies. And while there has been a soundly demonstrated efficiency at killing and destruction in our secular humanist culture, not one of these elite thinkers have ever created life, except by the usual human procreative way of the last hundred millennia or so … 1 man and 1 woman intimately exchanging fluid. None can claim any positive knowledge or origins and virtually everything they claim is as unprovable as the claims of any of the billions of believers.

The “no god” theory is simply another hypothesis upon which many academics, authors and journalists have built prestigious and lucrative careers, another sterling example of BS baffles. No ordinary person can hope to have even a minor meaningful conversation with these “Brights”, we are “not in their league”. And in human terms they are certainly charter members of the cultural elite, and it is interesting to note that “in human terms” it is certainly difficult, perhaps even impossible, to fruitfully imagine how “a god” might work.

And certainly none of these opinion leaders can even begin to offer any reasonable certainty beyond the very same certainty that is on offer throughout the Social Media universe. “All right thinking persons know this to be true”, right? The difference between them and us is the difference between a Tweet and real blog post … anyone can Tweet but it takes sheer genius to write thousands of words on subjects and in ways of writing that only another genius can understand. And they all seem to inhabit a “swamp of sorrows” with no joy and no future after a brief flickering life. What’s the point?

So then, what example are we to take to heart, what example are we to follow to gain peace and happiness, surely one of the primary desires of all human beings, even atheists. Well, let’s look at some people first who even the “no god” crowd would certainly agree led good lives. Let’s look at some saints. Are their lives a good example to take to heart when deciding how to live our own lives.

I believe that the study of inspired writings, that is in Scripture, and the accounts of the lives of blessed men and women, that we find a living breathing example of how to live godly lives. If we devote ourselves to trying to imitate the lives of these saintly people then no matter which virtue we seem to be lacking we can find it in Scripture and the lives of the saints, like finding the particular medicine in God’s own clinic for the particular ailment that is troubling us at that moment.

St. Joseph, my name saint, teaches chastity and firm self discipline, Job teaches endurance, so absolutely necessary to persevere on the godly path in this world of distraction and diversion, St. Augustine teaches repentance and humility, and insight into the perennial human condition, even of the highly intelligent. I have found over the last 25 years or so that St. Augustine’s “Confessions” continues to speak to me like a personal letter from a much respected older brother … someone whose example is truly worthy of following and emulating. What did Saint Augustine have to say about GOD?

*****

For who is Lord but the Lord? Or who is God save our God? Most high, most excellent, most mighty, most omnipotent; most merciful, and most just; most hidden, and most near; most beautiful, and most strong, constant, yet incomprehensible; unchangeable, yet changing all things; never new, never old; renewing all things, yet bringing old age upon the proud, without their realizing it; ever working, yet ever at rest; gathering, yet needing nothing; supporting, filling, and protecting; creating, nourishing, and perfecting; still seeking, though you lack nothing.

Thou lovest, but without agitation; art jealous, yet free from anxiety; repentest, yet grievest not; art angry, yet serene; changest Thy works, but not Thy purpose; embrace what Thou findest, yet didst never truly lose; never in need, yet rejoicing in gains; never covetous, yet demanding a profit. (Men give to you more than required and) Thou receivest over and above, that Thou mayest owe (hoping to put you in their debt) ; and who hath aught that is not Thine? (all is your gift)

Thou payest (those) debts, yet owest us nothing; remittest (forgive) debts, losing nothing. And what had I now said, my God, my life, my holy joy? Or what saith any man when he speaks of Thee? (Is all this that I have said enough? Can anyone who speaks of you ever say enough?)

Saint Augustine. “The Confessions of St. Augustine” ( 1 pp. 2-3 ).

*****

And where did Love, as in self sacrificing Love, go in this blizzard of self worship? I have been reading St. Augustine off and on for 25 years, he has much to say about Love. And again, I have been reading meditations daily from a very special book for three years now.  Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.Dwrote a book Divine Intimacy,  Meditations on the interior life for every day of the liturgical year”.  Where is Love? This is what Fr. Gabriel has to say about the reality of the Incarnation:

*****

God is Love; everything He does, both in Himself and outside of Himself, is a work of love. Being the infinite good, He cannot love anything outside of Himself from the desire of increasing His happiness, as is the case with us; in Himself He possesses all. Therefore, in God, to love, and hence to will creatures, is simply to extend, outside of Himself, His infinite good, His perfections, and to communicate to others His own Being and felicity.

Bonum diffusivum sui, St. Thomas says. Thus God loved man with an eternal love and, loving him, called him into existence, giving him both natural and supernatural life. through love, God not only brought man out of nothing, but chose him and elevated him to the state of divine sonship, destining him to participate in His own intimate life, in His eternal beatitude. This was the first plan of the immense charity of God with regard to man.

But when man fell into sin, God, who had created him by an act of love, willed to redeem him by an even greater act of love.  See then how the mystery of the Incarnation presents itself to us as the supreme manifestation of God’s exceeding charity towards man. “By this hath the charity of God appeared toward us, because God hath sent His only-begotten Son into the world, that we may live by Him. In this charity … He hath first loved us, and sent His Son to be a propitiation for our sins” (1 Jn 4-9.10).

After having given man natural life, after having destined him for the supernatural life, what more could He give him than to give Himself, His Word made flesh, for his salvation.

God is Love. It is not surprising, therefore, that the story of His benevolent action on behalf of man is all a poem of love, and of merciful love. The first stanza of this poem was our eternal predestination to the vision and to the fruition of the intimate life of God. The second stanza relates, in an even more touching way, the sublimity of His mercy: the mystery of the Incarnation.

The sin of our first parents had destroyed God’s original plan for our elevation to a supernatural state; we had forfeited our claim, and could never atone for the sin. God could have pardoned all, but it was becoming to His holiness and infinite justice to exact an adequate satisfaction; man was absolutely incapable  of providing this. Then the most sublime work of God’s mercy was accomplished: one Person of the Blessed Trinity, the second, came to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. Behold the Word, God’s only-begotten Son, “who for us men and for our salvation, descended from heaven and became incarnate” (Credo).

The merciful love of God thus attains its highest manifestation: if there is no ingratitude and misery greater than sin, there can be no love greater than that of Him who inclines over so much ingratitude and abjection to restore it to its primal splendor. God did this, not by the intervention of a prophet or the most sublime of the angels; He did it personally: all three Persons of THE Blessed Trinity acted in the Incarnation, the end of which was to unite a human nature with the Person of Word. In this mystery, the immensity of the love and mercy of God for man appears and shines forth.

*****

So we find in Scripture, specifically in Malachi 3, The Coming Day of Judgment:

1 Behold I send my angel, and he shall prepare the way before my face. And presently the Lord, whom you seek, and the angel of the testament, whom you desire, shall come to his temple. Behold, he cometh, saith the Lord of hosts. 2 And who shall be able to think of the day of his coming? and who shall stand to see him? for he is like a refining fire, and like the fuller’s herb: 3 And he shall sit refining and cleansing the silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and shall refine them as gold, and as silver, and they shall offer sacrifices to the Lord in justice. 4 And the sacrifice of Juda and of Jerusalem shall please the Lord, as in the days of old, and in the ancient years. 5 And I will come to you in judgment, and will be a speedy witness against sorcerers, and adulterers, and false swearers, and them that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widows, and the fatherless: and oppress the stranger, and have not feared me, saith the Lord of hosts.

And the thought, the belief that we can deny God … that if we say so then it must be so … is just insane … as C.S. Lewis said: ““A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.” ― C.S. Lewis, “The Problem of Pain”.  Our culture, our enlightened society has bought into the lie that by denying God we can get away with robbing Him.

6 For I am the Lord, and I change not: and you the sons of Jacob are not consumed. 7 For from the days of your fathers you have departed from my ordinances, and have not kept them: Return to me, and I will return to you, saith the Lord of hosts. And you have said: Wherein shall we return? 8 Shall a man afflict God, for you afflict me. And you have said: Wherein do we afflict thee? in tithes and in first fruits. 9 And you are cursed with want, and you afflict me, even the whole nation of you. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house, and try me in this, saith the Lord: if I open not unto you the flood-gates of heaven, and pour you out a blessing even to abundance. 11 And I will rebuke for your sakes the devourer, and he shall not spoil the fruit of your land: neither shall the vine in the field be barren, saith the Lord of hosts. 12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for you shall be a delightful land, saith the Lord of hosts.

13 Your words have been unsufferable to me, saith the Lord. 14 And you have said: What have we spoken against thee? You have said: He laboureth in vain that serveth God, and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinances, and that we have walked sorrowful before the Lord of hosts? 15 Wherefore now we call the proud people happy, for they that work wickedness are built up, and they have tempted God and are preserved. 

But all will be remembered, nothing is forgotten, not one little jot … all is inscribed in The Book of Remembrance:

16 Then they that feared the Lord, spoke every one with his neighbour: and the Lord gave ear, and heard it: and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that fear the Lord, and think on his name. 17 And they shall be my special possession, saith the Lord of hosts, in the day that I do judgment: and I will spare them, as a man spareth his son that serveth him. 18 And you shall return, and shall see the difference between the just and the wicked: and between him that serveth God, and him that serveth him not.

So we come to the end of part 1 … next post maybe I will touch on the Resurrection, or maybe not until Easter … if the Resurrection is not all true then Christianity is an evil lie, the Cross without redemption, and the god deniers are right about everything and this really is the best of all worlds possible under the rule of man as the measure of all things.

Enough for now.

Cheers

Joe

The Angelus, JEAN FRANÇOIS MILLET (Museo_de_Orsay, 1857-1859)

 

Peasants …

 

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Christmas Holiday 2019 …

Revisiting posts from Christmas’s Past, to remind myself that the past was not all gloom and doom even if it feels that way this week. Wishing and praying that everyone had a Very Merry Christmas, all my friends and acquaintances (and apparently a 100 or so followers and a few dozen other daily search engine hits). Notoriety of the really small potatoes variety on the scale of things on the web, where The Donald gets thousands of hits with a poorly thought out ten word tweet, sigh, everyone is a one hit wonder these days.

Except, of course, the Dems’  who are the acknowledged centre of the known universe (after Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada). It is rather crowded at the center and those occupying that enviable position are perennially front and center in their long running endless impeachment soap opera drama, or in Canada the endless trashing of the evil Albertan Global Warming engine which the progressive media happily give endless hours of coverage without even a minimum of concern about facts and reality on the ground. Ah, such joy to live out one’s days in a drugged haze of self worshiping fantasy. Just for the record here in our small town we had about four inches of new fallen Global Warming to clean up our muddy street and make everything look pristine and perfect for a few hours.

I do hope that your Christmas has so far been as peaceful and blessed as ours has been here among the western frozen chosen … the happy (Any Small Town, Flyover Country ) Bagginses of the Plains. Currently listening to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRXrqURyRy0 which is 3 hours of easy listening Christmas themed musical compilation. Also have a YouTube fireplace running an endless loop of a 30 second fire place bite. These are the best kind of fireplace really, which I can display on my 60″ flat screen monstrosity in the “living” room giving me all the aesthetic benefits, sight and sound, of a cheerful fireplace scene with none of the downsides attendant in cutting wood, and smoke, and cleaning up the incessant ash piles, and the inevitable buildup in the chimney.

After the steady grind of the worst year we ever had in business with larger than usual losses and many deaths, illnesses, and sufferings amongst folks we know and also some we don’t know but rather know of,  we here ended up having one normal week of business instead of a Christmas rush.  The first “normal” business week since May at the end of which the main street construction project destroyed access to our store until mid October. Our latest “Annus Horribilus”  ended with a good week leading up to Christmas day both in the business and in the family. We celebrated Christmas Day with a small gathering of close family and feasted on a decidedly non traditional fish chowder and rare steak. Our youngest family member is now coming up to 25 years old so we were spared the happy chaos of youngsters rowdily enjoying their holiday festivities.

Except for a short visit with other relates in our nation’s capital via Face-time, things were mercifully quiet and restrained here. We enjoyed much quiet commentary on the quality of the meal, the nice music and how mild the weather has been this year and how enjoyable everything was. Ironically, my vision of Christmas was for many years something along the lines of the song by The Chieftains – “St. Stephen’s Day Murders” featuring Elvis Costello.

These days my Christmas is more along the lines of this offering by Yo-Yo Ma, and Alison Krauss performing “The Wexford Carol”,   or, this song, written and sung by Jackson Browne, “On The Side of the Rebel Jesus”. If we seriously lived the revolutionary teachings of Jesus Christ, it would be a different world … I love this take on the Holy Season … living in a thoroughly pagan society, and heartsick at the suffering that flourishes everywhere in our nominally christian, capitalist countries. The numbers of homeless and hungry, victimized and disenfranchised powerless little people in both Canada and the US should be a source of shame to every person but instead … well, “I’m all right Jack.

INGSOC logo from 1984

INGSOC logo from 1984

Today is our first day back to work after a very welcome break. It is overcast with sunny periods and not too cold, a nice mild -15 degrees Celsius, which around these parts is almost shorts and sandals weather. You probably know that I read a lot of blogs. There’s a lot of good, provocative, and perceptive writing going on in the blogosphere now. I wish I had the time to read everything. Of course, blogs, like all things resulting from human activity, are subject to Sturgeon’s law, that of being 90% crap, and many who try to blog either become bored and quit, or have little to say which would be of interest to anyone other than their immediate circle of friends (a sort of “Facebook” post writ large).

But with so many people trying, even among the residual 10% of non-crap there are now thousands of people writing good content. And some of that good content I have alluded to in previous posts, most recently on the unlikelihood of any sort of cultural reform going forward in our society, and the stark reality of the passing of Christendom.

These days, most of what passes for entertainment falls into the twin categories of Dystopian fiction, or thinly disguised, and often not so thinly disguised, pornography. Observed at arms length, we as a society, revel in blood, oppression, violence and sex of various colors and species in all our imaginary distractions. And most dystopian fiction of the last 70 years or so centres around the eventuation of a godless totalitarian state enforcing draconian social control measures to limit and control the proles, the “citizens” and fashioning those organic resources into a more or less compliant state asset for the realization of inhuman objectives to “protect us for our own good”.

I am in mind of “That Hideous Strength”“1984” or “Soylent Green” or “Logan’s Run”,  or “The Omega Man”, or the more recent remake “I Am Legend” with Will Smith in the lead role, and others really too numerous to list here. it seems to be a frequently recurring theme in literature, film and most recently in online MMOGs.

I have referenced Wikipedia links for information on the above stories and movies with a very precise objective in mind. They often have good information but in using the Wiki one must always keep in mind their obvious, and very thorough Atheistic bias in going to great lengths to  Bulverize any reference to the divine in their information items.

The Wiki is perhaps one of the most obvious poster children for the “Material Naturalist” world view. I wrote at length about that world view and it’s goals and ambitions here and here. Those posts might provide an interesting backgrounder to why we are now living in a real life dystopean drama. All the heroes in these modern religious myths are always Lone Wolf protagonists who rise up and take action against the monolithic state apparatus, by use of violence and subversion, and the mass audience for this product are the very people who are currently the “oppressed proles” in our current “dystopean” society.

One of my recent posts details why there will never be a real life uprising along the lines of all the admittedly entertaining fictional alternate realities with which our current crop of “bread and circus” addicts distract themselves. The primary plank of the Material Naturalist world view is that there is no God, that everything in the universe is purely and simply the result of random biochemical processes and survival of the fittest, according to the so-called “Theory of Evolution” courtesy of the Universal Church of Charles Darwin.

There is no God, we are all an accident of evolution, there is no point to anything except return on investment, no moral values, no virtues, no good or evil outside the context of profit and power. Everything which we perceive is the result of random chance working on the basic inorganic constituents of the observable universe, and when we die that’s it, that’s all she wrote.

There is no soul, nothing spiritual, no intrinsic value in any human life beyond the market value of our chemical constituents and/or the possible net positive value we can add to the economy by our efforts during our lifetime, said lifetime to be optimized in relation to our productivity. And beyond this world, relating to the unimaginably complex and numerous possibilities of “randomness”, there is the assumed but undiscovered possibility of endless numbers of more or less evolved “aliens” also living the same pointless random existence.

And the possibility of  “intelligent life” (i.e. creatures who could appreciate Bach)  is unquestioned … BUT, “real science” would say otherwise. I “borrowed” the next few paragraphs from a David Warren post from 2014 titled “Stardust”:

*****

“For if life truly “evolves” by happenstance, as the Darwinoids do vainly preach, something approaching to human smarts would have appeared here and there many millions of years before us, wherever conditions were favourable. Indeed, given the speed at which humans suddenly “evolved” here, we could ourselves have appeared on Earth, millions of years before we actually did.

David Warren

David Warren

We are extremely recent, in geological terms; have been here less than a second, if the history of the planet were scaled down to one day. We’ve come a fair technological distance ourselves, since the last Earth ice age, a mere twelve thousand years ago, and the pace appears to be accelerating. Imagine what we could do given, oh, another million years, or hundred million. I daresay we’d finally figure how to get out and about.

The Italian physicist, Enrico Fermi, did this thought experiment before 1950. He realized that we did not need expensive, incredibly sophisticated tools, to detect extraterrestrial life. If it was there, it would already have got here. He reasoned that, even if it could not defeat lightspeed, a sufficiently advanced material culture could send self-reproducing probes to colonize its home galaxy in a blink of exogeological time, then leapfrog galaxy to galaxy in all directions. It would transmit messages that could not be missed.

Any mathematical extrapolation of the number of planets in the universe that could, possibly, “evolve” life, is defeated by Fermi’s Paradox. The more possibilities there are, the less likely it has ever happened. But of course, physics advances, and we now have a second indefatigable argument against ET. It developed from the “anthropic principle” in cosmology, which holds, tautologically enough, that the structure or “design” of the universe must be compatible with the existence of the conscious sapient creatures who observe it from within. (We would be they.)

Over the last few decades we have come to understand that life on earth absolutely depends on such an extraordinary number of extremely fine conditions, operating together at levels of coincidence that so stretch the odds, that the chance of finding another inhabited planet — even within something so large as our universe in space and time — is inconsiderably remote. Or to put this another way, it appears dead obvious that the purpose of the universe was to make us possible. It would follow that our lives must be in some strange way — beyond any passing subjective enthusiasm — worth living. For Someone went to a lot of trouble to put us here.”

*****

Jesus Christ, AD 30

Jesus Christ, AD 30

The Real Hero of OUR dystopean drama already rose up more than two millennia ago. The Rebel Jesus spread revolutionary teachings against the values, powers and things of the material world, the things that mattered a great deal to the authorities of His day. And they murdered Him, though there was “no crime in Him”, as Pilot declared. And the Light shone in the darkness and the darkness knew Him not.

Of all the works done by God in time and outside of Himself, the redemptive Incarnation of the Word is the greatest. Always we must be remembering that the vast universe which the materialists are so impressed with as “all there is” was formed in an instant in a “nothing” that GOD Himself had to create by withdrawing some tiny portion of his timeless Presence.

A Presence without beginning and without end drew back a portion of Himself and within that new “nothing” He created time and the material universe and all that developed in it after the Big Bang. The Incarnation of the Word is the greatest work because it has for an end not a mere creature, however sublime and unrepeatable by man that may be, but GOD Himself, the eternal Word who, in time, assumed a human nature and a material human body in this  material universe.

*****

Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D

Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D

It is the greatest work because it is the supreme manifestation of the merciful love of GOD, and the work which above all others glorifies Him; and it glorifies Him precisely in reference to charity, that is love, which is His very essence. It is also the greatest of His works because of the immense good it brings to all mankind. The salvation, sanctification, and eternal happiness of the whole human race depends wholly upon the Incarnation of the Word, upon Jesus, the Incarnate Word.   (Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. from the book “Divine Intimacy” Meditations on the interior life for every day of the liturgical year.pp 80).

*****

God the Father “chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, (before time existed) that we should be holy and unspotted. … Who hath predestined us unto the adoption of children through Jesus Christ unto Himself. … In whom we have redemption … the remission of sins according to the riches of His grace. … GOD hath quickened us together in Christ … and hath raised us up together, and hath made us sit together in the heavenly places, through Christ Jesus.”   (Letter of Paul to the Ephesians 1, 4.5.7 – 2.5.6)

*****

Unlike the important things of this world GOD’s greatest work takes place in obscurity and silence, and under the most humble and most human conditions. Mary and Joseph are forced by civil authority to leave their humble home and to undertake a long journey. They travel on foot like the rest of the poor, in spite of Mary’s advanced pregnancy. They do not object and they make no complaint, but obey with promptness and simplicity. They are commanded by a pagan emperor, and they go, trusting in GOD’s Providence; GOD knows, GOD will provide; “To them that love GOD all things work together unto good.” (Rom 8, 28).

It is GOD’s will that His greatest work be accomplished here, in a wretched stable, in utter poverty, and Mary and Joseph embrace His will. They are humble and therefore docile to the will of GOD with complete humility. And GOD, as is His custom, made use of what was humble and despicable in the eyes of the world to accomplish the greatest of His works: the Incarnation of the Word.

And the winds howl, and the waters roughen, and Christ, the Incarnate Word, has come and is always coming. It is something to think about, for no matter how you look at it — whether you are a traditional Christian (there can be no other kind), or  a perfectly conventional, orthodox material Narcissist — the message of Christmas is not, never was, and by its meaning never will be, “all about us.”  It is all about everything that is not us, as the Lord said to St. Catherine of Sienna, “I am GOD, You are not”, and that GOD loves us all with an absolute everlasting LOVE … He loved us from before time was and will love us so for all of eternity. So Trust Him … and come home, to the Father who loves you no matter what.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night…

Cheers

Joe

This Too Shall PassAlways remember, “be charitable in your judgements, never take yourself too seriously” and of course, the ever relevant “Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.”

Sometimes when I post, I look at my sig and wish that I’d follow my own damned advice.

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Human Performance and Cancer as a metabolic disease …

I have happily found a new information stream of interest regarding health and fitness. For a while now I have been following up on and reading about Cancer as a metabolic disease rather than a genetic disease. I wrote about it here under the topic of “Models that work”.  I also mentioned this here, and here, and here, and here. I have personal friends and close relatives who are currently dying of, or have just died of cancer. I have a great personal interest in this killer and the politics and economics swirling around it.

The elephant in the room when it comes to cancer is our Research and Medical treatment system’s extraordinary failure to make any progress in 50 years of “War on Cancer”.  With literally billions sunk into this bottomless hole of terror we still routinely accept that something like 98% pf cancer sufferers won’t last 5 years. This appears to me (in my Homer Simpson simplicity) to indicate that the current model is NOT WORKING, (DUH!) and we are simply barking up the wrong tree. It is not a stretch to conclude that there are other interests wedded to this model and keeping us on this track rather than a genuine desire to cure cancer. Would we need a Department of Health if everyone was healthy? Hmmmm.

So what about the “Human Performance Outliers” Podcasts with hosts Dr. Shawn Baker and Zach Bitter. In this episode (#40) Professor Thomas Seyfried joins the show. Dr. Seyfried breaks down cancer as a metabolic disease. He explains how cancer thrives and what mistakes we are making in current cancer treatment. Check out Dr. Seyfried’s book, Cancer as a Metabolic Disease. This podcast is a great motivator to take up reading Dr. Seyfried’s book agan. Check out the podcast and see what you think:

 

And I guess that’s all for today …

Cheers

Joe

The Blind Leading the Blind

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Luisa Piccarreta’s Mystical Visions (1899 – 1926) …

Some of Luisa Piccarreta (1865-1947) mystical visions (1899 – 1926) of chastisements to come:

Luisa Piccarreta (1865-1947)

Nota bene: Concerning the many chastisements Luisa beheld in mystical vision that will purge the earth and purify mankind,  noteworthy is «fire». Fire will come from the center of the earth (L. PICCARRETA, II, August 2, 1899; ID., VIII, January 2, 1909; XIV, October 27, 1922) and also from the sky (XIV, September 1, 1922; XII, November 2, 1917; VI, October 20, 1905; XI, April 3, 1915) to overwhelm mankind and make him believe that God exists (II, October 7, 1899).

Fire will strike evildoers, but those who are good and live a life of simplicity will be spared (II, August 10, 1899). The fire that descends upon earth will damage crops and man’s nourishment (IV, April 22, 1901; IV, May 22, 1902), and will flare up in certain countries (III, July 30, 1900).

Further purging the earth and man is the «sword» that represents wars (IV, March 22, 1901) and revolutions (XVI, March 22, 1924); the united forces of «fire», «blood» (XI, May 25, 1915), «water» (XIV, April 6, 1922; XV, July 14, 1923) and «wind» will spill out of their boundaries to destroy a great part of humanity and bury man (VII, April 17, 1906; XI, December 5, 1916; XVI, March 22, 1924; XVI, April 8, 1924;), while those who live in the Divine Will have dominion over these elements (XIII, January 3, 1922);

A star of black fire and blood that appears to represent a comet (II, March 18, 1899); peals of thunder, lightning (II, August 10, 1899) and a terrible hail (II, March 13, 1899; III, July 9, 1900);

Earthquakes that annihilate entire cities (XIII, December 22, 1921; XVII, August 9, 1924; XIX, September 5, 1926), and swallow up mountains and men (VII, April 17, 1906), thereby causing a good part to die (VI, June 19, 1904);

Volcanoes that inundate countries (II, March 18, 1899);  sudden deaths and contagious diseases (XII, October 16, 1918). 

As a result of said chastisements the Vatican will be shaken in part (IV, October 10, 1900), but in the end the nations will turn back to God (XII, October 16, 1918).

Rev. Joseph Iannuzzi, “The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta” . St. Andrew’s Productions. Kindle Edition.

Cheers

Joe

We deny the Divine at our peril …

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Things to do on Sunday Afternoon …

Things to do on Sunday Afternoon … well, what do you do on Sunday afternoon? I like to take it easy and think about things, and sometimes write about stuff, sometimes read about stuff, and in this case spend an hour watching an interview on Rex TV with Conrad Black.

I don’t know if this link will work for you or not … I have subscribed to Rex TV along with about 10,000 or so others (Canadians?) and I find myself amused and even surprised that there are that many intelligent folks in Canada who are interested in “the other point of view”.

I thought virtually all university educated Canadians were Kool Aid drinking Liberal Zombies who took all their leads from the CBC and Social Media. I guess I was wrong (who knew?). How come I have never met any of these strange chameleon-like creatures in the wild?

Anyway, here is the link:

Cheers

Joe

Someone’s gotta do it …

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The Fourth Sunday of Advent … A Prayer of Consecration …

A Prayer of Consecration to Merciful Love:

Merciful Father, relying on the prayers and example of Abraham and Mary, my father and mother in faith, and of St. Thérèse, my sister in the way of humble confidence, I choose, this day, with the help of your grace, to strive with all my heart to follow the Little Way.

And so, I firmly intend to fight discouragement, do little things with great love, and be merciful to my neighbor in deed, word, and prayer.

I aim to keep before my eyes my poverty, weakness, brokenness, and sin, trusting that my littleness and contrite heart will attract your Merciful Love.

I choose to remain always little, not relying on my own merits but solely on yours, dear Lord, and those of the Blessed Mother.

Finally, I believe, my God, that you can and will make me into a saint, even if I won’t see it, even if I have to struggle all my life against vice and sin, even if I have to wait until the very end.  This blind hope in your mercy, O Lord, is my only treasure.

And now, to confirm my resolve and to console you for so much rejection of your mercy, I OFFER MYSELF, THROUGH THE HANDS OF MARY IMMACULATE, AS A VICTIM OF HOLOCAUST TO YOUR MERCIFUL LOVE.

I ask you to consume me incessantly, allowing the waves of infinite tenderness shut up within you to overflow into my soul, and that I may thus become a martyr of your love, O my God, and a gift of mercy to so many others.

I ask all this in Jesus’ name.
Amen.

Cheers

Joe

Domine, quo vadis?

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Self Centered … a Self Centered Church? (part 3)

So here is the unexpected part three – due to the length of part 2, I decided to make it three parts and just include the DECLARATION OF TRUTHS in this post. I really don’t expect anything in this post to be popular or politically correct, in fact some of the stated truths would have many in my family stone me in the public square or perhaps burn me at the stake. Anyway, Truth is what it is despite the dictates of fashion and of the thought police of our social media jungle.

I  will now restate here the recent 40 point Declaration of Dogmatic Truths which Bishop Athanasius Schneider, and a number of others have published in light of the current confusion of this pontificate and lack of clear direction and instruction from the Vatican. The Roman Catholic Church of the Living God must continue to be the bulwark of “Truth”, no matter what the pressures of fashion and the opinions of the world.

We are not the United Nations, and the U.N., the captains of fashion, industry, philanthropy, New Age Environmentalism, and Gender Ideology do not dictate the direction of Church doctrine and teaching, or at least they should not and it should be transparently clear that they do not.  The Church should not be “waiting tables” at the behest of worldly agendas and fashionable priorities like environmentalism, social justice, ecumenicism and heterodox religious inclusivity.

These Truths, the 2000 year old Magisterium of the Church, are part of what defines what it is to be Roman Catholic. I do not know what any person may be, good, bad, or indifferent, but absent belief in these 40 points of dogmatic Truth, whatever a person may be they are not Catholic, no matter what their private and public qualifications and position or state in life may be. This list of Truths is intended to address certain errors spreading in the church in our day. This 40 point Declaration of Dogmatic Truths has been published by the 5 Bishops named below on May 31, 2019.

“The Church of the Living God—The Pillar and Bulwark of Truth” (1 Tim 3:15)

May 31, 2019
Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Cardinal Janis Pujats Archbishop emeritus of Riga
Tomash Peta Archbishop of the archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana
Jan Pawel Lenga Archbishop-Bishop emeritus of Karaganda
Athanasius Schneider Auxiliary Bishop of the archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana
Bishop Athanasius Schneider initiated and was one of the main contributors in the editing process of this Declaration.

DECLARATION OF TRUTHS:

1. Relating to Some of the Most Common Errors in the Life of the Church of Our Time

THE FUNDAMENTALS OF FAITH

The right meaning of the expressions “living tradition,” “living Magisterium,” “hermeneutic of continuity,” and “development of doctrine” includes the truth that whatever new insights may be expressed regarding the deposit of faith cannot be contrary to what the Church has always proposed in the same dogma, in the same sense, and in the same meaning (see First Vatican Council, Dei Filius, sess. 3, c. 4: “in eodem dogmate, eodem sensu, eademque sententia”).

2. “The meaning of dogmatic formulas remains ever true and constant in the Church, even when it is expressed with greater clarity or more developed. The faithful therefore must shun the opinion, first, that dogmatic formulas (or some category of them) cannot signify truth in a determinate way, but can only offer changeable approximations to it, which to a certain extent distort or alter it; secondly, that these formulas signify the truth only in an indeterminate way, this truth being like a goal that is constantly being sought by means of such approximations. Those who hold such an opinion do not avoid dogmatic relativism and they corrupt the concept of the Church’s infallibility relative to the truth to be taught or held in a determinate way” (Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Mysterium Ecclesiae in defense of the Catholic doctrine on the Church against certain errors of the present day),

THE CREED

3. “The Kingdom of God begun here below in the Church of Christ is not of this world whose form is passing, and its proper growth cannot be confounded with the progress of civilization, of science, or of human technology, but it consists in an ever more profound knowledge of the unfathomable riches of Christ, an ever stronger hope in eternal blessings, an ever more ardent response to the love of God, and an ever more generous bestowal of grace and holiness among men. The deep solicitude of the Church, the Spouse of Christ, for the needs of men, for their joys and hopes, their griefs and efforts, is therefore nothing other than her great desire to be present to them, in order to illuminate them with the light of Christ and to gather them all in Him, their only Savior. This solicitude can never mean that the Church conforms herself to the things of this world, or that she lessens the ardor of her expectation of her Lord and of the eternal Kingdom” (Paul VI, Apostolic Letter Solemni Hac Liturgia [Credo of the People of God], 27). The opinion is, therefore, erroneous that says that God is glorified principally by the very fact of progress in the temporal and earthly condition of the human race.

4. After the institution of the new and everlasting covenant in Jesus Christ, no one may be saved by obedience to the law of Moses alone without faith in Christ as true God and the only Savior of humankind (see Rom 3:28; Gal 2:16).

5. Muslims and others who lack faith in Jesus Christ, God and man, even monotheists, cannot give to God the same adoration as Christians do, that is to say, the supernatural worship in Spirit and in truth (see Jn 4:24; Eph 2:8) of those who have received the Spirit of filial adoption (see Rom 8:15).

6. Spiritualities and religions that promote any kind of idolatry or pantheism cannot be considered either as “seeds” or as “fruits” of the divine Word, since they are deceptions that preclude the evangelization and eternal salvation of their adherents, as it is taught by Holy Scripture: “the god of this world has made blind the minds of those who have not faith, so that the light of the good news of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, might not be shining on them” (2 Cor 4:4).

7. True ecumenism intends that non-Catholics should enter that unity which the Catholic Church already indestructibly possesses in virtue of the prayer of Christ, always heard by His Father, “that they may be one” (Jn 17:11), and which she professes in the Symbol of Faith, “I believe in one Church.” Ecumenism, therefore, may not legitimately have for its goal the establishment of a Church that does not yet exist.

8. Hell exists, and those who are condemned to hell for any unrepented mortal sin are eternally punished there by divine justice (see Mt 25:46). Not only fallen angels but also human souls are damned eternally (see 2 Thess 1:9; 2 Pet 3:7). Eternally damned human beings will not be annihilated, since their souls are immortal, according to the infallible teaching of the Church (see Fifth Lateran Council, sess. 8).

9. The religion born of faith in Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God and the only Savior of humankind, is the only religion positively willed by God. The opinion is, therefore, wrong that says that just as God positively wills the diversity of the male and female sexes and the diversity of nations, so in the same way He also wills the diversity of religions.

10. “Our [Christian] religion effectively establishes with God an authentic and living relationship which the other religions do not succeed in doing, even though they have, as it were, their arms stretched out towards heaven” (Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, 53).

11. The gift of free will with which God the Creator endowed the human person grants man the natural right to choose only the good and the true. No human person has, therefore, a natural right to offend God in choosing the moral evil of sin, the religious error of idolatry, blasphemy, or a false religion.

THE LAW OF GOD

12. A justified person has sufficient strength with God’s grace to carry out the objective demands of the divine law, since all of the commandments of God are possible for the justified. God’s grace, when it justifies the sinner, does of its nature produce conversion from all serious sin (see Council of Trent, sess. 6, Decree on Justification, c. 11; c. 13).

13. “The faithful are obliged to acknowledge and respect the specific moral precepts declared and taught by the Church in the name of God, the Creator and Lord. Love of God and of one’s neighbor cannot be separated from the observance of the commandments of the covenant renewed in the blood of Jesus Christ and in the gift of the Spirit” (John Paul II, Encyclical Veritatis Splendor, 76). According to the teaching of the same encyclical, the opinion of those is wrong who “believe they can justify, as morally good, deliberate choices of kinds of behavior contrary to the commandments of the divine and natural law.” Thus, “these theories cannot claim to be grounded in the Catholic moral tradition” (ibid.).

14. All of the commandments of God are equally just and merciful. The opinion is, therefore, wrong that says that a person is able, by obeying a divine prohibition—for example, the sixth commandment, not to commit adultery—to sin against God by this act of obedience, or to morally harm himself, or to sin against another.

15. “No circumstance, no purpose, no law whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the Law of God, which is written in every human heart, knowable by reason itself, and proclaimed by the Church” (John Paul II, Encyclical Evangelium Vitae, 62). There are moral principles and moral truths contained in divine revelation and in the natural law which include negative prohibitions that absolutely forbid certain kinds of action, inasmuch as these kinds of action are always gravely unlawful on account of their object. Hence, the opinion is wrong that says that a good intention or a good consequence is or can ever be sufficient to justify the commission of such kinds of action (see Council of Trent, sess. 6, Decree on Justification, c. 15; John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, 17; Encyclical Veritatis Splendor, 80).

16. A woman who has conceived a child within her womb is forbidden by natural and divine law to kill this human life within her, by herself or by others, whether directly or indirectly (see John Paul II, Encyclical Evangelium Vitae, 62).

17. Procedures which cause conception to happen outside of the womb “are morally unacceptable, since they separate procreation from the fully human context of the conjugal act” (John Paul II, Encyclical Evangelium Vitae, 14).

18. No human being may ever be morally justified in killing himself or causing himself to be put to death by others, even if the intention intention is to escape suffering. “Euthanasia is a grave violation of the law of God, since it is the deliberate and morally unacceptable killing of a human person. This doctrine is based upon the natural law and upon the written word of God, is transmitted by the Church’s Tradition, and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium” (John Paul II, Encyclical Evangelium Vitae, 65).

19. Marriage is by divine ordinance and natural law an indissoluble union of one man and one woman (see Gen 2:24; Mk 10:7–9; Eph 5:31–32). “By their very nature, the institution of matrimony itself and conjugal love are ordained for the procreation and education of children, and find in them their ultimate crown” (Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, 48).

20. By natural and divine law no human being may voluntarily and without sin exercise his sexual powers outside of a valid marriage. It is, therefore, contrary to Holy Scripture and Tradition to affirm that conscience can truly and rightly judge that sexual acts between persons who have contracted a civil marriage with each other can sometimes be morally right or requested or even commanded by God, although one or both persons is sacramentally married to another person (see 1 Cor 7:11; John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 84).

21. Natural and divine law prohibits “any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means” (Paul VI, Encyclical Humanae Vitae, 14).

22. Anyone, husband or wife, who has obtained a civil divorce from the spouse to whom he or she is validly married, and has contracted a civil marriage with some other person during the lifetime of his legitimate spouse, and who lives in a marital way with the civil partner, and who chooses to remain in this state with full knowledge of the nature of the act and with full consent of the will to that act, is in a state of mortal sin and therefore cannot receive sanctifying grace and grow in charity. Therefore, these Christians, unless they are living as “brother and sister,” cannot receive Holy Communion (see John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 84).

23. Two persons of the same sex sin gravely when they seek venereal pleasure from each other (see Lev 18:22; Lev 20:13; Rom 1:24–28; 1 Cor 6:9–10; 1 Tim 1:10; Jude 7). Homosexual acts “under no circumstances can be approved” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2357). Hence, the opinion is contrary to natural law and divine revelation that says that, as God the Creator has given to some humans a natural disposition to feel sexual desire for persons of the opposite sex, so also He has given to others a natural disposition to feel sexual desire for persons of the same sex, and that God intends that the latter disposition be acted on in some circumstances.

24. Human law, or any human power whatsoever, cannot give to two persons of the same sex the right to marry one another or declare two such persons to be married, since this is contrary to natural and divine law. “In the Creator’s plan, sexual complementarity and fruitfulness belong to the very nature of marriage” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons, June 3, 2003, 3).

25. Unions that have the name of marriage without the reality of it, being contrary to natural and divine law, are not capable of receiving the blessing of the Church.

26. The civil power may not establish civil or legal unions between two persons of the same sex that plainly imitate the union of marriage, even if such unions do not receive the name of marriage, since such unions would encourage grave sin for the individuals who are in them and would be a cause of grave scandal for others (see Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons, June 3, 2003, 11).

27. The male and female sexes, man and woman, are biological realities created by the wise will of God (see Gen. 1:27; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 369). It is, therefore, a rebellion against natural and divine law and a grave sin that a man attempt to become a woman by mutilating himself, or even by simply simply declaring himself to be such, or that a woman may in like manner attempt to become a man, or to hold that the civil authority has the duty or the right to act as if such things were or may be possible and legitimate (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2297).

28. In accordance with Holy Scripture and the constant tradition of the ordinary and universal Magisterium, the Church did not err in teaching that the civil power may lawfully exercise capital punishment on malefactors where this is truly necessary to preserve the existence or just order of societies (see Gen 9:6; Jn 19:11; Rom 13:1–7; Innocent III, Professio fidei Waldensibus praescripta; Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent, p. III, 5, n. 4; Pius XII, Address to Catholic Jurists, December 5, 1954).

29. All authority on earth as well as in heaven belongs to Jesus Christ; therefore, civil societies and all other associations of men are subject to His kingship so that “the duty of offering God genuine worship concerns man both individually and socially” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2105; see Pius XI, Encyclical Quas Primas, 18–19; 32).

THE SACRAMENTS

30. In the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist, a wonderful change takes place, namely of the whole substance of bread into the body of Christ and the whole substance of wine into His blood, a change which the Catholic Church very fittingly calls transubstantiation (see Fourth Lateran Council, c. 1; Council of Trent, sess. 13, c. 4). “Every theological explanation which seeks some understanding of this mystery must, in order to be in accord with Catholic faith, maintain that in the reality itself, independently of our mind, the bread and wine have ceased to exist after the Consecration, so that it is the adorable Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus that from then on are really before us under the sacramental species of bread and wine” (Paul VI, Apostolic Letter Solemni Hac Liturgia [Credo of the People of God], 25).

31. The formulations by which the Council of Trent expressed the Church’s faith in the Holy Eucharist are suitable for men of all times and places, since they are a “perennially valid teaching of the Church” (John Paul II, Encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 15).

32. In the Holy Mass, a true and proper sacrifice is offered to the Blessed Trinity, and this sacrifice is propitiatory both for men living on earth and for the souls in Purgatory. The opinion is, therefore, wrong that says that the sacrifice of the Mass consists simply in the fact that the people make a spiritual sacrifice of prayers and praises, as well as the opinion that the Mass may or should be defined only as Christ giving Himself to the faithful as their spiritual food (see Council of Trent, sess. 22, c. 2).

33. “The Mass, celebrated by the priest representing the person of Christ by virtue of the power received through the sacrament of Orders and offered by him in the name of Christ and the members of His Mystical Body, is the sacrifice of Calvary rendered sacramentally present on our altars. We believe that as the bread and wine consecrated by the Lord at the Last Supper were changed into His body and His blood which were to be offered for us on the Cross, likewise the bread and wine consecrated by the priest are changed into the body and blood of Christ enthroned gloriously in heaven, and we believe that the mysterious presence of the Lord, under what continues to appear to our senses as before, is a true, real, and substantial presence” (Paul VI, Apostolic Letter Solemni Hac Liturgia [Credo of the People of God], 24).

34. “The unbloody immolation at the words of consecration, when Christ is made present upon the altar in the state of a victim, is performed by the priest and by him alone, as the representative of Christ and not as the representative of the faithful. (…) The faithful offer the sacrifice by the hands of the priest from the fact that the minister at the altar, in offering a sacrifice in the name of all His members, represents Christ, the Head of the Mystical Body. The conclusion, however, that the people offer the sacrifice with the priest himself is not based on the fact that, being members of the Church no less than the priest himself, they perform a visible liturgical rite; for this is the privilege only of the minister who has been divinely appointed to this office. Rather it is based on the fact that the people unite their hearts in praise, impetration, expiation, and thanksgiving with the prayers or intention of the priest, even of the High Priest Himself, so that in the one and same offering of the victim and according to a visible sacerdotal rite, they may be presented to God the Father” (Pius XII, Encyclical Mediator Dei, 92).

35. The sacrament of Penance is the only ordinary means by which grave sins committed after baptism may be remitted, and by divine law all such sins must be confessed by number and by species (see Council of Trent, sess. 14, can. 7).

36. By divine law the confessor may not violate the seal of the sacrament of Penance for any reason whatsoever; no ecclesiastical authority has the power to dispense him from the seal of the sacrament and the civil power is wholly incompetent to oblige him to do so (see Code of Canon Law 1983, can. 1388 § 1; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1467).

37. By virtue of the will of Christ and the unchangeable Tradition of the Church, the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist may not be given to those who are in a public state of objectively grave sin, and sacramental absolution may not be given to those who express their unwillingness to conform to divine law, even if their unwillingness pertains only to a single grave matter (see Council of Trent, sess. 14, c. 4; Pope John Paul II, Message to the Major Penitentiary Cardinal William W. Baum, on March 22, 1996).

38. According to the constant Tradition of the Church, the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist may not be given to those who deny any truth of the Catholic faith by formally professing their adherence to a heretical or to an officially schismatic Christian community (see Code of Canon Law 1983, can. 915; 1364).

39. The law by which priests are bound to observe perfect continence in celibacy stems from the example of Jesus Christ and belongs to immemorial and apostolic tradition according to the constant witness of the Fathers of the Church and of the Roman Pontiffs. For this reason, this law should not be abolished in the Roman Church through the innovation of an optional priestly celibacy, either at the regional or the universal level. The perennial valid witness of the Church states that the law of priestly continence “does not command new precepts; these precepts should be observed, because they have been neglected on the part of some through ignorance and sloth. These precepts, nevertheless, go back to the Apostles and were established by the Fathers, as it is written, ‘Stand firm, then, brothers and keep the traditions that we taught you, whether by word of mouth or by letter’ (2 Thess 2:15). There are in fact many who, ignoring the statutes of our forefathers, have violated the chastity of the Church by their presumption and have followed the will of the people, not fearing the judgment of God” (Pope Siricius, Decretal Cum in unum in the year 386).

40. By the will of Christ and the divine constitution of the Church, only baptized men (viri) may receive the sacrament of Orders, whether in the episcopacy, the priesthood, or the diaconate (see John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, 4). Furthermore, the assertion is wrong that says that only an Ecumenical Council can define this matter, because the teaching authority of an Ecumenical Council is not more extensive than that of the Roman Pontiff (see Fifth Lateran Council, sess. 11; First Vatican Council, sess. 4, c. 3, n. 8).

May 31, 2019
Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Cardinal Janis Pujats Archbishop emeritus of Riga
Tomash Peta Archbishop of the archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana
Jan Pawel Lenga Archbishop-Bishop emeritus of Karaganda
Athanasius Schneider Auxiliary Bishop of the archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana
1 Bishop Athanasius Schneider initiated and was one of the main contributors in the editing process of this Declaration.

Bishop Athanasius Schneider, “Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age” . Angelico Press. Kindle Edition.

That’s the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth.

Cheers

Joe

Freedom of Worship does not actually mean that all worship is equal or the same.

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Life in a small town

Self Centered … a Self Centered Church? (part 2)

It is a truth, learned from life experience, and years at sea, that safe and accurate navigation requires a reliable point(s) of reference outside of oneself by which to judge one’s distance and progress towards or away from some objective, some destination, goal, or even in some cases some risk or danger. To navigate everything with only reference to oneself leaves one dangerously muddled and hopelessly lost.

St. Peter Julian Eymard

To me these days, what seems to be significantly lacking outside of the Catechism is a clear unequivocal statement of the dogma and principles which the Church Militant, the Holy Roman Catholic Church, Christ’s Church, and Christ’s Mystical Body in this world, stands for and teaches in this world for over 2000 years now. Fortunately Bishops Schneider, Cardinal Burke and several others have taken a giant stride to blow away the bureaucratic smoke and mirrors which are being employed to obscure what is going on rather than to promote transparency and clarity of thought in our church’s current dealings with worldly matters.

This goal, of posting a clear re-statement of doctrine and dogma , that is our Roman Catholic “articles of faith”, resulted in a much longer post than usual, in fact this post ended up more than twice as long as many of my average pontifications, so I decided to split it into two with the prologue in this post and the 40 points in part 3, the next post, the distilled wisdom of the 40 Doctrinal, or Dogmatic Truths, our Roman Catholic “articles of faith”, which the Roman Catholic Magisterium has developed and preserved over the course of 2000 years of study, discussion and debate by some of the brightest folks in human history.

First I want to reference St. Peter Julian Eymard to illustrate that there is nothing new under the sun. The current crop of apostates are simply re-inventing a wheel which has appeared in various forms and costumes over the last two millennia, and which apostasies and heresies really got rolling with the Reformation beginning in 1517 when a German monk, Martin Luther, decided to “do it his way”, as retold in Frank Sinatra’s popular song.

The next big push was  the French Revolution, a watershed event in modern European history that began in 1789 and ended in the late 1790s with the ascent of Napoleon Bonaparte. During this period, elite French political dissidents, military leaders, philosophers, and academics used their nation’s citizens to raze and redesign their country’s political and religious landscape, uprooting centuries-old institutions such as absolute monarchy, the feudal system, and the Catholic Church.

As with all revolutions, it failed to achieve its goals and degenerated into a chaotic bloodbath with the various factions murdering each other with great abandon. The French Revolution played a critical role in shaping modern secular nations by showing the international political world the power inherent in “Love of Self”.

Sermon on the Mount -Carl Bloch 1890

But, back to Peter Julian Eymard. He was born in La Mure d’Isère in southeastern France, Peter Julian’s faith journey drew him from being a priest in the Diocese of Grenoble in 1834, to joining the Marists in 1839, to founding the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament in 1856. So, a few pointed words from St. Peter Julian Eymard :

CHRISTUS imperat. Christ commands. No king has command over the whole universe; one earthly king has another equal to him in power. But God the Father has said to Jesus Christ: “I will give Thee all the nations for Thy inheritance.” And Our Lord told His lieutenants when He sent them throughout the world: “All power is given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go and teach ye all nations, teaching them to keep all that I have commanded you.

He issued His commands from the Cenacle. The Eucharistic tabernacle, which is a prolongation or replica of the Cenacle, is the headquarters of the King of kings. All those who fight the good fight receive their orders from there. In the presence of the Eucharistic Jesus all men are subjects, all must obey, from the pope, the Vicar of Jesus Christ, down to the least of the faithful.

CHRISTUS ab omni malo plebem suam defendat. May Christ defend His people from all evil. The Eucharist is the divine lightning-rod that wards off the thunderbolts of divine justice. As a tender and devoted mother presses her child to her bosom, puts her arms around it, and shields it with her body to save it from the wrath of an angry father, so Jesus multiplies His presence everywhere, covers the world and envelops it with His merciful presence.

Divine Justice does not know then where to strike; it dares not. And what a protection against the devil! The blood of Jesus which purples our lips makes us a terror to Satan; we are sprinkled with the blood of the true Lamb, and the exterminating angel will not enter. The Eucharist protects the sinner until time for repentance is given him. Ah! Were it not for the Eucharist, for this perpetual Calvary, how often would not the wrath of God have come down upon us!

And how unhappy are the nations that no longer possess the Eucharist! What darkness! What a confusion in the minds! What a chill in the hearts! Satan alone rules supreme, and with him all the evil passions. As for us, the Eucharist delivers us from all evil. Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat; ab omni malo plebem suam defendat!”
—St. Peter Julian Eymard

from the book by: Bishop Athanasius Schneider,  ‘Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age ‘ . Angelico Press. Kindle Edition.

So, something to think about. In every century, sin and a focus on worldly priorities has been painfully real in the life of the Church. St. Peter Julian Eymard, St. Catherine of Sienna, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of The Cross, St. Therese of Lisieux, to name just a few, all faced corruption and serious division and even heresy in the church of their time. It is easy to give in to despair, and to speak so strongly of human failings that people may forget Jesus Christ and His immense and self-sacrificing love, as his death on the cross and his gift of the Eucharist make evident. We lose our Christocentric focus and both leaders and the led turn inward to focus on the self and the troubles of the mundane.

Holy Scripture says. “In the multitude of words there shall not want sin. He that hath no guard on his speech shall meet with evils.” (Prv 10, 19 – 13,3). This seems especially apropos of our current visible situation in the Episcopate across the world. Lots of words, lots of long winded position papers and working papers and summary documents in the flavour and nature of “BS baffles brains” with which I became so familiar when working in the secular bureaucracy.  Lots of words, and does anyone ever read all these words in context?  I quote again from “Christus Vincit”:

On a global scale, the deepest crisis in the Church is the weakening of the supernatural. This is manifested in an inversion of order, so that nature, temporal affairs, and man, gain supremacy over Christ, over the supernatural, over prayer, over grace, and so on. This is our problem. As Jesus Christ said, “Without Me, you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5). The whole crisis in the Church, as seen after the Council, was manifest in an incredible inflation of frenetic human activity to fill the void or the vacuum of prayer and adoration, to fill the void created through the abandonment of the supernatural. Which is a void that can never be filled…”

and

“… efforts to fill this void have been tried, for example, in continual Church meetings and gatherings at different levels and in different forms—continuous synods. This is oftentimes busy work with a very pious mask. It is a waste of money; it is a waste of time that could be used for prayer and for direct evangelization — under the pretext of a so-called “synodality.” There is only one parallel in the history of the Church to such excessive episcopal meetings, and that is the fourth century, precisely when the Arian heresy was dominant and reigning. They would gather together and hold meetings, and in those times St. Gregory of Nazianzus said: “I am resolved to avoid every meeting of bishops, for I have never seen any synod end well, nor assuage rather than aggravate disorders” (Ep. 130 ad Procopium). Nowadays St. Gregory would be called a pessimist and would probably be disciplined for his uncooperative spirit.”

and

I will tell you a story. Once I participated in a meeting for the Asian bishops in Manila. They prepared a very long document, and so I said, “We have to shorten this document by half and, even then, no one will read it.” And the bishops were laughing. In my private conversations with several bishops, they acknowledged honestly that up to now they actually did not read the documents produced at these meetings, even though they received them. … One of these meetings lasted one week and produced a document, which, at least in our region, no one has read.

Later we got the financial report for this meeting. The meeting cost $250,000 from church funds. Imagine! Basically, it was $250,000 thrown to the wind. … The continuous meetings and assemblies of bishops: they are spending so much money, it’s incredible. If we would reduce drastically the frequency of these meetings, we could give millions of dollars every year to the poor around the world. To me, this is a sin that churchmen are committing today.

Even setting to the side for a moment the problems with these excessive meetings, which are ultimately a manifestation of Pelagianism and undermine the supernatural—to say nothing of the problem of the almost continuous stream of doctrinally ambiguous documents they produce—I believe it is sinful to spend so much money, which we could give to the poor in our world. 

Bishop Athanasius Schneider, “Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age” . Angelico Press. Kindle Edition.

Indeed, “In the multitude of words there shall not want sin”.

Peter Julian and the many other Saints throughout the history of our church, knew that the Eucharist was key to helping Catholics live out their baptism and preach by word and example the Good News of Jesus Christ. In our day, this desert journey since Vatican II, the loss of the sacred, loss of faith, and loss of belief in the Real Presence and even the loss of understanding of the true purpose of the Holy Mass is a immense tragedy, perhaps even one of the worst crisis in the history of our church.

Onward to the next part, the 40 points of clarity …

Cheers

Joe

Freedom of Worship does not actually mean that all worship is equal or the same.

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Life in a small town

Self Centered … a Self Centered Church? (part 1)

Self Centered … that is to say “Centered on Self”, as in the “Anthropocentric”  thing, the preoccupation of all modern humanity but also pretty prevalent throughout history as well. I am thinking that anything smacking of the “Anthropocentric”  thing pretty much guarantees to be taking away from God. And absent God it is pretty easy to fall into the “Anthropocentric”  thing.

I have come to believe that being “self” centered always comes at the expense of being God centered.  That is to say, anything with even a taste of Anthropocentrism necessarily takes away something from God. So, I am thinking about a church that is “self centered” and about how that focus would manifest itself in the real experience of “church”?

I have written about this before, here,  and here, and other places, in relation to understanding the behaviour of a Catholic congregation as soon as the Mass is ended and the preponderance of evidence is for a significant loss of faith in the Real Presence, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy eucharist.

If one truly believes in the Real Presence then our particular church and tabernacle cannot be anything other than GOD’s residence in this world … a small part of heaven rendered sacred, become the Holy of Holies of our earthly Temple by the Real Presence. And if we believed, would we act in this manner, this sudden devolution into social gathering or card party, like a picnic or BBQ  with everyone exchanging news and views and talking louder and louder and uproarious laughter and so on.

Would we act like this if we suddenly found ourselves in the middle of an audience with Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, found ourselves suddenly on the floor of the house of parliament in session with His Royal Highness King Justin the 1st presiding? I somehow really doubt that we would, we would be overawed and respectful.

How can we act so differently in front of the Absolute Lord and Creator of the entire Universe, who is so far above these worldly notables as to render them no more than sand fleas on some grand beach somewhere warm. Unless of course that we do not actually believe that He is really there … and that is not Catholic … we are not Catholic … if we reject one of the primary tenets of Catholic dogma.

And this  is the result of 50 years of Novus Ordo, with its emphasis on “fellowship” and a gathering around the table for a “family meal” … and with this “Mass” as theatre in the round and the priest as “Master of ceremonies” , the Toast Master if you will … and 50 years on we have completely de-sacralized the holiest sacrifice, the re-presentation of our Lord’s sacrifice on Calvary.

That, the re-presentation of our Lord’s sacrifice on Calvary,  is what the Holy Mass is supposed to be, not a fellowship gathering. That heresy, that sacrilege, came in with Luther and especially with Calvin. The Lord was out of the centre, shuffled off to the side so as not to interfere with fellowship, for a long time even the tabernacle was moved off to the side on some specious argument that in Rome it was done this way and it was all “In the Spirit of Vatican II”.

And then the sacred language of our faith was utterly replaced by the vernacular and most of the Collects ceased to be about supplication and begging for forgiveness for our sins, ceased to be about being unworthy and begging for mercy, and changed, morphed, into asking God to bless us for our good intentions … no mention of guilt or sin any more … going on 50 years and there is a reason that no one goes to confession now … and no one believes in the Real Presence.

The whole focus of the Mass changed from one of supplication and offering prayers asking for forgiveness with the priest at the front, all of us together facing God in the Holy of Holies and what have we now? Everything that rendered the Mass sacred, conducted in a reverential way as an offering to God has been rendered a mundane Sunday brunch with pancakes and sausage afterwards.

I believe that it’s because Catholics no longer feel they are guilty of anything. They seem to feel that they “deserve” heaven for eternity because they are “nice”, “tolerant”, “good” people. We have ceased to be Roman Catholics and become Roman Protestants, like every other of the 900 or so Protestant denominations … just a breath and a step away from one world “christian” church, a loose association of social clubs for people who like to feel superior and like to go to meet their friends every Sunday. It’s really all about “fellowship”, isn’t it, really all about us.

The modernist understanding of “anthropocentric” involves a big category error, perhaps THE big error, a huge trap, which virtually all modernist secular authorities fall into, along with their acolytes and believers, namely most of our polite western population and perhaps most of the rest of the world. This ERROR is founded on the presumption that there is no god, that god is just a silly superstition and that Anthropocentrism is a model of reality.

But the Truth is RADICALLY different. Is it not wondrously strange how just removing god from the picture turns a really bad thing into a good thing? Man as the centre and meaning of all things, as the pinnacle of meaning and the purpose of the universe? It was not always so universal a belief. Even the Wickedpedia, in the midst of gushing about man at the centre still acknowledged Maimonides.

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“Maimonides, a scholar of the Torah who lived in the 12th century AD, was noted for being decidedly anti-anthropocentric. Maimonides called man “a mere ‘drop of the bucket'” and “not ‘the axle of the world'”.[16] He also claimed that anthropocentric thinking is what causes humans to think that evil things exist in nature.[17] According to Rabbi Norman Lamm, Maimonides “thus deflate[d] man’s extravagant notions of his own importance and urge[d] us to abandon these illusions.”[16]

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In Canada, the CBC is, for all intents and purposes, the headquarters and agency responsible for all secular humanist socialist propaganda in this fine country, the pablum for the masses as they “speak for Canada”. And in keeping with their mandate, in the 1985 CBC series “A Planet For the Taking”, Dr. David Suzuki , whose doctorate, incidentally, is in genetics, not divinity, explored the Old Testament roots (superstitions) of anthropocentrism and how it shaped our view of non-human animals. Some Christian Protestant proponents of anthropocentrism base their belief on the Bible, such as the verse 1:26 in the Book of Genesis:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

The use of the word “dominion” in the translation of the Genesis verse is controversial. Many Biblical scholars, especially Roman Catholic and other non-Protestant Christians, consider this to be a flawed translation of a word meaning “stewardship”, which would indicate that mankind should take care of the earth and its various forms of life.

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But these secular modernist views are only viable within a framework which denies the existence of GOD … the acceptance of the idea of “no god” is a prerequisite to the modernist worldview. And we find that in these days, even our church is moving to a man centered worldview, an Anthropocentric view of reality. The signposts seem clear, our church is moving in a direction which leads to prioritizing the things and concerns of “this world” over the things of eternity.

We are now seeing many signposts on the road towards a secular relativist church.  From Bishop Schneider’s book: ” … (in the) words of Archbishop Fulton Sheen, which he wrote in 1948 and which are strikingly relevant and significant for the current situation:

“[Satan] will set up a Counter-church, which will be the ape of the Church. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content….

The False Prophet will have a religion without a cross. A religion without a world to come. A religion to destroy religions. There will be a counterfeit Church. Christ’s Church will be one, and the False Prophet will create the other. The false Church will be worldly, ecumenical, and global. It will be a loose federation of churches and religions, forming some type of global association, a world parliament of Churches. It will be emptied of all divine content; it will be the mystical body of the Antichrist. The Mystical Body on earth today will have its Judas Iscariot, and he will be the False Prophet. Satan will recruit him from our bishops.”

Schneider, Bishop Athanasius. Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age . Angelico Press. Kindle Edition.

And also, quoting again from “Christus Vincit” by Bishop Athanasius Schneider:  “Cardinal Robert Sarah, in his recent book Le soir approche et déjà le jour baisse [The Day is Now Far Spent], speaks about the shattering reality and mystery of Judas in the ranks of the clergy.

The first chapter of his book is entitled, “Alas, Judas Iscariot,” where we read the following words: “The mystery of betrayal oozes from the walls of the Church…. We experience the mystery of iniquity, the mystery of betrayal, the mystery of Judas…. The evil of an efficacious activism has infiltrated everywhere…. We seek to imitate the organization of large companies. We forget that only prayer is the blood that can irrigate the heart of the Church….

The one who does not pray anymore has already betrayed. Already he is ready for all the compromises with the world. He is walking on the path of Judas.” However, even in midst of so many clerical Judases inside the Church today, we have to maintain always a supernatural vision of the victory of Christ, who will triumph through the suffering of His Bride, who will triumph through the suffering of the pure and little ones in all ranks of the members of the Church: children, youth, families, religious, priests, bishops, and cardinals.

When they remain faithful to Christ, when they keep unblemished the Catholic faith, when they live in chastity and humility, they are the pure and little ones in the Church. The following words of St. Paul, which aptly apply to individual souls, apply in much the same way to the Church, and to the Church of our days in particular: “If we suffer with him, we shall also be glorified with him” (Rom 8:17).

Schneider, Bishop Athanasius. Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age . Angelico Press. Kindle Edition.

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So I guess that is plenty for this post, perhaps too much. Next post is reserved for the clearest statement of Catholic Dogma, in a mere 40 points, that I have ever read, and most certainly clearer than anything of recent memory originating from the Vatican.  See you there if you are still interested …

Cheers

Joe

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