Must read of the day: Communion in the hand is an abominable practice

Ever wonder how this despicable manner of receiving Communion became the default mode in the Catholic Church? Read this article by Fr. Heilman.

I pray that priests abandon this practice, just as I pray that Vatican II will be dumped (hopefully in my lifetime).

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I suck at evangelising: adventures in trying to explain the Trinity and the BVM

How is it possible that someone who grew up Catholic, went to Catholic school all her life, was educated by strict nuns, read the Catechism of Pope Pius X last year after returning to the Church, and has been doing a LOT of spiritual reading in order to deepen her faith, has on at least two occasions totally blew it when it came to trying to convert (gently) her non-Catholic husband? It would be utterly tragic if it weren’t so funny.

In my defense, the chances I’ve had of evangelising and converting came in the form of a series of ambushes (accompanied by heavy artillery) from the my significant  other.

(1) ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) with nuclear warhead: the Trinity

This query about the Trinity came in the form of an ICBM, least appropriately, over a lunch of ramen noodles in tiny, hot noodle bar. The question posed to me by Dear Husband (DH) was about the Trinity.

trinity

“What’s the deal with the Trinity? If the Son came from the Father, why didn’t the Father just speak as if he were the Son? Why did the Son talk about His Father when HE is HE, that is, they are the same?” DH asked.

I explained that indeed they are one essence although they are not one person, but three persons – not like three human persons, although one of them has a human nature. I explained further: the Holy Ghost hovered like a dove over Our Lord at his baptism and came to the Apostles, the Virgin Mary and the disciples at Pentecost.

Second ICBM lobbed at me by DH: “Why if he is the Son of God, or God himself did He get baptised by a mere human, St. John the Baptist?” My answer: “Ehhhh . . . ” followed by loud slurping of noodles . . . “Ehhh because He well . . . wanted to set an example.”) Disaster. Floundering on the sea of ignorance, me, cradle Catholic. Very embarrassed. Our Lord has a right to expect better from me and I just failed.

Result: When I got home, I opened “The Catechism Explained by Fr. Spirago” and read about the Trinity, and I’m better informed, but I still cannot explain it in a way that will satisfy DH or anyone who is deeply skeptical about the existence of God in the first place, as is DH.

(2) Short range missile: did the Blessed Virgin Mary ever get baptised?

Oh dear, that’s a good one. I never even thought of that. This short-range missile was fired by DH from the other side of a table at a French restaurant as we were enjoying a main course of beef cheek simmered in red wine. We had already gone through half a bottle of very good Burgundy. I’m a lightweight when it comes to alcohol, so I was tipsy when I was attempting to plumb the depths of my memory about the BVM’s baptism: no, I don’t recall there ever having been any mention of the BVM’s baptism, but I do know why she didn’t have to be baptised. Let me see . . . why exactly is that? My memory fails me. I just know. Clock is ticking. DH is staring at me, smiling, “Gotcha!”is going through his head.

So this is what I said: “Well, there is a Baptism of Desire . . . ” I knew the second after these words came out of my mouth that it was a big FAIL. DH laughed heartily. I could see from his expression and discern from his laughter that he thinks Catholicism is totally wacky.

I’m suddenly plunged into a deep sorrow, while savouring the beef cheek stewed in red wine. My glass is starting to empty and DH fills it with more wine. There won’t be any more discussions about the BVM (or indeed the Trinity) tonight!

Only later (once the alcohol has worn off) did I remember that the BVM was born without original sin, hence, no need for baptism. Hey, why didn’t the fine bottle of Burgundy insert that answer into my head at the moment the short range missile was fired at me?

On both occasions, my Jewish husband got terrible answers from me and as a result, I don’t think he is any closer to converting to Catholicism. However, he does love the old beautiful churches of Rome, the works of Michelangelo and Fra Angelico and Massacio, Gregorian chant, Baroque music, especially the cantatas of Bach, Matthaeus Passion, Weihnachtsoratorium, . . . there is hope!

I do pray for his conversion everyday, and I try to live my life as an example of a good Catholic. Hopefully, he will convert.

Book Review: Celebrating a Merry Catholic Christmas

If you are curious about the customs and feast days of Advent and Christmas, and you want to prepare yourself and your family for a truly fruitful (and fun) Advent and Christmas, this book by Father William Saunders is exactly what you need. It isn’t a long book. I finished it in a couple of days.

Some of the topics covered:

  • Origins of Advent
  • Symbolism of the Advent wreath (holly, ivy, and the four candles)
  • Suggestions for a good Advent preparation
  • Special Role of St. Joseph
  • Christmas greenery and plants
  • Octave before Christmas (the O Antiphons, Vespers)
  • Origins of the Christmas creche
  • Christmas tree
  • St. Nicholas (Santa Claus)

If you have children, I think it would be great to read parts of the book to them. Many of our traditions go back several centuries and the stories behind them are fascinating. Father Saunders also offers spiritual reflections that will make this Advent and Christmas more meaningful. Moreover, he doesn’t stop at the Nativity, but also devotes several chapters to the Feast of the Holy Family, The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, The Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, The Epiphany, the Baptism of Our Lord and Candlemas Day (the feast of the Presentation).

Get the book now:

celebrating a merry catholic christmas

Celebrating a Merry Catholic Christmas: A Guide to the Customs and Feast Days of Advent and Christmas by Father William Saunders

Anthony Esolen marooned on Planet Novus Ordo

Poor Anthony Esolen! I sympathise with the horror he felt while attending a Novus Ordo “Mass” in a hotel, and because it was so awful, he turned it into one of the funniest pieces I have read about the bastardisation of the Roman Rite:

A church lady stood at the lectern and began to Announce Things, including the name of the priest. She also instructed us that at Our Lady of Perpetual Motion, we do not kneel after Communion—lest we show undue honor to the Lord? We were to remain standing until Father was seated, in order to show our unity with others whose order-numbers were still to be called at the In-and-Out . . .

The Second Vatican Council’s document on the liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, says that Latin is the language of the Church. There was no Latin. It says that the pipe organ is best fitted for worship, for its grandeur. There was no music on the organ. There was a woman playing the piano, in that style befitting a hotel lounge or a posh funeral parlor, tinklety-tinkly ninths and elevenths and swoon. SC says that the people in charge of the music should avail themselves of the vast treasury of Christian hymns. There was one true hymn, the opening, while the other three were show tunes, slovenly, effeminate, unfit for the liturgy, and impossible for a congregation of both sexes; but that was all right, since Beverly Sills was at the microphone, drowning out every other voice, and holding the whole notes at the ends of verses just as long, long, long as her breath held out, or until the consummation of the world, whichever would come first.

Read the entire piece:

50 Years of Effect and Infertile Liturgical Culture is Enough

My own experience one Easter Sunday:

Please no more guitar masses!

 

Must read of the day: Catholic critique of the Charismatic movement

It has always mystified me how Catholics can attend charismatic prayer meetings. Maybe it’s the emotional frenzy, the noise, and the frightening fervour of the crowd that turn me off. It’s like a rock concert without good music. But the reason why Catholics should stay away from them is this: the premises of the Charismatic movement go against the teachings of the Catholic Church. 

Today’s required reading is a post by Peter Kwasniewski entitled Confusion about Graces: A Catholic Critique of the Charismatic Movement. In the post, he includes the full homily preached by a traditional Catholic priest on the Catholic understanding of charisms or special spiritual gifts and a list of articles about the theological, spiritual and liturgical problems of the Charismatic movement.

Excerpts:

“The Church’s teaching on the charismatic gifts, supported by St. Thomas Aquinas and the writings of the great saints, theologians, and mystics, is that these gifts belong to what is classified as “extraordinary graces,” that is, graces that are freely given by God to a person for the specific purpose of the sanctification of another soul, not the sanctification of the person who has the gift. These gifts are distinct from sanctifying grace. As we know, sanctifying grace (or charity) renders our souls pleasing to God: it is a reflection of God’s very life in the soul and remains there as long as there is no mortal sin to drive it out. In other words, sanctifying grace is ordinary and extended to all souls for the purpose of their own personal sanctification and salvation. We need it in order to go to heaven and it can increase in us with the performance of penance and good works. This is the key distinction and of extreme importance in understanding the matter: sanctifying grace is for our own holiness, the charismatic gifts are for the sanctification of another . . .”

“Therefore, speaking in tongues, if it is authentic, is never under the form of unintelligible gibberish claimed as adoration or praise of God, which is what usually happens at charismatic revivals. The gift of tongues deals with intelligible languages, meaning the language possesses an order by which it can be known and understood. Aside, then, from the fact that gibberish draws attention to the person who is speaking, we must look first of all to the fact that God gives us intellect and will because Hedesires from His rational creation intelligent and volitional worship. Unintelligible gibberish completely fails in this regard. Secondly, there is no purpose to it, no instruction is being given to another; nor is there any place for the gift of interpretation of the tongue because that gift is to make sure what is being taught is understood in the correct way (in other words, the gift of interpretation is a protection from the Spirit of Truth against heresy). And furthermore, we must beware that demons can influence a person to speak a language he or she does not know, and this can easily happen to people who desire to possess these gifts. That is why this gift must always be connected with the expounding of the Faith, and if conditions are otherwise, the gift is not from God nor is it authentic. It should be obvious, then, why the Church’s scrutiny and judgment in these matters is of great importance, and why a silence by Church authority concerning the proliferation of so-called “charisms,” or worse, an endorsement of them, can lead many souls astray.”

 

All Saints, All Souls, the Four Last Things and why don’t people go to confession

When was the last time your parish priest talked about the Four Last Things? If you, like me, go to Mass at a Novus Ordo parish in a very large diocese that has exactly ZERO Latin masses, you will hear about the last judgement, heaven and hell so rarely that you may be tempted to believe that they do not exist. After all, the man whom the cardinals elected to be Pope, and the cardinals themselves, seem to be too busy dealing with worldly matters.

Many priests don’t want frighten Catholics with what they consider to be medieval folk tales. It’s harder to ignore Heaven and Hell when you assist at Mass in one of Europe’s cathedrals, say, Saint Cecilia in Albi, where you have no choice but to gaze at a gigantic mural of the Last Judgement while Father is drifting off into another sermon about migrants and the environment. Indeed, sermons about the lives of saints are exceedingly rare, too, because veneration of saints is so  . . . pre-Vatican II. Never mind that the saints have always been held up by the Church of the ages as models for us to emulate, whose assistance we are urged to seek for the sake of our souls.

So the priests prattle on about worldly things and  the New Age version of mercy, which is twisted and grotesque, because it is never balanced by justice. If you end up thinking that God will have mercy on you no matter what you do, you are in very big trouble.

I wonder often if this is reason there is hardly anyone else going to Confession on Sunday at my parish church. I go about every 2 weeks and I’m the only one waiting outside the Confessional (twice I saw one other person – not the same one). There are two possibilities: (1) I belong to a parish filled with saintly people who never commit sins; or (2) the people who go to Church every Sunday and take Communion (most of them do, by the way) do not believe that it’s necessary to go to Confession. I am afraid for their souls and I pray that they take the Four Last Things more seriously and go to Confession. Now, if most of them are saints anyway and never commit sins, well, what a fortunate woman I am to be assisting at a Mass filled with living saints!

By contrast, every time I go to the traditional Latin Mass (in America, Europe or Asia), the queues for Confession are long! Oh, those “rigid” trads (in the words of PF). I always make it a point to arrive well ahead of time because I like to spend at least 20 minutes before Mass praying the Rosary.

This brings me to some posts I wrote last November which still apply today. Please read them:

Autumn, All Souls, the Four Last Things

Why doesn’t anyone talk about the Last Judgement anymore?

Autumn is here

 

Must read of the day: 60 years since the death of Pius XII

Bishop Donald Sanborn has written an excellent article summarising what has happened to the Catholic Church in the 60-year period since the death of Pope Pius XII. In the article, Bishop Sanborn describes his own reaction to the liturgical changes, from first noticing that there was something “Protestant” about the Mass during the first Sunday in Advent 1964 (when Modernist changes began to creep in) to understanding completely what Vatican II was really about.

Like many people today who are nauseated by the scandals in the Church, the liturgical abuses, the emptying of monasteries and parishes over the decades, and who are only now putting the pieces of a puzzle together, it took Bishop Sanborn several years to acknowledge the true horror of Vatican II:

During the years that followed I strove, as nearly everyone did at the time, to see Vatican II in a positive light, and to try to make sense of it. There are still many who do the same now. When I was in the Modernist seminary, however, I saw what Vatican II was all about. I saw its deeply radical and corrupt nature. I saw that it was not merely a question of changing accidental forms in the Church, but a true revolution, doctrinal, moral, spiritual, and liturgical. I fought it as much as I could. Even upon entering Ecône in 1971, however, I still entertained the fantasy that somehow Paul VI did not assent to all of the evils in the Church, and that it was the “bad bishops” who were doing all the harm.

Bishop Sanborn then goes on to analyse what the Modernists did to the Church. He does not let Pius XII completely off the hook, rather he lays out the good and the bad in the late pontiff’s reign (the bad: Pius XII was a weak and indecisive). For instance, Pius XII made terrible appointments: Bugnini as Secretary of the Commission for Liturgical Reform in 1948; Montini (Paul VI) and Woytjla (JPII) as bishops; Roncalli (John XXIII) as cardinal. These men were Modernists.

What’s wrong with Modernism, you say? Here Bishop Sanborn summarises its deadly effect on Catholics:

 

The Church since October 9th, 1958. The Modernists dynamited the idyllic world of Roman Catholicism . . . With consummate pride they decided that Catholicism could not survive the modern world unless it changed itself to fit the modern world. This is the fundamental principle of modernism, and all of its heresies flow therefrom.

The “operating system” — to borrow a word from computers — of the modern world is subjectivism, that is, the denial of even the possibility of objective truth. Something is not true unless it is true for you, that is, it conforms to your personal experiences.

When applied to dogma and morals, the effect is absolutely lethal. To conform the Catholic Church to subjectivist thinking is to inject a deadly serum into its veins. Hence what we have seen since 1958 is the gradual death of Catholicism. Orthodoxy, which is the assent of faith given to Catholic doctrine, is dead.

Read the entire article: Sixty years since the death of Pius XII by Bp. Sanborn

Letter from a faithful young priest

Required reading for today is an article in OnePeterFive by Peter Kwasniewski who posted a letter from a faithful young priest from the battle lines of the faith.

Here are excerpts:

I recently discovered that the examination of conscience provided by my current parish to penitents never references unchastity even once. Abortion is on the list of sins, but unfaithfulness to one’s spouse is not on the list. Instead, it says “non-exclusive love of spouse,” which is rather ambiguous. Contraception is completely missing. So is immodesty in dress, speech, or behavior. So are homosexual acts, bestiality, pornography, and masturbation. The vaguely termed “disrespect of sexual dignity” is on the list. I also learned from experience that this entire “soft approach” has all been carefully calculated. The word “dignity,” in particular, is suggestive of the pro-homosexual Dignity movement.

The use of fuzzy terms is deliberate. The priests don’t want to offend people who should be warned and chastised. They don’t want to shock. They don’t want to tell people what is really wrong with them that will lead them to eternal death.

If someone is dying of a deadly disease that can be cured with antibiotics, would a doctor tell him, “You have a disorder of the body. Just go home and take a rest”? Of course not. The doctor would diagnose his illness as specifically as possible, then prescribe antibiotics – the right kind and right dosage specific to the disease! If he had just sent the patient home with a vague diagnosis and prescribed herbal tea, such a doctor would be charged with malpractice and he would lose his license. Then, the relatives of the poor deceased patient would sue him.

But the confessional is exactly the place where priests should be doing the spiritual diagnosis and prescribing the treatment. According to the letter of this young priest, they are failing.

Another excerpt:

In one parish’s missal, I have seen the words “man” and “men” crossed out, and gender-neutral pronouns assigned to our beloved Savior. Deacons have been trained to say that Jesus Christ became “human” instead of “man,” and our people are told to say “for us and for our salvation” instead of “for us men and for our salvation,” as the approved text has it. Even staff members refuse to call priests “Father.” This is not uncommon in parishes, at least in the northeast USA.

Once again we see here the deliberate ambiguity which is designed to allow people to simply make up their own minds about everything, such as ignoring the most obvious chromosomal differences between men and women, and changing the words in the Bible itself. This is the triumph of relativism that Bishop Sanborn forcefully denounced in his sermon, The Role of the Priest in the Church.

Last excerpt from the letter of young priest who diagnosed the illness in the Catholic Church accurately:

Vast numbers of clergy have never read a single work by Aristotle or Aquinas, or any magisterial work prior to 1960 – and because they were formed in a secular, non-classical, anti-ecclesial, non-liturgical, non-literary, atheistic culture posing as Catholicism, they have absorbed its thinking and internalized its lies. Their souls are full of stumbling blocks placed there by heretics. They have become intellectually and morally bankrupt and are in no way suited to be pastors of souls. There is no rapport, no common language or common ground with them, because the very ground for knowing the real is denied by them. They think primarily with slogans. For generations, they have not been doing the primary thing they are supposed to do: uphold the apostolic traditions. Their predecessors rejected their own identity as priests and bishops a generation ago and accepted themselves as well dressed community activists and fundraisers who were content to possess priestly character and enjoy the trappings of Catholicism without the Faith. Some of them were successful at these things – so successful that they attracted the attention of the pope, who made them monsignors, bishops, even cardinals. The popes should have looked for piety in bestowing honors upon the clergy, but instead they looked for money, diplomatic skills, secular political connections, and willingness to submit to power.

You call it an apostasy, and rightly so. Let us call a spade a spade. It is time to decry modernism in the clergy, and every modernist priest must be denounced, whether or not it is his fault that he is one. Culpability cannot be taken into account when so many souls are endangered. The surest way to do this is for a pope to repeal Vatican II and its attached postconciliar pronouncements. By “repeal,” of course I do not mean delete it from the list of councils; I mean to cease to render it a springboard for implementing constant change, and to relegate it to a position of impotence in the practical life of the Church. It shall no longer be quoted in catechisms or taught in schools; it shall be a quaint museum piece for scholars of the future to discuss over tea. If there is anything in it that sheds light on the Catholic faith better than any other council or pope, I would like to know what it is; surely, fifty years would have been enough time to discover it. Bishop Barron keeps saying councils take one hundred years to have any effect; people like him say this merely to evade the present disaster. This “one hundred years” statement is pure nonsense; it is not based on historical evidence. Regardless, since it was never meant to teach anything definitively or to condemn anything definitively, Vatican II as an ecumenical council stands in contradiction to its own essence, which is to be magisterial.

So repeal it. If this is done, many priests and bishops who worship the holy twins (Roncalli and Montini) will form a schism. The ones who stay with the Church will truly reform her.

That’s correct. We begin by dumping Vatican II and pulling out all of the roots of Modernism, denounced by Pope Saint Pius X, as the “synthesis of all heresies.”

Must read of the day: the end of the Vatican II sect

RIP, Vatican II Catholicism (1962-2018) by Peter Kwasniewski (author of Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness: Why the Modern Age Needs the Mass of Ages) lays out succinctly why the Vatican II sect is NOT the Catholic Church of the ages. Here is an excerpt:

Today, in 2018, we are reaping the putrid fruits of this loss of faith, this lack of self-control, this stripping away of all asceticism and warfare from the Christian vision of life, this foolish optimism that rippled through the Church of the 1960s and begot the demon offspring of “Nietzschean Catholicism.” It has been a continual compromise with the reigning forces of liberalism, a chipping away at the demands of the Gospel, a suppression of hard truths and the love of God for His own sake and above all things. The end is nothing-worship—the nihilism concentrated in the unforgettable image of a priest, later a cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, abusing a boy who happened to be the first person he baptized two weeks after his ordination.

Finally, Mr. Kwasniewski acknowledges what to me (and other people) is obvious:

For a long time, I thought John Paul II and Benedict XVI were fighting the good fight against this revolutionary reinterpretation of Christianity, but after a few high-profile interreligious meetings, osculations of the Koran, book-length interviews with dialectical answers to every question, and other such indicators, I lost my enthusiasm for them as pastors, whatever I might have admired in their philosophical or theological writings (which, however you slice it, are not the primary job of a pope).

Not only that, Mr. Kwasniewski provides a nifty list of men who were made bishop and cardinal by “saint” JPII, soon-to-be-saint Paul VI, and by Ratzinger and Bergoglio. It’s a rogues’ gallery, if you ask me. By the fruits of the tree, you will know that the seed is rotten, as is the tree.

Prelate Created Bishop By Created Cardinal By
Theodore McCarrick Paul VI John Paul II
Angelo Sodano Paul VI John Paul II
Tarcisio Bertone John Paul II John Paul II
Pietro Parolin Benedict XVI Francis
William Levada John Paul II Benedict XVI
Marc Ouellet John Paul II John Paul II
Lorenzo Baldisseri John Paul II Francis
Ilson de Jesus Montanari Francis
Leonardo Sandri John Paul II Benedict XVI
Fernando Filoni John Paul II Benedict XVI
Dominique Mamberti John Paul II Francis
Francesco Coccopalmerio John Paul II Benedict XVI
Giovanni Lajolo John Paul II Benedict XVI
Vincenzo Paglia John Paul II
Edwin O’Brien John Paul II Benedict XVI
Renato Raffaele Martino John Paul II John Paul II
Donald Wuerl John Paul II Benedict XVI
Paul Bootkoski John Paul II
John Myers John Paul II
Kevin Farrell John Paul II Francis
Seán O’Malley John Paul II Benedict XVI
Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga John Paul II John Paul II
Blase Cupich John Paul II Francis
Joseph Tobin Benedict XVI Francis
Robert McElroy Benedict XVI
Edgar Peña Parra Benedict XVI
John Nienstedt John Paul II
Jorge Bergoglio John Paul II John Paul II

Sermons for the Feast of the Holy Rosary

October 7 is the Feast of the Holy Rosary. I found three great sermons on the Rosary by Rev. Francis X. Weninger.

Here is his book on feast day sermons which you can download:

Original, short and practical sermons for every feast of the Ecclesiastical year – 3 sermons for every feast) by Rev. F.X. Weninger, S.J., Doctor of Theology, 2nd edition 1882.

I find the PDF format (which are scanned pages of the book) best of all the formats since you can print out only those pages that pertain to a particular feast. The text, EPUB and Kindle formats are garbled and unreadable.

Each sermon for the Feast of the Holy Rosary focuses on what we should be meditating on when we pray the 3 sets of mysteries. In the first sermon, Fr. Weninger talks about the Joyous Mysteries; in the second sermon, the Sorrowful Mysteries and in the 3rd sermon, the Glorious Mysteries. Since this book was published in 1882, there is no “spirit of Vatican II” nonsense in it.

You should just print out these 3 sermons and keep them handy for when you pray the Rosary.

(Note: If you have not read it yet, go to Classic Catholic Sermons You Can’t Live Without which has links to both of Father Weninger’s books, which you can download for free.)