A Priest’s View Of Latin Mass Vs. New Mass

Constantly I hear from people that they do not go to the Latin Mass because they do not understand Latin.  (Some even think that the homily is in Latin.)  So please, just for now, let us put aside the argument of the language; Latin or English and go to the prayers and actions that are part of the rubrics of the two masses.  Let us also look at who is the center of focus and the way the people participate, dress and receive God in Holy Communion at the two masses.

the-holy-sacrifice-of-the-mass2As a priest, I want to re-clarify what are the differences on how Jesus is treated in the two masses.   This will be from my own stand point as a priest who has for years celebrated the New Mass in English and Spanish, and now, for the last 7 years offered the Ancient Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Most Catholics judge the two masses from their own subjective perspective and preferences.  They are not priests.  They are not offering the two masses and have no idea what it is like from the experience of the priest who offers the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass.

From my view up on the altar, the difference between the Ancient Mass and the New Mass is like day and night.  Archbishop Sample, from Portland Oregon, put it well when he said at the Sacra Liturgia Conference in Rome, that he wants all of his priests to learn and offer the Latin Mass because of the effect it has on them understanding their role as priests.  He said that offering the Holy Latin Mass has changed him completely and now he finally  understands the sacrificial aspect of his priesthood.

I know, for the average Catholic who has had very little to no experience with the Latin Mass, the New Mass is just fine because it is all they have ever known or at which they feel comfortable and “at home with”.  All over the world, the New Mass is all any Catholic is able to go to.  That is all they know and that is all the knowledge they have to judge with.

The orthodox Neo-Cats who are not traditional Catholics, are constantly complaining about the grave liturgical abuses by priests who do not follow the essential rubrics found in the New Roman Missal.  Like when the celebrant changes the words of consecration, does not say the Creed at Sunday Mass, will not genuflect when required, gives communion to everyone, including non Catholics, who comes up at funerals or wedding, and all the other grave abuses they experience at the New Mass.

But in essence, and for the most part, they are satisfied with the New Mass.  Some Neo-Cats would prefer the New Mass in Latin or maybe said “ad orientam”.

mass-purgatory-496504066_88d304cb82Here is a list of observations I have made while offering the Ancient Mass and the New Mass together.

The whole focus of the Holy Latin Mass is on;

  • adoring God,
  •  being at Calvary at the real un-bloody Sacrifice of Jesus being re-made present on the Cross,
  • the priest asking Jesus to intercede to God His Father for the forgiveness of our sins,
  • humbly praying that at this Sacrifice we may receive His salvation and graces.

At the Sacrifice of the Holy Latin Mass, it is obvious that;

  • God the Father is acting through Jesus His Son,
  • Jesus is acting through the priest, in Persona Christi,
  • There is hierarchy in God’s Kingdom and the Catholic Church.
  • The priest has the special role in praying to God.
  • The priest prays in secret and in a low voice the sacred part of the Canon and the words of consecration.
  • People accompany Mary and the Apostle St. John in contemplation at the foot of the cross, while Jesus is offering His life in sacrifice to the Father for our salvation.
  • The people are assisting at Jesus’ Sacrifice on the cross for them.
  • People humbly and passively receive God’s graces through interior prayer.
  • People humbly receive Jesus in Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue.
  • People pray and absorb the effects the Divine Mystery of the Holy Mass in silence.
  • The Choir is up in the Choir loft accompanying the people in sacred songs.
  • The choir sings anonymously for the glory of God and not to show off for the crowd.
  • The Choir sings acapella or are accompanied by organ music.
  • Gregorian Chant is sung to lift up people’s souls to God.

tridentine mass 3The respect, adoration and protection given to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

  • There are way more genuflections, bows and blessing to God done by the priest.
  • No one, except the priest, can touch the Holy Chalice or Paten because they are used to hold God’s Body and Blood.
  • Once the priest has said the words of consecration, he never separates the thumbs and index fingers so that if by any chance there are tiny fragments of the Body of Jesus, they do not fall on the Altar or floor.
  • The priest only drinks the Precious Blood of Jesus from one side of the Chalice so that when he will purify it, he can be sure he purifies where the Blood ran.
  • When receiving the Body of Christ, the priest puts the paten under his chin incase any particles may fall on the altar.
  • He scrapes the corporal with the paten to be sure if at any time a particle of the Body of Christ ended on the corporal, he can put it into the chalice and be consumed with the Blood of Christ.
  • Every time after the consecration, when the priest uncovers the chalice, he puts his fingers on the chalice so that it may never fall over and spill the Precious Blood of Jesus.
  • The Body of Christ is only given with the assistance of the altar boy holding the paten so that no crumbs of Jesus may fall on the floor.
  • No one ever touches God in Holy Communion, other than the priest.
  • All people are obliged to kneel and receive Jesus on the tongue.
  • After Holy Communion, the priest purifies the Chalice twice, once with wine and again with wine and water to be sure that he gets every drop of Jesus Precious Blood purified.
  • The priest purifies the thumbs and index fingers with water and wine into the chalice to get any tiny particle of host into the chalice and consumed.
  • People kneel in adoration and thanksgiving after Holy Communion.
  • People pray and do not speak inside the church.
  • Women cover their heads with veils.
  • People dress in there Sunday best, very respectfully and modestly.

novus-ordoThe New Mass is focused on God, but at the same time, very much focused on the people.

  • Instead of the focus of the Celebrant being in Persona Christi, his focus is on representing and presiding in the name of the congregation.
  • The Celebrant faces the people, not God.
  • In all reality, the Celebrant is the center of the “show”.  Often he will make jokes.
  • Little in the words of the New Mass are there much about the Sacrificial aspect of the mass.
  • The new mass is centered much more on the “Remembering at the Last Supper”.
  • There is no altar for a priestly sacrifice, just a wooden table.
  • The presider always prays out loud so that people can hear him.
  • The focus is on the people being very active by responding, hugging, standing, sitting, kneeling, singing and walking in procession to receive Holy Communion.
  • There are many people envolved in the New Mass, like the Lectors and Extraordinary Eucharistic ministers.
  • Many people are in or walk around the Sanctuary, like the Rock Band or other Choir members.
  • Every kind of music and singing is allowed.
  • The choir and musicians perform for the people and face them.
  • The music played and sung are to make people feel happy, good, warm, and excited.
  • Clapping is encouraged to congratulate people or while singing songs.
  • Children and other people are often invited up around the altar to pray with the presider.
  • Everyone loves it because the focus is on the cute children and the people.
  • The celebrant sits at the presiders chair facing the people, not God.
  • Everything is very external and not contemplative.
  • Very little silence.
  • Very little kneeling in adoration of God.
  • The New Roman Missal has so many “pastoral” options in how to celebrate the mass.
  • Many women come to mass dressed in sexy clothes, low necks, tight pants and shorts.
  • Men come dressed in shorts.
  • Lectors and Extraordinary ministers sometimes go up on the altar in sexy or inappropriate clothing.
  • Before and after mass, people and priests talk and visit loudly in church.

Novus Ordo 1At the New Mass,

  • Most people receive Holy Communion.
  • They receive standing.
  • They receive Jesus in the hand.
  • Everyone has to stand until everyone has gone up together in procession to receive Holy Communion.
  • There is very little time allowed after Holy Communion to meditate and thank God for coming into their souls.
  • People usually sit and do not kneel after receiving Holy Communion.
  • Large host are used to show that we are all one body, and when they are broken, large particles shoot all over the corporal, altar and floor.  It has happened to me.
  • Very rarely are patens used to catch the falling Body of Christ or crumbs.
  • The floors of Catholic churches are full of particles of the Body of Christ that fall on the ground from the hands of people who receive in the hand and are being walked on by all the people.
  • Everyone takes hold of the chalice given to them by the minister to receive the Blood of Christ.
  • Many times the Precious Blood of Christ is spilled on people or the floor.
  • Only priests are to purify the sacred vessels at mass, but often they are left for others to purify.
  • The purification of the chalice is with water only.
  • It is impossible for the priest to purify where all the people received from the upper most parts of the chalice that is rotated while administrating the Precious Blood by the Extraordinary Ministers.

The final question (and the answer should make everyone who reads this article want to only go to the Holy Latin Mass) is:  Do we truly believe that God/Jesus is in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar?  If so God deserves adoration, respect and protection.

HolySacrificeMassAs a priest who says the New Mass and the Latin Mass, the Latin Mass has by far more rubrics to protect from any desecration of the Body and Blood of Jesus.  It also has prayers and gestures that facilitate more easily the adoration that Jesus deserves from us His creatures.  And because of this, the Latin Mass pleases God way more than the New Mass.

Stupid Bowl Sunday Phoenix Arizona

Living here in Phoenix, this year they are hosting “Stupid Bowl”.  On the way to pray the Holy Rosary at the abortion mill, I saw a sign that says: “celebrate your inner football.”

header-shieldKarl Marx said that; “religion is the opiate of the masses“.  What he means is that religion tells people to put up with a difficult life here (oppression by the rich), and receive the reward in heaven.  He was an atheist and believe that there is no heaven.  So he advocated revolutions and murder of the rich and intellectual to take the wealth away from the rich and make the majority of people (masses) have some more of the wealth pie.

o-SUPER-BOWL-570Last Year Stupid Bowl Atheist Add Making Fun Of Catholics And The Salutation To Mary

Father Carota says; “Sports are the opiate of the men”.  While the ISIS are slitting throats of christians in the middle east, babies are being murdered, everyone is stealing from each other, marijuana is made legal, men sit around a stupid screen or pay big bucks to watch a few men throw around a blown up pigs skin ball.  (Some are saying they are deflating the ball instead of inflating the ball.)

Sports are great, but to be played, not watched.  That is why we traditional Catholic men and boys play soccer or basketball every Sunday afternoon.  It is competitive and good exercise.  We pray a great deal while at it too.

They say that the highest level of wife, girlfriend beating in the year is on “Stupid Bowl Sunday”.  Men get to “let their inner devil” out of them, become “men”, get drunk and beat  their wives or girlfriends.

NO.  Sunday is for God.  It is the Lords day.  All that money wasted on “Stupid Bowl” could be given to the poor who really need it or to help traditional Catholic groups spread the good news of the Bible Based 2000 year old Catholic faith.

Bishop Conley On “Ad Orientem”

Bishop Conley came out of those students who would go to Fontgombault and live the traditional Catholic Monastic experience.  He is friends to the Clear Creek Monastery in Tulsa Oklahoma, an offshoot from Fontgombault.   Bishop Slattery invited Fontgombault to found a traditional Catholic monastery in his diocese.

conleyBishop’s Column  “Looking to the east

Jesus Christ will return in glory to the earth.

We do not know when he will return. But Christ promised us that he would return in glory, “as light comes from the east” to bring God’s plan of redemption to its fulfillment.

In 2009, Bishop Edward Slattery, of Tulsa, Okla., wrote that “the dawn of redemption has already broken, but the sun —Christ Himself—has not yet risen in the sky.”

In the early Church, Christians expected that Christ would come soon—any day.  There was hopeful expectation. They were watchful—they looked to the sky in the east to wait for Christ. And because they did not know when he would return, they proclaimed the Gospel with urgency and enthusiasm, hoping to bring the world to salvation before Christ returned.

It has been nearly two thousand years now since Christ ascended into heaven. It has become easier to forget that he will come again to earth. It has become easier to forget that we must be waiting, we must be watching, and we must be ready.

In the season of Advent, as we recall Christ’s Incarnation at Christmas, we are reminded to be prepared for Christ’s coming. In the Gospel for the First Sunday of Advent this year, Nov. 30, Christ tells us his disciples “to be on the watch.”

“You do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,” Jesus says. “May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.”

We remember that Christ is coming whenever we celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. In the Holy Mass we are made present to the sacrifice at Calvary, and to the joy of Christ’s glory in heaven. But we also remember that Christ will return, and we remember to watch, to be vigilant, to wait for him, and to be prepared.

The Mass is rich with symbolism. The vestments of the priest remind us of the dignity of Christ the King. We strike our breasts, and bow our heads, and bend our knees to remember our sinfulness, God’s mercy, and his glory. In the Mass, the ways we stand, and sit, and kneel, remind us of God’s eternal plan for us.

Since ancient times, Christians have faced the east during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to remember to keep watch for Christ. Together, the priest and the people faced the east, waiting and watching for Christ. Even in Churches that did not face the east, the priest and people stood together in the Mass, gazing at Christ on the crucifix, on the altar, and in the tabernacle, to recall the importance of watching for his return. The symbolism of the priest and people facing ad orientem—to the east—is an ancient reminder of the coming of Christ.

More recently, it has become common for the priest and the people to face one another during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The priest stands behind the altar as he consecrates the Eucharist, facing the people.  The people see the face of the priest as he prays, and he sees their faces. These positions can have important symbolism too.  They can remind us that we are a community—one body in Christ. And they can remind us that the Eucharist, at the center of the assembly, should also be at the center of our families, and our lives.

But the symbolism of facing together, and awaiting Christ, is rich, time-honored and important. Especially during Advent, as we await the coming of the Lord, facing the east together—even symbolically facing Christ together at the altar and on the crucifix—is a powerful witness to Christ’s imminent return. Today, at a time when it is easy to forget that Christ is coming—and easy to be complacent in our spiritual lives and in the work of evangelization—we need reminders that Christ will come.

During the Sundays of Advent, the priests in the Cathedral of the Risen Christ will celebrate the Mass ad orientem. With the People of God, the priest will stand facing the altar, and facing the crucifix.  When I celebrate midnight Mass on Christmas, I will celebrate ad orientem as well.  This may take place in other parishes across the Diocese of Lincoln as well.

In the ad orientem posture at Mass, the priest will not be facing away from the people.  He will be with them—among them, and leading them—facing Christ, and waiting for his return.

“Be watchful!” says Jesus. “Be alert!  You do not know when the time will come.”  We do not know when the time will come for Christ’s to return.  But we know that we must watch for him. May we “face the east,” together, watching for Christ in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and in our lives.”

The Reality Of Hell # 1

This series on Hell is taken from; “The Reality of Hell, Stories of persons who visited Hell and apparitions of the Damned.”

“One of the great dangers of this century, and thus one of the great triumphs of Satan, has been the growing disbelief in the existence of Hell. For many, Hell has become a fable, a myth, an outdated holdover from “the Old Testament God of fire, brimstone and judgment.” Urged on by false doctrines, the idolizing of pleasure and self, and an infantile rejection of eternal punishment for serious wrongs “when Jesus is a God of love and kindness,” many have thrown Hell out the window – along with horror for sin. After all, if there is no Hell, then why be concerned about sin? Unfortunately, they forget that “I the Lord do not change” (Malachi 3:6). Hell has not suddenly evaporated because we would prefer it so. How subtle Satan is in these times. He increasingly tricks people into his web by disguising its very existence. He wants you to let down your guard. For the love of Jesus, and of your immortal soul, do not be deceived. Hell, eternal punishment for serious sins, exists. Scripture, the Church and the testimonies of many saints all confirm that Hell is a reality – a never-ending reality for those souls who must reside there with Satan and all the other damned forever, because by their own free will and choice they rejected God while on earth and excluded themselves from communion with Him forever.

H095_hell2The Bible and Hell

There are over thirty repeated references to the existence of Hell in the Old Testament alone. For instance: “The sorrows of death have compassed me: and the perils of Hell have found me” (Psalms [Douay-Rheims] 114:3). “The Lord Almighty will take revenge on them, in the day of judgment he will visit them. For he will give fire and worms into their flesh, that they may burn, and may feel for ever” (Judith 16:17). “Depart from me, come not near me, because thou art unclean: these shall be smoke in my anger, a fire burning all the day” (Isaiah 65:5). “A fire is kindled in my wrath, and shall burn even to the lowest hell…I will heap evils upon the transgressors of my law, and will spend my arrows among them” (Deut.32:22-23). “The congregation of sinners is like tow heaped together, and the end of them is a flame of fire” (Ecclesiasticus 21:10). “He shall be punished for all he did, and yet shall not be consumed:…he shall burn, and every sorrow shall fall upon him…All darkness is hid in his secret places: a fire that is not kindled shall devour him” (Job 20:17,22,26).

In the Gospels, Jesus speaks of Hell more than of Heaven. In Matthew, Jesus says “But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment….And whosoever shall say, you fool, shall be in danger of Hell fire” (St. Matt. 5:22). “The Son of Man shall send his angels and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth” (St. Matt. 13:41-42). In Mark, Jesus warns: “And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Hell, into the unquenchable fire…” (St. Mark 9:43).

A description of the last judgment in the Book of Revelations clearly makes the point: “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing in the presence of the throne, and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged by those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hell gave up their dead that were in them; and they were judged every one according to their works. And Hell and death were cast into the pool of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the pool of fire” (Rev. 20:12-15).

Jesus describes in Matthew the last judgment as His separation of the sheep (those who loved God and neighbor) from the goats (those who did not). To the goats, Jesus says His indictment will be: “Depart from Me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. …And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life” (St. Matt. 25:41,46). Jesus Christ could not have been more clear that each of us, by our choices and conduct, risks eternal punishment after death – Hell.

St. Peter Nolasco Jan. 28

san_piedro_nolasco1“St. Peter Nolasco, born of a noble family at Recaudun near Carcassonne in France, was bereaved of his parents in his youth. Loathing the heresy of the Albigenses, he divided his patrimony and went to Spain. There, as he was praying one night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and suggested that it would be most pleasing to her Son and to herself to have a religious order founded for the purpose of freeing those taken captive in the power of unbelievers. nolasco2His Patron St. Peter Appeared To Him Crucified Upside Down

And so, together with St. Raymond of Pennafort and James I, king of Aragon, who had been told the same thing by the Mother of God on the very same night, he established the Order of Our Lady of Mercy for the redemption of captives, the members taking a fourth vow to remain as hostages in the power of pagans if this were needed to free Christians. Peter_nolasco_Vision_of_ZURBAR_N_Francisco_deHe was often cheered by apparitions of his guardian Angel and of the Virgin Mother of God; and when he had attained a good old age, he died a holy death in the middle of the night of the Vigil of Christmas, in the year 1256.”  1960 Roman Breviary

Pope Francis’ Church Of Mercy And Love, But NO Justice

On January 20th 2015, at the Jesuit University of Santa in Santa Clara Californian, Cardinal Rodriguez (who is the head of the cardinal’s council to advise the pope), gave a presentation on what “Model” Pope Francis has for the Catholic Church.   He says that the Church is to be a mother to whom all people can come home to and be healed from all their wounds, (like a hospital or home).  And this mother is full of love and mercy.  But he forgets that any good mother also corrects and disciplines.

Although his “Model Mother” is very harsh with anyone who is traditional like the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Immaculate.

oscarHere are what I consider the important parts of the long address.  The next blog will have the whole address for those who have the time to read it all.  Even these passages are long too, but very necessary to take time to study to be able to talk with all the Catholics (and non Catholics), who are in deeply enamored with everything the pope says.

We agree totally with mercy and love being the center of Catholicism, but we also believe in justice and that sin causes all the casualties Pope Francis wants to heal.  If you get rid of sin, you will not need to have a hospital church.  We also need to talk about where the casualties of war come from: the three enemies,

  1. The devil.
  2. The flesh.
  3. The world.

If we do not deal with these enemies, we will just continue to pick up the dead and hospitalize the wounded.

One example in this address is the parable of the 99 good sheep left while the shepherd goes out in search of the one lost.  But they never say anything about the following verses about the rejoicing in heaven over the one sinner repenting.  When the Church welcomes sinners without conversion, is only relieves the symptom and but does nothing to  cure the decease.

Cardinal Rodriguez also talks about the Synod and changes made in the Church from Vatican II.  You can use these quotes with all the neo-cats who deny that Vatican II changed anything.  But what is sad, is that you can see that Pope Francis does not think the changes worked, so now new changes have to made again.

It all reminds me so so much of our current president who won on popularity from his promises to make changes.iu

The Church of Mercy with Pope Francis

“It is not just Christ’s pain and his passion that redeem, it is not just the cross that saves us: his pain, his passion and his cross have redeeming power because of Love. It is then Christ’s crucified Love that gives back meaning to human existence and elevates it to the dignity from which sin deprived it and that Jesus’ decision, dying for love in the cross, recovered.

If the world experienced how big God’s love and salvation initiative are, all temples would be filled with people asking for the holy sacraments of Confession, Baptism, Anointing of the Sick and Eucharist. Priests would not be able to handle such a need for absolution, blessing or communion since entire multitudes —convinced of that infinite love of God, origin of salvation—, would understand that truth and life have a name: Jesus. And his name is Love.

That is why the Pope says, “Only love fills the void,” Which void? Superficiality, noise, alienation of the heart that hardens when it lets itself be taken over by consumerism, love for money, the culture of death, the maelstrom of pleasure in all its forms, the drugs and the life without God. If man’s void was filled with God’s mercy and mercy could be experienced in the Church, nobody would abandon their parish, temples would be packed with faithful, seminaries would be filled with young men that would leave the field of daily worries to devote themselves to serve God and console their brothers. This is not idyllic nor poetic, it is as realistic as the pain that only love can heal. Void cannot be filled with another void. It has to be filled with content and realities that can sublimate and explain them. That is why the answer that man—wounded—seeks as the ultimate meaning of his existence only exists in God.

If people were to find a Church close to the people, compassionate, a companion, identified with the bleeding pain of so many “sick” and terminally ill lives, the Church of Christ, the Church that Pope Francis presides today, would be more credible and necessary.

It is starting from God’s mercy how we reach man. That is why every honest meeting with the existential reality of man takes place under the sign of mercy. It is either mercy or judgment. And the Church is not here to judge, condemn, reproach or reject anybody but to embrace as in a home where love reigns for everybody who needs it.

When Christ was Incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary and was made Man (cf. Nicene’s Creed), he took as his all human beings reality, all their miseries to redeem them and save what was lost. He did it in a way that where there was man in his circumstances, where there was a person conditioned by his or her own existential environment, where life weighs and existence hurts, where depression and absurdity stand out, God’s love arrives, repeating what the Pope said, “the attitude of God in contact with human misery, with our poverty, our suffering, our anguish,” (idem). God does not become absent from man. Instead, moved by mercy, He has an eternal appointment with him to heal his misery and proclaim about each life and about each history a new hope made up of forgiveness, comprehension and deep tenderness. This type of God wants this type of Church.

Specifically, there is no true ecclesial renovation without a transformation of the institutions; of the quality and focus of the activities; of the mystic and the spiritual. Usually, renovation begins with pastoral activities. For it is there where the inconsistencies of a certain “model” of the Church and reality are primarily experienced. The missionaries, the evangelists on the “margins” of the Church, are the first ones to notice the insufficiency of the “traditional” ways of action; the pastoral criticism begins with the experience of the mission in the “peripheries.” Changes and adjustments begin there.

After Vatican Council II, the methods and content of evangelization and Christian education change. The liturgy changes: local languages are adopted, some rituals and symbols change, measurements are taken for a greater participation, etc. The missionary perspective changes: the missionary must know the culture, the human situation; the missionary must establish an evangelizing dialogue with those realities. “Social action” changes, it is no longer just charity and development services but also struggle for justice, human rights and liberation…

The Council propelled institutional renovations, following the logic of the Spirit. These reforms encompass all levels of the ecclesial organization: the religious congregations or missionary societies —whose “Chapters of Renovation” multiply— the diocesan and Vatican Curia, Episcopal Conferences, the Synods, the parishes, the pastoral areas, the presbyteries, the lay apostolic institutions, the teaching of theology, the seminaries, the catholic schools… New institutions for missionary dialogue emerge: ecumenism, Jews, other religions… Everything in the Church changes consistent with a renewed pastoral model.

Maybe some thought that the Church renovation was only that. But the institutional and functional changes —alone in themselves— proved insufficient, superficial. Sometimes they created new problems and crises both unnecessary and deep. Any change in the Church eventually requires considering a renovation of the motivations that the new options inspire. Without deep-rooted, living and explicit motivations, no human group, no institution and no society can survive for a long time, much less renovate itself. Motivations answer to the fundamental “why” of the options, the enterprises, the demands, and the same reason for being of the institution.

The Pope wants to take this Church renovation to the point where it becomes irreversible. The wind that propels the sails of the Church towards the open sea of its deep and total renovation is Mercy.

The institutional and functional renovation of the Church requires a renovation of its mystical dimension. And at the roots of the mystical is mercy.

Spirituality is not a science nor one more praxis in the Church. It is the “nourishment” of the pastoral, the theology and the community, whatever their “model” is.

When this was forgotten by the process of ecclesial renovation, this caused “schizophrenia” in some Christians, which is one of the causes of many failures. In a short time, they progressed in all of the levels of the renovation. They changed many pastoral, theological, and disciplinary categories. The image and the mission of the Church changed. Likewise, its concept that related faith with history and society changed; therefore the social and political options became more important.

In this context, there was no mystical renovation and it remained “traditional,” consistent with another vision of the faith and of the mission, and inconsistent with the new ecclesial experiences.

In the Gospel, the pastor who goes out goes to seek the lost sheep – he could keep accounts like a good businessman. [He could say]: ‘Ninety-nine sheep, if I lose one, it’s no problem; the balance sheet – gains and losses. But it’s fine, we can get by.’ No, he has the heart of a shepherd, he goes out and searches for [the lost sheep] until he finds it, and then he rejoices, he is joyful.”

pope-francis (1)“When the Church does not do this, then the Church stops herself, is closed in on herself, even if she is well organized, has a perfect organizational chart, everything’s fine, everything’s tidy – but she lacks joy, she lacks peace, and so she becomes a disheartened Church, anxious, sad, a Church that seems more like a spinster than a mother, and this Church doesn’t work, it is a Church in a museum. The joy of the Church is to give birth; the joy of the Church is to go out of herself to give life; the joy of the Church is to go out to seek the sheep that are lost; the joy of the Church is precisely the tenderness of the shepherd, the tenderness of the mother.”

“May the Lord give us the grace of working, of being joyful Christians in the fruitfulness of Mother Church, and keep us from falling into the attitude of these sad Christians, impatient, disheartened, anxious, that have all the perfection in the Church, but do not have ‘children.’ May the Lord console us with the consolation of a Mother Church that goes out of herself and consoles us with the consolation of the tenderness of Jesus and His mercy in the forgiveness of our sins.”

Synod 2014-15

Many identified as the unique and fundamental topic, issues that were merely secondary. For example, we did not talk only about giving “communion” to re-married Christians —that was a collateral argument, it was never essential. What was really said, and I repeat and emphasize, is that the realities of dissolved and rebuilt families are not an impediment to live and participate in the abundant life of the Church; that the “sacramental communion” is not the only way to vitally participate in the pastoral dynamic of the parish community and that every Christian couple that seeks God will find Him because he allows Himself to be found and that every re-married Christian can be a full-time Christian, has a right to be happy, and his house can become also a place where the love of God is born witness.

For me, there is no “place in the basement” of the Church for Catholics that have wanted to rebuild their lives having remarried, though they cannot receive the Sacrament of Communion; there is no corner in attic for migrants that do not have documents in order and want to prepare their children in the sacraments of Christian Initiation; there is no special window in Heaven to assist those who have left the Catholic Church and have gone to other places seeking the warmth, refuge and respect that their mother has not been able to provide.

All these are challenges to our conscience and a strong and tough demand to our parish practices that are so rigid and narrow-minded. That is why the Pope said to be careful not to turn the parish and episcopal offices into “customs.” And he is completely right. (Santa Marta, May 25, 2013). To remember the whole message, I quote: “We are many times ‘controllers of faith,’ instead of becoming ‘facilitators’ of the faith of the people,” lamented the Pope during his daily mass at Santa Marta’s Guest House in the Vatican. In his homily that was broadcasted by Vatican Radio, the Argentine Pope mentioned a priest who refused to baptize the son of a single mother, “this girl who had the courage to carry her pregnancy (…) and what does she find? A closed door,” affirmed the Pope.

Nobody is excluded from the Church of Christ. There is a place for everybody, for the migrants, for those who one day abandoned the Church but come back convinced that they can stay forever, for those married-divorced-remarried, for the poor, for everybody. Within these categories fall those that Francis calls “the least”, when he encourages: “The Church must step outside herself. To go where? To the outskirts of existence, whatever they may be. If we step outside ourselves we find poverty. We cannot put up with this! We cannot become starched Christians, those over-educated Christians who speak of theological matters as they calmly sip their tea. No! We must become courageous Christians and go in search of the people who are the very flesh of Christ, those who are the flesh of Christ!”  Read whole address here.  scu.edu


St. John Chrysostom Jan 27

JOHN CHRYSOSTOM_St Patrick's_Cathedral_NYC2St. John came from Antioch and was called “Chrysostom” because of the golden flood of his eloquence. Ordained a priest of the Church of Antioch, he was later, against his will made archbishop of Constantinople to succeed Nectarius, through the influence of Arcadius the emperor. In this office, since he spoke out strongly against the degradation of public morals and the licentious lives of the nobility, he drew down on himself the hatred of many persons. He gravely offended Empress Eudoxia also, because he reprehended her for taking the money of the widow Callitropa and the land of another widow. For all these reasons he was forced into exile, while all the widows and the needy mourned at being deprived of their common father. It is beyond belief how many hardships he suffered in his exile and how many people he converted to the faith of Jesus Christ. The number, warmth and brilliance of his sermons and other writings are universally admired. He gave up his soul to God on September 14, and his body was buried in the Vatican basilica. This outstanding Doctor of the universal Church was appointed the heavenly patron of preachers by Pope Pius X. 1960 Roman Breviary

Fr. Illo “Only Altar Boys” At Star Of Sea San Francisco Ca

Fr. Joseph Illo put into practice “Only Altar Boys” at Star of the Sea Parish in the Richmond District of San Francisco.  You can see the “usual” local news condemnation of this traditional Catholic practice.  Bishop Cordileone has approved his decision.

iuClick here:  http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/video/11065173-sf-richmond-district-church-ban-on-girls-as-altar-servers-upheld-by-archbishop/#.VMZ_8bvUdg4.mailto

The Novus Ordo rule is that any pastor can have altar girls if he decides to, but is free to only have altar boys.  Altar girls are an exception.  But it still is good that Bishop Cordileone is supporting him.

Can you imagine the Virgin Mary saying: “Its discrimination that I Jesus will not let me be an Apostle because I am a women.”

The Family Under Attack Don Leone Chap. 5 c)

The Family Under Attack

Adoration of the Magi_BRAY, Jan deiii) Analysis of the Novel Doctrine

It remains to be seen how we should understand the statements in Humanae Vitae and later magisterial documents expressing ‘the pre-eminence of love.’ To do so, let us take as our starting-point a passage from Casti Connubii of Pius XI (1930), which seem to have served as a precedent for Humanae Vitae; ‘The love of husband and wife…pervade[s] all the duties of married life and holds pride of place in Christian marriage…In this internal and mutual formation of the spouses and in this assiduous application to the work of reciprocal perfection one can see in all truth, as the Roman Catechism teaches, the cause and primary reason for marriage, if matrimony is looked at not in the restricted sense as instituted for the proper conception and education of the child, but more widely as the blending of life as a whole and the mutual interchange and the sharing thereof’ (24).

Let us first consider the Roman Catechism. It is true that in its section concerning the motives and ends of marriage it considers the spousal relationship first, but this is clearly but a reflection of the fact that the spousal relationship is the primary reason for marriage on the part of the couple and in the order of chronology: it is what gives the prospective spouses the initial impulse, or motive, for marriage. The procreation and education of children, by contrast, remains the primary reason on the part of God and in the order of perfection. The Catechism expresses this latter truth when it states in the very next paragraph: ‘This was besides the only reason [the blessing of children] that God instituted marriage from the beginning’; when it states in the previous paragraph: ‘The following words of the Lord: Increase and multiply are intended to elucidate the reasons for the institution of marriage’; and in its later section on the blessings of marriage when it places the blessing of children in first place. Since God’s intention and the finis operis take precedence over man’s intention and the finis operantis, we can conclude that in the Roman Catechism procreation is the primary finality of marriage simpliciter.

In the passage from Casti Connubii the spousal relationship, or love, assumes greater importance: here constituting not the initial impulse for marriage, but rather informing the whole of marriage as such. Indeed the wording ‘blending of life as a whole and a mutual interchange and sharing thereof’ seems to suggest that love should become the very key-note of marriage, not only for the spouses but for all the members of the family.

Yet if love has assumed a primary importance here, it has done so only on the psychological or subjective level, for procreation remains primary on the objective level in the encyclical as when Pius XI speaks of the ‘natural and primeval right of marriage – the principal ends of marriage laid down in the beginning by God Himself in the words ‘Increase and multiply’ (8), or when he quotes St Augustine’s words that procreation is ‘the reason for marriage’, and that ‘the children hold pride of place amongst the goods of marriage,’ or again when he quotes Canon 1013 of the Code of Law (see above) and describes ‘as secondary ends the mutual aid, reciprocal love, and the remedy of concupiscence’ which ‘must remain subordinate to the primary end of marriage’.

For all that, we can admit that the passage quoted from Casti Connubii (23-4) lacks clarity, as Pius XI reputedly regretted in his later years (as reported by Fr. Boissard in footnote 43 to Q5 in his article quoted above). But any suggestion that the love of the spouses might be the primary end of marriage simpliciter was, as we have seen, later to be definitively rejected by Pius XII.

When we compare Humanae Vitae with Casti Connubii in the area in question, we see that both Pius XI and Paul VI accord love the pre-eminence on what the latter calls ‘the subjective evaluation of marriage’, but that whereas Pius XI accords procreation the pre-eminence on what we might call ‘the objective evaluation of marriage’, Paul VI does not. In fact by ignoring the objective evaluation of marriage, he implies that the subjective evaluation of love is dispositive.

Various elements of Magisterial Personalism are in evidence here: subjectivism, along with a preoccupation with psychology, love, and the person, the disregard for objectivity, along with Tradition, past Magisterial teaching, Sacred Scripture and Natural Law arguments (see the article by John Galvin referred to above). The consequence is that there is a return to ideas and modes of expression that had been superseded, and the secondary end of marriage moves thereby into the foreground and the primary end into the background.

On the basis of established Church teaching that the primary end of marriage is procreation, can we describe as anything other than misleading statements according the pre-eminence to love? – and the more misleading, the more they become enshrined in the Magisterium.