Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

Jesus

All of the posts under the "Jesus" 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

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

An Unworthy Slave to Jesus Through Mary

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I, your unworthy servant, your slave, am deserving of each lash that you received during your scourging ten-fold. Each strike and each blow that the Romans lashed upon you should be mine. You did not deserve any of the punishment upon which you received, yet you willingly took upon this Cross, so that I may not have to receive this beating.

I should be the one who should be tied upon that pillar. I should be the one upon that cross. Your precious blood does not deserve to be spilled, yet you love me so much that You will it. I deserve this punishment for the numerous times that I have failed you and sinned. For the times that I have spat in your face like the Pharisees and Sanhedrin.

Each blow You received I should have received to atone for the sins and injustices I have committed. Yet as your slave, I do not receive any merits for these. Like you Lord, I offer each blow up for the salvation of others. I give each merit to Your Mother to do as she pleases, for she, being free from Original Sin, is in perfect unity with Your will, and knows where each grace should go.

Please forgive me for each sin I have committed, and assist me to grow in holiness, so that I may love you with my whole heart, and to do Your will, so that upon my death, I may be united with you in Heaven.

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

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