Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Whit Embertide Reminder: Fast & Abstain

During the Octave of Pentecost, the Church traditionally celebrates the Summer Ember Days. Today is Ember Wednesday. This Friday and Saturday will also be Ember Days. As per the traditional discipline of the Church, Ember Days are days of Fast and Partial Abstinence. (Friday of course being a day of complete abstinence). If you wish to read more about the Ember Days, please see my post from last year.

This week serves as an excellent opportunity for all of us to fulfill Heaven's request at Lourdes and Fatima of "Penance, Penance, Penance." (We can also read about the importance of Penance from the very teaching of our Lord and King in the Gospels, for example see Lk 13:3,5 and Mt 4:17, 11:20-21; Mt 12:41)
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
CORDAID Funds Planned Parenthood and Dispenses Contraception

CORDAID, which stands for "Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid," is a co-founder and current affiliate of Caritas Internationalis, the Vatican-run umbrella organization that oversees Catholic charity, aid, and development organizations (like Catholic Relief Services) all over the world.

Caritas constitutes part of the governing body for the international Marxist organization known as the World Social Forum, which is avidly pro-abortion and pro-homosexual. CORDAID is the local Caritas affiliate for the Netherlands.

CORDAID promotes abortion, funds Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes International, and dispenses contraception of every kind, including abortifacient contraception. CORDAID goes out of its way to make condoms and contraception readily available to the youth at little or no cost. CORDAID indirectly is part of the Vatican's network of charity relief organizations, but CORDAID is passionately anti-Catholic and pro-death.

Saturday, May 23, 2015
Traditional Latin Mass Propers: Vigil of Pentecost

Today is the Vigil of Pentecost (Saturday after the 6th Sunday after Easter). 

As I posted previously in my post entitled "Vigil of Pentecost: Fast and Abstinence":
Today's preparation should not be underestimated.  Catholics should fast and partially abstain from meat today (as per 1962 rubrics) in order to better conform themselves to celebrate this High Holy Day of Pentecost.
 As the missal's opening section states before the Propers:
The feast of Whitsun [another name for Pentecost] is as ancient as that of Easter, and First Vespers on the Saturday following begins the liturgical season called Season after Pentecost.  The Ascension of God's Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, to Heaven did not leave us abandoned and helpless. By the Divine Will, the Third Person of the Trinity is to be the soul and guiding light of Christ's Mystical Body.

INTROIT Ezech. 36:23-24, 25-26

When I shall be sanctified in you, I will gather you together out of all the countries; and I will pour upon you clean water and you shall be cleansed from all your filthiness, and I will give you a new spirit, alleluia, alleluia! Ps. 33:2. I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall ever be in my mouth. V. Glory be . . .

Let the brightness of Your glory shine upon us, Almighty God, so that the Holy Spirit, light of Your light, may strengthen the hearts of those who are reborn in Your grace. Through Our Lord . . .

Acts 19:1-8

Now it was while Apollo was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper coasts, came to Ephesus and found certain disciples. And he said to them: "Have you received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?" But they said to him: "We have not so much as heard whether there be a Holy Ghost." And he said: "In what then were you baptized?" Who said: "In John's baptism." Then Paul said: "John baptized the people with the baptism of penance saying: That they should believe in him, who was to come after him, that is to say, in Jesus." Having heard these things, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had imposed his hands on them, the Holy Ghost came upon them: and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve. And entering into the synagogue, he spoke boldly for the space of three months, disputing and exhorting concerning the kingdom of God.

Alleluia! V. Ps. 106:1. Praise the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever.
TRACT Ps. 116:1-2
Praise the Lord, all you nations; praise Him in unison, all you peoples!
V. For His mercy is steadfast towards us, and the truth of the Lord endures forever.

John 14:15-21

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: "If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father: and He shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever: The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, nor knoweth Him. But you shall know Him; because He shall abide with you and shall be in you. I will not leave you orphans: I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world seeth Me no more. But you see Me: because I live, and you shall live. In that day you shall know that I am in my Father: and you in Me, and I in you. He that hath My commandments and keepeth them; he it is that loveth Me. And he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father: and I will love him and will manifest myself to him."

Ps. 103:30-31
Send forth Your Spirit, and they shall be created, and You shall renew the face of the earth. May the glory of the Lord endure forever, alleluia!

Bless our offering, O Lord, and cleanse our hearts by the light of the Holy Spirit. Through Our Lord . . .

John 7:37-39
On the last day of the feast, Jesus said, "He who believes in Me, from within him there shall flow rivers of living water." He said this of the Spirit, whom they who believed in Him were to receive, alleluia, alleluia!

May the coming of the Holy Spirit cleanse our hearts, and, as a heavenly dew, water them to bring forth good fruit. Through Our Lord . . .
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Traditional Latin Mass Propers: Ascension of the Lord

I think it is important to recall these prayers throughout all of the traditional Octave of the Ascension.  As I posted about previously, the Ascension was observed as an Octave up until 1954.  These prayers would have been said on both the Ascension of the Lord as well as on the Octave Day of the Ascension.

Click here for more information on Ascensiontide, including the history of the Octaves up until 1954.


INTROIT Acts 1:11

Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up to heaven? Alleluia! He shall come in the same way as you have seen him going up to heaven, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! Ps. 46:2. O, clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with the voice of exultation. V. Glory be . . .

O Almighty God, we firmly believe that Your only-begotten Son, our Redeemer, ascended this day into heaven. May our minds dwell always on this heavenly home. Through Our Lord . . .

Acts 1:1-11

In the former treatise I made, O Theophilus, of all things which Jesus began to do and to teach, Until the day on which, giving commandments by the Holy Ghost to the apostles whom he had chosen, he was taken up. To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion, by many proofs, for forty days appearing to them, and speaking of the kingdom of God. And eating together with them, he commanded them, that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but should wait for the promise of the Father, "which you have heard"(saith he) "by my mouth. For John indeed baptized with water: but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence."
They therefore who were come together, asked him, saying: "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom of Israel?" But he said to them: "It is not for you to know the time or moments, which the Father hath put in his own power: But you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth." And when he had said these things, while they looked on, he was raised up: and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they were beholding him going up to heaven, behold two men stood by them in white garments. Who also said: "Ye men of Galilee, why stand you looking up to heaven? This Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come as you have seen him going into heaven."

Alleluia, alleluia!  Ps. 46:6
God ascends His throne amid shouts of joy, the Lord is taken up with the sound of trumpets. Alleluia!
V. Ps. 67:18-19. The Lord is in Sinai, in the holy place; ascending on high, He has led captivity captive. Alleluia!

Mark 16:14-20

At that time, Jesus appeared to the eleven as they were at table: and he upbraided them with their incredulity and hardness of heart, because they did not believe them who had seen him after he was risen again. And he said to them: "Go ye into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall he condemned. And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name they shall cast out devils. They shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents: and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them. They shall lay their hand upon the sick: and they shall recover."
And the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sitteth on the right hand of God. But they going forth preached every where: the Lord working withal, and confirming the word with signs that followed.

After the Gospel is read, the Pascal Candle is extinguished.

Ps. 46:6
God ascends His throne amid shouts of joy, the Lord is taken up with the sound of trumpets, alleluia!

Accept, O Lord, the gifts we offer to celebrate the glorious ascension of Your Son. May Your mercy free us from our present dangers and lead us to eternal life. Through Our Lord . . .

Ps. 67:33-34
Sing to the Lord, who ascends above the heaven of heavens to the East, alleluia!

Almighty and merciful God, grant that this Sacrament, which we have received in this visible sacred Rite, may bring us Your invisible help. Through Our Lord . . .
Saturday, May 16, 2015
Collectible Catholic Books for Sale

I'm offering the following titles for sale.  Each of these collectible Catholic books is only $25.  Free shipping included on all orders! All titles are hardcovers in  good or better condition.  Please contact me if you are interested in any of them:

"From the Other Side: A Look into the Catholic Church," Betty Jean Jeffries, 129 pp., 1954, Bruce publ.

"The Apostles' Creed," Rev. Clement Crock, 279 pp., 1938

"The Wisdom of the Popes," Thomas Craughwell, ed., 228 pp., 2000 (statements from popes over the centuries)

"Philosophy of Nature," Francis Collingwood, 298 pp., 1961

"The Simple Steps to God," Fr. Francois OCD, 153 pp., 1963

"The Church's Amazing Story," by Daughters of St. Paul, 288 pp., 1969-80

"A Layman's Way to Perfection," Robert Eiten, SJ, 120 pp., 1952

"The Ecumenical Councils," Rev. Francis Dvornik, 111 pp., 1961 (brief history of all the councils)

"The Catholicity of the Church," Fr. Avery Dulles, SJ, 180 pp., 1985

"Christian Maturity," John Donohue, SJ, 214 pp., 1955, Kenedy publ.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Anniversary of the Apparition of our Lady of Fatima

On this anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, Fr Dominic reminds us that the Fatima Message is Heaven's Plan to bring the world back to God. Let us hear and observe Our Lady's message to stay away, hate, and fight sin; mortify ourselves and do penance, and lead lives of prayer and devotion, especially praying the Holy Rosary at least once a day.

This is especially important concerning the recent death of Fr. Gruner, the Apostle of Fatima.  If you never read his book "Crucial Truths to Save Your Soul" then you must.  It is a short, inexpensive book that I am highly recommending.

On this Vigil of the Ascension, this Rogation Day, and this anniversary of this apparition, let us pray for Fr. Gruner's soul and for all peoples to convert, do penance, and appease the wrath of God.  Let us say with true and heartfelt devotion:

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.
Monday, May 11, 2015
Observe the Lesser Rogation Days

Last month we observed on April 25th the annual Major Rogation Day. I have previously posted on the Rogation Days & Ember Days as they occur throughout the year.

We are now beginning the Minor (Lesser) Rogation Days that lead up to Ascension Thursday.  Like the Major Rogation, these are day to perform penance, fast, pray litanies, and petition our Almighty God to spare us from natural disaster, to bless our crops, and to save us from our sins.  These were previously days of fasting before changes to the Roman Liturgy that took place even before Vatican II.

I also previously mentioned a wonderful booklet produced by Fr Christopher Smith, a priest of the Diocese of Charleston.  This guide on the Ember & Rogation Day is a great ready for today. It can be downloaded from dropbox.

Friday, May 8, 2015
The 2 Feast Days in Honor of St. Michael

Greater Double (1955 Calendar): May 8th

Today is the Feast of the Apparition of St. Michael the Archangel.

Traditionally in the Liturgy of the Church, there were two feasts in honor of St. Michael.  Those familiar with the Litany of Saints will also recall that his name is mentioned by name in the Litany.  And those who attend the Traditional Latin Mass will be familiar with several references to St. Michael in the course of the Liturgy.

St. Michael is regarded as the special Guardian Angel of Saint Joseph and the Guardian Angel of each one of the Popes and one of the seven great angels who stand before the throne of God.  In the 6th century, the angelic St. Michael appeared in southern Italy on a mountain named Gargano.  In this apparition St. Michael asked that the cave in which he appeared would become a shrine to the True God in order to make amends for the pagan worship that once occurred there.  The Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo sul Gargano still remains to this day.

St. Michael later appeared with a flaming sword atop the mountain during a storm on the eve of battle for the Lombards.  The Lombards attributed their victory in battle on that day, May 8, 663, to St. Michael.   And the Church then established a Feast in honor of the Apparition of St. Michael on May 8th.  That Feast is still kept in the Roman Catholic Calendar of 1962 used in the Tridentine Latin Mass.

On September 29th the Feast of the Dedication of St. Michael occurs on which we, for the second time in the year, honor the Glorious St. Michael. 

Let us read from the Roman Martryology for September 29th which explains the reason why his Feast is kept on this date:
On Mount Gargano, the commemoration of the blessed archangel Michael. This festival is kept in memory of the day when, under his invocation, there was consecrated a church, unpretending in its exterior, but endowed with celestial virtue.
The blog Carmelite spirituality and the practice of mental prayer further explains:
The first apparitions of the archangel Michael in Western Europe were granted to the Bishop of Sipontum in Apulia. Three times the Archangel appeared, nightly, the last time on September 29, 493. The Archangel indicated the transformation into a Christian church of a grotto sacred to Mithras, on Monte Tumba. Miraculously, when the bishop and companions arrived, they found that a primitive altar had already been erected, covered with a vermilion altar cloth and surmounted by a Cross; moreover, according to the legend, they found the footprint of Saint Michael in the rock. With immense joy the holy bishop offered the first divine Sacrifice. It was 29 September.
The Feast of the Dedication of St. Michael the Archangel is the September 29th Feast often just called: The Feast of St. Michael the Archangel. 
Saturday, May 2, 2015
Are Priests Allowed to Wear Blue Vestments?

Answer: Yes but only in rare situations. 

The blue chasuble may only be worn by Spain and its dominions beyond the sea. It was a privilege originally given by Pope Pius VII to the Hispanic Church in 1817, later reaffirmed by Pope Pius IX in 1864, in recognition for the centuries-old Hispanic defense of Mary's Immaculate Conception.

No other nation is authorized to use it, and doing so constitutes a grave abuse. The exception is a rare dispense that was given temporarily to Marian shrines on special occasions.
Friday, May 1, 2015
Monks of Norcia Launch CD: Benedicta

Theirs have always been hours of study, industry, prayer, service - and song. Monastic chant echoed off the walls of the Monastero di San Benedetto di Norcia for more than 800 years before Napoleonic laws suppressed this branch of the Benedictine order in 1810, causing a break in the continuity of music in Norcia for nearly 200 years. But when a Benedictine Community founded in 1998 by Father Cassian Folsom sought a monastery, the town of Norcia welcomed the monks back to the birthplace of St. Benedict, and the music began again.  

This is the story of The Monks of Norcia. Their alluring chant has been masterfully captured by 11x Grammy Award winning producer Christopher Alder. De Montfort Music has teamed with Universal Music Classics and Decca Records to bring this transcendent debut to you directly from within the monastery walls of Norcia.

Benedicta consists of songs dedicated to the life of Mary, Our Lady, including previously unrecorded chant versions of responsories and an original piece composed by the monks,      "Nos Qui Christi Iugum".

Benedicta will be available on  June 2nd, 2015.

Order now on by clicking here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015
A Relic of St. Jude the Apostle Preserved in Chicago, IL

While often unknown even by local Catholics, the Shrine of St. Jude, a Dominican run Shrine, in Chicago, Illinois houses one of the few relics of an apostle in America.  The Shrine of St. Jude is housed physically inside of St. Pius V Catholic Church at 1919 S Ashland Avenue (and not in the Dominican House which is at 1909 S Ashland), Chicago, Illinois.  Inside of this Church, you will find a relic of the forearm of St. Jude the Apostle.  St. Jude is the author of a short Epistle in the New Testament.

While the sanctuary in this Church has been virutally destroyed in the aftermath of Vatican II, there are a number of small and beautiful shrines inside of St. Pius V Catholic Church.  There is one in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, one to the Infant Christ (which I have photographed below) and the one to St. Jude the Apostle.

If you are near Chicago or pass by, spend some time - even just 10 minutes - in prayer before this powerful relic of the holy Apostle St. Jude.  The Church offers a small but gated parking lot across the street.  And for those in the area, there are buses, Divy bikes, and other forms of public transportation that run right by the Shrine.

St. Jude, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Donate Your Old Rosary to the African Missions

#RosariesforAfrica is a movement that I am starting to bring awareness to the Rosary Project for Africa.  This project, mentioned in the America Needs Fatima publication in 2015, is looking for Rosaries for the African Missions.  Take part in a global effort to catechize the souls in Africa who do not know Christ.  Let us entrust their conversion to the Faith to Our Lady of the Rosary.

For information on how to donate your #RosariesforAfrica please read the following article:

Feast of St. Paul of the Cross

"When you feel the assaults of passion and anger, then is the time to be silent as Jesus was silent in the midst of His ignominies and sufferings" (St. Paul of the Cross)

Double (1955 Calendar): April 28

St. Paul of the Cross is the renowned Founder of the Passionists.  Born in 1694 to a merchant in Italy, Paul spent his youth in the spirit of Christian piety.  While still a layman, he received a vision and founded the Congregation of Discalced Clerks of the Most Holy Cross and Passion (Passionists) in 1721 to preach about Jesus Crucified.  Their mission: Preach Jesus Christ and Him Crucified.  He was ordained a priest in 1727 by Pope Benedict XIII.

St. Paul is remembered for preaching with such power that hardened sinners and murderous robbers wept at his preaching.  At one point in his life, in a true example for us to perserve in our good works, all of his brothers in the order abandoned him.  Yet, by the will of God, his rule was approved by Pope Benedict XIV in 1741 and the order began to grow anew.

St. Paul died on October 18, 1775, at a time when his order had over 180 fathers and brothers.  Before his death, he had also founded a monastery of contemplative sisters in Corneto.


O Lord Jesus Christ, You endowed blessed Paul with a special love to preach the mystery of Your cross and raised up a new community in the Church through him. May his intercession make us always mindful of Your passion so that we may share in its reward in heaven; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .

Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

"Christ Triumphed Over the Devil on the Cross"
(St. Paul of the Cross)

"It is an excellent and holy practice to call to mind and meditate on our Lord's Passion, since it is by this path that we shall arrive at union with God. In this, the holiest of all schools, true wisdom is learned, for it was there that all the saints became wise." Taken from a letter written by St. Paul of the Cross
Sunday, April 26, 2015
The Primary 2 Moral Errors of Our Time by Pope Benedict XV

 Now there are two passions today dominant in the profound lawlessness of morals - an unlimited desire of riches and an insatiable thirst for pleasures. It is this which marks with a shameful stigma our epoch; whilst it goes ceaselessly from progress to progress in the order of all which touches the well-being and convenience of life, it seems that in the superior order of honesty and of moral rectitude a lamentable retrogression leads it back to the ignominies of ancient paganism. In that measure, in truth, wherein men lose sight of eternal goods which Heaven reserved for them, they permit themselves to be more taken in by the deceitful mirage of the ephemeral goods here below, and once their souls are turned down towards the earth, an easy descent leads them insensibly to relax themselves in virtue, to experience repugnance for spiritual things, and to relish nothing outside the seductions of pleasure. Hence the general situation which we note: with some the desire to acquire riches or to increase their patrimony knows no bounds; others no longer know, as formerly, how to bear the trials which are the usual result of want or poverty; and at the very hour in which the rivalries We have pointed out set by the ears the rich and the proletariat a great number seem to wish to further excite the hatred of the poor by an unbridled luxury which accompanies the most revolting corruption.

19. From this point of view one cannot sufficiently deplore the blindness of so many women of every age and condition; made foolish by desire to please, they do not see to what a degree the in decency of their clothing shocks every honest man, and offends God. Most of them would formerly have blushed for those toilettes as for a grave fault against Christian modesty; now it does not suffice for them to exhibit them on the public thoroughfares; they do not fear to cross the threshold of the churches, to assist at the Holy sacrifice of the Mass, and even to bear the seducing food of shameful passions to the Eucharistic Table where one receives the heavenly Author of purity. And We speak not of those exotic and barbarous dances recently imported into fashionable circles, one more shocking than the other; one cannot imagine anything more suitable for banishing all the remains of modesty.

Taken from Sacra Propediem of Pope Benedict XV on Januar y6, 1921, the Feast of the Epiphany.
Mourning Drapes Over Catholic Churches

With the death of Francis Cardinal George last week, some of the more traditional Catholic Churches in the Archdiocese put the customary purple mourning drapes over the front doors.  A few nice examples of this tradition are shared here:

Shrine of Christ the King

St. John Cantius Catholic Church
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Spend This Saturday Praying Outside for the Major Rogation

This Saturday, April 25th, is the Major Rogation

Traditionally, fasting and penance were required on this day, and the faithful would especially pray Litanies on this day.

Rogation Days are the four days set apart to bless the fields, and invoke God's mercy on all of creation. The 4 days are April 25, which is called the Major Rogation (and is only coincidentally the same day as the Feast of St. Mark); and the three days preceding Ascension Thursday, which are called the Minor Rogations. Traditionally, on these days, the congregation marches the boundaries of the parish, blessing every tree and stone, while chanting or reciting a Litany of Mercy, usually a Litany of the Saints.

Spend the day outside on Saturday.  Pray for a good harvest.  Sprinkle the fields and grasses with holy water.  Let us call down God's blessings on our land in an era when even the mainstream Catholic Church has all but forgotten and neglected the Rogation Days.

See here for a Rogation Day Prayer.  

Fr Christopher Smith, a priest of the Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina has put together a truly beautiful and excellent illustrated guide explaining both the Rogations and Ember Days, with a number of very useful quotes from various liturgical sources. It can be downloaded from dropbox.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
SSPX Re-Dedicates St. James Church in Pittsburgh

The following is taken from the website of DICI.  “On Saturday, March 28, 2015, the Society of St. Pius X triumphantly re-dedicated the church of St. James in Pittsburgh, PA, Fr. Niklaus Pfluger, the First Assistant of the SSPX, was on hand to lead the solemn ceremonies.”  Some of the photos are as follows:

To help this apostolate of the Society, please consider sending in a donation of any size:

St. James Catholic Church
326 South Main Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15220
Monday, April 20, 2015
Who Are the "Sheep Not of This Fold"?

In the Gospels, Jesus spoke of "sheep not of this fold."  In our times there has been a pernicious error arise that Jesus was speaking of the Mormons with this line.  As a result of this error, it's essential that we understand what Jesus was saying when He spoke of "sheep not of this fold."

As the Scriptures state:
I am the good shepherd; and I know mine, and mine know me. As the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father: and I lay down my life for my sheep. And other sheep I have, that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd. Therefore doth the Father love me: because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No man taketh it away from me: but I lay it down of myself, and I have power to lay it down: and I have power to take it up again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (John 10:14-18)
Before we can understand any passage of Scripture we have to put it in context.  To start, who was Jesus speaking to?  He certainly was speaking to the Jews.  In particular, He was speaking to the Pharisees when He spoke of Himself as the Good Shepherd.  And at this time the Jews did not understand or even fathom that salvation was possible for non-Jews. These non-Jews, the Gentiles, would be saved by Christ's Sacrifice on the Cross.  And in this way, the Good Shepherd would draw all men to Himself - the Jews (those of the fold) and the Gentiles (the sheep not of this fold).  And together they would form one sheepfold with Christ as the One Shepherd.

Unfortunately, the Mormons have twisted Scripture around and sought to apply words spoken by Jesus thousands of years before their founding to them.  The Mormons emphasize that Jesus was calling them to be of a different sheepfold.  But this is also wrong.  The emphasis of Jesus in the passage is not that there are different groups of followers of His; rather, the Lord was making clear that He would bring all peoples together into one sheepfold.  It is only in that one sheepfold (the Church) that we can all come together and truly follow the Lord.

The Staff of Catholic Answers explains:
Most Catholic biblical scholars, following the teaching of the early Church Fathers, agree that the "other sheep" are the Gentiles, to whom the gospel was sent after the Jews rejected Christ (Rom 11:11-12). 
During his public ministry Jesus confined his proclamation of the gospel to the Jews (Mt 10:5-6, 15:24), and initially this remained the focus of the apostles' preaching, although Jesus had foretold that the gospel would eventually be carried to "all nations" (Mt 28:19, Acts 1:8). This opening up of God's blessing even to Gentiles was foretold in the Old Testament (Ps 2:7; Is 2:2-6). 
Paul explained this to Gentile Christians: 
"Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called the uncircumcision by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands--remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ." (Eph 2:11-13; cf. Rom 3:22; Gal 3:27-28)
Another member of Catholic Answers further states:
In reality, the "other sheep" Jesus mentions are the righteous Gentiles, who did not belong to the "fold" of God’s chosen people, Israel, but who would respond to the gospel when preached to them. While Christ’s earthly ministry served the Jewish people almost exclusively, his great commission to the apostles before his ascension sent them into all the world to preach, baptize and thus unite his believers in one fold (Mt 27:19). Because "he that heareth you heareth me" (Lk 10:16), to hear the gospel from the lips of his disciples is to hear Jesus himself 
The understanding of the "other sheep" as the Gentiles who would come to believe in Christ is the natural understanding of the passage. Mormons sometimes ask Christians, "If the ‘other sheep’ weren’t in the New World then who were they?" 
A Christian often will be perplexed at the fact the question was asked at all and respond, "Well, they’re the Gentile Christians, of course. How could anyone think the text suggests otherwise?" The New Testament has a running theme of how salvation comes from the Jews to the Gentiles. It appears across multiple books, in all of the gospels and most of the epistles. Jesus’ statement about gathering other sheep in the future is simply one more instance of the gospels dealing with this theme. 
The fact that Mormons often do not spot the obvious, face-value interpretation of the text reveals how little Mormons have been exposed to the historic understanding of the passage and how little they have been encouraged to think through its rationale. They have not tried to understand the New Testament as a whole, integrating and understanding its individual passages with other passages and with the general historical backdrop. Instead, they have had the interpretations of certain alleged proof texts force-fed to them in a way that keeps them from knowing of the existence of other, more plausible interpretations.

Above all, the sheep "not of this fold" are the Gentiles.  Together with the original Jews who accepted Christ, the Church was to include all men.  This false teaching of the Mormons has distorted the understanding of Christ's beautiful role as the Good Shepherd.  Like other cults (Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Scientists), the writings of the Mormons are to be burned and condemned.  And like these groups, the Mormons do not accept the Trinity and therefore are not Christians at all; rather, they are a pernicious form of paganism.
Saturday, April 18, 2015
St. Ignatius on Sin


"To have prevented one single sin is reward enough for the labors and efforts of a whole lifetime." St. Ignatius
Friday, April 17, 2015
Francis Cardinal George of Chicago Has Died

May his soul rest in peace.  Requiem Aeternam.

De Profundis

Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice.
Let Your ears be attentive to my voice in supplication.
If You, O Lord, mark iniquities, Lord, who can stand?
But with You is forgiveness, that You may be revered.
I trust in the Lord; my soul trusts in His word.
My soul waits for the Lord more than sentinels wait for the dawn.
More than sentinels wait for the dawn, let Israel wait for the Lord,
For with the Lord is kindness and with Him is plenteous redemption;
And He will redeem Israel from all their iniquities.

Seminary Chapel of St. Turibius Destroyed by Blase Cupich

While this may be a little dated, the full effect of what will come out of Archbishop Cupich in Chicago has not yet been felt.  Here is what this man did previously.

From the Blog of CathCon:

The seminary chapel of St. Turibius at the Pontifical Josephinum in Ohio, before Archbishop Cupich became Rector-President and after......he obliterated Christ the King, yet the Pope made him Archbishop of Chicago. 
Before and After Cupich. Believe it or not...this is the same building....the seminary chapel of St. Turibius at the Pontifical Josephinum in Ohio. The photo on the left is what the chapel used to look like BEFORE Cupich became the president-rector of the seminary. The photo on the right is Cupich's horrible wreckovation that destroyed the same chapel. The beautiful mural was painted over, under Cupich's orders, detailed the steps of becoming an ordained priest. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015
Radical Marxist up for Beatification in Helder Camara

This is a guest post by David Martin:

Of the many blunders of recent Vatican history, one that stands out is the Vatican's February 25th decision to open up the process for the beatification of Latin American born Monsignor Helder Camara (1909–1999), who served as auxiliary Bishop of Rio de Janiero and later as Metropolitan Archbishop of Olinda and Recife. Do our dear Vatican cardinals really know what this man was about? Hopefully Pope Francis will act to halt this process.

Dom Helder Camara began his career as a pro-Nazi militant in the 30s and 40s, and was ordained wearing the ill-famed Nazi "green shirt" under his cassock, so deep were his convictions. Thereupon his remaining days on earth were spent as a communist activist implementing Marxist principles inside the Catholic Church. We know from ex-communists like Bella Dodd and Anatoliy Golitsyn how a number of Communist agents entered the seminaries back in the 30s and 40s for the purpose of deliberately destroying the Catholic Church from within. Camara fits the pattern perfectly.

He is especially known as one of the champions of the so-called "Liberation Theology" condemned by the Vatican in 1984, and is also known for the key role he had in assisting the infamous "Comblin affair" which was committed to bringing down the Brazilian government and establishing dictatorial anarchy among the people. His Marxist convictions continued to the end.

His moral views followed suit, being radically pro-feminist, pro-divorce, pro-abortion, pro-women's ordination, and he made a number of eccentric statements that more than show him up as a theological crackpot. For instance, when asked by Professor Plinio de Oliveira in 1968 if he would kindly expel the notorious theological professor Joseph Comblin for his attempts to destroy the Church in Brazil, Camaro replied, "Everyone has the right to dissent."

His views on women's ordination alone rendered him a heretic. During the Second Vatican Council he addressed a group of bishops, and asked with insistence: "Tell me, please, if you can find any effectively decisive argument that impedes the admission of women to the priesthood, or is it just a male prejudice?"

If that's not absurd, consider the statement he made in the presence of the Vatican II fathers in 1965, wherein he gleefully projected: "I believe that man will artificially create life, and will arrive at the resurrection of the dead and… will achieve miraculous results of re-invigoration in male patients through the grafting of monkey’s genital glands."

Is this a man that Rome should be considering for canonization? Why not just beatify Hitler or Nelson Mandela? Camara has no miracles or merits to his credit, and much offense, but just because he blew some nice words around about the "the poor" to conceal his evils, our mainline media is promoting him as some kind of hero.

Camara was a walking scandal whose work brought much misery, pain, and poverty to the people, and now he is being hailed as a champion of religious freedom who loved the poor? We all know how Communism today is being advanced under the guise of "peace, brotherhood, and love." The agents of the red bear don't show their true horns anymore, but use this kind of pacifism to lull the masses. As they say, "the reds of yesterday are the greens of today."

Suffice to say, religious freedom means walking with God, not walking in sin. Mercy means delivering man from sin and from the advocates thereof. If the Vatican fathers had any love of the poor or love of religious freedom, they would quickly dispense with this plan to canonize one who labored so assiduously to put his fellow man in chains.

St. Benedict Joseph Labre: Patron Saint of the Homeless

According to the Catholic Calendar in place in 1954, today (April 16th) was a ferial day that also was noted as the Feast of St. Benedict Joseph Labre (Mass in Some Places).  As I have posted on several times before, the Masses in Some Places were feasts not on the universal calendar; these feastdays were specific to certain areas or even certain orders of the Church.

St. Benedict was born in 1748 in Boulogne France, the oldest of 15 siblings.  At the age of 22, St. Benedict left him for Rome to go on a pilgrimage.  By this time, he had already applied to and been denied entry into the austere Cistercian and Carthusian orders.

His pilgrimage lasted four years.  By the end of it, his clothing was nothing more than rags and his nourishment was poor as he relied on the alms of others.  He sought refuge when his health began to fail in a hospice in Rome.  He remained in Rome long after arriving at his destination.  He chose to reject all things of the earth to win the crown of glory.  He is the patron saint of the homeless.  May we do well to make the homeless aware of him by passing out to them prayer cards in his honor.

Many miracles after his death were attributed to his intercession.  Those miracles were particularly instrumental in the conversion of the John Thayer, the first American Protestant clergyman to convert to Catholicism.  Mr. Thayer was resident in Rome at the time of the saint's death

St. Benedict Joseph Labre was canonized relatively recently on December 8, 1881, by Pope Leo XIII.  But few Catholics know of him and keep this anniversary of his death on April 16th.  As such, I present the following excerpt in honor of St. Benedict Joseph Labre, so that his name may be more widely known:

He saw him last on the Friday before Holy Week, 1783, when Benedict came to make his confession as usual. He remarks that though always before Benedict had fixed the day when he would come again, this time he made no appointment. The next the priest heard of him was that he was dead, exactly a week later. 
But he was not surprised. For some months before, when once he had come to know Benedict and his way of life, he had wondered how he lived. Apart from his austerities, and his invariable choice of food that was least palatable, of late his body had begun to develop sores and ulcers. The priest had spoken to him on this last point, and had exhorted him at least to take more care of his sores, but Benedict had taken little notice. On his side, as the confessor could not but notice, and as is common with saints as death draws nearer, the love of God that was in him left him no desire to live any longer. 
It came to Wednesday in Holy Week. Among the churches which Benedict frequented none saw him more than S. Maria dei Monti, not very far from the Coliseum. In this church he usually heard mass every morning; in the neighborhood he was well known. On this day he had attended the morning services; as he went out of the door, about one in the afternoon, he was seen to fall on the steps. Neighbors ran towards him. He asked for a glass of water, but he could not lift himself up. A local butcher, who had often been kind to Benedict, offered to have him carried to his house, and Benedict agreed. They laid him on a bed, as they thought, to rest; but it soon became clear that he was dying. A priest was sent for, the Last Sacraments were administered; but Benedict was too weak to receive Viaticum. The prayers for the dying were said; at the words: "Holy Mary, pray for him," Benedict died, without a sigh or a convulsion. It was the 16th of April, 1783: Benedict was thirty-five years of age. 
And now some remarkable things happened. His confessor and first biographer writes: "Scarcely had this poor follower of Christ breathed his last when all at once the little children from the houses hard by filled the whole street with their noise, crying out with one accord: 'The Saint is dead, the Saint is dead.'—But presently after they were not only young children who published the sanctity of Benedict; all Rome soon joined in their cries, repeating the self-same words: 'A Saint is dead.' . . . Great numbers of persons who have been eminent for their holiness, and famous for their miracles, have ended the days of their mortal life in this city; but the death of none of them ever excited so rapid and lively an emotion in the midst of the people as the death of this poor beggar. This stirred a kind of universal commotion; for in the streets scarcely anything could be heard but these few words: 'There is a saint dead in Rome. Where is the house in which he has died?"' 
Nor does this description seem to have been exaggerated. Not only was it written within a year of the event, so that anyone could bear witness to its truth; but we know that scarcely was Benedict dead before two churches were contending for the privilege of possessing his body. At length it was decided that it should be given to S. Maria dei Monti, which he had most frequented; and thither, on the Wednesday night, it was carried. 
So great was the crowd that the guard of police had to be doubled; a line of soldiers accompanied the body to the church; more honor could scarcely have been paid to a royal corpse. 
From the moment that it was laid there the church was thronged with mourners; the next day, Maundy Thursday, and again throughout Good Friday, it almost lay in state during all the Holy Week services. The throng all the time went on increasing, so that the Cardinal Vicar was moved to allow the body to remain unburied for four days. People of every rank and condition gathered there; at the feet of Benedict the Beggar all were made one. They buried him in the church, close beside the altar, on Easter Sunday afternoon; when the body was placed in the coffin it was remarked that it was soft and flexible, as of one who had but just been dead. 
But the enthusiasm did not end with the funeral. Crowds continued to flock to the church, soldiers were called out to keep order. At length the expedient was tried of closing the church altogether for some days. It was of no avail; as soon as the church was reopened the crowds came again, and continued coming for two months. Nothing like it had been seen before, even in Rome; if ever anyone was declared a saint by popular acclamation it was Benedict Joseph Labre, the beggar. Then the news spread abroad. Within a year the name of Benedict was known all over Europe. Lives of him began to appear, legends began to grow, miracles, true and false, were reported from all sides; it was to secure an authentic story, among many inventions, that his confessor was called upon to write the Life that we know. 
Let us add one touching note. All this time the father and mother, brothers and sisters of Benedict were living in their home near Boulogne. For more than twelve years they had heard nothing of him; they had long since presumed that he was dead. 
Now, through these rumors, it dawned upon them very gradually that the saint of whom all the world was speaking was their son! "My son was dead, and is come to life again; he was lost, and is found." 
This excerpt is taken from the book SAINTS FOR SINNERS by Archbishop Alban Goodier, S.J. (1869-1939)
Monday, April 6, 2015
UPDATED: Pope Calling for Joint Commemoration with Lutherans in 2017

(Another example of Luther's heresy against our Lord)

The Church acted most impeccably and pastorally in putting down Luther's revolt in the 16th century. Let that be our reflection, that it might encourage Catholics to stand behind the Church's verdict, and thus motivate them to encourage separated brethren to renounce the Reformation in everything it stood for. Let that be the only common denominator that unites the joint commemoration in 2017.

The following is a Guest Post by David Martin:

Pope Francis is calling on Catholics to "celebrate together" the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, under the title: “Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation.” On December 18, 2014, he received a delegation of the German Evangelical Lutheran Church at the Vatican and told them:

“In 2017, Lutheran and Catholic Christians commemorate together the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation. On this occasion, Lutherans and Catholics will, for the first time, have the opportunity to keep one and the same global ecumenical commemoration, not in the form of a triumphalist celebration, but rather to confess our common faith in the Triune God." (The Eponymous Flower, December 18, 2014)

This echoes his October 21, 2013, speech to the members of the Lutheran World Federation and the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity, in which he praised "the many advances made in relations between Lutherans and Catholics in these past decades," emphasizing how "commitment to progress in spiritual ecumenism...constitutes the soul of our journey towards full communion." (Zenit News, October 21, 2013)

The problem is that their progress toward unity is in vain, if unity with Christ is what they are expecting. The Lutherans’ journey to ecclesial union consists in rejecting the errors of their wayward sect and confessing the Roman Catholic Church to be the only true religion on earth. They must reject the perfidy of Martin Luther who initiated his hateful “Reformation” in 1517, remembering the decree from the Council of Trent that Luther and the Reformation are not something that Catholics may unite with, lest they be an anathema.

The forthcoming celebration between Lutherans and Catholics is being spurred by the October 2013 document From Conflict to Communion, which cites the supposed progress being made towards a full communion between the two groups. Progress toward unity indeed is being made, in the same way Judas made progress in securing unity with the Pharisees, but such a unity betrays the Faith. The only solution for a true ecclesial communion is for Lutherans to give up their conflict with the Catholic Church, just as the Pharisees were required to give up their conflict with Christ if they wished to have union with him. There was nothing that Christ himself had to do, just as there is nothing His Church must do other than to wait for a humble act of contrition from separated brethren who protested the Faith in the sixteenth century.

The Catholic Church committed no fault in the way it responded to the Reformation five centuries ago, which means there must be no apologies made whatsoever. The papal condemnation of Luther in 1521 was truly the work of the Holy Spirit! Even so, Francis told the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity: “Catholics and Lutherans can ask forgiveness for the harm they have caused one another and for their offenses committed in the sight of God.” Nay, the harm was done solely by the Lutheran “reformers,” while the Catholic Church acted impeccably in God’s sight to glorify His Name and advance the salvation of souls on earth.

Francis seems to operate under the premise that ecumenical unity is some sort of gift or asset, forgetting that “the friendship of this world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4) Since when does the Roman Catholic Church unite with world religions? Does the good pope not realize that it is the major plan of the infernal U.N., working through its World Council of Churches, to abolish the institutionalized Church of Rome and to merge all peoples and churches into an international one-world religion under the banner Antichrist?

Over a century ago this unification of all religions was foreshadowed in the writings of 19th century Freemason and excommunicated priest, Canon Roca (1830-1893), who predicted that “the liturgy of the Roman Church will shortly undergo a transformation at an *ecumenical council” in a move “to deprive the Church of its supernatural character, to amalgamate it with the world, to interweave the denominations ecumenically instead of letting them run side by side as separate confessions, and thus to pave the way for a standard world religion in the centralized world state.” (Bishop Rudolph Graber PhD, Athanasius and the Church in our Time, 1974)

The dark forces of the global elite are the ones spearheading this one-world ecumenical unity for the downfall and enslavement of mankind, which means the most pastoral thing the pope could do is to rescue the flock from this plague, and not surrender them to it. Pastoral care consists in maintaining the tradition of the Faith for the welfare of the people, as expressed by St. Pope Pius X: “The true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries nor innovators, but men of tradition.”

To say that Catholics and Lutherans will celebrate the Reformation "together" is to say they're on the same side of the fence. The Holy Father says the commemoration is not to be a "triumphalist celebration" where we commemorate the Church’s triumph over the Reformation, but where we rather “confess our common faith" with Lutherans.

Since when do Catholics share in the doctrine of heretics and schismatics? To not rejoice over the Church's verdict against Luther is to rejoice with him. "He that is not with me is against me." (Matt. 12:30) The Council of Trent put the dog out five centuries ago when it rightfully condemned Luther’s work, but Vatican II unfortunately let the dog back in. This seems to be what the coming 2017 commemoration is all about.

Faithful Catholics have no recourse but to either stand behind the Church's verdict against Luther, or be partakers in his sins. In the words of St. Paul: "You cannot drink the chalice of the Lord, and the chalice of devils: You cannot  be partakers of the table of the Lord, and of the table of devils.” (1 Corinthians 10:21)

WE SEEM TO FORGET that Luther was a raving heretic who was driven by the devil to tear the Faith asunder in Europe. His definition of “repentance” was to reject Catholicism, evidenced by his hateful words against the Mass: “It is indeed upon the Mass as on a rock that the whole papal system is built, with its monasteries, its bishoprics, its collegiate churches, its altars, its ministries, its doctrine, i.e., with all its guts. All these cannot fail to crumble once their sacrilegious and abominable Mass falls.” (Martin Luther, Against Henry, King of England, 1522, Werke, Vol. X, p. 220.)

Luther also contributed mightily to the mass murder of 70,000-100,000 peasants during the German Peasant War (1524-1525), which his Reformation helped to spark. Consider the following from Luther: "To kill a peasant is not murder; it is helping to extinguish the conflagration. Therefore let whoever can, smite, slay, and stab them secretly or openly, remembering that nothing can be more poisonous, hurtful or devilish than a rebel…. On the obstinate, hardened, blinded peasants let no one have mercy, but let whoever is able, hew, stab, and slay them like mad dogs." (Erlangen Edition of Luther’s Works, Vol. 24)

In 1526 Luther justified his killing of the peasants, saying, "I, Martin Luther, have during the rebellion slain all the peasants, for it was I who ordered them to be struck dead. (Erlangen LW, Vol. 59, p. 284)

Luther furthermore blasphemed against the Christ, revealing his deficit of faith. “Christ committed adultery first of all with the woman at the well… secondly with Mary Magdalene, and thirdly with the woman taken in adultery.” (Luther’s Works, American Edition, Volume 54, p. 154, Concordia Publishing House)

As for his teaching on salvation and justification, the man was a crackpot who called humble contrition “hypocrisy” and who insisted that Jesus died on the cross so that we can sin freely without the fear of eternal punishment.  Consider Luther’s own words:

“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)

Herein is the foundation of Protestantism which asserts that Jesus already “paid the price,” so that works will neither save nor condemn us. This is a devious lie with no scriptural basis, yet Luther knew that he could hook people with it by convincing them that it is taught in the Bible. His ploy was to twist the Scriptures, both in the wording and the interpretation, to establish the false premise that the use of our free will to please God is vain.

In planning his strategy he had his pet verses marked out which, in their twisted form, became ammunition to induce this licentious, worry-free attitude about sin. Knowing the temptation of human nature to shun responsibility for sin, the seducer invented the idea of "sin and be saved," and then used Scripture to try to substantiate his lunacy. The following is perhaps his favorite argument for advancing his doctrine:

"By the works of the law no flesh shall be justified before him... For we account a man to be justified by faith, without the works of the law." (Romans 3: 20,28)

The law mentioned here has nothing to do with the Law of Christ or the performance of good works, but refers specifically to the Old Mosaic Law wherein they practiced circumcision and offered animal sacrifices to expiate for sin, with the observance of certain feast days, etc. Christ came to do away with these former works so that we are no longer under the Law of Moses, but under the Law of Christ. And this is what the Scripture is saying, that we are not justified by being Jew, but are justified by being Christian. Period. The old Jewish works are dead.

Unfortunately heretics have had a field-day with this and other like verses, thinking they have liberty to sin and to avoid good works, when in fact no such liberty is given in the Bible. It was Luther who started this idea that we don’t have to please God with works, before which it never existed in Christian history. Luther obviously didn’t think Christ was worth working for, which is what his rant boiled down to. The Gospel makes it clear that it's not only what we do that can banish souls to the eternal fires, but what we fail to do in good works.

The 25th chapter of St. Matthew states that those who neglect their religious duties in life will be hurled into hell by the Just Judge, who at His Second Coming will declare to them: "Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink. I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you covered me not: sick and in prison, and you did not visit me... And these shall go into everlasting punishment." (Matthew 25: 41-46)

St. Paul exhorts the faithful of God to work out their salvation "with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12), because "the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels: and then will he render to every man according to his works." (Matthew 16:27)  A man's works then are what justify and keep him. (James 2:17)       "For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified." (Romans 2:13)

If there is one thing we learn from the Gospel, it is that lip service and false protestations will not save us.

Jesus himself says, "Why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46) Christ indeed is the Savior of the world, but He will not save anyone unless they do what He says. "Not everyone that says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven: but he that does the will of my Father who is in Heaven, he shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven." (Matthew 7: 21)

What Luther lacked above all was faith. He called Jesus an adulterer, rejected several books of the Bible,    denied the necessity of good works for salvation, scorned the reality of indulgences, and denied that priests have the power to forgive sins. He maintained that the priest's role in confession is to simply declare to the penitent the forgiveness that is already his from God, arguing that it doesn't come through the priest.

This is heresy. Jesus told his representatives in the priesthood: "Receive the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall not forgive, they are not forgiven." (John 20: 22,23) Clearly we see that without the absolution (forgiveness) of the priest, the penitent is not forgiven by God.

In short, Martin Luther didn’t agree with the teachings of Jesus Christ, and had no qualms about ripping His doctrine to shreds before the people. He was a classic hypocrite, constantly accusing others of his own errors  and touting himself about his “justifications in faith,” when in fact he had no faith. He was an infidel, a blasphemer, an adulterer and a murderer, and now Rome wants to find common ground with him in 2017? Why not just   celebrate the anniversary of the Third Reich?

Every one of Luther’s charges against the Catholic Church were irrational and false. For instance he accused the clergy of “selling indulgences” in the confessional, which is not true. When penitents came to confession it was common at that time for priests to administer a penance in the form of having them place money in the Church’s treasury, because funds were needed to complete the Basilica of St. Peters in Rome. We might say a Peter’s pence was being raised, which should have exited praise, but this infuriated Luther because he couldn’t tolerate the idea of funding the “papal pig” and his palace.

If anyone would question his motives, let them consider his own words about the Catholic Church: "We too were formerly stuck in the behind of this hellish whore, the new church of the pope... so that we regret having spent so much time and energy in that vile h***. But God be praised and thanked that he rescued us from the scarlet whore." (Luther's Works, Vol. 41, p. 206)

Again Luther says: "I can with good conscience consider the pope a fart-ass and an enemy of God. He cannot consider me an ass, for he knows that I am more learned in the Scriptures than he and all his asses are.” (p. 344) “The papal ass wants to be lord of the church, although he is not a Christian, believes nothing, and can no longer do anything but fart like an ass." (p. 358)

Should the Vatican be commemorating the work of such a man? It is for reason that the Church excommunicated Martin Luther in January 1521, which means the faithful have no choice but to either stand behind this verdict,    or be partakers in his sins. As the Bible says: "You cannot drink the chalice of the Lord, and the chalice of devils” (1 Corinthians 10:21)

It is unfortunate that so many misinformed people listened to the deceiver and allowed themselves to be pulled away from the Catholic Church. Thanks to Luther and his rampage, a better part of Europe was led into apostasy, and now apostates and Catholics are asked to share a “common faith!” What does light have in common with darkness? Benedict XVI even said the Protestant religion is “no religion.”

Charity for separated brethren consists in converting them to the Faith, not in partaking in their errors. The Church from the beginning has forbidden the idea of interreligious dialogue for unity's sake, since our unity is with Christ, not with secular religions. The Church dogmatically teaches that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church (extra ecclesiam nulla salus), which means Catholics must believe this in order to be saved.

Of all the religions of earth, the Protestant sect is probably the most hostile towards the Catholic Church. It is distinguished by its abhorrence of the Virgin Mary, which is why Protestantism is so radically different than Catholicism, despite what today's ecumenical “experts" might say. Though Protestants are often good people, their sect is not good because it denigrates Mary and runs her into the ground. That is to say, not all Protestants are truly Protestant. Unfortunately it is the true Protestants that Rome is seeking unity with.

Concerning separated brethren who oppose the Faith, St. John says: "If any man come to you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him, God speed you. For he that says to him, God speed you, communicates with his wicked works." (2 John 1:10,11)

Why then is Rome God-speeding Luther and his schismatic sect? Under the pretext of mercy they’re despising goodness and opening the door to evil. Pastoral charity means closing the door on sin and professing the Catholic Church as the only ark of salvation, even if it means being hated by all men for it. Christ himself demonstrated this selfless zeal in the way he refuted the various religious groups of his day. Never once was He open to error, never once did he show openness to the world and its thinking, but He rather rebuked the Pharisees for their pride and their contempt of majesty. His mercy was on the humble and God fearing who struck their breast, not   on the “stiff-necked and uncircumcised of heart” who insisted on bringing their polluted errors into the temple.  

We pray that Francis will likewise demonstrate this zeal for souls by denouncing the ecumenical Pharisees in Rome that are polluting the faithful with their errors. Jesus mercifully cleansed the lepers, so let Peter follow suit and cleanse this moral leprosy from our midst, lest it work the spiritual death of God’s people.
Sunday, April 5, 2015
Who was the First Person Christ Appeared to After His Resurrection?

Who was the first person the Risen Christ appeared to? His Mother!

No less than six doctors of the Church, including Sts. Ambrose (c. 340-97), Anselm (1033-1109), and Albert the Great (c. 1206-80) held that Our Lady was the first witness of the Resurrection. Pope Benedict XIV (1740-58) declared that this fact is “based on the tradition proclaimed by ancient architectural and liturgical monuments, starting from Jerusalem itself.”

This acknowledgment, Fr. Hardon contends, finds further expression in the famous Spiritual Exercises of the founder of the Jesuits, St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556). The Spanish priest simply assumes that Jesus appeared in body and soul to His Blessed Mother immediately after rising from the dead. In fact, St. Ignatius makes this Marian mystery the first of 14 meditations on the risen life of Christ. It is the key meditation that introduces the capstone of the spiritual exercises, the “contemplation for obtaining divine love.”

A blessed Easter to all!  Christ is Risen from the dead!  Alleluia!
Thursday, April 2, 2015
The Holy Week Office of Tenebrae

During the Sacred Triduum, the Matins and Lauds of the Divine Office are often sung in a haunting service known as the Tenebrae service (“tenebrae” meaning “shadows”), which is basically a funeral service for Our Lord.  On Wednesday evening/night, the Thursday office is traditionally said.  And in like manner, on the evening before, the Office for the next day is said.

During the Matins on Good Friday, one by one, the candles are extinguished in the Church, leaving the congregation in total darkness, and in a silence that is punctuated by the strepitus (a loud clatter intended to evoke the earthquake that was said to happen at the moment of death) meant to evoke the convulsion of nature at the death of Christ. It has also been described as the sound of the tomb door closing.

Consider purchasing a guide book to continue reading more on this aspect of the Triduum.  These booklets will allow you to learn in more detail the Liturgy of the Tenebrae Service for the Triduum:
Friday, March 27, 2015
Baptized in Christ: A Catholic Study of the Sacrament of Baptism for Godparents and Parents
edit_button proudly publishes a best-selling online Baptism Preparation Program, intended for godparents and parents of children to be baptized. We are excited to announce that this best-selling course is now also available in paperback format as well as in eBook format, for use on your Kindle, Nook, or alternative e-reader.
In this short book we will discuss the necessity for, Scriptures relating to, the history of, and the Rite for the Sacrament of Baptism. Baptism is the first Sacrament of the Faith, and it is the Sacrament by which a person becomes a Christian. It is truly a life-giving Sacrament since it is necessary for our salvation to receive it. Baptism was given to the Church as the Sacrament of initiation into the Faith and for the forgiveness of sins, both Original Sin and all personal sins. Through Baptism we are made sons and daughters of God, and God’s very life comes to dwell within us. It is through the graces of Baptism that we are given the foundations of virtue and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and it is through the graces of Baptism that we live as Christians at all. 

To learn more and order the paperback, please click here. It’s only $10.99!

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Feast of our Lady of Sorrows in Lent

Today, the Friday after Passion Sunday, is dedicated to the honor of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary (in the Traditional Roman Catholic Calendar from before Vatican II).  This day is in addition to the honor given to our Lady and her Seven Sorrows in September's Feastday by this same name.

Today, the Friday after Passion Sunday (old calendar), Holy Mother Church asks us to recall the principle sorrows of Mary, our Sorrowful Mother. Rightly is our Blessed Mother called the Sorrowful Mother. She is indeed the Mother of Sorrows. She is the Queen of Martyrs. In fact, Her whole life was a martyrdom. The sufferings of the poor, for instance, She had to bear all through Her life. Mary was poor, as poor, perhaps poorer, than the poorest of us.

A thread of sorrow ran through all Her years in that She could see ahead to the time when Her only Son, now an Infant, now a little curly-headed Boy, now an obedient and respectful young Man, would have to die a most painful and disgraceful death.

And oh, Her sufferings during the Passion of Jesus, Her anguish as He carried His cruel cross, Her agony as She stood beneath that cross watching Him die. Who could ever measure Her grief or count Her tears?

It was most fitting that the woman whom God gave us for our heavenly Mother should be a Mother of Sorrows, a woman who had to suffer. As we all know, suffering is the lot of every human being. There is not, nor was there ever, a man, a woman, or a child but had to suffer. No person ever living that had not at least one sword in his or her heart, at least one sorrow, at least one affliction.

Sometimes we judge other people saying, "But so and so has no trials in his or her life?" How do we know that? Can we see into their interior? Most often we only see one side of the story. The fact is: Every human being has some sort of sorrow. Is it not consoling then that we children of Mary have for a Mother one who has borne a many-sworded sorrow? As children of Mary, we are all glad that we have such a Mother who suffered too; because only one who has suffered can rightly console, can satisfactorily comfort the sufferings of others. As Scripture says, '[God] comforts us in all our afflictions and thus enables us to comfort those who are in trouble, with the same consolation we have received from Him. As we have shared much in the sufferings of Christ, so through Christ do we share abundantly in His consolation.' (2 Corinthians 1:3-5). Certainly Mother Mary shared in Christ's sufferings!

Yes, everyone has a cross. Bitter indeed are some of our crosses--death of dear ones, sickness, poverty, misunderstanding, difficulties in our home and in our work.

What is your cross? Thank God for it. Ask Our Lady to show you how to carry it. Our Blessed and Sorrowful Mother, She who sits at the side of Her divine Son, with whom She suffered here on earth, Mary is now in Heaven waiting to help you, waiting to console you, waiting to be a sympathetic Mother to you.

Next Friday (Good Friday) we will recall Her principle sorrows. She had many more, but Mother Church centers our attention on the seven swords that pierced Her tender Heart:

1. The prophecy of Simeon that a sword of sorrow would pierce Her Heart, was a bitter pain.
2. The flight into Egypt made Her experience the sadness of exile and the loss of Her home.
3. The three-day loss of Jesus made Her Heart ache with anxiety.
4. What anguish when She met Jesus on the way of the cross.
5. One would think Her Heart would break as She stood beneath the cross at Christ's death.
6. Only a mother who holds a dead child in her arms can know anything of Mary's grief as She held Jesus taken down from the cross.
7. Only a mother who puts a child to bed in a grave can understand at all how Mary felt at the burial of Jesus.

Mary, our Sorrowful Queen, reaches out Her sympathy and help to everyone who suffers. She, more than any other woman, knew the pang and pain of sorrow. We can go to Her and take others to Her also. We can then be Our Lady's consolers!

Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!
[Adapted from a homily by Rev. Arthur Tonne, O.F.M. accessed via here]
Friday, March 20, 2015
Genuflections During the Mass: What the Traditional Latin Mass Teaches Us Through Action

An ordinary Catholic will no doubt be familiar with genuflecting.  After all, everyone is supposed to genuflect towards to Real Presence of our Lord in the Eucharist while in the Church.  As the Eucharist should always be in the Tabernacle which rests in the center of the Altar, we will genuflect towards the Tabernacle before entering the pews and taking our seats.  If we ever cross the aisle, we genuflect toward the tabernacle again as we walk before the Presence of God.

In the context of the Tridentine Latin Mass, anytime the priest walks past the Tabernacle, he will genuflect.  The priests genuflect every single time he approaches the altar, removes the pall, replaces the pall, opens the tabernacle and opens the ciboria. This is done out of respect, reverence, and awe of the presence of the Triune God who is present in the Holy Eucharist.


Yet, the scope of this article is not to mention any of the above practices.  Rather, it is to comment on the sublime realities expressed during the Tridentine Mass when, several times through the year, the priest and people will genuflect together as certain words are read whether in the Epistle, Sequence, Tract, Gospel, or other place.  These special occurrences are worthy of meditation and consideration.

This article also is not to discuss the aspects of genuflection that occur often in the Tridentine Mass.  But for the benefit of those who are not not familiar, they include:

  1. During the Nicene Creed, all will kneel during the words "...and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man"
  2. During the Last Gospel of the Mass, all genuflect at the words "...and the Word became flesh"

What follows are the truly unique and special occasions when the Faithful will genuflect during the Readings of the Mass. Most of these occasions do not occur on Holy Days of Obligation (whether they be on a Sunday Mass or another day of required Mass attendance).  As a result, many Catholics - even those who attend the Tridentine Liturgy each Sunday - may not be aware of these.


In the Lenten Feria Mass for Wednesday in the 4th Week of Lent, there is a beautiful epistle in which a healing is recounted by one of the Old Testament Prophets.  Then the Gospel shares a similarly beautiful episode from the life of our Lord.  May we too fall down and adore the Lord:
John 9:1-38 
At that time Jesus, passing by, saw a man who was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him: "Rabbi, who hath sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?" Jesus answered: "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, whilst it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."  
When he had said these things, he spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and spread the clay upon his eyes, And said to him: "Go, wash in the pool of Siloe," which is interpreted, 'Sent.' He went therefore and washed: and he came seeing. 
The neighbours, therefore, and they who had seen him before that he was a beggar, said: "Is not this he that sat and begged?" Some said: "This is he." But others said: "No, but he is like him." But he said: "I am he." They said therefore to him: "How were thy eyes opened?" He answered: "That man that is called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me: 'Go to the pool of Siloe and wash.' And I went: I washed: and I see." And they said to him: "Where is he?" He saith: "I know not." 
They bring him that had been blind to the Pharisees. Now it was the sabbath, when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Again therefore the Pharisees asked him how he had received his sight. But he said to them: "He put clay upon my eyes: and I washed: and I see." Some therefore of the Pharisees said: "This man is not of God, who keepeth not the sabbath." But others said: "How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles?" And there was a division among them. They say therefore to the blind man again: "What sayest thou of him that hath opened thy eyes?" And he said: "He is a prophet." 
The Jews then did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight, And asked them, saying: "Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then doth he now see?" His parents answered them and said: "We know that this is our son and that he was born blind: But how he now seeth, we know not: or who hath opened his eyes, we know not. Ask himself: he is of age: Let him speak for himself." 
These things his parents said, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had already agreed among themselves that if any man should confess him to be Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. Therefore did his parents say: "He is of age. Ask himself."
They therefore called the man again that had been blind and said to him: "Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner." He said therefore to them: "If he be a sinner, I know not. One thing I know, that whereas I was blind. now I see." They said then to him: 
"What did he to thee? How did he open thy eyes?" He answered them: "I have told you already, and you have heard. Why would you hear it again? Will you also become his disciples?" They reviled him therefore and said: "Be thou his disciple; but we are the disciples of Moses. We know that God spoke to Moses: but as to this man, we know not from whence he is." The man answered and said to them: "why, herein is a wonderful thing, that you know not from whence he is, and he hath opened my eyes. Now we know that God doth not hear sinners: but if a man be a server of God and doth his, will, him he heareth. From the beginning of the world it hath not been heard, that any man hath opened the eyes of one born blind. Unless this man were of God, he could not do anything." They answered and said to him: "Thou wast wholly born in sins; and dost thou teach us?" And they cast him out. 
Jesus heard that they had cast him out. And when he had found him, he said to him: "Dost thou believe in the Son of God?" He answered, and said: "Who is he, Lord, that I may believe in him?" And Jesus said to him: "Thou hast both seen him; and it is he that talketh with thee." And he said: "I believe, Lord." [here genuflect] And falling down, he adored him.
This is a powerful passage.  The words that we hear during the Gospel are not merely a story.  We too are called to have them transform us.  And like the man who was healed, we are also to be so moved by our Lord's miracles and teachings and all His virtues that we fall down and adore Him.


Throughout the Lenten Feria's there is often repeated the Tract of Ash Wednesday.  Again for those unfamiliar, this prayer is said right before the Gospel in place of the Alleluia.  Starting with Septuagesima Sunday (which is 3 Sundays before the First Sunday of Lent) and until Easter, the Alleluia is not permitted to be prayed.

This tract should also cause us to repent of our actions:
Ps. 102:10; 78:8-9
O Lord, repay us not according to the sins we have committed, nor according to our iniquities. V. O Lord, remember not our iniquities of the past; let Your mercy come quickly to us, for we are being brought very low. (All kneel.) V. Help us, O God our Savior, and for the glory of Your name, O Lord, deliver us; and pardon us our sins for Your names sake.


Yet, not all of these instances of genuflections during the Readings occur during the somber time of Lent.  There is a point in the Pentecost Pascal Alleluia where genuflection occurs:
Alleluia, alleluia! V. Ps. 103:30. Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created, and You shall renew the face of the earth. Alleluia! (Here all kneel.) V. Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Your love.
There is often a connection with kneeling when one implores the Gifts of the Holy Ghost, the 3rd Person of the Most Holy Trinity.


Even during the September 14th Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, you will find a genuflection occurring during the readings.  Like the aforementioned example occurring during Wednesday in the 4th Week of Lent, this occurs during the Readings. We too should feel moved as to fall down and adore the Lord's Holy Name.  A reading from the Epistle of the Mass:
Philipp. 2:5-11
Brethren: For let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man. He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross. For which cause, God also hath exalted him and hath given him a name which is above all names: [here all genuflect] That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth: And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.


The Epistle of Palm Sunday is the very same one as for the Exaltation of the Cross. Thus, during this day, all genuflect as well.


In a most somber manner, on these days in which the 4 Gospel accounts of our Lord's Death are read, all genuflect when during the readings after His death occurs.  As we read in part on Good Friday:
...Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His Mother, and His Mother's sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen. When Jesus therefore had seen His Mother and the disciple standing whom He loved, He saith to His Mother: J. Woman, behold thy son. C. After that, He saith to the disciple: J. Behold thy mother. C.And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own. Afterwards, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said: J. I thirst. C. Now there was a vessel set there, full of vinegar. And they, putting a sponge full of vinegar about hyssop, put it to His mouth. Jesus therefore, when He had taken the vinegar, said: J. It is consummated. C.And bowing His head, He gave up the ghost. 
Here all kneel and pause a few moments. 
Then the Jews because it was the Parasceve, that the bodies might not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day for that was a great Sabbath day, besought Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. The soldiers therefore came, and they broke the legs of the first, and of the other that was crucified with Him. But after they were come to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers with a spear opened His side, and immediately there came out blood and water. And he that saw it hath given testimony: and his testimony is true. And he knoweth that he saith true: that you also may believe. For these things were done that the Scripture might be fulfilled: you shall not break a bone of Him...


Many times on Good Friday the Faithful and the priest all genuflect.  This is not only during the Great Intercessions but also during the veneration of the Cross where at three times, all fall down and adore the Holy Cross of our Lord.


And in yet another example, all genuflect as the Pascal Candle is carried from the Holy Fire into the Sanctuary, when the Exultet will be chanted.


The Sacred Liturgy offers a number of occasions of great meditation when we pray not only with our words but with our actions.  Man should not hate his body but rather should use it and embrace it.  We are a creation of God composed of both body and soul; and as such, we pray with our whole person.  It is therefore fitting we should embrace these moments in the Liturgy when we fall down and adore the mysteries of our God.  Such occasions are worth great meditation.

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