Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Purgatory is Real and Those Poor Souls Need Prayers

The Church teaches that those unfortunate souls that do not go straight to Heaven, but are fortunate enough to avoid the fires of Hell, are in Purgatory. In Purgatory, they will suffer for their past transgressions until their souls have been purified, perfected, and made worthy to enter into Heaven. For some souls, Purgatory is a pit-stop, for others a temporary home.

Purgatory

While in Purgatory, souls rely on the prayers of the faithful here on Earth to help guide them along in their purification. Without these prayers, they become stuck.

Eventually what will happen is that a soul that is in Purgatory will have no living relatives on Earth that remember them due to decades passing by and generational gaps. They become forgotten and are left in the torments of Purgatory, waiting…

Because we are able to pray for the repose of their souls, we should pray for them as often as we can. In addition to praying for those souls by name, we should include all deceased relatives in our blood line in our prayers. You can be certain that your deceased relatives are prayed for, even the ones who you have never met.

Many of us are far from perfect and by the grace of God will depend on Purgatory. Ending up in Purgatory is why we must stand vigilant in our prayer and stay strong in the face of temptation. Only one mortal sin is enough to send us to Hell.

Attend confession as often as needed. Confess your sins, both mortal and venial in type and number regularly. Make frequent confession a habit.

Make prayer a daily habit. Pray the rosary daily and invest yourself in the Brown Scapular. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel mentions she will assist you and guide you out of Purgatory if you are devoted to her Brown Scapular.

Our Lady of Carmel Saving Souls From Purgatory

Remember, our time on Earth is short. Pray for souls in Purgatory and teach your children to do the same. If you are fortunate enough to end up in Purgatory, you will need all the prayers that you can get. Unlike the souls in Hell, the hope that you will have is that Heaven is on the other side.

Jeff August 23, 2014 Leave A Comment Permalink

Living Out Your Faith Isn’t the Only Way To Win Souls

Somewhere along the line, many leaders in the Church forgot about the need for proper evangelization. That is, to make proselytites.

Now, I want to be clear, we are not to force people to convert. That is not how proper conversion works based on our understanding of the sacraments needing free will in order to be valid.

Many in the Church today are under the false ideology that if we only live authentic Catholic lives, that that is all we need in order to win over souls. We don’t need to meet people where they’re at, we don’t need to even try to convince them of why they should become Catholic. This is erroneous and a danger to the souls of those who we should be trying to convert.

As a convert myself, it was not the idea of Catholics being hunky dory that led to my conversion. What led to my conversion was the deep shame I had for my sins and the realization that I would never be the same for committing them. On top of that, I felt guilty for my actions and didn’t feel that I was worthy of Heaven.

My friend eventually told me that I needed the saving waters of Baptism to not only cleanse me of Original Sin, but of the sins that I had committed.  On top of that I needed to worship the Triune God, in His Son’s Church, the Catholic Church. This is what drew me into the Catholic Church. Not a life of happiness, but of second chances.

It is rare that we choose a life-changing event based on how happy we see others doing it. This idea that we only need to live an authentically joyful life in order to win over souls, is not something that Christ preached:

Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. Matthew 28:19-20 DR

There are two figures who can shed more light on this.

Mother Theresa interacted with many people both directly and indirectly. I have never met her, but have heard the stories of those who have, as well as have heard her speak. Likewise, I was not Catholic when Pope St. John Paul 2 was alive. Nevertheless, I can read what he had to write and hear what he had to say.

Pope St. John Paul II and Blessed Mother Theresa

With the combination of Blessed Mother Theresa and St. John Paul 2 and the way they joyfully lived out their lives, wouldn’t you think that a majority of the world would be Catholic? When you look at the numbers, it doesn’t add up. The number of Catholics in India is only about 19.9 million. This makes up for roughly 1.55% of their population. This tells me that just living out your faith joyfully isn’t enough.

Part of living out your faith requires that you evangelize and teach non-believers to come into the Church. We Catholics know that we are doomed if we step foot outside of the Church as she teaches beautifully EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA SALUS or No Salvation Outside of the Church.

Because we know of this teaching, we realize that all other practices are poisonous. Much like you wouldn’t let a friend or family member drink an actual bottle of poison, you shouldn’t let a friend or family member stay outside of the Church. It is indeed a matter of life or death, of the soul.

We learn from the Catholic liturgy the importance of living out an authentic Catholic life. Worship, doctrine, and prayer all come together as it all points us back to God.

Living out your faith, while important, is not the only way, nor even the best way to bring about conversions. Regular conversation is the best way. It may not be your job to fully convince them of the Truth, but it is your job to tell them the Truth.

Jeff August 17, 2014 3 Comments Permalink

The Black Mass: An Alternative Solution

Bishop Slattery of the neighboring diocese of Tulsa, Oklahoma offered some sound and pastoral words in response to the Oklahoma City Black Mass scheduled on September 21.

I appreciate and approve of His Excellency’s request for some hardcore fasting and prayer leading up to this blasphemous event. Fasting and prayer worked well during the last Black Mass. The event ended up becoming cancelled all together. It was a triumphant victory. As critical as prayer and fasting is, I would like to suggest an alternative approach as well.

These Satanists have taken Jesus, truly present in the Eucharist as hostage, it only makes sense that we send in some strong Catholic men and priests to take him back.

Crusaders

St. John Chrysostom said when it came to blasphemy:

And should you hear any one in the public thoroughfare, or in the midst of the forum, blaspheming God; go up to him and rebuke him; and should it be necessary to inflict blows, spare not to do so. Smite him on the face; strike his mouth; sanctify your hand with the blow, and if any should accuse you, and drag you to the place of justice, follow them thither; and when the judge on the bench calls you to account, say boldly that the man blasphemed the King of angels!

The Black Mass is a blasphemous affair. These poor souls who violate our Lord in this sacrilege have admitted that they understand what they are doing. Thus, it would make sense to go in there, smiting these blasphemers left and right.

I do not see the saints standing idly by while Our Lord is desecrated upon these Satanic “altars”. The saints would go in and take back Jesus, the laity doing the fighting, the priests handling Christ. St. John Chrysostom would organize a take back strategy, while praying the Rosary for victory over his enemies. The saints would fight for Jesus.

You may accuse me of being angry, but if you aren’t angry that Jesus has been taken hostage, then you aren’t practicing your faith right.

All-Saints

It would only seem appropriate that while these modern day saints are rushing in like soldiers, marching on to battle, that they sing “When the Saints Go Marching In”.

Jeff August 10, 2014 5 Comments Permalink

What Vatican 2 Actually Said: Don’t Change the Liturgy

It bothers me when I attend a Novus Ordo Mass and a priest does things…different.

Clown Mass

I’m not talking about minor things here. I mean additions, subtractions or changes words around that he shouldn’t be changing. When I offer up complaint, I am generally responded with “he’s a priest, he’s allowed to do that”.

Interestingly enough, the Second Vatican Council has a response to that:

22. 1. Regulation of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church, that is, on the Apostolic See and, as laws may determine, on the bishop.

2. In virtue of power conceded by the law, the regulation of the liturgy within certain defined limits belongs also to various kinds of competent territorial bodies of bishops legitimately established.

3. Therefore no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority.

23. That sound tradition may be retained, and yet the way remain open to legitimate progress careful investigation is always to be made into each part of the liturgy which is to be revised. This investigation should be theological, historical, and pastoral. Also the general laws governing the structure and meaning of the liturgy must be studied in conjunction with the experience derived from recent liturgical reforms and from the indults conceded to various places. Finally, there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them; and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing.

As far as possible, notable differences between the rites used in adjacent regions must be carefully avoided.

The Second Vatican Council, while many times may be unclear, is clear that only the Magisterium of  the Church can determine when a part of the Liturgy may be changed.

Tridentine Mass

This means that not the deacon, not the priest, not the Bishop, not even the Pope, can change something based on his own personal preference. This right alone is left strictly for the Church to determine.

The Church is the safeguard of the liturgy. The next time you attend a Mass where the priest changes things to his liking, call him out. If he uses the Second Vatican Council in his defense, use this in yours.

Jeff August 5, 2014 2 Comments Permalink

Jeff August 2, 2014 Leave A Comment Permalink

What Vatican 2 Actually Said: Observe the Liturgical Laws

Many people assert that the Second Vatican Council did away with many things, especially in regards to the Liturgy. This is simply not true. The Second Vatican Council decreed many good things about the Liturgy.

From the document Sacrosanctum Concilium:

17. In seminaries and houses of religious, clerics shall be given a liturgical formation in their spiritual life. For this they will need proper direction, so that they may be able to understand the sacred rites and take part in them wholeheartedly; and they will also need personally to celebrate the sacred mysteries, as well as popular devotions which are imbued with the spirit of the liturgy. In addition they must learn how to observe the liturgical laws, so that life in seminaries and houses of religious may be thoroughly influenced by the spirit of the liturgy.

18. Priests, both secular and religious, who are already working in the Lord’s vineyard are to be helped by every suitable means to understand ever more fully what it is that they are doing when they perform sacred rites; they are to be aided to live the liturgical life and to share it with the faithful entrusted to their care.

19. With zeal and patience, pastors of souls must promote the liturgical instruction of the faithful, and also their active participation in the liturgy both internally and externally, taking into account their age and condition, their way of life, and standard of religious culture. By so doing, pastors will be fulfilling one of the chief duties of a faithful dispenser of the mysteries of God; and in this matter they must lead their flock not only in word but also by example.

Many who follow the rubrics of the Mass are unfairly labeled as pharisees by those who do not follow the rubrics. In my experience, those who ignore the rubrics use the Second Vatican Council as a scapegoat in order to promote their views.

TLM Bowing

However, upon reading what the documents actually have to say, you will find it is quite clear that the liturgical laws are to be observed. It is clear that Mass and all liturgical aspects of our faith, are to be done reverently and by the book. It is not something to be left to the priest’s discretion.

When many Novus Ordo Masses are said irreverently and by the whim of the presiding priest, we must combat it with all of our strength. The way in which we worship reflects what we believe. If we are reverent in our worship, it reflects the authority of God. If we behave like buffoons, it reflects that we are fools.

Following Christ and His Church is not for the foolish, but rather the wise. To live outside of the Church and the law of Christ is foolish. Therefor, let us follow the liturgical law as it too is the law of Christ.

One Peter Five

There is a new Catholic web-site that is going to be launched this Friday, August 1. It is called One Peter Five. It is a web-site that will feature quality articles on how to live the authentic Catholic faith in a world that is slowly turning to ruin.

OnePeterFiveLogo

There will be many different contributing authors discussing a wide variety of topics including, Architecture, Art, Book Reviews, Catholic Life, Culture, Devotions, Evangelization, Family, History and the Liturgy. More than likely, more topics will be added.

I will be contributing articles for One Peter Five. Don’t worry, I will still be working on this blog as there are many different things that I would like to write about that might not be fitting there. I will alert you here when I have published an article over there.

I highly suggest you take a look at the site and encourage you to sign up for the email newsletter. I will also be adding it to my blogroll in the right navigation bar.

A Traditional Catholic Convert Visits a Not-So Traditional Catholic Convent

My wife has a great aunt that was a nun of the order of the Sisters of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, MN. She passed away in 2008, may she rest in peace.

Every year her extended family gets together for a reunion. This year, they decided that they were going to go up to the Monastery to visit the sisters. I took the day off from work to see them as well.

We were warmly greeted when we arrived. There were stories shared and laughs to be had.

After a little while, we ended up going over to their museum and gift shop. We were a big group, so they split us up. I was in the group that went to the gift shop first. This, in hindsight, is probably a good thing.

For being at a Monastery, you would think that the gift shop would have more Catholic items in it. I can honestly say that it was roughly 20% Catholic and 80% odds and ends that you can get at any gift shop. It was rather disappointing. I was looking around and found a couple of heretical items.

1405611793744

I decided that I would come back and buy my items after the tour.

Instead of going to the museum display that commemorated their 100 years of having their chapel, we ended up going into the back room where they kept all of their old vestments and items that used to be in the chapel.

Angel Vestment

The vestments were some of the most beautiful that I had ever seen. The nuns from the late 1800s-1940s would make the vestments by hand. They would stitch some very intricate and beautiful images onto these vestments. Some of the flowers looked real. They had Angels with detailed toes and fingers. The fingers were maybe a few centimeters long. Very small and intricate.

Angel Vestment Up Close - Copy

The nuns kept referring to all these beautiful vestments as “pieces”, as if they were art.

Another Angel Vestment

I mentioned that we needed more vestments like this as these vestments point back to God in the love that the prior nuns had for making them. Alas, the response I received was along the lines of “oh, no, the vestments of today are far more simpler and easy.” Right, because God calls for us to take the easy and simple path that everyone takes. The Sister who was giving us the tour made a comment about how people ask where the color is in the Chapel these days (they “renovated” it in the 80s). They usually reply back with “in the people”.

Christ the King

Afterwards, we went to the chapel where the nuns would pray the Liturgy of the Hours. We prayed noon prayer in this simple looking auditorium that you would expect to see at a college lecture hall. I don’t recall if there was a crucifix, let alone a cross in the entire room. I counted only 3 of the nuns wearing a habit. Most of the nuns were wearing pant suits with a flowery shirt.

We had lunch. That was good. The lettuce for the salad was from their gardens. This was perhaps one of my favorite things of the entire tour.

After lunch was over, we went up to the chapel. In the 1980s, the order decided they needed to “renovate” the chapel. It used to be very Catholic.

They opened the doors to reveal a magnificently grand and bland chapel. The altar had been moved to the center. No kneelers. Just…plain. There was absolutely no indication that this was a Catholic church. It looked just like the Protestant churches.

The entire time we all were looking around in disappointment, the sisters were just smiling and explaining why they did what they did. My tongue had been getting sore from biting down on it so hard throughout the day. When Sister mentioned that they don’t kneel, but stand reverently, I lost it.

I explained how we are supposed to kneel before God who is truly present. They retorted that kneeling isn’t necessary because in the prayers it says something about “…we stand before you…”. They also used the age-old “Europe doesn’t have kneelers” argument, which is incorrect. Certainly some do, but I explained that the Vatican says that churches are supposed to. “Different books at different times say different things” one replied.

TRIGGER ALERT: HERESY: The same sister also said that the community, along with the priest, bring forth Jesus. I replied that that was absolutely incorrect because without the Priest, we do not have Jesus. Only a Catholic Priest can change bread into the Eucharist. “Well, that’s true, but…” and I honestly don’t recall the rest, I’m fairly certain my Guardian Angel protected me from having an aneurysm.

The main nun pulled me aside after things settled down, and told me to keep up the fire. I’m still not sure what she meant by that. Maybe she agrees with me but is sworn to obedience? I’m uncertain.

Regardless, they kept saying how it was too much beauty for a sacred space, its nice and clean now, but in the same breath would say “Could you imagine how beautiful it was?” I could imagine it much better had you left it alone.

Afterwards we went into the Sacristy, where they make their own bread! Its better because its unleavened (valid consecration stipulates that bread must be made of wheaten flour, mixed with pure natural water, baked in an oven or between two moulds and must not be corrupt). Sister also mentioned that it is made with love! Sarcasm Alert(Not like that hate-filled Eucharist you receive at your local parish!) I question if these nuns believe in the True Presence. If God is Love and the Eucharist is God, isn’t the Eucharist also Love?

Love Bread

We then went to the chapel where the tabernacle is kept (yeah, side chapel) and they have kneelers in there!

Modernist Tabernacle

Also, they felt that the best way to keep the old communion rails was to nail them to the wall.

Communion Rails

We then hung out in the Gathering Space for a bit. They talked about community a bit. I stopped listening. Any Catholic that goes on and on about community being that important has lost all sense of what it means to be Catholic. Community does not come first, but God does.

We went back to the museum and I looked around at what used to be a beautiful Chapel.

Chapel Before Wreckovation Chapel Before

I found this interesting:

Worship Space

Many were upset at seeing this. So much beauty absolutely ransacked. This order neutered Christ and the church that their previous sisters had built out of love for God. To wreckovate a church, let alone a Catholic Church this badly, is not something of God, but of something diabolical. Sacred beauty points back to the Creator. Being physical beings, we need that physical beauty in order to help us understand God better. It isn’t a hindrance, but an enhancement. The churches before the Second Vatican Council reflected our Catholic faith. Even on movies and TV they still use traditional and beautiful churches when they want to show that they are at a Catholic church. Why? Because its part of our identity and who we are.

What the Chapel looks like now.

What the Chapel looks like now.

This picture sums up everything:

Modernist Evolution

If our Sacred Places reflect who we are, what does it say when we leave a blank canvas? It demonstrates that we are not what we are. We are nothing. We are blank. This isn’t a scenario in which “you build what you want to build” or “grow into who you are to be”, but an honest to God reflection of what we are. Blank, sterile, fruitless, void of beauty. It doesn’t bring any hope. It isn’t up to the people to bring forth the color. Having a picture assists those who pray to contemplate and ask the deeper questions about who we are, who is God and why it all matters. Having a blank slate does absolutely nothing.

Um...no.

Um…no.

Look at your wall. Mine is one solid color. Maybe yours is too. How does that bring you closer to God? How are you able to contemplate the deeper questions? You can, to a point, but it is not very deep.

Meanwhile, an icon with multiple images will allow you to contemplate the beauty of our faith and bring you closer to God.

When we sterilize our churches and remove all the smells, bells, whistles, and pictures, we are making them fruitless. Sterilization brings forth no life. In fact, it ends up destroying life as it doesn’t allow any growth to occur. A sterile society can’t bring forth new members to it. Likewise, a sterile church won’t bring forth new members either.

There was also a picture on the wall that mentioned that the wreckovation was in response to the Second Vatican Council. I forgot to ask them where in the documents it is a requirement to destroy churches.

I didn’t purchase anything in the gift shop, as it goes to support these sisters. Sisters who are obedient to disobedience to God. Ironically, I saw this on Facebook an hour or two after we had left.

Taken from Adoremus in Aeternum, a Catholic Tradition's Facebook page.

Taken from Adoremus in Aeternum, a Catholic Tradition’s Facebook page.

I found out that these sisters are actually a part of the LCWR, the same LCWR that was in support of Obamacare and has been in support of abortion, contraception and the like. Sure, there may be some sisters who are not, but you can’t support them.

Meanwhile, here are some Benedictine Sisters you can support. Believe it or not, they actually hand stitch vestments. I find it funny. The order of Benedictines who say that the vestments of today are much easier to make is dying out. Meanwhile, the order of Benedictines who are painstakingly, but lovingly making vestments by hand are thriving.

Beauty and sacredness brings forth reverence and obedience to God. Help parishes and orders that encourage these things.

Jeff July 28, 2014 4 Comments Permalink

Everything You Need to Know About Angels

A couple of really good friends of mine suggested that I watch this talk on Angels. The entire length of the talk is 1 hour and 5 minutes, but its really more 35 minutes of talk with 30 minutes of Q&A. The talk is given by Fr. Chad Ripperger, FSSP. He has his own website Sensus Traditionis where he has uploaded many of his talks. The talk is also at YouTube:

This talk is absolutely, without a doubt, one of the best talks I have ever listened to. It gives all sorts of wonderful details about how awesome Angels are, with especial emphasis on our Guardian Angel. Fr. Ripperger also gives great details on how Demons operate as well.

It really is sad that there aren’t better homilies and talks out there like this. This is wonderful catechesis. Listen to it, share it, preach it.

I’m Not Partaking in the Sign of Peace Anymore

Its that part of the Mass that most people tend to dread. The Sign of Peace. Now, I don’t dread it nor do I get super excited with the warm and fuzzies about it either. But, after attending the Extraordinary Form (Traditional Latin Mass) more regularly recently, I’ve decided that I will not be doing the Sign of Peace.

In all honesty, I just can’t bear to do it anymore. Logically, it makes no sense when you look at what the purpose of the Mass is and what we are doing. We are worshiping the One True God, physically present in the Eucharist, The Son of the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ.

the eucharist

When we administer a friendly handshake with our neighbor, in an effort to show a faux unity, we are no longer worshiping God, but ourselves. We are already united. We are baptized Catholics, hopefully in the state of grace, who are all gathered to worship Jesus Christ. That is true unity. If anything, the Sign of Peace serves more as a distraction from Jesus than anything else.

The timing of the Sign of Peace is very odd. The Sign of Peace takes place shortly after the Priest has finished consecrating the Bread and Wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. We have just spent the last 10 minutes kneeling (hopefully) in adoration, acknowledging that we are witnessing a miracle. The miracle that a humble servant of God has been used by The Almighty, to transform Bread into the Body of Christ and the Wine into the Blood of Christ. No mere man can do this, but only a man who has given up his life for Christ and His Church and consecrated by his Bishop.

After witnessing this miracle, we then get to shake hands with our neighbor. That includes the guy who hasn’t washed his hands since his last shower, the kids who have been picking their noses, and all the sweat and germs that people have accumulated from all of the hymnals and pews. It really is disgusting when you think about it.

The Sign of Peace disrupts the order of the Mass. Mass is not a social gathering that we fulfill once a week in order to make our weekly obligation. The Mass is the time that we come together as a community to individually worship Christ, truly present in the Eucharist. The second we forget this point, is the second that we stop worshiping as Catholics.

The more and more I contemplate this, the more and more I contemplate that it is no longer necessary to even do the Sign of Peace. The Sign of Peace is optional, meaning that we can each optionally choose whether we are going to do it or not. Likewise, Father can make the decision if the congregation will or will not do it as well. During flu season, the Sign of Peace is omitted. If it can be omitted during times of the year when germs and illness are a concern, then it can be omitted throughout the rest of the year for the same reasoning.

The Sign of Peace- Tell me this doesn't look like worship of self.

The Sign of Peace- Tell me this doesn’t look like worship of self.

If you see me at Mass and I don’t acknowledge you during the Sign of Peace with a handshake or a wave or a nod, it isn’t because I do not like you or am trying to avoid you, but that I am keeping my focus on Christ, who is truly among us in this sacred place.

Jeff July 9, 2014 7 Comments Permalink