Tuesday, October 26, 2021
What Does A "Privileged Altar" Mean?
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On a recent trip to Old St. Mary's in Cincinnati, Ohio I noticed the high altar had the word "Altare Privilegiatum" or "Privileged Altar" on the front. 

The Catholic Encyclopedia written in 1907 describes what a privileged altar means:

An altar is said to be privileged when, in addition to the ordinary fruits of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, a plenary indulgence is also granted whenever Mass is celebrated thereon, the indulgence must be applied to the individual soul for whom Mass is offered. The privileged altar must be a fixed, or immovable, altar, but in a wider sense that is, it must be stationary or permanent, whether built on a solid foundation or attached to a wall or column, even though it be not consecrated, but have merely a consecrated stone (portable altar) inserted in its table. The privilege is annexed not to the altar-stone, but to the structure itself, by reason of the title which it bears, that is, of the mystery or saint to whom it is dedicated. Hence if the material of the altar be changed, if the altar be transferred to another place, if another altar be substituted for it in the same church, provided it retains the same title, and even if the altar is desecrated or profaned, the privilege is preserved. To gain the indulgence, the Mass must be a Mass of Requiem, whenever the rubrics permit it. If, on account of the superior rite of the feast of the day, or on account of the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, or for other reasons, a Requiem Mass cannot be celebrated, the indulgence may be gained by celebrating another Mass (S. C. Indulg., 11 April 1864). This privilege is of two kinds, local or real and personal. It is local or real when it is annexed to the altar as described above. Hence whoever the priest may be who celebrates Mass at such an altar, the indulgence is gained. It is personal when it is inherent in the priest, so that it does not depend on the altar, but on the priest who celebrates. Hence on whatever altar he may celebrate, whether it be a fixed or a portable one, and in whatever church he celebrates, the altar he uses is for the time being a privileged altar. On 2 November every altar is privileged. The bishops of the United States have the faculty (Facultates Extraordinariae C., fac. viii) of declaring privileged one altar in every church and public chapel or oratory, whether it be consecrated or not, of their dioceses, provided this privilege had not been previously granted to any other altar in such church under the same conditions.

This benefit of a privileged altar was also granted to certain priests where they celebrated Mass at and at least one of those instances was for priests who made the heroic act of charity. As the Purgatorian Manual states: "The Indult of a Privileged Altar, personally, every day in the year to all priests who shall have made this offering."

To summarize: A privileged altar is an altar where a plenary indulgence could be applied in favor of a particular soul in purgatory by the priest celebrating Holy Mass whenever Mass was celebrated there. This was an indulgence, over and above the graces and benefits normally flowing from the celebration of Mass. The “privilege” was attached to the place, not to the physical altar, and the privilege could also be given to a certain priest so that no matter where he celebrated a plenary could be gained! 

Sadly, Paul VI removed these privileges and countless other indulgences in 1967 in Indulgentiarum Doctrina. However, the validity of his actions remains questionable by some and, despite this, we should never stop having Masses offered for the dead and gaining indulgences for the faithful departed, especially during the month of November.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2021
7 Traditional Catholic Podcasts Worth Listening To
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As a follow-up to 4 Traditional Catholic Radio Stations, I wanted to assemble a list of 7 Traditional Catholic-themed podcasts. Podcasts have been increasingly popular as a way to consume content. Spotify, one of the largest music platforms, has a significant number of podcast listeners as Statista writes, "At the end of Q1 2021, Spotify had 2.6 million (!) podcasts on its platform as roughly 25 percent of its 356 million monthly active engaged with podcast content."

With the rise of the popularity of podcasts, it is natural that the Faith should be made available through new mediums. All too often traditionalists have a tendency to shun new technology with some priests and faithful still scorning the Internet and email despite their ubiquitousness and usefulness in spreading the Faith. Thankfully, there are Traditional Catholics engaging with souls today via podcasts. 

In no particular order, here are 7 Traditional Catholic Podcasts to listen to:

The Fatima Center Podcast

This regularly updated channel features excellent commentary on the crisis in the Church, the praying of the Rosary, Faith formation talks by priests, and all-around great content.

SSPX Podcast

The SSPX Podcast features interviews, conferences, and sermons delivered by SSPX  priests, and gathered from various English-speaking sources. Many talks center around the crisis in the Church and clarity on the Church's official and timeless teachings.

What Catholics Believe

The long-running YouTube program "What Catholics Believe" is now in podcast format. Listen to the priests of the Society of St. Pius V teach and discuss the disasters of Vatican Council II, the crisis in the modern Church, and the traditional teachings of the Catholic faith.

The Meaning of Catholic

The Meaning of Catholic is a lay apostolate dedicated to uniting Catholics against the enemies of the Holy Catholic Church. The founder is the now current editor of One Peter Five

Dr. Taylor Marshall

A former Episcopalian "priest" turned traditional FSSP going Catholic who regularly engages in writing and talks to spread and defend the Faith, his clarity and concern for the Faith are palpable. 

St. Gertrude the Great Sermons

Sermons from the independent chapel in West Chester, OH led by Bishop Dolan, whose sermons are daily tweets are profoundly insightful and connected to the traditional liturgical year.

Return to Tradition

Covering the crisis in the Catholic Church and its connection to the ongoing degradation of society, Return to Tradition dives into the news and history of the Church.

There are even more quality traditional Catholic podcasts out there. For more podcasts beyond the 7 already mentioned, please share your recommendations in the comments box below.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Votive Mass of a Feast Formerly Celebrated on A Sunday
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First, the general rubrics concerning when a Votive Mass may be offered in the Tridentine Mass are generally fairly well known. There are some changes that occurred in the 20th century up until 1962 so strictly speaking the 1962 rubrics will differ in some respects. The 1962 Rubrics may be viewed by clicking here. The Pre-1962 Rubrics may be viewed by clicking here.

In addition to these general rubrics, there is an interesting exception for certain feasts which were kept on Sundays up until the changes instituted under St. Pius X in 1911/1914. These Feasts were as follows:

In many places, the Feast of Corpus Christi, The Feast of the Sacred Heart, and The Feast of St. Peter and Paul were celebrated as an External Solemnity on the following Sunday. In fact, there was an obligation to do so in some places such as in the United States for the Sunday following Ss. Peter and Paul. Permissions to solemnize the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul on the Sunday following June 29th were given to the United States on December 19, 1840, and that of Corpus Christi on November 25, 1885.

The Local calendars and those for religious orders give even more examples. After the reforms, the feasts formerly fixed on a Sunday were transferred to a date or to a number of days after the Sunday. But for the good of the faithful, the Mass could be celebrated on its former day.

Other Local Feasts would also be celebrated as External Solemnities and would include:

  • Dedication of the Cathedral Church.
  • Titular of the Cathedral.
  • Patron of the Diocese.
  • Dedication of the Chapel / Church.
  • Titular of the Chapel / Church.
  • Patronal feast of the place.
  • A first or second Class Feast in your Diocese or Country.

While it is unusual for External Solemnities to be celebrated on a day other than a Sunday the Rubrics allow this. External Solemnities can also be celebrated for altars/shrines in a Church dedicated to particular Saints. So in short if the Celebrant accepts that this celebration is for the good of the faithful, have an External Solemnity.

Source: Musica Sacra

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Monday, September 20, 2021
Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe for the Conversion of the Americas and the Whole World
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O Holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God, who as Our Lady of Guadalupe didst aid in the conversion of Mexico from paganism in a most miraculous way, we now beseech thee to bring about in these our times the early conversion of our modern world from its present neo-paganism to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of thy divine Son, Jesus Christ, starting in the Americas and extending throughout the entire world, so that soon there may be truly “one fold and one shepherd”, with all governments recognizing the reign of they Son, Jesus Christ the King. This we ask of the Eternal Father, through Jesus Christ His Son Our Lord and by thy powerful intercession – all for the salvation of souls, the triumph of the Church and peace in the world. Amen.

Source: Angelus Press 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal, page 1794

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Wednesday, September 8, 2021
100th Anniversary of the Legion of Mary
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The Legion of Mary was the vision of Irishman Frank Duff who on this day, the Nativity of our Blessed Mother, in 1921 founded it to serve the needy and grow in personal and global sanctification. Duff said that all people are “called to be saints.” The Legion he started grew to become the largest apostolic lay organization in the world. 

“The Legion aims to bring Mary to the world as the infallible means of winning the world to Jesus and legionary service is based on the doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ so that in their fellow members and in those they serve, legionaries seek to have the Person of our Lord once again seen and served by Mary, his Mother.” 

Legionaries meet weekly and offer service to the local Church in the form of spiritual works of mercy. Today let us spare a prayer for their work, especially that they be faithful to the message of our Lady of Fatima and work for the preservation of Traditional Roman Catholicism and the death of the errors of the past sixty years ranging from liberalism and modernism to Communion and Communion in the hand. And may today's Legionaries be especially taught about the errors of religious indifferentism so that they work at all times for the conversion of all non-Catholics to the Catholic Faith.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Commemoration of St. Agapitus
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August 18th, a day during the Traditional Octave of the Assumption, is also when the Church commemorates the lesser-known martyr - St. Agaptius of Palestrina. The following is taken from The Order of St. Benedict Bethlehem Priory Servants of Jesus:

Triumph of the Faith by Eugene Thirion

Saint Agapitus (Agapetus) suffered in his youth a cruel martyrdom at Praeneste, now called Palestrina, twenty-four miles from Rome.  St. Agapitus was but 15 years old, when he was apprehended by the tyrant Aurelian, on account of being a Christian. As he unflinchingly proclaimed his belief in Christ, he was whipped with scourges and then cast into a dungeon, without any food, that he might thus be forced to forsake Christianity. When Antiochus, the prefect, found him, at the end of five days, more determined than before, he ordered a live coal to be put upon his head. The brave youth stood immovably under this torture, and praising God, said: “A head, which would wear an eternal crown in Heaven, must not hesitate to wear suffering and pain upon earth. Wounds and burns make my head the more worthy to be crowned with eternal glory.”

Antiochus, greatly provoked, ordered them to whip the holy youth till his body became one great wound, after which they hung him by the feet over a fire, hoping to suffocate him. But they failed; for, after a long silence, he addressed the prefect saying: “Behold, Antiochus, the people will say that all thy ingenuity, all thy wit, ends in smoke.” Enraged at this remark, the tyrant had him again cruelly whipped and ordered boiling water to be poured into the open wounds. After this, they knocked all his teeth out and broke his jaws with blows. God punished the tyrant for his cruelty; He caused him to fall from his seat and break his neck. Aurelian, hearing of this, ordered the martyr to be thrown to the wild beasts, but as they refused to touch him, he was finally beheaded. Thus ended the glorious martyrdom of the holy youth, Agapitus, in the year 275.  

Two churches in Palestrina and others in various places are dedicated to God under his name. 

Note: This is a different St. Agapitus than the one comemmorated with St. Xystus II on August 7th.

Collect

Grant, O Lord, that thy Church may with all gladness trust in the advocacy of thy blessed Martyr Agapitus, and that by his glorious intercession, it may be enabled to continue steadfastly in all godly devotion and established in security against all adversity.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end.  Amen.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2021
Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
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The traditional Octave of the Assumption culminates on August 22 with the Feast of the Immaculate Heart, a time when Catholics reflect on the immense love Our Lady holds for the entire human race. With this love in mind, I encourage you to look to Mary in August with renewed fervency.

There are many needful things for which we can offer our prayers, in the Church, in the world, and in our families. Let us approach Jesus through Mary and ask her special favor and intercession.  A beautiful way we can join our prayers together is through the Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

We begin on the Vigil of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Aug. 14) and continue to the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Aug. 22). Recite the daily prayer during the nine day novena and offer the Solemn Consecration to the Immaculate Heart on the final day.

DAILY NOVENA PRAYER TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY

O Most Blessed Mother, heart of love, heart of mercy, ever listening, caring, consoling, hear our prayer. As your children, we implore your intercession with Jesus your Son. Receive with understanding and compassion the petitions we place before you today, especially... (special intention). 

We are comforted in knowing your heart is ever open to those who ask for your prayer. We trust to your gentle care and intercession, those whom we love and who are sick or lonely or hurting. Help all of us, Holy Mother, to bear our burdens in this life until we may share eternal life and peace with God forever. Amen. 

Say Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory be

A SOLEMN ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY BY POPE PIUS XII

Most Holy Virgin Mary, tender Mother of men, to fulfill the desires of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the request of the Vicar of Your Son on earth, we consecrate ourselves and our families to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, O Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and we recommend to You, all the people of our country and all the world. 

Please accept our consecration, dearest Mother, and use us as You wish to accomplish Your designs in the world. 

O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and Queen of the World, rule over us, together with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, Our King. Save us from the spreading flood of modern paganism; kindle in our hearts and homes the love of purity, the practice of a virtuous life, an ardent zeal for souls, and a desire to pray the Rosary more faithfully. 

We come with confidence to You, O Throne of Grace and Mother of Fair Love. Inflame us with the same Divine Fire which has inflamed Your own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Make our hearts and homes Your shrine, and through us, make the Heart of Jesus, together with your rule, triumph in every heart and home. 

Amen.

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Friday, July 30, 2021
Support Traditional Catholic Priests in Brazil
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Brazil is home to a unique traditional Catholic diocese, under the care of the Personal Apostolic Administration of Saint John Mary Vianney, in communion with Rome. 

The diocese has its own seminary, 33 active priests, thirteen parishes, six rectories, fifteen private Catholic schools, four homes for the aged, and eight associations of women religious. It serves over 30,000 active parishioners! 

Friends of Campos, Inc. was founded in 2019 to help support the seminary, where 30 young men are currently in formation. The region is spiritually rich but materially very poor.

This year Friends of Campos is funding food and medicine for the seminary, improvements to the library and dormitories, and food and medicine for the largest convent. Click here for 2021 project details.

Now more than ever we could use your help! Your contributions of any size are gratefully appreciated, as are your prayers! Click here to donate

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Monday, July 26, 2021
Pontifical High Mass by Bishop Vitus Huonder at the SSPX Seminary
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Images were recently shared online of Bishop Huounder offering a Pontifical Mass at the SSPX Seminary. The video is available on YouTube.

In 2019, Pope Francis relieved Bishop Vitus Huonder of his duties as Bishop of the Diocese of Chur (Switzerland) for him to live at the house of the Society of St. Pius X. In a joint statement in 2019, Bishop Huounder and the Superior General of the SSPX, Father Pagliarani, stated:

On Monday, May 20, 2019, Pope Francis relieved Bishop Vitus Huonder of his duties as Bishop of the Diocese of Chur (Switzerland), while appointing an administrator with a view to the election of his successor. According to an intention that he stated long ago, Bishop Huonder is retiring to a house of the Society of Saint Pius X. The one sole purpose of this step is to dedicate himself to prayer and silence, to celebrate the traditional Mass exclusively, and to work for Tradition, the only way of renewing the Church. The Society of Saint Pius X appreciates Bishop Huonder’s courageous decision and rejoices to be able to provide him with the spiritual and priestly surroundings that he desires so deeply. May this example be followed by others, so as to “restore everything in Christ”.

May Bishop Huonder help to restore Tradition in his work, and may his presence at the SSPX help quash the slanders against the Society of St. Pius X.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Go Ahead and Eat With Sinners – But Never Compromise on the Faith
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Prayer before Meal, c.1663 - 1665 - Jan Steen

Reprinted from a 2019 Catholic Family News Article. Subscribe to CFN for more such articles.

St. Mark early in his Gospel recounts how Our Lord ate with sinners.  "And it came to pass, that as he sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat down together with Jesus and his disciples. For they were many, who also followed him. And the scribes and the Pharisees, seeing that he ate with publicans and sinners, said to his disciples: Why doth your master eat and drink with publicans and sinners? Jesus hearing this, saith to them: They that are well have no need of a physician, but they that are sick. For I came not to call the just, but sinners" (Mark 2:15-17).

Just this past Easter Sunday I invited over to Easter dinner a few people.  All of whom were not Catholic.  One man, a friend of my mother, grew up Lutheran but has largely fallen away from any religious practice aside from occasional Bible reading while he hunts deer.  The other man was a friend of my sister who grew up in a household that loved carnal desires, rock-n-roll, and what we might just call downright debauchery. And when I related to a friend of mine, let’s call him Jim, of their presence at dinner, he was outwardly scandalized.  “Why would you invite them over to Easter dinner?  Don’t you know they aren’t Catholic?”

“Yes, I certainly do,” I replied.  I continued, “In fact, that’s why I invited them to begin with!”  He was confused.  So I took a few moments to explain.  

We are often quick to condemn the sins of others – and rightfully so!  But while we should admonish sinners, our battle in this world is not to chase away souls.  Our Lord prayed, “Now this is the will of the Father who sent me: that of all that he hath given me, I should lose nothing” (John 6:39), and we who are called to help preserve and diffuse the Catholic Faith should pray that our actions likewise should lose not a single soul.  

As a Third Order Dominican and as a catechist, I often say that we can never study the truths of the Faith enough.  We cannot read the catechism or re-study Christian doctrine too much.  So I reminded Jim that we first and foremost are in a battle.  He certainly agreed.  But, this battle is not one that will be won with an outward assault on our enemies.  It will be won in the deepest reaches of our soul (cf. Matthew 11:12) and through our persistent, subtle actions that target souls held in slavery by the camp of Satan.

Whether we like it or not, we are in a battle, and this battle is one which we did not create.  In fact, this battle has existed far before the errors of Vatican II even seeped into the Church.  Our battle is namely the same that St. Paul referenced when he said, “For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places” (Ephesians 6:12).  And we fight this battle by virtue of our Confirmation.

In the traditional Confirmation Rite, the bishop lightly slaps the cheek of the one who has been confirmed as an outward expression of the inward reality, namely that those confirmed must be ready to suffer all things, even death, for the sake of Jesus Christ.

And like a good and noble soldier, this war is not our cause.  It has existed long before our time.  In fact, we have been thrown into the very middle of the warfare as a paratrooper would land deep into the heat of the battle.  And just as the noble soldier who undertakes such a perilous mission behind enemy lines knows, his battle ends only at death.  We too, as confirmed Catholics, must continue to remind ourselves that our battle is one that will end with the triumph of the Immaculate Heart, but it is a battle in which we must die.  We must die to ourselves while persisting in the state of sanctifying grace until death. For the battle is fought first within ourselves through penance and prayer (1 Corinthians 9:27) before we can battle against the principalities of this world of darkness.

So imagine yourself in the heat of battle.  Immorality and carnal lust swirls around us.  Debauchery, idolatry, greed, and envy reign in the highest places.  Darkness is around.  You paratroop in and hit the ground.  Everything goes black.  Suddenly you awaken to the sound of battle.  So what do you do?  

What soldier in the midst of battle does not arise and double back in order to pick up a sufficient weapon lest he stand no chance?  The same is true for the spiritual conduct we find ourselves in.  It doesn’t matter if we were baptized and confirmed long ago before the battled raged as it does today.  It doesn’t matter if we are timid by nature or not.  On the contrary, we are in the battle!  Our focus is not to understand why we got here – the immediate focus is on what we can do to fight the good fight and press on.

And our weapons in this battle are plentiful.  In fact, Heaven has showered our battlefield with a myriad of weapons.  My focus as a catechist is on the Doctrine of Christ which is sweet and awe-inspiring to souls.  There are in fact other weapons though – the Rosary, the various Scapulars given by our Lady, the St. Benedict Medal, the Miraculous Medal, the Cord of St. Philomena, and countless others.

My “weapon of choice” though besides these Sacramentals which I wholeheartedly encourage nonetheless, is the sweetness of the Doctrine of Christ.  For those wishing to ground yourself in authentic Catholic teaching, I recommend a few essential books that must be in your library.

Firstly, the Baltimore Catechism and the Roman Catechism are foundational.  Use the Baltimore Catechism with your children and read it yourself too.  Keep these simple but true axioms of the Faith in mind.  Whereas modern churchman are accustomed to lengthy and complicated theological studies, the Catechisms provide in clear and easy to understand language the truths of the Faith that are timeless and unchanging.  

Next, pick up a copy of the Douay Rheims Bible and pair with it a copy of Fr. George Leo Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary.  Fr. Haydock's Douay Bible with his extended commentary was originally published in 1811 and became the bestselling English Catholic Bible in the 19th century in the world.  The text is available freely online - and the same is true for the Baltimore Catechism and the Roman Catechism.

And as any good soldier would do as he surveys the battlefield and fills his satchel, you need some stronger weapons for the stronger enemies on the battlefield.  In our spiritual conquest, we too will find those enemies.  Whether they be in the form of the unrepentant sinner of 50 years, the Jehovah’s Witness at our door, or the Protestant street preacher, we need to be prepared.  

For those tougher battles, find a copy of the Summa Theologia of St. Thomas Aquinas.  The text is one of the best summaries of the Catholic Faith with various arguments and their refutation by chapter.  While the Summa is a truly massive text, fear not.  Two years before he died, St. Thomas Aquinas asked by his assistant, Brother Reginald, to write a simple summary of the Faith for those who lacked the time or the ability to tackle his massive Summa Theologica.  That text is known as the “Shorter Summa” and is available for purchase online.  

And last of all, for those hardlined modernists who assail Catholic Tradition, let us take as our weapon the “Liturgical Year” by the Abbot Dom Prosper Gueranger.  Written in 15 volumes, no work today better expresses the beauty, majesty, and symbolism of the entirety of the Traditional Catholic Liturgical Year.  

As “soldiers of Christ,” we often are prone to envision these battles as glorious opportunities to defend Christ.  On the contrary, every battle is a grind.  We will slip in mud.  We will fall and scrap our legs.  We will lose our hearing as the bombs explode and we will lose our sight at times from the glow of the bombs.  We are the in trenches.  We fight.  We get up through the Sacrament of Confession and refresh our souls through the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, worthily received.  

Our time for rest and glory is only after our fight in the battle ends – not during it.  And our battle ends only at death.

So then I stopped and Jim understood why I invited the lapsed Lutheran over and the agnostic, worldly man.  Far from keeping the day to only celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection with family, I wanted to spend it using persistent but subtle conversations to plant the seed of Faith in other souls.  I may never reap those fruits or see them reaped.  But that’s fine!  May the souls that I plant seeds of the Faith in, one day ripen nonetheless.  And through them, may God be glorified.

So gone on, eat with sinners!  Don’t be afraid to befriend Muslims or Pagans or Protestants.  Go to their homes.  Be friends with their children.  Care about them.  Pray for them.  Carry the Cross and make reparation for them.  

But with any battle, do so only with the weapons of catechesis properly in your mind and lived out in your heart.  Fight until the Good Lord calls us to the end of our battle.  And on that day may we hear the blessed words, “Well done, good and faithful servant: because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:23)

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