Immaculate Heart of Mary, Ora pro nobis.

This blog is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and in reparation for all the sins committed against Her Most Pure Heart. May Her Immaculate Heart draw us closer to Her Divine Son, Our Most Precious Lord.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

For Christ's Sake---Let's Keep Christ in Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!  I pray that your Christmastide is filled with revelry and celebrations that would have made the early American Puritan's heads spin and sent them raging on a demon-casting-out frenzy!  Have fun, drink a lot, and celebrate Our Savior's Birth!  Go visit your friends and neighbors these next 12 days and sing carols and dance by the fire!  Enjoy the Holy Days!!!
     Now that I have wished you all happy Merry making, I'd like to get to the purpose of this little article.  A few days before Christmas, another little article was making its way around Facebook with full support and glee of the secularists and so-called modern day Christians.  It's an article from Tiffany Willis' blog called Liberal America.  Here it is. (This link has been removed at Ms. Tiffany Willis' request.) If you wish to read her article, you will have to go to her blog and search her archives.  You can read it if you wish, but be warned:  it's neither pretty nor accurate. Now normally, I could care less what self-identified liberal Christians believe personally, but this topic---keep Christ out of Christmas---seems to be a popular theme among so-called Christians these days.  As such, I felt like I needed to challenge this idea with some common sense and history.
     First of all, I am not a professional writer.  I have no experience whatever in writing.  I've never taken a journalism or writing class.  I've never had an article or book published.  I am just a simple person, sort-of educated but a heart and mind geared toward knowledge and the love of Christ.  I am drawn especially to history because I understand that our whole world, culture, and society is organic in that it has grown and adapted over huge periods of time.  We do not just "invent" ideas or customs or traditions.  They develop over time as our understanding grows and as the forces guiding our society change.  There is so much evidence to support this statement that no further explanation is necessary.  Any person who does not understand this is either grossly uneducated or highly closed-minded or possibly ignorant.  I am certainly not going to accuse Ms. Willis of being anything.  I don't know her personally, and honestly I believe she means well.  But her article regarding keeping Christ out of Christmas is filled with gross misunderstandings, age-old propaganda, and under-researched statements. I hope to refute everything she has written except for her personal confession of her profound belief in Christ.  I do not know her heart.  I only know that she is misleading people who are ignorant of the facts themselves.
     Ms. Willis begins her critique of Christmas by making the claim that Christ did not tell us, Himself, to celebrate His birth, and that, then is a primary reason for Christians not to do so.  She contends that those who do celebrate Christmas are "misguided."  This is an interesting comment and not one that I haven't heard before.  In fact it is a common thread running through the Jehovah's Witnesses cult.  Their arguments are simple:  Jesus told us to remember His death, the Bible doesn't tell us when He was born, Christians didn't celebrate Christmas until the 4th century.  Taken on face value, I suppose this is easy to accept, as Ms. Willis has, but a closer look at history reveals something interesting about the early Christians, and these details are important in many other statements Ms. Willis includes in her article.
      At the time of Our Lord's birth, the world was plunged in darkness.  There were multitudes of pagans and barbarians who had filled the earth.  Primarily, Hellenism, or Greek culture, had influence the entire known world beginning about 300 years before Christ.  History books are filled to the brim with all the influences the Greeks had in the world and on society.  Hellenism had, in fact, left a huge mark on Judaism itself which led to a revolt among the Jews about 200 years before Christ was born.  The Greeks had taken over Judaism, taken over the temple, taken over the culture, and Judaism was all but underground.  There were only a few faithful Jews left and they had enough of the outrage.  It came to a head when this group, the Maccabees, fought back and reclaimed the Temple from the invaders.  It's a beautiful story, found in the Sacred Scripture, one of which was commemorated in Jesus's time called the Feast of the Dedication, to which Ms. Willis refers through one single reference.  It is still celebrated today by Jews, marked with a week long celebration of parties and gift giving.  They just call it Hanukkah.  If Ms. Willis is a Protestant, she may well have never heard this incredible story or know why Our Lord was celebrating.  The story is found in completion in 1st and 2nd Maccabees, books that were removed from the Protestant Bible by Martin Luther.
     The discussion of the revolt and divisions among the Jews is historically significant, because this is the environment into which Our Lord chose to come into the world.  His Incarnation and Birth are and have been the most significant invents in the world's history.  However, He was born in obscurity to very poor and simple parents.  He lived a quiet life until he was 30 years old at which time only a small group of people were ever to know him personally.  During His earthly life, very few people believed Him, His own people persecuted and humiliated Him, and nothing was even written about Him until at least 40 or 50 years after His Death and Resurrection.  Saint Paul, a diaspora Jew from Palestine, did not begin his ministry until this time as well. He wasn't even born when Our Lord was crucified!  As such, it is fairly easy to understand how the small band of Our Lord's followers were hidden among the crowds within the Roman Empire.  In fact, they remained hidden in many ways for fear of persecution, humiliation, and death.  Yet for over 300 years, Christ's Church survived hidden underground in the catacombs until the Constantine and the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D.  Any information about the Christian Church before this time has to be gleaned from ancient documents and manuscripts which clearly suggests Christians across the Roman Empire were celebrating the Feast of the Nativity on January 6.  In fact, the Orthodox Church still celebrates Christmas on that day.  (The Catholic Church assigns January 6 as Epiphany.)  Yet, we know from at least one ancient Roman document, the Philocalian Calendar of 336, that Christians celebrated Christmas on December 25.
     This brings me to Ms. Willis' question, "Why December 25?"  She claims that the December 25th date was chosen (by whom she never suggests) primarily because it was the date of the much celebrated Roman festival of either Saturnalia or Dies Natalis Soli Invicti.  It is true that the Romans were festival celebraters.  They loved leisure and they loved their gods, of which they had many.  Saturn was a particular favorite.  During Saturnalia, slaves traded places with their masters, and young men dressed up like King Saturn, drank in excess, and engaged in explicit behavior.  Saturnalia was an excuse to set aside all sense of restraint.  However, it has been refuted by many historians that the feast of Saturnalia began on the 17th and ended by the 23rd.  As such the idea that Christmas is derived from Saturnalia has absolutely no merit whatever.  However, the celebration of Dies Natalis Soli Invicti is worthy of a mention.  As I noted above, the early Christians within the Roman empire were sparse and hidden from society.  When they were recognized, they were often killed for refusing to participate in Roman society.  But because Roman society itself was not opposed to cult worship of foreign gods, cults from outside regions often erupted and disappeared.  One such cult to the god Mithras emerged in the 1st Century A.D.  Not much has survived regarding Mithras and his cult, primarily because by the 4th century, the cult had completely disappeared.  Not coincidentally, the Christians arose from the catacombs about this time.  Records do indicate that Mithras cult followers had a banquet on December 25 in honor of Sol, the sun god.  However, St. Justin Martyr, who wrote in the 2nd Century, accused the Mithraists of copying the Christians.  This idea was held to be universal until the 1800s when philosopher Ernest Renan suggested that Mithraics and Christians competed with each other in the empire.
     As to December 25th being the date of Christ's birth, I offer to you a book written by Dr. Taylor Marshall, God's Birthday.  You can get a free e-book about this subject based on his research into the historian Josephus.  For early Christians, Christ's birthday was incredibly important.  They would not have just chosen some random dates based on celebrations of the gods they held in contempt. As Dr. Taylor points out in his work, going back through the Scriptures, weighing the important events of St. John the Baptists conception and birth, it's clear to calculate exactly when Christ was born.  This event is so critical to our Christian faith, that declaring there is no way to know when Christ was born is tantamount to suggesting Christianity itself is a fabrication or purely an emotional experience.   So to answer Ms. Willis' question:  They chose December 25 precisely because it was the day on which Our Lord became Man.
    As if it is not enough to attack Our Lord's Birthday, Ms. Willis goes on to present to her readers several Christmas traditions that she believes are rooted in pagan rituals. She mentions Christmas trees, presents, mistletoe, and holly.  I have heard many of these arguments in the past and recently was involved in a discussion regarding the tradition of Christmas trees, but I was honestly surprised by Ms. Willis claim about something I had never heard:  Asherah trees.  Ms. Willis claims that Christians allowed the use of Christmas trees to convert the people of the Asherah cult who worshiped trees and brought them in their homes during winter solstice.  Um.  No.  Was there an Asherah cult?  Yes.  However, the Asherah followers were actually a Canaanite cult in Israel.  A little research about the Canaanites reveals that they lived during Biblical times and they had many strange gods, particularly Baal and Moloch and goddesses Astarte and Ashera.  They were a great nation with a command of architecture and language.  Evidence of their influence can be found in both Egyptian and Babylonian culture.  But they were a vicious and  hateful people.  And as the land of Canaan became the land of Israel, many of the Canaanite practices remained.  The Ashera pole or tree was one such practice where the cult followers would erect trees next to the altars of the Israelites. The Jeremiah reference Ms. Willis cites which refers to adorning trees is an admonition to the Canaanites and their idolatry.  It has absolutely nothing to do with a comment on modern day Christmas tree use.  The Christmas tree in Christian homes is a long held tradition that developed organically over several hundred years.  The practice of decoration with trees and greenery of various sorts, including holly and mistletoe, is well documented dating back to the Middle Ages.  As for the mistletoe and holly, they were important plants that grew throughout Europe.  In fact, Pliny the Elder wrote about the seemingly mystical qualities of mistletoe in 70 or so B.C.  But it was the Celts who were completely mesmerized by the ubiquitous plant.  They had a fondness for bringing it into their homes, and because there was nothing particularly anti-Christian about it, they continued the practice after converting to Christianity.  They holly plant was often called "Christ's thorns" when brought into the home at Christmas as a reminder that Christ was born to suffer and die as a symbol of His Crown of Thorns and Drops of Precious Blood.  Nothing unChristian here at all.
     Finally, I want to get to Ms. Willis's comments about the much loved and venerated St. Nicholas, particularly her commentary that the great Bishop's words were something harsh and hateful.  Actually, St. Nicholas only repeated what Our Lord Himself said to the Jews of His time.  Perhaps a good reading of Sacred Scripture might help Ms. Willis understand.  Our Lord said this to the Jews:
You do the works of your father. They said therefore to him: We are not born of fornication: we have one Father, even God.  Jesus therefore said to them: If God were your Father, you would indeed love me. For from God I proceeded, and came; for I came not of myself, but he sent me:  Why do you not know my speech? Because you cannot hear my word.  You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he stood not in the truth; because truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof.  John 8: 41-44
Which brings me to a commentary on Judaism itself.  Mosaic Judaism, the Judaism of the Bible, no longer exists.  In 70 A.D. the Temple, which is a sacrificial requirement in Judaism, was destroyed.  It remains in rubble.  Jewish priests no longer have a place for sacrifice and their is no active priesthood.  Current Judaism is a man-made religion based on the Talmud.  Rabinnic Judaism was formed in 70 A.D.  Our Lord was born a Mosaic Jew.  He came to fulfill the Law.  Our Lord was rejected by His own people.  And Mosaic Judaism no longer exists.
     As I close this long but important article, I would like to make one final commentary.  The only solid reference Ms. Willis makes regarding a reason to reject Christmas practices because of its pagan origins comes from the Puritan minister Reverend Increase Mather in 1687.  Now Reverend Mather was quite influential among the Puritans in Massachusetts.  He became the first President of Harvard College and his son also went on to become a quite prolific Puritan minister.  The good Reverend was highly superstitious and actively involved in the infamous Salem witch trials, until this own wife was accused of such shenanigans.  In case you are unaware the Puritans absolutely loathed the Catholic Church and any traditions or rituals associated with Her.  They hated the Church so much, they even rejected the English Anglican Church for being too "papist."  When they settled here in the then Colonies, they outlawed all Christmas Celebrations, just as the English had done in the home country.  English law prohibited any parties, merry making, decorations, singing, and or celebrating.  Christians, particularly Catholics, caught participating in Christmas rituals or celebrations were fined, imprisoned, and killed.  The Puritans extended this practice in the Colonies and Christmas celebrating remained illegal until the late 17th century.  Although the laws were repealed, Christmas celebrating was discouraged in the United States and some people were inflicted with fines for closing their shops on Christmas.  In fact, the Puritans were workaholics.  Their calendar was the most leisureless ever, with 300 working days, and only time off on Sundays and a few other holidays.  The Puritans had nothing but contempt for Christmas and the Catholic Church.
     I am sure that Ms. Tiffany Willis is a well-meaning self-identified Christian.  But her conclusions are not only ill informed, they are dangerous, and perhaps blasphemous.  The Incarnation and the Birth of Christ are the single most significant point in history.  My 7 year old can tell you that in pretty simple words:  If Jesus had not been born on Christmas, the gates of Heaven would have been closed forever. We celebrate Christmas in all its pageantry and revelry because of that fact.   I do agree with Ms. Willis on one point:  Know what you practice and why.  Educate yourself.  You can not call yourself a Christian if you leave Christ out of your faith, your belief, and your practice.
  Merry Christmas!!!

Divine Infant, have mercy on us!

Blessed Virgin, Mother of God, pray for us!

Holy Family, pray for us!

***Editor's Note**** 

On June 23, I received an e-mail from Ms. Tiffany Willis, owner of, requesting that I remove the link to her article.  Thus, the link has been removed.  You may read her comment below in the combox.  As a note, the following can be found at the bottom of

Any article on belongs to the writer of the article. allows for sharing with attribution.  You can not sell our writer's articles, but you can use snippets of our articles with attribution and a link to and the author's name on your ad-supported blog or website.  Please check with individual authors before using an entire work.  
My article clearly attributes Ms. Willis and clearly provides a link to her website.  Thus I can only conclude that Ms. Willis is unhappy  primarily with the content of my article.  As is the case for most liberals, you are not allowed to have a differing opinion or value system contrary to theirs.  This is also the case with non-Catholic's who identify as Christians.  When presented with clear and concise evidence to contradict their opinion, they are unable to defend themselves.  Rather than admit their error, they resort to name-calling, irrelevant remarks, and threats.  


Monday, November 18, 2013

Divided We Will Fall

 We have been traditional Catholics for 4 years.  And I can tell you, traditional Catholics are a strange and particular lot.  Now don't get me wrong, I don't think trad Catholics are crazy.  Heck, I'm one of 'em.  I just know we have issues in our little small circles and I think the devil likes it that way.  Let me try to explain.
     There are traditional Catholics everywhere.  They are sitting in the pews at your local Novus Ordo parish, where they are easy to spot.  Most of them, though, eventually find a place where the Tridentine Mass is offered.  Some of these places are within the various societies and establishments "officially recognized" by the Church.  Other trad Catholics, for various reasons, attend Masses at other chapels not "recognized" by the Church but where they can receive the Sacraments and practice their Faith. And while everyone has made their decision based on prayer, thoughtfulness, and information, there is an awful lot of name calling and accusations thrown around in real life and in the blogosphere.
     Considering the state of the post-concilliar Catholic Church, it's a real shame that traditional Catholics insist on stoking the tensions between them.  The criticisms reach such heightened levels sometimes that many Catholics just simply begin to avoid each other out of fear of having to discuss "Faith issues."  In spite of the one thing we can all agree on---that the post-concilliar Church is a danger to one's faith and quite possibly a new religion---the disagreements and divisions actually keep us from being able to make any real headway in the restoration of the Church.
     Generally speaking, it's like a dysfunctional family rivalry.  Those traditional Catholics who attend the Tridentine Mass under one of the official "legal" wings of the Church, like the FSSP or ICK, often totally reject those people who attend SSPX chapels by labeling them schismatics.  Then there are the SSPXers who don't trust any priests except their own.  Both of those groups reject and avoid those Catholics that openly challenge the validity of the person who is the Pope.  And all of those often lament that the independent priests with private chapels have gone off the deep end.  It has become a nasty mess of bickering, attacking, fighting, and down right shunning.  It's worse than an episode of Survivor or Big Brother and nothing good comes of it.
     You see, our salvation is at stake here.  This is not about sitting on committees or singing in the choir.  It's not about feeling good or important or finding your sense of belonging. It's not even about the Mass. It's about our Catholic Faith.  If we lose that, then we lose everything, especially our place in Heaven.  Isn't that what the devil wants after all?  A generation ago, people knew where to look for their Catholic Faith.  They could go to any Catholic Church and find a good, holy Catholic priest.  They could send their children to Catholic schools and they could trust the nuns would teach them the Faith.  But those days are gone for good.  Now one must look for the Faith.  One must know what it truly is and recognize if their priest or bishop actually has it.  It's a crisis like that of St. Athanasius' time.  How was the Church restored then when 95% of the priests and bishops were heretics?  Did the "trads" in those days bicker and fight over who or who was not the Pope or whether or not their church was official?
     Isn't it the same in our modern day?  It's no secret that the post-concilliar Catholic church is infused with Modernism, which, as Pope Pius X told us, is the synthesis of all heresies.   Everyday we hear a priest orbishop spouting some Modernist drivel, yet we are afraid to call them out.  Our Pope openly professes Modernist thinking and we are afraid to say so for fear of being disobedient.  We are afraid to leave our Churches where our children are loosing their faith, where our altars have been ripped out, where many no longer believe Christ is present in the Eucharist, where our priests are teaching us lies, where our very souls are in danger.  We are afraid to be disobedient to our priests, our bishops and our Pope.
     Unfortunately, traditional Catholics are no better.  They criticize and condemn each other. They refuse to engage in real discussions, or consider the possibility that their priest or group is compromised or questionable.  We must absolutely stop this bickering and in-fighting.  Instead, we must do better to help each other find and keep our Faith.  We can not do this if we are constantly fighting and accusing each other of not being real Catholics.  How much could we accomplish together, how many souls could be saved if we just tried to work together?
     In reality, it's not about where we attend Mass. It's about the Faith! Your cathedral may have a large group of young families and beautiful music, but without the Faith, they are just noisy makers.  Your chapel may have monks and nuns still in habits, but without the Faith, they are just men and women.  Your church may have a vibrant priest, nice vestments, and a marble altar, but without the Faith, these are just props.  We must know our Faith.  We must be prepared to fight for it, defend it, and be willing to hide it among ourselves to keep it.  Let us never forget the Japanese Catholics who hid underground for over 200 years without clergy, without the Mass, without schools.  They had only their rosaries, their scapulars, and their Faith!
     Our Lord promised that the devil would not win this battle.  The Church will survive.  Of that we can be sure.  But where is the Church?  Where are the people of Faith?  That is for you to search, to seek out, and hang on to as if your eternal life depends on it.  After all, it does.

Viva Cristo Rey!

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

St. Athanasius, pray for us!

Martyrs of Japan, pray for us!


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Marriage Debt---It's Not About Finance.

 I have tried to write this article three times.  Initially, I wanted to write about Natural Family Planning, and I found myself overly critical and harsh.  I gave up on the effort because I knew I would sound condescending and uncharitable.  Then I got in a conversation with some traditional Catholics while, at the same time, my husband was engaged in a dialogue with some Novus Ordo Catholics.  As it were, both conversations eventually got around to the number of children Catholic couples have and how they are spaced.  Again, I wanted to address my observations regarding families in both the post-Conciliar Church and among traditional Catholics.  Still, I couldn't quite sort out what I wanted or needed to say and figured I should do a little investigation of my own.  Then when I thought I had collected my ideas, I sat down yet a third time to write.  Nothing seemed right.  So I prayed about it.  I asked the Lord to help me sort through this.  If I could, I would write but if I found more criticism,  then I would avoid it all together.  So, here I sit a 4th time, finally having found the root of the problem:  the definition and understanding of marriage.
     Modernism is, by nature, a nasty thing.  I will leave you to investigate Modernism on your own, with a good place to start being Pascendi Dominici Gregis, promulgated by Pope Pius X in 1907.  Ideas, from faith to family to science, that were contrary to Catholic doctrine were beginning to infiltrate the Church.  The seminaries were filled with instructors, bishops, and priests who were teaching these modernist ideas and cloaking them in ambiguity so they could be passed off as tradition.  It was so bad, that in 1910 Pope Pius X required all priests, bishops, and prelates to take the Oath Against Modernism.  And though Modernism seemed to be kept at bay for awhile, it eventually infected the whole Church.  No Catholic doctrine, truth, or tradition was spared.  By the time Vatican II was convened in 1962, the stage was set to revolutionize and  modernize the Catholic Church.
     The hallmark of Modernism is the self-conscious break with tradition.  Tradition is considered sentimental.  There is only value in what one can experience or perceive, theoretically known as Phenomenology.  These two concepts, Modernism and Phenomenology, are intertwined.  Many, if not most, of the Cardinals and theologians that participated and directed Vatican II held to these philosophies. ( I don't want to go into a long discussion about Phenomenology at this time.  It is not easy to understand and I have had to consult my husband who holds a degree in Philosophy to help me recognize it's impact.  If you would like to understand more, you can begin reading here about Edmund Husserl and Phenomenology.)  Karol Wojtyla and Joseph Ratzinger were two of the most influential priests during the Vatican II Council and they were both heavily influenced by the Phenomenology of Husserl and another philosopher named Max Scheler.  As such, every document that came out of Vatican II, every discussion, and every decree or Encyclical that flowed from Vatican II were all infected with Modernism in some form. All of it was in direct opposition to the Thomist Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas that had been the foundation of Church doctrine for 1,962 years.  (You will find a brief analysis here.)  
    As I said previously, Vatican II infected the whole Church with Modernism under many different philosophical ideas.  The nature of marriage was not immune to this infection.  Prior to Vatican II, the doctrines and dogma of the Catholic Church were rooted in Thomist Philosophy.  Essentially, St. Thomas taught and the Catholic Church formulated doctrine on the understanding that all human acts have natural purposes which are ordained by God and they must be respected as such by God's creation.  In regards to marriage, St. Thomas spent quite some time discussing marriage in his Summa Theologica.  His thoughts on the matter made up the foundation of what every priest taught and what every Catholic understood about marriage.  The heart of the doctrine regarding marriage was based upon Sacred Scripture, formulated philosophically by St. Thomas, instructed in the Catechism of Trent,  promulgated clearly in two Encyclicals; Arcanum by Pope Leo XIII in 1880 and Casti Connubii by Pope Pius XI in 1930, and re-confirmed by Pope Pius XII in his Address to Midwives in 1951 which he gave in response to the new philosophy on marriage that was beginning to take root.
     Another student of the growing Phenomenological movement was Dietrich von Hildebrand.  While he was personally and profoundly Catholic and openly critical of the changes in the Liturgy after Vatican II, his personalistic approach to married love was rooted in phenomenology and in direct opposition to Church teaching.  Since Pope Pius XII help a deep and profound respect for von Hildebrand, it was precisely his new philosophy regarding marriage that he warned the Italian Midwives about in his address.  (You can read more about von Hildebrand's philosophy of love here.)  In the 1920s, von Hildebrand gave a series of lectures on the nature of marriage.  He formulated the idea that there was not only a purpose or end of marriage, as had always been taught, but that there was also a distinct meaning of marriage.  This meaning of marriage, von Hildebrand concluded, was the love the spouses feel in the marriage embrace.  Ultimately, these lectures laid the ground work for this new philosophy and new understanding of marriage that developed out of Vatican II.  That philosophy, the new way of looking a marriage, was finally decreed and promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1968 in his Encyclical Humane Vitae.  While Pope Paul VI re-affirmed the Church's constant teaching against birth control, he instituted a new concept of marriage.
     To see clearly the new orientation the Church has taken regarding marriage, I though it might be easier just to present the fundamental concepts from the traditional Church and from the post-conciliar Church.  (For the sake of simplicity I will use the True teaching vs. the New teaching.)

True Teaching
  • Marriage Debt:  St. Paul outlines in 1 Corinthian's that married spouses are bound by their marriage debt, or the conjugal act.  The marriage debt is designed for 3 ends or purposes in order: procreation, calming concupiscence, and fostering love and affection.  In other words, conjugal relations are designed for first, the couple to have children, then to keep the spouses from falling into sin, and what grows from that is a mutual fondness and enduring love, often developed through sacrifice, submissiveness, and selflessness.  The husband and wife are both obliged to pay their "debt" whenever the other spouses requests, provided that the request is not unreasonable.  In this way, the marriage debt protects the spouses from incontinence: the inability to control one's sexual appetite.
  • Begetting Children:  The principal object of marriage is to have children, to bring them up in the true faith, and to teach them service to God.  In other words, couples need to have always in their minds the birth of a child.  They wait for children to arrive when God sends them, no matter how small or large a number.  They have the duty and responsibility to bring up these children for Christ.
  • Mutual Help:  With the husband as head of the family and the wife as willingly submissive to her husband, the couple are able to work towards the common good of their family and the education of their children in matters of faith and morals.
  • Sacrament of Matrimony:  Matrimony is a word that comes from the Latin word, mater, or mother.  Why?  Because marriage is designed to make a woman a mother.  Christ elevated the state of marriage to a Sacrament thereby giving graces to the couple.  These graces enhance their natural love, increases the strength of marriage bond, and sanctifies the spouses, so that they grown in holiness and help to bring each other, and their children, into Heaven.
New Teaching
  • Marital Embrace:  This is a concept defined by Dietrich von Hildebrand.  According to von Hildebrand, the marital embrace, or the conjugal act, is designed for the couple to grow in mutual love for one another.  While procreation is naturally a purpose of the marital embrace, it is not the sole purpose or even primary purpose.  He taught that the marital embrace has two designs, one unitive and one procreative.  In other words, through the marital embrace couples grow to understand, respect, and love each other and then, as a secondary but equal consequence, they procreate.  Couples can not engage in the conjugal act without first considering the "personal" and "reasonable" wishes of the spouses. Couples are encouraged to practice self-discipline in matters of conjugal relations through periodic continence.  Only through self-control can spouses truly express their love for one another.
  • Responsible Parenthood:  The concept of responsible parenthood first appears in Catholic thought in Pope Paul VI's Encyclical Humanae Vitae.  Responsible parents are always aware of their social and physical conditions and "prudently" decide whether or not to have children, even for an indefinite period of time.  
  • Separate Interests:  There is emphasis on personal respect and dignity of the spouses.  Each spouse in encouraged to grow in understanding the other spouse and respecting his or her interests.  Often times spouses are counseled to develop personal hobbies separate from their spouses.  The education of the children, especially in matters of faith, is secondary.  Often times there is a focus on the development of the children's personal interests as well.  
  • Sacrament of the Marital Embrace:  In the marital embrace, the spouses are united spiritually.  Through the conjugal act, the spouses "gift" themselves to each other.  It is taught that the marital embrace, the conjugal act itself, is grace giving and sanctifying.  The unity of the spouses is perfected and strengthened through sexual relations.  And children are a "fruit" of this oneness. Sexual relations are to be enjoyed for the sake of their pleasure and through this pleasure, the spouses grow in love for each other.  (Here a writer discusses what she has learned from her parish and Theology of the Body.)  Proceed with caution!!!

    Ultimately this new orientation of marriage has had a huge impact on the Church. In a prior time, large Catholic families were not only a fairly normal occurrence, but they pointed to a healthy and vibrant faith.  In his Allocution to Large Families in 1951, Pope Pius XII said this:

Whenever you find large families in great numbers, they point to the physical and moral health of a Christian people, a living faith in God and trust in His Providence, the fruitful and joyful holiness of Catholic marriage.
In the modern civil world a large family is usually, with good reason, looked upon as evidence of the fact that the Christian faith is being lived up to... 
Catholics, when they married, expected to become parents of many children and they entered into the Sacrament of Matrimony with full faith in God that His Divine Providence would help them provide for every how many children He sent them.  These families were not judged on their wealth or lack there of nor their financial ability to support their children.  Catholic families who were blessed with financial wealth welcomed the opportunity to help these families meet their needs.  In fact, Pope Pius XI remarked in Casti Connubii  the following:
When these means which We have pointed out [diminishing material obstacles] do not fulfill the needs, particularly of a larger or poorer family, Christian charity towards our neighbor absolutely demands that those things which are lacking to the needy should be provided, hence it is incumbent on the rich to help the poor, so that having an abundance of this world's good, they may not expend them fruitlessly or completely squander them, but employ them for the support and well-being of those who lack the necessities of life.
Today, it's not unusual for modern Catholics to view large poor families with criticism and skepticism.  Due Pope Paul VI's new ideas regarding marriage and family, most modern Catholics consider "responsible parenthood" a Sacrament.  They are unafraid to tout Natural Family Planning as approved Church Teaching, and it just may be a teaching of the New Church.  In Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI suggests:
With regard to physical, economic, psychological, and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised by those who prudently and generously decide to have more children, and by those who, for serious reasons and with due respect to moral precepts, decide not to have additional children for either a certain or indefinite period of time. 
Does this sound anything like the trust in God's Providence that Pope Pius XII mentioned?  Actually it sounds more like the secular idea that couple's should seriously consider all factors before they decide to have children.  Lost in this declaration is the thought that God sends the children He chooses to whom He chooses.  As a natural consequence of this new orientation, many Catholics have lost the charitable generosity of past generations.  Rather than offer to help the large and/or poor families in the parishes, those families are often criticized for making the poor decision to have more children when they are unable to financially care for them.  This has left a coldness in the post-Conciliar Church that has not gone unnoticed.
     Something has gone terribly wrong in the Catholic Church.  She lost her way in the 1960s after She was infected with Modernism.  The whole Church and all the Catholics in it are diseased.   Their whole way of thinking has been re-oriented.  What was once considered evil--intentionally avoiding pregnancy without very, very grave circumstances--is now considered good.  Large families, which were once considered the "flowerbeds of the faith" and a symbol of a living faith are now viewed with contempt.
     There is so much to discuss on the topic of marriage and families that I plan to have another installment, not quite so long, regarding the marriage debt, a closer look at NFP, duties of parents, and natural child spacing (not NFP).  There is so much of our Catholic faith that has been lost to us.  It's time to reclaim it, one step at a time.


In recent weeks, Dr. Jay Boyd referenced this article on her blog Philotheo on Phire.   Dr. Boyd has written a book on the subject of Natural Family Planning.  I am very grateful and humbled that Dr. Boyd would consider my opinions and thoughts on this subject worthy of a reference.  Thank you, Dr. Boyd, for your kindness.  Since then, I have discovered just how controversial this topic is.  Many Catholics, both traditional and modern, become very defensive regarding this subject.  Without being overly critical, I suspect that Modernism is probably to blame.  Sadly, it is becoming impossible to tell Catholic families from Protestant ones.  I pray that, through the work of Dr. Boyd and more people like her, Catholics can begin to challenge that Modernism and rekindle their Faith.

St. Matilda, ora pro nobis.

St. Catherine of Siena, ora pro nobis.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

If Only I Had Known

 I have the fortunate good graces from the Lord to have a very amazing priest.  Not only is he caring and concerned, warm and interesting, he also gives the most amazing sermons.  On most Sundays, I leave Mass asking myself, "Why have I never heard that before?!"   Obviously, I know the answer.  I was a Novus Ordo Catholic where one is not likely to hear anything particularly Catholic.  In contrast, the past 3 years as a traditional Catholic has brought me to a whole new level of understanding about my faith and the world.  Admittedly, there have been Sundays where Father's sermon has hit me so hard that I had real difficulty getting up off the kneelers.  But many Sundays, I  leave with, as Father says, another piece of the puzzle of the Catholic picture.  Today was one of those sermons, and it really put into perspective for me how our belief, our religious faith, actually affects our lives and our world.
     Today, in the traditional calendar, is the 9th Sunday after Pentecost.  The Gospel is a familiar one from St. Luke where Our Lord has an encounter with the money-changers in the Temple.  I think pretty much everyone, Catholic and non, is familiar with this story.  You know the one---Jesus gets mad, flips over some tables, and calls people thieves.  This Scripture has been interpreted 10 ways to Christmas, by Catholics and Protestants alike.  But today, I heard this Gospel explained by a true Catholic priest and it opened my eyes just a little more to the beauty of our Faith.  I would like to share it with you and hope and pray I stay true to Father's instruction.
     It is impossible to understand Catholicism without a fundamental knowledge of Biblical Judaism.  As such, a little explanation of Jewish law is necessary to grasp what was happening that day in the Temple and why Our Lord became so annoyed with it.  According to a Jewish law established by Moses, each year, every adult male aged 20 and over was required to pay a tax to the Temple.  The tax was the same for everyone---a 1/2 shekel or a shekel---paid once a year, and only in Tyrian coinage, a coin that was minted with near pure silver.  Since it was a requirement for all Jews to make the pilgrimage to offer sacrifices at the Temple during Passover, the tax collection tables were set up around Jerusalem also at the time.  Most people didn't carry around with them Tyrian shekels.  Instead, they carried the coins used in their native lands and had to have it exchanged into shekels to pay their taxes.  Ergo the money-changers.  To make currency exchange easier, the money-changers set up their tables right in front of the Temple so pilgrims could exchange their currency and pay their taxes at the same.  And in Jesus's time the money-exchange had become big business.  Likewise, selling animals for the required Passover sacrifice also became big business.
     Just like the rules for taxes, there were also specific rules for animals for the Passover sacrifices.  While a spotless lamb was the usual Passover sacrifice, poor people could offer instead two turtledoves.  But it was incredibly difficult for Jews during this time to travel to Jerusalem, let alone travel with lambs or turtledoves.  As such, merchants often sold sacrificial animals along the way and in the city to make it easier for people to offer their sacrifices.  Many of them could be purchased for small amounts.  However, the Temple was set up with priests inside to judge whether or not a persons sacrifice was acceptable.  More often than not, the priests did not accept the sacrifices but offered instead their own lambs and doves for sale at a much higher price.  Thus the Temple not only became a market, it also became a way for the Jewish authorities and priests to exploit and oppress the poor for their own profit.
    It was for this reason, then, that Our Lord became angry at the Jews and wept over them.  They had become corrupt, money-loving thieves.  They cared not if some poor old couple, devout in their prayers and faithful to God, could afford to buy doves for their sacrifices.  They cared not about charging excessive exchange rates for taxes and pocketing the money.  The Jews in authority, the priests, no longer were concerned about God's laws, they cared about themselves.  They had been given the true faith, the only covenant and they were about to lose it all.  And Our Lord could do nothing but let them be and cry.
     Does Our Lord's statement to the Jews apply to us?  Has the Catholic Church become a den of thieves? When the Jews set up their tables to exploit the poor, the Lord flipped their tables and ran them out of the Temple.   In the Middle Ages, corrupt clerics took advantage of the poor and sold indulgences.  As a punishment, the Lord allowed the Protestant Revolt to form, take root, and explode.  In contemporary times, we have our own corruption---the Vatican bank is embroiled in more than one corruption scandal at the moment.  And who knows how many money-grubbing "priests" there are like John Corapi.  As a punishment for this, the Lord has allowed hundreds of Churches to shutter their windows, close their schools, and pay out millions to the little boys the priests have molested.  And just as the Jews set out to silence and murder Our Lord for His Truthfulness, the modern Catholic Church sets out to silence and marginalize traditional Catholic clerics and lay people who refuse to support the concilliar Church and who remain faithful to the One True Church.
     I am incredibly grateful, today, that I have the ability and means to a good priest, a true priest, faithful to the Magisterium, and unafraid to defend the True Church.  I am grateful I have access to the True Mass and the Sacraments.  It's an injustice of incredible proportions that the concilliar Church has become so corrupted, so pillaged, so desecrated, that most Catholics don't know what the True Church is must less where to find it.  If only I had known, I would have flipped the tables long ago.  Surely, our chastisement is coming soon.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!

St. Joseph, Protector of the Church, pray for us!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Suicide Is Painless?


     On March 7, my mother, whom I care for as best I can, went into the hospital.  It wasn't anything serious other than something she has become accustomed to doing---seeking comfort in medicine for her chronic aches and pains.  Sadly, my mother is one of the 26% of the elderly population in the United States that misuses or abuses prescription medication, particularly pain medications.  Unfortunately for my mother, this recent hospital stay was almost her final one.  She was over-medicated which led to other serious conditions that nearly cost her life.  While it was an incredibly difficult time for me, I suspect, in many ways, my mother was almost relieved to be unconscious and confused.  Since she also suffers from chronic depression, her recovery from her hospital near-death-experience has been incredibly challenging.  In fact, it's been so difficult for her that the poor woman crawled into her bed and withdrew from reality.  Unfortunately, it's nothing new.
     My mother has suffered from depression for a very long time.  She probably has had bouts with depression her entire adult life, and quite possibly while she was a young girl.  Life changes cripple her.  Temporary setbacks or unexpected events become overwhelmingly tragic.  Her only coping mechanisms are sleep and avoidance, neither of which help and often times cause more problems.  It becomes a vicious cycle of tragedy brought on by personal sorrow and despair.
     For the last decade, my mother has lived with our family.  It has been a time of great reward for us and great trial.  It has been a test for me, for my patience, my strength, my resolve, and my forgiveness.  And while I am not always good at passing this test, my greatest challenge has been loving my mother through her depression, mood swings, and drug dependence.  You see, I have been depressed.  There have been a few occasions in my life where I was completely overwhelmed with my living conditions, my loneliness, my responsibilities, my doubts, and my limitations.  At times, I have found it incredibly difficult to get off the couch or out of bed.  I have even, in times of utmost despair, considered that I couldn't handle the sadness, sorrow, pain, or misery anymore.  So when my mother pulls the covers over her head and mumbles that she wishes God would take her, I understand.
     It is excruciating for me to watch my mother suffer this mental anguish.  Yet, I know there is not much I can do to help her.  I believe very strongly, that if she had access to pills, like she did recently in the hospital, that she would end her own life.  As shocking as that may seem, elder suicide is a growing problem in this country, often attributed to depression, failing health, and loneliness.  In my mother's case, the life she had planned for herself, her nursing career at the center, working well into her 70s, was abruptly interrupted when she lost her job and had a disabling stroke over a decade ago.  She has struggled to make sense of it all ever since.
     So when news broke, last week, regarding the suicide of the son of the evangelical leader Pastor Rick Warren, I was neither shocked or surprised.  Some were, of course, because Pastor Rick Warren has made quite a name for himself in the Christian community, especially since the publication of his book The Purpose Driven Life.  While there was an online outpouring of support for the Warren family, there were also the obvious questions.  Why would a Christian kill himself?  Was it his depression that drove him to take his own life?  What is the condition of this poor man's soul?  Without becoming judgmental, I think it's perfectly fair and incredibly important to consider all these questions honestly and truthfully.
      Most people who kill themselves suffer from some form of depression or drug and alcohol abuse.  This is a sad fact resulting from prolonged feelings of hopelessness and despair.  Interestingly though, while Christians experience bouts of depression like everyone else, they don't actually commit suicide as much as non-believers.  Why?  Because traditionally they have some really strong deterrent fact that actually prevents them from taking their own life.  And that deterrent is the belief that they will spend all eternity burning in the fires of Hell.
     So what of Pastor Warren's son, Matthew?  He was obviously a Christian.  I think the answer to why he decided to end his life after suffering so long from depression can be found in his own words.  "Dad, I know I am going to heaven.  Why can't I just die and end this pain?"  In a phrase---Once Saved, Always Saved.  This is what Matthew Warren believed.  This is what his father taught him and his whole congregation.  It is what my mother, a self-proclaimed Southern Baptist, believes.  The Perseverance of the Saints, as the idea is officially called, is a fundamental tenet of several Protestant sects, and it is a lie.  It is, in fact, a heresy that has caused many souls to face eternal damnation.
     The whole idea of the Perseverance of the Saints began with the grand heretic, John Calvin.  In the 1500s, Calvin, with very little theological education, rejected all the doctrines that the Church had taught and came up with his own!  His contribution to the attack against Our Lord and His Church was Calvin's Five Points, or TULIP.  The P in this acronym is Perseverance of the Saints, commonly called Predestination, or Once Saved, Always Saved.  Simply put, Calvin suggested and taught that God, for reasons known only to Him, determined beforehand who would be sent to Heaven and who would be sent to Hell.  Those people whom God has chosen, then, will go immediately to Heaven, even if they commit acts that are evil.  Those people whom God has destined for Hell can, ultimately, do absolutely no good works to merit Heaven.  For modern Protestants who hold the OSAS belief, this basically means a person, once they accept Jesus Christ, cannot lose his or her salvation.  Calvin's crazy idea is a central tenet in the Southern Baptist church, of which my mother aligns herself, and also of most of the Evangelical and Pentecostal churches.
     Just like Matthew Warren, my mother believes there is absolutely nothing she could do to lose her salvation.  And because she suffers on a daily basis, there is then absolutely no deterrent, no fear of Hell, no fear of God's wrath, to stop her from taking an overdose of pills or admitting herself into the hospital and just checking out.
     This time, my mother almost died.  In the aftermath, my husband and I considered it might be best for my mother to leave our home for the nursing home.  In my anguish over having to make that decision, I talked to my priest.  I want to do what is best for my mother, but I first and foremost want to please God.  Sensing my guilt, my priest informed me that my first and foremost duty to my mother was concern for her eternal soul.  It was a shocking consideration, indeed.  As such, he insisted that I speak to her about conversion.  It was a hard subject to approach, but when she  appeared to be fairly coherent, I asked her the question.  "Do you want to become a Catholic?"  She answered, of course, the only way she could, "I don't see much purpose in that."  My mother's Once Saved, Always Saved heart is hard.  It will be truly an act of God's grace and mercy for her to convert.  And I will constantly live wondering if one day my mother will do like Matthew Warren and end her suffering so she can "just go on to Heaven."  
     What are we to make of Matthew Warren's death?  His poor soul will never see Heaven, in spite of what he took his life believing.  It is a sad, but terrible truth.  I don't doubt Mr. Warren's life was filled with sadness and suffering.  But that is what this life is, a valley of tears.  Our Lord was born into this world to die for our salvation.  He opened the gates of Heaven for us.  Unfortunately, very few of us will ever get to share the Beatific Vision.  The Devil will see to that.

St. Dymphna, ora pro nobis.

Our Lady of Fatima, ora pro nobis.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Defenders of the Faith!

     Earlier this week, I made a serious error in judgment.  I defended Catholicism on Facebook.  Let me explain.  A traditional Catholic friend had made a simply stated post about the suicide of the country music singer, Mindy McCready.  As one who doesn't listen to modern music or watch reality television, I know absolutely nothing about Mindy McCready other than what the news reported.  So, personally, I had no comment.  It was of absolutely no surprise to me that another celebrity took their own life.  It shouldn't be to anyone else's surprise either.  I suppose my friend was simply commenting on the sadness of it all, the wasted life, and the consideration that two small children are without a mother.  Whatever her motives, my friend mentioned she wished she had prayed harder for the country music star before she killed herself.  That simple statement unleashed a chain of Catholic friends hoping to console their trad Catholic friend by offering her hope and education by reminding her that "the Church doesn't think that anymore" and "Christ is so merciful!"  Whatever.
     I admit, I should had left it alone, but I can't control my choleric nature sometimes.  I NEEDED to defend the Church.  Let me clarify that.  I didn't particularly put in my two cents just to defend my friend.  While that was part of it, certainly, my main motive was to defend Christ and His Church. The fact is simple--most Novus Ordo Catholics have no idea what the Catholic faith teaches.  And they don't know it because no one, not their families nor their priests, have every explained it to them or defended it. Oh sure, they go to Mass every Sunday, but they can only tell you what Pope John Paul II said or what Pope Benedict XVI wrote about.  Begin discussing the true doctrines and dogma of the Catholic faith and they take the same approach---the Church doesn't teach that anymore.  What???
     Since I have become a traditional Catholic, I have learned something about Novus Ordo Catholics.  They feel sorry for us.  They think we are stupid.  They think they need to go around all the time and "correct" us.  Every single time we say something, whether it is insignificant or not, they take it as an opportunity to chastise us for "leaving" the Church.  And when we attempt to defend ourselves, defend our position, defend our reasons for being traditional Catholics, they criticize and condemn us.  They even shun us.
     I used to think it's not worth it.  The debating and discussing with Novus Ordos Catholics seems to go no where sometimes, with no one willing to concede.  But does that really matter?  Eventually, if we keep telling the truth, defending Our Lord and His Church, something will make sense.  A few Sunday's ago, our priest gave a sermon about the Master and Workers in the Vineyard.  I thought about my own path to traditional Catholicism.  I wasn't "hired" in the beginning of the day.  In fact, it took me a long time to become even a Novus Ordo Catholic much less find tradition.  So I have to believe that is true for so many others.
     I also considered for a short while, that it wasn't my place to help Catholics find tradition.  I believe that's a temptation from the devil.  If we truly believe there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church, then how could we not try to convert people, especially our Novus Ordo friends who may have lost or be in jeopardy of losing their faith?  Is it really Catholic to have the attitude that "I have mine, you get yours on your own?"
     It's hard today to be a traditional Catholic.  Many times, our adversaries are our own fellow Catholics who think we have abandoned our faith and the Church.  We risk, at any moment, losing our friends and, sometimes, our families.  And since we are still human, these broken relationships can be very painful.  I think that is why a lot of traditional Catholics just decide to remain silent about the faith or not to "make waves" when discussions, like the one about Mindy McCready's suicide, pop up.
      I don't regret stepping into my friend's Facebook conversation.  In fact, I saw it as my duty to defend my faith.  The Baltimore Catechism says this regarding this matter:

326. Q.  Are we obliged to make open profession of our faith?

A.  We are obliged to make open profession of our faith as often as God's honor, our neighbor's spiritual good, or our own requires it.  "Whosoever," says Christ, "shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in Heaven."

It is not necessary for us to proclaim in the streets that we are Catholics; neither need we tell our religion to impudent people that may ask us only to insult us; but when a real need of professing our faith presents itself, then we must profess it.  You must keep up the practice of your religion even if by so doing you have to make an open profession of your faith and suffer for it.

     Does this mean we have to go around telling everyone how Catholic we are?  Absolutely not.  Does this mean we have to constantly engage people in "teachable moments?"  Of course not.  But does this mean we have to clarify Church teaching, doctrine, and dogma when having conversation with Novus Ordo Catholics, Protestants, or non-religious?  Yes, most especially with our Catholic friends.  Even if that means they argue with us or stop inviting us to parties.
     So be brave!  You never know when some lapsed, indifferent, or confused Catholic is touched or motivated by our good examples.  After all, the Master is always out calling for workers for His Vineyard.

St. Peter, ora pro nobis!

Our Lady of Good Success, ora pro nobis!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Great Refusal

     Yesterday morning, my house sounded like a cage full of canaries.  My twitterfeed was tweetin' overtime about the "resignation" of Pope Benedict XVI.  I wasn't going to write about it at all.  I figured I would leave my opinions regarding the matter to myself and my husband.  But I am a melancholic by temperament, and the more I thought about the Pope's resignation, the more perplexed I became.  I researched, contemplated, and questioned most of the day yesterday and I came up with some very interesting facts and disturbing conclusions.

1)  Yes, a Pope can resign.  In the entire 1,979 year history of the Catholic Church a Papal resignation has happened only 4 other times.  In percentages, this means that 0.2% of the Vicars of Christ have ended their Papacy through resignation.  But it's rarer than an appearance Halley's Comet.

2)  Of the 4 Popes who have previously resigned, 3 had some very good reasons.  Here's a brief synopsis:
      ~~~Pope Benedict IX resigned in 1045.  He inherited the Papal Office and viewed it as his birth right.  As such, he was a terrible Pope and a disgrace to his Office.  He was a scandalous man, who used his authority as political power.  He openly carried on with many women and when it was learned that he was about to marry, the Cardinals insisted on his resignation.  Eventually, his successor, Pope Gregory VI paid him a large sum of money in exchange for his resignation.

     ~~~Pope Gregory VI, after bribing his predecessor, resigned in 1046.  The events surrounding this fight for the Papal Tiara was quite scandalous.  Benedict immediately recanted his resignation, accusing Pope Gregory of simony.  Pope Gregory refused to abdicate his authority and King Henry III was forced to intervene.  Eventually, Pope Gregory VI resigned and another Pope was chosen.

    ~~~Pope Gregory XII was chosen Pope during the Great Western Schism.  He resigned his Office in 1415.  Each Cardinal, during this difficult period, took an oath declaring that, if elected Pope,  he would willing abdicate the Papal Office to end the Schism.  Though Gregory XII was the true Pope, two others held claim to the same.  Truthful to his oath and for the sake of the Church, Pope Gregory XII resigned to prevent further rupture.

3)  The 4th Pope in the History of the Church to resign was Celestine V in 1294.  Before he was Pope Celestine V, Pietro di Murrone became a monk at 17 and later a priest.  There is no doubt he was a pious man.  He spent his life in solitude and in constant prayer and penance.  He spent his entire, long life as a hermit in the wilderness.  As such, those who knew him, greatly admired his piety and his holiness.  In a shock to his sensibilities, Pietro found his pious life interrupted, when the Cardinals found him on his mountain after having elected him Pope in 1294.  The See of Peter had been sede vacante for 2 years.  Reluctantly, Pietro accepted the Office and chose the name of Celestine V.  But within 5 months, it was obvious that the old man, nearly 80, was unfit and ill equipped to hold the Office of the Papacy.  He made a lot of poor choices in appointing Cardinals, which eventually laid the foundation for the Great Schism that was soon to follow.  He could refuse no one, and granted favors to prelates without restraint.  As such, the affairs of the running the Curia fell into disarray and corruption.  After recognizing such, Pope Celestine V longed only to return to his hermit life rather than mend the problems he had created.  He retreated into his private apartment and contemplated that his soul was in grave danger.  When he thought of resigning under these circumstances, the Cardinals agreed, and a consultation of the Canon law ensued.  It was then concluded, after 5 months, that, for the preservation of the Church, a pope could resign his Papal Office.  Celestine V resigned in that same year.  Interestingly enough, the Cardinal who helped to formulate the decree on Papal Resignation became the next Pope, Pope Boniface VIII.  He promptly rescinded all decrees issued by Pope Celestine V, save one--the decree on Papal resignations.  Celestine spent the rest of his life confined to a cell in a castle.  It was there he died, in solitude, the following year.

 4)  After Celestine V resigned his office, the Catholic world was in shock.  He was considered by most Cardinals and faithful alike to have been a very weak man.  Most viewed him as a coward.  It is to this Pope Celestine V than Dante's Inferno refers.  Dante places the cowardly Pope Celestine V at the vestibule of Hell, where their punishment is the continued pursuit of self-interest, chased by wasps and hornets who constantly sting them, and where maggots drink their blood and their tears. (Canto III).

                                      This miserable mode
                                      Maintain the melancholy souls of those
                                      Who lived without infamy or praise.
                                       Commingled are they with that caitiff choir
                                       of Angels, who have not rebellious been,
                                      Nor faithful were to God, but were for self. 
                                      The heavens expelled them, not to be less fair;
                                      Nor them the nethermore abyss receives, 
                                       For glory none the damned would have from them.
                                       These have no longer any hope of death
                                      And this blind life of theirs is so debased
                                     They envious are of every other fate.
                                      No fame of them the world permits to be;
                                      Misericord and Justice both disdain them.
                                      Let us not look at them, but speak and pass.

5)  It is this Pope, the cowardly Pope,  that apparently Pope Benedict has modeled his own resignation after.  In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI visited the tomb of Pope Celestine V.  It was here atop the tomb of Celestine V that he left his pallium, The pallium is a woolen band worn around the neck of the Pope that symbolizes his pontifical office.  In 2010, Pope Benedict found the time to pray in a cathedral near Rome where the relics of Pope Celestine V are located.

6)  Since Pope Benedict XVI is a man who seems fascinated by dates and symbols, does his fascination and homage to Pope Celestine V indicate that his Pontificate is similar in more ways than just his resignation?  How many of his personal friends did Pope Benedict XVI elevate to important offices?  Archbishop Meuller?  How many others?  Does his homage to Pope Celestine indicate that the magnitude of the office of the Papacy is too much for him to bear?

7)  Does the Popes "resignation" and his "retirement" indicate that he considers the role of the Papacy that akin to a CEO of a company?  Is that how he views the Catholic Church, as a company run by a board of officials who make decisions regarding how many "offices" they have or how many "stores" they have?  With all the church closings and restructuring, it might seem so.  Does he also want to have some sort of say-so over who his "replacement" will be?

8)  Why would a Pope, any Pope, resign his office during Lent, the Holiest Season of the year?  If his health is really bad, why wouldn't he just do what all the other Popes in history have done and wait for his death?

9)   Does he want to "retire" so he can write another book and show us his intellectual abilities?

10)  Is there something about to happen or some news about to come out that might bring scandal upon the whole Catholic Church regarding more of his responsibility and knowledge of the pederasty and sodomy in the clergy?

    While all of the above observations and questions are important, the biggest curiosity I have is why in the world the Catholic faithful are being so kind and gracious to this Pope under these circumstances.  Michael Voris is even giving an excuse for this Pope--that he couldn't fight off the wolves in the Vatican.  All the news media is reporting about the "Pope's humble resignation."  And while Cardinal Dolan was saddened by the news, he issued a statement of admiration of this Pontiff and his humility.  Some people are even suggesting that the Pope is so humble that he simply admitted his own unworthiness to be the Pope!  

  I find this all rather disconcerting but not surprising.  We live in an age where modern Catholics love the Popes more than they love the Church.  They love the Popes so much, that they hold onto every word they say as the Gospel Truth.  They view every action of the Pope as the Divine Will of God.  They are so blind to the PERSON in the Papacy that they can't grasp what the Papacy even is or what it's purpose is.  It is a sad day for Catholics and for the Church.

 The most profound statement regarding Pope Benedict's resignation came from Cardinal Dziwisz of Poland when he said "Wojytla (Pope John Paul II) stayed to the end because one does not come down from the cross."    This is absolutely correct.  The Pope is the Vicar of Christ.  He serves as the agent of Our Lord.  He is chosen, not by mere men, but by the Holy Ghost.  It is God himself who gives us our Pope to guard and protect the faith.  Just as Christ did not come down from His Cross, the Supreme Pontiff cannot relinquish his responsibilities unless the life of the Church is at stake.  To say that the Pontiff could no longer fight off the wolves is the ultimate act of betrayal and cowardice.  If the Supreme Pontiff cannot fight off the wolves then how can we, the faithful, who depend on the Pontiff to guide us????

   Our Lord suffered extreme humiliation, extreme pain, extreme agony, extreme abandonment, extreme loss of those He loved and yet HE STAYED!  He stayed because without Him, we cannot ever hope to obtain salvation.  Ever.  What does this say about the Pope if he cannot stay and defend the Church against Satan?

  As more news comes out regarding Pope Benedict XVI's resignation, the more questions I have.  Although I do not personally hold the view of my sede vacantist friends, I am walking closer towards that line.  These are indeed very dark times.

   Regardless of this news, in March we will have a new Pope.  What kind of Pope will he be and what will happen to the Barque of Peter?

  Lent begins tomorrow.  I intend to spend this time in prayer and penance that the Church is restored and the Holy Ghost chooses for us a Pope to lead us out of this modernist cesspool.

Our Lady of Fatima, ora pro nobis!

St. Peter, ora pro nobis!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Clown of the Week----Cardinal Joachim Meisner

      Before I sat down to write this blog, I hesitated.  I could almost hear the sighs from my few readers..."Ugh.  Another article about birth control!"  It's tired.  I know.  But at least once a week, a Catholic in a position of authority says something publicly about contraception that is so utterly stupid and ridiculous that I just can't hold my tongue.
     This week the Clown of the Week Award goes to the German Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne.  What, you say, did the good Cardinal do to deserve such an award?  He issued a statement in response to the "controversy" surrounding two Catholic hospitals in Cologne who refused to dispense "emergency contraceptives" to a rape victim.  What exactly was that statement?  Read it and weep, good and faithful Catholics.  "If, after a rape, a supplement is used with the intend of preventing fertilization, that is in my view justifiable."  Congratulations Herr Meisner!  You have just declared utter nonsense, and confounded and confused another generation of Catholics!   
     Since many of today's Catholics are being led around and spoon fed by these clowns, I think it's time for another primer on the absolute absurdity of such a statement.  Good and faithful Catholics should be outraged every time one of these statements comes to light in the media.  Why?  Because many Catholics are blinded by obedience and will believe every single word they say without hesitation, thus finding themselves fast on the path to Perdition!  Enough!  Let's see if we can clarify, then.

1)  If, after a rape.....Yes, rape is a horrible crime against a woman.  Woman who are raped feel shame, quilt, anger, sadness, confusion, despair, remorse, disgust, and hatred.  What makes the situation worse is that most women are raped by someone they know or are at least familiar with.  After women are raped they feel so many emotions for months, perhaps even years, that it is sometimes difficult for them to even think straight.  And that is precisely the problem.  These women who have been raped and have come to a medical facility are not thinking straight at all.  They are over-run with pure emotion. In such a state of raw emotion a woman couldn't possibly consider the idea that she might have fallen pregnant with a man whom she feels nothing but disgust. Difficult dilemma, yes?

2)  ...a supplement is used with the intend of preventing fertilization.....This is called contraception.  Period.  Even the FDA, which is not noted for honesty or transparency regarding pharmaceuticals, identifies "the Pill" and the "emergency pill" as contraceptives, or methods where hormones are used to prevent ovulation or the fertilization of the egg.  There are many natural supplements that have been around for millennia that women have to prevent fertilization---pomegranates, neem oil, Queen Anne's Lace seeds, rutin, smartweed, and apricot kernels.  You see, contrary, to popular belief, ours is not the first society who desired not to have offspring.  There were many people before who discovered certain herbs and flowers could bring on a menstrual cycle, prevent fertilization, or cause a miscarriage.  Why not use one of these supplements instead of hormones which are known cancer agents? 

3) my view....It seems the good Cardinal's view is the same view as the "experts" and "scientists."  But what about God's view?  And the Church's view?  You see, the Cardinal's view doesn't really matter does it?  The only view that actually counts is God's and He left the Catholic Church solely responsible for teaching everyone what that view is.  Sorry Herr Meisner.

4)  ...justifiable.  This one word, alone, is what qualifies Herr Meisner for the Clown of the Week Award.  What exactly does this word mean?  When a decision or action is justifiable, it must be proven that the action is just, right, or reasonable.  Is preventing fertilization with a supplement in any case just, right, or reasonable?  Not according to God!  Not even in the case of rape.  What is just about denying a child created by God his natural right to live?  What is right about intentionally and willfully suppressing a woman's fertility so that she will not fall pregnant?  What is reasonable about telling a woman that it is okay to take a "supplement" to prevent a child from being conceived or born?  

     What's the big deal, you say, about Cardinal Meisner anyway.  Well, he is in a position of authority.  Faithful Catholics see him as a representative of the visible Church.  Those Catholics who are still attending Mass and who still listen to their priests and bishops will take what the Cardinal says and actually believe it is true.  This is what makes his statement absolutely absurd and dangerous.  And this is precisely why the Catholic Church is in the rotten state that it is in!  The hierarchy is rotten and they are liars.  And while they may or may not hold legitimate places of authority, one just cannot believe a word they say.  Period.  In these times, it's best not to listen to them at all or measure everything they declare with what the Church actually teaches. 

  Contraception and abortion, contrary to popular belief, are not new ideas.  Any study of the use of contraception clearly indicates that both practices, contraception and abortion, were commonplace throughout antiquity.  In fact, an exhaustive analysis of women's health, including contraception, was published in the 2nd Century by Soranus of Ephesus, a Greek gynecologist.  His works were so important that they were read and referenced for over 1500 years.  I mention this because it is important to note that these practices were part of the life and culture that Our Lord and His Apostles were teaching against.  And since these practices were part of the general culture, Christians were in direct opposition to it.  As such, this is not a new idea that just suddenly popped up in the 1960s with the invention of a birth control pill.  On the contrary, ours is not the first culture in which men and women wanted to enjoy the pleasures of the flesh without any consequences.

    From the beginning, Our Lord, His Apostles, and His Church have condemned the practice of contraception and abortion.  One does not need a degree in theology to know what the Church teaches in regards to these matters.  Neither are acceptable--both are intrinsically morally evil.  Period.  This concept is so simple that even the Protestants understand it.  God, and God alone, is the author of life.  He decides, in His ultimate Wisdom, when or if a child is to be created.  This is very difficult for us to understand, especially when the circumstances involved are so difficult.  But who are we to question Our Lord's Ways?  After all, they are not ours.  

   Is rape a horrible situation?  Yes.  Most definitely.  But sometimes Our Lord chooses this precise situation to bring a new human being into this world.  Why?  I do not know. It would be highly presumptuous of me to contemplate why the Lord would allow a child to be conceived in this way.  A report that come out in Ireland last year highlighted the fact that most women in this situation keep their children.  If a child conceived out of rape is so horrible, why do all these women keep their children?  Perhaps this is a question Cardinal Meisner ought to investigate.  The Cardinal might begin his research by reading the blog by Rebecca Kiessling, a woman who was conceived in rape and targeted for abortion.  I am certain she would have to disagree with Cardinal Meisner that "emergency" contraception is ever justified.  There are women there who have lovingly and courageously shared their stories in hopes that they can have an impact.  

     It is a really sad day for humanity the leaders of the Holy Catholic Church lose their faith and their marbles at the same time. For this reason, German Cardinal Joachim Meisner wins the Clown of the Week Award.

Our Lady of Good Success, Ora Pro Nobis!

St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Ora Pro Nobis!