Saturday, 29 December 2012
Examine 2012 before New Years Resolutions + Perfection Sainthood Our Minds It is always prudent to examine our past as we start off the New Year. Were we judgmental before knowing all of the facts? Were you aware that foolishness is sinful? How much gossip were we involved in? Were we honest with ourselves in 2012? How much charity did we express among the Brethren. Did we show our love for the truth? Did we put private revelations above the deposit of Faith? What did we do to help the Faithful foster Unity last year? Did we check the reliability of a story before forwarding it to others? As 2012 ends remember we are one year closer to Our Death and one year closer to Christ's return on Pentecost Sunday or Saturday depending what part of the world that your in at the time. One must remember that the Lord cannot return until the one world liberal, democracy and interfaith, pluralistic gospel spreads through out the world. Right now the Muslim resistance remain the biggest problem. O Eternal Father, after having thanked Thy infinite bounty for Thy exceeding benefits in the past, we humbly implore pardon for our manifold sins and negligences for the time we have consumed and wasted in vanities and in things that profit not unto salvation, and for the woeful want of correspondence with Thy graces which we have so habitually manifested. But filled with confidence in Thy mercy, so lavishly displayed in a multitude of ways, we ask Thy blessing upon our good purposes and resolutions. For now we renew the sacred promises we made in Baptism, when we first became Thy children and heirs of the heavenly kingdom, and we renounce Satan with all his works and pomps. Firmly convinced that the salvation of our immortal souls is the one great business of life, the purpose for which we have come into the world, we solemnly resolve for the future not only to do all in our power to avoid every grievous sin in thought, word, and deed, but also to shun every unnecessary occasion that might imperil our souls. We further resolve to fulfill with greater exactness and fidelity the duties of our progress in things spiritual, to be more devoted to holy Mass, to receive the Sacraments more frequently, and to pray more often and more fervently. Bless, O my God, these good resolutions which we offer to Thee at this, the threshold of a new year. Give us Thy precious grace and make us truly wise. The days and years of our life are passing so swiftly away. Help us, in Thy mercy, to utilize them, as we ought to do, for Thy greater honor and glory, for the good of our neighbor, and for our sanctification. The night cometh in which no man can work longer; soon, at best, we shall have to appear before Thee to render an account of our stewardship. May we then be found worthy to receive from Thee that divine welcome: "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord. Perfection The relatively perfection union with God which is possible in this world, consisting in proportional to the degree of charity possessed and exercised: it is therefore compatible with venial sin, but not mortal sin. "The perfection of Christian life consists essentially in charity, primarily in loving God, secondarily in loving ones neighbor." (Saint Thomas Aquinas). When a man loves God with his whole heart, soul, mind and straight, and his neighbor as himself for God's sake, then is he perfect. The perfection attainable in this life is only relative and progressive; absolute and ultimate perfection belongs to the next life, when the creature will have definitely gained his last end, God Himself, in the Beatific Vision. The attachment to God by love which perfect demands involves as its counter detachment from all that hinders or diminishes that love. Hence the way of perfection is a way of renunciation and mortification. Perfection is open to all, because the full love of God is possible in any walk of life; and all are called to it, at least remotely, in the words of Jesus Christ: (Matt. 5:48)--the calendar of saints includes men and women of all types and all nations. But the religious life is more conducive to perfection than life in the world, because it concentrates definitely on this aim by means of the vows of religion and organized prayer and asceticism. Perfection demands the observance of the precepts and of such counsels as apply to ones state of life. The essence of perfection, therefore, does not consist in a multiplicity of devotions, confraternities, etc: nor even in austerity, solitude, silence, and virtuous exercises. All these are means of acquiring perfection, or are manifestations of its presence. How to Become a Saint The way Saints are made outside the cloister as well as in. It can be expressed in three words: Fidelity to conscience.. All those who are saved eternally will be saved of their fidelity to conscience. The only thing you need to do in order to become a Saint is obey your conscience, and God will do the rest...Begin today; and see what a wonderful change it will make in your life. Every time your conscience prompts you to good, do it: every time it tells you a thing wrong, don't do it. The chief difference between saints and ordinary Christians is simply this, that they always obey the slightest suggestion of the still, small voice, while others do not. This is what St. Paul meant when he said. "Extinguish not the Spirit;" for conscience is like a flame, which may be blown out by willful inattention, and thus man is left, without a guide, to walk in the dark. In such a condition it is utterly impossible to remain long upon the narrow path that leads to the kingdom of heaven. Our Minds,,Confusion My circumscribed mind,,Is partially blind,,Restricted,,constricted,, And caught in a bind. It knows there are others,,,Who think differently,,But what should I do,, If they don't think like me? I'm caught in a quandry,,This prison I'm in,,It's all so confusing,, It's all such a din,,, Think well on your choices,,But know what you sought,,,May not be the thing,,, Nor the answer you got.....Msgr. Ruscitto Ambiguity is the Father of Apostasy A Man cannot Save Himself by his own good works Good works prompted by purely natural motives cannot save a man. Thus St. Paul says, If I should give all my goods to feed the poor, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." 1 Cor. XIII., 3. yet good works inspired by faith in Christ and love for Christ are necessary. "By works a man is justified, and not by faith only." James II.,24. Indeed the "Son of man will come in the glory of His Father....and then will He render to every man according to his works." Matt.XVI., 27 Apoc: 22:12 Radio Replies "Our Fathers have sinned & done evil in sight of the Lord God, forsaking Him, they have turned away their faces from the Tabernacle of the Lord, and turned their backs." II Paral. 29:6 Grace be with you in 2013, in Christ, Joseph
Friday, 21 December 2012
Monday, 3 December 2012
What most Catholics are not aware, that it is generally held, Jeremias and and St. John Baptist were both born without sin. They were sanctified in their mother's womb before birth. The Immaculate Conception is, according to Roman Catholic dogma, the conception of Mary, the mother of Jesus without any stain ("macula" in Latin) of original sin. The dogma thus says that, from the first moment of her existence, she was preserved by God from the lack of sanctifying grace that afflicts mankind, and that she was instead filled with divine grace. It is further believed that she lived a life completely free from sin. In the words of Pope Pius XII in Mystici Corporis, "she was free from any personal or hereditary sin"  Her immaculate conception in the womb of her mother, by normal sexual intercourse, should not be confused with the doctrine of the virginal conception of her son Jesus. (though it is generally held that Jeremias and John the Baptist received it before birth, but not at conception); The feast of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated on December 8, was established as a universal feast in 1476 by Pope Sixtus IV. He did not define the doctrine as a dogma, thus leaving Roman Catholics freedom to believe in it or not without being accused of heresy; this freedom was reiterated by the Council of Trent. The existence of the feast was a strong indication of the Church's belief in the Immaculate Conception, even before its 19th century definition as a dogma. In the Roman Catholic Church, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is a Holy Day of Obligation, except where conferences of bishops have decided, with the approval of the Holy See, not to maintain it as such. It is a public holiday in some countries where Roman Catholicism is predominant e.g. Italy. In the Philippines, although this is not a public holiday, the predominance of Catholic Schools make it almost a holiday. The Immaculate Conception was solemnly defined as a dogma by Pope Pius IX in his constitution Ineffabilis Deus, on December 8, 1854. The Roman Catholic Church believes the dogma is supported by Scripture (e.g. Mary's being greeted by Angel Gabriel as "full of grace" or "highly favoured"), as well as either directly or indirectly by the writings of many[who?] of the Church Fathers , as well as sensus fidei and often calls Mary the Blessed Virgin (Luke 1:48). Catholic theology maintains that, since Jesus became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, it was fitting that she be completely free of sin for expressing her fiat. (Ott, Fund., Bk 3, Pt. 3, Ch. 2, §3.1.e). The main objection stated by theologians such as Anselm (d.1109), Bernard (d.1153), Aquinas (d.1274), and Bonaventure (d. 1274) was that it removes Mary from the company of those needing salvation, thus detracting from the universality of Christ's redemptive work... Scriptural sources A series of articles on Roman Catholic Mariology General articles Overview of Mariology • Veneration of the Blessed Virgin • History of Mariology • Mariology of the saints • Mariology of the popes • Encyclicals & Apostolic Letters • Marian Movements & Societies Devotions Rosary • Immaculate Heart • 7 Sorrows • Acts of Reparation Dogmas and Doctrines Doctrines • Mother of God • Perpetual virginity • Immaculate Conception • Assumption • Mother of the Church • Mediatrix • Co-Redemptrix Expressions of devotion Art • Music • Architecture Key Marian apparitions (approved or worthy of belief) Guadalupe • Miraculous Medal • La Salette • Lourdes • Pontmain • Laus • Banneux • Beauraing • Fátima In his Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus (8 December 1854), which officially defined the Immaculate Conception as dogma for the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Pius IX primarily appealed to the text of Genesis 3:15, where the serpent was told by God, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed". According to the Roman Catholic understanding, this was a prophecy that foretold of a "woman" who would always be at enmity with the serpent—that is, a woman who would never be under the power of sin, nor in bondage to the serpent. Some Roman Catholic theologians[who?] have also claimed the angel Gabriel's salutation to Mary at the Annunciation (Luke 1:28) as scriptural evidence for the Immaculate Conception. The verse "Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee", "Tota pulchra es, amica mea, et macula non est in te" (Vulgate), from the Song of Solomon (4.7) was also regarded as a scriptural confirmation of the doctrine, and as "macula" is Latin for "spot" or "stain", is probably responsible for its name. The early Church Fathers compared Mary to Eve. St. Justin Martyr said that Mary was a kind of New Eve, "in order that the disobedience which proceeded from the serpent might receive its destruction in the same manner in which it derived its origin". (Dialogue with Trypho, 100) Tertullian argued in a similar manner: "As Eve had believed the serpent, so Mary believed the angel. The delinquency which the one occasioned by believing, the other by believing effaced". (On the Flesh of Christ, 17) St. Irenaeus declared that Mary became "the cause of salvation, both to herself and the whole human race", because "what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the virgin Mary set free through faith". (Against Heresies, Book III, cap. 22, 4) St. Jerome coined the phrase, "Death came through Eve, but life has come through Mary", (Letter XXII, To Eustochium, 21). The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1907, however, states that these scriptures merely serve as corroborative evidence assuming that the dogma is already well established, and that there is insufficient evidence to prove the dogma to someone basing their beliefs solely on biblical interpretation: No direct or categorical and stringent proof of the dogma can be brought forward from Scripture. ... The Proto-evangelium [Genesis 3:15], therefore, in the original text contains a direct promise of the Redeemer, and...the perfect preservation of His virginal Mother from original sin. The salutation of the angel Gabriel—chaire kecharitomene, Hail, full of grace...finds its explanation only in the Immaculate Conception of Mary. But the term kecharitomene (full of grace) serves only as an illustration, not as a proof of the dogma. ―  Other verses sometimes used to defend the Immaculate Conception include: "And you shall make the ark of testimony of incorruptible wood, and you shall gild it with pure gold, you shall gild it within and without; and you shall make for it golden wreaths twisted round about." (Exodus 25:10-11 Brenton LXX) "So I made an ark of boards of incorruptible wood, and I hewed tables of stone like the first, and I went up to the mountain, and the two tables were in my hand." (Deuteronomy 10:3 Brenton LXX) Other translations use the words "setim", "acacia", "indestructible", and "hard" to describe the wood used. In any case, Moses used this wood because it was regarded as very durable and "incorruptible". Mary is regarded by Catholic and Orthodox Christians as being the Ark of the Covenant in the New Testament and therefore claim it is fitting that the New Ark likewise be made "incorruptible" or "immaculate". Their basis for calling the Virgin Mary the Ark of the Covenant is based partly on the parallels of the Ark in Second Samuel 6 with the Nativity narrative of the Gospel of Luke. The early Church Fathers called Christ, the Church, and the Virgin Mary each at one point as being symbolized by the Ark.  Wikipedia, Attwater a Catholic Dictionary, Harpercollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism
Sunday, 25 November 2012
True Catholics who acknowledge the EFFECTS of the sedevacante REALITY of our times believe in The Holy Roman Catholic Church The reason why Sedevacantism is a prevailing explanation to today's current crisis, is because it is a complete and plausible explanation. It is the only explanation that makes complete sense and explains the otherwise unexplainable dilemma that befell the Catholic Church. The most central point of Sedevacantism is that there is no possibility that these past 5 men (who call themselves “Pope” since 1958) are “Roman Catholic Popes”. We only state the obvious fact that only a vacant Chair of Peter could explain the debacle that came from Vatican II and persists to this day. Sedevacantism explains: How “Popes” could participate in blatantly heretical non-Catholic functions. How “Popes” could lead millions astray. How millions of Catholics could become Apostates The current state of religious vocations in the Vatican II Church How “Catholic Bishops” could so egregiously promote false teachings. How the entire “Magisterium” could disappear in less than 10 years. Why a “Pope” doesn't correct grave errors in the church. How Christ could perceive 1 billion Catholics missing? How St. Paul's Great Apostasy could occur. Some are almost Pharisaical in their positions. In the face of overwhelming and obvious signs of Christ's divinity, the Pharisees still refused to accept His nature. He could, but would not prove it to them. He was Divine and it was left to them to recognize Him, believe in Him and to follow Him. But they were too proud, too comfortable, too correct, and too blind to see. In a similar way the bulk of the Church is no more. It is obviously and overwhelmingly apparent. It might be, but does not have to be proven. It is left for us to recognize it, accept it and correct it. The obvious facts: Vatican II's religious teachings are different than those of pre-1958 Catholic Church, they have: New teachings on Ecumenism, Religious Liberty, Modernism, Proselytizing, Collegiality of Bishops, and, more. Vatican II thoughts, promotions, ideals and teachings have destroyed the Faith and Morals of their Congregation. Many millions of Catholics are oblivious to Catholic Faith in the sense of the teachings of the Church that saves Souls from Hell. Lost is the Faith in: Divine Reverence; The Reason for the Catholic Church; The knowledge of what sins are and their consequences; The knowledge of how to restore Sanctifying Grace; The charity of reproaching sinners, and, the charity of conversion to Catholicism. Vatican II beliefs are different than Pre-Vatican II beliefs. If the faith (what one believes) is different, then the religion is different. But the very core and most obvious reason that Vatican II was anti-Catholic is that the Catholic Church could not lead Catholics astray neither by commission of error nor omission of Truth. If the Catholic Faith has been nearly destroyed by “Magisterial” mis-leadership from “priests to popes;” for any number of reasons; by their counsel, command, consent, participation, silence, provocation, flattery, concealment, defense, or, heresy they have sinned gravely and obstinately. They are conspirators, architects, modernist pawns, contributors, authors, promoters, enablers and usurpers. They all allowed themselves to be diabolically influenced, and gave up their Faith. They are not Catholic and neither is their creation. Even the Vatican II “popes” have recognized that the effects of Vatican II were bad, whether intended or not. Why do they persist in this Modernist theology? The same theology that was condemned repeatedly by the Church, and now we see why. We see what Holy Mother Church was trying to protect us from. Why don't they reinstitute the former way? And do away with this mother-of-all heresies. By mere pronouncement a Pope could undo all and restore all. A True Pope could not have allowed the demolition to take place or those with the dynamite to remain. How was it that an anti-Church, anti-Christ was able to usurp Ecclesiastic power and sit on Peter's throne? We do know that it was prophesied to occur. We do know that the Catholic Church warned about it and tried to protect us from it. We can bet that Satan was at the controls. We cannot go back in time and properly safeguard against it. Instead of arguing about how or why it happened, we must recognize that it did happen. And more importantly, what can we do about it? How do we restore the Church to Her former Glory? How does God work through men to maintain the Succession of Peter? How do we restore the Faith and Salvation to the misguided? It took a False Pope to bring the Church down, likewise it will take a True Pope to build the Church up. Only Satan's advocate (either duped or complicit) would hold up the effects of Vatican II and proclaim "God is pleased with what Vatican II accomplished". As a mouthpiece of Satan, one would promote deceitful efforts to deny the obvious in very convincing manner, citing lack-of-proof, and absence of understanding their intent, using alternative interpretations, claiming out-of-context, and rationalizing inconsistencies. The very documents of Vatican II were purposely made ambiguous so that close scrutiny would allow traditional explanations. While the real intent and manifestations of the documents were anti-traditional. Some claim that only proper authorities can proclaim an Anti-Pope invalid, if true, this would propose a very interesting and powerful tactic for Satan to employ to prevent his Antichrist-Antipope from being found out. Who would want to lend credence to Satan's deception? If by promoting this thesis they were complicit in allowing doubting-Souls the means to stay in Satan's New World church, they should not be a little afraid. Satan is smarter than man, and only a fool would deny for a moment that he isn't behind and hasn't orchestrated this mess. God's Divine plan will always allow for denial of obvious Truth and Satan is the master of plausible deniability. The argument is false anyhow and is meant to confuse. When one knowingly commits heresy he becomes a formal heretic. He places himself outside the Church and he loses any office he holds automatically, by his own actions. If he is also a manifest heretic, he "declares" himself to be a heretic, publicly. No Canon court declaration is necessary. One instance may be overlooked, reasoned away for the benefit of the doubt. But repeated and pertinacious public formal heresy removes all doubt that he has willfully placed himself outside of the Church and that he is no longer Catholic. The only argument that Sedevacantism cannot explain away, is from those who like the changes of Vatican II. Those who find no fault or error in the Conciliar church. Those who hated the old ways. Those who accept the teachings of Vatican II and hope for the New World Church. Those that believe that God's message changed and in their case change of the Church was justified, necessary, and overdue. Their “pope” was within his prerogative. As Luther was, so were they able to change the Religion to meet their needs. Also, as with Luther, they can keep the property and the buildings, but they must stop using the word Catholic. Seek the Truth. Be sincere and legitimate in your quest for Truth. Open your heart to God Who can read it. Satan couldn't submit, can you swallow your pride for the Truth? If you are not willing to do this with humility and charity, then you are not sincere. If you wait for proof, it will never come, ask the Jews. You have to believe, you have to see Jesus Christ's Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, His Spouse, and the keeper of Divine Revelation, and the Instrument of God's Salvation. Pre Vatican II and Post Vatican II. By design they are two different Churches, two different teachings, two different Faiths, and two different Religions. They cannot both be Catholic. For the sake of your Soul you have to choose the Catholic Church. If my words are too harsh, recognize that Catholic Charity is such. "Them that sin reprove before all: that the rest also may have fear", and also that God loves the Truth and hates lies, no matter how well intentioned. Once again in the face of over 50 years of EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE blatantly showing the EFFECTS of the SEDE VACANTE REALITY manifested in the UNIVERSAL Apostasy from The Catholic and Apostolic Faith of all times no person in their correct and well-informed mind will DENY this conclusion. But only those who do NOT have the Catholic and Apostolic Faith themselves!!! Therefore UNLESS you are willing to admit that : a TRUE POPE in Rome EQUALS NO Apostasy from The Catholic and Apostolic Faith, and, that 5 Anti-Popes, since, the Papal Usurpation of October 1958 EQUALS the FULFILLMENT of the PROPHESIED UNIVERSAL Apostasy from The Catholic and Apostolic Faith you cannot assist The Church Militant in re-establishing Christendom at all !!! You are NOT a true son, or, daughter of Holy Mother Church. A Sede Vacante position explains what happened to The Confessionals? What happened to the Patens? Where did the Sanctuary lamps go? If a Catholic disregarded a Sacred Oath that he had taken; embraced Heresies that he knew were condemned; changed his Faith to suit his needs; promoted a lie universally; willfully caused widespread Apostasy; denied Sacred Doctrine; and, refused to cease in his errors would he still be Catholic? Even more so could he be the Pope? If you find this hard to believe consider this: A New Mass; A New Bible; A New Catechism; A New Code of Canon Law; A New Primary Purpose; New Sacraments; Changeable Dogma & Doctrines; New Attitudes, Orientations, Views, Vestments, Altars, Prayers, Rules/Laws, Rosary, Stations of the Cross, etc. = A New Religion This was exactly the intention of Vatican II; To change the Catholic Religion!!! Therefore this is why the church in Rome is not the Roman Catholic Church. It is a Conciliar, Novus Ordo, Modernist-Reformed Church promoted by Anti-Fatima Anti-Catholic Anti-Christ Anti-Popes "for unless there come apostasy first...” Questions for people of Good Will to ask yourselves: Can The Authority of The Catholic Church give you ERROR? Can The Authority of The Church give you EVIL?
Friday, 16 November 2012
Thursday, 16 August 2012
Sunday, 12 August 2012
Friday, 10 August 2012
Tuesday, 31 July 2012
APPEAL FOR PURCHASED OF THIS BUILDING, FORMER METHODIST CHUCH, CUDWORTH ROAD Ashford,Kent DESCRIPTION The property is a former Methodist church constructed from solid 9” brick and comprises a main hall and latter additions with a mixture of pitched and flat roofs tiled in slate and asbestos tile. Suitable for 'D1' medical, crèche, day nursery use etc., or for redevelopment subject to planning consents. The plot comprises a level, uniform shape extending to approximately 0.23 acre (0.09 ha). Gross site frontage to Cudworth Road is approx 66 ft. Maximum site depth is approximately 169 ft. ACCOMMODATION (All measurements taken on a Gross Internal Area basis.) Main Hall (congregation) 1,011 sq.ft. Rear Hall 916 sq.ft. Reception Room (side extension) 260 sq.ft. Meeting Room 367 sq.ft. Kitchen 98 sq.ft. WC block/lean-to link 65 sq.ft Lobbies (front and side entrances) 45 sq.ft. ________ Total Built Space: 2,762 sq.ft. (256.59 m²) Externally a surfaced, concrete apron provides parking. There is a grassed lawn area to the rear of the building. SERVICES All mains services with the exception of gas are understood to be connected. 3-phase power provision. EPC Exempt Property. TOWN PLANNING The site benefits from D1 consent, reflecting the building's former use established by way of long user. We understand the premises are potentially suitable for a variety of alternative uses including that of C3 (residential) user, subject to planning consents being prior obtained. All planning related enquiries should be made direct to Ashford Borough Council, telephone 01233 331111, www.ashford.gov.uk TERMS The premises are offered for sale freehold with the benefit of vacant possession upon completion. Freehold price on application. We understand that the site is not elected for VAT purposes. VIEWING By easy arrangement with the sole agents, Colyer Commercial. MAP Find it at Multimap.com searching TN24 0BE AB/RP/webd 609/ 30 March 2012
Validity: When the Holy Spirit Stays Home... I recently re-discovered a quote from one of my favorite liturgists and authors, Adrian Fortescue. The quote is from his book "The Greek Fathers": "People who are not theologians never seem to understand how little intention is wanted for a sacrament (the point applies equally to minister and subject). The "implicit intention of doing what Christ instituted" means so vague and small a thing that one can hardly help having it -- unless one deliberately excludes it. At the time when every one was talking about Anglican orders numbers of Catholics confused intention with faith. Faith is not wanted. It is heresy to say that it is (this was the error of St Cyprian and Firmilian against which Pope Stephen I 254-257 protested). A man may have utterly wrong, heretical, and blasphemous views about a sacrament and yet confer or receive it quite validly." This is important, because validity is the sacred cow of the ISM. Without valid apostolic succession, the sacraments offered by a priest are invalid. I have been quite scrupulous about sacraments in the past, and continue to be so to a large degree. My theological education, which is patently Western, has always maintained that matter, form, and intent are essential to the valid confection of a sacrament. Matter is the touching of the head with the hands (or hand for diaconate), form is the wording within the preface (in the Western rite) indicating what is being done, and intent is to do what the church intends. That is it. This is relatively simple and reasonably difficult to "mess up." Now, this post is not intended to get into the murky world of what is the correct form. Traditionalists have been arguing this since the Pontifical of Paul VI appeared and, specifically, if the form for the consecration of bishops truly confers ordination in comparison to the traditional form. For the sake of this post we will generically assume that any form indicating what is taking place will suffice, whatever your view happens to be on this subject. The issue of this blog post is when other requirements are attached that are historically inaccurate and unnecessary. For instance, it has been repeated ad nauseam that Utrecht requires that a bishop be elected for a specific church. It is unnecessary, although desirable to some, that the clergy and laity be involved in the election of bishops. To require such would invalidate the episcopate of the Roman Catholic and some Orthodox churches. Furthermore, the Church has a long tradition of missionary bishops (St. Boniface!) who are consecrated for no particular population (but with the expectation of the conversion of a populace), bishops of monasteries, administrative bishops who have no direct charge, etc. Depending on your view, this may or may not be desirable. The point, however, is that oikonomia allows for the continuation of the apostolic succession. Holy Mother Utrecht herself derives her orders from a so-called "titular bishop." Now, because individuals are validly consecrated without a charge does not mean that it is not desirable. No one bishop "owns" the apostolic succession, as the apostolic tradition of the church is complementary to the tactile succession. That is, to do what the church intends. Being consecrated for a specific church creates a larger sense of accountability as well. When St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote "Where the bishop is, there is the church," it was not carte blanche for every egomaniacal sociopath bishop to justify their authority. Will things aways be done according to the most desirable practice? No. Will people still be healed, the Most Blessed Sacrament be celebrated, the Good News still be preached, and grace be conferred? Yes. Even a scrupulous person like the humble writer can believe that message! This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. Posted by Vagrant Vicar at 7:35 PM
Friday, 27 July 2012
What we have lost - Invalid changes to the liturgy that Vatican II brought: This video will provide a staggering number of evidences that the changes that Vatican II brought and it's anti-popes are invalid, from invalid changes to th...
Tuesday, 24 July 2012
Monday, 23 July 2012
SODALITY OF OUR LADY The Sodality of Our Lady is an association formed by the Society of Jesus and approved by the Holy See. It is a religious body, an organization for those of the Catholic faith which aims at fostering in its members an ardent devotion, reverence and filial love towards the Blessed Virgin Mary, and through this devotion and the protection of so good a Mother, it seeks to make the faithful, gathered together under her name, good Catholics sincerely bent on sanctifying themselves, each in his own state of life, and zealous, as far as their condition in life permits, to save and sanctify their neighbor and to defend the Church of Jesus Christ. In this day and age, when it seems that many in the Church, even among the clergy, reject the faith and appear to be in revolt against her teaching, the Sodality of Our Lady especially dedicates herself to not only the keeping of the traditional devout practices of the Catholic Church, the defense of her traditional doctrines, but also maintains exclusively the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass and the administration of the Sacraments as was the custom and practice in the Roman Catholic Church, prior to all the “changes” after the Second Vatican Council. Pope Gregory XIII HISTORY In the 16 century (1563), a young Jesuit priest named Father Jean Leontius (Van de Leeuw) was teaching a small class in the Jesuit College in Rome when one day, around a little Altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary, he gathered what seemed to have been his prized pupils. He sketched out a single program that appeared to fit instinctively into precisely the needs of that time when the Church was being persecuted. These young students bound themselves in faith and hope and love to Christ Jesus. As active and fervent Catholics, they were to be recognized as followers of Christ by their military zeal, charity and service. They found in Mary the great inspiration to give themselves to the service of Christ. They loved her for what she was and did for the Lord. They showed Our Lady special veneration, placing their groups under her loving protection. This was the beginning of the first structured Sodality. Later in the century (1584), Pope Gregory XIII acknowledged the Sodality in the Roman College, and granted it a list of special indulgences. This Sodality was made the Mother Sodality for the world and was given the title "Prima Primaria." The sodalities spread quickly throughout Europe and later came to America. About two hundred years later women and girls were finally admitted to the society by Pope Benedict XIV (1751). Pope Clement X The Sodality came to North America in 1739 when Clement XII issued a Papal Bull approving the Sodality founded in 1730 at the Ursuline School in New Orleans, Louisiana. Georgetown University was the site of the first Sodality in the newly formed United States of America. It had been established and functioning since shortly after the founding of the College in 1789, although it was not affiliated with Rome until 1833. Early in this century the Sodality was used as a basic organization for men and women who met separately, both stressing corporate Mass and Holy Communion. While regular meetings were held, they proved insufficient to instill the Common Rule of Sodality, resulting in revision of the Rule in 1910. The first Rule has a magnificent strength: "The Sodality of Our Lady, and association founded by the Society of Jesus and approved by the Holy See, is a religious body which aims at fostering in its members an ardent devotion, reverence, and filial love toward the Blessed Virgin . . ." (The New Sodality Manual, Lord, S.J., p. 17, 1945) Again, the Jesuits were commissioned to begin promulgating the Rule, this time through the instrument of a magazine, THE QUEEN'S WORK. Editor Fr. Garesche, S.J. fulfilled this purpose for many years and succeeded in bringing about a diocesan union of sodalities. Father Daniel A. Lord, S.J. succeeded Father Garesche, both as editor of QUEEN'S WORK and promoter of Sodality. From 1929 on, the movement flourished under his leadership and maintained a phenomenal growth. Pope Benedict XIV Due to the rapid growth of sodalities and the need for unity among sodalities internationally, other higher governing bodies were established such as: The World Federation of Sodalities and The National Federation of Sodalities. The Second Vatican Council in 1965 heralded significant changes in sodalities. New "General Principles" replaced the Common Rule of 1910. At the World Federation of Sodalities in Rome in 1970, it was voted to change the name of Sodality to "Christian Life Communities." The Sodality of Our Lady, which once numbered many millions and was established in most nations, soon saw a great decline in numbers after 1970, as was the circumstances of many Catholic organizations that attempted to “renew” themselves and change or move away from their traditional and historic mission. The Sodality of Our Lady at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Chapel serves as the headquarters for those who wish to remain, or attach themselves to, the traditional Sodality of Our Lady. We use the Sodality Manual of 1945. WHAT IS THE SODALITY OF OUR LADY? The Sodality of Our Lady, an association formed by the Society of Jesus and approved by the Holy See, is a religious body which aims at fostering in its members an ardent devotion, reverence and filial love towards the Blessed Virgin Mary, and through this devotion and the protection of so good a Mother, it seeks to make the faithful, gathered together under her name, good Catholics sincerely bent on sanctifying themselves, each in his own state of life, and zealous, as far as their condition in life permits, to save and sanctify their neighbor and to defend the Church of Jesus Christ against the attacks of the wicked. (From Article I of the Common Rules for Sodalities of Our Lady) After 1967, most of the Sodalities were disbanded in the spirit of "Vatican II" and some were absorbed into what became known as "Christian life communities." The traditional Catholic Sodality of Our Lady maintains the Common Rules and adheres to the founding principles and standards of the Sodality. Today the Sodality works to preserve the traditional teachings of the Catholic Church, her traditional worship and devotions, as well as provide educational and charitable programs in the communities in which it is established. The Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary meets at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Chapel on the 1st Saturday of the Month (following Mass) and at other scheduled times. PT. 1 The word “Sodalist” comes from the Latin word sodalist and means a very close friend or associate, a companion, someone who has worked along with you or shared your interests and your labors. A Sodalist of Our Lady is by the very definition, a companion of the Mother of God. Not only are members of the Sodality of Our Lady companions in Our Blessed Lady, but they are a dedicated body of Catholic men and women who are bound together by common interests and enthusiasm under the standard that flies above our heads and by our determination to establish the Kingdom of God (with Christ the King) everywhere and for all times. During is over 400 years existence, the Sodality of Our Lady has been known to take on a variety of works and apostolate for the Church. Yet, through all her works, the
Saturday, 21 July 2012
Monday, 16 July 2012
BEWARE EXTRACT FROM FR. BROWN SERMON While I'm sure that just about everyone here had the opportunity to attend Mass today and listen to a good sermon, it seems that the Gospel appointed for this 7th Sunday after Pentecost has a lot of material for Catholic reflection that we can benefit from...over and over again. Our Lord explained and used the symbol of the sheefold today. Now, most of those He was speaking to could very quickly get the message: they had sheep, they were shepherds, or part of a shepherds family...they knew well the danger of wolves that would prey on the flock and "devour" them. Now, hear the words of Our Lord this way: "Beware of false prophets." Never before in the history of the Church were these words so important for His people! The false prophets are legion, many in number. So many souls are restless and hungry...what are they being fed with? Our Lord speaks of wolves that come dressed like sheep. This is interesting in that He not so much speaks of an enemy from the "outside" but rather one from "within" the sheepfold...one that, at least on the surface, looks like the other sheep. His words "beware" are a message to us to get away from the wolves, to remove ourselves from them, to make sure they are not mixed in with the sheepfold. It is for this reason that most of us no longer attned the New Mass or the New Rites since Vatican II. It is for this reason, because Our Lord says "beware" that we have remained in HIS sheepfold, that we keep strong and protected under His guidance in the true Church. We must, we have to be able to distinguish the sheep from the wolf. If you can't distinguish the one from the other, if you are blinded by the modernism disease...chances are it will devour you. Like · · Share · 7 hours ago ·
Sunday, 8 July 2012
Friday, 22 June 2012
Outside of the Catholic Church There is no Salvation! You may have heard that the Catholic Church is prefigured by Noah's Ark. No one outside of the Ark was saved during the flood. Only those eight people inside the ark were saved, Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wives... Gen 6-8. "These in times past had been disobedient when the patience of GOD waited in the days of Noah while the ark was building. In that ark a few, that is, eight souls were saved through water. Its counterpart, Baptism, now saves you also..." 1Pet 3:20-21. Now we have the new Noah's Ark, the Catholic Church... and a controversy... From the Council of Florence-Basel-Ferrara held in 1431-1445, came the following decree: "It (the council) firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the catholic church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Catholic Church before the end of their lives; that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for those who abide in it do the church's sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia produce eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed his blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and the unity of the catholic church." The first impression one would receive from this rather harsh sounding decree, is that the Church has said, that if you are not a Catholic, you will have no salvation. If this is the conclusion to which you have arrived, then please allow me to try to set the record straight. What about the souls who have never heard of GOD or are ignorant of the commandments? Are all of these automatically condemned? No, they are not. What about the souls who are isolated from civilization and have not had the Gospel preached to them? Are they condemned, through no fault of their own, for something of which they had no control? Of course not, for we have a merciful GOD who loves us all and wants salvation for all people. This is shown in Holy Scripture... Romans 2:14-15, "When the Gentiles who have no law do by nature what the Law prescribes, these having no law are a law unto themselves. They show the work of the Law written in their hearts." All of us have had GOD's Laws written in our hearts, and are therefore eligible for salvation. If the unlearned follow those infused Laws of GOD, they will see salvation. What about our Protestant brothers and sisters, are they too condemned? No, they are not. The key to this perplexing (to some) Council statement is in having a valid Baptism. Whether Catholics and non-Catholics realize it or not, anyone Baptized by the Catholic Church, or Baptized validly by the standard Church approved method by Church sanctioned non-Catholic denominations, or by individuals who have the intention of doing what the Church does, is Baptized into the Catholic Church, or if you prefer, the Church which Jesus Christ founded in Matthew 16:18. What this means, is that all who meet the above requirements for Baptism, are joined to the Catholic Church, and are therefore, not outside of the Catholic Church, as the Council states. This covers most protestant denominations, as most of them, but not all, are Church sanctioned. Unfortunately, there are a few who call themselves Catholic, who take the phrase, "There is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church", as a 'truth' without bothering to find out the real meaning of what the Council of Florence decreed. Again, the words are taken out of context, and thus, their interpretation is in error. Vatican Council II explained what I have tried to show you above. It is not a contradiction of the Council of Florence, but merely a redefinement of the decree. You will have to remember that times change, and language and conditions change. Now the true meaning of, "Outside of the Catholic Church, there is no Salvation", is, 'if you realize the Catholic Church is the True Church, and if you refuse to join it, then you have rejected the truth of the Church. By rejecting the Church, you reject Jesus Christ who founded it'. Therefore you are... 'Outside of the Catholic Church and there is no salvation'. See Heb 6:4-8 Here is what Vatican II said regarding this subject... An excerpt from Lumen Gentium... The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of the Second Vatican Council 14. This holy Council first of all turns its attention to the Catholic faithful. Basing itself on scripture and tradition, it teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mk. 16:16; Jn. 3:5), and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it, or to remain in it. Fully incorporated into the Church are those who, possessing the Spirit of Christ, accept all the means of salvation given to the Church together with her entire organization, and who--by the bonds constituted by the profession of faith, the sacraments, ecclesiastical government, and communion--are joined in the visible structure of the Church of Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. Even though incorporated into the Church, one who does not however persevere in charity is not saved. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but "in body" not "in heart." All children of the Church should nevertheless remember that their exalted condition results, not from their own merits, but from the grace of Christ. If they fail to respond in thought, word and deed to that grace, not only shall they not be saved, but they shall be the more severely judged.[ 13] Catechumens who, moved by the Holy Spirit, desire with an explicit intention to be incorporated into the Church, are by that very intention joined to her. With love and solicitude mother Church already embraces them as her own. 15. The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but who do not however profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter.[ 14] For there are many who hold sacred scripture in honor as a rule of faith and of life, who have a sincere religious zeal, who lovingly believe in God the Father Almighty and in Christ, the Son of God and the Saviour,[ 15] who are sealed by baptism which unites them to Christ, and who indeed recognize and receive other sacraments in their own Churches or ecclesiastical communities. Many of them possess the episcopate, celebrate the holy Eucharist and cultivate devotion of the Virgin Mother of God.[ 16] There is furthermore a sharing in prayer and spiritual benefits; these Christians are indeed in some real way joined to us in the Holy Spirit for, by his gifts and graces, his sanctifying power is also active in them and he has strengthened some of them even to the shedding of their blood. And so the Spirit stirs up desires and actions in all of Christ's disciples in order that all may be peaceably united, as Christ ordained, in one flock under one shepherd. Mother Church never ceases to pray, hope and work that this may be achieved, and she exhorts her children to purification and renewal so that the sign of Christ may shine more brightly over the face of the Church. 16. Finally, those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways.[ 18] There is, first, that people to which the covenants and promises were made, and from which Christ was born according to the flesh (cf. Rom. 9:4-5): in view of the divine choice, they are a people most dear for the sake of the fathers, for the gifts of God are without repentance (cf. Rom. 11:29-29). But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Moslems: these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day. Nor is God remote from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, since he gives to all men life and breath and all things (cf. Acts 17:25-28), and since the Savior wills all men to be saved (cf. 1 Tim. 2:4). Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience--those too may achieve eternal salvation. Nor shall divine providence deny the assistance necessary for salvation to those who, without any fault of theirs, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God, and who, not without grace, strive to lead a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is considered by the Church to be a preparation for the Gospel[ 20] and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life. But very often, deceived by the Evil One, men have become vain in their reasonings, have exchanged the truth of God for a lie and served the world rather than the Creator (cf. Rom. 1:21 and 25). Or else, living and dying in this world without God, they are exposed to ultimate despair. Hence to procure the glory of God and the salvation of all these, the Church, mindful of the Lord's command, "preach the Gospel to every creature" (Mk. 16:16) takes zealous care to foster the missions. 12. Cfr. Pius IX, Bulla Ineffabilis, 8 dec. 1854: Acta Pii IX, 1, I, p. 616; Denz. 1641 (2803). 13. Cfr. Pius XII, Const. Apost. Munificentissimus, 1 nov. 1950: AAS 42 (1950); Denz. 2333 (3903). Cfr. S. Io. Damascenus, Enc. in dorm. Dei genitricis, Hom. 2 et 3: PG 96, 721-761, speciatim col. 728 B. - S. Germanus Constantinop., In S. Dei gen. dorm. Serm. 1: PG 98 (6), 340-348; Serm. 3: col. 361. - S. Modestus Hier., In dorm. SS. Deiparae: PG 86 (2), 3277-3312. 14. Cfr. Pius XII, Litt. Encycl. Ad coeli Reginam, 11 oct. 1954: AAS 46 (1954), PP. 633-636; Denz. 3913. SS. Cfr. S. Andreas Cret., Hom. 3 in dorm. SS. Deiparae: PG 97, 1089-1109. - S. Io. Damascenus, De fide orth., IV, 14: PG 94, 1153-1161. 15. Cfr. Kleutgen, textus reformatus De mysterio Verbi incarnati, cap. IV: Mansi 53, 290. Cfr. S. Andreas Cret., In nat. Mariae, sermo 4: PG 97, 865 A. - S. Germanus Constantinop., In annunt. Deiparae: PG 98, 321 BC. In dorm. Deiparae, III: col. 361 D.S. Io. Damascenus, In dorm. B. V. Mariae, Hom. 1, 8: PG 96, 712 BC - 713 A. 16. Cfr. Leo XIII, Litt. Encycl. Adiutricem populi, 5 sept. 1895: ASS 15 (1895-96), P. 303. - S. PiUS X, Litt. Encycl. Ad diem illum, 2 febr. 1904: Acta, I, p. 154; Denz. 1978 a (3370). - Pius XI, Litt. Encycl. Miserentissimus, 8 maii 1928: AAS 20 (1928) P. 178. Pius XII, Nuntius Radioph., 13 maii 1946: AAS 38 (1946) P. 266. 17. S. Ambrosius, Epist. 63: PL 16, 1218. 18. S. Ambrosius, Expos. Lc. II, 7: PL 15, 1555. 19. Cfr. Ps.-Petrus Dam., Serm. 63: PL 144, 861 AB. - Godefridus a S. Victore. In nat. B. M., Ms. Paris, Mazarine, 1002, fol. 109 r. - Gerhohus Reich., De gloria et honore Filii hominis, 10: PL 194,1105AB. 20. S. Ambrosius, l. c. et Expos. Lc. X, 24-25: PL 15, 1810. - S. Augustinus, In lo. Tr. 13, 12: PL 35, 1499. Cfr. Serm. 191, 2, 3: PL 38, 1010; etc. Cfr. etiam Ven. Beda, In Lc. Expos. I, cap. 2: PL 92, 330. - Isaac de Stella, Serm. 51: PL 194, 1863 A. Reference the Catechism of the Catholic Church, CCC 845-848 Compiled by Bob Stanley, June 15, 1999
Vigil of Saint John The Baptist June 23 The important feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist is preceded by a vigil. An Angel announced to the saint's father Zachary, a priest of the house of Aaron, that the child should be called John and that many would rejoice in his birth. God had chosen John to be the Herald of mankind's Redeemer, the Morning Star to usher in the Daylight of Justice and of Truth. Therefore he was sanctified (by the Holy Ghost) in his mother's womb, (born without sin) when Elizabeth was honored by a visit from the Virgin Mother of God, carrying Christ in her body. In like manner, Jesus today gives sanctifying Joy to the missionary precursors whom He calls to go before Him into pagan lands. Elias, St. John the Baptist and St. Anthony (June 13) have a lot in common, they were all Hammer's of Heretics....... Saint John the Baptist, Last of the Prophets And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Eliseus the Prophet; and not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian. St. Lk. 4:23-30 Our Lord was demonstrating why those who lack faith seldom see signs and miracles, as He continues, an evil and adulterous generation seeketh a sign: and a sign shall not be given it, but the sign of Jonas the Prophet. St. Matt. 12:39. A prelude to our times as this generation, too, demands signs from God's witnesses preceding the Second Coming of Christ. After Christ are Prophets still needed? NO; witnesses to their prophecies, yes. When we think of prophecy, we think of the foretelling of things to come, but there is more to it, Prophets are also messengers of God. The outstanding Prophet is Jesus Christ—He is God. He proclaims that He is our salvation. In Him the message and the Prophet are one. The whole Church, the assembly of those incorporated into Christ, takes over His role to continue to witness to His prophecy. Prophets always speak with reference to salvation and Messianic times. They foretell or herald the coming of the messianic kingdom. Through faith and the Sacraments we are living in the glorious messianic times, and we witness to them by our way of life. 1. As St. John the Baptist stated, "He must grow, and I must disappear." St. Jn. 3:30. Once Christ established the Papacy, the Popes became the number one High Priest, Prophet of Prophets and Doctor of Doctors. This means there is no human placed above the Pope. One must never forget that prior to being Pope, and in order to be Pope, he must first of all be a believer, one who himself has the faith. As a result of this the Pope adheres to the teaching of all his predecessors. He is taught by them. 2. The Church teaches public revelation is contained either in the Bible or in the deposit of the Apostolic Tradition. After the death of the last Apostle there could be no addition to public revelation. Whenever the majority of God's people become sinful, God sends us His punishments. Both fonts of public revelation, Scripture and tradition, have been given to the Church; only the Church can authentically interpret the Bible; only the Church can authoritatively declare the content of the Apostolic tradition; but the Church does not receive new revelations, it guards, explains and makes explicit for the faithful the content of the revelations made to the Apostles. Revealed truths proposed by the Church are believed by Catholics with divine faith i. e., because of the authority of God who has revealed them. Anything of Faith is Old not New. To deny a revealed truth proposed for our belief by the Church is heresy. 3. As long as we have a true Pope in the world there can not be any major prophets and as for the two witnesses which come into the world during the Great Apostasy, (Schism) we will be without a true Pope as the Antichrists will control the apostate church while the faithful seek refuge in the wilderness. Apoc. 12. Elias and Enoch do not come back but are represented by the current two witnesses. In Christ's time we had two witnesses: St. John the Baptist, who represented Elias 4, and Jesus who represented Enoch. Enoch was married and represents the married state in the mystical body of Christ. Christ also represents the married state as the Groom of His Church. Isaias 7:15. Elias and St. John the Baptist represents the single or chaste state. It's my understanding of why we say the Confiteor twice, each time at Mass, as it is said once for the married state and once for the single state. Or you could apply it as well to saying the Confiteor once for Enoch and the other for Elias. The two witnesses in the end times cannot be of the Religious simply because Enoch was married and his replacement would represent the married state. Also, both witnesses would have to be free of any control of the religious nature, as they would be speaking in the place of the Pope. They will explain the status of Church, prepare the faithful for the battle of Armageddon (the last battle), the great chastisement (fire from heaven), and the Second Coming of Christ. By faith Enoch was taken up lest he should see death; and he was not found because God took him up—for before he was taken up he had testimony that pleased God and without faith it is impossible to please God. For he who comes to God must believe that God exists and is a rewarder to those who seek him. Heb. 11:5. Grace be with you, through Mary Our Hope, In Christ, Joseph 8-29-05 Beheading of John the Baptist. 1. St. Andrew Bible Missal 1962 2. Fortes in Fide.# 1, Father Noel Barbara 3. Catholic Encyclopedia 4. Ott, Fund. of Catholic Dogma, pg.487
Sunday, 17 June 2012
ST. AUGUSTINE ON THE PRIESTHOOD O venerable brothers, ye priests of God above, I pray ye hear the message I speak to you in love; Ye heralds of the Highest, ye shining lights of day. Who beam with hope enduring, and charity's pure ray. Ye do to God your service in His own holy shrine; And Christ hath called you branches, Who is Himself the Vine; O see ye be not barren, nor bitter fruit ye give, If with the Root that bears you ye would for ever live. The Catholic religion yours is it to uphold. The world’s true light and ransom, the shepherds of the fold; The walls of Jacob’s dwelling, the art of Life who teach; Who judge the Church in meekness, who to the nations preach. The Catholic religion is lost if ye betray; The salt that lacks its savour serves but to cast away; The path of life is doubtful unless the light shine clear; Except the Shepherd watcheth, the robber draweth near. The care of God's own Vineyard is given unto you. That with the streams of doctrine its soil ye should bedew ; The thorns and choking thistles should root from out the ground. That so the faith of Jesus may flourish and abound. Ye are the patient oxen who tread the threshing-floor, The wheat and chaff with caution to part for evermore : The laymen frail and simple, and all inconstant still, Have you for an ensample to shew them good or ill. Whatever they shall notice is grievous unto you, That doubtless they will argue they must with care eschew; Whatever they shall see you by holy deeds proclaim, That they will reckon lawful, and free from sin or shame. Since ye have been appointed the shepherds of the sheep, Oh, see ye be not slothful, nor silent watch ye keep; Be loud and plain the warnings ye raise when harm is nigh— The wolf sees folds in safety with jealous rav’ning eye. A threefold food the faithful have need of day by day— The Body of the Saviour, to keep their life for aye; The Word of due instruction, the which discreetly give; The earthly meats that perish, whereby their bodies live.
Saturday, 9 June 2012
Some facts about purgatory These early days (indeed, the whole month) of November is a time specifically devoted to praying for the poor souls in purgatory. How sad it is that relatively few Catholics even think of the poor souls! Certainly, this woeful neglect on the part of so many is due largely to the fact that few priests have been preaching about purgatory over the past thirty to forty years. I do hope that we all are taking advantage of the opportunity to gain a plenary indulgence for the dead each day between the first and eighth of November. The requirements for gaining this special grace (from the handbook of indulgences) are: 1) To visit a cemetery and say any prayer for the deceased (the person does not need to actually be buried in that particular cemetery). 2) To be in the state of grace when the work is accomplished. 3) To go to confession. 4) To pray for the Holy Father (an Our Father and Hail Mary, as well as the Creed or the Glory Be, are the traditional prayers). 5) To receive communion devoutly. 6) To be free from all attachment to sin (even venial sin). Note: Communion should be received on the day or near the day in which the visit to the cemetery is made. Confession may be made several days before or after (and one confession suffices for multiple indulgences [but communion must be received for each plenary indulgence]). Finally: Only one plenary indulgence may be gained each day (excepting in the case of the moment of death, when a second may be acquired). Additionally, the usual requirements being met, a plenary indulgence for the deceased may be gained on November 2nd by visiting a church or oratory and offering an Our Father and the Creed. Now, let’s consider some facts about purgatory! Is purgatory in the Bible? While the word “purgatory” never appears in the Bible, the concept is present both implicitly and explicitly. Implicitly, the idea of praying for the dead – as when Job prays for his sons and daughters, or in Maccabees, or when St. Paul encourages the Corinthians to pray for the dead (cf. 1 Corinthians 15) – necessitates belief in purgatory. If the dead are in hell, our prayers could do no good; if they are in heaven, then they have no need of prayer. Therefore, there must be some third place (neither in heaven nor in hell) where the souls of the dead can benefit from our prayers. The concept of purgatory is also explicitly presented in the Bible. Consider when Jesus says that the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven in this life or in the next (cf. Matthew 12:31) – thus, it is clear that some sins can be forgiven in the next life (we mean the punishment of sin, not the guilt of sin). Likewise, St. Paul states that some who have died will be purified as by fire: If any man's work burn, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire. (1 Corinthians 3:15) Must I believe in purgatory in order to be saved? Yes, purgatory has been taught by the Catholic Church as de fide. To deny the existence of purgatory is to deny the authority of Christ Jesus who has revealed this doctrine to us through the Church. Hence, belief in purgatory is as necessary for salvation as the other truths of the Faith. What is purgatory? Purgatory is that purification which they must undergo who have died in God’s grace and friendship, but are still imperfect. Purgatory is “this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.” (CCC 1031) Purgatory is a great and most generous gift from the Lord. How is purgatory different from hell? Purgatory is essentially different from hell insofar as the souls there still possess grace. The souls in purgatory have faith, hope and love. Their punishment and suffering is of a purifying nature and prepares them for heaven. Moreover, purgatory is only a temporary purgation and all the souls in purgatory will eventually gain entrance to heaven. Hell, on the other hand, is eternal. The sufferings of hell do not purify but only torture and punish. The souls in hell have no grace, neither have they any (true) faith, hope or love. The souls in hell will never attain to salvation. How is purgatory different from heaven? Purgatory is a sort of ante-chamber to heaven, a preparatory purgation for heaven. The souls in purgatory suffer intensely and are not yet perfectly happy. The souls in purgatory still have hope (rather than the fulfillment of hope in heaven), since they are not yet perfectly possessed by God. Likewise they still have faith, since they do not yet see God. Do the souls in purgatory become holier? Essentially, the souls in purgatory cannot grow in holiness. They cannot merit more grace or glory. Neither can they grow in charity. Rather, purgatory is a cleansing which purifies the holiness that they already possess. Do the souls in purgatory want to get out? This is a difficult question. On the one hand, they certainly desire heaven (this desire is cause of their chief pain, since they are not yet where they want to be). On the other hand, they would not want to move ahead without being purified. Hence, they love the sufferings insofar as they are purified by them. None are angry or upset about being in purgatory, but they do very much desire the assistance of our prayers so as to swiftly attain to the joy of heaven. Are there any young children in purgatory? No, there are most certainly no children who died before the age of reason in purgatory. Purgatory is a punishment for actual sin (either direct sins or sins of omission). Hence, since a child cannot sin until it has attained to the use of reason, it is not possible for any children to be in purgatory. If the child has been baptized, it most certainly goes directly to heaven. If the child has not been baptized, it either goes to limbo (which is a state of perfect natural happiness, on the fringe of hell) or to heaven. In any case, young children who die before gaining the use of reason are very happy, indeed they are perfectly happy. They are either supernaturally happy in heaven, or naturally happy in limbo – but they certainly do not suffer any subjective pains (as do the souls in hell and in purgatory). Will purgatory go on forever? No. Purgatory will be completed at the time of the final judgment. All the souls in purgatory at that time will be purified instantaneously and will be caught up with the saints in glory. Is there really fire in purgatory? Yes. There is real, physical fire in purgatory. This is the best and safest opinion which is nearly unanimous among the Latin theologians (especially the Fathers and Doctors), also it enjoys the favor of several prominent Eastern Doctors (including St. Basil the Great). Additionally, the mystics of the Church speak of physical fires. It is in this sense only that purgatory can be called a “place”. How can I help the souls in purgatory? You can help the poor souls by praying for them, offering up works of mercy, gaining indulgences for them, mortifying yourself in their behalf, and completing other spiritual works for their sake. [Be sure that no prayer will go to waste; since, if the soul is not in purgatory (for one reason or another), Our Blessed Mother will certainly make good use of the graces for another] Most especially, we consider the importance of praying for the holy souls when at Mass (especially during the Eucharistic prayer), and having Masses offered for the deceased. Can the souls in purgatory help me? This is a very complicated question. Generally we would say, no. The main point of purgatory is that the souls cannot help themselves or anyone else, but are in a passive state of purification. They are powerless, hence they rely greatly upon our prayers. However, it is possible that God may (in exceptional circumstances) allow those in purgatory to pray for or assist in some manner those who are on earth and who implore their aid. Still, this does not seem to be the norm – however, there are most certainly cases in the lives of the saints (e.g. St. Pio) where this did occur. How can I suffer less in purgatory and get to heaven quickly? The time is now! Once we die, there is no way to suffer less in purgatory. However, until death, there is much we can do to help ourselves (by God’s grace). The primary way to avoid excessive time in purgatory is to become holier now. The chief reason why souls go to purgatory is because they are not yet in perfect union with God. Therefore, we must strive to attain to perfect union (which is gained especially through prayer and the dark night of the soul). Additionally, accepting any and all sufferings (and even adding sufferings through mortifications and fasts) will help to atone for the punishment of sin on earth rather than in purgatory. In this regard, it is good to recall the importance of indulgences and especially the plenary indulgence at the moment of death gained through the “Apostolic Pardon” which is given by the priest through a special blessing when death is imminent, but can even be gained without a priest in some circumstances [more on this in a future article]. Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine. Et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescant in pace. Amen.