Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Why I Skipped My 20 Year High School Reunion

Yup it is 20 years since I graduated high school.  I swear the 10 year reunion that I skipped feels like it was just 2 or 3 years ago!  I strongly considered going but after following the Fakebook group for almost a year I know skipping it was the right decision.  Only a few of my former friends attended and looking back they were not good friends.  I literally had nothing better to do that day but it was very empowering to stay home instead - because my life is so much bigger than K thru 12 and clearly anyone who I admired agreed.

The Humbling Effect of Unrealistic Expectations

Because I choose to worship God almighty via the Traditional Latin Mass does not make me a living saint. I have been presented with the truth of the One True Faith and I accept it as brilliant, compassionate, and completely fulfilling - full of Truth.  But as a Catholic I am still highly susceptible to my concupiscence. 


Monday, July 3, 2017

The Traditional Latin Mass Is Not For Me

Empty churches and closing schools are the norm for the Catholic Church these days.  Gimmicks like Vacation Bible School (VBS) or protestant evangelization programs (ALPHA) do nothing to prevent most Catholic children from turning into apostates as adults.

Recently a woman told me she and her husband attended mass regularly, paid for 12 years of Catholic education for her two children, and one was even active in the parish youth group growing up. She lamented how both are apostates now but she isn't sure what else could have been done? 

My suggestion that returning to traditional practices including the Traditional Latin Mass branded me a "Pharisee".  But why?  I spent more than 20 years in the Vatican II Novus Ordo world and I lamented over the loss of faith among my friends and family!  So when I finally had enough God answered my prayers and I discovered all that existed before Vatican II.

After more than 10 years of praying the Traditional Latin Mass  I can truly say that my life has been transformed in a way that it otherwise never would have.  I have 6 children now and it's because of.. dare I say.. my traditional Catholic faith.  Central to this faith is being pro-life and upholding Catholic teaching on sex and marriage.  Anyone who upholds these hard teachings understands what I am saying, the rest honestly cannot relate.

The consequences of rejecting Church teaching (Christ's teachings) are legion.  Who knows if this women suffered from infertility or if modernist ideas malformed her Catholic faith?  Yet she soundly rejected all things prior to Vatican II for herself and expressed no recognition that any of the nonsense from the last 50+ years was to blame - despite her children's loss of faith.  

When I was younger I never would have said the Novus Ordo was not for me.  It was all that I knew and I was thoroughly propagandized against pre-Vatican II beliefs.  But I spent decades in the Vatican II Novus Ordo church, and I have seen the bad fruits - the loss of faith among my friends and family.  I asked God what else could be done?  His answer was the Traditional Latin Mass.

After 10+ years of TLM worship I still thank God almighty for opening my eyes and allowing me to recognize Catholicism in the TLM like it cannot be found elsewhere.  I had no choice for more than 20 years and I endured the Novus Ordo at times with much doubt.  So before you tell me the Traditional Latin Mass is not for you, realize that decades of comparison carry far more weight. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Babies & Toddlers At Holy Mass

A parish with no crying is a parish that is dying.  Personally I could care less what someone without any children thinks about how distracting my children are during Holy Mass.  My wife and I do our best to keep the little ones in line and the baby goes to the back if he starts crying.  What I have learned over the years is that my children are not that distracting and bringing them every Sunday is the right decision.

I used to marvel at how a family of 6+ children could manage to sit quietly in the front pews during the long quiet Latin Mass.  In Novus Ordo land the front pews were mostly empty.  I would like to pretend that the large families sat in back but honestly I did not see families with more than 3 or 4 kids when I was younger - maybe they were leaving the babies and toddlers with the grandparents!?  Either way no example existed in my life for what to do or what to expect. 

Now I have 6 children going to Holy Mass every Sunday and for the most part they behave.  Long gone are the days of dragging the 3 year old back into the pew.  Long gone are the days of dragging the 5 year old to the stairwell for a stern talking to.  The older children set the example for the younger ones it seems and we as parents have done this before.  We don't always get to pray all of Holy Mass, the kids don't always behave.. but they do most of the time now.

Like most Catholics we sit in the same spot every Sunday.  We are surrounded by other younger large families with young children.  I never notice their kids crying or misbehaving - though I know they do cry and misbehave!  When the kids in front of me start bouncing around it makes me smile, I don't let it upset me.  The idea that disruptive children ruin Holy Mass seems to be a modernist error.  Holy Mass is not all about me, sometimes I don't get to pray, sometimes I leave embarrassed and frustrated, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

One Mass Away From SSPX

In my diocese there are two choices for those who seek the Traditional Latin Mass.  Either you venture into the inner city for Holy Mass at the diocesan indult parish, or you travel to the outskirts of town to the SSPX chapel.  Really there is only once choice if one wishes to be a member of a diocesan parish, but we are all one Mass away from the SSPX.

Recently I read a blog post at Unam Sanctum Catholicam where two anonymous priests complained about rigid traditionalist Catholics who would not become members of their parishes and who were generally more trouble than they were worth according to these priests - each of whom made multiple excuses for why they did not want to offer the TLM.

Is it pastoral to deny Catholics the Latin Mass though?  If my parish stopped providing the Latin Mass as it has for the past 25+ years I would immediately drive to the SSPX chapel which is 20 minutes farther away.  I am lucky that I have an alternative only 20 minutes farther than the 20 minute drive I already make, I know many are not so fortunate.

I had the opportunity to interact with a priest who shared the opinion of the anonymous priests referenced by Unam Sanctum Catholicam, and it was an eye opening exchange.  I learned that just because a priest is friendly to tradition doesn't mean he desires to offer the TLM to traditionalist Catholics.  On the contrary he finds these Catholics an undue burden and sheep that are not worthy of shepherding due to their unreasonable demands.

The question any traditionally-minded Catholic needs to ask themselves is, "What will I do if the indult parish in my diocese ceases the TLM?"  Most diocese don't have the FSSP or other scanctioned traditionalist orders because they were not allowed.  Thankfully the SSPX have chapels where no other options exist.  If the Mass I love became unavailable at my parish, my family and I would be at the SSXP chapel the very next Sunday.  We are all one Mass away from the SSPX, perhaps a good pastor or bishop understands.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Novus Ordo Enriching The Traditional Latin Mass - I don't Think So.

Let me tell you a story about something that might have happened.  A certain "ultra-conservative" yet Novus Ordo thru-n-thru parish had a priest who preferred following the rubrics.  Perhaps the Traditional Latin Mass was celebrated during the week now and then.  Maybe the pastor decided to do away with Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion?

Now imagine this priest retired and was replaced by a priest who was thought to have a similar interests.  But said priest no longer feels the same way he did maybe 10 years ago?  Maybe he has been transferred one too many times or maybe he is just gotten too old to rebel against the status quo?  Yet he still retains a blunt and rigid personality... what could go wrong?

Surely something as inconsequential as "enriching" the Novus Ordo with the idea that consecrated hands provide the Holy Eucharist as normative would not be rebuked by a priest who used to be pastor of an indult parish would it?  Surely it could - causing tumult among the most devout members of the "New Evangelization" movement.

My friends, do not take comfort in a Novus Ordo Mass celebrated by a priest who obeys the rubrics - his personality is why you have what you have.  When he is gone - which will be so much sooner than you think, what once was "enriching" will become "worse than the first."

Friday, March 10, 2017

Pagan Weddings

A priest I knew years ago referred to non-Catholic weddings as "pagan weddings".  I remember the phrase caught my attention and I found his perspective on the matter quite refreshing.  When I was younger I attended wedding ceremonies that were performed outside the Church.  I also attended my uncle's wedding ceremony even though he had given up his Catholic faith for the relationship.  Going to "weddings" is really the easy part - it's not going that can be very difficult.

The first wedding I intentionally skipped was my closest aunt's.  She was protestant when she married my uncle but after they divorced we were still very close.  She went on to convert to Catholicism which made it difficult when she decided to marry again, but outside of the Church.  Since the ceremony was to be at the reception hall I did not go or send a gift.  She didn't question me why and so I didn't tell her.

Next was a close friend who was raised Catholic but had joined a fundamentalist protestant religion.  This was very painful because he had actually been in my wedding a few years earlier.  His bride-to-be was a non-religious former Catholic who desired her homosexual friend to be in the wedding too of course.  He knew I wasn't going to be comfortable with the wedding but he was stunned I did not even want to attend.  I offered to be there for him at the reception but it was rebuked.  The friendship ended.

Now my brother-in-law who is not Catholic wants to marry a divorced fallen-away Catholic in an outdoor wedding/reception ceremony and expects not only his sister to attend but her husband and children - oblivious to the moral conflicts that exist.  For me if it's not a Catholic wedding it's a pagan wedding ceremony.  Catholic teaching is very clear about what constitutes a valid wedding for baptized Catholics.  Perhaps if more people understood Catholic teaching on marriage?  Explaining it hasn't helped yet.