The Sacrament of Marriage

When one opens his heart to a woman and prepares to consecrate the Sacrament of Matrimony the third set of challenges they must overcome together (the first being lust and the second being the mutual selfishness of the future spouses) is a seemingly endless routine of diocese-mandated seminars, classes, and meetings. It is enough to tempt one to try to find an agreeable priest and a handful of witnesses in order to arrange a quick elopement. Alas (or perhaps thankfully) the chances of that are almost nonexistent.

So, one is resigned to sit through TOBIT classes (where unmarried speakers are paid to lecture future couples on how wonderful their bodies are), counseling with sponsor couples (theoretically, a much-needed good idea), and NFP classes (where you are taught to plot graphs on the female cycle despite the fact that there are purchasable mini-computers that will do the hard work for you). The process is not without its merits and there are many items that are there specifically to learn from past mistakes (more on that in a moment), but when there are deficiencies… Boy, Howdy! There are deficeincies.

So, with this said, I’m sure those reading are wondering… Where does the Vigilante stand on so-called NFP now that he is preparing for marriage? Considering that a mere three days ago the infamous sexual revolutionary Hugh Hefner met his eternal reward, what better time could there be to tie in my very strongly-held view on NFP with the American Sexual Revolution?

Part 1:  The Myths of Era-ism
There is an ongoing myth that refuses to die in the popular consciousness: That the decade of the 1950s was (if you are on the political right) a pure upright time of perfection, decency, greatness, and the United States at its finest that was shattered instantly by the onslaught of the “dirty g**damnn hippies”; or (if your leanings are far to the political left) that it was a backwards mini-era where McCarthy and an American gestapo-like organization named the “John Birch Society” could lynch anyone as a communist until the Beatles and the flower power of Rock ‘n Roll liberated society from this backwards existence.

What both these ahistorical fantasies ignore is what was going on in the households of regular, everyday, and newly TV-induced Americans who possessed at-the-time unprecedented luxuries at their disposal. In the post-WWII world, gone were the days when a father was forced to parent his son or watch the consequences of not doing so.  Gone were the days when a man would return from work to gather his children around the fireplace to pray and read the Bible as a family. Gone were the days when men could amuse themselves with fruitful hobbies and give good examples to their children to combat the old adage, “an idle mind is the playground of the devil”. The television was the new hobby, the new altar, the new parent, and the new reality of this decadent time.  A man could work during the day, hit the bar with his buds, and return home to his couch where his wife was sure to have cooked him his dinner; and she would dutifully deliver it to him as good loving wives always had done. The difference between this man and generation before him was that he now had all the benefits and less than half the work.

Why did he have to do any cooking or cleaning? That was a wife’s duty! Why did he need to instill an example of religion in his children through example? That was why he sent his kids to sunday school. Why would he need to ever play with his children? They had friends at school didn’t they? Why did he ever need to learn how to discipline his kid or understand his wife’s womanly feelings? They could both take the back of his hand if they ever got too annoying.

And spiritual fatherhood? You mean like priesthood?  Well, good old “Father O’Insert Irish Name Here” has got that covered. He’s good with young boys. Why, he’s even taken a liking to our little Tommy…

The age of Western greatness had ended, it was buried on the battlefields of 1914-1918. The time of Western Man’s fight for survival was finished. He was now to take his place in a hell of his own choosing, as a breathing vegetable.

Is it any wonder, then, that pornography would catch on like wildfire among such males (or males raised by such males) when made commercially available and socially acceptable? In the Parable of the Sower, Christ demonstrates that plants sown will not prosper unless the ground is made ready. In 1953 the ground was quite fertile for Hugh Hefner to launch the project that would make him a household name.

Image result for 1950s ad family

Pictured: A Playboy subscriber and his family

The sexual revolution had begun. It would take root in the 1950’s with pornographic magazines, under-the-table abortions, and the underground homosexual culture that festered beneath the all-too-perfect image. But it would not achieve a substantial victory until a new twisted perversion of human science (already a cliche in that century by that point): the poison commonly known only as “the pill”. Woodstock did not destroy the bonds of marriage in the average conservative house of the 1960s. The men of such houses were already convincing their wives to poison their wombs, knowing and caring nothing of St. John Chrysostom’s denunciation of this exact thing.

Pope Paul VI would issue the much-needed Humanae Vitae, only to find from the negative backlash within the church that he had been far too late. The smoke of Satan had indeed penetrated the Church. Then Pope John Paul II years later gave a series of talks that would later be known as “Theology of the Body”. It was in the debate over these works that the true deficiencies of marital understanding and teaching among Catholics – both past and present – would be revealed.

Unfortunately (?) this post ran longer than I expected, so I will conclude with Part 2 as soon as I can.

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The Dark Vigilante Returns (Apologies to Frank Miller)

I would like to apologize to my readers for the months-long lack of posts or updates. Life has been… interesting to say the least for the last few months. There is going to be a “whammy” of an entry coming that ties directly into these circumstances.

The blog is still up and running so you can expect posts, but it probably will not be on a weekly basis. I think it better to give fewer and more substantive entries than more regular trite entries. I am not NCR, Rorate, or Patheos. This endeavor is the hobby of one man for no profit. I will give posts whenever I feel I have something important to say.

And, as I am preparing to receive a new Sacrament, I feel I must speak.

Pax Christi

Titus 3:9-11

But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

A Rare Word on World Affairs

It isn’t often that I feel the need to speak on this.  In fact, I started this blog with the intention of mostly avoiding it.  However, I felt I had enough on my mind to say something.

Europe

With the inevitability of Brexit under Theresa May and the very real possibility of an electoral victory by Marine Le Pen in France, the EU bureaucrats are likely sweating profusely underneath their smug frowns.  Although Anti-EU waves were held off in Austria (barely) and the Netherlands (though, Wilders was never going to win outright so that was a foregone conclusion), these amounted to minor victories in a war they are losing everywhere else.  Spain is broke and turbulent as ever with the Basques and Catalans agitating for independence or more de-evolution/federalism, Ireland and Portugal are stuck in bankruptcy and irrelevancy, it is only a matter of time before the Greeks decide it is better to be broke and free than to be a slave but broke anyway, and then Italy at some point is going to collapse financially.  It is not a matter of if but when.  When it happens, Deutsche Bank falls and the EU falls with it.

This is only part of the picture.  Those who have followed the EU and the declining birth rates in Europe (see Pat Buchanan’s ‘Death of the West’) have known for at least 15-20 years that Europe has been headed towards a series of civil wars.  The only question for the longest time was where it would begin, with the most level-headed suspecting France.  Whether Le Pen wins or not, this is already true if one looks at how many ordinary French people have been killed by Islamist attacks in the past two years.  That nation is in the opening stages of a civil war that will ignite whether Le Pen wins and rallies the French people against the invader or Macron wins and has the French security forces lie down and take it.  Upon the aforementioned and inevitable collapse of Italy and the Deutsche Bank the chaos and bloodletting will spread next to Germany.  There, the brow-beaten people will need to decide whether to confront the fact that a little nationalism is not the worst thing imaginable when their very lives are at stake.  The other northern and western nations of Europe will all face similar scenarios while the southern bankrupt ones will go their own way and face their problems on their own.

And then there is Eastern Europe, more specifically the mini-Bloc of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.  All four nations are generally weaker than the west and accept handouts on a regular basis.  But, faced with the threat of taking in thousands of Islamist migrants who will never integrate, they have shown themselves willing to spurn the aid and deny the western nations’ demands.  It would be unwise to underestimate the ability or the will of Eastern Europe to defy Western Europe as the former have recently experienced savagery far beyond that which the west has.  The East has living memory of Stalin, life behind the Iron Curtain, brutal repression, underground Christians, and the fight to bring down tyranny.  They have known brutal and murderous leaders, and thus the threats of the polished, clean cut, limp-wristed, western Eurocrats likely have them laughing.  Besides, with the events going on in the Ukraine and Russia, Poland has far more pressing and immediate security concerns from a truly capable military force run by a leader not afraid to use it.  To them and Hungary, the whining of cushy Western European leaders about “reproductive rights” or “migrants’ rights” is a mere annoyance.

What then of Britain, who has managed to break free of the EU and has seemingly begun a bold path forward?  The bad news is that they have too many migrants, proportionally more even than many of their EU counterparts.  Unfortunately, these migrants are not all poor Polish handymen or Hindus from India opening tasty Masala Shops and Indo-Pak grocery marts, but a great number of Pakistanis and others from Islamist nations.  Any dreams that perhaps they won’t be as radicalized is pure fantasy.  Some of the most radical of them are in the UK.  The UK is headed for a bloodbath possibly as bad as the ones France and Germany will undergo.

Only Eastern Europe has the possibility of being spared much of the Islamist civil war in their own countries.  If nations like Hungary, Ukraine, or Poland could heal the wounds left by Communism, throw off Western and American materialism/liberalism/progressivism, and rediscover the Faith of their fathers then they could be the saviors of any sort of the old European Christian culture.  The American Order has failed miserably in Europe.  Materialism and rationalism turned out to be false gods, Globalism is an impossible joke, and any notion that Muslims from war-torn hellholes can understand – much less live – Enlightenment ideas of a decrepit and prosperous West is only clung to by elitists in their ivory towers and TV-fed middle class brainwashed fools.

Only morality, the Faith, and security in who they are can save the Europeans.  Without these, even the entire US and Russian nuclear arsenals are nothing.

To be Continued…

 

 

 

 

Calling Spades Spades

There is a belief, held by some, that one day the Roman mass as promulgated under Pope Paul VI will one day be rolled back and the “Traditional Latin Mass” restored as the only Rite of the West.  Aside from the fact that the pre-existing Rites of Milan and Toledo make this an impossibility (unless these traditionalists wish to squash venerable tradition), reality makes this an impossibility.  The Reformists in the Vatican like Cardinal Sarah and those who they will inevitably form will have no desire to try to restore the Rite of Trent and wind the clock back to 1570 (or 1870) and will instead likely work on fixing many of the deficiencies in the Roman Rite.

Maybe we will live to see Septuagesima imported into the Roman Rite or enforcement of Ad Orientum worship.   Maybe there will be grounded and logical rules for when to use Eucharistic Prayers I-III while either making the never-used Eucharistic Prayer IV extinct or giving it the same treatment the Byzantine Rite gives to the Anaphora of St. James: extremely restricted but venerated use.  Maybe Communion in the hand will be recognized as the bad idea it is and maybe… the ancient tradition of Infant Communion can finally be restored (one can dream) instead of ecclesiastics trying to push for communing the divorced and remarried (I could rant for hours on this point).

The Rite of Trent is here to stay, as is the Rite of Rome.  The two will exist side-by-side in the same Church with priests likely having the liberty to say either.  The Rite of Rome will develop and might even work in older rituals from the The Rite of Trent, but to think that it will be cast aside by a Pius IX returning from his grave is pure fantasy.  Those who hold on to such beliefs will go the way of the sedevacantists, the conclavists, or Bishop Williamson and his “resistance”.

This is not without precedent either.  The same thing happened in the Muscovite Church and is still the rule.  Those wishing to hold to the Old Rituals may do so in that church and those who believe that church fell when the New Rituals were adopted have remained in their own severed (and sometimes priestless) communities.  This allowance of different rituals even extends into the tiny Russian-Greek Catholic Church and has ever since Pius X welcomed them in.

Everything new is old and everything old is new again.

Besides, Old Believers do it better than 1950’s obsessed Latin Massers anyway

What further solidifies the poly-Ritualist nature of the Roman Church is the emergence of a new and beautiful Rite few could have foreseen:  that used by the Anglican Ordinariates.  When attending this Rite’s Masses I have wondered if this was what Bouyer and Jungmann imagined when they undertook their liturgical movement, but one can never know.  If circumstances ever require me to leave Kievan Byzantium for a time, then I sincerely hope it is either to here or a reform-minded Roman Rite parish.  I am personally forever done with the Rite of Trent, or rather, the culture and polemics one must deal with in most such communities.

Traditionalists will one day learn to live with this reality God has willed.  If they do not, they will forever condemn themselves to the fate of the still severed Old Ritualists or to 1950’s American caricatured liturgical and cultural ghettos.

And is a ghetto truly what Christ had in mind when he said to “go out and preach to all nations”?

The Problem with being a Vigilante

“I don’t know about sides. I go my own way; but your way may go along with mine for a while. … Wizards are always troubled about the future. I do not like worrying about the future. I am not altogether on anybody’s side, because nobody is altogether on my side, if you understand me: nobody cares for the woods as I care for them, not even Elves nowadays. Still, I take more kindly to Elves than to others … And there are some things, of course, whose side I am altogether not on; I am against them altogether: these — burárum” (he again made a deep rumble of disgust) “— these Orcs, and their masters”

 – The Two Towers, JRR Tolkein

There is no “crowd” in the Catholic Church into which I fit conveniently.  No stereotype describes my position and there is no article that details the ground on which I stand.  I am where I am through my own choices, at the command of my own conscience, and as a result of my own conclusions.  Many others in life have had great impact on me, providing me with knowledge of which I knew not and giving me invaluable resources from to learn. Every time though, I have drawn my own conclusions whether it agreed with their own or not.

However, I am beholden to no faction or clique in the Church.  “Trads” generally consider my views too “liberal” and Ratzingerian, but I would undoubtedly be cast as a “Rad Trad” in the average diocesan parish.  I am sympathetic to many things about the SSPX and will defend their sacramental validity, yet I find their understanding of the problems in the Church to be incomplete and too narrowly focused.  I have little opinion of Taize, have skepticism towards the Charismatic movement, rejoice at the reintroduction of the Chalice for Communion but loathe Communion in the hand, am a proponent of Intinction, have absolutely no opinion on the “issue” of communing standing or sitting, believe the reintroduction of Deacons as more than just senior seminarians in the Latin Church was a good step that didn’t go far enough, believe worship should be ad orientem (which would include allowing it to “face the people” if it means facing east), believe that the trads should allow more vernacular but that the mainstream parishes should introduce some Latin, am in favor of lay readers but not lay Eucharistic Ministers under most circumstances, hold the belief that most of Vatican II is good minus a couple unfortunate documents while Vatican I is technically correct but caused even more damage than its sequel, and finally believe that both past and present popes both can and have been heretics.

With these beliefs, I hope it is easy to see why I gravitated so naturally towards the Christian “East”.  There are issues there, to be sure, but far less of the above variety.  Those will burn anyone out as they burned me out.  There is really no place in the Roman Church where I would feel fully at home as a disillusioned former “Trad” and be able to escape always hearing about these controversies (perhaps the Anglican Ordinariate, perhaps… or a remote monastery).

I have had to consider this recently as the possibility of a life-changing event that could potentially force me to consider attending a “regular” parish has entered the realm of possibility.  I will need to pray for God’s guidance on this, but such an event would be a long way off.  It could also be subject to change.  Who knows?

God’s will in all things, I suppose.  Whatever that may be…

Mid-Lent Update

This Great Fast has been a fruitful one that has brought out much direction for me spiritually, physically, and even emotionally.  There is a great Lenten prayer I have found helps me in the times where my own personal sin assaults viciously.

Nicene Creed

Our Father

Three Ave’s

Glory Be

The Agony in the Garden

Our Father

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner x10

Glory Be

The Scourging at the Pillar

Our Father

Lord Jesus Christ, scourged at the pillar, have mercy on me a sinner x10

Glory Be

The Crowning with Thorns

Our Father

Lord Jesus Christ, crowned with thorns, have mercy on me a sinner x10

Glory Be

The Carrying of the Cross

Our Father

Lord Jesus Christ, condemned to death, have mercy on me a sinner x10

Glory Be

The Crucifixion 

Our Father

Lord Jesus Christ, crucified for us, have mercy on me a sinner x10

Glory Be

Salve Regina

 

Use it if you want and continue to persevere in the Fast.