Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Can A Valid Novus Ordo Mass Offend God? Are We Obligated to Attend It?
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The Angelic Doctor goes on to summarize two ways in which worship directed to the True God is nevertheless evil. As to the first reason, St. Thomas Aquinas illustrates by way of example: “…in this way, at the time of the New Law, the mysteries of Christ being already accomplished, it is pernicious to make use of the ceremonies of the Old Law whereby the mysteries of Christ were foreshadowed as things to come: just as it would be pernicious for anyone to declare that Christ has yet to suffer.” Thus, observing seder meals, religious circumcision, abstaining from pork for religious reasons, etc. would now offend the True God.

As to the second example, the saint continues: “…falsehood in outward worship occurs on the part of the worshiper, and especially in common worship which is offered by ministers impersonating the whole Church. For even as he would be guilty of falsehood who would, in the name of another person, proffer things that are not committed to him, so too does a man incur the guilt of falsehood who, on the part of the Church, gives worship to God contrary to the manner established by the Church or divine authority, and according to ecclesiastical custom.”

Consequently, we can say that even valid worship offered by those who do so in a manner contrary to that established by the Church would offend God. This may be the case of a valid Catholic priest who ad libs the Missal and, while validly confecting the Holy Eucharist, mortally sins by intentionally neglecting the rubrics. This would also be the case of a valid Divine Liturgy offered by schismatic groups like the Orthodox Church. And this would certainly apply to rituals performed by heretical protestant denominations who do not follow the Church’s prescriptions, do not offer any valid Sacraments (exceptions aside ), and who teach a doctrine contrary to that taught by Christ our Lord.

Can A Valid Novus Ordo Mass Offend God?

Taken to the next logical question, we consider if it is possible for a valid Novus Ordo Mass to offend God. 

Even though it is possible for God to work good out of evil and lead to the Truth those in false religions, this does not make the Novus Ordo as praiseworthy or fitting for God. Rather, the defects in the Novus Ordo are not merely external but intrinsic in the prayers created for the New Rite of Mass.

The Holy Mass is the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. The purpose of Mass is to be present at the Sacrifice of Christ that is made present again through the priesthood of Jesus Christ.  We worship God at Mass in the manner which He has established for His worship. We are present at Calvary.  Rather than merely remembering the life and death of Christ, we are present at it and partake of its eternal fruits which flow to us from the altar and during the Canon when the priest stands in the place of Christ and offers the Eternal Victim on the Altar to God.  We can further receive grace by partaking of the Holy Eucharist if we are Catholics in the state of grace. This view of the Mass as a propitiatory Sacrifice has been lost in the Novus Ordo and replaced by notions of community, where the priest is a presider, and many Catholics falsely view receiving Holy Communion as the purpose of going to Mass, rather than being present at the august sacrifice of the Eternal Victim.

As Archbishop Lefebvre noted in Chapter 4 of the Open Letter to Confused Catholics, the changes to the Mass in the offertory, the sermon, the canon, and elsewhere mimic the changes sought by Martin Luther! They are in their very core protestant, especially for instance in the newly created prayers of the Offertory which bear no similarity to the Offertory in the Tridentine Mass.

Of course, while any validly ordained priest may consecrate bread and wine using the words of consecration, even while omitting the rest of the Mass (which is done at times in cases of necessity for instance by priests who are imprisoned and can only smuggle in a small piece of bread and a small amount of wine), this is not the same as promoting and saying protestantized prayers. 

Jean Guitton, an intimate friend of Paul VI wrote: “The intention of Pope Paul VI with regard to what is commonly called the [New] Mass, was to reform the Catholic liturgy in such a way that it should almost coincide with the Protestant liturgy. There was with Pope Paul VI an ecumenical intention to remove, or, at least to correct, or, at least to relax, what was too Catholic in the traditional sense in the Mass and, I repeat, to get the Catholic Mass closer to the Calvinist Mass.” And we know that the Calvinists - and any protestants for that matter - do not have a valid rite of Mass and do not confect the Holy Eucharist.

The Faith is not defined by merely external actions. Archbishop Lefebvre rightfully criticized the Novus Ordo – even when accompanied by Latin, ad orientem postures, and the external appearance of piety.  Our Lord Jesus Christ instituted a set of doctrines and established His one True Church as the means of bringing about the conversion of souls and their salvation. He did not institute merely external gestures while telling His disciples to ad lib the rest. And on the opposite extreme, the Lord also did not teach His disciples the precise words for Sacramental validity and tell them that their external postures, garments, and actions were useless since only the internal mattered. Our Faith not only includes heart-felt prayers, works of charity, and pious devotions, but also includes rich liturgical music, elaborate cathedrals, and ornate vestments. Even the presence of Eucharistic miracles in Novus do not mean that the Novus Ordo is pleasing to God.

Are We Obligated to Ever Attend Offensive Worship?

More than mere validity is necessary in the worship of God. If validity was the only basis for whether worship was pleasing to God, Catholics would be able to have their children baptized by an Anglican minister or attend receive the valid Eucharist from schismatic Greek orthodox priests. Yet, we know that attending the worship of any other denomination is a sin against the First Commandment. 

Consequently, we have an obligation to seek out not only valid Masses but those which are offered according to the Church’s immemorial rubrics and customs. We should not feel obligated to attend a Novus Ordo Mass – even on Sundays or Holy Days – since attending them is often a grave danger to our spiritual lives

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Thursday, December 30, 2021
Catholic Resolutions 2022
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Each year I have made what I call "Catholic Resolutions."  These New Years Resolutions are not centered on losing weight, eating more vegetables, or securing a raise. I make resolutions for all facets of my life including these.  Rather, these resolutions each year are centered around my spiritual life.  I encourage all of you to make resolutions specifically geared toward improving your own Faith life and your own knowledge of the Faith.  One's spiritual health needs the same care - if not more - than our physical, financial, or professional health.

Ask yourself:
  1. Do I know the Faith that I profess to believe in?  If not, how can I learn more?  For example, CatechismClass.com has an ideal Adult Course just for this purpose.
  2. Am I truly living a Catholic life?  Am I learning more prayers?  Am I helping others to learn the Faith and live it out?  Do I regularly receive the Sacraments?
  3. Do you struggle with certain sins or addictions? What actions do I need to take to really conquer them?
  4. Do you need to make more donations to Catholic organizations or pro-life charities?
  5. What is my dominant fault and how can I tackle it and grow in virtues?
  6. What additional days of penance can you observe as days of fasting and abstinence? Can you observe the vigils of the apostles as fast days? What about all 40 days of Lent or the 40 days leading up to Christmas? Will you keep all days of Lent including Sundays as day of abstinence? There are many venerable ways we can practice penance this year and fulfill our Lady's call for "Penance, penance, penance." See the 2022 Catholic Fasting Calendar for ideas.
This is the time of year to truly set Catholic Resolutions which will have eternal repercussions. When so many have already begun to set aside last week's New Years Resolutions, now is the time to actually make true and lasting Catholic Resolutions for the new year.

Some General Suggestions of Catholic Resolutions:
  1. Pray the Rosary every day, if you are out of the habit of it
  2. Pray Lauds, Vespers, and Compline (from the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary or the Divine Office) every day.
  3. Say a prayer for the Poor Souls in Purgatory every day, such as the St Gertrude Prayer. Getting a copy of The Purgatorian Manual: Containing Spiritual Reading and Prayers for Every Day of the Month is also an excellent idea.
  4. Attend Mass one day extra a week in addition to Sunday. And if you have fallen away from Mass, start going weekly again.
  5. Make it a habit to go to Confession every 2 weeks. Ensure that you are sincere and actually detest your sins and desire to amend your life.
  6. Fulfill the First Friday Devotion as well as the First Saturday Devotion
  7. Start wearing the Brown Scapular if you do not already. But ensure you are properly enrolled by a priest.
  8. Determine what is your predominant fault and make a plan to fight it and conquer it this next year.
  9. Make time for a morning meditation and mental prayer each and every day before work.
  10. Identify one virtue to acquire and one vice to conquer this year. Make an action plan for how you will actually make progress on a daily and weekly basis to do so.
I encourage you to make Catholic Resolutions. What are yours? Share them below in the comments box.
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Monday, December 20, 2021
Saturday Abstinence Dispensed in Christmastide
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As highlighted through my A History of Holy Days of Obligation & Fasting for American Catholics in Part I and Part II, Saturday abstinence remained a part of weekly Catholic life for centuries. 

The Catholic Encyclopedia mentions, in regard to Saturday abstinence: “Gregory VII (1073-85) speaks in no uncertain terms of the obligation to abstain on Saturdays when he declares that all Christians are bound to abstain from flesh meat on Saturday as often as no major solemnity (e.g. Christmas) occurs on Saturday, or no infirmity serves to cancel the obligation.” 

Unknown to the overwhelming majority of even committed Catholics, abstinence from meat was previously required on both Fridays and Saturdays in the United States! For American Catholics, Saturday abstinence ceased around 1837 because the Baltimore fathers requested from Pope Gregory XVI a dispensation from Saturday abstinence. It was a 20-year dispensation that was renewed up until the 1917 Code dispensed the venerable practice of Saturday abstinence universally.

Sadly this aspect of the faithful's weekly penance had been in long decline as The Month - Volume 111 from 1908 mentions:

"Meanwhile, the very severe discipline which prevailed in the matter of fasting and abstinence days had been substantially mitigated by Pius VI and his successors. In 1777, most of the vigils occurring through the year, e.g. those of the feasts of the Apostles, ceased to be fast-days, though compensation was made by substituting the Wednesdays and Fridays of Advent. Still more substantial was the relief afforded in 1781 by the abrogation of the weekly fast on Fridays. The abstinence on Saturdays, on the Rogation days, and on the feast of St. Mark, was abolished in 1830, but it is plain from contemporary evidence, that long before this the Saturday abstinence had been little regarded by a number of the laity, and we may conjecture that the weekly Friday fast also, for some time previous to its abolition had not been very generally or strictly kept."

For those Catholics who wish to keep Saturday abstinence in honor of Our Lady's request for penance, how should we model our Saturday abstinence? In short, we should keep the teaching of Pope Gregory VII who declared that the exceptions to Saturday abstinence were major solemnities, which would seem to include for us both Holy Days of Obligation and great feasts, such as those which used to be among the 36 Holy Days of Obligation in past times.

Additionally, if we model our Saturday abstinence based on our forefathers in the Faith, one of the few exceptions to Saturday fasting - in places that maintained this as law - was the Saturdays (but never Fridays) of Christmastide (i.e. December 25th through February 2nd).  France had such an exception as the Catechism of Perseverance makes mention:

"In France, the law of abstinence on Saturday became general. There was no exception, save in some dioceses for the Saturdays between Christmas and the Purification. Hitherto, Spain has introduced no modifications as regards the liberty of eating meat on Saturday beyond this, that the intestines and extremities of animals may be used. The abstinence of Saturday, though less general than that of Friday, should not be less religiously observed. The authority that prescribed both is the same: the authority of our holy Mother the Church, of whom the Savior Himself said, If any one will not obey the Church, let him be to you as the heathen and the publican."

Such an exception also existed in at least some Dioceses of the United States before the dispensation from year-round Saturday abstinence - vigils, Lent, and ember days excepting - that began in the mid-1830s and continued until its complete abrogation by the 1917 Code.

1822 Laity's Directory for New York mentions this exception

Thus, for those of us seeking to perform additional penance in imitation of our forefathers and in answer to Heaven's call for penance, year-round Saturday abstinence except on the Saturdays of Christmastide and major feasts would be a fitting practice. See my proposed 2022 Traditional Catholic Fasting Calendar for more inspiration. Do note though that year-round Friday abstinence is to be always practiced unless December 25th falls on a Friday - the 1917 Code introduced the exception that any Holy Day of Obligation would dispense but that is a novelty.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2021
Advent Ember Day Fast
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Ember Days this Advent: December 15, 17, and 18

If you are in good health, please at least fast during these three days and pray additional prayers. Remember the words from the Gospel: "Unless you do penance, you shall likewise perish" (Luke 13:5).  Ember Days are days of fasting and partial abstinence. Please click here for a special PDF Ember Day Manual, including reflections for the Advent Ember Days.

Note, while most Missals call for Ember Wednesday and Ember Saturday to be a day of partial abstinence, this is a rather modern practice. Partial Abstinence refers to eating meat only at the principal meal of the day and do not permit meat to be eaten as part of the collation or the frustulum. Partial abstinence started only in 1741 under Pope Benedict XIV as a concession & as part of a gradual decline of fasting. It is better to keep all Ember Days as days of complete abstinence. Ember Fridays of course are in all Missals days of complete abstinence.

From Angelus Press Daily Missal:

At the beginning of the four seasons of the Ecclesiastical Year, the Ember Days have been instituted by the Church to thank God for blessings obtained during the past year and to implore further graces for the new season. Their importance in the Church was formerly very great. They are fixed on the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday: after the First Sunday of Lent for spring, after Pentecost Sunday for summer, after the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (14th September) for autumn, and after the Third Sunday of Advent for winter. They are intended, too, to consecrate to God the various seasons in nature, and to prepare by penance those who are about to be ordained. Ordinations generally take place on the Ember Days. The faithful ought to pray on these days for good priests. The Ember Days were until c. 1960 fastdays of obligation.


To-day the Church begins the fast of Quatuor Tempora, or, as we call it, of Ember days: it includes also the Friday and Saturday of this same week. This observance is not peculiar to the Advent liturgy; it is one which has been fixed for each of the four seasons of the ecclesiastical year. We may consider it as one of those practices which the Church took from the Synagogue; for the prophet Zacharias speaks of the fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh, and tenth months.[1] Its introduction into the Christian Church would seem to have been made in the apostolic times; such, at least, is the opinion of St. Leo, of St. Isidore of Seville, of Rabanus Maurus, and of several other ancient Christian writers. It is remarkable, on the other hand, that the orientals do not observe this fast.

From the first ages the Quatuor Tempora were kept, in the Roman Church, at the same time of the year as at present. As to the expression, which is not unfrequently used in the early writers, of the three times and not the four, we must remember that in the spring, these days always come in the first week of Lent, a period already consecrated to the most rigorous fasting and abstinence, and that consequently they could add nothing to the penitential exercises of that portion of the year.

The intentions, which the Church has in the fast of the Ember days, are the same as those of the Synagogue; namely, to consecrate to God by penance the four seasons of the year. The Ember days of Advent are known, in ecclesiastical antiquity, as the fast of the tenth month; and St. Leo, in one of his sermons on this fast, of which the Church has inserted a passage in the second nocturn of the third Sunday of Advent, tells us that a special fast was fixed for this time of the year, because the fruits of the earth had then all been gathered in, and that it behoved Christians to testify their gratitude to God by a sacrifice of abstinence, thus rendering themselves more worthy to approach to God, the more they were detached from the love of created things. 'For fasting,’ adds the holy doctor, 'has ever been the nourishment of virtue. Abstinence is the source of chaste thoughts, of wise resolutions, and of salutary counsel. By voluntary mortifications, the flesh dies to its concupiscences, and the spirit is renewed in virtue. But since fasting alone is not sufficient whereby to secure the soul’s salvation, let us add to it works of mercy towards the poor. Let us make that which we retrench from indulgence, serve unto the exercise of virtue. Let the abstinence of him that fasts, become the meal of the poor man.’

Let us, the children of the Church, practise what is in our power of these admonitions; and since the actual discipline of Advent is so very mild, let us be so much the more fervent in fulfilling the precept of the fast of the Ember days. By these few exercises which are now required of us, let us keep up within ourselves the zeal of our forefathers for this holy season of Advent. We must never forget that although the interior preparation is what is absolutely essential for our profiting by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, yet this preparation could scarcely be real unless it manifested itself by the exterior practices of religion and penance.

The fast of the Ember days has another object besides that of consecrating the four seasons of the year to God by an act of penance: it has also in view the ordination of the ministers of the Church, which takes place on the Saturday, and of which notice was formerly given to the people during the Mass of the Wednesday. In the Roman Church, the ordination held in the month of December was, for a long time, the most solemn of all; and it would appear, from the ancient chronicles of the Popes, that, excepting very extraordinary cases, the tenth month was, for several ages, the only time for conferring Holy Orders in Rome. The faithful should unite with the Church in this her intention, and offer to God their fasting and abstinence for the purpose of obtaining worthy ministers of the word and of the Sacraments, and true pastors of the people.

From New Advent:

Ember days (corruption from Lat. Quatuor Tempora, four times) are the days at the beginning of the seasons ordered by the Church as days of fast and abstinence. They were definitely arranged and prescribed for the entire Church by Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) for the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after 13 December (S. Lucia), after Ash Wednesday, after Whitsunday, and after 14 September (Exaltation of the Cross). The purpose of their introduction, besides the general one intended by all prayer and fasting, was to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy. The immediate occasion was the practice of the heathens of Rome. The Romans were originally given to agriculture, and their native gods belonged to the same class.

At the beginning of the time for seeding and harvesting religious ceremonies were performed to implore the help of their deities: in June for a bountiful harvest, in September for a rich vintage, and in December for the seeding; hence their feriae sementivae, feriae messis, and feri vindimiales. The Church, when converting heathen nations, has always tried to sanctify any practices which could be utilized for a good purpose. At first the Church in Rome had fasts in June, September, and December; the exact days were not fixed but were announced by the priests. The "Liber Pontificalis" ascribes to Pope Callistus (217-222) a law ordering: the fast, but probably it is older. Leo the Great (440-461) considers it an Apostolic institution. When the fourth season was added cannot be ascertained, but Gelasius (492-496) speaks of all four. This pope also permitted the conferring of priesthood and deaconship on the Saturdays of ember week--these were formerly given only at Easter.

Before Gelasius the ember days were known only in Rome, but after his time their observance spread. They were brought into England by St. Augustine; into Gaul and Germany by the Carlovingians. Spain adopted them with the Roman Liturgy in the eleventh century. They were introduced by St. Charles Borromeo into Milan. The Eastern Church does not know them. The present Roman Missal, in the formulary for the Ember days, retains in part the old practice of lessons from Scripture in addition to the ordinary two: for the Wednesdays three, for the Saturdays six, and seven for the Saturday in December. Some of these lessons contain promises of a bountiful harvest for those that serve God.

From Catholic Culture:

Since man is both a spiritual and physical being, the Church provides for the needs of man in his everyday life. The Church's liturgy and feasts in many areas reflect the four seasons of the year (spring, summer, fall and winter). The months of August, September, October and November are part of the harvest season, and as Christians we recall God's constant protection over his people and give thanksgiving for the year's harvest.

The September Ember Days were particularly focused on the end of the harvest season and thanksgiving to God for the season. Ember Days were three days (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) set aside by the Church for prayer, fasting and almsgiving at the beginning of each of the four seasons of the year. The ember days fell after December 13, the feast of St. Lucy (winter), after the First Sunday of Lent (spring), after Pentecost Sunday (summer), and after September 14 , the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (fall). These weeks are known as the quattor tempora, the "four seasons."

Since the late 5th century, the Ember Days were also the preferred dates for ordination of priests. So during these times the Church had a threefold focus: (1) sanctifying each new season by turning to God through prayer, fasting and almsgiving; (2) giving thanks to God for the various harvests of each season; and (3) praying for the newly ordained and for future vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
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Monday, December 6, 2021
2022 Patron Saint of the Year Devotion
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SPONSOR: This Devotion is being sponsored again this year by CatechismClass.com.  Whether you are looking for godparent preparation courses, Sacramental preparation for your children, or just to better learn the Faith as an adult, CatechismClass.com has courses for all ages and walks of life. Check out CatechismClass.com's affordable programs and make it a New Year's resolution to learn and live the Faith better than ever before.

You can read about the past devotions in the following posts:
Again, I would like to take a few minutes to explain the devotion.

What is the Saint for the Year Devotion?  We pray that this year the Holy Ghost will again work so that all participants receive a saint that they will be able to pray to for aid throughout the entire year: St. Faustina wrote about it in her diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul. The excerpt is below.
“There is a custom among us of drawing by lot, on New Year's Day, special Patrons for ourselves for the whole year. In the morning during meditation, there arose within me a secret desire that the Eucharistic Jesus be my special Patron for this year also, as in the past. But, hiding this desire from my Beloved, I spoke to Him about everything else but that. When we came to refectory for breakfast, we blessed ourselves and began drawing our patrons. When I approached the holy cards on which the names of the patrons were written, without hesitation I took one, but I didn't read the name immediately as I wanted to mortify myself for a few minutes. Suddenly, I heard a voice in my soul: ‘I am your patron. Read.’ I looked at once at the inscription and read, ‘Patron for the Year 1935 - the  Most Blessed Eucharist.’ My heart leapt with joy, and I slipped quietly away from the sisters and went for a short visit before the Blessed Sacrament, where I poured out my heart. But Jesus sweetly admonished me that I should be at that moment together with the sisters. I went immediately in obedience to the rule.”Excerpt from Divine Mercy in My Soul, the Diary of St. Faustina"

Over the years, I've heard from many people of the great connection they have to their special patrons. Here is one of those stories from the past: 

I have Saints Marcus and Marcellianus ... they are twin brothers who were sent to prison before their death. St. Sebastian visited them continually in prison and helped keep their faith alive. They are buried near St. Felix and are specifically honored in Spain. OK now ... here are a couple of immediate ironies in regard to these saints ... I have a SPECIAL place in my heart for twins! As a child, I LOVED reading the story about St. Sebastian. I had a children's book of saints and I think I wore out the pages on St. Sebastian! Felix is my grandfather's name! Silvia, our exchange student, is from Spain! I am so excited to have these two saints to walk through 2006 with me! I'm looking forward as to where and how they will intercede for me.
How do I enter?  Starting this year, I will be pulling names for everyone who is a Patreon of this blog. You may submit up to 10 names for each Patreon allowing you to have names drawn for your family and friends too. The drawing will happen automatically for all who are patrons at any level. Sign up on Patreon to support this blog and you will be included. Unfortunately, due to the significant time investment I put into this devotion and my many other responsibilities, I will only be able to donate to Patreon supporters.

When will the saints be drawn?  This year I will start the drawing of saints in the morning of the Feast of the Circumcision and the Octave Day of Christmas (i.e. January 1st). Drawings will occur as the Litany of Saints are recited.  That means results will likely be emailed/messaged to Patreons in the late afternoon (US Central Time) on Thursday, January 1, 2021. This will be the only drawing this year. 

Please pass this message on through your blogs and/or email distribution lists, letting all of the Catholic Blogsphere have the chance to participate.
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Friday, November 26, 2021
Commemoration of St. Peter of Alexandria
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St. Peter of Alexandria (right) alongside Pope St. Clement whose feastday was on November 23rd.

November 26th is the Feast of St. Sylvester the Abbot. It is in addition also the feastday of St. Peter of Alexandria, the Patriarch of Alexandria, who was one of the first martyrs for combating the heresy of Arius. He was martyred because of his adherence to the True Faith in 310 AD. Eusebius wrote that Patriarch Peter was "a divine model of the Christian teacher." Severus of Ashmumeen describes the moment when the Patriarch was martyred: 

And he took off his omophorion, and bared his neck, which was pure before the Lord, and said to them: "Do as you have been commanded." But the soldiers feared that trouble would befall them because of him. So they looked one at another, and not one of them dared to cut off his head, because of the dread which had fallen upon them. Then they took counsel together and said: "To him that cuts off his head each one of us will give five denarii". Now they were six persons; and one of them had some money; so he took out five and twenty denarii from among the coins and said: "He that will go up to him, and cut off his head, shall receive this money from me and from the four others". So one of the men went forward, and summoned up his courage, and cut off the head of the holy martyr and patriarch Peter; that day being the 29th of Hatur.

In the Divine Office, a Commemoration is made of him.  Likewise, a Commemoration is made for him at all Masses (per the 1954 rubrics) and at Low Mass only (per the 1962 rubrics).

While it is easy to forget the many celebrated saints who were removed from the New Calendar in1969, it is even more so the case for saints who were previously only commemorated. May we not forget to invoke their patronage and thank God for their example from their past actions while also thanking God for their intercession now from Heaven.

Collect:

O Lord, graciously accept the gifts we offer You in honor of Your blessed martyr bishop Peter and help us find in them unending assistance. Through our Lord . . .

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Tuesday, November 16, 2021
In These Times of Crisis, Support a Unique Traditional Diocese!
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Friends of Campos, Inc. is launching their second fundraiser of 2021 to support the traditional Catholic seminary and institutions of the Personal Apostolic Administration of Saint John Mary Vianney in Campos, Brazil.

This unique traditional Catholic diocese cares for over 30,000 parishioners in 14 parishes. The people are also served by an array of private schools, religious associations, and charitable services. Though the region is spiritually rich, Brazil remains a poor country, and every dollar donated makes a big difference!

Our Advent 2021 fundraiser will help buy food and pharmacy items for the seminary and largest convent; desks and chairs for the seminary; computer workstations for the seminary and convent; and musical instruments for the sacred music program at the convent. For details on the project, click here to visit their website.

Please help them reach our Christmas goal of $20,000 USD!  Donate today!

Please keep them in your prayers and share this appeal with friends and family. The seminarians and sisters pray for their benefactors, and a monthly Mass is offered at the seminary in thanksgiving for the supporters of Friends of Campos.

Particular prayer requests are always welcome (click here to send yours). For more information about Friends of Campos, Inc., visit their website.

God reward you for your help!



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Saturday, November 13, 2021
All Norbertine Saints
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"The saints don’t need us to honor them. Our devotion adds nothing to what they already have. When we venerate their memory, it serves us, not them. But I tell you, whenever I think of them, I feel inflamed by a tremendous yearning. . . So let us long for those who long for us. Let us hurry to meet those who await us. And let us ask those who envision our coming to intervene for us" (Saint Bernard).

Today is kept by the Canons Regular of Prémontré (i.e. the Premonstratensians also known as the Norbertines) the Feast of All Saints of the Premonstratensian Order. Living a worldly life, St. Norbert decided to receive Holy Orders only as part of a career move. St. Nobert joined the Benedictines at Siegburg and after a narrow escape from death, took his vows seriously and experienced an interior conversion. Ordained a priest in 1115 AD, St. Norbert accepted the duty of preaching, particularly in France and Germany. St. Norbert founded a religious community of Augustinian canons at Premontre, France, who became known as the Norbertines or Premonstratensians.

As described in The Life of Saint Norbert:

Norbert established a clergy dedicated to the ideals of the Gospel and the apostolic Church. They were chaste and poor. They wore the clothing and the symbols of the new man; that is to say, they wore "the religious habit and exhibited the dignity proper to the priesthood." Norbert asked them "to live according to the norms of the Scriptures with Christ as their model. 

The priests lived in community, where they continued the work of the apostles. When Norbert was appointed as archbishop, he urged his brothers to carry the faith to the lands of the Wends. 

Faith was the outstanding virtue of Norbert's life, as charity had been the hallmark of Bernard of Clairvaux. Affable and charming, amiable to one and all, he was at ease in the company of the humble and the great alike. Finally, he was a most eloquent preacher; after long meditation he would preach the word of God and with his fiery eloquence purged vices, refined virtues and filled souls of good will with the warmth of wisdom.

Like other Orders which keep feastdays in honor of their saints sometime during the month of November, today's Feast of the Norbertines should further inspire us to pray for the success of Traditional Norbertines active in our world today. May the intercession of all Norbertines in Heaven help them - and us - to spread the Catholic Faith, to do penance, and to one day save our souls.

Visit Norbertine Vocations for the list of all saints of the Order.

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Friday, November 12, 2021
Prayer for the Election of a Pope
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May the Lord send us a truly holy Pontiff who will restore all things in Christ and see to the resurrection of the Church in light of the grave scandals and loss of Faith which have afflicted Her for more than 50 years.

Latin:

Supplici, Domine, humilitate deposcimus: ut sacrosanctae Romanae Ecclesiae concedat Pontificem illum tua immensa pietas; qui et pio in nos studio semper tibi placitus, et tuo populo pro salubri regimine sit assidue ad gloriam tui nominis reverendus. Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritu Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.

English:

O Lord, with suppliant humility, we entreat Thee, that in Thy boundless mercy Thou wouldst grant the most Holy Roman Church a Pontiff, who by his zeal for us may be pleasing to Thee, and by his good government may be ever honoured by Thy people for the glory of Thy name.

Source: Missa pro eligendo Summo Ponti

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Thursday, November 11, 2021
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I have been blessed to be involved in Catholic apologetics now for many years. I have been writing here for "A Catholic Life" since 2004, for CatechismClass.com since 2009, for Catholic Family News since 2018, for the Fatima Center since 2018, for Latin Mass Magazine since 2020, and for 1P5 since 2021. 

But I have plenty of other plans in store for the future. I want to explore podcasts and video creations, especially to turn my series of articles on fasting and abstinence into video content for YouTube and/or Vimeo. 

And I have dozens of other articles on my shortlist to research and write so that more Catholics can learn about forgotten aspects of our Faith. Here are some of my articles on unknown topics just this year:


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