Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

Pope St. John Paul II

All of the posts under the "Pope St. John Paul II" category.

Living Out Your Faith Isn’t the Only Way To Win Souls

Somewhere along the line, many leaders in the Church forgot about the need for proper evangelization. That is, to make proselytites.

Now, I want to be clear, we are not to force people to convert. That is not how proper conversion works based on our understanding of the sacraments needing free will in order to be valid.

Many in the Church today are under the false ideology that if we only live authentic Catholic lives, that that is all we need in order to win over souls. We don’t need to meet people where they’re at, we don’t need to even try to convince them of why they should become Catholic. This is erroneous and a danger to the souls of those who we should be trying to convert.

As a convert myself, it was not the idea of Catholics being hunky dory that led to my conversion. What led to my conversion was the deep shame I had for my sins and the realization that I would never be the same for committing them. On top of that, I felt guilty for my actions and didn’t feel that I was worthy of Heaven.

My friend eventually told me that I needed the saving waters of Baptism to not only cleanse me of Original Sin, but of the sins that I had committed.  On top of that I needed to worship the Triune God, in His Son’s Church, the Catholic Church. This is what drew me into the Catholic Church. Not a life of happiness, but of second chances.

It is rare that we choose a life-changing event based on how happy we see others doing it. This idea that we only need to live an authentically joyful life in order to win over souls, is not something that Christ preached:

Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. Matthew 28:19-20 DR

There are two figures who can shed more light on this.

Mother Theresa interacted with many people both directly and indirectly. I have never met her, but have heard the stories of those who have, as well as have heard her speak. Likewise, I was not Catholic when Pope St. John Paul 2 was alive. Nevertheless, I can read what he had to write and hear what he had to say.

Pope St. John Paul II and Blessed Mother Theresa

With the combination of Blessed Mother Theresa and St. John Paul 2 and the way they joyfully lived out their lives, wouldn’t you think that a majority of the world would be Catholic? When you look at the numbers, it doesn’t add up. The number of Catholics in India is only about 19.9 million. This makes up for roughly 1.55% of their population. This tells me that just living out your faith joyfully isn’t enough.

Part of living out your faith requires that you evangelize and teach non-believers to come into the Church. We Catholics know that we are doomed if we step foot outside of the Church as she teaches beautifully EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA SALUS or No Salvation Outside of the Church.

Because we know of this teaching, we realize that all other practices are poisonous. Much like you wouldn’t let a friend or family member drink an actual bottle of poison, you shouldn’t let a friend or family member stay outside of the Church. It is indeed a matter of life or death, of the soul.

We learn from the Catholic liturgy the importance of living out an authentic Catholic life. Worship, doctrine, and prayer all come together as it all points us back to God.

Living out your faith, while important, is not the only way, nor even the best way to bring about conversions. Regular conversation is the best way. It may not be your job to fully convince them of the Truth, but it is your job to tell them the Truth.

Jeff August 17, 2014 3 Comments Permalink

Muslims Will Pray IN the Vatican

From the site Al Arabiya:

For the first time in history, Islamic prayers and readings from the Quran will be heard at the Vatican on Sunday, in a move by Pope Francis to usher in peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Francis issued the invitation to Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during his visit last week to Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority.

Abbas, Peres, and Francis will be joined by Jewish, Christian and Islamic religious leaders, a statement released by Peres’s spokesperson said, according to the Times of Israel.

Holy See officials on Friday said the evening prayers would be a “pause in politics” and had no political aim other than to rekindle the desire for Israeli-Palestinian peace at the political and popular level, according to the Associated Press.

Reading this saddens me greatly. Pope Francis is the Vicar of Christ. He is Peter. Pope St. Peter was martyred upside down in Rome by spreading and evangelizing the One True Faith. He was martyred for defending that only worship of God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Ghost the Paraclete was the only true path, the only path that God cares about. All others will lead to Hell.

Yes, I know that Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI had their Assisi gatherings. From my point of view, that was a “I will pray with you over there”. In regards to this, this is a “Let’s pray in my house”.

Jesus Christ hung out with tax collectors and prostitutes, but he did not condone them in their faith, nor their sin. I hope and pray that this is an evangelization opportunity and Pope Francis talks about the need to accept Jesus Christ and convert into the Catholic Church. I am not going to hold my breath though.

Comments on the Supposed "Split" Within The Church

We have never, and I would venture to say will ever see Muslims invite Christians into their Mosques to pray. Likewise, we will not see Jews invite Christians into their Temples to pray. If we are following the True Religion, then why do we invite these false worshipers in to pray?

The world will only experience peace when they follow Jesus Christ and His Church. Following false religions or creeds will not lead to happiness. Only Christ can lead to everlasting life and happiness.

Jeff June 6, 2014 5 Comments Permalink

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

The Canonizations

I have actually been taking a break from posting because with much that has been going on in the Church, I have decided that a break was in order. In addition to that, I have been rather busy with other personal matters. I will resume posting soon.

I’ve been muddling over in my head for the last month or so about my thoughts in regards to the recent canonizations of now Pope St. John XXIII and Pope St. John Paul II.

While I do not doubt that they are in Heaven because the Church and Her Magisterium say so, to me, they should not have been elevated to the status of Saint.

Before you pass judgment and accuse me of being a sedevacantist, or heretic, or even a Pharisee, let me explain my position.

The purpose of declaring someone a Saint, is that they are those who have demonstrated heroic virtue based on their state in life. As Popes, they are responsible for the sins of the entire world, those Catholic and non-Catholic alike. There is a reason why so few Popes have been elevated to the status of Sainthood. Each Pope may exude personal holiness, but if they have failed in their duties of their office, that goes against them. Just like if you as a parent have failed to properly bring up your child in the faith, Popes too are responsible for the failures of each child of God on this planet.

Pope St. John XXIII started the Second Vatican Council as we all know. We also can see the fruits of the implementation of this council. Mass attendance has sunk in the United States as well as most of the Western World. Mass attendance prior to V2 was about 80% on a weekly basis. Currently, it is somewhere around 30%. The faith has been watered down since then and sound Catholicism is a rarity to be found.

I understand that you can not blame other people’s faults on someone else, but since this was started under his watch and a direct result from his doings, it is only right that he take responsibility. Many Catholics have abandoned the faith. This is a great tragedy.

The most important factor is that the 2nd required miracle was completely skipped. Granted other Saints have had this requirement waived, it is still disconcerting, even in their cases as well.

Pope St. John Paul II may have combated many evils during his pontificate such as abortion, contraception, homosexuality, women priests, etc, but he had his shortcomings.

One such shortcoming was the complete lack of oversight in regards to the sexual abuse scandal. I’m tired of beating a dead horse but, this occurred under his watch. We are looking strictly at facts. He also publicly kissed a Koran (which he never apologized for), he allowed for female altar servers, he allowed the Assissi gatherings in which false religions were allowed to publicly worship together in some form of false ecumenicism. The sacredness of the Mass was ruined by allowing Witch Doctors and false idols to enter the sanctuary.

Many of the Saints that the Church recognizes have been martyred for refusing to acknowledge the “truths” of false religions. Yes, Islam is a false religion. Since Jesus Christ is the Son of God and He is the Truth, any religion that claims otherwise is False.

Much ink has been spilled about these two and many other sources have far better points than I, but these are my thoughts and again I am not denying the Church’s authority or that of Her Magisterium.

I will recognize that these two men are in Heaven and that their personal holiness is what got them to Heaven. I will also recognize that this seems to be a ploy to canonize the Second Vatican Council, even though there are many things that are contradictory to prior councils (such as religious freedom, ecumenicism, and Islam). This is more evident especially since Pope Paul VI will be beatified over what seems to be a phony miracle.

We have two new Saints. I submit myself to the Church’s Authority on this and trust that God is in control as He always is. This isn’t the end of the world, though it can seem disconcerting. I know my Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday (the Second Sunday of Easter) was very painful and distracting. Thankfully, I was able to ignore my computer most of the day and those I was with made no mention of the canonizations (thank God!).

I close in prayer: “Pope St. John XXIII and Pope St. John Paul II, we ask that you intercede on our behalf, and give us Church leaders that are much greater and holier than you.”

Jeff May 6, 2014 2 Comments Permalink

The Fallacy of Always Being Joyful

I’ve noticed for quite some time that there is a new buzzword in the world of Catholicism. No, I’m not talking about the ‘New Evangelization’ here. I’m speaking specifically about the word ‘joy’.

Now, I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with having joy or being in a state of joy. I consider myself to be joyful most of the time as I am always in the mood for a good joke and a fun time.

However, my concern is that all we talk about lately is that Christians have to have joy in order to be successful at Evangelization. As if that is a requirement for being a disciple of Jesus Christ as well as a Catholic in Good Standing. To me, we are overusing this word and making the word become a sappy and emotional feel-good term, as opposed to the true joy that Jesus refers to in the Gospels.

If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. John 15:10-12

Jesus is clear here. If we follow the commandments that Jesus has laid down before us, as well as the Commandments that God our Father has given us, we will have the joy that Christ has and gives because we are in that state of grace.

Similarly, when Jesus is telling the disciples that He will be taken up and crucified and will no longer be with them, they are upset. He says to them:

Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. On that day you will not question me about anything. Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. John 16:20-24

When you go out to run a race, you more than likely are not thinking or even feeling joy. As you are running, the pain in your legs and the lactic acid build up begins to ache and throb. More than likely, this is not a joyful experience. Many times you may feel the desire or the urge to quit, but you push through. Finally, after your continuing success, you see the finish line. Inspired by this sight, you begin to push harder and run faster. A joy begins to arise as you know you are almost done with your race. You push harder and harder until finally, you cross the finish line, puffing and panting and suddenly a rush of joy sweeps over you. This is authentic joy as Jesus hints at.

This is the type of joy we are to strive for as Catholics. We shouldn’t settle for the counterfeit joy of feeling emotional and good and giddy and happy. Being a disciple isn’t always a joyful experience. Jesus warns us that following Him means the world will hate us because it hated Him first.

He warns us that the Gates of Heaven are narrow, and the Gates of Hell are wide. He warns us that our family will hate us because we follow Him. Jesus even mentions that we are going to have to sacrifice. None of these things are joyful in themselves.

What makes them joyful in the Catholic sense of the word, is the fact that we are created to love and serve our Lord, Jesus Christ. We are to follow His will for us. When we follow His will, we may experience moments of joy, however, there are moments when we do not. The false dichotomy that we will experience joy can lead the person who follows this mentality to think that they are not following God’s will because they do not feel joy. There are many instances in which following God’s will, will in fact not feel or seem joyful.

The faithful who stands up for an end to abortion or in defense of traditional marriage may get fired from his job. There is joy in standing up for God, but the doubts and uncertainty of where the next paycheck will come will not be a joyful experience. Thankfully, God will provide to his faithful.

We have confused smiling and laughter with joy, which is thanks to our wonderful culture who either ignorantly or purposefully do this. If you Google Image St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Joseph or really, just about any Saint you can think of, you will find that they rarely are seen smiling. They are serious and stern, but the holiness radiates around them. Heck, look at the images of Our Lady in all of her different apparitions. Not many smiles.

St. Peter Doesn't Smile

St. Peter Doesn’t Smile

St. Joseph Hardly Smiles

St. Joseph Hardly Smiles

Pope St. Pius X Barely Smiles

Pope St. Pius X Barely Smiles

St. Paul Doesn't Smile

St. Paul Doesn’t Smile

I know some traditionalists would argue with me (and that’s fine, everyone is entitled to their opinion), but I see nothing wrong with smiling. But putting an emphasis on smiling and being a good Catholic is a lie and doesn’t stand when looking at the history of the Catholic faith. Catholicism is based on intellect, not on emotion. Emotion plays a role from time to time, but the majority of the time it is logic and truth.

Life isn’t always joyful. For proof, look at the Rosary as given to us by Our Lady. We don’t have 3 sets of Joyful mysteries. We have a set of Joyful mysteries, a set of Sorrowful mysteries, and a set of Glorious mysteries (we also have a set of Luminous mysteries that were given to us by Blessed Pope John Paul II as a suggestion, so it is not required to pray these). The argument that we must be joyful at all times is a farce of an argument as even Jesus stated that we must be ready and stand watch for the thief that comes at night.

The next time you see someone who is devout in their faith, but seems “non-joyful” or even “angry” at something, before you jump to criticisms and accuse them as such, take a step back and look at the deeper under-linings of why they are such. It may just be that they are interiorly following Christ and are upset that others are not.

Read the follow-up post, You Can’t Always Be Joyful

Jeff February 27, 2014 3 Comments Permalink

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