Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

The Luminous Mysteries and Why You Should Dump Them

Luminous Mysteries

On October 16, 2002, Pope St. John Paul II issued his Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, that is “The Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary”. In it, he proposed a recommended new set of mysteries to be meditated on when praying the Rosary.

Those mysteries were the Luminous Mysteries. Composed of The Baptism in the Jordan, the Wedding of Canaa, the Proclamation of the Kingdom of Heaven, the Transfiguration, and the Institution of the Eucharist.

The problem with the Luminous mysteries is simply that they aren’t a requirement, but a recommendation. However, if you look at just about any Catholic pamphlet on the Rosary, they automatically include the Luminous mysteries, as if it was a new Dogma.

Upon issuing the document Pope St. John Paul II states:

Of the many mysteries of Christ’s life, only a few are indicated by the Rosary in the form that has become generally established with the seal of the Church’s approval. The selection was determined by the origin of the prayer, which was based on the number 150, the number of the Psalms in the Psalter.

I believe, however, that to bring out fully the Christological depth of the Rosary it would be suitable to make an addition to the traditional pattern which, while left to the freedom of individuals and communities, could broaden it to include the mysteries of Christ’s public ministry between his Baptism and his Passion. In the course of those mysteries we contemplate important aspects of the person of Christ as the definitive revelation of God. Declared the beloved Son of the Father at the Baptism in the Jordan, Christ is the one who announces the coming of the Kingdom, bears witness to it in his works and proclaims its demands. It is during the years of his public ministry thatthe mystery of Christ is most evidently a mystery of light: “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (Jn 9:5).

Consequently, for the Rosary to become more fully a “compendium of the Gospel”, it is fitting to add, following reflection on the Incarnation and the hidden life of Christ (the joyful mysteries) and before focusing on the sufferings of his Passion (the sorrowful mysteries) and the triumph of his Resurrection (the glorious mysteries), a meditation on certain particularly significant moments in his public ministry (the mysteries of light). This addition of these new mysteries, without prejudice to any essential aspect of the prayer’s traditional format, is meant to give it fresh life and to enkindle renewed interest in the Rosary’s place within Christian spirituality as a true doorway to the depths of the Heart of Christ, ocean of joy and of light, of suffering and of glory. – Rosarium Virginis Mariae 19

Pope St. John Paul II rightly gives some history on the Rosary, but not quite enough. It is true that it was based off of the 150 Psalms, but when you pray a “full” Rosary, you pray a total of 150 Hail Mary’s. Hence the name “Mary’s Psalter”.

What Pope St. John Paul II doesn’t mention is how the Rosary was given to Blessed Alan and St. Dominic. It was given by Mary herself. Why would he want to change it? Is Our Mother’s judgment not good enough? If these mysteries were to be included, wouldn’t Our Heavenly Mother have given them to Blessed Alan and St. Dominic?

I will admit, I once prayed them every Thursday. But after realizing that in the hierarchy of the spiritual life, we have the Trinitarian God first, the Blessed Mother second and finally all other holy individuals third.

God let his (daughter/mother/wife) give the Rosary to these holy men. Had this gone against His wishes, He would have prevented it, and in her humility would have obeyed.

There  are also 15 graces tied with a daily recitation of 5 decades of the Rosary. These 15 graces were given to us by Mary herself. Seeing as she only gave us the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious mysteries, it would make logical sense that the 15 graces are only tied with those mysteries. One grace for each mystery.

The other issue is that Pope St. John Paul II alludes that the Rosary is stale. He hints at this by his assessment that adding these decades would breathe “fresh life” into the practice.

A better way to breathe “fresh life” is to emphasize how wonderful the Rosary is and how much better your faith will be for it. Get people to pray the Rosary out of love for Jesus, Mary and the Church. Its a very modernist tactic to suggest that what Mary gave us is no longer good.

Benedictine Rosary

If you like the Luminous mysteries, go a head and pray them, but I suggest you pray the other three sets of mysteries prior to doing so.

Pray the Rosary daily. Satan hates it and he loses when you do.

Jeff May 30, 2014 59 Comments Permalink

A Weekend in Madison

This past weekend, I had the honor and privilege of seeing my friend, the Reverend Deacon Chris Gernetzke, get ordained by Bishop Morlino to the Deaconate of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin. I have never been to an ordination of any sorts, so I was unsure what to expect.

When my wife and I arrived at the Bishop O’Connor Center, we were looking out for some friends that I had met on Facebook. We met one couple outside in the parking lot, and chatted for awhile in the main lobby. While we waited, we noticed Father Richard Heilman of Pine Bluff come in the door. After some waiting we went in to pray before the Mass.

As Mass started, the procession was long. We saw Fr. Z process in in choir and he had his biretta on. No other priests had their biretta on. Even Deacon-Elect (at that moment) Gerntzke processed up, and I was moved. He had quite the man-lace on. Bishop Morlino also processed in after many priests did so. It was rather an awesome experience.

The Mass, was very reverent. Bishop Morlino managed to give about a 20-25 minute homily. He had 4 points, though I do not recall them all. I do recall how he mentioned a great point to give in regards to married priests. If Catholics give like they do when they don’t like the priest (not much), how is a priest supposed to support a family on that kind of an income? On top of that, how is a priest, who is supposed to love his flock, going to love them if they are mean to his family and taking away their food?

Bishop Morlino also talked about how he calls it as he sees it. Truth is truth. As an example he said he was “chubby wubby” and would not get offended if someone called him that.

The rest of the Mass was very reverent. Deacon Gernetzke did an awesome job. After he was ordained, he vested, and he ad some pretty awesome looking vestments. Solid gold. Nice! All in all there were 3 new Deacons. Apparently the Diocese of Madison has had many years where they had no vocations. Pray for vocations to the priesthood.

Afterwards, my wife, friends and I all went to an Old Chicago for some celebratory food and brews. We had some great conversation about all things Catholic. I asked about how they held their hands in prayer and why their thumbs were crossed over each other. They politely informed me that all of my prayers up to this point didn’t count because I was doing it wrong. Kidding, of course.

The next day, we awoke rather early and went to Deacon Gernetzke’s first preaching Mass. They had quite a few priests who con-celebrated as well as another Deacon. There were several other Seminarians who were also assisting. Deacon Gernetzke gave an excellent homily about Mary, and what the Deacon’s role is in the Church. The Mass was also reverent even though the parish wasn’t exactly the “prettiest”.

A fun fact, the Church was shaped like a fish! Groovy!

All in all though, the Mass was good. Everything was say the black and do the red. There was a nice reception afterwards. We talked with Deacon Gernetzke, for a bit. He informed us that Sunday morning he would be doing an Extraordinary Form with Fr. Z!

View Photos Here

Unfortunately, we were not able to attend this. However, we were able to go to Pine Bluff with Fr. Heilman!

Fr. Heilman has done an excellent job at restoring and preserving tradition at St. Mary’s in Pine Bluff. I have only spoken with him on Facebook and then briefly before the ordination. When we walked in, he was standing right there and recognized us and welcomed us. Traditionalists can be welcoming too! We chatted for a bit and then proceeded to walk into the Church.

Everything had been restored. Absolutely amazing. Fr. Heilman brought in new high altar and two side altars. He got rid of the coffee table altar that is generally used. He celebrates the Mass Ad Orientem, that is, back to the people. He reinstalled the communion rail. Everything looked pristine. It was like being transported outside of time itself and into Heaven.

St. Mary’s of Pine Bluff with new Altar Rails. Via Fr. Z.

Father Heilman had an excellent homily about how complaining is unchristian. He said that we as Catholics should not be seeking what is comfortable, but what is uncomfortable. We have to bear our crosses daily. He also talked about how awesome soldiers are and that we need to become an army for Christ and His Church. This was a manly homily that called every single one of us to not be content with the ordinary. We need to live our lives for Christ and be obedient to Him and His Church. We need to be good Catholics.

The music was incredibly prayerful. I have heard some of the songs before sung by various different choirs, including the dreaded Praise and Worship choirs. However, this time, it was sung from the heart with the organ. It was prayerful. It reminded me of listening to one of those chant CDs. The songs we sing (or preferably chant) at Mass need to be sung from the heart and need to be prayerful. Its not a performance. You don’t need to be a pop artist. You just need to do it.

Father said Mass intentionally and to the T. He wasn’t trying to entertain us. He was there to say Mass. There was something great about the consecration as well. Reverence. Real reverence at the presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. You can tell that he believes it (the real presence), reveres it, and worships it.

We received communion at the communion rail and on the tongue. It was incredible. It was beautiful. I was overwhelmed by emotion that Father believes and encourages that we should receive in this regard. I have been criticized a few times and even denied communion for kneeling and receiving on the tongue. Father Heilman has a great article on why we should receive on the tongue AND kneeling. I suggest you read it.

I have lately been a critic of the Novus Ordo. Mostly, because I felt that it was not as good as the TLM. I still feel that the TLM is better, but after going to Fr. Heilman’s Mass, I am not entirely convinced that the NO should be completely abandoned. The Novus Ordo, in order to succeed, needs to be free from any form of irreverence and influences from the world.

Father Heilman’s Novus Ordo celebrated Ad Orientem felt as if I had indeed gone to a Mass that took place outside of time and space. This is how every Mass should be celebrated. Restore the sacred. Say the black and do the red. If you ever get the chance to go to St. Mary’s of Pine Bluff, GO! It is well worth it.

Please keep Fr Heilman and Deacon Gernetzke in your prayers. Deacon Gernetzke will be Deaconing or Sub-Deaconing two more EF’s in the month of June in the diocese of Madison.

Kill Them With Kindness

Its a phrase that you’ve probably heard once or twice. Maybe even more than that. I’ve found this phrase to be pretty popular among the pro-life movement, though lately it appears to be gaining some traction among the neo-Catholic movement as well.


But, when you think of it, does it work? Oh, sure, it works from time to time, but it isn’t at all a reliable evangelization strategy. Why?

Because kindness will never, ever get a person to completely change their mentality of life and join your side. And even if they do, because this person is simply joining due to kindness, what is to prevent them from leaving once that kindness has dried up? How about once someone with a differing ideal is kind to them?

It doesn’t make logical sense, because it is rooted in emotionalism. Emotions, as we know from our Catholic faith are good. The problem with emotions though, is that they get in the way of logic and reason from time to time. Emotions can be shallow and look out only for the good of the person at that moment.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being kind to someone. But this isn’t to stop us from correcting them when they are incorrect in their belief. An abortionist is murdering a baby in the womb. Last I checked, we don’t take murderers or rapists and “kill them with kindness” in hopes that they might one day stop their evil ways. We arrest them, try them and lock them away so that they can amend their lives.

It is a ridiculous concept to me that we should allow a sinner to continually sin and just “kill them with kindness”. Jesus did not always do that and for good reason. It doesn’t always work. There are times when He was kind to those who came to Him, but He always reprimanded them and offered correction. It was then up to the sinner to change their lives and be converted or to continue their wicked ways.

Lest we forget, once in awhile Jesus flipped tables and whipped people.

Flipping Tables


Reprimanding the sinner is a spiritual act of mercy. This is regardless of whether we look at the pro-life movement or just proselytizing our fellow neighbor. “Killing with kindness” does not correct the individual, nor explain to them why they are wrong.

If you want to “kill them with kindness”, I suggest waiting until they are at least interested in hearing what you have to say. Then kill them all you want.

Mortal Sin Against the Fifth Commandment – Engagement in Unjust Lawsuits

The Fifth Commandment: “You Shall Not Kill”

stone-tablet-fifth-commandmentWillful Engagement In Unjust Lawsuits

We have all seen the news stories in which some loon sues over the slightest of infraction that makes his feelings hurt. It is so common that we even make satire out of it. It is the reason why America has so many of the world’s lawyers.

As useful as it is to engage in lawsuits when you have been wronged or had something taken from you, it has become abused. On top of that, when we engage in lawsuits that are obviously unjust, we are in a sense killing the person we are suing by taking away from their livelihood.

When I took a law class in college, we discussed generally how you would go about engaging someone in a lawsuit. If you are injured, you sue based on the legal fees, the doctor fees and whatever time you lose from not being able to work from said injury. In some instances you would also put a value on the “mental duress” sustained for the injury.

Most would agree that this would be fair. Most would also agree that you do not have to engage in a lawsuit in order to make even. Real men and women of character do not have to get the courts involved, assuming the other party is willing to work it out. Real men and women of virtue also don’t go about trying to nickle and dime the person they are suing.

hammer and gavel

Going after the person for every penny they own robs them of their ability to provide for themselves as well as their family. If you go after a corporation or company, you are robbing employees of their jobs. You are taking what isn’t yours and harming the opposing party of living.

Again, the courts have a purpose, for when you can not settle a dispute with your neighbor civilly. If you are going to bring suit or litigation, make sure that it is fair.

This also goes for you lawyers. If a prospective client brings forth a case that is obviously frivolous, it would be a mortal sin to take it.

Frivolous lawsuits are what make the courts so slow in America, leaving those cases that are just sitting on the sidelines, waiting for their court date.

Rediscover Catholicism and the Rediscover Initiative

Matthew Kelly wrote the book Rediscover Catholicism as a way to bring lapsed and fallen away Catholics back into the faith. This book has been changing lives with its simplistic approach in discussing Catholicism. Its given away at parishes for free at Easter and Christmas in order to get those Catholics who only come to Mass twice a year, to read more and explore the faith. I’ve reviewed the book here.

Rediscover Logo

The book has become so popular, that in the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis, they have created an entire initiative around Rediscovering Catholicism with Matthew Kelly. Last year, they had the Rediscover Catholic Celebration in which Archbishop Neinstedt Consecrated the Archdiocese to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. They have talks at various parishes in the Archdiocese, they have a website with lots of information, and many other ways to grab your attention.

I follow their page on Facebook. Yesterday they posted an article in their “Rediscover Music” section in which you can listen and buy music from Bebo Norman. The post states “New to Rediscover: – Bebo Norman, Contemporary Christian artist.” If you’ve been practicing your Catholicism long enough, something about that statement should knock you in your seat.

If your answer was “Contemporary Christian”, then ding-ding-ding, you win! I did some Google Searching on Bebo Norman to find that it is highly unlikely that this guy is a Catholic. If that is the case, why is the Rediscover group, run by the Archdiocese mind you, actively promoting Protestant music in a Rediscover Catholicism group?

I simply asked “Is this guy Catholic?” to which they responded “Bebo Norman is one of dozens of Christian (some Catholic) artists we now feature on the Rediscover: website, with our new section Rediscover: music. While he’s not currently on the schedule for the Rediscover: Catholic Celebration, you can visit Rediscover: music online to hear from an artist who will be here in October: Marie Miller!”

They admit it, they are promoting Protestant music. Another question I ask “How does listening to Protestant music help us to Rediscover Catholicism?” And there response was simply “In featuring Christian artists, we hope that listeners can be moved and inspired by the message and beliefs that are shared in these songs, which reach across Christian denominations. We also feature Catholic artists you may enjoy, such as Audrey Assad, Matt Maher and Danielle Rose.”

Read my question again and then read their response. They do not answer the question. They give a typical PR answer that spins the question around to make themselves look good.

The problem with promoting Protestant music is simply that they do not believe that which Catholics do. They will not sing on and on about the greatness of Mary and the Saints. They will not sing about Jesus’ true presence in the Eucharist. They will not sing about how great the Catholic Church is. They have cut themselves off from Christ by actively resisting Him in their Protestant views. Sure, we may share some beliefs, but the differences are vast and are what make us different.

As long as the Catholic Church harps on and on about how great Praise and Worship music is and detracts from authentic Catholic music such as Gregorian Chant (which is the preferred music of the Church), we will continually slip further and further away from our Catholic identity. We will no longer be different than Protestants, and we will continue to lose Catholics to the Protestant mega-churches.

Jeff May 20, 2014 1 Comment Permalink