Male Privilege

Until we become true feminists, upholding the genius of women, abortion will always remain one more notch in the male belt buckle, rather than anything to do with women's rights.

From the Stream:

It seems to me that abortions happen because sexual intercourse is pleasant. But it sometimes results in pregnancy. And men are naturally (as feminists endlessly tell us) inclined to pressure women for sex without commitment. But they don’t always want to man up. To support the women they impregnate, at least financially. Our culture blasts the rather obvious message “Sex is fun” into our heads almost 24/7. Groups that target children like Planned Parenthood encourage sexual experimentation (and ample perversions) at ever younger ages. Churches that discourage premarital sex get constantly ridiculed, and harassed by the government.

Maybe the root cause of abortion is … men pressuring women for sex. And women saying “yes” when they should mean “no.”

Do you want to dig down that far, and fix that problem at the root? Maybe by promoting chastity? Enforcing child support more ruthlessly? Banning porn? Promoting marriage?



This literary critic offers an insight into Tolkien's work that reveals the true nature of sanctity: 
In Tolkien’s tales, evil’s greatest successes require not just monsters and machinations, but the weakness and wickedness of free men, elves, and others.
Tolkien’s work illuminates how moral weakness is the real problem of the human condition, not moral dilemmas and uncertainty. The latter are rare, the former is ubiquitous. I rarely do wrong because I do not know what is right; I often do wrong because it is fun, easy, or otherwise attractive.
Tolkien was not a moral simpleton but a moral realist. He could write of tragedy and moral ambiguity (see The Children of Húrin, for instance), but he knew that we mostly lack the will to do right, rather than the knowledge of what is right, and so his tales bring the moral imagination to the aid of the will. By identifying with his heroes, we want to choose to do right, but are constantly reminded of our capacity to give in to temptation and do wrong. His works do not fill readers with assured self-righteousness. His heroes are heroic not because they are morally incorruptible, but because they could be corrupted (if not to active evil, then certainly to despair), but resist the temptation. 


Reclaiming Halloween

Here is the best article I've found thus far:


Bishop Konderla of Tulsa expounds:

In contrast to popular culture's observance of Halloween, even the customary appeal to the "frightful" has a devotional meaning in the Catholic tradition. Props such as skulls and scythes have historically recalled our mortality, reminding us to be holy because we are destined for judgment. Visible symbols of death thus represent a reminder of the last things---death, judgment, Heaven, and hell. While the Gothic aspect of Halloween reminds us of Christian teaching about the resurrection of the dead, our culture often represents this in a distorted manner, for when the dead are raised they will in truth be "clothed with incorruptibility". Separated from Catholic teaching, grim or ghoulish or Gothic costumes can furthermore be mistaken as a celebration or veneration of evil or of death itself, contradicting the full and authentic meaning of Halloween. For the Christian, Christ has conquered death, as has been prophesied and fulfilled, "Where, O Death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting?" Christ has conquered death by his Passion, Death, and Resurrection, the Paschal Mystery whose graces are evident in the glory of all saints.

UPDATE: There's also this from Adoremus:

While the so-called “Gothic” aspect of Halloween might originally have been intended to remind us of our belief in the resurrection of the dead, the first-fruits of which have been glimpsed in Christ’s victory over death, our wayward culture has dislodged Halloween’s outward symbols of our mortality from their original source. Thus, today’s typical observance obscures the meaning of Halloween itself, or, worse, devolves once again into an essentially pagan festival.

And this from CWR:

Allhallowtide is actually a kind of triduum: three days of commemoration that includes All Hallows Eve (October 31, shortened Hallowe’en), All Saints Day (All Hallows Day, November 1), and All Souls Day (November 2). As with other major feasts, celebration of All Saints Day begins on the vigil, which is why secular culture celebrates Halloween on the night of October 31st, but then does nothing on the actual feast days that follow.

Halloween is a Christian holiday.


State of Conflict

So life within the visible Church is required to repair the damage done by the Fall to take us to heaven. If people aren’t in that position, you dialogue with them, but you also try and baptize them, both for their own good and fully realizing that if they remain unconverted, you will face spiritual conflict. That doesn’t remove the relationship of love you have towards them, but it involves being ready for constant confrontation with what they believe.

-excerpt from one of the best assessments I've read of the current state in the church


What is a Saint?

When we think of heroes and holiness, we don’t often enough think of men and women simply doing their jobs and doing them with excellence.  Daily and hourly, there are people whose lives and well-being depend upon us and upon us doing our jobs well, just as our lives depend upon them doing their jobs well.  This is the basis of any community.                     -from Catholic Thing


Trustful Surrender

In his NCR article about the Cost of Kids, Grondelski argues the very reason why we teach Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence as required reading in our matrimony prep classes:

Opponents of Humanae vitae often accuse the Church’s teaching of being “physicalist,” claiming the Church is only interested in preserving the external “structure” of the sexual act while ignoring its meaning and intention. One sees that in the argument that because natural family planning (NFP) and contraception both avoid conception, they are morally identical.

The paradox is that it isn’t the Church but its opponents who are the “physicalists,” the ones who reduce sexual intercourse to the physical act and separate it from the intention of the moral agent. I think the money issue helps make the difference clear.

...The cost of providing a good life for a child is something to be accounted for. But no cost can be attached to the life of a child – and that doesn’t mean the life is “valueless.” ...

The couple who uses NFP recognizes that there are values here, most importantly, the value of the dignity of human life that God has made possible through this act and, therefore, to “use” that act while denying its meaning is not “a sin because the Pope said so,” but because it represents a lack of recognizing who is God… and who I’m not. It’s no accident that modern bioethics often pretends to “play God.”

...And how do you know what will happen in your life? How do you know what your situation will be? How do you know that, when you have filled your barns to their eaves and your 529 College Funds to their max, that the Lord may not say, “you fool, tonight your life is demanded of you?” (Luke 12:20)

Why do you want to play God? What do you think you have the perspective of God?

Yes, the cost of kids is daunting. Yes, prudence and temperance are virtues. But so are faith and hope: faith that God is not going to do you wrong, hope that He will not give you a gift you do not need. And so is fortitude—the audacity to “go deep in faith,” and not to chicken out.


Bishop Barron keeps it concise

“As always, the church’s first move in regard to everybody, in regard to gay and lesbians, is to reach out and say …  ‘You are a beloved child of God,” Barron responded to reporters in Rome. “It is under that rubric that the Church does its work.”
“Now, having said that, the Church also calls people to conversion. So Jesus calls, but then he always moves people to fullness of life, and so the Church also has a set of moral demands to everybody, and it calls them to conversion,” Barron continued.
“My hesitation is that ‘inclusion’ is more of a secular term. I would use the word ‘love,’” he said.
“The Church reaches out in love, and love is ‘willing the good of the other,’ and sometimes that means calling people to a change of life.”

***Pope St.Paul VI, prophet of a church turned outwards, pray for us!


TOTB links for later





Citizen of the Kingdom or America?

In an article titled "How the American Dream Killed Discipleship" we find this:

If we believe the values of Jesus, then we must live as he did. He values:
  • Others over himself
  • Humility over pride
  • The meaning of suffering over what comfort gains us
  • Faithfulness over success
  • Spiritual poverty over material success
  • Evangelizing others over social status
  • Serving others over being served
  • Community/relationships over power/prestige
Let us be clear, there is nothing innately wrong with having a nice house, being financially successful, having worldly power, etc. - as long as they are placed at the service of following Jesus. But let us be honest in this moment - how many of us are willing to give it all up for the sake of the Gospel? How many are willing to suffer and die for Jesus?


G.K Chesterton's "Lepanto"

Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard,
Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred,
Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall,
The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall,
The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung,
That once went singing southward when all the world was young,
In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid,
Comes up along a winding road the noise of the Crusade.
Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far,
Don John of Austria is going to the war,
Stiff flags straining in the night-blasts cold
In the gloom black-purple, in the glint old-gold,
Torchlight crimson on the copper kettle-drums,
Then the tuckets, then the trumpets, then the cannon, and he comes.
Don John laughing in the brave beard curled,
Spurning of his stirrups like the thrones of all the world,
Holding his head up for a flag of all the free.
Love-light of Spain—hurrah!
Death-light of Africa!
Don John of Austria
Is riding to the sea.

This is only one stanza, the rest is here--

Many thanks to Crisis for bringing this to my attention.


Speak truth to power

St. Catherine of Siena in her exhortation to Pope Gregory:

You know that the devil is not cast out by the devil, but by virtue.

By the fragrance of their virtue they would help eliminate the vice and sin, the pride and filth that are rampant among the Christian people—especially among the prelates, pastors, and administrators of holy Church who have turned to eating and devouring souls, not converting them but devouring them! And it all comes from their selfish love for themselves, from which pride is born, and greed and avarice and spiritual and bodily impurity.

The Mustard Seed Church

You must understand this, that in the last days distressing times will come. For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, brutes, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid them! (2 Timothy 3:1-9)

This is a very dangerous time because many souls may be lost. Many may walk away, disgusted by all that filth. That is why we have to reflect on the causes of the crisis, so we can counter that evil effectively. All the lies and half-truths taught to the faithful in this age of darkness are the result of bad Catholic formation.

The first part of the devil’s attack consisted in eliminating good catechesis. For the near future, the teaching of the true faith may have to rest with a handful of people remaining loyal to God. That is why we must be busy creating ways to develop a rapid, deep, and precise knowledge of the faith.

-from The Catholic Thing

I hope to be one of those people, every day that I teach the school children, offering them a "rapid, deep, and precise knowledge" of the truth in the few years that I have them in my care.


My life in two words:

Always there is the principle of household entropy at work, the tendency to disorder. -from Catholic Thing

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