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Sunday, December 10, 2017
Commemoration of Pope St. Melchiades
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Commemoration (1954 Calendar): December 10

As we continue to celebrate the Octave of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we come upon today's saint: Pope St. Melchiades, who is celebrated on December 10th in the Universal Calendar of Saints.

Pope Melchiades, who was called by St. Augustine an excellent man, a true son of peace, and a true father of Christians, suffered severe persecution under Maximian. He survived, however, to see Constantine establish toleration of Christianity in 313 A.D., and died peacefully the following year.

Some of his writings have been preserved and they only underscore the truths of the Catholic Faith on the Sacraments.  For example, the following comes down to us through St. Thomas Aquinas attributed to Pope St. Melchiades:
"The Holy Ghost, Who comes down on the waters of Baptism bearing salvation in His flight, bestows at the font, the fullness of innocence; but in Confirmation He confers an increase of grace. In Baptism we are born again unto life; after Baptism we are strengthened" - Pope Melchiades (~311 A.D.) (From STh., III q.72 a.1 resp.) 

Collect:

O Eternal Shepherd, who appointed blessed Melchiades shepherd of the whole Church, let the prayers of this martyr and supreme pontiff move You to look with favor upon Your flock and to keep it under Your continual protection. Through our Lord . . .

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Saturday, December 9, 2017
Brothers Hermits of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel (EREMITAE CARMELI)
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In South America is a lesser known Order of Carmelites entirely devoted to serving the Lord and the Church through the ancient traditions and Liturgy of the Carmelite Order.  The Brothers Hermits of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel (EREMITAE CARMELI) are certainly worth considering for those attached to the Carmelite Spirituality.  And even for those not considering this vocation, please say a prayer now for all members of this order.

The Brothers Hermits of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel is a Roman Catholic Religious Order that is in full communion with the Holy See and is under the authority and support of His Excellency Bishop Heinz Wilhelm Steckling of the Diocese of Ciudad Del Este, Paraguay.  The hermits live the strict observance according to the Primitive Carmelite Rule and exclusively celebrate the traditional liturgy according to the ancient Carmelite Rite.  This Order, Fratres Eremitae Beatae Mariae Virginis de Monte Carmelo, was originally founded by the Discalced Carmelite Blessed Francisco Palau in 1860 as a revival of the primitive charism, spirit, life, and discipline of the ancient Carmelite Hermits: a return to a life which St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross sought.  Having suffered from the secular persecutions in Spain and the Spanish Civil War in 1936 the community died.  However, by grace and divine providence, the Order was revived in Brazil in 2000 and is growing in Paraguay, Brazil, and abroad.

The life of a Carmelite Hermit is a continuous act of love and worship of Almighty God, aimed at perfection of Christian Charity and the fruition of the grace of Christian Baptism.  "This is the will of God, your sancitfication" (1 Thessalonians 4:3).  God created us, and from Him we receive ourselves, in order that we might receive the Gift of Himself.  God gives us Himself in Christ: it brings great glory to Him freely to receive His Gift to us.  A soul united to God in the transforming union is a "Praise of Glory" (Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity; cf. Ephesians 1:6,12) and becomes a living spring of potent, saving grace for the Church and the world.  Through this divine love and union, the Carmelite life also glorifies the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Flower of Carmel, as the hermit lives in communion with her who received the Lord in her heart and soul, as well as in her body and her immaculate womb.  Like Mary, the Carmelite Hermits serve the Church through the love and adoration of God; furthermore, they efficaciously contribute to the transformation and salvation of the world through prayer and intercession night and day, penance, writings, and the apostolic works of the Brother Priests.  Like St. Elias, the love of God, in a contemplative mode, and the love of neighbor, in a prophetic mode, determine the form of their lives.  Faithfully lived with Mary, the Carmelite hermit lives, as a baptized Christian, in time and on earth—through Grace and Mystery in faith, hope, and charity—the life of the Blessed in eternal Glory in Heaven, through Jesus Christ our Heavenly Lord, the Creator of all and the Author of Grace: in the soul of His faithful Carmelite who is conformed to the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Christ's Kingdom comes among men...even now.


The Daily Weekday Schedule of Members of this Order:

  • 00:00 Midnight – Rise, Invitatorium (in Choir),Matutinum (in Cell)
  • 05:00 – Rise, One Hour of Meditation and Mental Prayer (in Cell or in Choir, according to individual with permission)
  • 06:00 – Angelus, Laudes (in Choir)
  • 06:30 – Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (Conventual Mass in Church) followed by Thanksgiving and Prima (in Choir)
  • 08:45 – Tertia (in Cell)
  • Outside of days and times of fasting there is a small, simple breakfast (Individual)
  • 09:00 – Work (according to the vocation and ability of each Brother, including intellectual work and study, for those called to it, or priestly apostolic works for the Brother Priests)
  • 12:00 – Angelus, Sexta (in Cell)
  • 13:00 – End of work, Nona (in Cell)
  • 14:00 – Meal, Rest (During desert days and days of retreat the meal is taken in the Cell)
  • 15:00 – Bell for Prayer on the Passion of Our Lord
  • 16:00 – Vesperae (in Choir) (17:00 during summer)
  • On Sundays and Solemnities there is community recreation
  • 17:00 – One Hour of Meditation and Mental Prayer (in Cell)
  • 18:00 – Angelus, Completorium (19:00 during summer)
  • During days and times of fasting there is a small Collation; outside of days and times of fastingand there is a small, simple dinner  (Individual)
  • Personal Prayer (individual)
  • Retire for the night
Thanks to Fr. Peter Carota for making me aware of this order a few years ago.  Please say a prayer for his soul now.
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Thursday, December 7, 2017
Saint Thomas Aquinas House of Studies: Traditional Community in Detroit
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May all things be restored in Christ in a world that has forgotten Him, and even in a Church that undergoes its own Passion.  The only way to restore Order to society is to restore Christian Civilization.  And this can only occur when our Church is again restored to its former glory and men are willing to lay down their lives for the fullness of the One, True Faith.

May God bless this new community.  Click here for more information

Purpose 
The call of Pope Benedict XVI for a robust rediscovery of the traditional Latin liturgy and consecrated life is at the heart of our foundation, a cause which finds renewed urgency under the reign of Pope Francis.  We lead a vowed life of common prayer totally immersed in the traditional Latin rite and the traditional expression of the Catholic Faith. 
We assist our local diocese in caring for Catholics who are devoted to the old liturgy as well as help others to discover its great strength and beauty.  Our mission of prayer seeks to bring back to the Faith lukewarm and fallen-away Catholics as well as to convert non-Catholics to the One True Faith. 
Common Prayer 
Our community begins its day in Grand Silence, which does not end until after the chanting of Prime (our morning prayer) to ensure a spirit of recollection.  The community daily assists at the traditional Latin Mass either at the parish or in our House chapel, and also chants Vespers and Compline daily according to the ancient Roman rite. 
Brothers who are not bound to recite the full Divine Office are encouraged to recite the remainder of the day's prayers from the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Other traditional prayers are interspersed throughout the day. The old Roman meal blessing is chanted in full at common meals. The Angelus is prayed in Latin, chanted on feasts of Our Lady. Chanted Vespers of the Dead is often added to Vespers of the day. 
Brothers are also expected to pray at least five decades of the Holy Rosary each day and to devote themselves daily to meditation. 
Labor 
Our community ministers at Mother of Divine Mercy Parish in Detroit teaching catechism and training altarboys to serve at the Traditional Latin Mass.  The community also has engaged in door-to-door inner city evangelization and catechetical home visitation.  Brothers, who wish to discern the priesthood, enroll in priestly studies at Ss. Cyril and Methodius Seminary at Orchard Lake.

Regarding their canonical status:
Our community at St. Thomas Aquinas House is privileged to enjoy the official endorsement of the Archbishop of Detroit as a non-juridical private association of men under formal ecclesiastical review by the Archdiocese of Detroit.   The Archbishop has granted us his full permission to live our religious life according to the Statutes we have submitted to him, to call our community ‘Catholic,’ and to take private vows of religion. 
The proposed name for our community is  ‘Canons Regular of St. Thomas Aquinas,’ though this is not yet official.  We  began our discernment in August 2012 at the invitation of Bishop Francis Reiss, one of the auxiliary bishops and vicar general, and with the generous help of the local Office for Consecrated Life.  We aspire to become a priory ‘sui iuris’ of diocesan rite which will pray and offer ministry totally devoted to the extraordinary (old Latin) form of the Roman liturgy, thus placing us also within the purview of the Pontifical Commission ‘Ecclesia Dei.’ 
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Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Round 19: Collectible Catholic Books for Sale
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Here is the next installment in the books that I am selling.  Please contact me at acatholiclife[at]gmail[dot]com if you are interested in any of these titles.

All are hardcovers in good condition. All prices include shipping.

"Messenger of the Sacred Heart," 1888 volume of 12 monthly issues of the magazine, good condition, $35.

"Faith of Catholics," Msgr. Capel, 1885, Vol I, from the Fathers through the first five centuries, good condition, 468 pp, $18.

"Christopher Talks to Catholic Parents," David Greenstock, 268 pp., 1951, $18.

"The Scale of Perfection," Walter Hilton, 464 pp,, 2002 ed., (14th century writing) v.g. condition, $18

"Jesus Christ Yesterday and Today," Jacques Guillet, 242 pp., 1965 (Biblical spirituality), v.g. cond. $18

"Miracles," Jean Helle, 1952, 288 pp., (Catholic study of Lourdes, Theresa Neumann and more), good cond, $18

"Timothy, or Letters to a Young Theologion," Dr. Franz Hettinger, 555 pp,, 1902, $18.

"Questions and Answers," Cecily Hastings, 236 pp., 1955, very good condition (on Catholic Evidence), $18.

"Jesus Christ, His Life, HIs Passion, His Triumph," Augustine Berthe, CSsR, 514 pp., 1913, good condition, $18

"The Son of Man," Placid Huault, SM, 304 pp., 1910, (a life of Christ) good cond., $18"

"Studies in Church History," Bertrand Conway, CSP, 222 pp., 1922, good condition (on Pope Joan, Galileo, the Assumption and more), $18.

"Lectures on the Holy Eucharist," Charles Coupe, SJ, 246 pp., 1906 (good condition) $18
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Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Indulged Prayer in Honor of St. Nicholas
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The following is quoted from the Raccolta:


Pope Gregory XVI., of blessed memory, by a Rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences of Dec. 22, 1832, granted -

An indulgence of fifty days once a day, to all the faithful who, with a contrite heart and devoutly, shall say the following prayer in honour of St. Nicholas of Bari, with one Pater and Ave.

St. Nicholas, my special Protector, from that bright throne where thou dost enjoy the vision of thy God, in pity turn thine eyes upon me; obtain for me from God that grace and assistance of which, in my present necessities, spiritual and temporal, I am most in want, and specially the grace of N. ... , if such be expedient for my eternal welfare. Remember, moreover, O saintly Bishop, our Sovereign Pontiff; the Holy Church, and this city of Rome. Bring back to the right way of salvation those who live steeped in sin, or buried in the darkness of ignorance, error, and heresy. Comfort the sorrowing, provide for the needy, strengthen the weak-hearted, defend the oppressed, help the sick; let all experience the effects of thy powerful intercession with Him who is Supreme Giver of all good. Amen.

One Pater and one Ave.

V. Ora pro nobis beate Nicolae.
R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

Oremus.
Deus, qui beatum Nicolaum gloriosum Confessorem tuum atque Pontificem innumeris decorasti, et quotidie non cessas illustrare miraculis: tribue quaesumus, et ejus meritis et precibus a gehennae incendiis, et a periculis omnibus liberemur. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

TRANSLATION.

V. Pray for us, blessed Nicholas.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.
O God, who hast honoured, and ceasest not daily to honour, Thy High-Priest and glorious Confessor blessed Nicholas with innumerable miracles; grant, we beseech Thee, that by his merits and prayers we may be delivered from the fire of hell and from all other dangers. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Monday, December 4, 2017
Meditations for Advent by Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet
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I am highly recommending this book.
Keep Christ in Christmas this year by turning to this slim volume of daily Advent meditations by Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, one of the greatest homilists in the history of the Church. 
Carefully selected to lift your soul to God in those hectic days that stretch from Thanksgiving to Christmas, these forty daily meditations will keep you mindful of the real meaning of Christmas while affording you an admirable distillation of the doctrines and piety of our Holy Catholic Church. 
With the help of Bishop Bossuet and the sense of God's grandeur and love that permeates his every word all through the rush toward Christmas you'll stay mindful of the holy words of Isaiah foretelling the birth of our savior; you'll find yourself marveling at the Annunciation and the Visitation; you'll rejoice in anticipation of the coming birth of Jesus; and, finally, you ll look forward to kneeling with St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin in silent adoration of the incarnate Son of God 
This year, you won't (as so often happens) arrive at Midnight Mass distracted, exhausted, and frazzled, having neglected your Advent devotions and your ordinary prayers, too. Instead, you'll find yourself stepping lightly into church, ready and eager to adore the newborn King, your soul what it should be: a fit dwelling place for the Redeemer. Don't waste another Advent! Let Meditations for Advent keep you prayerful amidst the worst distractions of the holiday season. Let it draw you daily closer to Jesus, whose birth the season celebrates, and whose birth your soul yearns to celebrate, too.
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St. Barbara
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Commemoration (1954 Calendar): December 4

St. Barbara is believed to have been martyred at Nicomedia under Emperor Maximinus of Thrace, about the year 235. She is invoked for the grace of preservation from sudden death.  We should not forget to invoke her patronage and ask for her intercession with our Divine Lord.

The following on St. Barbara, Virgin and Martyr, is taken from Father Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876
The holy virgin and martyr, St. Barbara, who, from the most ancient times, has been celebrated in the whole Christian world, was born of heathen parents in Nicomedia, of Bithynia. She was much beloved by her father, Dioscorus, on account of her unusual intelligence. He appointed a tower as a special place, well fitted up, for her dwelling, and chose the best masters to instruct her in art and science, but especially in paganism, as he feared she might be induced to unite herself to one not agreeable to him, or be seduced by the Christians, of whom he was a great enemy. But just this solicitude of her father gave her cause to think, and thus to arrive at the knowledge of the true God. She contemplated the heavens, the sun, moon and stars, in their regular course; she meditated on the changing of the seasons; looked on the wonderful creation of the world and its inhabitants, and justly concluded from it that there must be a Creator--that He alone must be the true God, and that the gods she worshipped had no power. To these contemplations she united prayers, and also led a most blameless life. The Almighty, who forsakes not one who aids himself, gave her opportunity to become instructed in the Christian religion, and to receive holy baptism, without the knowledge of her father.  
Meanwhile, a suitor for her hand came to her father and asked his consent. Dioscorus was not unwilling to grant the wish, as the young man was his equal in rank and wealth; but he would make his daughter acquainted with the offer he had received for her before he gave his word. Barbara had a great many objections; and her father, who did not desire that she should hastily give her consent, and would not coerce her, urged her no further; and as he was about to set out on a long journey, he thought it but right to give her some time for consideration. Barbara requested to have, for her greater comfort, a bathingroom added to her dwelling, which Dioscorus gladly granted her. The object of the holy virgin was, to have a special apartment where, with those who, like herself, were secretly Christians, she could pray to the true God. The father ordered two windows for the new room; Barbara, however, had a third added, in honor of the three Divine Persons in the mystery of the Holy Trinity. The room was, by the pagan's order, adorned with idolatrous statues, with which the holy virgin would gladly have dispensed. Looking at them, she wept over the blindness of her father, who desired that she should worship them as gods. Going from one to another, she spat upon them, saying: "Those who honor you as gods are worthy to be turned into what you are made of--wood and stone." After this, she went to a column of marble, and with her fingers pressed the sign of the cross upon it, as if it had been wax. After her death, the health of many infirm, who devoutly kissed this miraculous cross, was restored. 
No sooner had her father returned from his journey, than he desired to know his daughter's resolution. Already prepared by prayer for the approaching struggle, she said, unhesitatingly, that she would never consent to marry a pagan, as, being a Christian, she had chosen a much more noble spouse, Christ the Lord. Her father was speechless at this unexpected answer, and, when able to control himself, told her either to renounce Christ, or prepare herself for the most cruel death. The greater the wrath of the blind Dioscorus became, the more fearless was Barbara. This enraged him so greatly, that he seized his sword to take her life on the spot. Barbara, to escape his rage, fled, while her father, sword in hand, pursued her out of the city. According to an ancient legend, the fugitive virgin came to a rock, which miraculously opened, thus offering her a passage, and shielded her, for the moment, against her father's wrath. The latter, however, was not touched by this visible miracle, but passed over the mountain and pursued the maiden, as the hound pursues the deer. Barbara had, meanwhile, taken refuge in a cave, and would not have been found had not two shepherds informed the infuriated father of her retreat. 
Hastening towards the place, he found her praying. No tiger could assail his prey with more rage than this tyrant assailed his innocent child. He threw her on the ground, stamped upon her with his feet, beat her, and finally dragged her by the hair into the hut of a peasant, where he locked her up, until he had her brought back to his house by soldiers. Now began her martyrdom, which was so severe, that what she had before suffered was as nothing in comparison; for, Dioscorus was determined to force her to deny Christ. Seeing, at last, that all was in vain, he gave her up to the governor, Martian, that she might be dealt with according to the laws of the land. 
Martian at first showed compassion for the Saint, in consideration for her youth, and endeavored to win her by flattery and kind words. Not succeeding in this, he had recourse to severity, and had her whipped with scourges, until her whole body seemed to be but one great wound. After this, she was dragged to a dungeon, where she was left to die. The Almighty, however, who had destined her to still more glorious combats, sent an Angel during the night, who healed all her wounds, and encouraged her to perseverance, with the promise that she would overcome all tortures by Divine assistance. The following day she was again brought before Martian, who, not comprehending how Barbara had been healed, ascribed it to his gods. The virgin, however, said: " No, no, Martian! Wood and stone, of which your idols are made, have not this power. It is the work of the God of heaven and earth, whom I worship as the only true God, and for whose honor I am willing to die." Martian, full of anger at these words, ordered her to be tormented more cruelly than on the previous day. After her body was all bruised and wounded, she was barbarously burned with torches, and at last both her breasts were cut off. The torture was very great, but the eagerness of Barbara to suffer for Christ's sake was still greater. She gave no sign of pain, but turning her eyes to heaven, said: "Let not thy hand, O Lord, forsake me! In Thee I am full of strength; without Thee, I am powerless!"  
A new martyrdom followed after this. The tyrant commanded her to be scourged in public through all the streets of the city. This was more terrible to her than all her previous tortures; hence she turned to the Almighty, praying humbly that she might not be exposed to the eyes of the heathen. She was immediately surrounded by a bright lustre, that veiled her form from all eyes. The barbarous Dioscorus was present at the martyrdom of his holy daughter, from beginning to end, and not only looked with satisfaction at the whipping, burning, and cutting, but animated the executioners in their cruelties; and when Martian, at last, sentenced Barbara to be beheaded, he asked, as a favor, to be allowed to take the place of the executioner, and behead his daughter. Having obtained his request, Dioscorus took her to a neighboring mountain, followed by a great crowd of people. Barbara rejoiced to be thought worthy to die for Christ's sake; and no sooner had she reached the mountain, than she again thanked God for all the graces that He had bestowed upon her, and begged Him to assist her to the end. A voice was heard from on high, which invited the undaunted martyr to come and receive the crown that awaited her. Kneeling down, she bared her neck, and received from her father the fatal stroke. She was hardly twenty years of age. 
Juliana, a pious woman, who had been present at the martyrdom, burned with the holy desire to give her life, also, for Christ, and was beheaded on the same day, after she had suffered great torments. Her body was laid beside the body of St. Barbara; but her soul followed the soul of the fearless virgin into heaven, Quite different was the end of the inhuman father. Whilst he was descending from the mountain, with the blood of his innocent child still on his hands, a terrible thunder-storm arose, during which he was struck by lightning, and sank dead upon the ground. Thus the father went to hell on the same day on which his daughter ascended triumphantly to heaven. We must not omit to remark that St. Barbara is especially invoked in the whole Christian world for the grace of receiving the last sacrament before death; and many facts have shown that this invocation has the desired effect.
Collect:

O God, one of the marvelous examples of Your power was granting the victory of martyrdom even to delicate womanhood. May the example of the Blessed virgin martyr Barbara, whose birthday we celebrate today, draw us closer to You. Through our Lord . . .

Prayer in Honor of St. Barbara, Virgin and Martyr, to Obtain a Good Death

O Lord, Who selected St. Barbara for the consolation of the living and the dying, grant us by her intercession ever to live in thy divine love and to put all our confidence in the merits of the most sorrowful passion of Thy Son. May the death of Him never surprise us, but, comforted by the holy sacraments of Penance, Holy Eucharist and Extreme Unction, may we set forward without fear towards eternal glory. This we beseech thee by the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

(Indulgence 100 days)
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Monday, November 27, 2017
Video of the Reception of the Habit at Saint-Vincent-Ferrier
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Taking of habit at the convent of the Brotherhood Saint-Vincent-Ferrier

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Sunday, November 26, 2017
The Divine Office & the Mass: Inseparable
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Even if the Liturgical Office could be separated from the Mass, we should still be able to say that it unites those who take part in it to the intentions of Christ and His Church; but the two cannot be separated. The Divine Office is the prelude and preparation as well as the setting and sequence of the Eucharistic Mysteries. Archeologists have traced the many relationships between the Divine Office and the Mass. For example, the office of Matins presents a striking analogy with the night or morning service held in the primitive Church as a preparation for the Mysteriesi a reminiscence of which is still to be found in the early part of Holy Mass as we know it.

The Psalms of the Nocturns correspond to the Introit and Gradual; while in the Lessons from the Old Testament or from the Epistles, in the second nocturn giving the legends of the Saints, in the Homily on the Gospel, there are relics of the Prophecies, the Apostolic Messages to the Churches, the Acts of the Martyrs and the parts of the Gospel, which were read in those early celebrations. Then, the Catechumens were dismissed, and this Missa was followed by the Holy Sacrifice. According to some scholars, the Te Deum may be nothing else but an ancient kind of IZZatio or Preface. This close dependence of the Breviary on the first part of Mass is at least a very plausible theory. (See IZZatio OM Te Deum by Dom P. Cagin.) Thus, from its connection with the Divine Mysteries and because it is the official prayer of the Church, the Divine Office leads to union with the purposes of God and with the intentions of Christ and His Church.

Source: Liturgical Prayer by Clerissac
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Saturday, November 25, 2017
How Many Times a Year Must a Priest Say Mass?
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Taken from a book on this topic whose title I don't present have:
All priests are bound to celebrate Mass several times (three or four times at least and on any days) each year. There is no clear reason for assigning any particular days.  This obligation is a grave one, and probably based on divine precept.  It is, of course, highly becoming that every priest should, if possible, celebrate daily, and this is the more important if the faithful wish to receive Holy Communion...
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Friday, November 24, 2017
Father Jason Barone's First Mass Highlight Video
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We evangelize most effectively when we present the timeless truth and beauty of Catholicism. As important as it is to teach others about the faith, even more importantly we must show them the faith. There is nothing more beautiful to behold, nothing more worthy of our time and participation, than the beautiful Catholic Mass.

The [above] video features highlights from the First Mass of Thanksgiving for Father Jason Barone of the Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina. Following his ordination in June 2012, Fr. Barone chose to offer a Solemn High Mass at the outset of his priestly ministry.

Photographed by Brent Hohman and the team at Momentum Studio, this video remains to date one of the best visual presentations of a Traditional Latin Mass that I have ever seen.

Now consider this: the average situation comedy on television today, minus commercials, runs approximately 22 minutes. The video below is only 18 minutes in length; time well spent.

As many of the faithful still have little opportunity to see such a beautiful liturgy in person, videos such as this become even more important to share.

This is our faith. This is our tradition. This is our beautiful Catholic Mass.

Source: Liturgy Guy
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Monday, November 20, 2017
Missionaries of St. John the Baptist - Park Hills, Kentucky
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About the MSJB:

The purposes for which this private association, the Missionaries of Saint John the Baptist (MSJB), is formed:

(1) To work toward the establishment of a new religious Institute of Diocesan Right within the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky under the authority of the Bishop of said diocese;

(2) To establish a community in view of (1) in which common religious life is lived in a more disciplined and traditional way including the celebration of the liturgy according to the usus antiquior of the Roman Rite, with the liturgical books of 1962 being normative. The Missionaries of St. John the Baptist desire to be faithful to the observance of the liturgical traditions according to the dispositions of the motu proprio, Ecclesia Dei Adflicta, issued on July 2, 1988, as well as the motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum (cf. art. 3), issued on July 7, 2007, and promulgated on September 14, 2007.

Explanation of Our Shield

The shield is for battle in the Lord’s army and is blue for Our Lady of Victories.

The Sacred and Immaculate Hearts at the center show how the whole world needs to have them for its focus. All the arrows of the cross point inward to them! Without them man is lost! Thus, as they have asked of us, we must give them everything in a total consecration and spend our lives in dedication to them... as the very center of counter-revolution!

The shell is for baptism when we first received the armor of God as members of the Church Militant on earth. It also stresses the importance of St. John the Baptist as the forerunner of Christ.
Three drops of water for the Most Holy Trinity as well as the three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience (which act as a second baptism for religious), and the virtues of faith, hope and charity (given at baptism).

The fleur-de-lys is for Our Lady and for France, the country of our founder, Fr. Jean Baptiste Rauzan (d. 1847), as well as the purity of heart needed for religious and sound preaching.

The Cross is that of St. John the Baptist, being red for his martyrdom.

The sword is for preaching, referring to the saying from Isaias 49:2 “And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword.”

The motto of the Missionaries is that of St. John the Baptist: “A voice of one crying in the desert, prepare ye the way of the Lord” (Matt. 3:3).



A Little History

This private association of the faithful, officially recognized as the Missionaries of Saint John the Baptist (MSJB), stems from the spiritual legacy of the Congregation of the Priests of Mercy, which was originally founded at Lyon, France, in 1808, by the Very Reverend, Jean Baptiste Rauzan, a zealous priest of Bordeaux. Fr. Rauzan noted that after the great upheaval which the Church suffered in France during the Revolution, the clergy and people sought from heaven extraordinary ways to foster the salvation of souls. Many ways were employed to revitalize the faith. A congregation of missionaries was desired which would be at the call of their excellencies, the bishops. Consequently, Archbishop Joseph Cardianal Fesch, requested that Fr. Rauzan found such a missionary society first at Lyons under the Empire in 1808, and organized at Paris during the first days of the Restoration in 1814. These first Missionaries of France received, without difficulty, the privileges of a legally constituted society.

On February 18, 1834, Pope Gregory XVI, of holy memory, established and erected this little band of missionaries as a pontifical society under the title of the Priests of Mercy of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. By 1961, the Holy See fulfilled the long held desire of Fr. Rauzan by further elevating the institute to a full religious congregation with the members adding the public vow of poverty to that of chastity and obedience.

In the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council, mitigations in religious discipline and liturgical revisions were observed in many institutes that caused some religious to seek restoration. Two members of the Congregation of the Priests of Mercy, inspired by various papal documents and exhortations calling for reform, sought permission to establish a new institute that would not only embrace a more rigorous consecrated life, but would also employ all the Sacraments according to their usus antiquior. The superior and the council of the congregation, as well as the Bishop of Covington, Kentucky, Roger J. Foys, agreed to this new foundation.

The Missionaries of Saint John the Baptist seek to maintain the spiritual and liturgical patrimony left to them by Fr. Jean Baptiste Rauzan, including making use of much of his original rule. The same revolutionary errors he confronted and corrected are now fully entrenched in the modern world. Like the great Precursor of our Lord, therefore, we, too, are a voice crying in the wilderness, preparing the way of the Lord and making straight His paths (Isaias 40:30), so that all things may be restored in Christ the King. Such counter-revolutionary work within ourselves, within our community, within the membership of Holy Church, and within society in general, however, is tempered by modern man's need for the Mercy of God. Since our dearest Lord came not to condemn the world but to save the world (John 12:47), we look to imitate the methods of the greatest of Prophets and Fr. Rauzan who were sent to turn the heart of the fathers to their children and the heart of the children to their fathers: lest (God) come and strike the earth with anathema (Malachias 4:6).

Vocations

For more information, please visit their website: https://www.msjb.info/vocations/ 
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Friday, November 17, 2017
Indulged Prayers in Honor of St. Stanislas Kostka
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At the repeated prayer of the Father Procurator-General of the Venerable Congregation called Pii Operarii (Pious Labourers) here in Rome, to propagate amongst the faithful the devotion towards St. Stanislas Kostka, as especially calculated to augment the love of our blessed Lady, Pope Pius VII., by two decrees, April 3 and May 1, 1821, and Leo XII., by two other decrees, Jan. 21 and Feb. 25, 1826 (all of which were published by the S. Congr. of Indulgences, May 13,1826), granted -

i. A plenary indulgence on the Feast of the Saint, Nov. 13, or on that Sunday on which, for the convenience of the people, this feast shall be celebrated de licentia Ordinarii, to all the faithful who, after Confession and Communion, shall visit the church or public oratory where it is celebrated, and pray according to the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.

ii. An indulgence of seven years and seven quarantines on every one of the ten Sundays before his feast, kept in honour of the ten months of novitiate made by the Saint; to be gained by visiting the church or oratory where these Sundays are kept, and praying as above.

iii. An indulgence of 100 days every day of the Novena preceding his feast, for assisting devoutly at the said Novena with contrite heart, and praying as above.

iv. An indulgence of 100 days, once a day, to all who shall say a Pater and Ave before a picture of the Saint exposed in any church or public oratory, and pray as above, &c.

v. A plenary indulgence may be gained by the faithful by practising this exercise for a month continuously, on any one day in the month when, after Confession and Communion, they shall pray as above. Whoever, by reason of a lawful impediment, shall be unable to say in church the Pater and Ave prescribed, may say it wherever he likes on such days in the month as he is so hindered, and by so doing he shall gain this Plenary Indulgence.

vi. An indulgence of 100 days, in addition to the seven years and seven quarantines granted for the above-named ten Sundays, to all who, being contrite in heart, shall assist at the day’s Retreat called "the Retreat of St. Stanislas," wherever it is made, once in the week, and who shall pray according to the mind of the Sovereign Pontiff.

All these Indulgences, at first granted for the kingdom of the Two Sicilies, were afterwards extended to the Pontifical States for any church or public oratory where the devotion to St. Stanislas is or shall be introduced, as appears from the decree above named, Feb. 25, 1826; and the same Pope Leo XII., by another decree of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, March 3, 1827, made them available for the whole Catholic world, even for private monastic churches and oratories of seminaries, colleges, refuges, monasteries and houses of retreat for both sexes.

Furthermore the Sovereign Pontiff Pope Pius IX., by an autograph Rescript kept in the Segretaria of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, dated March 22, 1847, granted -

vii. An indulgence of 300 days, to be gained once a day by all the faithful who in honour of this Saint shall say the three following prayers for Purity, Charity, and a Good Death, adding to each one Pater, one Ave, and one Gloria.

And the same Pope, by a decree of the same S. Congr. of July 10, 1854, has vouchsafed to add -
viii. A plenary indulgence to all the faithful who shall say these prayers, with the Pater, Ave, and Gloria, once a day for a month together; to be gained by them on that day in each month when, after Confession and Communion, they shall visit a church or public oratory, and pray there for a time according to the mind of his Holiness.



THE PRAYERS.

For Purity.

St. Stanislas, my most pure patron, Angel of purity, I rejoice with thee at the extraordinary gift of virginal purity which graced thy spotless heart; I humbly pray thee, obtain for me strength to overcome all impure temptations, and inspire me with constant watchfulness to guard my purity, - that virtue so glorious in itself, and so acceptable to God.
Pater. Ave. Gloria.

For Charity.

St. Stanislas. my most loving patron, Seraph of charity, I rejoice with thee at the ardent fire of charity which kept thy pure and innocent heart always at peace and united to God; I humbly pray thee, obtain for me such ardour of divine love, that it may consume away every other earthly affection, and kindle in me the fire of His love alone.
Pater. Ave. Gloria.

For a Good Death.

St. Stanislas, my most tender and most mighty patron, Angel of purity and Seraph of charity, I rejoice with thee at thy most happy death, which arose from thy desire to contemplate our Lady assumed into heaven, and was caused by the excess of thy love for her. I give thanks to Mary, because she thus accomplished thy desires; and I pray thee, by the lustre of thy happy death, to be my advocate and my patron in my death. Intercede with Mary for me, to obtain for me a death, if not all happiness like thine, yet calm and peaceful, under the protection of Mary my advocate, and thee, my special patron.
Pater. Ave. Gloria.

Source: The Raccolta
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Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Praying for Vocations Is NOT Optional
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The Lord Jesus commands that we foster vocations, "Ask the master of the harvest to send out labourers for his harvest" (Mt 9:38).  Praying for priestly vocations is not optional.  This might be a revelation for many a good Catholic.  Praying for priestly vocations is not a matter of spiritual taste or preference.  Rather, praying for priestly vocations manifests our shared responsibility in obtaining from God the many "other Christs" - the priests needed chiefly for offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and for reconciling penitents, but also for evangelizing, for instructing converts, and for performing the countless works of education, culture, and charity granted by God to the world through His holy priesthood.

Source: FSSP's April 2017 Newsletter
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Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Videos in Honor of the Poor Souls
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Sin has three consequences: Guilt, Debt, and Stain of Sin. Confession can remove the guilt; the sinner or anyone on behalf of the sinner can "pay" the debt, but only the sinner can remove the stain of sin by by amending their life and correcting their spiritual malfunctions. To say of the recently departed that "they dead are no longer suffering" belies a profound lack of charity for those souls. The souls in Purgatory suffer incredibly for even the smallest transgression; we ought to offer indulgences and Masses for the Poor Souls.

How Long the Souls Remain in Purgatory? How does Mass remove the stain of sin for souls in Purgatory? How are the Poor Souls focused on the will of God? Learn the answers in these excellent videos in this month of November, dedicated to the Poor Souls

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Sunday, November 12, 2017
Profession of Dom Ildephonse on the Feast of the Holy Cross
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From the Simple Profession of Dom Ildephonse on the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, earlier this year:

+ My Son, in the Introit of today’s Mass our holy mother the Church sings: “It behooves us to glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ: in whom is our salvation, life, and resurrection: by whom we are saved and delivered.” There are many words written and spoken about the monastic life, but few are more apt, more poignant, than these words given us by the Church’s Sacred Liturgy today. For a monk is a man who, in dying to himself and to the ways of the world, truly embraces the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, and who finds in that embrace salvation, life and resurrection.

One year ago today, on this blessed feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross you were clothed in the habit of a novice. And now, today, after a year of testing, a year of bearing patiently with the limitations and exigencies of our small monastic foundation—and yet, also, a year of fidelity to the life of prayer and work which is to be found in any monastery, great or small, that is worthy of the name—you come vow yourself to this life for three years. You are doing a foolish thing. There are so many other things you could be doing. And yet, as has become clear throughout your time of testing, you can do no other thing than this today, for it is to this monastic obedience that Almighty God calls you.

The Gradual of today’s Mass mediates on the reality that “Christ became obedient for us unto death: even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath exalted Him, and hath given a Name which is above every name.” Once again the words of the Sacred Liturgy sing most eloquently of the monastic vocation: obedience unto death is the path to exaltation in heavenly glory! Our Lord himself suffered terribly. Your monastic life will certainly know times of difficulty and may even, as the twenty-first century unfolds, bring you suffering and persecution the likes of which we hope have been consigned to history. My Son, no matter how dark the shadows of the Cross that fall upon you may be, know that they are always cast by the light of Easter morning. Hold fast to our Lord’s teaching that “He who perseveres to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:13).

In the holy perseverance that is your vocation you are not alone. As the formula of your vows makes clear, you will live your monastic life in a monastery, with the fraternal love of your brethren. You will live it in the communion of the whole Church, in union with our Bishop and with the local Church of Fréjus-Toulon. You will call upon the saints—particularly those saints whose relics are kept here—to assist you. And you have the support of family and friends who are here with us today, of the good people of this beautiful village of La Garde-Freinet who are so kind and generous to us, and of many others besides who have sent pledges of Masses and prayers being offered for your intentions today.

Today the Church blesses you and solemnly prays for your faithful perseverance in the vows you are about to make. But today is not about you, my son. Today is about God: it is an eloquent testimony to what Almighty God can do with and for each and every one of us—whatever our particular vocation may be—if only we are prepared to deny ourselves, take up the burden of the Cross and follow Christ without reserve: to Calvary, certainly, but with the even greater certainty of unending life beyond.

To that end you—indeed, we all—can do no better than make the words of the Collect of this Mass our prayer:

“Grant, we beseech Thee, that we, who on earth, acknowledge the mystery of redemption wrought upon [the Holy Cross], may be found worthy to enjoy the rewards of that same redemption in heaven.”



Source: Facebook
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Vatican II: Revolution Under the Guise of Reform
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Guest Post By David Martin

Perhaps the greatest curse of our time has been the misguidance of the flock of Christ under the illusion of divine guidance, a treacherous path that was set in motion at Vatican II. Cardinal Ratzinger even told his friend Fr. Ingo Dollinger—a close friend and spiritual child of St. Padre Pio—that the Third Secret of Fatima spoke of "a bad council and a bad Mass," presumably referencing the Second Vatican Council. https://onepeterfive.com/cardinal-ratzinger-not-published-whole-third-secret-fatima/

But some will lash out at this, arguing that a dogmatic council cannot err because it is guided by the Holy Spirit. But who ever said Vatican II was dogmatic? The fact is that there was no dogma defined at the Council. Benedict XVI while a cardinal even pointed out the non-infallible status of Vatican II, as we see in his address to the bishops of Chile in 1988:

"The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of super-dogma which takes away the importance of all the rest." (Cardinal Ratzinger on Vatican II)

Pope Paul VI also cited the non-infallible status of Vatican II when he said that the Council "avoided issuing solemn dogmatic definitions backed by the Church’s infallible teaching authority." (General Audience, December 1, 1966)

The Holy Father also said in 1970: "In many areas the Council has not so far given us peace but rather stirred up troubles and problems that in no way serve to strengthen the Kingdom of God within the Church or within its souls."

It was this same pope who lamented the outcome of Vatican II on the ninth anniversary of his coronation, when he declared: "From some fissure the smoke of Satan entered into the temple of God." (June 29, 1972)

The fact is that Vatican II in many ways dissented from Church teaching. For instance, the Council teaches that "it is allowable, indeed desirable that Catholics should join in prayer with their separated brethren" on the grounds that "The Holy Spirit does not refuse to make use of other religions as a means of salvation." (Unitatis Redintegratio)

This radically contradicts the Church's infallible teaching that the Holy Spirit works only through the Catholic Church, outside of which there exists no salvation (extra ecclesiam nulla salus). Pope Pius IX in his Syllabus of Errors condemned the Protestant notion that "Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation."
 
The Syllabus of Errors also warned against attempts to revolutionize the Church, yet the conciliar document Gaudium et Spes (in conjunction with the documents on Religious Liberty and Ecumenism) was intended to counteract the Syllabus of Errors and to revive the rebellious principles of the French Revolution of 1789. Cardinal Ratzinger attested to this in his 1982 book, Principles of Catholic Theology:

"We might say that it [Gaudium et Spes] is a revision of the Syllabus of Pius IX, a kind of counter-syllabus... Let us be content to say that the text serves as a counter-syllabus and, as such, represents, on the part of the Church, an attempt at an official reconciliation with the new era inaugurated in 1789." (Cardinal Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, pp. 381-382, Ignatius Press, 1987)

Hence, we see Vatican II conniving with the French Revolution of 1789, which was Masonically generated to instigate rebellion against the Faith, just as the Council connived with Luther's Reformation which was generated for this same purpose. But as with the Reformation, the Vatican II revolution was waged under the pretext of a reform so that people would see it as "magisterial."

What we are witnessing today is the Magisterium vs. the counter-magisterium, which is precisely what Pope John Paul II while a cardinal was trying to alert us to in his prophetic warning about the rise of an "anti-Church" that would preach an "anti-Gospel." During his visit to America in 1976, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla delivered this prophetic message in Philadelphia, on the occasion of the bicentennial anniversary of American Independence.

"We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel. We must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not-too-distant future; trials that will require us to be ready to give up even our lives.... How many times has the renewal of the Church been brought about in blood! It will not be different this time."

A true renewal would mean restoring the Church to its former position of honor as it stood before Vatican II. Such efforts will inevitably bring great persecution and even "blood" upon those who push for this, so great is the modern-day addiction to the conciliar idol of change.

Let's face it, the new church of man stemming from of Vatican II promises confused Catholics that they can now dispense with 'archaic' rules and regulations, assuring them that God accepts them as they are, and that they can even live in adultery knowing that "no one can be condemned forever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel." (Amoris Laetitia, 297)

What we're really looking at today is a revival of Martin Luther, the culprit who first generated this crack-pot theology. Consider Luther's famous advice to his disciple-companion Philip Melanchthon:

"Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly… No sin will separate us from the Christ, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day." (From Luther’s letter to Philip Melanchthon, August 1, 1521, LW Vol. 48, pp. 281-282)

Reviving the cause of Luther in fact was a key objective of the Second Vatican Council, as affirmed by Fr. Edward Schillebeeckx, a prominent figure of the Council who said: "The accusation of connivance with the Reformation is therefore not without foundation."

Conniving with the Reformation is something the post-conciliar church officially recognizes, as we read in the 1980 Joint Catholic-Lutheran Commission which grew out of Vatican II: "Among the ideas of the Second Vatican Council, we can see gathered together much of what Luther asked for, such as the following: description of the Church as ‘The People of God’ (a democratic and non-hierarchical idea); accent on the priesthood of all baptized; the right of the individual to freedom of religion."

Unfortunately, this connivance has now reached the point that the Vatican on October 31 issued a postage stamp on which Martin Luther is depicted kneeling with St. John before Jesus. Shall the Vatican also issue a stamp with Hitler kneeling before Jesus?

The point being that Luther was a heretic and notorious enemy of God, who taught that Jesus was an adulterer, who rejected six books of the Bible, who dubbed the Sacrifice of the Mass "sacrilegious and abominable," and who utterly cursed the papacy. Should Rome be commemorating Luther and praising him as "a witness to the Gospel?"

It was for reason that Luther was excommunicated in 1521, whereupon the Council of Trent later condemned his Reformation, decreeing that those who hold to its errors are an anathema. How is it then that Rome is now praising a heretic who the Church officially holds to be an enemy of the Christian Faith?

The answer: Vatican II had a key role in infecting the Church with this heresy. There were six known Protestant delegates at the Second Vatican Council who played a significant role in shaping the Council documents. Michael Davies confirms this in his book on the New Mass where he states that "six Protestant observers were invited to advise this Consilium. They played an active part in the preparation of the New Mass." Their names for the record were: Canon Jasper, Dr. McAfee Brown, Professor George Lindbeck, Professor Oscar Cullmann, Pastor Rodger Schutz, and Archdeacon Pawley.

Cardinal Augustine Bea, who headed the Secretariat for the Promotion of Christian Unity, boasted of the contribution made by these Protestant delegates in formulating the Decree on Ecumenism, when he said: "I do not hesitate to assert that they have contributed in a decisive way to bringing about this result."

Professor B. Mondin, of the Pontifical Propaganda College for the Missions, stated that delegates such as Dr. Cullmann made "a valid contribution" to drawing up the Council documents.

This is not to mention people like Gregory Baum, the ex-priest and gay advocate who drafted the conciliar document Nostra Aetate for the Second Vatican Council, or Annibale Bugnini, the suspected Freemason who was the principal architect of Sacrosanctum Concilium, which laid out the design for the new Mass.

Hence Vatican II in the final analysis was neither dogmatic, nor was it magisterial in the ordinary sense, but was a carefully contrived revolution to instigate departure from Church tradition, but in such a way that this is seen as the work of the Holy Spirit.

This is why the Third Secret of Fatima urgently needs to be released, because only then will it shed light on what really happened at Vatican II and how it has caused the Church in our time to degenerate under the illusion of progress.
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Friday, November 10, 2017
Religious Order for Women with Down Syndrome
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Here is a very inspiring article at Regina Magazine.  Here is an excerpt:

Little Sisters Disciples of the Lamb

Within this garden there is the small community of Little Sisters Disciples of the Lamb.  The existence of this Order, according to their Prioress is “to allow those who have the ‘last place’ in the world, to hold in the Church the exceptional place of spouses of Jesus Christ, and to allow those whose life is held in contempt to the extent of being in danger from a culture of death, to witness by their consecration to the Gospel of Life.”

The Little Sisters are made up of women with and without Down’s Syndrome. The Sisters follow the ‘Little Way’ of Saint Therese; their simple life is composed of prayer, work and sacrifice. Together the sisters work to teach their little disabled sisters the manual labor necessary for their development, which includes adoration and praying the rosary adapted to their rhythm and capacities.

Continue Reading...
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Sts. Tryphon, Respicius, and Nympha
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Today Holy Mother Church calls to mind the life and heroic martyrdom of Sts. Tryphon, Respicius, and Nympha.

These martyrs of the early centuries of Christianity are commemorated together because their relics are preserved in the same church at Rome.
In about 1005, the monk Theodoric of Fleury wrote, on the basis of earlier written legends, an account of Tryphon in which Respicius appears as Tryphon's companion. The relics of both were preserved, together with those of a holy virgin named Nympha, at the Hospital of the Holy Ghost in Sassia. The church of this hospital was a cardinal's title, which, together with the relics of these saints, was transferred by Pope Pius V to the Church of St. Augustine in 1566. 
One tradition held that Nympha (Ninfa) was a virgin martyr from Palermo who was put to death for the faith at the beginning of the fourth century. According to other versions of the legend, when the Goths invaded Sicily, she fled from Palermo to the Italian mainland and died in the sixth century at Savona. The feast of her translation is observed at Palermo on 19 August. Some believe that there were two saints of this name.  
Before 1624 Palermo had four patron saints, one for each of the four major parts of the city. They were Saint Agatha, Saint Christina, Saint Nympha, and Saint Olivia. Their images are displayed at the Quattro Canti, in the centre of Palermo. 
Source: Wikipedia
Collect:

May we always be worthy to celebrate the feast of Your holy Martyrs, Tryphon, Respicius, and Nympha, O Lord, so that through their intercession we may be sheltered under Your gracious protection. Through Our Lord . . .
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Thursday, November 9, 2017
Life In Hidden Light: A Video Inside a Cloistered Convent
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Video of life inside an enclosed Carmelite community, including short excerpts of interviews with some of the Sisters. The Discalced Carmelites of Wolverhampton, UK, would like to thank Miranda Tasker and Marcus Nield, who made this film, for their hard work and professional skill. With only basic equipment, they did the filming and put together the presentation with sensitivity and understanding.
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Commemoration of St. Theodore
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Today in addition to commemorating the consecration of the Basilica we know as St. John Lateran, we commemorate the life of St. Theodore, known as St. Theodore of Amasea.

This Roman soldier was cruelly tortured and burnt alive in the year 306 for having allegedly set fire to the temple of the pagan goddess Cybele.  The source of our information on St. Theodore comes from St. Gregory of Nyssa who preached in honour of St Theodore in the late 4th century.

There is much confusion between him and St Theodore Stratelates of Heraclea.

Collect:

The glorious profession of faith of Your holy Martyr Theodore overshadows and protects us, O God. May we profit by his example and rejoice in the assistance of his prayers. Through Our Lord . . .

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Thursday, November 2, 2017
The (5) Sequences in the Church: A History and Tradition of Sequences
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What is a Sequence? If you are unfamiliar with the Traditional (Tridentine) Latin Mass, you may not know.  The sequence is the chanted hymn that is recited before the proclamation of the Gospel during the Mass.  The Catholic Encyclopedia summarizes:
The Sequence (Sequentia)—or, more accurately as will be seen further on, the Prose (Prosa)—is the liturgical hymn of the Mass, in which it occurs on festivals between the Gradual and the Gospel, while the hymn, properly so called, belongs to the Breviary. The Sequence differs also in structure and melody from the hymn; for whilst all the strophes of a hymn are always constructed according to the same metre and rhythm and are sung to the same melody as the first strophe, it is the peculiarity of the Sequence, due to its origin, that (at least in those of the first epoch) each strophe or pair of strophes is constructed on a different plan. A sequence usually begins with an independent introductory sentence or an Alleluia (an intonation with its own melody); then follow several pairs of strophes, each pair with its own melody; in the earlier periods the conclusion is uniformly an independent sentence of shorter or longer form.
The sequence which is used in the Traditional Mass is used only on five occasions in the 1962 Missal though it used to be commonplace before the reforms of St. Pius V.  The Book Catholic Music through the Ages: Balancing the Needs of a Worshipping Church states that Sequences were so plentiful before the reforms of St. Pius V that nearly every Mass had its own sequence.  Fr. Michael Wurtz's July 2011 article on Sequences concurs when he writes, "From the 9th century when sequences first began to appear and later in the 12th century when they grew in complexity, hundreds of these hybrid Alleluia verses-hymns were composed and used in the Mass." And commenting on the work of St. Pius V's reform, Michael Davies further writes, "[he] expelled the host of long sequences that crowded the Mass continually, but kept what are undoubtedly the five best"

In the Missal of Pope St. Pius V from 1570, the many number of sequences in the Roman Rite was reduced to only four:
  • Victimae paschali laudes for Easter
  • Veni Sancte Spiritus for Pentecost 
  • Lauda Sion Salvatorem for Corpus Christi 
  • Dies Irae for All Souls and in Masses for the Dead
Nearly 150 years after St. Pius V's changes, the 13th century Stabat Mater for Our Lady of Sorrows was added to this list, bringing the total to the number five.  These are the same five which survive in the 1962 Missal that is used today in the Traditional Mass.

Also of note however, certain religious orders retain their own Rite of Mass and the possibility of using other sequences.  For instance, the Christmas sequence "Laetabundus," not present in the Roman Missal, is found in the Dominican Missal. This sequence is permitted for the Third Mass of Christmas, the Epiphany, and Candlemas.

Quiz your Catholic friends and see how many of them can name all five!

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Indulgenced Acts for the Poor Souls November 1st thru 8th
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Make plans now to visit a cemetery each day from November 1st through November 8th for the Poor Souls in Purgatory.  The Poor Souls have so few souls who pray for them nowadays.  They need our prayers.  Go out and visit a cemetery and gain an indulgence for them.
A partial indulgence can be obtained by devoutly visiting a cemetery and praying for the departed, even if the prayer is only mental. One can gain a plenary indulgence visiting a cemetery each day between November 1 and November 8. These indulgences are applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory. 
A plenary indulgence, again applicable only the Souls in Purgatory, is also granted when the faithful piously visit a church or a public oratory on November 2. In visiting the church or oratory, it is required, that one Our Father and the Creed be recited. 
A partial indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, can be obtained when the Eternal Rest (Requiem aeternam) is prayed. This can be prayed all year, but especially during the month of November: 
Requiem aeternam dona ei (eis), Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei (eis). Requiescat (-ant) in pace Amen. 
Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. 
Source: Catholic Culture
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Monday, October 30, 2017
500th Anniversary of the Reformation
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Traditional Catholics yesterday celebrated the Feast of Christ the King. Yet a small percentage of Catholics in the world today are celebrating the 500th anniversary of the revolt of Martin Luther.  This video is a powerful overview of the grave evil that was manifest in Martin Luther.

In Brussels Catholic Cathedral yesterday, the 500 years of the hideous acts of heresiarch Luther were celebrated. What did a small group of serious Catholics do? They pleaded Our Lord for forgiveness, by invoking the aid of Our Lady in the Ave Maria in the Rosary.  And for that protest of the blasphemy and profanation of the Cathedral, they were arrested.  Read more

Martin Luther must be condemned for his egregious actions and blatant blasphemy.  See these resources:

Letter on the Errors of Luther on the 450th Anniversary

Luther Preferred Mohammed to the Pope

Luther Admitted to Conversations with the Devil

Exsurge Domine

What's Wrong with Martin Luther?
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Friday, October 27, 2017
Christopher Columbus: The Holy Admiral
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As we conclude this month in which we celebrated the life of Christopher Columbus, who has been unjustly marred by many in our current day, I encourage you to listen to this brief sermon on him.

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Saturday, October 21, 2017
St. Ursula and Companions
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From Catholic Online in honor of today's Commemoration of St. Ursula in the Liturgy:
According to a legend that appeared in the tenth century, Ursula was the daughter of a Christian king in Britain and was granted a three year postponement of a marriage she did not wish, to a pagan prince. With ten ladies in waiting, each attended by a thousand maidens, she embarked on a voyage across the North sea, sailed up the Rhine to Basle, Switzerland, and then went to Rome.  
On their way back, they were all massacred by pagan Huns at Cologne in about 451 when Ursula refused to marry their chieftain. According to another legend, Amorica was settled by British colonizers and soldiers after Emporer Magnus Clemens Maximus conquered Britain and Gaul in 383. The ruler of the settlers, Cynan Meiriadog, called on King Dionotus of Cornwall for wives for the settlers, whereupon Dionotus sent his daughter Ursula, who was to marry Cynan, with eleven thousand maidens and sixty thousand common women.  
Their fleet was shipwrecked and all the women were enslaved or murdered. The legends are pious fictions, but what is true is that one Clematius, a senator, rebuilt a basilica in Cologne that had originally been built, probably at the beginning of the fourth century, to honor a group of virgins who had been martyred at Cologne. They were evidently venerated enough to have had a church built in their honor, but who they were and how many of them there were, are unknown.  
From these meager facts, the legend of Ursula grew and developed. 
Collect:

O Lord our God, grant that we may always honor the victories of Your blessed virgin martyrs Ursula and her companions. Although we are unable to pay them the honor that is due, may we at least offer them our humble tribute. Through our Lord . . .
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Monday, October 16, 2017
Purity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
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October 16th is the Feast of the Purity Of The Blessed Virgin Mary in Some Places.  

This Feastday is kept by various religious orders in the Church as it is one of the Masses Said in Some Places.  While not on the Universal Tridentine Calendar, it nevertheless is worthy of our devotion on this day.

The following is taken from Our Lady's Feastdays by Rev. Lawrence G. Lovasik, S.V.D:
1. Mary, Mother of God, you are the Virgin most pure because you are the Immaculate Conception. The closer a soul is to God, the farther it is from sin. God is infinite good; sin, horrible evil. No one could have had a closer approach to God than you, for it is impossible for any creature to be closer to God's Son than His own Mother. From eternity, before anything was, you were united to your Son in the mind of God as His most pure Mother. When God decreed the incarnation of the Word, His very own Son, through you alone, you had a place in the same plan as Jesus. Since the conception of the Son of God is all holy, all pure, infinitely removed from every appearance of sin, it was supremely fitting that your conception should be equally far from sin. For that reason you were conceived by your mother, Saint Anne, without even the shadow of sin. You are the Virgin most pure. 
Because you were to be the Mother of God, original sin, which like all Eve's daughters you should have contracted, could not touch you. Such a stain would have reflected upon your Son, who is Holiness itself. Then Satan could boast that he had overcome Jesus in you, His Mother. You are pure and sinless. You expressed this to Saint Bernadette at Lourdes when you said, "I am the Immaculate Conception." 
Mary, My Mother, there is no sin in you; in you there is only God's grace—His light, His splendor, His love, His unspeakable delight. You are truly His beloved Daughter, the only one in whom there was never a stain. With you all is pure, virginal, immaculate In you there is no inclination to evil—no impure thoughts or desires. You are God's purest and holiest creature, the one chosen to conceive and bear the Son of God. Who would not love you and endeavor to imitate you, most beautiful and immaculate Mother of God? 
2. Mary, Mother of God, you are the Virgin most pure because you are full of grace. You are the most beautiful of creatures, the one in whom there is no spot, God's masterpiece. You are full of grace, the Lord's free gift, and it overflows in you filling your soul with every virtue and perfection. What marvels of grace possessed your soul! Sanctifying grace made you God's adopted child and the lawful heir to His eternal kingdom, putting you in possession of God's goods and of God Himself forever. That grace made you holy and most pleasing in God's eyes, the special object of His love. Sanctifying grace likened you to God as it did no other pure creature. Because you were full of God's grace and a Virgin most pure, Gabriel could exclaim, "You have found grace with God." No one has found or received such grace as you. 
But who can describe the matchless purity and beauty of your soul? Jesus is the most beautiful of men; you were His mould, His mirror, and He, yours. Your soul contained all the marvels of God's grace, for which reason the Church calls you the Singular Vessel of Devotion. 
Mary, My Mother, you are all beautiful—beautiful in mind, in body, in soul! In you I behold the charm of the purest of virgins, the majesty of the noblest of mothers. You are beautiful at your presentation in the temple; in prayer before Gabriel as he awaited your answer, in Nazareth's hidden life and later as you followed Jesus and listened to Wisdom speak. You were beautiful when you stood as the brave Queen of Martyrs beneath the cross of your dying Son; in the supper room beneath the fiery tongues of the Divine Spirit; beautiful, above all, in the glory in which you reign with Jesus. If a single soul in the state of grace by far excels in beauty all other earthly beauty, what beauty must you possess, Virgin most pure, who surpassed in holiness all other souls in the state of grace! 
3. Mary, Mother of God, you are the Virgin most pure because you are the holiest of God's creatures. You are the holiest of God's creatures because you are the Mother of God. The Prophet tells us that God is "wonderful in His saints" (Ps. 67, 36). How wonderful, then, He must be in the Mother of the Saint of saints! In you, to an eminent degree, all the privileges of other saints meet. The Church venerates many holy virgins, martyrs and other saints, but no one of them has merited or obtained your title of Holy Virgin, Virgin most pure. Whatever of sanctity, of dignity, of merit, of grace and of glory, that we can imagine, all is in you. 
Holiness is a complete separation from creatures and perfect union with God through love. No one ever belonged to Jesus as completely as you, for you are His Mother. Jesus belonged entirely to you, the holiest among women. Your womb was so pure, so immaculate that it became the Holy of Holies, in which Jesus Christ our Lord, the Eternal High Priest, alone found entrance. 
Mary, My Mother, God raised you so high in Himself that He never has created and never will create a holier person more worthy of Himself, of His greatness, of His love, than you, O Virgin most pure. Having carried within you Jesus Christ, the Son of God, you share, as no one else does, in your divine Son's holiness and purity. You come nearest to the holiness of God. 
You are the holiest of women, the Virgin-Mother thrice holy, because you are holy of the Father, holy of the Son, holy of the Holy Spirit of Love. Hence with Holy Church I repeat, "You are all fair, Mary, and the stain of original sin is not in you. You are the Glory of Jerusalem; you are the Joy of Israel; you are the Honor of our people."
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Friday, October 13, 2017
100 Year Anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun
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With over 70,000 witnesses, the Miracle of the Sun is the greatest miracle that has occurred after Apostolic Times.  It is life changing.  May we all immediately change our lives to conform with the message of Our Lady of Fatima before it is too late.
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Wednesday, October 11, 2017
St. Padre Pio on Guardian Angels
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"Your Guardian Angel was one of those great warriors who, together with the Angel Saint Michael, defended the honour of God against Satan.  He is still powerful against the devil...and his charity has not diminished, nor will he ever fail in defending us.  Develop the beautiful habit of always thinking of him; that near us is a celestial spirit, who, from the cradle to the tomb, does not leave us for an instant, guides us, protects us as a friend, a brother; will always be a consolation to us especially in our saddest moments.

"Know, my child, that this good Angel prays for you; offers to God all the good works you accomplish; your holy and pure desires. In the hours when you seem to be alone and abandoned, do not complain of not having a friendly soul to whom you can unburden yourself and in whom you can confide your sorrows. For pity's sake, do not forget this invisible companion, always present to listen to you; always ready to console you."

~ St. Padre Pio
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Wednesday, October 4, 2017
The Detestable and Abominable Practice of Cremation
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A fitting reminder in this sermon on cremation.  For my past article on cremation, see Why Cremation is Not Permitted for Catholics


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Monday, October 2, 2017
St Ignatius of Antioch on the Life of A Christian
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Strong words from St. Ignatius of Antioch.

"Just beg for me the courage and endurance not only to speak but also to will what is right, so that I may not only be called a Christian, but prove to be one. For if I prove myself to be a Christian by martyrdom, then people will call me one, and my loyalty to Christ will be apparent when the world sees me no more. ... Our task is not one of producing persuasive propaganda; Christianity shows its greatness when it is hated by the world."
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Sunday, October 1, 2017
Pastoral Care Commands a Return of the Old Mass
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Guest Post by David Martin

With the ensuing eclipse of the Faith ever enshrouding the Church in darkness, enough cannot be done to push for a return of the Traditional Latin Mass, since this is the eternal torch that led the way through the centuries with generation after generation of sanctified fruits. (Mt. 7:20)

Unfortunately, some today see the old Mass as a specialty item or nostalgia piece, forgetting that it was the essential center-piece that Christ gave his Church for the preservation of its doctrine and unity. God's vision for the Church was that it be One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, and that it be bonded by one universal language and rite.

Hence a universal return of the Latin Mass would be a powerful means of restoring unity to the Church against the influence of the new Mass which has divided the Church since Vatican II. For with the Mass said today in the language of each country (vernacular), this has fostered the idea that the Church is something that is secular and divided, as opposed to holy and universal, so a return of Latin is needed to help bring about a true unity as it existed before the Council.

However, the tables will never completely be turned back in the right direction unless Rome reverses what was the single most destructive innovation implemented after Vatican II, and that was when they turned the priest around so that he says the Mass facing the people with his back to the tabernacle. (versus populum) What has ensued is a historic shift of focus such that the emphasis today is on the community instead of on God.

This detriment is cited by acclaimed liturgist Monsignor Klaus Gamber, whom Pope Benedict while a cardinal proclaimed as a prophet for our time: "We must draw the necessary conclusion and admit that the celebration facing the people is, in fact, an error. In the final analysis, celebration facing the people is a turning towards man, and away from God."  (The Reform of the Roman Liturgy, 1993)

Fr. Gamber speaks a pure sentence. The Faithful today have been taken up with all manner of distraction and adulterated teachings (e.g. Amoris Laetita), the reason being Christ is no longer central before the public eye, so the old Mass is needed to pull the faithful back into focus. Christ needs to be lifted up in center-view before the Church so that the Mystical Body can be healed of the many serpentine bites that now afflict it. (Numbers 21:9, John 3:14)

Such a renewal is only Magisterial. The offering of Mass facing the altar (ad orientem) has its roots in the Old Testament and has been the universal norm for the entire span of the New Testament. The Old Testament offerings facing the tabernacle were a figure of Christ’s Sacrifice that would continue perpetually in this manner through the priests, so that since the time of Christ there is no evidence of the Church having deviated from this pattern.

This point is affirmed by Monsignor Gamber: "We can say and convincingly demonstrate that neither in the Eastern nor the Western Church was there ever a celebration facing the people." (The Reform of the Roman Liturgy) Even from the time of Abel to the time of Pope Paul VI, the sacrificial offering was always done facing God.

Vatican II marked the first time ever that priests were asked to depart from this age-old pattern. The September 26, 1964, Instruction on the Liturgy, Inter Oecumenici, now ruled that "The main altar should preferably be freestanding, to permit walking around it and celebration facing the people." (Article 91)

This one change alone served mightily to deflect the Barque from its chartered course. This was the hub that set into motion the new order of liturgical chaos that has caused a wide body of the church to turn its back on Christ. Though some initially thought the liturgical reform was inspired of God, 1 the Novus Ordo was born of an aversion for God's goodness and a desire to "turn towards man, and away from God."

It was for reason that Pope Paul VI, in recounting the destructive aftermath of Vatican II, declared to the world: "From some fissure the smoke of satan entered into the temple of God." (June 29, 1972) The adversary knew that if he could get his foot in the door, he could use the Church’s liturgical apparatus as a tiller to drive the Church shipwreck onto secular coasts.

Monsignor Gamber, whose work was highly praised by Cardinal Ratzinger, had this to say about the change of liturgy: "The liturgical reform welcomed with so much idealism and hope by many priests and lay people alike has turned out to be a liturgical destruction of startling proportions, a debacle worsening with each passing year. Instead of the hoped-for renewal of the Church and of Catholic life, we are now witnessing a dismantling of the traditional values and piety on which our faith rests."

Cardinal Ratzinger himself had this to say: "What happened after the Council was something else entirely: in place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over the centuries, and replaced it—as in a manufacturing process—with a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product." (From his preface to The Reform of the Roman Liturgy)

Cardinal Ottaviani, who was special adviser to Pope Paul VI, refuted the New Mass in a letter to His Holiness on September 25, 1969, saying, "The Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass." (From his cover letter to his famous Ottaviani Intervention on the New Mass)

"The Catholic theology of the Mass" is a reference to the Sacred Mysteries. During the elevation of the Host and Chalice, the Sacrifice of Calvary is reenacted, whereby the substance of bread and wine is changed into the very substance of Jesus Christ, so that the substance of bread and wine ceases to be. It is now the substance of Jesus Christ, only and entirely, without any other substance mingling with it. Only the accidents or physical properties of bread and wine remain (e.g. taste, smell, touch), but the substance itself is now Christ, and only Christ. This Divine substance under the appearance of bread and wine is what we call The Mystery of Faith.

All care must be taken to preserve the integrity of the liturgical text as it was given to us by the holy men of God, that it might impart the proper light and understanding concerning this Mystery of Faith—the very heart of the Mass. The liturgy is supposed to enhance our awareness of this Mystery by rendering honor to our Eucharistic King on the altar, but today's liturgy has diverted the attention away from Christ and turned the Mass into an occasion of festive encounter between the congregation and priest.

During an international teleconference on August 30, 2016, Cardinal Raymond Burke, the former prefect of the Apostolic Signatura lamented the scandal of Mass versus populum, arguing that it turns the Mass into a performance or dialogue. "There’s the great temptation when the priest is facing the people to see him as some kind of a performer," the former St. Louis archbishop said. "Instead of the priest together with the people relating to God, somehow it becomes an interaction between the priest and the people."

This liturgical aberration, when combined with flippant liturgical text spiked with political agenda, make-shift Eucharistic prayers, and casual socializing before Communion with the hand shake of peace, have worked together to bring about what can be called the greatest crisis facing the Church today, namely, the loss of the awareness of the supernatural presence of Christ in his sanctuary. We might say that a form of Eucharistic atheism prevails today, thanks to the modern Mass.

It was for reason that St. Pope Pius V issued ex-cathedra his superlative papal bull Quo Primum (July 14, 1570), whereby he instituted a perpetual mandate that the Mass of the Council of Trent alone be said. "This present Constitution can never be revoked or modified, but shall ever remain valid and have the force of law." Therein he makes clear that any future efforts to alter or deviate from the Tridentine formula of the Mass will "incur the 2 wrath of  Almighty God and of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul."

What is interesting is that Pope Paul VI, so often accused of imposing the new Mass, never forbade the old Mass. In 1986, a panel of nine Vatican cardinals concluded that Pope Paul VI never abrogated the Mass of Pius V, nor did he mandate the New Mass, nor did he grant bishops the right to forbid or restrict priests from saying the Tridentine Latin Mass. Pope John Paul II had commissioned the cardinals to look into the legal status of the old Mass, as it was his intention to bring its legality to light.

This laid the groundwork for Benedict XVI to continue the process of liberating the old rite, which he did via Summorum Pontificum (July 7, 2007), which reaffirmed the legality of the pre-conciliar Latin Mass. The Motu Proprio did not make the old Mass legal, but made official what already was the case, namely, that it always was the right of priests to say the old Mass without permission from their bishops. After all, if priests today do not need permission to say a Mass that was never mandated, they certainly don’t need permission to say the Mass that was. Do they need permission to keep the Ten Commandments too?

If Pope Paul VI had truly mandated the New Mass, he would have specified this, but this was never done. Nowhere in the 1969 Missale Romanum does it mandate that the New Mass has to be said. The document merely mandates the publication of the new missal, ordering that "the prescriptions of this Constitution go into effect [are validated] November 30th of this year" and that it "be firm and effective now and in the future." But there is no mention of its use. The document was issued as an indult for those that wanted the new Mass.

Pius V, on the contrary, laid down the law with his subjects, saying, "We order them in virtue of holy obedience to chant or to read the [Tridentine] Mass according to the rite and manner and norm herewith laid down by Us." He said: "Let Masses not be sung or read according to any other formula than that of this Missal published by Us" mandating that "This new rite alone is to be used."

THIS IS THE MASS that needs to be returned if the light of true faith is to be preserved. Monsignor Gamber says, "A real change in the contemporary perception of the purpose of the Mass and the Eucharist will occur only when the table altars are removed and Mass is again celebrated at the high altar; when the purpose of the Mass is again seen as an act of adoration and glorification of God... and as the mystical reenactment of the Lord’s sacrifice on the cross."

Returning the old Mass would show true pastoral care in that it would give the eternal riches of God back to his people and provide a true renewal in which the light of tradition can again shine through the liturgy and dispel the darkness of our time. Christ instituted his Church that it might be a light to the nations, signified by the Latin word Lumen Gentium. The eternal light emanating from the old Rite is that Lumen Gentium wherewith to attract the world to Christ, but by withholding this light it has deprived man of good things and wrought his alienation from God.

It is high time that Rome "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." (1 Thessalonians 5:21) Pope Benedict XVI, in speaking of the Tridentine Mass, accentuated this very point on April 30, 2011: "What was sacred for prior generations, remains sacred and great for us as well." (Universae Ecclesia)

Let us clamor then for the restoration of the main altar and that priests everywhere will begin offering the Mass facing the altar. The Vatican's chief liturgist Cardinal Robert Sarah is calling for a universal return of saying the Mass ad orientem, and said on September 7, 2017, that the world has "forgotten about God" because the priests "who are supposed to be 'the light of the world' (Mt 5:14) are not approaching the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed."

In an interview published on September 21, Cardinal Burke was asked which of the liturgical reforms requested by Cardinal Sarah should come first. Burke answered, "Offering the Mass with everyone facing the Lord [ad orientem]." He said, "This will help so much to restore the sense of worship and to show that the Mass is not some kind of social event between the priest and parishioners or the parishioners among themselves."

According to Cardinal Burke, priests effectively assume a pastoral role when they say the Traditional Latin Mass facing the altar. "The priest as our spiritual father is leading us in this worship to lift our minds and hearts to God." (August 30, 2016)

1 The principal architect of the new Mass was Msgr. Annibale Bugnini, a suspected Freemason who twice was expelled from the Vatican because of suspicious activity. https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/liturgical-time-bombs-in-vatican-ii-michael-davies/1114285164?ean=9781618904331

2 The wrath of Almighty God and SS. Peter and Paul is not incurred by priests who innocently comply with the Novus Ordo thinking it is the right thing to do, but by perpetrators such as those that authored the perfidious Vatican II document Sacrosanctum Concilium which, under the guise of restoration, proposed devious changes to the Mass in violation of the everlasting ordinance. Even so, the Mass today remains valid in that it reenacts the Sacrifice of Christ.
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