Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

Eucharist

All of the posts under the "Eucharist" category.

The Liturgy of the Crucifixion

The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines the Mass as:

The memorial of the Lord’s Passion and Resurrection.

The Holy Sacrifice, because it makes present the one sacrifice of Christ the Savior and includes the Church’s offering. The terms holy sacrifice of the Mass, “sacrifice of praise,” spiritual sacrifice, pure and holy sacrifice are also used, since it completes and surpasses all the sacrifices of the Old Covenant.

The Holy and Divine Liturgy, because the Church’s whole liturgy finds its center and most intense expression in the celebration of this sacrament; in the same sense we also call its celebration the Sacred Mysteries. We speak of the Most Blessed Sacrament because it is the Sacrament of sacraments. The Eucharistic species reserved in the tabernacle are designated by this same name. CCC 1330

We also read in the Baltimore Catechism:

The Mass is the Sacrifice of the New Law in which Christ, through the ministry of the priest, offers Himself to God in an unbloody manner under the appearances of bread and wine.

(a) The name “Mass” comes from the Latin word Missa meaning dismissal. In the early days of the Church the catechumens were asked to leave after the gospel and sermon were finished. The faithful, however, remained until they were dismissed after the sacrifice was completed. Then, as now, this was done by saying or singing Ite Missa Est. In the course of time the word Missa, or dismissal, was used to designate the entire sacrifice. BC 357

In short, the Mass is the unbloody sacrifice of Christ on Calvary in which Jesus Christ is fully present in the form of bread and wine. When you go to Mass, this is the image you should be reminded of.

Jesus Crucified

When we see this image of Jesus bloodied and dying on the cross, we are witnessing this at Mass. We enter into this mystery. With the Novus Ordo, and its countless variables at each Mass, we must ask ourselves a serious question. Would this be appropriate if you were at the foot of the cross?

Contemporary Music

Praise and worship music would be inappropriate as it possesses no solemnity, that is, no respect for the dignity of the Holy Sacrifice. Praise and worship music, by its essence and intent, is upbeat, which elicits a response of happiness. Playing a guitar before Christ Crucified and singing “Gather Us In, the Rich and the Haughty” is insulting. If you disagree, imagine yourself dying a wrongful death upon a cross, suffocating in agony and a group of people singing this song. What would you think of them? What would you be tempted to say to them?

Gregorian Chant possesses the somber tone which from antiquity instills reverence and awe. Pope St. Pius X instated in his Motu Proprio Tra le Sollecitudini (Instruction on Sacred Music):

These qualities are to be found, in the highest degree, in Gregorian Chant, which is, consequently the Chant proper to the Roman Church, the only chant she has inherited from the ancient fathers, which she has jealously guarded for centuries in her liturgical codices, which she directly proposes to the faithful as her own, which she prescribes exclusively for some parts of the liturgy, and which the most recent studies have so happily restored to their integrity and purity.

On these grounds Gregorian Chant has always been regarded as the supreme model for sacred music, so that it is fully legitimate to lay down the following rule: the more closely a composition for church approaches in its movement, inspiration and savor the Gregorian form, the more sacred and liturgical it becomes; and the more out of harmony it is with that supreme model, the less worthy it is of the temple.

The ancient traditional Gregorian Chant must, therefore, in a large measure be restored to the functions of public worship, and the fact must be accepted by all that an ecclesiastical function loses none of its solemnity when accompanied by this music alone.

Special efforts are to be made to restore the use of the Gregorian Chant by the people, so that the faithful may again take a more active part in the ecclesiastical offices, as was the case in ancient times.

Gregorian Chant is the only form of music which will draw us into these Heavenly mysteries.

Standing During the Consecration and Receiving Communion

Standing is inappropriate as this is not just some man dying, but our Lord. When a mother loses her child, she does not stand, but rather, she collapses. She collapses over the despair of losing her beloved child. She collapses at the horror of never seeing him again. She collapses in grief and sorrow.

Much like any of us would collapse after tragically losing a loved one, we too should collapse to our knees out of grief and agony for the loss of Jesus, because He is our Lord. With the appearance of bread and wine, Jesus is fully present, Body, Blood, Soul, And Divinity. We should kneel out of respect and humility as He has dominion over us.

During the Consecration, we should kneel as the Holy Ghost descends upon the bread and wine and transubstantiates the Essence it into the Most Holy Eucharist. We kneel to receive Him because He is our Lord and only hands that have been consecrated to bring forth His transfiguration should touch Him. Those brave men who have been ordained to the priesthood or the diaconate have hands consecrated to touch Him.

Remember the conversion of St. Thomas, in John 20: 24 – 29. Thomas, both doubting and boastful, sees Jesus for the first time since their Last Supper together and the Betrayal in the Garden. Is it too much to imagine that Thomas, upon seeing Jesus, would jump up and run to Him, calling, “My Lord!” in excitement? And then, realizing that the Wounds in His Hands, Feet and Side are neither bloody nor healed, immediately fall to his knees, his face to the floor, exclaiming, “My God!” in breathless ecstasy and adoration? It all happens together, in that Eternal Moment of Sanctification.

If only hands have that have been consecrated to touch Him are allowed, then logically Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion should not be allowed, as their hands have not been consecrated. While I understand the distribution of Holy Communion would take much longer, this should never, ever be a hindrance at the Mass, but a benefit. During this time, we should be offering prayers of Thanksgiving to Our Lord for allowing us to receive Him worthily. We should bring our prayer intentions to the Lord, focusing on His Holy Sacrifice on Calvary, and thanking Him for paying the debt which we cannot pay. In a society where we are constantly bombarded by noise, this provides ample opportunity to pray in silence before our Crucified Lord.

Clapping

Pope Benedict XVI, while still Josef Cardinal Ratzinger wrote:

“Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of the liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment.” Spirit of the Liturgy

applause

Applause is used to signify an accomplishment of an individual or group. It is not meant for the Mass, especially when we remember that the Mass is the Sacrifice of Christ Crucified. We would not applaud someone else while we are standing before Christ dying on the cross. We should not clap while we are at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The focus of the Mass is not us, but on Christ.

This includes all aspects of the Mass, even when the Mass is concluded. We are in the House of God, present before Jesus Christ in the tabernacle. We do not applaud the choir, nor any other individual or group of individuals. We read in Sacrosanctum Concilium:

32. The liturgy makes distinctions between persons according to their liturgical function and sacred Orders, and there are liturgical laws providing for due honors to be given to civil authorities. Apart from these instances, no special honors are to be paid in the liturgy to any private persons or classes of persons, whether in the ceremonies or by external display.

Altar Girls

Only men can be elevated to the calling of the priesthood. Many priests, while not all, were formed and called during their time as altar boys. A direct correlation has been observed between having altar girls and boys no longer being interested in serving at the altar. When boys are not interested, they may not heed their calling to a Vocation of Holy Orders.

When boys and young men miss their vocation to the priesthood, we are left in the vocations crisis that we are currently facing. Parishes are closing because we do not have any priests to minister to them.

These are but a few examples of abuses that we should aim to eliminate from the Mass if we want to restore a sense of the sacred. Prayerfully consider encouraging your pastor to begin removing elements that are not aimed at bringing forth reverence to Our Lord.

Jeff October 12, 2015 3 Comments Permalink

Either Cardinal Marx Had a Conversion or He Is Setting the Stage to Declare Schism

In February, Reinhard Cardinal Marx, the President of the German Conference of Bishops made waves when he announced that the German bishops would not adhere to what the synod determined, unless it favored their position stating “the synod cannot prescribe in detail what  we have to do in Germany.”

“We are not a subsidiary of Rome. Each episcopal conference is responsible for the pastoral care in their culture and has to proclaim the Gospel in its own unique way. We cannot wait until a synod states something, as we have to carry out marriage and family ministry here.”

In short, Cardinal Marx proposed that the German Catholic Church would schism if the Synod on the Family did not yield the results they were wanting. The German Catholic Church is in favor of giving Holy Communion to the divorced, remarried and actively homosexual.

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Either the Holy Spirit has intervened and changed Cardinal Marx’s heart or he knows what the outcome of the Synod is going to be.

Pat Archbold of Creative Minority Report reports some surprising words from Cardinal Marx:

“We must try to remain together,” he said. “The Church is the only institution in the world that can reach unanimous agreement. Thank God we have the pope. We bishops do not have to decide. Church unity is not in danger. And once the pope has decided, we will abide by his decision.

Either Cardinal Marx is no longer in favor of administering the Holy Eucharist to adulterers and sodomites or he knows the Synod is going to lax the rules.

My bet is the latter, as it is highly unlikely, knowing what we have seen come from the Synod thus far that Cardinal Marx is suddenly having a conversion. I’m not saying it’s impossible, only unlikely.

Looking back at my post from Monday in which I outlined the possibilities of this Synod, I wrote:

I see that Option Two is much more likely to happen, simply because those who want to administer Holy Communion to adulterers and actively homosexual, will be able to through a liberal reading of the documents. Meanwhile, those who will actively refuse this reading will accuse the Synod of intentionally allowing this evil to occur. Thus what we will see is those who adhere to the “traditional view” (read: Catholic) will be accused of going the way of the SSPX and causing schism, when the reality simply is that Rome has condoned the practice by not condemning it, all for appearing to be “pastoral”.

Cardinal Marx, by his words today, has set the stage to display that those who do not adhere to what the Synod decides are breaking away from the Church. He is correct only if the Synod upholds Church teaching by denying Holy Communion to those in the state of mortal sin. However, if the Synod decides something contrary to this effect, then he is wrong and the validity of the Synod is left in question.

Let us pray that he had a legitimate conversion to the Truth, and not the other, more likely possibility.

Jeff October 9, 2015 1 Comment Permalink

The Possibilities of the Synod

The Synod of the Family began on Sunday. We read that the Synod’s rule changes this year are unacceptable, thanks to Rorate Caeli. I can only think of three possibilities for the outcome of this Synod. I will present these options in terms of most positive, to most negative.

Pope Francis Smiling

Option One: Pope Francis, in a moment given the protection of the Holy Spirit, will uphold Church doctrine and teaching, and state that Holy Communion can not be given to the divorced, remarried, and actively homosexual. Pope Francis will declare that those who oppose those are heretics and are effectively excommunicated due to their desire to change Church teaching. Finally, he has been inviting those in favor of derailing the Synod as a means to publicly excommunicate them.

Option Two: Pope Francis and the Synod will agree that the decision is up to either the local bishops on a diocese by diocese basis or will allow the local bishops’ conference to determine how they will administer the sacraments. In this scenario, we will likely see essentially the practice of Holy Communion administered to the divorced, remarried, and actively homosexual. While the documents released by the Synod will be read from a traditional standpoint to mean that the aforementioned can not receive Communion, it will be written in language that those on the other side of the issue will be able to easily take out of context, much like every Church document administered from the Second Vatican Council up through today.

Option Three: Pope Francis and the Synod will declare and decree that every single divorced, remarried and actively homosexual individual may present themselves to Holy Communion without the need for repentance, and will thus change Church teaching that only those who are in the state of grace may receive Our Eucharistic Lord. This will essentially mean that the Pope, as well as the majority of the prelates at the Synod, are indeed heretics and are no longer a part of the Catholic Church.

In all honesty, I truly hope we see Option One. Though, to be realistic, it is far more likely that we will see Option Two or even Option Three. I believe there is a chance Option Three will happen because I believe that there are still a number of Catholics who will recognize the error. Likewise, there are still a number of priests, bishops, and even Cardinals, who will actively resist Option Three and declare the Pope and those prelates in favor of this as schismatic. There will be enough opposition that a legitimate case for questioning if Pope Francis is now an Anti-Pope for declaring non-Catholic teaching as doctrine from the throne.

I see that Option Two is much more likely to happen, simply because those who want to administer Holy Communion to adulterers and actively homosexual, will be able to through a liberal reading of the documents. Meanwhile, those who will actively refuse this reading will accuse the Synod of intentionally allowing this evil to occur. Thus what we will see is those who adhere to the “traditional view” (read: Catholic) will be accused of going the way of the SSPX and causing schism, when the reality simply is that Rome has condoned the practice by not condemning it, all for appearing to be “pastoral”.

Hopefully, we will see Option One, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

Jeff October 5, 2015 2 Comments Permalink

Modernists and the Synod: Intellectual Causes

This post is part two in a series of posts on the Synod of the Family and Modernism. Read part one here.

The Synod of the Family inches ever closer. We must remember to spend our time in prayer and fasting for this event. We are in the fourth greatest crisis of the Church, according to Bishop Athanasius Schneider. Bishops, Cardinals, and even the Pope are speaking openly about the need for Church teaching to change. Many in attendance at the Synod are in favor of allowing the divorced, remarried, and openly homosexual to receive the Holy Eucharist, without amending their lives. This is scandalous to hear from those who have been ordained to safeguard Christ’s teachings with their very lives.

catechism of modernism

Pope St. Pius X authored the encyclical Pascendi Domini Grecis, or “On Modernism”. He examines how the enemies of the Church are working to corrupt her teachings. Without further ado, we continue:

Q. Surely you do not stigmatize Modernists, those men who pose as Doctors of the Church, as ignorant men?

A. Yes, these very Modernists who pose as Doctors of the Church, who puff out their cheeks when they speak of modern philosophy, and show such contempt for scholasticism, have embraced the one with all its false glamor because their ignorance of the other has left them without the means of being able to recognize confusion of thought, and to refute sophistry.

We see the majority of bishops and Cardinals at the Synod of the Family ready to change Church teaching. They puff out their cheeks with statements like “families have changed in the modern world”, or even:

“As these situations especially affect children, we are aware of a greater urgency to foster a true welcome for these families in our communities. For how can we encourage these parents to raise their children in the Christian life, to give them an example of Christian faith, if we keep them at arm’s length? I am especially grateful to the many pastors, guided by my Predecessors, who have worked diligently to let these families know they are still a part of the Church.” -Pope Francis, 5 August Wednesday Audience

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This attitude about how the world is different and thus we need “new avenues of creativity when it comes to families” is rooted in modern philosophy. It is not logical, nor is it Catholic to change Church teaching in order to be more inclusive for those who refuse to repent and amend their lives. Part of following Christ is indeed to take up your cross and follow Him (c.f. Matthew 16:24, Luke 9:23), but also to repent of our sins and to turn to God, for indeed the end is near (c.f. Matthew 4:17). To change Church doctrine to allow the unrepentant to receive the Holy Eucharist in a state of mortal sin is damaging to the soul of the sinner as warned by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:27-29:

Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.

Scholasticism, as defined by the Concise Catholic Dictionary of 1943 is “the thought of Christian philosophers and theologians originating in the ninth century. It developed a characteristic method of investigation and exposition of thought applied to both philosophy and theology, and showed the relationship of philosophy and theology. It reached its height in the thirteenth century, and its greatest propounder was St. Thomas Aquinas. Scholastic theology unfolds and vindicates the conclusions deduced from dogmas by theologians.”

Pope Leo XIII, in his encyclical Aeterni Patris, urged for the return of scholastic thinking:

15. “And, indeed, the knowledge and use of so salutary a science, which flows from the fertilizing founts of the sacred writings, the sovereign Pontiffs, the holy Fathers and the councils, must always be of the greatest assistance to the Church, whether with the view of really and soundly understanding and interpreting the Scriptures, or more safely and to better purpose reading and explaining the Fathers, or for exposing and refuting the various errors and heresies; and in these late days, when those dangerous times described by the Apostle are already upon us, when the blasphemers, the proud, and the seducers go from bad to worse, erring themselves and causing others to err, there is surely a very great need of confirming the dogmas of Catholic faith and confuting heresies.”

Scholasticism allows for understanding and properly interpreting scripture, understanding the fathers and councils of the Church, and to combat heresy and error. We see that scholasticism’s greatest strength is combating error as the enemies of the Church are always trying to introduce their errors into her thinking, much like we are witnessing today.

The aforementioned attitudes of modern philosophy are in conflict with scholasticism as modern philosophy is rooted in error. However, these bishops enjoy the glamour of modern philosophy, as the world is enchanted by it. The world promises riches and praise when adoption of its policies is adopted. Due to their ignorance of scholasticism, they fail to realize the errors and heresies of modern philosophy. Thus, they are unable to realize their error and instead proclaim these errors as truth. Continue to fast and pray, as we are indeed in dark times. Dare we hope that Pope Francis will uphold Church teaching?

Jeff September 23, 2015 1 Comment Permalink

How Would Catholics React if the Synod Were Related to Abortion?

With the Synod of the Family looming only a months away, it is important that all Catholics realize what is at stake. There have been numerous attempts by many bishops, cardinals and even the Pope to look for ways which would allow those who are divorced, remarried, or engaged in homosexual behavior to receive the Holy Eucharist. We are told that we need to extend an olive branch; we need to show them mercy.

Synod of the Family

This message is in spite of St. Paul’s warnings from Scripture:

Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 11:27-29

The reality of the situation is this: those who are actively engaged in any immoral behavior and are both unrepentant and have not been absolved are living in mortal sin and thus cannot receive the Holy Eucharist. There is no tiptoeing around the issue. There are no loopholes. Only those in the state of grace may receive our Lord.

A number of Catholics who are considered good, faithful, conservative Catholics are viewing this Synod in a positive light. In mistaken attempts to be viewed as “good Catholics” they will submit to the decisions of the Synod. If the Synod decides that adulterers can receive the Holy Eucharist, then they will assume that is what the Holy Spirit wants, and it is now acceptable to allow the practice, regardless of almost 2,000 years of Church teaching against the matter.

This response does not make one a faithful Catholic in good standing, but rather a sheep who only follows orders, and uses neither the brain nor the intellect with which God has endowed him. It is crucial we view the Synod with a different example of Mortal Sin. Let’s view the Synod in terms of abortion.

Hypothetically, let us imagine this upcoming Synod is not the “Synod of the Family”, but rather, the “Synod of the Child”; bishops and cardinals from around the world and the Pope gather in Rome to discuss the need to be merciful to abortionists, their lobbyists, and those who are in favor of the abortion “option”. We hear the need to be merciful to these poor misunderstood sinners. We are told that there are avenues by which a person who supports abortion in some form or another needs to be accepted at Holy Eucharist, so that they too may not be excluded and may feel welcome.

We see reports from prominent bishops and public figures holding key positions within the Church hierarchy explain the great need for this dialogue. It is important that all of God’s children feel welcome and accepted at the Lord’s Supper. There are numerous articles by several cardinals who are themselves in favor of allowing unrepentant murderers to receive Holy Eucharist, without amending their lives. These same cardinals tell us that even the Pope is on their side. The Pope is even on record as saying that one particular Cardinal’s theology is serene and an example of “doing theology on one’s knees”.

But there are bishops and cardinals who are against this idea. They cite the Church teaching on abortion by citing the recently canonized Pope St. John Paul II. These faithful bishops and cardinals are told that these teachings are “too extreme”. At the end of the first “Synod of the Child” the Pope issues a statement declaring that we can’t be too strict, and we can’t be too liberal. He explains we need to find a happy medium. But we know that when the life of an innocent child is about to be brutally ended that there is no happy medium. The “strictness of the law” protects the innocent child. The Synod even releases a mid-session relatio explaining how abortionists “have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community” and asks if the Church is “capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities?”

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It seems to me that without a doubt this hypothetical situation would not only fall flat on its face in being implemented, but the faithful would rise up in unison to decry this heinous act against the magisterial teaching of the Church. Under no circumstance should an individual whose job is to destroy the life of an innocent unborn child, mutilate her, and sell off her parts to the highest bidder be able to receive our Eucharistic Lord. The evil of abortion is so strong amongst the faithful that they would not accept any teaching given by Rome that stated anything to the contrary.

Yet, the majority of the faithful seem ready to accept what the Synod might say in regards to adulterers being allowed to receive Holy Communion.

If the Church were to be wrong in coming out with some sort of plan allowing abortionists and pro-abortion individuals to receive Holy Communion, then the Church would be wrong in coming out with a plan allowing adulterers to receive Holy Communion. In both cases, we have evil and heinous acts (divorce, remarriage, and homosexuality are all condemned by Our Lord and the Church). If you are one of those Catholics who would accept the Synod’s decision to depart from Church teaching on divorce, remarriage, and homosexuality, then you must also accept a hypothetical future in which the Church might one day accept those in favor of abortion to Communion as well. This isn’t an either/or situation, but rather an all or nothing situation.

Jeff September 2, 2015 Leave A Comment Permalink

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