Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

Confession

All of the posts under the "Confession" category.

The Mercy Doors Are Coming For You!

When I wrote my article comparing the Year of Mercy to the movie Dogma, I honestly didn’t think that my analysis would be proven right. But alas, it has been.

The Year of Mercy if anything is a parody of the Catholic Church, in which everybody is going to get mercy whether they like it or not. I had heard rumblings about a “travelling door of mercy”, but when I wrote the article, I couldn’t find anything. It was almost as if all traces of it had disappeared from the internet.

Portable Door of Mercy

Over at the Catholic Herald, we read that Portable Doors of Mercy are on the road!

The Bishop of Wrexham says it allows the sick and less mobile to experience God’s mercy

Doors of Mercy have become a familiar sight during the Holy Year, present in every cathedral and in many churches in Britain and around the world, through which Catholics can pass to gain an indulgence.

But the Diocese of Wrexham has gone one further, with a portable Door of Mercy to travel the diocese.

Bishop Peter Brignall of Wrexham said the portable Door of Mercy makes the indulgence available to those who can’t travel.

“The Portable Door of Mercy provides that opportunity for those who might not be able to go on pilgrimage to the cathedral of our diocese and pass through the door,” said Bishop Brignall.

“It allows for those who are less able and who are sick to pass through and receive the Mercy of the Father.”

The door is being transferred to different deaneries around the diocese on each Saturday in Lent.

During the Year of Mercy, Catholics can gain an indulgence by passing through a Holy Door, receiving the Eucharist and going to Confession, and praying for the Pope’s intentions.

In a statement, the Diocese of Wrexham said: “The diocese has an ageing population and many would be unable to make the journey to the cathedral – this initiative of Bishop Peter’s extends God’s mercy to all in bringing the door directly to the people.

“Last weekend, the portable Door of Mercy was taken to the parish of Buckley, Flintshire, where many hundreds of people from all over North Wales attended “24 hours for the Lord”, where priests of the diocese were stationed to hear confessions throughout that period.”

This weekend the door will be taken to Our Lady of Sorrows, Dolgellau. On Saturday 19, the Feast of St Joseph, it will be taken to St Joseph, Denbigh.

Pope Francis began the Jubilee Year of Mercy by opening a Holy Door at St Peter’s Basilica on December 8 last year. The Year of Mercy ends on November 20.

“God’s judgment will always be in the light of His mercy,” the Pope said. “In passing through the Holy Door, then, may we feel that we ourselves are part of this mystery of love.”

First and foremost, there are plenty of ways a person can receive a plenary indulgence without the need to go through the mercy doors! There is no reason at all for traveling mercy doors.

Second, you can receive the “Mercy of the Father” by going to confession and confessing your sins. You can’t receive a plenary indulgence by just performing some action.There are specific actions you must also perform to gain the indulgence. Those actions are:

  1. Complete detachment from sin of any kind, including venial sin.
  2. You must perform the work or the prayer attached to the indulgence (in this case, walking through the Mercy Door).
  3. Go to confession and confess all sins.
  4. Receive Holy Communion worthily.
  5. Praying for the intentions of the Pope.

The Year of Mercy weakens the notion of plenary indulgences because mention of these conditions is few and far between. Catholic and non-Catholics alike are left with the impression that all one must do to gain the plenary indulgence is to walk through these mercy doors. This article happens to mention the actions, but not until seven paragraphs in, long enough in where the reader has likely stopped reading and is now left with the false impression. If an individual does not perform the works necessary for a plenary indulgence, they are left with only a partial indulgence, yet they are left to believe they have been forgiven all temporal punishment for their sins.

Third, all of this talk about passing through these doors and making them more accessible so that the person can feel God’s mercy is a hallmark of Modernism, in which a person’s faith is only as strong as their emotional connection with it. If a person feels that what they are doing brings them closer to God, then who are you to judge if it is correct or not? 

It is sad that we live in a time where those running the Church mock it. As I wrote in the other article, indulgences are a beautiful and wonderful gift from God to show his love for us. It is too bad that mercy has been redefined not to mean what it means. According to Pope Francis, one must only walk into a confessional to be forgiven, without the need to confess their sins.

Pray that God sends His mercy upon this Church and either convert this Pope or sends us another. It will be a miracle if there is any Catholicism left in the Church when Francis is through.

Jeff March 16, 2016 3 Comments Permalink

I Asked My Wife What Her Greatest Fear Was…

My wife and I will be participating in a “How Well Do You Know Your Spouse Game” at our parish this Friday, so we’ve been getting to know each other on a deeper level by asking each other commonly asked questions. So my wife asked me what my greatest fear was. To be both romantic and truthful, I responded, “losing you and the kids”. Here I thought I tallied up a point on the board. I followed up asking my wife what her biggest fear was.

Wedding Bands

“Judgement”.

As soon as she said it, I knew that my response, while noble it is, was the wrong answer.

We are on this planet for one purpose; to serve Jesus Christ. Nothing else matters. At the end of our lives, after we have passed from this Earth, Jesus Christ will judge us. All of our sins and merits will be laid before us. Jesus will lay down the verdict as to whether we have lived a holy life and are worthy to enter into Heaven, to spend some time in Purgatory, or if we have lived a wretched and unrepentant life and are cast into the fires of Hell.

We can not presume that because of our love of God that we are for certain going to make it to Heaven, or even Purgatory. Presumption of God’s mercy is a sin against the Holy Spirit. We can trust in His mercy, but we can not assume that He will give it to us.

For this reason, we should have a healthy fear of the Lord. Let us not confuse having fear with being afraid. Much like an employee has a healthy fear of his employer in that if the employee does not do his job he might get fired. Likewise, we should fear the Lord that if we sin, we might go to Hell.

It is crucial that we stay in a state of grace and go to confession as often as we need to. We do not know when God will remove us from this world and sentence us in the next. Go to confession, stay in a state of grace, pray the Rosary daily, and live a holy life.

Jeff January 6, 2016 1 Comment Permalink

Jews, Conversion, and Mercy: Getting It All Wrong

After writing my article on the Year of Mercy and how we should all ensure we make good use of Confession, I spent some time reflecting on how many people misuse mercy and confuse it with neglect. Mercy is always freely given, but mercy can only be given if the recipient is contrite and asking for it. Mercy, when given away without the call for conversion is not mercy at all, but rather, leniency.

sacred-heart-of-jesus-traditional

At dinner the other night, my son was not cooperating and didn’t eat much. He spent the majority of dinner picking at his food and throwing it on the floor. My wife and I told him he needed to eat his food, but alas, he didn’t want to. After dinner, he walked over to where we kept the desserts and began pointing at them. One part of me wanted to give him some dessert, in an act of “mercy”. However, it was obvious that if I gave him the dessert, he would not learn his lesson that he needs to eat his dinner before getting his dessert. This false mercy would not benefit him in the long run, but rather, it would teach him that if he doesn’t like what is on his plate, he can ignore it and get the rewards.

Now, this false mercy is all too prevalent in both society and the Church today. The call for mercy extends to every sinner imaginable. God’s mercy is available to all, but for Him to give us His mercy, we must first repent of our sins, confess them to a priest, and amend ourselves to live a holy life. Without the intent of the penitent, mercy can not begin to enter into the sinner’s life. And far too often when we hear about the need for mercy, it is not with this intention in mind, but for the sinner to be left alone to their sins because it makes them happy, and after all, isn’t that what Christ wanted, our happiness?

Jesus Christ did, of course, dine with sinners and prostitutes, he was even seen out in public with them, but every time he was with them, it wasn’t about hanging out with friends and accepting people for how they were, but to urge them to repent and amend their lives. We see Our Lord’s urging with the woman at the well, after He tells her everything that she has done in her life, and then proceeds to explain that He is the Messiah, in which she goes into town and tells all the people about Him and becomes a disciple.

There is also the infamously misused quote “he without sin cast the first stone”, which today has been hijacked to silence those who speak out against sin. What they fail to realize, whether it’s through their ignorance or malice, is Jesus told the woman to “go forth and sin no more.”

Jesus makes it very clear throughout the Gospel that 1). We are to follow Him, 2). There is no way to the Father but through Him, 3).He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, 4). Unless you eat His flesh and drink His blood, you do not have life within you, 5). You are to go preaching the Gospel to all the nations, making them disciples by baptizing them in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and 6). There is only one Church, which He founded.

With this in mind, it is heartbreaking to hear that leading theologians within the Vatican have announced that it is unCatholic and antisemitic to proclaim the Gospel to the Jews, implying they are saved and thus do not need Jesus. Sadly, this is not true in the slightest and every single person on this Earth is in need of the saving grace of Jesus Christ, who was crucified, died, and rose again, so that we all might have eternal life.

Jesus Crucified

The Jews crucified Jesus by handing Him over to Pilate. The Jews rejected Jesus when He announced that He was the Messiah, the Son of God. Once Jesus was crucified, the covenant with the Jews was broken, and they were no longer the chosen people.

While Catholics have many roots in Judaism, we do not follow the Judaic laws that were made by Moses, but only those which Jesus came to fulfill. At one point the Jews did worship the same God as us, but once God made known that He was not simply Father, but rather Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Jews rejected the Son. And by doing so, rejected the Father, as Jesus said “whoever denies me before men, I will deny before my Father” (c.f. Matthew 10:33).

It is sad to hear how many Catholic prelates and theologians have thrown away the teachings of Our Lord to appeal to this God-forsaken world. These men, who have been entrusted to safeguard the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Holy Catholic Church, fail God and the laity when they poison the wells.

Continue to pray for conversions, to evangelize, to teach, to preach, and to live a holy life. We must be ready to preach mercy in the way that God teaches us, that those sinners who readily repent and confess their sins will indeed receive that wondrous mercy that only God can give.

Jeff December 11, 2015 2 Comments Permalink

The Year of Mercy and You

The Year of Mercy began yesterday on the feast of the Immaculate Conception. With the multitudes of different definitions for various words, we should look at what the proper definition of mercy is from a Catholic perspective.

Mercy: Compassion for the sufferings, whether bodily or spiritual, of others, arising from charity; an act of charity bestowed through sympathy.

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Mercy can not exist without justice. Justice recognizes that each and every person receives what is due to them, both the good and the bad. When it comes to crime, mercy acknowledges that a transgression has occurred, but alleviates the punishment that is due to the transgressor.

An example would be a thief who steals some money. Depending upon the amount that this thief has stolen, justice demands that he spend time in jail to serve out his punishment. Mercy can allow for a reduced sentence, depending on if the thief is repentant and is sorry for the crime he has committed. However, even if a thief is truly sorry for what he has done, it is merciful and just to those he has offended by allowing him to serve out his term that justice demands.

Mercy has been unfortunately hijacked in the Church today by the very enemies of mercy. The enemies throw justice out the window and use arguments for sinners such as “we need to be merciful and allow them to go free” without the sinners being sorry for their sins. Legitimate mercy requires that the individual receiving mercy is sorry for what they have done. But mercy sounds much more compassionate these days than justice, so we all need to use the incorrect version of “mercy” to appease the Church’s enemies.

When it comes to God’s mercy, it is endless; all we have to do is ask Him to receive it and beg for His forgiveness. One way we can do this is to go to confession whenever we have committed a mortal sin. Justice demands that those who die in the state of mortal sin go immediately to Hell. It is a part of Catholic teaching that at the moment we die; we are judged and sent to either Heaven, Purgatory, or Hell. God, in His mercy, has given us the sacraments to utilize so that we can confess our sins and reenter the state of grace. When we die in the state of grace, we are then deemed either fit to enter into Heaven if there are no attachments from worldly affairs, or Purgatory if we are attached.

Perpetual Confession Chapels

God has also instituted Baptism to wash away the stain of original sin. Many Catholics are fortunate enough to have received baptism as an infant, but there are plenty of non-Catholics who have not received baptism. Baptism is required to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, as Jesus said in the Gospels: “He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned.” (Mark 16:16). Likewise, membership in the Church which Jesus founded is also necessary for salvation.

For this year of Mercy, I suggest you make good use of confession as frequently as you need it. Once a month would be a good starting point, if you require going more often, then please do so, as your soul is not something you want to gamble on. Hell is real, and if you die and are judged to receive eternal damnation, there is no getting out of it. If you are not a Catholic or have left the Church, please join or re-join the Church, as again, your salvation is essential.

Jeff December 9, 2015 1 Comment Permalink

We Need to Be Sorrowful For Our Sins

Some time ago, a reader asked what perfect contrition meant. I discussed in some detail about the differences between perfect and imperfect contrition. I heard a sermon that outlined the differences really well, and additionally a third type of “contrition” if you’d like to call it that.

The first type of “contrition” is related to embarrassment. Embarrassment is the type of contrition you demonstrate when you get caught doing something wrong and are only sorry because you got caught. Had you not been caught, you wouldn’t be sorry for your transgressions, regardless of how large or small they may be. Since this type of contrition is not focused on God, it is not forgivable and can be damning depending on the severity of the sin. We need to avoid this type of contrition and work on contrition that is more pleasing to God. At the very least, we should have imperfect contrition.

Imperfect contrition occurs when you are sorry because you know that your sins will lead you to Hell. The loss of Heaven moves you to be sorrowful for your sins, but it is only out of fear of Hell that you are truly sorry. You are not sorry because you have offended God and He is all-good and deserving of all your love, but because you fear the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell. While imperfect contrition is better than embarrassment, it is still disordered. Our sins will be forgiven though we still have the effects of sin and will have to spend more time in Purgatory to be cleansed of this disordered love. As Catholics, we should strive to have perfect contrition.

Perfect contrition is when we are sorry for our sins because we have offended God and He is all-good and deserving of all of our love. When we sin, we offend God. It is desirable to have perfect contrition because we have offended Him, not only because our sins are bad and will prevent us from entering Heaven. This is similar to when you offend a friend or family member and you want to apologize because you offended them, not because your action was wrong and there might be some consequence for that action. This is the type of contrition we should have when it comes to Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Prodigal Son

When we do go to confession we confess all of our mortal sins in kind and number, along with venial sins we are struggling with. It is critical that when we say our Act of Contrition it has been given to us by the Church and has the necessary elements that outline perfect contrition. Sadly, like many of the prayers in the Church today, there are Acts of Contrition that do not meet all the necessary requirements to demonstrate perfect contrition. An example of a good Act of Contrition is as follows:

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offending thee, and I detest all of my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell, but most of all, because I have offended Thee, My God, Who art all good and deserving of all of my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more, and to avoid the near occasion of sin. Amen.

This Act of Contrition covers both imperfect and perfect contrition because you acknowledge that you do fear the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell (imperfect contrition), but because you have also offended God, Who is deserving of all of your love (perfect contrition).

How do we achieve perfect contrition? We should align our thoughts and actions and realize that every single time we sin, we both drive the nail into Jesus Christ on the cross and spit in His face. Every single sin we commit is deserving of an eternity in Hell. So we must align our hearts and intellect with God’s. Through daily prayer, daily recitation of the Rosary, and frequent use of confession, we can begin to have a loving relationship with Our Lord. It would also be beneficial to recall the sinner in scripture who said “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner!” and beat his chest three times. This practice, along with reciting the act of contrition, with the mindset that we are doing it out of love for God, will benefit us and allow us to begin to experience perfect contrition.

We are blessed as Catholics to be able to confess our sins to a priest, be absolved, and return to a state of grace. If you are in the state of mortal sin, go to confession, and keep near this wonderful sacrament. Live a holy life, and avoid the near occasion of sin.

Jeff November 4, 2015 Leave A Comment Permalink

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