April 28, 2014

MUSIC: Eva & Kate

By David Heath

Both Eva Cassidy and Kate Wolf have been favorites of mine since I stumbled upon them a few years ago. Eva Cassidy has had her songs used in movie soundtracks and TV shows world-wide, but I don't believe Kate Wolf has. But then, Kate has Give Yourself To Love, a wedding song she wrote for some friends on their wedding day and one of my favorite Love songs.  

There are more female music artists I enjoy: Tara McLean; of course, Alison Krauss (who doesn't!); Reba; Trisha Yearwood; Emmy Lou Harris; Anne Murray; Sarah McLachlan...

So...enjoy this brief musical interlude:

EVA CASSIDY WEB SITE





Kate Wolf Website.

Kate Wolf Biography.







OK...I have to leave you with at least one of my Alison Krauss favorites:





Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

April 26, 2014

A Tribute to My Brother, Henry Jefferson Heath 1948-2006



Jeff Heath - Age 21
Today marks the 8th anniversary of my oldest brother Jeff's death. He is sorely missed and prayed for daily, though I am sure he must be enjoying by now his time with my parents in Heaven. "Ah-Ha!" you may say. "You don't know that...you can't possibly know that!" "You speak foolishly!" "Ah-Ha! Gotcha!"

Well... no you don't "Gotcha". With every fiber of my being, with every kernel of  every Catholic teaching I've ever known, with every prayer sent Heavenward for his Soul at every Mass I hear, with the knowledge of how he sacrificed himself to care for our aged parents, with knowing how he and my youngest sister Patty conspired and sacrificed to get my Mother out of a nursing home and back to her home to live out the few years left to her, with seeing him and his family caring for our Dad for the 10 years he lived past Mom's death...the list goes on and on. So you ask how am I so sure? Because he lived, breathed and died the 4th Commandment with its inherent and guaranteed legacy: 

"Honour thy father and thy mother, that thou mayest be longlived upon the land which the Lord thy God will give thee." (Exodus 20:12)

So...I believe in the promise as set forth by God Himself of the reward that awaits for those who live this Commandment. Can I do anything else but believe that he is now enjoying his Eternal Reward? No...and I would be hard pressed to be swayed otherwise. 

Jeff did not have to do any of what he did and if truth be known, probably groaned in fatigue at the mere thought of driving Dad across the river to the St. Louis VA hospital once a month, no small feat in itself during rush hour across the I-70 / Poplar Street Bridge. He could have left it to one of his other 4 siblings. But he did not. It is certain his life would have been much easier, had he opted to - as many have - and shut the aged parents away "for their own good and safety" in a nursing home. But he did not. He could have shucked it all away and not looked back, choosing instead to enjoy his life, his way, with his family. But he did not. 

My Siblings at Dad's Funeral in April 2006.
Jeff is behind me.

My older brother, along with my youngest sister and Jeff were the prime movers in assuring to the needs of our parents in their old age. I had my own young family to care for and could offer little in help, other than my support and prayers. My older sister was unable to do much more than I, though we both gave as much support as we could otherwise. But to those three, and especially to Jeff, the most merit belongs and I am sure will weigh mightily in their favor at their Judgments.

Jeff was killed in a construction zone accident while working for the Illinois Department of Transportation, a job he thoroughly enjoyed and in which he was well liked and respected. This day, instead of driving his big, orange-colored State truck, he was holding the stop-go sign and directing traffic. A truck with a construction trailer failed to slow and when the driver braked hard, the trailer jackknifed and hit Jeff broadside, throwing him into the truck he usually drove. He died upon impact. And there his earthly life ended and his Eternal one began. 

I remarked to my older brother and sisters during the wake of how we should not be sad, tragic though his death was and remained. That he most assuredly had been granted a quick release from this earthly paradise in large part because of his Faithfulness and Fidelity to our parents and the 4th Commandment. It was his reward as promised by God: "...that thou mayest be longlived upon the land which the Lord thy God will give thee." And the land He has given to Jeff is Heaven.  I don't know that they were all as convinced as I...

There are not enough words that will do justice to what I would like to write of Jeff nor is there enough time to relate more of Jeff's story, though in truth he deserves both. I had made the video below in 2006 as a tribute to Jeff and to his family - wife Linda and kids Melissa and Michael. It is amateur to be sure, but I urge you to play and pause the video and read a bit of his life and know his family - know our family. He was privileged as well, to be buried next to the parents he honored so well...in a grave where no plot existed but in which one was found...which was the privilege of having a high school classmate and friend the County Coroner...and another the American Legion president, who handed his wife the Veteran's flag that draped his casket. His son Michael was privileged to drive in the motorcade the truck his Dad drove every day. Jeff and his family were privileged to have an orange IDOT truck at every intersection along the route to the cemetery, with an IDOT worker in front of each giving a final "Farewell" to their co-worker. And privileged to have State Transportation Officials from Springfield in attendance as well. Yes, his life was full of privileges, though many were never to be known until after his death. Such is the benevolence of Our Lord and another reason for my unshakable belief in Jeff's Eternal Happiness. 

He gave so much of his life to his parents and had so much more of life to live, after Dad's passing just one month earlier. However, a sacrifice made of Love is never wasted, nor does it go unrewarded, whether in this life or the next. Jeff is now reaping that which he sowed and I can only hope that I someday merit the privilege of doing likewise. 

God Bless, Jeff...pray for me and my family, Dear Brother!




 Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

UPDATED: Aleteia: Inside the Painful, Messy World of Annulments

UPDATED: See below for Professor Van Ornum's reply to my comment.

From Aleteia.org, an article that obviously hits extremely close to home and to which I felt compelled to respond. Click the link to read the entire article, excerpted below, and my posted comment following that:

Inside the Painful, Messy World of Annulments


A psychologist with 25 years of experience working in the annulment process explains why it can be so hard.

William Van Ornum






"During the 1990s I used to visit John Cardinal O’Connor to talk about different topics related to psychology and developmental disabilities. Cardinal O’Connor was extremely interested in these topics because he himself had a master’s degree in psychology. After one meeting, when I was thinking about another criticism of annulments – that they are given out too freely – I asked Cardinal O’Connor what he thought. He responded by saying that  the Church needed  to provide any and all resources to a divorced person that would help them to free themselves to go back to the sacraments. I took this to be a very liberal and affirming outlook. Cardinal O’Connor is greatly missed.

I remember one priest involved in annulments – if I can ever figure out how to do this I will nominate him to be a saint. His name was Fr. Bill Murphy and he was a Franciscan friar of the atonement. His ministry, supported by his religious order, was to work with the Separated, Divorced, and Remarried (SDRC) groups  which were fairly common in the Church at the time. He taught himself canon law and offered his services freely and fully to help people complete their annulment statements and see the psychologist.  He served as their advocate through the entire process. I suspect that he helped bring hundreds if not more people back into the Church as well as closer to God....


How will the Church balance the need to affirm Christ’s command concerning the indissolubility marriage while at the same time preventing what may truly (and tragically) be called “collateral damage” or “friendly fire.” The Hippocratic oath may be relevant here: Do No Harm. (This should be a requirement for any Church procedure, yes?) "

My posted comment to the above article:

"The Hippocratic oath may be relevant here: Do No Harm. "  This says it all, doesn't it? But it is a false and naive notion. There are always the silent sufferers in all this who have no voice in the matter,  but yet bear the brunt of its effects - the children. It is the children who bear the scars far into their lives and whose very lives will always be the most affected long after the parents have turned to dust. It is the children who are left out of the equation in annulments, let alone divorces. It is the children who loose their security, their parents and their rights to a stable home life, all from the whims and wishes of those around them. It is a travesty of justice and charity that those who are the most affected and the least considered are forgotten of - by the Church, let alone the parents. Do the Parents / Tribunals think just because Mom or Dad are free to find a new Prince/Princess Charming that everything resets to zero as far as the kids are concerned? How many times can children be asked to divide their Love  between one or more step-parents? How many times can it be assumed children can "move-on" with their lives, when those lives have been so shattered? Even once is far, far too many. 

I am in the 4th year of a divorce/annulment that ended a 22 year marriage, the fourth year of estrangement from over 1/3rd of our ten children, the fourth year of watching my children carry the mistakes of the parents into their own futures, the fourth year of honoring my vows to their Mother and the fourth year of my Love and Fidelity to her and her alone. So, no...their is little I can agree with in this article as to the goodness and efficacy of annulments. Though I know there are valid grounds for annulments, there are many cases that have used the DSM for the greater good of one person alone - the petitioner. It is that person and that person alone who benefits and no other, especially the children.  Children - like many respondents, including me - are simply along for the ride. And like No Fault Divorce, there is little either of them can do to stop the juggernaut. All that can be done is to try and minimize the pain and sorrow that is the inevitable result of actions not of our choosing. 
    *****************************************

Professor Van Ornum's reply to my comment:




william van ornum 7 hours ago

You are correct in the points you make. Now that they are up here others will become aware of these problems. The issue of certain petitioners using the process to "start over with a new Prince Charming/Princess Charming" is a real one, one needing examination. Unlike civil divorces, there is no one who serves as an "advocate for the children" during the annulment process (as it is in divorces where "the needs of the children" may be considered); in my understanding, this is not addressed at all in canon law.

Perhaps if Canon Law had much more input from la persons there would be a wider examination of the entire situation; unfortunately, as I've mentioned, it doesn't seem, to me at least, to be a career offering a great deal of financial security or advancement--a person, especially a young person, would much rather opt for a legal career which (even in these times?) would offer more.

Thank you for writing with this example and I hope its specificity will be understood by all who work in this process.


Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

April 23, 2014

Regina Magazine: When God Hated Susan

Leaving aside any comment about divorce/annulment/relationships, this article clearly states what Catholic spouses willingly do to themselves when Catholic "rules" are not followed - whether its for fixing troubled marriages or getting remarried out of the Church - and how warped, confused and truly alone they really are, as evidenced by this woman's journey. 

But mainly, it is a humbling example of the power of Grace, recognizing it as such and the affect it has when one accepts the Gift being offered. 

This is just an excerpt, but click the link at the end for the full article at Regina Magazine, itself an excellent Catholic media and one I highly recommend to all. 



July 31, 2013

When God Hated Susan

They are that rare bird, English Catholics. Susan’s mother had insisted on the church wedding to her first husband. Her mum wanted to ‘make things respectable.’  As far as Susan was concerned no amount of respectability could make her stay  with her partying, abusive ex-husband. He was in the Queen’s Arms in Coles End, utterly stoned, while she was in court for the divorce.
Jim was nothing like her ex, though. He was a tall, dark and handsome civil engineer, well-paid by the local council.  And at 29, Susan was still a charmer — small, lithe and filled with fun. Her eyes danced with mischief, and the rollicking good humor of her Irish ancestors. After a quick wedding with a hired preacher in a hotel (“We don’t need to be paying the Church any money for one of their divorces,” Jim had said) they settled in an ‘upper middle-class’ suburb of Birmingham.
She couldn’t get pregnant right away after all those years on the Pill, so she’d endured a year of intensive hormone ‘therapy.’ Two births quickly followed, a boy and a girl. She promptly commenced to take the Pill again afterwards, reasoning that there was no sense in endangering their financial well-being. Plus, Jim showed signs of impatience with the strain of caring for two little babies.
She spent the next few years blissfully caring for their family. But by the time the children were in their early teens, Susan knew there was trouble. First there was the porn she found on his computer, then the pay-for-sex telephone numbers on the bill. Confronted, Jim broke down and sobbed. He was a ‘sex addict,’ he said.
Susan knew there was trouble. First there was the porn she found on his computer, then the pay-for-sex telephone numbers on the bill.
Things didn’t get any better when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40. Shortly after her course of radiation was complete, Jim was arrested for the first time. A ‘sting’ operation had swept him up, along with dozens of other hapless men, in a porn-and-prostitution ring. As it was Jim’s first offense, he was let go with a stern warning. But the illness and the arrest had taken its toll on Susan; she slept in a separate room, and prayed that the nightmare would go away.
It was not to be. Over the next ten years, the internet sex business exploded. The third time Jim was arrested, the police came to the house. He was led away before the incredulous eyes of his 19 year old son and 17 year old daughter. This time, the judge was not so lenient. Jim had progressed further in the sex business, going from consumer to procurer, hustling girls younger than his own daughter for paying clients.  He was convicted on seven felony counts of human trafficking, and sentenced to a minimum of twenty years in prison.
The judge gave Susan control over their finances, which helped them survive. Without marketable skills, she was reduced to stocking shelves in the local Boots pharmacy, at L4.92 (US$7.48) an hour. Their house was put up for sale.
Her son’s fury and shame erupted on the football field one day, and he was beaten quite badly in a melee sparked by his attack on an opposition team player. As he lay unconscious, Susan found herself sobbing uncontrollably in the ladies’ room at the local hospital, when the nun walked in.
Her son’s fury and shame erupted on the football field one day, and he was beaten quite badly in a melee sparked by his attack on an opposition team player.
There’s something about a sister in a habit, as any nun will tell you. People tell you their troubles – especially fallen-away Catholics in deep trouble.
Her excruciating story came out all in a rush. Through her tears, Susan wanted to know what she had done to deserve all this pain, she told the nun. Why did God hate her? She had wanted a family. Was that so bad? She had taken some shortcuts, okay. A marriage outside the Church. All that contraception. But what did the Church expect? That she be a baby-making machine? Jim would have never agreed to any of it, starting with the pre-Cana classes.
“That’s probably true,” Sister Mary Clare nodded, looking into Susan’s swollen red eyes. She handed her a Kleenex. “And then what would have happened?”
“If I-I followed what the Church said, I would have n-never married him.” Susan heard herself say it, as if in a dream. For a moment, she contemplated the truth of this. Her life would have been completely different, had she followed the rules.

Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

April 21, 2014

The Spiritual Life Within Marriage



It is long been my contention and long remarked to her that our biggest mistake was in not recognizing our need for the third member of our marital triangle - Christ. We were stupid, to say the least, especially since before our marriage you could count on seeing both of us at Mass together, in the choir together, publishing the church bulletin together, eating breakfast at Denny's together or just setting and talking together. We were inseparable, she and I, to say the least. As I am sure many of you were. But consider what ABp. Sheen said: "It takes three to make love, for lover and beloved are bound together on earth by an ideal outside both. But love itself starts with the desire for something good." And Christ, being Good, is that something. The something missing...the something we neglected.

So what happened to us? Who's to know at this late stage. We got wrapped up in work, bills, pregnancies, kids, more bills, more pregnancies...you know the drill for the typical Catholic marriage. Oh...and the inevitable "why don't you love me anymore" question followed by the challenging, solid-as-a-rock-but-actually-retreating reply of "What?" "What do you mean?" So...there it grew and nurtured, my Friends: Doubt. Mistrust. Faithlessness. Selfishness. And the resulting span of 20 years of "reconcilable differences" gradually became "irreconcilable differences" in less than two. It's a very simple explanation for something so convoluted and remarkably idiotic, considering my opening paragraph. And the fact she and I Loved each other very, very much. And I still do...

It is a Truth that we spouses are supposed to sanctify each other through the patient acceptance of the others frailties. To sacrifice oneself for the good of the Beloved. To be Selfless when you want to be selfish. To willingly remain unloved, yet still willing to Love. Here again, the words of ABp. Sheen seem apropos:

"Suppose the...“for better or for worse” turns out for the worse; suppose either husband or wife becomes a chronic invalid or develops antisocial characteristics. In such cases, no carnal love can save it. It is even difficult for a personal love to save it, particularly if the other party becomes undeserving. But when these lower loves break down, Christian love steps in to suggest that the other person is to be regarded as a gift of God. Most of God’s gifts are sweet; a few of them, however, are bitter. But whether that other person be bitter or sweet, sick or well, young or old, he or she is still a gift of God for whom the other partner must sacrifice himself or herself. Selfish love would seek to get rid of the other person because he is a burden. Christian love takes on the burden, in obedience to the Divine command: “Bear the burden of one another’s failings; then you will be fulfilling the law of Christ” (Gal. 6: 2).
(Sheen, Fulton J. (2010-11-02). Three to Get Married . Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.)

I thought I knew the above simply by virtue of Marriage, but its reality truly hit home four years ago and I found just how unprepared I was. At times I have wondered how and why I am even still here, considering the past. But again, it is ABp. Sheen who sheds light on this as well when he wrote that "...the one who practices Christian love can be sure that he is not robbing another soul of its peace nor his own life of honor. This acceptance of the trials of marriage is not a sentence to death... not a condemnation to unhappiness; it is a noble tragedy in which one bears the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” rather than deny a vow made to the living God. Instead of separating when there are difficulties and trials, the Christian solution is to bear the other as a cross for the sake of his sanctification. The wife can redeem the husband and the husband the wife." (Emphasis mine)

And so it is: the Reason why I am here. To do anything less is to deny the vow made before Christ and her. It also reflects the non-reciprocal Love lived and preached by Christ and which I have recently come to understand as another of the missing parts of our marriage and cannot now walk away from.

Dear Friends: If you wish to avoid the decimation of your family, then consider what I've written above and what Fr. de Chivre (+1984) writes below. I can only print an edited excerpt here of Fr. de Chivre's article, but click the link at the end to take you to the Angelus Magazine webpage to read the entire article, in context. It will be time well spent, and you just might fortify and sanctify your marriage, even though you feel it needs none because all is good. But remember...I thought the same and look where I am today. 

Unless you have just cause to separate as specified in Canon Law, what some of you may be considering is not worth the pain, the misery, the broken home, the financial stress, the sacrifice of the children's security, or most importantly - your Soul. 

Work. it. out.


SPIRITUAL LIFE WITHIN MARRIAGE

Fr. Bernard-Marie de Chivre, O.P.

Any more than the priesthood, marriage cannot escape the definitive intrusion of God into two souls.
The unhappiness of many couples arises from their ignorance of that intrusion, or from the little importance granted to the recourse which they ought to have to the Sacrament. The situation is all the more regrettable that the two spouses seemed in agreement with this definitive and daily divine participation by their “I do,” pronounced two times before God and engaging them as a threesome, not a twosome, in an adventure to be played out by two but to be shared by a third divine Person, on the condition that they call upon Him.
If God intervenes in marriage, even without this intervention’s bringing to the spouses something of God, that something nonetheless remains at the disposal of the spouses until their death, in the interest of the task which they have undertaken. 
Many spouses are unhappy because of a refusal to know their own soul, and for not having wanted to know the soul of their partner. The obstinacy of wanting to prove that marriage is such a natural affair that it can succeed by nature alone betrays a naivety and a weakness of reasoning which show how insufficient love is when God is not involved.
A love without an expression perpetually attached to the inexhaustible delicacy of grace is an authentic love, with indisputable roots, but with a stalk whose growth is more and more scrawny. There is a lack of completeness, of gaiety and openness and enthusiasm. There is what I will call a necessary or forced success, that is, a lack of completeness...with the temptation and the danger of shrinking in on itself and becoming stunted.
Happiness requires a kind of daily resurrection, as the dawn of every morning rejuvenates the creation of the day before. When God has united two young people, it is because He intends to live in common with them: the prayer of each one ending in the need to pray in common; the examination of conscience of each of them creating the confidence of a common resolution; the secret victories of each one of them freeing the need for a common ideal; the secret sufferings of each one opening into the need for help in common.
It is therefore necessary in marriage to conquer a certain spiritual human respect, just as it is necessary not to fall into the widespread error of criticizing or neutralizing the spiritual life of one’s spouse under the pretext that you are married. Such would be to impoverish oneself of the affection you seek from the other. 

The sacrament of marriage is meant to maintain within the mentality of the man and the woman the desire and the need to interest God disinterestedly in their home life, by the sole joy of feeling themselves in harmony with the “I do,” perhaps now very old, pronounced once and for ever.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE IN CONTEXT...


Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

April 20, 2014

He is not here, for he is risen...

"And behold there was a great earthquake. For an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and coming, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.  And his countenance was as lightning, and his raiment as snow.  And for fear of him, the guards were struck with terror, and became as dead men. And the angel answering, said to the women: Fear not you; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 

He is not here, for he is risen, as he said. Come, and see the place where the Lord was laid."   Matthew:28


The Resurrection
Carl Bloch - 1873
Source: Catholic Tradition
                    Have a Holy and Blessed Easter!!



Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

April 13, 2014

What Are You Prepared To Do?

St. Louis Crusade has put meaning to what has always eluded me, to some degree: why I am so "comfortable" (if such is the correct word) in resisting the Mother of our children, her divorce, her methodology, her actions - especially as they concern our children, let alone myself. This resistance more resembles the bloody 480 B.C. Battle of Thermopylae than the bloodless 1938 Munich Agreement, as almost the entirety of our children (all teens and older) have been desensitized to the errors inherent from the beginning, and if not outright supportive of the actions, at least offer little resistance. None of the above alters one iota of my Love for our kids, for this is what parents do, or their Mother (despite her re-marriage after annulment) - but it simply increases my obstinacy on the children's behalf (their Mother is now outside of my control, obviously). Because - and this is key - they. do. not. understand. But I do and cannot walk away...despite my own personal contributions to this mess, which were many, but still should not have reached this critical level. 

So, my Dear Catholic Spouses who think divorce is the answer, are you prepared for all this? Are you prepared for one of you to "stand and deliver" the Truth to your children - and/or to your spouse? Are you prepared to weep at the foot of the Cross, standing next to Our Lady and the other Holy Women, while your spouse and family flee from the Truth? Are you prepared to defend your marriage, your vocation, your family, even if the Catholic Church, your spouse and your children are seemingly against you? Are you prepared to remain Faithful to your vows, marriage and family? What are you prepared to do? 

If you can - or will - answer "what I must", then read what Dom Gueranger has to say about the one thing that will sustain you in your battles - Fortitude. Like it has for me, you will find it has always been there but has remained hidden from your comprehension, has been something you have continually prayed for and most importantly - something you are Most Thankful for when that dawn of comprehension breaks upon you and you realize Who - and what - are supporting you.

The relevant passages are below. Please follow the link to the entire post at St. Louis Crusade.


How Fortitude Helps Us Do What Is Right – Even When Unpopular
by Dom Prosper Gueranger
A Commentary on Fortitude

"There are times, when the Holy Spirit requires from a Christian something beyond interior resistance of the enemies of his soul: he must make an outward protestation against error and evil, as often as position or duty demands it.

On such occasions, he must bear to become unpopular, and console himself with the words of the apostle: “If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” (Gal. 1:10) But the Holy Ghost will be on his side; and finding him resolute in using His gift of fortitude, not only will He give him a final triumph, but He generally blesses that soul with a sweet and courageous peace, which is the result and recompense of a duty fulfilled.

Thus does the Holy Ghost apply the gift of fortitude, when there is a question of a Christian’s making resistance. But, as we have already said, He imparts also the energy necessary for bearing up against the trials, which all must go through who would save their souls. There are certain fears, which damp our courage, and expose us to defeat. The gift of fortitude dispels them, and braces us with such a peaceful confidence, that we ourselves are surprised at the change..."


Follow the link above to read the entire post or click here.

If you want a modern, literal translation of all the above, then watch this clip from The Untouchables, as Malone lay dying and with his last breath, looks Ness (you) square in the eye:



(UPDATED with video clip: Figured out the embed problem.)




 Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

April 12, 2014

RE: FROM CONFLICT TO COMMUNION (with the Lutherans)

It is enough to make a cradle Catholic cry. I can only recall the question of the two angels to St. Mary Magdalen, weeping at Our Lord's tomb: "Woman, Why weepest thou?" and her sorrowful reply: "Because they have taken away my Lord; and I know not where they have laid him."


The document in question: Lutheran-Catholic Common 
Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017
From Louie Verrecchio: The Apparent Death of the Catholic Church

From Chris Ferrara in The Remnant: Vatican Surrenders to Luther: A Neo-Catholicism Update

And from Me (posted as a comment to the article above over at the Remnant): 

Like parents who pamper their children and give them everything they want so they don't have to keep hearing the kids moan and cry, throw tantrums and continually say 'well, Johnny's church has this, why don't we', so is our "Parent", the Roman Catholic Church, succumbing to the same syndrome with her 'children', we Catholics in the pews. We want it all: Heaven, happiness on earth, the Love of Christ on our terms not His, mercy and compassion without justice , the dignity of man over the dignity of Christ, little sins like contraception are OK while cutting down a tree is anathema, etc,. WE want OUR version of Catholicism, not Our Lord's...WE want OUR way to Heaven and not Christ's, WE want to live OUR commandments and not God's. You cannot live the Catholic present while dismissing the Catholic past; you don't bring Souls to Heaven by adapting to their false religion but by converting them to Catholicism. You cannot dismiss the True reason for the Cross and Calvary to make the plate palatable for all as all you will get is whinny, fat, lazy kids who don't have to work for anything - even their own Salvation. That is not why Our Lord suffered and died for us; that is not why the early martyr's died in the coliseum, not why the Catholic Cristeros and Vendeeans died and certainly not why Thomas More and John Fisher died. They all suffered and died - as did Our Lord - to gain Heaven... they didn't just die and gain Heaven, which is what all this ecumenism is telling us we can now do. What need is their of professing Catholicism if we can gain our Salvation just as well - and with less trouble - as a Lutheran, a Baptist or a God Is Love In All Forms Christian Church, INC member? You can't have it both ways - either the Catholic Church is the One TRUE Church or it isn't. Please Rome...make up your mind. I am getting dizzy trying to figure out what it is you are saying/teaching/doing. HELP!

Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

April 11, 2014

LENT: The Cross of Our Lord Must Be the Center of our Lives

Carrying the CrossBy giving each of us the grace of being called with Him to suffer a small portion of His Passion, Our Lord Jesus Christ was making clear the unparalleled role of the Cross in the life of a man, in the history of the world, and in His own glorification.
Let us not think that…He wished to dispense us from pronouncing in the anguish of death our own “consumatus est.”
Bl. Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio, Cristero martyr.
Bl. Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio, Cristero martyr.
Without an understanding of the Cross, without love of the Cross, without each of us having passed through our own Via Crucis, we will not have fulfilled Providence’s design for us. And, on dying, we will not be able to make our own the sublime words of Saint Paul: “I have fought the good fight. I have run the course…. As for the rest, there is reserved for me a crown of justice.”
… With love of the Holy Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, we will obtain all, even as we are weighed down with the holy burden of purity and other heroic virtues, the unceasing attacks and mockeries of the enemies of the Faith, and the betrayals of false friends.
On October 2010 Muslim terrorists murdered 58 Iraqi Catholics while they were attending evening Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Baghdad. “Enough! Enough!” shouted this three-year old toddler as he chased one of the Islamic terrorists gunning down the faithful and in response, the Mujahidin turned his gun on the valiant boy and riddled him with bullets.
On October 2010 Muslim terrorists murdered 58 Iraqi Catholics while they were attending evening Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Baghdad. “Enough! Enough!” shouted this three-year old toddler as he chased one of the Islamic terrorists gunning down the faithful and in response, the Mujahidin turned his gun on the valiant boy and riddled him with bullets.
The great foundation, indeed the greatest foundation, of Christian civilization is that each and every soul cultivate a generous love that embraces the Holy Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
May Mary help us to exercise this love and we shall reconquer for her Divine Son the Kingdom of God, which today flickers so faintly in the hearts of men.
Plinio Correa de Oliveira – Speech for the Washington, D.C. launching of his book Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII.
Link: The Cross of Our Lord Must Be the Center of our Lives



Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

April 7, 2014

The Remnant: 'The Blood of Catholics Will Flow'

The SSPX has written much about Vatican II and its inherent weaknesses and outright errors since the inception of its foundation. It has, at times, been the mainstay in their defense of Tradition and all that is good and Holy with and within Holy Mother Church. Because of the Society's high public profile in this regard, lesser known, non-SSPX writers (in this case Priests and not lay) of the problem that is VII are not so well known. But they have as much import in their writings as the Society - if not more because they are not members and therefore cannot be accused of any "bias" in their positions. Such a one is Msgr. Bandas and we should be grateful the Remnant has re-printed this 1968 article, as timeless now as it was then.

Link to The Remnant here and this article here.

More on Msgr. Bandas from this January 2010 post from the Orbis Catholicus blog here.



Friday, April 4, 2014

'The Blood of Catholics Will Flow' Featured

Written by  Msgr. R. G. Bandas, RIP
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Peritus at Vatican II on What Really Happened
(Editor’s Note:  Monsignor Bandas was a member of two commissions during the Second Vatican Council, one on dogma and the other on seminaries. He attended every session of the Second Vatican Council, and he died on June 26, 1969. The founding editor of The Remnant, Walter L. Matt, a close friend of Msgr. Bandas, used to say that in a very real sense Vatican II brought on the early death of Msgr. Bandas—a brilliant, holy priest who died of a broken heart over the Council.  Msgr. Bandas, upon his return from Vatican II, predicted that, before all this was over, “the blood of faithful Catholics would flow in the sanctuaries.”  May the following inspiring and yet sobering words of the late, great Msgr. Bandas remain with us always, and may we never forget such fallen heroes of the old Faith. The following is reprinted from The Remnant, Feb. 12, 1968. MJM)
During the three years of His public ministry Our Lord rapidly attained an immense popularity.  Huge crowds hailed Him at every side, followed Him, pressed upon Him, so that on one occasion only through an opening in the roof could a paralytic be placed before Jesus. 
The enthusiasm of the people reached its highest point on Palm Sunday when the multitudes joyously shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David, blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Matt.21:9). But alas, who would have surmised that in a few short days these admirers of the God-Man would change into a hostile mob, yelling angrily: “Let Him be crucified”. 
And when the Saviour of the world was crucified on Mt. Calvary, only a small remnant stood faithfully at the foot of the Cross.  In a sad statement St. John tells us: “There stood by the cross of Jesus, His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen”.  All the rest were missing.  And down below in the valley could be heard the blasphemies and the insults of the milling crowds.
When the Church came to dramatize in her Latin Liturgy this unique as well as prophetic scene, she used language which though simple is unmatched in its pathos: popule meus, quid feci tibi? “My people what have I done to you?”  And then in the so-calledimproperia or “reproaches”, Our Lord enumerates one by one the blessings which He brought to mankind, blessings alas, which were requited only by ingratitude, insults, and even persecution. 
Into these “reproaches” of the Latin Liturgy the Church has poured her most exquisite music.  If it is true that Marguerite in Goetha’s Faust fainted and thereafter  became a different woman after hearing the penetrating strains of the Dies Irae, it is also true that no one can hear the music of the Latin improperia on Good Friday and remain the same person.
Almost two thousand years have rolled by since those memorable events in Jerusalem. Today history is repeating itself.  When, during the five years I attended the sessions of Vatican II, I saw bishops from all parts of the world converging upon Rome,  I in all enthusiasm often said to myself:  I am seeing the Catholic Church in all her splendor as she is poising for renewal and unprecedented growth. 
Little did I then suspect that in a few short years the once admiring people would again be converted into hostile mobs, yelling savagely:  “Away with Him, away with His mother, away with His Church, away with His teachings.”  But the crowd is different.  It is no longer the Scribes and Pharisees and the Roman soldiery.  No, it is made up of ex-nuns, ex-priests, ex-seminarians, phony “experts”, and wild reformers.
The Cross of Calvary again looms against the leaden skies and from it the Victim of the world renews His gentle reproaches:  “My people, what have I done to you, answer Me”.
“I have bestowed upon you my choicest blessings, but you, instead of addressing Me with your choicest language, salute Me in the vernacular with the uncouth and boorish title “the fellow,” and often accost Me with music that belongs more to the tavern than to the temple.
“I have given you my Sacrifice of the Cross to be renewed daily on the altars of your church, but you, taking your cue from the anointed traitor of the English Protestant Reformation, the apostate Archbishop Cranmer, are destroying sacred altars.
“In my boundless love I willed to dwell in your midst in the Blessed Sacrament, but you are discarding tabernacles and converting them into profane uses and toys for children, while My faithful children are wandering about in My empty temples anxiously complaining like Mary Magdalen: ‘They have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have laid Him.’
“I have given you the prayer of prayers, the Roman Canon of the Mass – a prayer which grew out of the teachings and sufferings of my first bishops, the Apostles, which was sealed by the blood of my martyrs in the Coliseum, which was the consolation of the Christians in the catacombs; today the impious French daily, Le Monde, sarcastically taunts me:  ‘This last bastion of your Church has fallen.’
“I have asked that you let little children come to me because theirs is the kingdom of heaven, but you restrain them from the Mass, from My Sacraments, from the love of My Sacred Heart on First Fridays, from sympathizing with My sufferings through the Stations of the Cross.”
“There stood by the Cross His Mother.” St. John says that she stood – she did not faint or swoon – full of courage and confidence and reparation.  She knew and saw what they were doing to her Son – as they  are doing to Him today in the hootenanny and “bootlegged” Masses – but she did not leave, no, she offered all these blasphemies in reparation to God, although she could well say:  “All ye that pass by the way, attend and see if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow.”
She is the example and hope of us, the poor banished children of Eve.  When a few years  ago the students of a Catholic High School were performing a Passion Play, and when they finally arrived at the scene where Judas was beside himself with despair, a little girl in the front row turned to her mother and whispered:  “Now why did he not go to the Mother of Jesus?”
In this “hour of darkness”, a remnant keeps vigil at the Cross.  But it will not long remain the persecuted and maligned Church of Silence.  It will come forth like the first remnant, it will grow with miraculous speed and, purified, will become the Church.  For truth is powerful and will prevail.  “Though we walk in the midst of the shadow of death, we will fear no evils for Thou art with us.” “And if God is for us, who can be against us?”  The King of history is already coming to us over the angry waves and bringing us the encouraging message:  “Fear not, little flock, for it hath pleased your Father to give you a kingdom


Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved