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 Mass, Proper Worship and Megachurch Confusion

Should Catholics look towards Protestant megachurches for tips on worship experience? How about on church design? These are a few questions being asked within the Catholic Church today. In my last post, I examined why this would be a bad idea in regards to Catholic teaching. Now I’d like to examine the theology behind the Mass and our churches, to demonstrate how Protestant’s get them wrong.

What is the purpose of the Mass? The Baltimore Catechism (922) states:

“The ends for which the sacrifice of the Cross was offered were:
1. To honor and glorify God;
2. To thank Him for all the graces bestowed on the whole world;
3. To satisfy God’s justice for the sins of men;
4. To obtain all graces and blessings.

Christian worship should focus on Jesus Christ, Who is truly and substantially present in the Eucharist. While retaining the physical properties of bread and wine, when the priest says the words of consecration, they have become Jesus’ Body and Blood. His bloodied sacrifice of the Cross on Calvary is re-presented at the unbloodied sacrifice of the Altar, a sacrifice which can only be made by a validly ordained priest.

Tridentine Mass

In order for this reality to become manifest to those present, it is crucial for the space in which we worship to be reverent, solemn, and silent. Beauty adds to this atmosphere, as it draws us in to ponder the mysteries of this world and the next. This is why Catholics place many beautiful pieces of art and gold in their Churches. Sacred art invites those present to focus their prayer and contemplate God’s mysteries.

When churches remove elements of beauty, we lose opportunities to enter into contemplative prayer. Likewise, when the Mass is trivialized, we lose focus on Jesus Christ, and begin to focus on ourselves. Unfortunately, many Catholics believe we should look to Protestant megachurches, in order to influence the Mass and other facets of Catholic life.

We should see what one of these megachurches look like in order to draw a good comparison. Fortunately Boniface from Unam Sanctam Catholicam took a tour of his local Protestant megachurch.

Upon entering this particular “church”, you immediately see children playing soccer in their indoor soccer field. Yes, they have their very own indoor soccer field. Having worked at a high-quality fitness chain for a year and a half, I can tell you that the above church bears many resemblances. Boniface spends time walking around the building documenting all of the different facilities this megachurch has at its disposal.

They have their very own coffee shop, where you can go to get your mocha or latte. Or, if coffee doesn’t interest you, you can certainly grab a bite to eat. There is a play place where all the children can take off their shoes and run through the colorful tubes. Along the way, Boniface finds a timeline where the church traces its roots, all the way back to 2002. Ironically they list Jesus’ death, but ignore 2000 years of Christian history, showcasing their belief that their man-made church is far more important.

It isn’t until the end of the video that we discover the “auditorium”, as they call their place of “worship”, is on the other side of the soccer field. Nothing prepares someone for time with God better than a tour through a gymnasium! Ironically, the doors to the auditorium are locked. No longer do Christians recognize they are in need of the Lord’s saving grace; gone are the days when they go to a Church to pray, in the Lord’s own house. Why bother when you can easily spend your prayer time at the coffee shop?

There is hardly any indication this megachurch is even Christian. This odd building takes away focus from the sacred and spotlights the profane. It is about the temporal welfare of the believer, instead of the spiritual. I suspect they preach a gospel of prosperity, that is, God rewards His faithful with wealth.

the eucharist

As Catholics, we have to realize Jesus is physically present in the Eucharist. He resides in our tabernacles awaiting for us to adore Him. This reality affects how we properly worship God. There is no more perfect way to worship God and glorify Him than by attending Mass, receiving Him worthily in communion, and adoring Him in Adoration. We do not go to Mass to be friendly with our neighbors. We go to honor and glorify God, to thank Him for all the graces bestowed on the whole world, to satisfy God’s justice for the sins of men, and to obtain all graces and blessings. Social benefits should not draw us in, but the desire to come face to face with Jesus at the consecration: a most solemn moment. Once our focus is taken off of Christ and put onto ourselves, we have lost the meaning of the Mass, and what it means to be a Christian.

Jeff February 24, 2015 1 Comment Permalink

TradSpeak Episode 2

On the second episode of TradSpeak, I talk with Rachel Claire, one half of the YouTube show Your Face Is Catholic! We discuss Catholic Identity, specifically in regards to veiling from a woman’s perspective, kneeling to receive Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, and we even discuss Friday abstinence.

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Currently, you can download or listen from SoundCloud. Due to some technical difficulties and lack of foresight on my part, this is the only way you can listen to it. I am working on getting iTunes and self-hosted working soon.

Enjoy and thanks for listening!

Jeff January 6, 2015 Leave A Comment Permalink

The Black Mass: An Alternative Solution

Bishop Slattery of the neighboring diocese of Tulsa, Oklahoma offered some sound and pastoral words in response to the Oklahoma City Black Mass scheduled on September 21.

I appreciate and approve of His Excellency’s request for some hardcore fasting and prayer leading up to this blasphemous event. Fasting and prayer worked well during the last Black Mass. The event ended up becoming cancelled all together. It was a triumphant victory. As critical as prayer and fasting is, I would like to suggest an alternative approach as well.

These Satanists have taken Jesus, truly present in the Eucharist as hostage, it only makes sense that we send in some strong Catholic men and priests to take him back.

Crusaders

St. John Chrysostom said when it came to blasphemy:

And should you hear any one in the public thoroughfare, or in the midst of the forum, blaspheming God; go up to him and rebuke him; and should it be necessary to inflict blows, spare not to do so. Smite him on the face; strike his mouth; sanctify your hand with the blow, and if any should accuse you, and drag you to the place of justice, follow them thither; and when the judge on the bench calls you to account, say boldly that the man blasphemed the King of angels!

The Black Mass is a blasphemous affair. These poor souls who violate our Lord in this sacrilege have admitted that they understand what they are doing. Thus, it would make sense to go in there, smiting these blasphemers left and right.

I do not see the saints standing idly by while Our Lord is desecrated upon these Satanic “altars”. The saints would go in and take back Jesus, the laity doing the fighting, the priests handling Christ. St. John Chrysostom would organize a take back strategy, while praying the Rosary for victory over his enemies. The saints would fight for Jesus.

You may accuse me of being angry, but if you aren’t angry that Jesus has been taken hostage, then you aren’t practicing your faith right.

All-Saints

It would only seem appropriate that while these modern day saints are rushing in like soldiers, marching on to battle, that they sing “When the Saints Go Marching In”.

Jeff August 10, 2014 5 Comments Permalink

I’m Not Partaking in the Sign of Peace Anymore

It’s the part of the Novus Ordo Mass most people tend to dread; The Sign of Peace. Now, I don’t dread it nor do I get super excited with the warm and fuzzies about it either. But, after attending the Extraordinary Form (Traditional Latin Mass) more regularly recently, I’ve decided  I will not be doing the Sign of Peace.

In all honesty, I just can’t bear to do it anymore. Logically, it makes no sense when you look at what the purpose of the Mass is and what we are doing. We are worshiping the One True God, physically present in the Eucharist, The Son of the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ.

the eucharist

When we administer a friendly handshake with our neighbor, in an effort to show a faux unity, we are no longer worshiping God, but ourselves. We are already united. We are baptized Catholics, hopefully in the state of grace, who are all gathered to worship Jesus Christ. That is true unity. If anything, the Sign of Peace serves more as a distraction from Jesus than anything else.

The timing of the Sign of Peace is very odd. The Sign of Peace takes place shortly after the Priest has finished consecrating the Bread and Wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. We have just spent the last 10 minutes kneeling (hopefully) in adoration, acknowledging that we are witnessing a miracle. The miracle that a humble servant of God has been used by The Almighty, to transform Bread into the Body of Christ and the Wine into the Blood of Christ. No mere man can do this, but only a man who has given up his life for Christ and His Church and consecrated by his Bishop.

After witnessing this miracle, we then get to shake hands with our neighbor. That includes the guy who hasn’t washed his hands since his last shower, the kids who have been picking their noses, and all the sweat and germs people have accumulated from all of the hymnals and pews. It really is disgusting when you think about it.

The Sign of Peace disrupts the order of the Mass. Mass is not a social gathering that we fulfill once a week in order to make our weekly obligation. The Mass is the time we come together as a community to individually worship Christ, truly present in the Eucharist. The second we forget this point, is the second we stop worshiping as Catholics.

The more and more I contemplate this, the more and more I contemplate that it is no longer necessary to even do the Sign of Peace. The Sign of Peace is optional, meaning we can each optionally choose whether we are going to do it or not. Likewise, Father can make the decision if the congregation will or will not do it as well. During flu season, the Sign of Peace is omitted. If it can be omitted during times of the year when germs and illness are a concern, then it can be omitted throughout the rest of the year for the same reasoning.

The Sign of Peace- Tell me this doesn't look like worship of self.

The Sign of Peace- Tell me this doesn’t look like worship of self.

If you see me at Mass and I don’t acknowledge you during the Sign of Peace with a handshake or a wave or a nod, it isn’t because I do not like you or am trying to avoid you, but that I am keeping my focus on Christ, who is truly among us in this sacred place.

Jeff July 9, 2014 12 Comments Permalink

How The Early Christians Worshiped On Sundays

Have you ever wondered how the first Christians worshiped? I have, and its actually fairly interesting. Today, with all the different denominations arguing about “proper worship” and what “best way to glorify Jesus”, it would be nice to know how they did it way back in the early days. Well, luckily, there are the writings of an early Christian, Justin Martyr who wrote out exactly how they spent their Sunday.

On the day we call the day of the sun, all who dwell in the city or country gather in the same place.

The memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read, as much as time permits.

When the reader has finished, he who presides over those gathered admonishes and challenges them to imitate these beautiful things.

Then we all rise together and offer prayers* for ourselves . . .and for all others, wherever they may be, so that we may be found righteous by our life and actions, and faithful to the commandments, so as to obtain eternal salvation.

When the prayers are concluded we exchange the kiss.

Then someone brings bread and a cup of water and wine mixed together to him who presides over the brethren.

He takes them and offers praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and for a considerable time he gives thanks (in Greek: eucharistian) that we have been judged worthy of these gifts.

When he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all present give voice to an acclamation by saying: ‘Amen.’

When he who presides has given thanks and the people have responded, those whom we call deacons give to those present the “eucharisted” bread, wine and water and take them to those who are absent.

St Justin Martyr

If you are a Catholic, it is obvious how they celebrated. It is the Catholic Mass. It isn’t a “worship service”. It isn’t a “praise and worship” event. It is a Mass.

Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church and the Catholic Mass follows all that Jesus taught us. If you want to be a follower of Christ, then you must likewise be a follower of His Church.

Jeff December 20, 2013 Leave A Comment Permalink

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