Democracy don’t rule the world
You better get that in your head
This world is ruled by violence
But I guess that’s better left unsaid
— Bob Dylan
Democracy don’t rule the world
You better get that in your head
This world is ruled by violence
But I guess that’s better left unsaid
— Bob Dylan
All are invited to attend the Ordination Mass of four new American priests and one subdeacon for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest this Thursday, August 2, 2018 at 10 am at St. Francis de Sales Oratory. Reception to follow at the Church hall. In these times, the ordination of holy priests by a holy Cardinal in the holiest of rites is a balm for the soul.
Pray for these men.
A blessed feast day to all of you.
“We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.” — C.S. Lewis
Yesterday, the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, and yet another gloriously beautiful Mass at St. Francis de Sales Oratory. I often remind myself to appreciate the bounty of graces available to us here in St. Louis. It is all too easy to forget that it is not like this everywhere else. Hey, who am I kidding? It isn’t like this nearly anywhere else. Praise God for His goodness!
The title of this post is taken from the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians, Chapter 10, verse 11. It deals with the previously chosen people who decided to ignore the commands of God and do things as they wished. Their fall was spectacular, as Our Lord predicted in tears in the Gospel. Yet they are but a type. These things are written for our correction, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
And everywhere we see the evil, rot, and perversion among Catholics and our shepherds. “Wherefore, he that thinketh himself to stand, let him take heed lest he fall. Let no temptation take hold on you, but such as is human. And God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able: but will make also with temptation issue, that you may be able to bear it.” (v. 12-13)
My confessor gave some very good advice in these times. Perform your duties, check off the list one-by-one, and you will see the sadness of these days dissipate from your mind. Rely on God’s strength, not your own. Do the duty in front of you.
“As I have already confessed to You, O glory of my life, O Lord God, strength of my salvation, I have sometimes placed my hopes in my own virtue, which was no virtue; and when I attempted to run, thinking I was very strong, I fell very quickly and went backward instead of forward. What I expected to reach, disappeared, and thus, O Lord, in various ways You have tested my powers. With light from You, I now see that I could not accomplish by myself the things that I wanted to do most. I said to myself: ‘I shall do this, I shall finish that,’ and I did not do either the one or the other. The will was there but not the power, and if the power was there, my will was not; this because I had trusted in my own strength. Sustain me then, O Lord, for alone I can do nothing. However, when You are my stability, then it is true stability; but when I am my own stability, then it is weakness.” (St. Augustine)
A blessed and productive week to you all.
This article by Michael Rozeff at LRC blog is so spot-on I post it here in full, because it needs to be read:
Media have generally been enemies of peace and liberty, supporting the U.S. attacks on Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya and lauding U.S. intervention in places like Ukraine and Syria. Their pro-war stance continues with their attacks on the pro-peace moves of Donald Trump. They did their best to torpedo and question every move Trump made to make peace with North Korea. This morning’s headlines on Google News are more of the same concerning the Putin-Trump meeting at Helsinki: Trump Caved Spectacularly to Putin (CNN); Stephen Colbert Wants To Know What Putin Has on Trump (HuffPost); Trump just colluded with Russia. Openly (The Washington Post); Trump Sides with Russia against FBI at Helsinki summit (BBC News).
Let’s understand. Helsinki was a meeting to establish a basis for cooperation on common interests of the Russian and American governments and to remove unnecessary frictions that impede such cooperation. No big deals or compromises or concessions occurred. The removal of needless antagonism is not a concession. Emphasizing steps to peace doesn’t abandon or endanger American values or democracy. Recognizing Putin as the leader of a major nuclear power and huge country with its interests and place in the world moves us away from a unipolar mentality. This recognizes the reality of other peoples and powers, and reality has to be faced if it is to be reshaped to mutual advantage. Neither side made concessions. Putin and Trump chopped away at clearing a path; a great deal more work is required. Trump didn’t cave, much less spectacularly. Putin didn’t cave either. Neither man won while the other lost. Both succeeded by the meeting itself in creating something beneficial to both Americans and Russians, which is mitigating antagonisms.
Major media are opening a huge chasm between their rhetoric and reality. No wonder Trump keeps attacking their fake news and slanderous accusations. Putin has nothing “on” Trump. Trump is not a Russian agent. Trump is not “colluding” with Russia to bring down our form of government or hand America over to Russia.
These wild stories are attempts to forestall the Trump revolution, which in its own way seeks to undo decades of bipartisan laws and regulations that are choking America’s arteries.
The country cannot survive and prosper by embracing destructive philosophies from any source, including the current administration, by erecting privileges, by destroying liberties, creating a police state, effacing history, generating hatreds, devising false rights, and undermining understanding of essential truths.
The country limits its progress without reason if it publicizes, heeds and accords respect and leadership roles to people proposing inane ideas and making wild charges, as is the case with the headlines characterizing the Helsinki summit as a defeat for Trump and victory for Putin.
Reading the delusional vitriol in the press and from politicians of both parties makes me shudder. The pure rage, and contempt for peace, and especially the contempt for the truth, shock me. What outcome would have satisfied as “not treasonous” for these fools except for Trump to order a launch of nukes at Russia during the press conference?
This man needs our prayers, for his enemies are numerous and vicious.
My wife and I were discussing Fatima last night, and it is just SO OBVIOUS that the current drama of Russia is part of this. It just slaps you in the face. Mary has tried to warn us– Russia will be our chastisement or our deliverance. Which will it be? Both? And the apostasy in the Church of which she warned is also obviously upon us. Are we on our own?
Pray the rosary daily.
Our Lord’s words at Matthew 24:12 come often to my mind:
And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold.
Boy, that sure is true. Where is there charity today? Let us try to revive that charity, hope in Our Lady and endure. God bless you. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
I thought I would add my initial thoughts on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, joining the often amusing carousel of speculation about the future that none of us can really see. But since I have started to read some hand-wringing from certain sectors of the pro-life community, and being that I have some amount of training in Constitutional law and am actually Catholic, I am now motivated to weigh in.
In the first place, I make the obvious point that none of us know until he is confirmed, casts votes, and writes opinions, whether he is Scalia or Souter– or that worst of jurists, Roberts or Kennedy or any other number of lukewarm, finger-wetting, can-be-gotten-to seekers of popularity inside and outside of the Court. Everything I write below should be taken with a very large grain of salt.
So, because we are by nature political animals and because we have the deep desire for justice for the unborn and for the beleaguered faithful Christians of our land, how do we analyze this choice by President Trump for the highest court in the land? And why does it matter?
The second question is the easy one, because ever since the Supreme Court’s very first unconstitutional power grab in 1803 (Marbury v. Madison, wherein Justice Marshall held that the Supreme Court had the power to declare Congressional acts unconstitutional and thus void at law) the Court sits as a super-legislature over our laws. At best, it excercises this power in the negative sense, striking down laws with which it does not agree. At worst, it “finds” constitutional rights that do not exist in the Constitutional text or any historical interpretation of state or federal power. Rights to contraception, abortion, and sodomy spring to mind. There are others. This position is well-settled, so it is pointless to dwell on it, but remember that the Constitution did not grant the Supreme Court this power and that things could have been different. But here we are.
To address the first question, we analyze this choice like we analyze other political questions of the day. Not knowing everything there is to know, we look to those in the arena in whose opinions we have learned to trust; we use our common sense; we look at the resume and qualifiations of the candidate and the man who nominated him.
There are two lawyers whose opinions I respect highly on matters of law and public policy, one from the Catholic perspective, and one from the secular political perspective: Christopher Ferrara and Ann Coulter, respectively. Neither is infallible, but both have very able minds, and experience and judgment in those areas. They both have made me feel as good as I can feel about this nomination.
Christopher Ferrara’s comments are here. His points about his record, temprament and the realities of the confirmation process are all spot on. Ann Coulter has been one of Kavanaugh’s most vocal advocates in the run up to the nomination, and points to his strong record on Second Amendment, immigration and nationality law, and religious rights. Her twitter feed, if you have any sense of humor at all, is almost must-reading. And she never pulls a punch.
But what makes some pro-lifers nervous, and hovering like Banquo’s ghost over this nomination, are three figures: George Bush, Donald Trump, and Amy Coney Barrett. As a prelude to discussion of these, I should point out that PRO-LIFERS SHOULD AWAYS BE NERVOUS. There is no money, no power, no respect and no personal gain for any judge or politician to stand for the unborn. The only pay-off is long-term: a healthier society in the long run, and more importantly, a heavenly reward. So we always stand in danger of traitors, quislings, Souters, Robertses, Romneys and the like. So yes, until Roe is overturned, we are on edge. All we can do is move the ball forward using the lights and tools we have.
George Bush gave us Alito, but also Roberts. The Roberts decision on Obamacare may be the single least excusable decision issued by any judge in the history of guilty man. Now, it is plausible that he was “gotten to” and under duress changed his vote at the last minute. He has young children, and there are indicia in the decision and the reaction of his colleagues when it was read that he changed his vote after the decisions were being written. So, he may not be a bad jurist, but in either event that decision was a blow to the rule of law. His father gave us Thomas, but also the execrable beta-male Souter. And Kavanaugh was appointed by W to the Court of Appeals.
Yet I don’t see Trump as another Bush. He is certainly not afraid of sticking it to his adversaries, and is not afraid to actually win. I soured on voting Republican a long time back because it seems that the GOP establishment had a vested interest in always being “just about to win”– but never wanted the pressure of knowing what to do afterwards. Trump isn’t that. Pro-lifers doubt if he is, deep down, pro-life. I don’t care. He acts on his pro-life promises. I’ve had enough of really pro-life politicians chickening out. I am fine with one who acts like he’s pro-life, because he said he would do so to get my vote. Trump has yet to let the unborn down. He gets all of the benefit of my doubts.
Kavanugh’s long record of opinions is a very good one. He is an originalist, he has decided important cases standing strong on the First and Second Amendments, and other issues. On abortion, yes, he followed the Roe precedent. That is what lower court judges are supposed to do. Should he have struck a blow and rule that Roe was wrongly decided? Yes. But I only submit that his statements about Roe say nothing, either good or bad, about his position on Roe as a Justice.
Which brings us to Amy Coney Barrett, already appointed by Trump to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, and in whom “the dogma lives loudly”. I think she would be a terrific Justice, and I was hoping it would be her. I trust her far more on abortion (THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE OF OUR DAY BY FAR), but she is an unknown on many other issues. Like I said, until we stop slaughtering babies everything else can hang. But there is some truth that the razor thin margin in the Senate, combined with pro-abort GOP losers like Collins and Murkowski, makes Barrett a dicier choice to actually survive confirmation. And I agree that when Ruth Buzzie Ginsburg earns her reward, our unfortunate identity politics makes selecting a woman a decent idea.
If Trump appoints three Justices, does it matter if Kavanaugh were number 2 or 3? And in the end, I have confidence in Trump playing the long game here that I wouldn’t have in most anyone else. You may recall I predicted a Trump electoral landslide in 2016. And though I have never bought the “blue wave” narrative in the midterms, the unhinged lunacy and evil of the left leave me convinced of GOP gains this Fall. Then nominate Barrett and watch them howl. There will be nothing in they can do.
Thus, I am happy with the Kavanaugh pick, though there is no guarantee with him or anyone else. God strengthen him and his family for good.
Three weeks from Thursday, August 2, 2018, at St. Francis de Sales Oratory, His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke will ordain four new priests for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. Also being ordained to the subdeaconate is Abbé Alex Barga, an Institute Oblate and longtime Oratory sacristan. These ordinations will of course be celebrated according to the traditional rite and ritual.
This will make the third traditional rite ordination ceremony in the Archdiocese of Saint Louis in the last eleven years. The first was celebrated at the Cathedral Basilica and marked the first such traditional ordination in nearly forty years. The second occurred at the Oratory in 2014 (four years already?). All of the priests ordained at the hands of Cardinal Burke, one of the few remaining stalwarts in hierarchy. God bless His Eminence, and also His Grace Archbishop Carlson who allows these ordinations in the archdiocese.
Thus, the math above. 11 years. 3 traditional rite ordinations. 10 new priests. Deo Gratias!
Though the macro-picture in the Church sure looks different today from that heady but naïve optimism of 2007, the situation is really the same: we are at war with the powers and principalities of this present darkness. We have confidence in our victory, which is nothing more or less than the victory of Christ. Priests– and with them the Sacraments– are our necessary means of fighting this war. We are the Church Militant, whatever the sad state of the troops, and there must always be a faithful band of brothers, however ragged. We will win if we are true to Him who is our Savior.
And in no way is it less true today that the traditional Mass will endure. The novus ordo is built to go away. It’s just a matter of time. The demographics are against it, of course, but more likely a severe persecution will accelerate the process.
Whatever, it doesn’t matter. The Faith. The Mass. The other Sacraments. Priests are instruments Christ gives us. Pray for these men, and for all priests.
If you have never assisted at a traditional ordination, you really should do so. It is worth taking time off work and making the effort. So, as the first of several announcements and encouragements to you, here are the details:
Thursday, August 2, 2018 at 10 a.m.
(Feast of St. Alphonsus Liguori, commemoration of Pope St. Stephen I)
The Oratory has made it known that– the summers of Saint Louis being what they are and the HVAC system of the oratory being what it is and the length of the Mass being what it will be– that arrangements have been made and THE CHURCH WILL BE FULLY AIR CONDITIONED FOR THIS EVENT. They brought in this supplemental climate control for the 2014 ordinations, and I can attest it was extremely comfortable. So don’t let any fears of heat dissuade you from attending.
The Cathedral was packed in 2007. And the Oratory was packed in 2014. Let’s do it again. These signs of faith and renewal are more important than ever.
The unelected socialist (read: communist) government in Spain, which always tries to destroy Church, family and country when it obtains power– especially in Spain– is hellbent on exhuming the body of Francisco Franco from el Valle de los Caidos. Meaning “Valley of the Fallen”, the site, north of Madrid, is a monument to those who died freeing Spain from communist rule in the Civil War of the last century. Franco saved Spain, saved Church, family and country, and delivered the biggest spanking to communism it has ever received. It was, in fact, the last victory Catholics-in-arms have had.
So of course they hate Franco.
Now, the big lie is that the left wants to turn the Valley of the Fallen into a national “remembrance” center. How? By removing the remains of Franco. So nobody will remember him. See, this is the murder of language and meaning that Orwell painted so well in 1984. “Remembrance” means “forced forgetting”.
We see this in lots of contexts. In South Africa, now home to widespread violence against the opponents of the socialist ANC, they have “truth and reconciliation” programs. In the socialist program of Francischurch, we have the “mercy” of confirming persons to wallow in mortal sin, while cracking down mercilessly on anyone who actually believes the Catholic faith. “Tolerance” equals punishing those who follow the God Who is Love by calling their love “hate”.
The last time the socialists gained power in Spain, the government successfully engaged in a systematic destruction of any sign, plaque, statue, or public marker of Franco or other Nationalist leaders throughout Spain. We must always remember– as long as we remember only the communists and forget those who oppose them.
Of course, the goal of communists is really always the same: to encourage people, and if necessary to force people, to forget Christ and His Church.
If you think I’m off base, here is a brief article on what happened in 1936-39 from Catholicism.org.
Now, therefore, trusting in the mercy of Jesus Christ, I despise this multitude and am not afraid of it. As for the battle with which you threaten us, we have for ourselves an advocate in the presence of the Father, that is, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is capable of liberating us from these few.
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