Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

A Thought on Pope Francis’ Style

If you read my post on Pope Francis’ recent article, you’d know I was very confused, a little, upset and even more-so irritated at some of the things that were said.

Pope_Francis_in_March_2013

I’ve spent much time reflecting on it. To be perfectly blunt, I think about these kinds of things all the time. I can’t help but ponder. It keeps my brain sharp (though, I’m sure some would disagree). So, I thought I’d share something that I am wondering.

Now, I know that most traditionalists will outright disagree with this (more or less-so), and I can sympathize with them, after all, the name of this blog does begin with Traditional. I know disagreements will be shed, but, out of charity for the Pope, and just to add more fodder to the conversation, I will share what I am pondering.

Pope Francis is going out of his way, to be ambiguous with what he says. He does this because he knows that the media will eat this up, and report it. And normally, the media has to go out of its way to find something that a Pope says, distort it, and then report it as if the Pope has changed Catholic teaching. Pope Francis though, in his off-the-cuff interviews, will say things that sound, well, non-Catholic. The media rejoices. “This is a Pope of the People!” they shout and proclaim.

What if Pope Francis is doing this on purpose? He knows that the media will love him, after all, the media has portrayed him favorably since day one. However, he hasn’t changed Church teaching on anything, but now, us Catholics who are educated, now have to go and tell what the Pope is really saying.

Or, to rephrase it: Pope Francis is using ambiguous language that secular society enjoys, so that they talk about it and it is forcing Catholics to actually engage in the discussion, discussion that we wouldn’t be having if he just stuck to the normal “Catholic lingo”?

I know that there will be many that disagree with me. In fact, I have to question it myself. Yes, I am questioning this. It is a charitable response to have. I raise this question because I have not had to defend my Catholic faith as much since becoming Catholic 7 years ago, as I have in the last 7 months. I’ve been recruited on the battle field. I’ve been drafted.

If this thought, that seems to have come out of the blue, heck, maybe given to me by the Holy Spirit (God does work in mysterious ways), then perhaps, as time goes on through Pope Francis’ papacy, we will see him say more things and enlighten secular society into the Truth of Catholicism. Until then, I am still on the fence.

DISCLAIMER: I am not saying that I am no longer a Catholic, as the Catholic Church is the Church that Jesus Christ founded. I am just stating my disagreements. I pray for Pope Francis daily, as all Catholics are called to do. I still practice my faith. I STILL PLEDGE LOYALTY AND OBEDIENCE TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE POPE. I just disagree with some of his statements.

Jeff October 15, 2013 Leave A Comment Permalink

Archbishop Nienstedt Consecrates Archdiocese

On Saturday, October 12, 2013, Archbishop John C. Nienstedt consecrated the entire Archdiocese of Saint Paul/Minneapolis, Minnesota to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

sacred-heart-of-jesus-_amp_-immaculate-heart-of-mary_001

This was done during the Rediscover: Catholic Celebration that the Archdiocese put on featuring Matthew Kelly, Father Robert Barron, George Weigel and Bishop Daniel Flores. The Archdiocese has been working very hard to drive up passion and excitement about the Catholic faith.

I’ll be writing up a review on that later.

I’m very interested to see how the consecration will affect the Archdiocese, as well as if this was done to coincide with Pope Francis’ consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart for October 13.

There is a lot of good going on in this Archdiocese right now. Please pray.

Jeff October 13, 2013 Leave A Comment Permalink

Argument of the Month Club: Michael Voris vs. Mark Shea

Tuesday night, I had the opportunity to go the highly anticipated, highly exciting argument between Michael Voris of ChurchMilitant.TV and Mark Shea of Catholic and Enjoying It! sponsored by the Argument of the Month Club of St. Augustine’s in South St. Paul, MN.

Michael Voris

For those of you who do not know who either of these are, Michael Voris runs an online apostolate called ChurchMillitant.TV in which he posts daily news stories. Voris is known for being more traditional and incredibly blunt. Mark Shea is probably what you could call a “neo” Catholic, in that he is not going to get excited about anything traditional. He has a blog and has written many books. For the last two years, there have been many squabbles between the two, especially on Mark Shea’s blog. Mark Shea has a problem with Voris telling it as it is and not being “nice”. Mark Shea has been very critical of Voris and his viewership, at times, almost uncharitable (in my eyes). Voris generally ignores Shea’s antics.

Mark Shea

The event was well received, and I mean well received. The evening started out with cigars, beer and pretzels with a delicious beer cheese sauce. These weren’t your normal store bought pretzels, but the actual warm, doughy, delicious pretzels that you get at the fair or bakery. This lasted until about 6pm. At 6 we all went to the basement of St. Augustine’s, grabbed seats and waited for the argument to start.

Unfortunately, I don’t recall the exact “topic” that was stated, it seemed to have changed a couple times. From the little bits I recall is, “the best way to address the crises in the Church, is through prayer, almsgiving, and doing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy”. Again, I don’t recall if this is the exact wording, but this is what I remember being discussed. Mark Shea took the positive side of the argument and Michael Voris took the negative of this argument.

Mark Shea began the argument with his introduction. He mentioned how the Church is in crisis and has been in crisis, for, well, every single year of the Church’s history. He went on to talk about how St. Paul was constantly writing up the members of the Church to point out what they were doing wrong and what not. He also mentioned that the Church is doing really well numbers wise, using that 1.2 Billion number that I have already talked about. He did end saying that we should be praying, fasting, almsgiving and practicing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

Michael Voris responded to these points well. Yes, the Church is always in some form of crises, but that doesn’t mean we should just go along on our merry way, but we need to be men of action (this was an all-men event) and we need to actually respond to the crises and do something about it. He made some great comments on how the Church counts its members and wishes that the bank counted the same way “I wish my bank would only count the deposits I make and ignore the withdrawals”. Then he mentioned how Mark Shea doesn’t even practice the corporal and spiritual works, considering he (Shea) blasts him (Voris) on a regular basis.

Fortunately for Voris, a viewer was kind enough to go through Shea’s blog and highlight all the articles and comments that Shea has posted over the last two years in which he said anything unkind to Voris. Voris read off a few of the things Shea has said, and even some of the things Shea has said about the viewership (one denigration Shea has used is calling them “weenies”). Voris then asked about the 500-600 men, how many of them watched his stuff. At least half of the hands shot up. It was great to see this point being made, as the look on Shea’s face went a little stiff.

After the debate, they served some delicious food for dinner and we had some great discussion amongst our selves. I made sure I got a picture with Michael Voris. I talked with him briefly and thanked him for what he does.

Myself with Michael Voris

Myself with Michael Voris

I did not talk with Mark Shea, unfortunately out of a bit of anger, looking back I wish I did. I would have liked to have told him how I used to read his blog, but once he started on bashing Voris and the traditions of the Church, that it completely ruined my view of him and his blog. Oh well.

The second debate was a little different, two other debaters that are part of the Argument of the Month Club went up. They debated what each of us, as laymen, can do to help the Church. There were a few good points made. Here are my favorite lines:

  • For 1500-1900 years in Church history, every knee bowed and hit the floor at the words “and God was made flesh and dwelt among us”. Who’s bright idea was it that this should stop?!?
  • Does anybody remember “Extra ecclesiam nulla salus”? Outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation? When did this stop? And if it isn’t important, than what’s the point of being Catholic?
  • Both Michael Voris and Mark Shea bring people into the Church. Isn’t that good? Michael Voris speaks to one crowd, Mark Shea speaks to another, but if they both bring people to Christ, isn’t that good? (I agree to an extent, it would be nice to see Mark Shea stop judging others because they don’t preach his version of Catholicism).

This was such a great event to be at. You could really feel the excitement and the Holy Spirit’s presence. I think it was good for Shea to be confronted as he was. Let’s just hope and pray that he realizes the errors in his ways.

Kudos to Michael Voris.

Jeff October 11, 2013 31 Comments Permalink

The 5 Love Languages

During my marriage preparation classes, my priest told me and my now wife about the 5 Love Languages. He advised us that we should take the quiz, and that way we can learn more about ourselves, and how to interact with each other. And let me tell you, it has worked wonders for our marriage.

The 5 Love Languages is based on the research of Dr. Gary Chapman. What are the 5 Love Languages you ask? Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch. Each category describes the way in which we most feel loved.

Words of Affirmation is basically anything that would be a compliment, such as “I Love you”, “You look beautiful”, or “I’m really proud of you!”. Basically saying nice things.

Receiving Gifts can be as simple as a note from you spouse, a surprise candy bar or even just little surprises left around the house.

Acts of Service would be running errands for your spouse, doing chores that your spouse doesn’t like to do or other similar things.

Quality Time obviously would be spending time with the other and physical touch can range all over the place.

Each one of us has a primary and a secondary love language. The primary language is what fills up your “love tank” faster, but the secondary love language will also fill up said “love tank”. Knowing what fills up your love tank will help you feel more loved by your spouse when they do those activities. This also works vice versa, you need to do those things that make your spouse feel loved.

Now, this has helped my wife and I to understand each other, and it’s great how it has helped our marriage. For example, after knowing each other’s love languages, we know that when it comes to arguing what not to do. My wife’s primary love language is Words of Affirmation, so when we argue, I can’t fall into the temptation of calling her names, as that will devastate her. We shouldn’t be calling each other names regardless of our love language, but I am now more aware of it.

As society continually tries to push gay “marriage” and to undermine that of traditional marriage, we need to create strong marriages. I feel that knowing your spouse’s primary and secondary love language will do just that.

When you feel loved, you want to share that love. The powers of love can not be held within our own human person, as we are creatures of finite space and possibility, love, in itself, is infinite. This is the reason why when it comes to creating our priorities, no human person, even if it be our husband or wife or children or anybody, should be our number one.

As humans, we only have a finite space to fill with love, though, we have an infinite ability to give love. When we put all of our love into another person, we will crush them. However, the love for God, that is, the love that God gives to us, we can receive, even though it is infinite, because God created us to be able to receive that love that He gives. God, being infinite, can also receive that infinite love that we can give. Thus, it would make perfect sense to love God before all others.

You can purchase The 5 Love Languages at Amazon. You can also find out what your love language is by taking the test here.

Jeff October 3, 2013 Leave A Comment Permalink

Another Pope Francis Interview – Am I Wrong?

Pope Francis has done, yet another interview with the press, in which he says some good things and says some…bad things.

First, I direct your attention to the interview, which is posted in its entirety here.

Pope Francis

I’m only going to comment on three things that I completely disagree and I find to be completely unacceptable for any Pope to say. But first, some disclaimers.

I don’t want to hear you say anything along the lines of “But he’s the Vicar of Christ, you shouldn’t disagree with him!” This is one of the most annoying arguments for disagreement. Just because he is the Pope, this does not elevate him from public criticism. If he is wrong, he is wrong. It just means he is a Vicar of Christ who is wrong. This is not being proclaimed as Dogma or Doctrine, so it is just personal opinion.

I will completely be honest, maybe I am immature in my faith and do not completely understand what he is getting at, so, if that is the case, please charitably respond in the comments and prove me wrong. After all, if I am wrong, the mature thing is to correct me, and help me understand where the Pope is coming from. It is also the Christian thing to do.

1. Your Holiness, is there is a single vision of the Good? And who decides what it is?
“Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is Good.”

Your Holiness, you wrote that in your letter to me. The conscience is autonomous, you said, and everyone must obey his conscience. I think that’s one of the most courageous steps taken by a Pope.
“And I repeat it here. Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.”

This to me seems to be moral relativism. Moral relativism in its simplicity is stating that if you believe something is good, than it must be good and if you believe something is bad, than it must be bad. How then, can the Pope promote something like this if we believe that Jesus Christ is the summit and source of all that is Good and True? You think robbing a bank is good? Go ahead and do it! Abortion isn’t evil? Than you say so!

2. Jesus in his preaching said that agape, love for others, is the only way to love God. Correct me if I’m wrong.
“You’re not wrong. The Son of God became incarnate in the souls of men to instill the feeling of brotherhood. All are brothers and all children of God. Abba, as he called the Father. I will show you the way, he said. Follow me and you will find the Father and you will all be his children and he will take delight in you. Agape, the love of each one of us for the other, from the closest to the furthest, is in fact the only way that Jesus has given us to find the way of salvation and of the Beatitudes.”

My confusion with regards to *why* he became incarnate is where I’m confused with what Pope Francis is saying. I thought Jesus came so that man can be saved? That is Jesus took on human flesh so that He could be offered as a perfect sacrifice, for the redemption of mankind and the forgiveness of our sins, hence why we don’t need the paschal lamb because Jesus IS The Paschal Lamb. This seems to me that it is a direct contradiction to what even the Church teaches us. Jesus came so that we may have eternal life and we are to follow Him so that we can partake in that eternal life.

3. Pope Francis told me: “The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old. The old need care and companionship; the young need work and hope but have neither one nor the other, and the problem is they don’t even look for them any more. They have been crushed by the present. You tell me: can you live crushed under the weight of the present? Without a memory of the past and without the desire to look ahead to the future by building something, a future, a family? Can you go on like this? This, to me, is the most urgent problem that the Church is facing.”

I’m unsure how these are “evils”. I’ve read this interview on several site and another one referenced this paragraph as “problems with the Church”. To me, these are not problems. These are issues, yes, but not the two serious problems.

My thought would be the lack of priests we have in the Church to administer the Sacraments and the fleeing of the young from the Church after they have received Confirmation. 85% of those confirmed leave the Catholic Church within 5 years. How can a Church thrive when it posts losses like this? If a business lost 85% of its customers each year, they’d be…out of business. Granted Christ told us that Hell would not prevail against the Church, but this is still a major issue that needs addressing.

I do want to point out that I agree with Pope Francis on proper evangelization. We need to take people where they are at, explain the faith to them in ways they understand, without forcing it upon them. We may not get to see their conversion, but we may be an instrument for their conversion. We are planting the mustard seeds. I would like to come back to this in another post.

I’d like to end with this. I in all humility, may be wrong. These are my own personal thoughts and observations. If I am wrong, please tell me why. I would love to be able to say “oh, I get it now, this is awesome!” But I need your help!

Jeff October 1, 2013 4 Comments Permalink