Friday, February 24, 2017

Oppose Radical Feminism with Lady Day, March 8th — 'Pure Goodness at Work!' -





“The level of any civilization is the level of its womanhood.” -Archbishop Fulton Sheen
Social agitators — the same who marched on Washington, DC last month in the much publicized and shockingly vulgar Women’s March — are at it again.
A Day Without Women general strike is planned for March 8, National Women’s Day, asking women to stay home from work to show support for radical egalitarian feminism and harmful social causes like Planned Parenthood, abortion, and same-sex “marriage”.

But how many women can really skip work? What about mothers? What about nurses or any woman who works in society to help others? We can't skip work! And furthermore, we don't want to.
Lady Day is a positive response, a day for us to celebrate God’s plan for women as pure and good. In fact, the motto for this special day is “Pure Goodness at Work!”
Lady Day is dedicated to the most sublime lady ever: Mary Most Holy. In her motherhood, she has nurtured all human beings.

 


Our greatest dignity is, like Mary, to be what God designed us to be and our greatest happiness is in fulfilling God’s intention. As St. Francis de Sales says, “Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly.” What are women meant to be?
Some are meant to be mothers, with a nurturing presence at home. Others, not given the grace of natural motherhood, are privileged to be mothers in a spiritual sense, to nurture others by unfailing purity, goodness and selflessness.
“Mothers are closer to God the Creator than any other creature; God joins forces with mothers in performing this act of creation…What on God’s good earth is more glorious than this; to be a mother?”
-Cardinal Mindzenty
What can you do on Lady Day?
1. Go out for tea with lady friends on March 8th. Dress up in a modest, elegant way to celebrate femininity. If someone asks why you’re dressed up, be prepared to explain that Lady Day is a special day to appreciate how God made women, and embrace our God-given role in society.
2. Post photos of your Lady Day outing on The Return To Order Facebook page.
This special outing to celebrate Lady Day and the photos will counter the divisive “A Day Without Women” strike. It will have a good influence on our children and on society! Will you join me?
Happy Lady Day!
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Colette Zimmerman is a Catholic mother, wife and writer.  She and her husband Thomas are TFP Supporters.  Mrs. Zimmerman writes regularly on issues related to fashion and Catholic femininity on her Catholic Lady Blog.








Lady Day, March 8th — 'Pure Goodness at Work!' -: Lady Day, March 8th — 'Pure Goodness at Work!'

Monday, February 13, 2017

Should We Stop Opposing the Ruling Legalizing Same-Sex “Marriage”? Bishop Robert Barron’s Surprising Statements -





The recent (January 30) statements by the Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, Robert Barron, that he will not fight for the abolition of the same-sex “marriage” ruling has scandalized even his admirers. He contends that revoking that decision “would probably cause much more problems and dissension and difficulty if we keep pressing it.” He doubles down: “I wouldn’t want to get on a crusader’s tank and try to reverse that.”1

Is Homosexual Tendency Intrinsically Disordered?

This statement by a bishop known for his writings, videos, homilies and cultural comments is even more serious because he made them to David Rubin, a homosexual journalist living in a same-sex “marriage.”2
For Bishop Barron, “if the only thing a gay person hears from the Catholic Church is, ‘you’re intrinsically disordered,’ we’ve got a very serious problem, if that’s what the message has become.”
Contrary to the above statement, the Church has never taught that a person with same-sex attraction is “intrinsically disordered,” but rather his homosexual tendency. To say that someone is “intrinsically” disordered, that is, in their very nature, would mean that God created a disordered nature, which is absurd.

Taking a Principled not a Personal Stand

As practicing Catholics, we are filled with compassion and pray for those who struggle against violent temptation to sin, be it toward homosexual sin or otherwise.
We are conscious of the enormous difference between these individuals who struggle with their weaknesses and strive to overcome them and others who transform their sin into a reason for pride, and try to impose their lifestyle on society as a whole, in flagrant opposition to traditional Christian morality and natural law. However, we pray for them too.
According to the expression attributed to Saint Augustine, we “hate the sin but love the sinner.” And to love the sinner, as the same Doctor of the Church explains, is to wish for him the best we can possibly desire for ourselves, namely, “that he may love God with a perfect affection.” (St. Augustine, Of the Morals of the Catholic Church, no. 49, www.newadvent.org/fathers/1401.htm)

In What Sense Is a Sinner a Child of God?

The Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles added, “The first thing a gay person, like any person, should hear is ‘You’re a beloved child of God.”
In the context in which this statement was made—that is, on a pro-homosexual program—it takes on a dangerous ambiguity. For it does not make clear whether the bishop is referring to a person with a disorderly tendency who resists and does not sin, or to one who actually practices the act against nature.
There is no doubt that all men are children of God. But the sinner is a son in revolt against his Creator, whom he offends by despising His Law. In this state of revolt, he loses divine friendship, sanctifying grace, and is on his way to Hell should he die in such a state.3

A True “Son of God” Is One Who Keeps the Commandments

The words of the Savior are clear and unequivocal: to love Him as a son loves his father, one must keep His words—that is Faith—and His commandments:
“If you love me, keep my commandments.”
“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them; he it is that loveth me.”
“If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him. He that loveth me not, keepeth not my words” (John 14:15212324).

Does Concern With Morals Hinder Evangelization?

Bishop Barron, apparently angered by the protests caused by his statements, posted a response on his blog titled “Dave Rubin, the Pelvic Issues, and Larry David.”
Referring to Catholic sexual morality in a derogatory fashion as “the pelvic issues” is really shocking. In his view, people who care about moral issues hurt evangelization.
He says, “[T]his preoccupation with ‘the pelvic issues’ has served to undermine the work of evangelization.”
With the qualification that he does not scorn morality, he adds, “But I fear that for so many people in the secular world today, religion is reduced to the policing of sexual behavior, and this is massively unfortunate.”
As far as he is concerned, the Sacred Scriptures are not concerned with sexual morality:
“When you read the great evangelizing texts of the New Testament—the Gospels, the Epistles of Paul, the book of Revelation, etc.—you don’t get the impression that what their authors wanted you primarily to understand is sexual morality.”
Now, in his Epistle to the Corinthians, Saint Paul makes it clear that he is talking sexual morality:
“Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers. Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9-10).

Silence on Morality, a Triumph of the Sexual Revolution

Has the silence of the clergy on sexual morals (save for well-deserving exceptions) favored evangelization? On the contrary, one should consider the empty churches and the closure of convents and seminaries for lack of vocations.
This silence has only favored the Sexual Revolution, which keeps advancing and destroying the very foundations and remnants of morality, modesty, and human dignity.
Sexual pleasure is more and more idolized, with ominous consequences: destruction of marriage and the family, exaltation of free love, normalization of all forms of sexual aberration; sexual frenzy no longer respects barriers of age, sex and even species, with an increase in zoophilia.
Modesty—that flower of chastity that at the same time embellishes and protects it—has become virtually unknown. The human body is exposed and exploited by all means through fashion, movies, pictures, in an erotic exhibitionism opposed not only to morality but even to human dignity.

Is Christian Perfection Impossible?

Even more surprisingly, Bishop Barron declares that the Bible is ironical and skeptical in relation to “any claim to human perfectibility.” If that were the case, every effort man makes to sanctify himself with the help of grace would be useless. Nor would it make any sense for the Church to have canonized the saints for having practiced virtue to a heroic degree.

Sympathy for an Advocate of Same-Sex “Marriage”

Bishop Barron is entirely at ease with, and praises a journalist who advocates same-sex “marriage”:
“Dave is a stand-up comedian, political satirist” he says, though recognizing that “He is also an advocate of gay marriage.” He adds that “I am very grateful to Dave Rubin for the interview and the opportunity to explore a number of issues related to faith and society.”
The bishop again refers in a derogatory fashion to those concerned with sexual morality:
“I just hope that his viewers can appreciate that there is a lot more to Christianity than the ‘pelvic issues.’

Hell Is Supposedly Empty…

It is scandalous for a bishop to employ the crude and unworthy “pelvic issues” formula to refer to the divine and natural moral laws that condemn all sexual practice outside marriage, and especially those contrary to nature.
But Bishop Barron’s moral stance is related to his optimistic theory about Hell. Although he is obliged to reject Origen’s theory, condemned by the Church, that at the end of time the reprobates and even demons will be forgiven,4 he adopts its veiled form, espoused by Hans Urs von Balthasar:
“My own conviction is that Balthasar has this more or less right. Catholic doctrine is that Hell exists, but yet the Church has never claimed to know if any human being is actually in Hell.”
For Bishop Barron, “Hell” or “Gehenna” are “spatial metaphors.” He concludes with a formula very close to Origen’s heresy:
“The divine love, freely rejected, results in suffering. And yet, we may, indeed we should, hope that God’s grace will, in the end, wear down even the most recalcitrant sinner.”
Now, if Hell is purely metaphorical and “in the end” all sinners will be saved by grace no matter what state they die in, why worry about what he contemptuously calls “pelvic issues”?
Morality loses all its meaning, as does the notion of sin and offense to God.
Unfortunately, with his statements, the popular apologist has discouraged those opposed to same-sex “marriage” and created confusion about the very foundations of morality.

If a Catholic Politician Has to Resist Same-Sex “Marriage” Why not a Bishop?


In June 3, 2003, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published the document CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING PROPOSALS TO GIVE LEGAL RECOGNITION TO UNIONS BETWEEN HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS, signed by then-Cardinal Ratzinger.
The document is emphatic in the necessity to oppose same-sex “marriage” laws.
In n. 5, Section II it states:
“In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty.”
And in Section IV of the document, with guidance for Catholic Politicians, the document insists:
“When legislation in favour of the recognition of homosexual unions is already in force, the Catholic politician must oppose it in the ways that are possible for him and make his opposition known; it is his duty to witness to the truth.”
If that is the obligation of a layman, a Catholic politician, what to say of the obligation of a Bishop that, by his own office is a guardian of the faith and morals?
Should We Stop Opposing the Ruling Legalizing Same-Sex “Marriage”? Bishop Robert Barron’s Surprising Statements -

Friday, February 3, 2017

Three Reasons Not to Watch Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl Show

by John Horvat II
The Super Bowl is the most-watched television show in the country. As the premier sports event viewed by tens of millions of Americans, it should reflect the nation and its values.
That is not what is happening this year. In fact, for some years now, the organizers of the event have featured performers who send a message representing the most radical anti-family lifestyles and immoral fashions. This year’s choice is especially unfortunate: Lady Gaga.

Lady Gaga will be featured as the principal performer during the 12-minute half-time show this Sunday. The pop star is an outspoken advocate of same-sex “marriage” and the LGBT agenda. Her music and dancers typically represent all that is dark, immoral and bizarre on the pop scene. Moreover, she is expected to politicize her show by using it to criticize the new president. The fact that she will be given this most coveted platform for free to deliver her message is a good reason not to watch the half-time show.
There is another reason to turn off the dial. The nation is polarized and featuring her on this show only creates useless divisions that weaken the nation. It makes no sense to put someone on the stage who ridicules the beliefs, morals and political choices of a sizeable part of the population. America faces major challenges in the days ahead. The Super Bowl should be a clash of teams not moralities. This most important unifying event should serve to unite the nation not divide it.
Finally, there are so many who desire America’s return to order. However, they need to make the connection between morality and entertainment. One of the major reasons America is in such bad shape is because the culture is in the hands of those who destroy morals and promote radical anti-family lifestyles—all in the name of entertainment.
The purpose of entertainment is to provide wholesome repose amid the daily trials and hardships of life. Entertainment should not be hijacked to promote a radical agenda that works against those values and institutions that made America great. It’s not just a show. People need to be consistent in aligning their morals with their entertainment choices.
It is time to stop turning this sporting event into a political statement. After the second quarter, people should exercise their right to turn off Lady Gaga’s half-time show. It has no place in the Super Bowl. It sends the wrong message to the nation.






Three Reasons Not to Watch Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl Show: The Super Bowl is the most-watched television show in the country. As the premier sports event for Americans, it should reflect the nation and its values.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

On a Pilgrimage of Desolation and Growth at Lourdes -



Upon arriving in Lourdes on pilgrimage on a cold, rainy winter day, I was feeling very much the pilgrim. I was cold, tired, and wet. The long trip had been exhausting and the walk in the drizzling rain from the train station to the hotel had drained me of energy.
As I headed to the grotto of Our Lady, I was hoping to find consolation and comfort. However, the place that had been such a source of blessings before, now felt dreary and uninviting. Walking back to the hotel, there was an eerie silence around the sanctuary that left me perplexed. Nothing seemed to be going as planned.
The next morning after a good night’s rest, I returned to discover what others had told me was really true. During the winter, this extremely popular Marian shrine visited by millions is largely empty. There are no rosary processions or other activities. I had come prepared for “empty” but not for “desolate.”
A Desolate Picture
However, that is what I found. During the winter, and especially this very cold winter, Lourdes is absolutely desolate. There is no other word to describe it. All the hotels, restaurants, and shops are shuttered in the general sanctuary area. My own hotel had just two occupants. Almost no one was in the streets. Even the omnipresent souvenir shops were limited to five or six that stayed open for limited hours.
There were times—during the day as well as night—when absolutely no one was in the large basilica plaza that normally holds thousands. At the grotto itself, usually only a few knelt before Our Lady.
And it was freezing. The cold that comes off the river near the Grotto could chill you to the bone. At night, walking the five blocks back to the hotel in the empty streets, I would pray that I would not be attacked in my vulnerability. I later came to the conclusion that not even the thieves thought it worth their while to stalk these cold deserted streets.
Thus, my one-week pilgrimage of desolation began. My last trip had been at the height of the summer when one sees Lourdes in all its glory, full of people, magnificent processions and graces. Now, it felt as if I had walked out of a color picture into a black-and-white print. I would have to endure a pilgrimage quite different from the merely “empty” one that I had planned.
Pilgrimage Inside the Silence
Indeed, it took a little while to get used to the desolation, silence, and cold. As I made my way to the Grotto several times a day, I came to realize there was something very calming and alluring about the shrine without all the “noise” of the crowds. It increasingly drew me there.
When the noise stops, it is easier to notice things. The sanctuary bells seemed to be crisper and more beautiful. Sights like the lighted medieval castle that at night appeared to float on the hill near the sanctuary seemed more fairytale-like. The candles seem to burn with greater intensity.

Although it is probably theologically incorrect, it seemed the prayers at the sanctuary were more unobstructed. You had the sense that your prayers were going straight to Our Lady at the Grotto. There was especially noticeable at night amid the cold when the rest of the world disappeared and only the heavens above could be seen. One night, snow started to fall that only added to this overall impression of calm isolation. You felt that you could stay for hours, but there was always a point when the maternal solicitude of Our Lady intervened and you sensed it was time to leave the cold and return to the warm hotel.
A Tremendous Unburdening
Of course, some things at the sanctuary were still open despite everything. These included the baths. The baths are enclosed shallow stone pools with water from the miraculous spring at the Grotto. Pilgrims are invited to immerse themselves in the pools for healing of mind and body. Usually the baths are full of lines of pilgrims divided by men and women waiting their turn. However, this time I was the only one there.
The baths are a great wonder of Lourdes. The volunteers who help you are extremely respectful and charitable. Everything is done modestly and without any embarrassment. The aproned helpers hold a towel in front of you as you prepare for the bath and then wrap it around you. They lead you to the pool and then ask you to pray with them. You are then told to sit in the pool and the water comes up to your neck.
Wasting Lourdes Water
Thankfully the water was cold but not the icy cold that I expected. The helpers then offered me water from a pitcher to wash my face and drink. I did not receive any special cure after the baths, but I can say I sensed a tremendous unburdening of useless cares that stayed with me throughout the pilgrimage.
I was disappointed by the new arrangements for getting Lourdes water. I had been used to the faucets right near the Grotto from which the water, like graces, flowed exuberantly and abundantly. This is no longer possible since the faucets have been removed and replaced with low volume faucets that will not allow a person to easily fill containers.
According to a brochure, the new faucets allow one to make a symbolic gesture of “washing” and “drinking.” To fill containers one must go to another place some seventy paces away near the river. There was also a sign at both locations warning that water is a precious resource and should not be wasted. Given Our Lady’s spring has delivered millions of gallons of water to the faithful over the decades, it is hard not to see a disturbing ecological overtone to the new instructions…
The Wonders of Lourdes
There are many other wonders at Lourdes. I was, for example, struck at how the favors of Our Lady are literally written in stone. The inside walls of the Basilica, crypt and Rosary Chapel are all sheathed in marble stones engraved with thousands of messages of thanksgiving for graces given and cures received.
There is the marvelous Way of the Cross of life-size cast iron statues that occupies a huge hill next to the sanctuary. Again there was no one around, and I did the way of the cross alone. From the height of the Calvary, I was surprised by a magnificent panorama of the snow-capped Pyrenees Mountains.
And there was the charm of the town itself, the people, and its markets. The town center is some distance from the sanctuary and did have some activity that allowed one to interact with the people. There were also the pilgrims, albeit few, who share in the wonders done there and with whom you can talk. They come from all over the world drawn by Our Lady’s special blessings.
Ask Anything
The pilgrimage of desolation became one of consolation. In the desolate silence, you gradually acquired the habit of thinking, reflecting, and praying. What attracted me the most was the Grotto, which is the heart and soul of Lourdes. When you are almost alone with Our Lady, you experience a kind of sacral intimacy by which you feel you can ask her anything without inhibition. It was easy to spend time asking, asking, and asking yet again. There was time to pray for the crisis inside the Church, for America, and family and friends. And returning to the hotel, you thought of yet more things to ask.
And Our Lady responds by encouraging your petitions. Her statue at the Grotto is discrete, polite, and very French. She looks slightly upward as if to say “ask me anything because I know how to arrange everything with my Son.” And you are compelled to comply.
Desolation or Crowds?
As the weekend approached, however, the “crowds” started to arrive. Sometimes thirty or even fifty people would arrive at a time. After a week of desolation, these few pilgrims seemed like a multitude that broke the desolation. Of course, I would never begrudge these pilgrims their chance to come to the Blessed Mother. But it ironically served to highlight that the desolation I had originally feared was now immensely treasured.
As one who has experienced both the pilgrimage of what might be called triumph (with the crowds) and that of desolation, I asked myself which one was preferable.
I am inclined to say both have their role. There are times in the history of the Church, like our own, that are best expressed by the desolation. It is then when pilgrimages like these teach us to abstract from the noise of the world and be attentive to grace. In the midst of the desolation, we sense a greater need to go straight to Our Lady unobstructed, and this gives us courage.
However, there are other times when the pilgrimage of triumph helps us grow spiritually. We sense the universal mission of the Church that joyfully unites all peoples. We sense the enormous attraction of the Church even in our neo-pagan times. It is good that there be huge triumphant rosary processions to assure us and to create in us the certainty that the Church will prevail despite everything.
In the pilgrimage of our own lives, we all go through times of desolation and triumph. Each has its role, lessons, and special graces. Both are necessary and part of life. The important thing is the object our pilgrimage which is found in Our Lady who leads us to God and heaven. With this in mind, whichever pilgrimage you choose, you will never go away disappointed.






On a Pilgrimage of Desolation and Growth at Lourdes -: On a Pilgrimage of Desolation and Growth at Lourdes