December 13, 2015

Mea Culpa

My apologies for the dearth of postings, but I have been addressing more important matters since Thanksgiving. I hope to resume a more regular schedule after Christmas and New Years.

Thank you and God Bless. Have a Blessed and Holy Christmas!








Copyright 2015 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

November 19, 2015

Rome makes new proposal to SSPX?

Via Catholic Conclave, this report was posted today on a proposal by Rome to the SSPX:

The Holy See has made a new proposal to the Society of St. Pius X. Specifically, it relates to the status of the SSPX. The Fraternity is not canonically recognized and therefore for decades has been in a state of suspension, which leads to different interpretations among canon lawyers and bishops as to whether it is part of the Catholic Church or not.

A sedivacantist website of the United States claimed that an agreement between the SSPX which was founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and Rome was imminent. This was denied to gloria.tv by Father Franz Schmidberger, Rector of the International Seminary of the SSPX in Zaitzkofen in Bavaria.

Father Schmidberger confirmed the proposal, but denies agreement

Father Schmidberger, who was already Superior General of the Priestly Society and German District Superior, however, confirmed that there is a concrete proposal which Rome has submitted to the SSPX. However, there is still much to clarify according to Schmidberger.

The existence of a Roman proposal had been confirmed by the Swiss District Superior of the Brotherhood to their priests, according to Secretum Meum Mihi.

This message was posted by those circles who are close to priests which left the SSPX in 2012 SSPX or have been excluded from this. The reason for this was briefly, was that there was no conflict over the conditions under which a canonical regulation by Rome could be accepted, but a fundamental rejection of any agreement with Rome by a minority in the SSPX.


Original in German from Katholisches.info here.

Gloria TV has a report also:




 We'll see what happens from here...

It certainly would be an auspicious beginning to the Year of Mercy, wouldn't it?



Copyright 2015 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

Prayer Request: Fr. Gregory Post, SSPX

Fr. Post and ABp Lefebvre
Please pray for Fr. Gregory Post who has been hospitalized with blood clots in his lungs. I am told he is in good spirits and being treated with an anti-coagulant to try to dissolve the clots, but this situation is still potentially quite serious nonetheless, especially due to his age.

Fr. Post was ordained by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1972, and was the first American priest to be so, if memory serves. I've also had the pleasure of serving Mass for him on many occasions when we were both at the priory in St. Louis, MO and before my marriage and family curtailed that a bit. That he always had the greatest of reverence during the Consecration is one of my many memories of serving his Masses. It was always a pleasure to be around him and I am sure his constant sense of humor has carried him well in his advanced years.

Please keep this fine and holy priest in your prayers. 


Copyright 2015 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

Of White Elephants and Divorce

The Divorce White Elephant 

white el·e·phant, noun: a possession that is useless or troublesome, especially one that is expensive to maintain or difficult to dispose of.

The above is what Google will tell you "white elephant" means. Originally a gift to obnoxious courtiers by the King of Siam, the "gift" of a white elephant was meant to drive them into poverty via its upkeep. In more modern times, it has come to mean an item that’s not useful or decorative, but it may also include the expensive and the odd, such as dams, buildings and aircraft. To my knowledge, however, "white elephant" has never been applied to divorce, but well it should. Divorce is well-deserving of the title for it is and always will be a useless and troublesome anomaly, an expensive to maintain option to a marital cure-all and most certainly, a difficult-to-dispose-of machine once it is in place. 

Yes, indeed...White Elephant fits perfectly.

Divorce, once "gifted" to the other spouse, is not only the driving force behind broken marriages, discarded spouses and devastated families, but also of the lack of attempted reconciliation of all three (this latter led in no small part by the "marital happiness" meme that has been in vogue the last 5 decades or so, especially within the Catholic Church). The White Elephant that is divorce is solely responsible for driving its main recipient into financial ruin and the family (aka the children) into non-existence (in its natural form, anyway). The upkeep required to maintain a divorce is astronomical, no matter the currency used. (Personal factoid: Since 2010, I've paid over $136,000 to maintain this particular white elephant - a "gift" I neither wanted nor asked for. Attorneys fees are currently north of $10,000.) No...I think "White Elephant" an apt moniker as it fits the accepted definition: "...a possession that is useless or troublesome, especially one that is expensive to maintain or difficult to dispose of."  Indeed...

And what of  divorce petitioners? Aren't they also a "White Elephant" themselves once they decide divorce will be their cure-all placebo to happiness? I say yes, simply because of the Passions that must predominate Reason for divorce to even be considered. 

Consider what the Passions accomplish in a divorce:

- the trashing of the most basic notion of Catholic Charity (troublesome, as it ignores Catholic religious teaching, especially this Greatest of the Virtues).

- the trashing of Sacramental vows (troublesome, as it may call into question a petitioner's own state of mind when the marital vows were spoken).

- ignoring the known harmful effects of divorce upon any children (a useless position to take, as this refers back to the selfishness of the petitioner).

- the feelings of one supposed adult taking precedence over those of the children (another useless - and baseless - position to maintain, for it predominates a parent's desires over the needs of the children.).

- assumes the salary of one spouse will be enough to support two households when it barely was able to support one (again, a useless and expensive position to maintain as it requires ignoring the known facts of the single-income household and forces financial hardship on one or both spouses despite that knowledge).

- once initiated, the Petitioner will find it difficult to stop a divorce as it would require them to accept their own frailties within the marriage and their culpability in knowingly harming their own children. As many Respondents know, Petitioners rarely acknowledge any error. 

So...

What do you think? Does White Elephant fit as an apt description of a divorce and a divorce petitioner? 



Copyright 2015 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

November 15, 2015

The Only Two Weapons Needed To Defeat islam...


Photo Credit: barnhardt.biz

Actually, three if you count Anne:


Photo Credit: barnhardt.biz

H/T to Anne Barnhardt and her inspiring article...(which every Western, Catholic and/or Christian Nation should read.



Copyright 2015 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

November 13, 2015

UPDATE #3: Fr. Peter Carota - Prayers for His Health

The latest update on Fr. Carota, posted by Jonathan Byrd today on Traditional Catholic Priest:

Fr. Carota Update 11/13/2015


There hasn’t been any improvement for Fr. Carota at this time.  He still is losing weight because of his inability to eat/drink.  His aches and pains are considerable and they continue.  He is offering up his pains and sufferings and ask that his readers would continue in loving the Lord and each other.  He is being shown much love from his friends and readers and he is very thankful for the care that has been shown and the prayers that have been said in his behalf.
          *******************************************************

FRIENDS, 

AN UPDATE ON FR. CAROTA WAS POSTED YESTERDAY. PLEASE CONTINUE YOUR PRAYERS...



Update On Father Carota


Father is still very ill.  He continues to lose weight and is unable to eat much of anything and is losing much strength due to this.  Please continue to keep him in your daily rosary intentions.
             **********************************************
I am a little late with this update, it having been posted on October 4th on the website of Traditional Catholic Priest by Jonathon Byrd:

Update on Fr. Carota

Fr. Carota is very thankful for all of the prayers he has received from his readers. His condition has deteriorated enough that he is no longer able to continue posting to the website at this time. Fr. Carota’s mission for this blog is to help save souls which, as we all are aware, is what is truly important to Father. In light of that, I will be helping to insure the blogs continuance by posting the truth of our Faith in the same candid manner in which Father is known for until such time Father is capable to do so himself.

As to his health, he is hardly able to eat or drink. This has now gone on for some time and this is beginning to take its toil on his body. He continues to lose weight and at this point he has resigned himself to the will of God.

I ask all of the readers of this blog to say a Rosary for Father for the intention that God would restore his health back to Him. Fr. Carota has a great love of our Lady and especially for the victory that was procured at the Battle of Lepanto because of Her intervention. Since the Feast of Our Lady Of The Rosary is so near, I think it is very fitting that we call upon Our Blessed Mother’s aid and ask that Father would be restored to health.

P.S. If you would like to send Father a card please request his address via comment and I will make sure you receive his info.


                      ******************************************

I  am just linking to two posts by Father Peter Carota, who writes the Traditional Catholic Priest blog, that detail his current health issues. Please pray for this priest and the recovery of his health, that he may soon return to his parish and apostolate.

http://www.traditionalcatholicpriest.com/2015/09/26/california/

http://www.traditionalcatholicpriest.com/2015/09/27/california-2/


PRAYER FOR PRIESTS

O Almighty Eternal God, look upon the face of thy Christ, and for love of Him who is the eternal High Priest, have pity on Thy priests. Remember, O most compassionate God, that they are but weak and frail human beings. Stir up in them the grace of their vocation which is in them by the imposition of the Bishop's hands. Keep them close to Thee, lest the enemy prevail against them, so that they may never do anything in the slightest degree unworthy of their sublime vocation.

O Jesus, I pray Thee for Thy faithful and fervent priests; for Thy unfaithful and tepid priests; for Thy priests labouring at home or abroad in distant mission fields; for Thy tempted priests; for Thy lonely and desolate priests; for Thy young priests; for Thy aged priests; for Thy sick priests; for Thy dying priests; for the souls of Thy priests in purgatory.

But above all I commend to Thee the priests dearest to me: the priest who baptised me; the priests who absolved me from my sins; the priests at whose Masses I assisted and who gave me Thy Body and Blood in Holy Communion; the priests who taught and instructed me or helped me and encouraged me; all the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way, particularly N.N. O Jesus, keep them all close to Thy heart, and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity. Amen.

O Mary, Queen of the Clergy, pray for us and send us many and holy priests. (Three times.)









Copyright 2015 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

November 10, 2015

A Very Short Primer On HELL

Taken from "The Dogma of Hell, Illustrated by Facts Taken from Profane and Sacred History"  by Rev. Father Francois Xavier Schouppe, S.J. (any emphasis from the original is mine-Ed.)


I. THE DOGMA OF HELL
The Dogma of Hell is the most terrible truth of our faith. There is a hell. We are sure of it as of the existence of God, the existence of the sun. Nothing, in fact, is more clearly revealed than the dogma of hell, and Jesus Christ proclaims it as many as fifteen times in the Gospel.
Reason comes to the support of revelation; the existence of a hell is in harmony with the immutable notions of justice engraved in the human heart. Revealed to men from the beginning, and conformable to natural reason, this dreadful truth has always been, and is still known, by all nations not plunged by barbarism in complete ignorance.
Hell never has been denied by heretics, Jews or Mohammedan. The pagans themselves have retained their belief in it, although the errors of paganism may have impaired in their minds the sound notion.
It has been reserved for modern and contemporaneous atheism, carried to the pitch of delirium, to outdo the impiety of all ages by denying the existence of hell.

VI. TRUTH OF HELL
This is how the Son of God speaks to us of hell:
"Woe to the world because of scandals; for it must needs be that scandals come; nevertheless, woe to that man by whom scandal cometh!"

"If, then, thy hand or thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off and cast it from thee; it is better for thee to go into life maimed or lame, than, having two hands or two feet, be cast into everlasting fire." 
"And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee; it is better for thee, having one eye, to enter into life, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire." (Matt. xviii, 7; compare v., 29)

"And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body into hell." (Matt. x. 28)

"Then the Judge will say to them that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels." (Matt xxv., 41)

"But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matt. viii., 11)

"The unprofitable servant cast ye out into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping, and gnashing of teeth." (Matt xxv., 30)

"But I say to you: Whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment, and whosoever shall say to his brother, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire." (Matt. v., 22)

"The Son of Man shall send His angels, and they shall gather out of His Kingdom all scandals and them that work iniquity;
"And shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matt. xiii., 41)

"Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down and shall be cast into the fire." (Matt. XII., 19)

"If any one abide not in Me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up, and cast him into the fire, and he burneth." (John xv., 5)

"The beast and the false prophet who had seduced them who had received the character of the beast, and who had admired his image, were cast alive into the pool of fire burning with brimstone." (Apoc., xix., 20.)
"Where they were tormented day and night, for ever and ever.
"And whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the pool of fire." (Apoc. xx., 15)

To doubt about hell, is to doubt the infallible word of God; it is to give ear to the speech of the libertines rather than to the infallible teaching of the Church. The Church teaches that there is a hell; a libertine tells you that there is not; and should you prefer to believe a libertine?

VII. THE PAINS OF HELL
What predominates in the words of Scripture when it exhibits to us the pains of Hell is the terrible torture of the fire. The Scriptures call Hell a "pool of sulphur and fire," the gehenna of fire," the eternal fire," a "fiery furnace where the fire shall never be extinguished." But this fire, kindled by divine justice, will possess an activity incomparably superior to that of all the furnaces, all the fires, of this world. Alas! Do we understand how it shall be possible to bear it? How it will be necessary to dwell in it as in an everlasting habitation? "Which of you," demands the Prophet, "can dwell with devouring fire? Which of you shall bear everlasting burnings?" (Isaias 33:14).

Chapter VIII. A SALUTARY FEAR OF HELL
We ought to believe in Hell, because we may fall into it. Alas! It is very easy to be damned, and the damned are very numerous. St. Teresa compares them to the flakes of snow which fall in the dreary days of winter. The servant of God, Anthony Pereyra, in a very authentic vision with which he was favoured (see Ch. 2), saw the souls of sinners descending into the pit like corn beneath the millstones, like stones cast in heaps into a huge limekiln. God showed one day before a large multitude that they fall into it as the dead leaves in autumn fall from the trees under the breath of the wind.
The venerable Father Anthony Baldinucci, a celebrated missionary of the Company of Jesus, who died in the odor of sanctity in the year 1717, was preaching in the open air, because the church could not contain the faithful who came in crowds to hear him. Speaking of Hell, he said, "My brethren, would you know how great is the number of those who are damned? Look at that tree." All eyes were turned to a tree that was there, covered with leaves. At the same moment a gust of wind, rising, shook all the branches of the tree, and caused the leaves to fall so plentifully that there remained only a certain number of them, thinly scattered and easy to count. "See," went on the man of God, "what souls are lost, and what souls are saved. Take your precautions to be among the latter."


Copyright 2015 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

November 8, 2015

A Marriage Reconciled

It is a fixture of modern Catholic life that a spouse immersed in some type of marital discord may eventually succumb to the divorce meme and the seeking of that seemingly elusive goal of marital happiness. In all likelihood, divorce will then be followed by the issuance of an Annulment Decree, even though one spouse wanted neither divorce nor annulment.

However, as the below article points out, it doesn't have to end that way. There doesn't have to be the sacrificing of the Sacrament or the vows or the children. It can change. Reconciliation can happen. There can be the renewal of the original marital happiness. By continuing to pray for your separated spouse (and yes, to pray even for your divorced one), you can choose the better path. Indeed, you both can choose - with the help of the Sacramental Graces, obviously - the better path, as this story of a reconciled marriage brings to light.


It may not happen always, but suffice to say that it can happen. - Ed.

******************************


              Forgiveness is Key to Reconciling Separated Couple

Craig and Beatriz Walterscheid, & daughter
Nov. 6, 2015. A twelve-year old girl, whose parents married in 2002, is thrilled that her parents are reconciling after having been separated for seven years. Craig Walterscheid said, "Forgiving my wife and in-laws, for what I perceived as their destruction of our marriage, was the key that opened the door to reconciling my marriage."

In an interview with Mary's Advocates, Craig said he and his wife, Beatriz, were serious Christians when they married, who would never miss attending Catholic Mass on Sundays. Craig explained, "Soon after marriage, my wife and I regularly had heated arguments. After three years of marriage, she and our daughter left our marital home and moved in with her parents who lived over 1500 miles away." Craig said that they both figured separation was the solution to their marital problems, though neither of them liked the idea.

Because Craig believed is the indissolubility of marriage, he never expected to act single and find a new partner. Neither party filed for civil divorce. For a couple of years, Craig would make the trip to spend time with his estranged wife and daughter. At that time, Craig said his wife seemed guarded and distant. In 2007, after a few definitive e-mails, Craig said he and his wife just stopped corresponding altogether.

Craig explained that he became resigned to accept his version of reality, that is, his in-laws had taken his wife and daughter away. In 2013, he read a book that got him thinking about possibilities of reconciling: Como Salvé Mi Matrimonio (How I Saved My Marriage), by Maricruz. Thereafter, he saw a full page ad for the book "The Gift of Self" on the back cover of an old copy of the magazine "Homiletic and Pastoral Review." The advertisement contained an endorsement for the book by the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, who wrote, "'The Gift of Self' reminds us that any true gift is offered in the image of Christ. For that very reason, even when in the sacrament of marriage, a spouse experiences neglect, betrayal or separation, the gift of self can be faithful and, as such, sanctifying."

Craig ordered "The Gift of Self, A Spiritual Companion for Separated and Divorced Faithful to the Sacrament of Marriage" and he was so touched by a prayer in the appendix that he started reciting it daily. When praying the "Prayer for My Separated or Divorced Spouse," and thinking about his wife, Craig said to God the Father, "You consecrated us to be one flesh, so as to live the same love which makes You Triune." Craig prayed, "May You be praised, Father so rich in mercy, for having placed Your forgiveness in my heart toward Beatriz. I beg You, allow my spouse to open her heart to welcome this forgiveness, and to grant me forgiveness in return. Reconcile us, Lord." Craig says that he worked on forgiving his wife and accepting the outcome on a daily basis, no matter what happened. Without even having contact with his wife, Craig said, "I grew closer to her by praying this prayer every day, and I began to see that if I could forgive her, there was the possibility that she could forgive me too."

In December 2013, Craig said he decided to try to reconcile with his wife. He said "A widow friend of mine was instrumental in convincing me of my duty to make a reconciliation attempt." He flew 1500 miles and met with a good friend and the priest that presided over the couple's wedding. The priest was willing to try to help and he phoned Beatriz, asking her to meet with Craig. Beatriz at first said no, but the priest, according to Craig, pleaded very, very strongly with her, and she finally agreed to meet him.

When Craig drove to Beatriz' parents' house, he had his doubts about whether she would really come out to meet him or not. Maybe she would have changed her mind. But she did come out, and Craig said that the guarded look on her face was gone. He was invited inside and they visited with each other and their daughter, not talking specifically about reconciling.

Later that day, they discovered that they both wanted to reconcile. Craig said that he regrets not following through on another priest's advice years earlier urging them to seek good counseling from someone experienced helping marriages. He wished some priest who knew them and his in-laws would have challenged their situation. Craig said that the arguments they had were not so bad that there was a morally legitimate reason for separation of spouses. He said no one was in grave danger, such that separation was the only way to be safe.

Craig warned that, "it is key that couples know the real enemy and realize that the devil is out there definitely wanting to destroy marriages. Spouses need to see little problems as being surmountable and nip them in the bud." He emphasized, "Never go to bed angry."


Link to the original article: http://www.marysadvocates.org/eventsnews/151106_Reconcile.html

I wish to thank Bai Macfarlane, the owner of Mary's Advocates, for her kind permission to reprint this article in full.




Copyright 2015 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

November 6, 2015

** UPDATED **: Prayer Request - Fr. Daniel Cooper, SSPX

UPDATE from the 11/6/2015 SSPX E-Pistola newsletter:

Please pray for Fr. Cooper
On Wednesday, we announced that our priest, Fr. Daniel Cooper, would be entering the hospital today in preparation for a bone marrow transplantand asked for prayers for a successful procedure and recovery.

Two corrections need to be made to our prior notice: 1) Fr. Cooper's procedure actually takes place today, while his recovery time will take 3-4 weeks. 2) Father has recently been residing in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan to be near his familythis is also where his medical procedures are taking place.


                    ****************************

[Original post below-Ed.]

From today's SSPX E-Pistola weekly newsletter:


Please pray for Fr. Cooper

We would like to request your prayers for our priest, Fr. Daniel Cooper, who resides at our priory in Dickinson, Texas.

Fr. Cooper is suffering from bone marrow cancer. He will undergo a chemotherapy treatment today and then enter the hospital this Friday. After about 3 to 4 weeks, Father will have a bone marrow transplant using his own stem cells.

We pray that Fr. Cooper will have a successful transplant and recovery.

Fr. Daniel Cooper, SSPX


Copyright 2015 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

November 4, 2015

Guardians of the Gate



The above is who - and what - we Roman Catholics are. Silent sentinels, grabbing a short rest after a lengthy battle, ever ready to again raise our sword on short notice against any who dare try to breach our walls. We remain at our post, standing in defense of all that lays beyond the doorway, seemingly inert but with ears attuned to the winds around us.

This is our Catholic lot. This is what our Godparents promised in our name at our Baptism. This is why we were Confirmed as Soldiers of Christ. This is what we vowed at our Nuptial Mass. This is what wives and children expect of their husbands and Fathers - and what some Mothers must do in his stead. This is what the Cristeros did, as did their Vendean brothers and sisters before them.

These are the Faithful spouses, guarding the door to homes long abandoned by their once-thought lifelong mate; these are the Cardinal Burke's; the Athanasius Schneider's; the Bernard Fellay's. These are the likes of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher, of Sts. Edmond Campion and Margaret Clitherow. These are the Mundabor's and the Rorate Caeli's; the Misses Barnhardt and White, as well as The Remnant's and the One Peter Five's. 

Who guard not to keep all others out, but to keep out only those who would fain to see harm done to those within the sacred walls. Who fight not to overthrow those in earthly authority, but to preserve that which has been bequeathed by the rightful King of both Heaven and earth. 

We are members of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, founded by Christ to bring all men to their eternal Salvation. Do not try to make of us anything besides that which Christ Himself ordained from all Eternity, or we will fight. Do not tell us we can now subvert our Faith in countless ways and still attain Heaven, or we will vomit you out of our mouths. Do not think that the wearing of white, purple or red assures our submission to your heretical or heterodox words, for we will bathe your darkness with 2,000 years of The Way, The Truth and The Light. Know that we cannot - and will not - walk where your path leads. We are sheep, but we can not - and will not - let ourselves be led astray by wolves.

Why?

Simple...

We. are. Roman. Catholics.



Copyright 2015 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

November 3, 2015

Catholic Poland Rises and Stands Firm...

Predominantly Catholic Poland (87%) shows the rest of Europe and the World how to be Catholic, how to show Love for one's country and how to remain constantly on the "offense" against the enemies of both Faith and Country. 

Constant "defense" hardly wins a sporting match, let alone a war. [Ed.]

From Breitbart News:

POLISH FOOTBALL FANS UNFURL 50-FOOT ‘STAND AND DEFEND CHRISTIANITY’ BANNER AT PREMIER LEAGUE MATCH

Polish football (soccer) fans unveiled an enormous anti mass migration banner at Sunday’s Silesian Wrocław match against Poznań. Images from the match last night show a giant crusader defending Europe from invading jihadists in boats labelled USS Hussein, USS Bin Laden and USS ISIS.

Just a week after Poland voted to kick out every left-wing member of it’s national parliament, ordinary Poles have again shown the spirit which led them to elect the nationalist conservative Law and Justice party, with football fans unveiling an over-sized anti-migration banner at Sunday’s match.
The hand-painted sheet, which is estimated to have been at least 50 feet tall and 75 feet wide depicts boatloads of migrants preparing to land on the southern shore of Europe. Many of the boat’s crews make the one fingered ‘ISIS salute’.
polish Football 2
The banner is unfurled / Paweł Kot / Facebook


Click the headline link above for the rest of the story...


Copyright 2015 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

November 1, 2015

Of LOVE, Salt and Lessons Learned

If there is one lesson to be learned from this unnecessary, unwanted and imprudent travesty known as divorce, it is that one's notion of "love" becomes truly defined - and refined. Like many boomers before me, I matured through the "me" generation of the 60's (Make Love, Not War) and the "Love Means Never Having To Say You're Sorry" generation of the 70's. The 80's moved away from the previous decades hedonistic lifestyle and into the Reagan Era, but saw the advent of AIDS, and Wall Street greed as well. But, whatever else the 80's gave us was overshadowed by the lust - financial and/or sexual - that proved fatal for so many (1). Excepting, that is, for a rather insignificant event in the eyes of the world, but a very significant one for me: my marriage in October of 1988 to a pretty, dark-haired brunette. My love had been freely given and had been freely accepted. Life was grand, exciting and incredible as we shared our deep love of the Traditional Catholic Faith and of each other and embarked upon our journey into the world of wedded bliss (and numerous children!).

Fast forward 22 years to the day (and approximately 4 hours later) where I sat with my attorney in court and listened while a judge gaveled our marriage - and our love - into the void. "Til death we do part" became "til one or the other grows tired of trying". "For better or for worse" became " For I can do better and I can't do any worse". I left the courtroom with "CONSUMMATUM EST" playing on repeat in my mind the rest of the day. What had happened to our love? Or rather, what had happened to LOVE

All (most?) of us certainly want and need to "feel" loved, as it is one of the most basic and fundamental needs that we human's crave. Most believe that feeling loved and cared for is the single most important aspect of marriage (2) - the "happiness" factor I've called it. And if that particular salt shall "...lose its savour..." (for one spouse anyway) "...It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men" (3) via No Fault Divorce - and a judge. This is what, for all practical purposes, happens when two spouses fail each other: the "salt" of one or both lost its savor and the marriage has fallen into a bland and tasteless meal. Many do not even try to renew the marriage "salt" via the Sacramental Graces that comes with their vow.  Of course, they have but to ask (and this, oftentimes repeatedly) of its Giver, but instead they opt for the new, the easy and the improved salt promised by those who: 1) preach of the feelings of self-fulfillment, 2) of the necessity for personal happiness in marriage and 3) of the saliva-inducing Pavlov effect from a possible Fast Track annulment. All this in order to produce the man-made salt that promises a happy marital life, yet, which has no concern for the family-killing pollution that is the necessary by-product that comes from its manufacturing. It seems the greed and lust of the 70's and 80's have finally found a permanent home in the 21st century. I almost fell for it all, too. Fortunately and whatever the impetus, I believe the Graces of the Sacrament finally kicked in and prevented my slide into the "happy-and-moving-on" divorcee mode. 

So..what have I learned of LOVE in the past 5 plus years? Certainly, I've learned of Christ's LOVE from the Cross, and how to imitate Him by faithfully carrying my marital crosses. I've learned of Agape LOVE, or the non-reciprocal LOVE that is needed in some marriages and what Bishop Sheen called "love[ing]...the one who is apparently not lovable" (4). I've learned of the LOVE that is, as Maria Pia Campanella wrote, "...merciful and thus, already, has forgiven even before the other has repented" (5).  I've learned that no legal paper can remove that LOVE, once it has been accepted. We all have to live with its legal consequences, but we do not have to be a "dead spouse". We are, as Maria Pia wrote: "...wounded spouses, suffering but alive, because our Sacrament is alive"

On the inside cover of the (excellent) book When Marriage Becomes Worse: What To Do, the authors explain their frontispiece picture of oak leaves caught in a freezing fog that, but for the fog, would have fallen to the ground. Instead, they were "embroidered [in] a sparkling outline around each leaf ". I mention this only because it sets the stage for what they write in conclusion. And also what we all need to remember about marriage, especially those in the midst of troubled ones:

"Only God can adorn naturally and make more beautiful than when they first budded out, the dying leaves of a scrub oak. He can do the same in your marriage. When others tell you that your marriage is dead, turn to Our Lord and those who represent him to give back what only appears to be shriveled and lifeless.There is no such thing as a dead marriage in the Sacramental world of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church when both spouses still live." (6)

Honor your vows. Honor your spouse. Honor your Lord Jesus Christ. It is what you said you would do. 


H/T: The Catholic Gentleman and this article for the inspiration for this post

Source links, as noted above:

(1) US History: Life In the 80's

(2) Psychology Today: The Need To Love

(3) Douay-Rheims Bible + Challoner Notes - Online Edition

(4) Three To Get Married, Chapter 19

(5) The Gift of Self, A Spiritual Companion for Separated and Divorced Faithful to the Sacrament of Marriage, pge. 72

(6) When Marriage Becomes Worse: What To Do


Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

October 31, 2015

NEW SHERWOOD: An open letter to single Catholics

An excerpt of and an excellent read from Jeff Culbreath's New Sherwood blog, to single Catholics who may be considering marriage. Ed.

An open letter to single Catholics

YoungCouple1
Dear single Catholics,
Marriage is indissoluble, an ontological reality for as long as both spouses are living. “What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.” For Catholics, divorce is never an option for any reason. The rare exceptions of the “Pauline and Petrine privileges” pertain only to non-sacramental marriages with at least one unbaptized spouse.
What is popularly known as an annulment is not a divorce, but a “decree of nullity” – a judicial finding that a valid marriage never existed in the first place. For example, if one spouse was coerced by threats of violence, then true consent was absent and there was never a valid marriage. Nullity depends upon defects (e.g., lack of consent) present when the vows were made, not marital problems that developed later. Thelist of defects that traditionally render a putative marriage “null” is short and sweet:
(1) the male is not yet sixteen and/or the female is not yet fourteen at the time of the wedding; (2) the male is impotent, the female is frigid, or the marriage is never consummated; (3) either party is still involved in a marriage which is not properly dissolved; (4) a Catholic and an unbaptized person marry without a proper dispensation; (5) the male is a recipient of Holy Orders and is not personally dispensed by the pope; (6) either party who publicly vowed celibacy did not receive a dispensation to marry; (7) the female is forced to marry by means of abduction or confinement; (8) one party kills the other in order to enter a new marriage; (9) the parties are closely related by blood; (10) there is prior affinity between the parties such as a widowed person marrying the deceased spouse’s parent or child; (11) someone party to a common-law marriage later attempts marriage with the parent or child of the live-in partner; (12) a person marries a child or sibling he or she has adopted;(13) Catholics enter a marriage “lacking form” and, therefore, validity because it does not take place before an authorized priest and witnesses.
The Church has long been a fierce and uncompromising defender of the marital bond. The entire world knows this, both within the Church and without. As a safeguard, the Church always presumed the validity of every publicly celebrated marriage, whether sacramental or merely natural. Proving invalidity was difficult, and in most cases a decision was made only after an exhaustive investigation. Marital indissolubility, the presumption of validity, and the difficulty of proving nullity combined to make a powerful psychological effect. Spouses were encouraged to persevere in difficult marriages and, most importantly, children were protected from parental abandonment.
Tragically, this all began to change with the anthropocentric emphasis of the Second Vatican Council. The former annulment procedures were concerned exclusively with the objective reality of the marital bond. But the new orientation began to focus on the interests, convenience, and happiness of the discontented spouse or spouses. In the 1970s the procedures for filing for annulment were greatly simplified in the United States. Predictably, the number of annulments skyrocketed. It’s fair to assume that the same modernist orientation that motivated these changes also motivated the decisions of marriage tribunals.
A still more severe attack on marriage came with Canon 1095 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which states:
The following are incapable of contracting marriage: 1) those who lack the sufficient use of reason; 2) those who suffer from a grave defect of discretion of judgment concerning the essential matrimonial rights and duties mutually to be handed over and accepted; 3) those who are not able to assume the essential obligations of marriage for causes of a psychic nature.
This canon opened the floodgates. “Essential matrimonial rights and duties” and “essential obligations of marriage” could be interpreted as loosely as “the duty to be sensitive and understanding” or, in TOB-speak, “totally self-giving”. But the loophole most often exploited is the idea that defects “of a psychic nature” were present, though unknown, at the time of consent. A spouse who later became unfaithful or who abandoned the marriage could be said to have had, all along, a psychological fear of commitment. A spouse who later developed a drug addiction could be said to have had a secret “addictive personality”. A spouse who developed a mental illness could be said to have had a latent psychological condition. A spouse with inadequacies as a mother or father, or with chronic employment problems, or with unhealthy relationship patterns, etc., could easily be said to have been unable to “assume the essential obligations of marriage for causes of a psychic nature”.
The result? By 1991 the Church was granting 60,000 annulments per year in the United States.



Copyright 2015 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

October 24, 2015

Non Serviam...

Just a few thoughts from a reeling mind, before the Sh@t hits the fan:

If Rome says I must now embrace heresy: Non Serviam...

If Rome says I must now embrace public adulterers who have been given permission to circumvent the penitential path to which all other sinners must still abide: Non Serviam...

If Rome tells me that I must now embrace and be welcoming to unrepentant and public sodomites in my pew and around my children: Non Serviam...

If Rome tells me that homosexual "marriage" has anything approaching a stable family life, when the very thought of such is anti-Biblical in its very name: Non Serviam...

If Rome tells me that Catholics who have willingly violated their marital vows and have willingly caused pain and sorrow to their children in order to find their personal "happy place" and yet are deserving of my understanding as they continue to walk their adulterous path: Non Serviam...

If Rome tells me it is now OK to ignore Our Lord's own words, the 6th and 9th Commandments, all that is written in the Holy Bible against homosexuality, what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah and one of the sins that cry to Heaven for Vengence: Non Serviam...

If Rome tells me I can now follow my Conscience into Hell, but it's OK because I just know that I am right while doing so and they will accompany me to Hell's door (especially Archbishop Cupich): Non Serviam...

If Rome now tells me it is now OK to place a new Crown of Thorns upon the Head of Our Lord Jesus Christ, to add my spit upon His Sacred Person, to yell and jeer at Him and to openly mock His Teachings and to even to drive more nails into His Sacred Hands and Feet: Non Serviam... 

NON SERVIAM! NON SERVIAM!! NON SERVIAM!!!





Copyright 2015 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

October 22, 2015

WHAT WE CANNOT DO ALONE, WE CAN DO TOGETHER!

[Ed note: I have received permission from the Universal Living Rosary Association and Fr. Ivan Kolodiy to reprint the portion of his commentary about marriage that was written for the October 2015 ULRA newsletter. It is a very timely reminder of our marital vows, marriage duty and of the Sacrament itself. Beautifully written, it is also a refreshing reminder that defends well the Sacred Bonds of Holy Matrimony, when so many today seek its devaluation and destruction. 

Below the icon, Father concludes his commentary with an appeal to pray to Our Lady via the Small Paraklesis (Intercessory Prayer) to the Most Holy Theotokos, which "is chanted in times of distress and sorrow of soul." Father also encourages "...all of you who have sorrow in your life and difficult health issues, problems with your children and who need special protection, to flee to the arms of the Virgin Mary."

Please keep this holy priest of Byzantine Rite, Greek Catholic Church, in your prayers.]


WHAT WE CANNOT DO ALONE, WE CAN DO TOGETHER!

My dear married couples, you must remember that God has chosen you for the part you must play in your families and, since He has chosen you for this role, He will supply you with all the strength you need to do your job meritoriously and in a way that is pleasing to Him. You may count on His help to achieve happiness and holiness in the marriage you have legitimately contracted and from which you no longer can withdraw. All regrets as to what might have been had you not married, are idle and futile. The only thing that matters is that you make the most of your situation through good sense and the Grace of God. If you are not fully happy in your married life, it is not a sign that you were not destined for it. 

We are pilgrims in this life steering towards our Eternal Home and the more discomforts and annoyances we undergo, the less we should be disturbed by them. Blessed are they that fear the Lord! Worship God faithfully. Pray aloud as a family in the morning and evening, and before and after meals.The prayer need not be long, but it should be said regularly and constantly by the entire family. Abundant blessings will follow! The family Crucifix should be the most precious object and should form the most cherished and frequented shrine in the entire house. Before this Crucifix, the family pours out their grief and asks solace, courage and strength. In response to blessings, the family kneels before the Crucifix and speaks their appreciation and gratitude.

Other Sacraments are administered outside the Communion rail: Confession, Communion, Confirmation and Baptism. But, in Holy Matrimony, the Church throws open the gates to the sanctuary and introduces the candidates into the Holy of Holies, to the very spot where the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ is offered. The bride and groom are to learn the greatest tragedy and the highest triumph of Love! Each one must die to himself and live for the other as Christ gave His Life for the Church. God appointed the husband as the leader of the family. The husband is the head of the wife. (Ephesians 5:22-24) Let women be subject to their husbands, as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the Church. Husbands, Love your wives. To the father of the family falls the obligation to organize religious life within the home. He should lead the family in prayer, and devote some time with his family to discuss Scripture thus bringing to them the spiritual food they need for union and strength. The special feasts of the Church should be celebrated in the home with hymns, festive meals and special prayers. Guard must be kept so that the family will remain chaste, moral and respectful of one another. The family is a domestic church. Following these principles, the household will have the greatest possibility of remaining faithful to Christ. 

Icon from the newsletter

"O our most blessed Queen, O Theotokos, our hope, guardian of orphans, intercessor for strangers, joy of the sorrowful, protectress of the wronged: thou seest our misfortune, thou seest our affliction; help us, for we are infirm; feed us for we are strangers. Thou knowest our offence: absolve it as thou wilt, for we have no other help beside Thee, no other intercessor, nor good consoler, except thee, O Mother of God. Do thou preserve and protect us unto the Ages of Ages."





Copyright 2015 David Heath - All Rights Reserved