Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

Holy Spirit

All of the posts under the "Holy Spirit" category.

Spot the Heresy: Reforming the Church

I’d like to begin a game in which I, your host, provide you with a quote. I will not tell you where the quote originated from, but you will be tasked with finding the heretical undertones of the quote. The purpose of this game is for you to learn to analyze what different individuals within the Catholic Church say, without the peskiness of knowing who said it, and determine if what is said is actually Catholic. Obviously, since the name of the game is “Spot the Heresy”, the statement will not be Catholic, but we can then analyze the reasons why it isn’t.

martin luther

Now that you know the rules, let us begin:

“[reforming the Church] means instead grafting yourself up and rooting yourself in Christ, leaving yourself to be guided by the Spirit – so that all will be possible with genius and creativity.”

So, where is the heresy? By my count, I see three heretical remarks nested within these 31 words. One heresy every ten words, that is quite the feat.

The first heresy is the implication that the Church is in need of reformation. While maybe not a heresy per se, it is most an error as the prelate who spoke these words believes that the Catholic Church as we know it today is in need of reforming everything, from the Liturgy to the priesthood, to the day to day lives of all Catholics. Whenever a prelate of the post-conciliar Church says that reformation is needed, it should never be assumed that they have the best intentions. Ever since the Second Vatican Council, we have heard of a supposed “need” for the Church to be reformed.

After seeing the poor implementation of the Council and the constant misinterpretations of what was actually called for, we can see that all of the reforms that have occurred since then have done nothing but harm to the Catholic Church. There are priest shortages in every diocese, the vast majority of the laity do not go to Mass weekly, over 70% of Catholics do not believe in the True Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, and 85% of Catholics who are confirmed leave the Church within five years.

The reforms of the Church over the last 50 years have been nothing but devastating and the only “reform” that we need is a return to the Truths and the Doctrines and Dogmas of the Catholic Church. Not a moving away from these because the laity and the world find them too hard. Jesus lost all of His followers when He told them that they did not have eternal life if they did not eat His Flesh and drink His Blood. If Our Lord didn’t back down, neither should we.

The second heresy is “rooting yourself in Christ, leaving yourself to be guided by the Spirit”. This implies that if we are to root ourselves in Christ (and ignore the Church because the two go hand in hand) that we are then able to allow the Holy Spirit to take control. The thing is, the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ are one in the same God. By obeying one you can not disobey the other. Both are God, along with the Father, but neither of them will lead you astray from the other. It is impossible, as it is a contradiction.

Whenever you read or hear anything from anybody, whether they be Catholic or Protestant, clergy or laymen, religious or not, and they imply that any one person of the Trinity is different and can lead you towards a different path than another person of the Trinity, you know that they are dabbling in the heresy of blasphemy. As the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three persons in one God, they will always point to one Truth, not three separate truths.

The third heresy is “so that all will be possible with genius and creativity.” If you are at all familiar with the Gospel of Luke, you will know that “through God, all things are possible”. While genius and creativity are all attributes we can apply to the Lord, it is not these attributes that will help make the Church “better”. It will not be through mere human actions that will make things better, but by the grace of God that all of the problems we are currently facing will go away. This also falls under the heresy of Modernism, as it implies that it is through the experience and the feelings of the individuals to define what the “genius” and “creativity” would be.

Now, did you get all of the heresies? Were there any that I missed? Would you like to take a gander as to who said the above quote?

It was Pope Francis speaking to the Italian Church. If you have agreed with me during the entire post and now find yourself in disagreement, you might need to start rethinking your position as a faithful Catholic. If you have put your Catholic faith in any person other than Christ and the scandal of a Pope saying something so obviously non-Catholic, as we have just walked through, leaves you to now ignore basic Catholic doctrine and thought, then you are not being a faithful Catholic by following the Pope’s every word and defending them, but rather, you are being traitorous to Christ and His Church, as you have abandoned His teachings for that of a mere man.

Jeff November 13, 2015 3 Comments Permalink

Stained Glass, High Altars, and Scripture: Why We Should Avoid Simplicity In Our Churches

There is a common misunderstanding that exists today in which many believe that Jesus was simple. Many arguments proceed from this belief, such as how our worship should be simpler, or our churches should be bare to better coincide with how simple Jesus was. But, the reality is, Jesus would not approve of this belief. This belief comes from a misunderstanding of who Jesus is, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, and poor catechesis with a lack of comprehension from the Scriptures.

Jesus in the Scriptures

Stained Glass

When it comes to wanting to have a simpler liturgy when it comes to Mass or just general worship, many people use Jesus’ words to the Pharisees as a defense for their position. The truth of the matter is the Pharisees created their own rules outside of the rules that God had laid out for His people. Jesus was never wanting to remove God’s rules:

“Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For amen I say unto you, till Heaven and Earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matthew 5:17-18

We need to remember that not all has been fulfilled. But I know what you are thinking. Didn’t Jesus die for our sins, come back from the dead, and ascend into Heaven, seated at the right hand of the Father? Yes. But Jesus also told us that He would Come Again. Jesus has yet to come again, thus not all has been fulfilled.

As a Jew, Jesus would have obeyed the laws of the Old Testament. We know that He was a teacher in the temple, and thus He would have known and followed these laws, as those who did not were forbidden to teach. We observe that the laws of God were obeyed, but the laws of the Pharisees were not. The Pharisees laws were created by them, in order that they may be seen as holier than thou, that is, these laws were unattainable by even the most devout of Jews, and the Pharisees gave the outward appearance of being holy while having an inward disposition of being wicked and corrupt. Thus, Jesus rested and prayed on the Sabbath, but did not necessarily wash before meals.

To further show that Jesus was not simple, we know from Scripture that Jesus was not simply dressed, but finely dressed. When Jesus was crucified we must remember these key passages from the Gospels:

“And after they had crucified him, they divided his garments, casting lots; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: ‘They divided my garments among them; and upon my vesture they cast lots’.” Matthew 27:35

“And crucifying him, they divided his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.” Mark 15:24

“The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified him, took his garments, (and they made four parts, to every soldier a part,) and also his coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said then one to another: Let us not cut it, but let us cast lots for it, whose it shall be; that the scripture might be fulfilled, saying: They have parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture they have cast lots. And the soldiers indeed did these things.” John 19:23-24

When the Roman soldiers would crucify their prisoners, they would generally cut apart the clothing of the victim and share it equally among themselves. However, when it came to Jesus’ clothing, they did not cut it, but rather, “rolled the dice” to see who would win it. Most clothing was made of multiple pieces of material, and thus they would rip it apart and just use the scraps for mending or what not. However, with Jesus’ clothing they did not, which means that this was not just “scraps put together” but fine material, expensive material. Why would Jesus, if He was simple, wear expensive clothing? Because He is God and He is our King.

Jesus Christ, Fully God and Fully King

Traditional High Altar

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is a separate person but has the same nature of God. He is fully God, as much so as God the Father and God the Holy Ghost. Three individuals, but one God. Now, a question must be asked: is the Trinity simply explained? The short answer is no. It is a mystery of faith that we can only briefly scrape with our limited intellect. Thus, if we as humans have difficulty understanding who Jesus Christ is in relation to the Trinity, how can we even say that He is simple? Jesus Christ proceeds from the Father, and through His love with the Father, the Holy Spirit proceeds through Them. But they all existed at the same time. We can say sincerely, that God is not simple, but He gives us enough information to allow our intellect to engage in this mystery.

Not only is Jesus Christ our God, but He is also our King. Jesus says so Himself:

“Pilate therefore said to him: Art thou a king then? Jesus answered: Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice.” John 18:37

Our Churches are adorn with beautiful images of our faith, along with gold because our King deserves our best. Before you say that Jesus did not want these nice things, remember, the three kings came to the Nativity with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, all lavish and expensive gifts. Before Jesus’ death, the sorrowful woman anoints Jesus’ feet with perfume that is worth 300 days’ wages. When the woman was admonished by Judas, Jesus rebuked him saying that she had done a good thing.

We must also keep in mind the sacrifices and gifts Cain and Abel gave to God in Genesis 4. Abel, being filled with love for God, gave his absolute best to God. Of his crop, he gave his top ten percent and burned it. Cain on the other hand, was not filled with love for God, and figured he only needed to be simple. So Cain gave his bottom ten percent and burned it. God was pleased with Abel and made it known that Abel had found favor with Him. Cain was upset and killed his brother because Abel was favored.

There is also an example of two kings. One king threw a party and invited the entire kingdom. When the guests arrived, the king took them around his castle and showcased all of his beloved art and ornaments. He shared with them his home and shared everything that he had with them. The ballroom was a magnificent spectacle that would give even the Disney castles some jealousy.

But there was a second king who also threw a party and invited the entire kingdom. However, when the guests arrived, he brought them into a ballroom with bare walls, no decorum, no art, no music, no anything. It was rather drab, or simple. However, because there was nothing else, the king said to his people, “I want you to spend the entire ball looking at me. You are not to dance with one another as that would take the focus off of me.” Now, this is rather a selfish attitude and certainly not the attitude one would expect from a king who is inviting people into his home.

The first king is like Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church, who has beautiful churches laced with golden ornaments and beautiful art, not so that you can’t focus on Him, but rather, you can reflect upon the beauty captured in all of this and meditate on the different aspects of Our Lord’s life. This is why most Catholic churches of the pre-conciliar time are beautiful works of art. The second king is like Jesus Christ in Protestantism. A selfish king who wishes to be the only person on display. This is why most protestant and Catholic churches of the post-conciliar time are drab and plain.

Jesus Christ deserves our absolute best when it comes to liturgy, worship, and even our churches. Our King’s kingdom is not of this world, but rather of Heaven. Jesus Christ Our King deserves the cream of the crop, not just the leftovers of the fruits of our labor. We should not be afraid to house our King in a beautiful church where one is left awestruck because it does not take anything away from Our God, but rather, emphasizes that much more how important and great He is.

Jeff October 23, 2015 1 Comment Permalink

Teens Faith on Fire After Local Rock Concert

Nearby Rock Concert

Your Nearest Metropolitan – The faith of local teens are on fire, after attending a rock and roll concert this past weekend.

“You can tell the Holy Spirit descended upon these high schoolers during the concert. They started waving their arms in the air, clapping their hands, and singing along.” commented chaperon William Goldberg. “These kids began to praise God in all of His glory by using their bodies as King David did before the Ark. It really is an inspiration to us older folks.”

“This concert was all about getting these kids active and interested in their faith. They don’t like the classic genres of our parent’s generation. We won’t share it with them because they just won’t understand it or get it. It’s too old fashioned and nobody listens to that anymore, not even our parents!” stated Roger Thomas, another chaperon for the concert.

When asked his thoughts on the event, high schooler Greg Olson told us “This was the best day of my life. I’m going to remember the emotions of this event for the rest of my life. Following this band is like a religious experience.”

At press time, Greg had mentioned that he had no intention of bringing about his conversion to all areas of his life, and maybe he would consider going to Mass more often if he felt like it.

Jeff November 11, 2014 3 Comments Permalink

The Holy Spirit is Not Separable From the Trinity

God is Three Persons in One God. That is, He is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They do not contradict one another, as they can not. Just as Jesus Christ can not deny the Father or with hold the Holy Spirit, neither can the Father deny the Son or the Holy Spirit. This is basic Church teaching.

Shield-Trinity-Scutum-Fidei-English.svg

This applies also to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can not go against the Father nor the Son. If the “Holy Spirit” goes against either the Father or the Son of that which they have already revealed, then you are not dealing with the Holy Spirit, but by a false spirit.

This false spirit can only be that of the Devil or one of his many minions.

Calling upon the Holy Spirit in certain situations in which you feel that you need help, and then going about doing whatever it is you do (some of which may be sinful) is not the Will of God. Calling upon the Holy Spirit must be done in prudence. It is reckless and irresponsible and sinful to cite that the Holy Spirit allowed you to commit a sin.

Be wary also of those who try to state that the Holy Spirit can do things that the Father or the Son can not. This is a denial of God in the Father and in the Son. As far as we know, only God the Father knows all as Jesus hints at in Scripture when it comes to the end times.

Just as the Holy Spirit is inseparable from the Father and the Son, the Father is inseparable from the Son and the Holy Spirit, and the Son is inseparable to the Father and the Holy Spirit.

I would suggest we refer the Holy Spirit as the Holy Ghost, as it brings the person-hood of the Paraclete into a clearer understanding.

Seeing as we are in the Octave of Pentecost, it is an appropriate time to highlight a few things in regards to the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is not a magical gassy figure, that comes down upon us and makes us do interesting things. The Holy Spirit is still God, and helps us and leads us to God the Father and God the Son. It appears that many want us to believe that the Holy Spirit is something that descends upon us and makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. If you do not feel the warm and fuzzies, then you are not doing something right and you are without the Holy Spirit.

There are many gifts of the Holy Spirit, in fact there are 7 of them. Those 7 gifts are: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord. These are the actual gifts of the Holy Spirit. These are not to be confused with the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is still God and is not to be interpreted as separate or separable from the Trinity. Separating any person of the Trinity away would constitute as blasphemy.

Jeff June 10, 2014 2 Comments Permalink

Ministries

One thing I enjoy doing is thinking up ways that the Church can be improved. Now, I’m not saying that the Church is wrong, but, I do think that there is always room for improvements. Specifically, I want to look at some of the ministries that the Church has or has not.

First and foremost, I think that the Church really needs to spend more time on Young Adult ministries. Generally, Young Adult is defined as singles between the ages of 18-35 years old. As a former member of a successful YA group, it was really nice to make nice friends who shared my Catholic faith and happened to be at the same stage of life as me. I have made some really good friends who I still keep in contact with even though I have moved several states away and some of these friends have also moved throughout the country as well. This is an absolute necessity to the Church in my opinion and I’ll explain why.

Catholic children either go to Catholic schools or they go to religious education or Sunday school classes. Now in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, students go through religious education from Kindergarten all the way through 11th grade. At 12th grade they are no longer required to go through any form of structured religious education. This is fine. Now, we look at college. Sometimes you have a Catholic Church near the campus, but I do think it is a safe assumption that they are not always on the traditional point of view. You can still have a good education depending on who you meet, but at least in some ways you still have something there. Possibly. The average Catholic has no strong structural religious education between this time until the time that they are married and have children. At this time there are more formal adult education programs that the Church offers, but still not as much as what the children have.

Young Adult is where you can keep a lot of the future Catholics within the Church happy and healthy spiritually. A lot of times as well, Young Adults may find their future spouse within their group. I know many friends who met their spouse through our Young Adult group and are currently very happy. This is because I believe most practicing young Catholics, want to marry another practicing young Catholic. It is also important to note that this allows you to be friends with your spouse first, which is an incredibly important part of your marital relationship. Your spouse should be your best friend. But, I digress. Young Adults are the future of the Church. If you want a strong Church, you need to keep those who are still young and interested in all things relating to the Church involved so that they may become stronger and holier.

Second, a ministry that helps with keeping members feel welcomed within the Church. I have heard that Mormons have a ministry in every single one of their churches that involves keeping members feel welcome within the community. This is important in every Catholic Parish throughout the Catholic Church. For those Catholics who are not actively involved and are just going to Church once a week for Mass, may not feel connected to the parish. Now, its possible too that when they don’t have this connection, they feel like they aren’t getting anything out of the Church, or, the Church doesn’t care for them. This isn’t true of course, but when you don’t feel like the Church cares for you, your perspective is completely different. We need to get these Catholics involved within the Church and know that they are welcomed, valued and cared for.

Protestant churches do a very good job at making members feel connected, and we need to tap into this. This ministry would also involve talking to parishioners and letting them know that they are being prayed for and then they also have actual members within the community that they know and can even form relationships with. Strong Catholic relationships are important at helping others grow in their faith. I know for me personally that some of my best friendships and relationships have been when I have been challenged to grow in my faith and I have felt welcome within the parish community as a whole. This is going to be a very important ministry as it will help keep Catholics who are currently coming to Church on a regular basis, coming back for more and allowing them to continue to be stronger in their faith.

Its also important to note that even if they have stopped coming to Mass, that they know that they are still being felt welcoming and hopefully this will encourage them to come back. It also gives the opportunity to help evangelize those that don’t understand parts of the faith that are preventing them from coming back for more. Religious education is important and when people have questions and they aren’t getting answers, they will look elsewhere if it happens to seem like an answer to that question.

Third, a ministry that helps place RCIA candidates in other ministries within the Church. When people go through RCIA and decide that they want to convert from their previous faith or lack thereof (in my situation), or are being confirmed, they are usually on fire for the faith. They are so excited and the Holy Spirit really works hard with in them that they want to help out within the Church to share their new knowledge and new understanding of Catholicism. We need these new Catholics who have a different perspective of life, to be placed throughout the Church, where change and fire can help the Church to grow so much more. If you have ever spent any time talking to these people, they are so excited to be Catholic and are so full of faith. We need to harness this because I firmly believe that those who come into the Church are more likely to help spread Catholicism.

We need to be Catholics who are on fire for their faith. When we are Catholics who are on fire for our faith, we lead by example and those who are non-Catholic, or non-practicing Catholic, see the Catholic Church for what it really is. We need some change within the Church that is going to help keep us Catholic and will help bring our non-Catholic brothers and sisters home.

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