Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

7 Reasons Why I’m Thankful For Pope Francis

One year ago, the papal conclave came to a close as white smoke was signaled from the chimney’s of the Vatican. Habemus Papem! We have a Pope! They announced Jorge Bergoglio (in Latin of course) from Argentina. Initially, I was stunned. I was actually a little nervous as some of the things going on in South America with the Church aren’t the greatest, but I wrote about my initial reactions last year.

Since it is Pope Francis’ one year anniversary, I thought I would compose a list of reasons why I am thankful for Pope Francis. I know I am sometimes critical of Pope Francis (and I am not the worst), but I love our Catholic faith deeply, and am not happy when I see the secularists and modernists of the media and enemies of the faith make our Church look bad. We all have our faults and I am working on mine.

But, without further ado, here is my list!

Perpetual Confession Chapels1. I Go To Confession More Often

Pope Francis mentioned the need for us to go to confession more often. I have made it a habit to attempt to go to confession as often as I need to. At an absolute minimum, I am going once every two weeks, similar to Pope Francis. At an absolute maximum, I go twice a week. Prior to Pope Francis’ election and during Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate, I was probably going somewhere between once every two weeks to once every two months.

The graces I have seen come from this are great. I am in the state of grace far more often and am able to be in communion with God, that is, I can tell when I’m synchronized with Him. It allows me to discern God’s will more easily. It isn’t always obvious, but it helps. It helps me to avoid sin as I examine my conscience regularly and avoid particular sins that I see that I struggle with more. I also realize that I sin far more often than I thought. I urge you to go to confession more often as well.

 

When We Idolize Priests: Father Corapi2. I Am Praying On A Daily Basis

I’ve always been fond of the Rosary. It’s a beautiful meditation on the Life of Christ through the eyes of His Mother, and our Mother Mary. Mary also promised 15 Graces for having a devotion to the Rosary and to pray it daily. I now pray the Rosary daily, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and I pray throughout the day as I feel called.

My prayer life has always been…difficult, I’ve blogged about it a few times, in my search, to help others who may also be struggling. Prayer is an important factor of our faith, as that is our time to speak to God and for Him to speak to us. If we aren’t talking to God, well, how do we know we are following His Will? Pray daily, carve out time. If you haven’t done your prayers, don’t go to bed. Prayers are greater than sleep.

denzinger3. I Spend More Time Learning My Faith

Pope Francis can be confusing at times. The media will run with this as if he’s changing teaching. When the media runs with a headline, I have to go and look up what Pope Francis really said, and then find related Scripture, Catecheses, Doctrine, etc to refute what is going on.

In another sense, I am now forced to learn my faith, so that I can defend it easier, quicker and in turn, live it out. You can’t teach something you don’t know. If you don’t know physics, you can’t teach it to someone. Whatever it is you don’t know about the faith, you are unable to teach.

When we know our faith, we can evangelize people, which leads to…

St-Paul-preaching4. I Evangelize On A Regular Basis

As Jesus Christ told us we are to “go and make disciples of all nations…” (cf Matthew 28:19). That means that when the opportunity presents itself, we must profess the Truth and defend it when it is attacked (which is quite often). If we do not defend the faith, who will?

Evangelization can take many forms, lending out books/cds, blogging, discussions with friends, family or coworkers, social media, the list goes on and on. The important thing though, is to share your Catholic faith. Be a good witness, and challenge those around you to investigate the Catholic Church with an open heart and an open mind. It is critical to bring people to the fullness of Truth. Being silent can lead the individual away from Christ. Share what you know.

5. I’m More Involved At My Parish

I’ve taught Religious Education before, but I am doing it again this year. I’m teaching 10th graders who are preparing for Confirmation in 11th grade (I’ve talked about that before though). I’m also leading a Marriage Ministry with my wife. I won’t list everything I’m doing, but I have been doing a lot more at my parish.

Chair of St. Peter6. I Have a Deeper Appreciation for the Papal Office

Seeing how much the media has twisted Pope Francis to fit into their own image, and in the same hand twisted Pope Benedict XVI into a “mean old man”, I have a deeper appreciation for the Papacy. I’ve spent more time reading into the history of the Papacy, starting all the way from Pope St. Peter to now Pope Francis. I’ve even gained an appreciation for the pre-Vatican 2 Popes.

These Popes were such a blessing to the Church, but we have forgotten about them. I highly encourage you to take a look at some of their encyclicals. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but we spend most of our time talking about Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and now Francis. While they have contributed much to our faith, the full deposit of our faith as well as many pre-Conciliar Popes have given us much too. You can even read many old Papal documents at http://www.papalencyclicals.net/. Read them!

7. I’m Inspired To Blog More

In the last year, I have had a grand total of 92 posts (including this one). Since beginning this blog I have published 184 times. I have literally done half of my blogging in this last year alone. There is so much going on in the Church today, as well as the world, that I feel called to comment on it. It’s a fun experience.

I hope that you benefit from reading my blog, and I hope that it inspires you to live out your Catholic faith more fully and to share that faith with those around you.

Jeff March 12, 2014 2 Comments Permalink

The Necessity of Baptism

Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one can do these signs that you are doing unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a person once grown old be born again? Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb and be born again, can he?” Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you, ‘You must be born from above. The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:1-8

Jesus is very clear in John 3:5 (the emboldened verse) about the necessity of the Sacrament of Baptism, in order to enter into Heaven. He doesn’t speak in parables, or in ambiguous wording, but in clear, concise and understandable language that leaves no room for error. Truth is not kind to error.

We need baptism because we are born with original sin, thanks to our first parents Adam and Eve. Original sin is what cuts us off from the state of grace that we need to be in. Baptism cleanses us from original sin, and removes it, we are born anew. Without this we have nothing.

The Church recognizes 3 types of Baptism.

  • Baptism by water and spirit, that is the baptism that we pour water over the head of the individual to be baptized and baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. That’s what makes a valid baptism. Not following this marks an invalid baptism, read, not baptized.
  • Baptism by blood, is when you are not baptized but are martyred for the Catholic faith. You must have full remission of sins in order for this baptism to take effect.
  • Baptism by desire, is when you are not baptized, are wanting to receive the sacrament, but die before receiving the sacrament. As the Catechism states: For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.” CCC 1259

As a convert, I can attest that receiving the Sacrament of Baptism marks a change in the person. I have less fears and have a stronger sense that God is with me. I have the mark and branding of God, so I am claimed by God as one of His own. Prior to receiving the Sacrament, the fear of Satan was very strong.

Jesus is very clear that we need baptism in order to enter into Heaven. These are Jesus’ words not mine. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to comment below, or email me.

Jeff March 11, 2014 1 Comment Permalink

Don’t Make Medals of Living People

If you are Catholic, you know that you can get many different sacramental medals of various Saints and Blesseds. This is a good way to help spread devotion to a particular Saint.

Generally, each medal has the Saint’s or Blessed’s name on it, and underneath it, the words “Pray For Us”. The great thing about this, is we ask the Saint to intercede for us, by taking our petitions before God.

However, on Facebook, someone posted that there is a new medal, one of Pope Francis. I did some more researching and apparently they have one for Pope Benedict XVI as well.

francis medal Benedict Medal

These medals are highly inappropriate. Both Popes Francis and Benedict are still alive. They are not dead, nor can they intercede for us like the Saints that have gone before us can. When we wear say, a St. Therese of Lisieux or St. Dominic medal with the “Pray For Us” inscription, as we know for sure that those Saints are indeed in Heaven, they will know that we are wearing their medals and thus will be able to intercede and pray for us.

Popes Francis and Benedict can not.

It is in poor taste and rather silly to make these medals. When they pass from this life and go to their eternal reward (after making whatever amends they need to in Purgatory first, of course), then it would be appropriate to make these medals.

I as a human being living on this Earth, have no clue if you are wearing my medal or not, thus I can not intercede for you, unless you come to me directly and ask me to pray for you. Thus, the medal is not going to do anything. It would be best not to even make them.

While Popes Francis and/or Benedict are alive, don’t buy them, don’t wear them, don’t use them. If you go to a Catholic store that happens to sell these, talk to the manager and explain why they shouldn’t have them. They are not Saints yet, so they should not be treated as such. We all are sinners and have their own struggles and sins. It is uncharitable to assume or act otherwise.

Since these two Popes have not yet passed, we should be praying for them. This way, they have the graces necessary to lead a holy life here on Earth and will be able to pass their particular judgment. Pray for Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict.

When they pass away, it would be one thing to have the medal, but living people should not have their own medals asking for their intercession.

Jeff March 10, 2014 2 Comments Permalink

Cardinal Dolan and Homosexuals

What a backwards time we live in.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York was on NBC’s Meet the Depressed, err Press.

When the issue of University of Missouri football player Michael Sam coming out as a sodomite and asked what he thought, Cardinal Dolan said: “I would have no sense of judgment on him. God bless ya. I don’t think, look, the same Bible that tells us, that teaches us well about the virtues of chastity and the virtue of fidelity and marriage also tells us not to judge people. So I would say, ‘Bravo.'”

Someone should give Cardinal Dolan a copy of the Catechism and point out that the Catechism explicitly calls Homosexuality disordered (emphasis mine):

Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved. CCC 2357

I’m sure if a Catholic approached Cardinal Dolan after Mass and told him that he was a traditionalist, he would extend the same “generosity” to them.

Doubtful. I think I know who the front-runner is in the next Papal Conclave.

Jeff March 8, 2014 3 Comments Permalink

The Double Standard at Catholic Colleges

By now, you have read about what happened at Fisher-More College in which Bishop Olson took away the Extraordinary Form of the Mass or Traditional Latin Mass. There have been many developments from both sides. Here are some of the details:

  • Some have suggested that the priests who celebrated the Mass were illicit. Fisher-More claims they are from the FSSP. However, other reports have commented that the two priests from the FSSP had left.
  • There seems to be some shady dealings in regards to the President of the school.
  • The school has hosted some controversial speakers on the other side of the spectrum and the President has refused to disassociate himself from said views.
  • Some are suggesting that the President leaked this story in order to politicize the TLM.

To me though, taking away the TLM in order to punish the President is the dumbest punishment that a Bishop can do. Let me explain.

The Mass is the Mass, it is Holy. Taking away the Mass and saying that “it is a danger to your soul” is the lamest excuse I have ever heard. If the Mass is Holy, then how can it be a danger to someone’s soul? If the TLM and the NOM are equal, then how is getting rid of one and replacing it with the other going to fix the problem?

It doesn’t. It shows that those who are against the TLM are more than eager to say and act and profess a feign interest that it is equal, but all in all will try to get rid of it the second people start asking questions. Meanwhile, the students get punished when the issue is between Bishop Olson and this President.

If the priest celebrating the TLM was invalid, then Bishop Olson should either celebrate the TLM himself, or find a priest who is going to celebrate it. If there are shady dealings going on within the school, the Board of Trustees can handle it, after all, this is a private institution. Many other schools host some controversial speakers who blast the Church on all sorts of moral issues, you know, kind of like Notre Dame hosting President Obama, and honoring him. How this is different, is because its traditional, and those who hold to the Truth always get thrown to the lions. And finally, if the President is using the TLM as a weapon, then take the weapon away from him, and only him. Don’t ban gun usage because one idiot is dumb enough to not use it properly. Don’t hold Jesus hostage in the Blessed Sacrament as leverage either.

Meanwhile, I read from Cardinal Newman Society that over at Boston College (you know, another fine traditional Catholic University, oh wait never mind) that they are having, get this “Sex Positive Week” which included Erotic Dancing Instruction after the Ash Wednesday Mass. At Boston College, they only celebrate the NOM. I’m fairly positive that if we wait, the Archbishop of Boston will force them to stop saying the NOM because it is “a danger to their souls” and will have to only say the TLM.

Eh, probably not.

But there in lies the problem. If you are an enemy of the Truth and an enemy of tradition, you get a free pass, to do whatever you want. In fact, you might even get encouraged and praised from prelates and priests in saying that you are thinking outside of the box. Meanwhile, those who fight tirelessly to regain the traditions of our faith, that have been ransacked and pillaged by those same enemies, will be persecuted again and again, in the name of being “pastoral”. They will be censored, tossed into the corner and declared crazy.

If the Traditional Latin Mass is the same as the Novus Ordo Mass, then taking away the TLM will not fix the problem as the NOM will just continue the issue. What Bishop Olson is really saying is that he does not agree with the TLM, there are already a couple in his diocese, and that is plenty for his liking. Bishop Olson either doesn’t believe in the true presence in the Eucharist at the TLM, or is an active enemy against it.

Let’s see if I’m wrong and let’s see if Bishop Olson will be just as “pastoral” for liberal groups who are openly dissident against the Church. I won’t be holding my breath.