There can sometimes be a failure to understand the true nature of Lent. It’s seen, rightly, as a time of prayer and penance, making atonement for sins, and reflecting on the Passion and Death of Our Lord. However, arguably, the majority of Catholics pay insufficient attention to what should be the outcome of our Lenten prayers and penances – namely, an increase in our love for Our Lord. It’s sometimes striking to reflect on the uncharitable way we behave towards others, sometimes even right after attending Mass or praying a rosary – indications that we are seriously lacking in charity, that charity which isthe love of God, made manifest in our lives…
I am ashamed to admit that I have never – ever – made a good Lent. My attempted penances over the years include the classics; giving up chocolate, crisps, soft drinks – and if I were fond of the less soft drinks, I would have, very likely, sacrificed those as well (pat on the back), but I can’t , without fibbing, claim an increased love of God, manifesting itself in increased charity towards my neighbour, as a result. The truth that no-one can stand still in the spiritual life – we either go forwards or back – terrifies me. I need help, therefore, and I’m hoping that this thread will do the trick…
As we mark the beginning of Lent today, Ash Wednesday, share your ideas for useful penances, and post any meditations, experiences, prayers, hymns and advice that you think will be helpful to us all this Lent, as we seek to grow in the love of God.
A friend rang me last night to say he’d attended a Summorum Pontificum Traditional Mass and found himself chatting afterwards with a couple who were not husband and wife, but “partners” … My friend was downhearted, dispirited that even the better priests seem to be willing to tolerate such scandals.
Then this from The American Conservative: “The president of the German Bishops’ Conference has declared that, in his view, Catholic priests can conduct blessing ceremonies for homosexual couples.”
The list of scandalous words and actions from this current shocking pope, or tolerated by him, grows day and daily. Too much to list here – and anyway, would, more likely than not, be out of date before I press the “publish” button on this page.
There is no lack of evidence that Pope Francis is a danger to Catholic Faith and Morals. Quite the reverse – there’s an abundance of evidence. Even as I type this, a report has come in questioning the pope’s integrity – would he blatantly impart falsehoods, we have to ask? Click here to answer that for yourself.
The question is, why are the supposedly concerned bishops who allegedly oppose him remaining silent – such as Cardinal Burke and the Captain and Crew of the Lifeboat SSPX? Why no sense of urgency? Why have they all gone to ground?
It’s one thing to pick one’s fights, but not to fight at all? Take a few minutes to view the short video in the News section of the Dici website here. Who, on this earth, would ever imagine that the Church is suffering the worst crisis ever in its entire history, watching that broadcast? Lovely reports, sure, but there’s been nothing about any attempt to fight as members of the Church Militant, under our banner as Soldiers of Christ, in any of the recent videos posted on Dici in January, which I’ve viewed with surprise and disappointment. This latest one, linked above, dated 2nd February, is no different. Plenty of devotional content, suggesting the danger of becoming so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly use.
What should the supposed opponents of this dreadful pontificate be doing, in addition to prayer. Concrete action, surely – but what, precisely?
CHINA, January 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – In what appears to be a capitulation to China’s communist regime, the Vatican has allegedly asked legitimate bishops to step down from their post in order to make way for the installation of new, illegitimate bishops, hand-picked by the government.
The Vatican has asked Bishop Peter Zhuang Jianjian to retire in order to allow a state-sanctioned and excommunicated bishop to take his place while “another Vatican-appointed bishop was asked to downgrade himself as the assistant of an illicit bishop,” according to areportin AsiaNews.
Bishop Zhuang was secretly ordained with Vatican approval in 2006. The Chinese government wants to replace Zhuang with excommunicated Bishop Huang Bingzhang, who is a member of the National People’s Congress. Huang was previously excommunicated because he was ordained without Vatican approval.
“A letter dated 26 October demanded the 88-year-old bishop to resign to give way to the excommunicated bishop, whom the Holy See is going to recognize,” the AsiaNewsreportcontinued. “Bishop Zhuang at that time refused to obey and rather ‘carry His Cross’ for being disobedience [sic].”
The news comes six months after Cardinal Joseph Zen, the first Cardinal from China and a key adviser to Pope Benedict XVI regarding China-Vatican relations, denounced aVatican agreementwith the Chinese atheistic Communist government. The Cardinal indirectly accused Pope Francis of backing a “fake” church in China.
Cardinal Joseph Zen
“But the whole thing is fake. They [the Vatican] are giving decisive power to the government … how can the initiative of choosing bishops be given to an atheistic government? Incredible. Incredible,” he said at that time.
Regarding the surprising demands of the Vatican as it acquiesces to the communist Chinese government, one underground priest told AsiaNews, “We of course feel hard to accept but do we have the rights to oppose the Vatican?” He added that if things actually go this way, “I may consider to quit and leave my priesthood.”
For the most part, the genuine Catholic Church in China operates underground while the government runs the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, a counterfeit church of communist-approved and monitored clerics. Bishops and priests of the underground church, which have been loyal to the pope and not the communist government, have faced imprisonment for their loyalty to the successor of Peter.
Last year, Cardinal Zen, the Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong and China’s highest-ranking prelate, pleaded with the Vatican not to “sell out” China’s Catholics by striking a deal with the Communist government, which seeks nothing less than “total surrender.”
In an exclusiveinterviewwith LifeSiteNews, Zen said he had been urged to speak out by Catholics who lack the freedom to speak for themselves.
Zen said that a Vatican deal with the Chinese government would damage the Church’s credibility. After all, if the Chinese government can appoint bishops, other governments could expect to do so as well.
“We are very much worried because it seems that the Vatican is going to make a very bad agreement with China,” Zen told LifeSiteNews.“And I can understand that the pope is really naive … He doesn’t know the Chinese communists. But unfortunately the people around him are not good at all. They have very wrong ideas. And I’m afraid that they may sell out our underground Church. That would be very sad.”
“They don’t have much public voice, the underground,” Zen explained. “People who come from China to see me, they all say, ‘please, you must raise your voice. We cannot say anything’ because they have no freedom to talk. So I keep talking, but it seems that they [the Holy See] don’t listen. They don’t like to listen.”
Some Holy See officials “consider the underground, the faithful,” to be “troublemakers,” he said. And the pope has a strong desire for unity and peace but is “rather naive” about the nature of the Chinese government. [Emphasis added]
The news also comes amid reports of Christian churches being demolished in China while clerics and other faithful are being jailed for their associations with churches not sanctioned by the state.
In what amounts to a crackdown on “Western” religionsUCANews reports“Authorities in China demolished a large church in the city of Linfen, Shanxi province on Jan. 9, despite efforts by worshippers to halt the demolition and who were then pressured to remain silent, according to witnesses.” This was the third Christian church to be demolished or closed in China in two weeks.
More than 1,500 Catholic and Protestant churches in China’s Zhejiang province “have been targeted for demolition or cross removals in recent years, sources have said in a campaign against churches not coming under state control,” according to theUCANews report. “Chinese authorities are increasingly using property regulations to remove crosses and demolish churches.”
Beginning last year, religious freedom and public worship became severely restricted in China, where the government has “physically abused, detained, arrested, tortured, sentenced to prison, or harassed adherents of both registered and unregistered religious groups,” according to a 2017 U.S. State Department report.
The only priest of the Lishui Diocese, also in Zhejiang province, went missing shortly after Christmas when government officials abruptly took him away.
Father Lu Danhua, ordained a priest of the underground church in 2016, was taken away by officials of the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) for “‘re-educating’ on new religious regulations coming into effect Feb. 1 and that he would return after obtaining a permit to be a priest,” according toanother UCANews report.
The Catholic cleric “remains missing and calls to his mobile phone have not been answered.” Source
PRAYER FOR THE CHURCH IN CHINA
In honour of the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians (May 24), Pope Benedict XVI composed the following prayer in 2008. He asked that it be recited every year on May 24, and that May 24 be designated a World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, as an act of solidarity and solicitude with her persecuted Catholics.
“Virgin Most Holy, Mother of the Incarnate Word and our Mother, venerated in the Shrine of Sheshan under the title “Help of Christians,” the entire Church in China looks to you with devout affection. We come before you today to implore your protection. Look upon the People of God and, with a mother’s care, guide them along the paths of truth and love, so that they may always be a leaven of harmonious coexistence among all citizens. When you obediently said “yes” in the house of Nazareth, you allowed God’s eternal Son to take flesh in your virginal womb and thus to begin in history the work of our redemption. You willingly and generously co-operated in that work, allowing the sword of pain to pierce your soul, until the supreme hour of the Cross, when you kept watch on Calvary, standing beside your Son, Who died that we might live. From that moment, you became, in a new way, the Mother of all those who receive your Son Jesus in faith and choose to follow in His footsteps by taking up His Cross. Mother of hope, in the darkness of Holy Saturday you journeyed with unfailing trust towards the dawn of Easter. Grant that your children may discern at all times, even those that are darkest, the signs of God’s loving presence. Our Lady of Sheshan, sustain all those in China, who, amid their daily trials, continue to believe, to hope, to love. May they never be afraid to speak of Jesus to the world, and of the world to Jesus. In the statue overlooking the Shrine you lift your Son on high, offering him to the world with open arms in a gesture of love. Help Catholics always to be credible witnesses to this love, ever clinging to the rock of Peter on which the Church is built. Mother of China and all Asia, pray for us, now and for ever. Amen!”
Note: The constitution of the Chinese government guarantees its citizens “religious freedom.” However, since the Chinese Government views religion as a threat to its power, it restricts religious activities to only government-sanctioned organizations and registered places of worship. Those religious groups that do not submit to the government guidelines and are not willing to allow a secular and government agency to dictate its religious activities face severe consequences: surprise raids, heavy fines, imprisonment, and torture. Even to this day, the Chinese Government considers the part of the Catholic Church that is still underground [i.e., those in communion with Rome and the Holy Father rather than being controlled by the State] illegal. Thus, Holy Mass, catechism classes, baptism and other religious services for many Catholics that are still underground must be conducted in private homes and in secret with risks of exorbitant fines, imprisonment, house arrest, physical tortures, and labour camp internment. www.cardinalkungfoundation.org
Since at least 2011, there seems to be a never-ending stream of reports in the blogosphere and even mainstream media that Bishop Bernard Fellay is poised to sign an agreement with Rome. The most recent wave of alleged capitulation occurred this past summer. Yet here, in the autumn of 2017, Bishop Fellay and the Society of St. Pius X remain in the same canonical posture with Rome. Throughout these years of predicted compromise, a number of priests and faithful have preemptively jumped ship, deciding that a break with the SSPX was necessary before the forecasted compromise occurred. Each time a new individual or group breaks the unity of the Society, such persons claim that Bishop Fellay is walking into a Roman trap – canonical regularization – and they must flee before the trap closes. Rome, they say, wants nothing other than the destruction of the SSPX and the legacy of its founder, and that “regularization” is the bait used to lure the Society into a death trap.
Bishop Bernard Fellay
Rome’s Real Trap and Bait
Let us posit this claim as true, that the Roman authorities do share a common intention to destroy the SSPX. But what if the trap and the bait are completely different from what the defectors claim? Perhaps it is not Bishop Fellay who is poised to fall into that trap but, rather, the defectors over the years who have unwittingly taken Rome’s bait themselves.
The Modernists are clearly threatened by any attempt to hold fast to Tradition and thus seek its destruction or, at the very least, its containment. However, there are many ways to achieve that end. One way might be to lure the SSPX into a canonical recognition that was designed to subject it to Roman power in order to crush it. Yet we should consider the possibility that their strategy might be a bit more subtle, namely, to force the SSPX into a continual state of division and defections so as to keep its numbers low enough to be ignored, as opposed to luring the Society into the Conciliar Church. If this were the strategy, the Modernists could be using the constant recurring possibility of canonical regularization to divide and conquer.
A review of the past forty years would suggest that a strategy of “divide the SSPX to contain its influence” seems to explain the Roman authorities’ behavior. Although using different instruments, the goal seems fairly clear: Get as many priests and religious to leave the Society as possible so its growth is artificially controlled.
Divide and Conquer
The defection of priests has been the single most destructive blow to the SSPX. Beginning with the defection of nine sedevacantists in the early 1980s, the Society has constantly been fighting a battle to replace lost numbers rather than growing organically with new vocations. A conservative calculation suggests that, were it not for defections over the past four decades, the SSPX would have over 1,800 priests and religious (SSPX proper + affiliated communities). The Vatican would be confronted by a very different reality if Bishop Fellay spoke for so many priests and religious.
The Vatican strategy from 1988 to the early 2000s seemed to be an attempt to break up the SSPX by luring individual priests (or small groups) into regularized situations. In those cases, the bait employed was to start one’s own little SSPX with canonical recognition. The first batch left in July 1988 following the consecrations. A few more priests trickled out due to Vatican luring through the 1990s and early 2000s. The deal with the Union of St. John Vianney in Campos was the most significant success of this strategy to lure away with the carrot of setting up a new regularized group. By 2010 or thereabouts, the success of this strategy was waning. There was not much more movement after the defection of Campos and the SSPX was starting to rebuild. If my hypothesis is correct, the Vatican then changed tactics. They decided to dangle their carrot of canonical regularization in front of the Society itself, crafting the bait to give the appearance that Bishop Fellay might bite it, all the while knowing he would reject their last-minute demands. This new approach has, in fact, produced two detrimental effects: (1) It caused more defections from the Society for fear of compromise and (2) it has kept the SSPX under the stigma of canonical irregularity.
Such a strategy would explain the cycle of “doctrinal discussions” and “rapprochement” witnessed in 2009-2012 and again in 2015-2017. The Vatican makes it appear as though regularization of the SSPX is imminent. They even take some concrete steps to make the story plausible (e.g. the Motu Proprio granting more tolerance of the old Mass, nullification of the 1988 excommunications, conferral of ordinary jurisdiction for Confession and Marriage). They make suggestions that a relaxation of total adherence to Vatican II is possible. As expectations rise, so do fears and conspiracy theories claiming capitulation is just around the corner. As a result, priests and faithful once again start abandoning ship. And then, at the eleventh hour, Rome adds a demand they know Bishop Fellay will never accept and thus ends the cycle with the SSPX still “irregular” and a path of devastation through the ranks of the Society.
New Strategy Proves Successful
From the perspective of the enemies of Tradition, this new strategy has been more successful then luring away individual or small groups of priests to regularization, as with the FSSP founders and the priests of Campos. This “scare and disperse” tactic has resulted not only in the loss of individual priests and religious but also high-ranking and internationally respected figures of the Society. It has also driven a wedge between the SSPX and several previously affiliated religious orders, resulting in entire monasteries and orders breaking from the Society. Even better, from the enemies’ perspective, it does not result in these priests who favor Tradition and the traditional Mass coming into the Conciliar Church. The defectors in this new wave have not founded or joined Ecclesia Dei communities; rather, they have gone truly independent, scattering to the four winds. Although it is true that the price of canonical recognition for Ecclesia Dei communities has been compromise and silence, their presence within the Conciliar Church is still a thorn in the side of the Modernist destroyers. Even if they are silent about the illicit nature of the New Mass, they spread awareness of the ancient liturgy and preach some traditional doctrines. These “troublesome” conservative or traditional-leaning priests would be less trouble if they were both outside the Conciliar Church and separate from the SSPX. That would diminish the influence of Tradition within the mainstream Church as well as weaken the witness and position of the SSPX by constantly reducing its numbers (notwithstanding the flourishing of new vocations). It would also result in the continued marginalization of the Society in the Modernist twilight zone of “less-than-full communion.”
Niccolò Machiavelli, 1469-1527
Perhaps the Modernists are not so Machiavellian or organized enough to come up with such a grand scheme, but the results of the past 10 to 12 years are consistent with such a plan. The latest cycle seems to have fizzled out in familiar fashion, with Cardinal Müller demanding use of the post-Conciliar Declaration of Faith and adherence to all the documents of the Council and post-Conciliar papal teachings. After six years of talks with Bishop Fellay, the Cardinal had to know these demands would seal the fate of the latest talks in a rejection by Bishop Fellay. Yet the cycle has yielded more fruit for the enemies of Tradition. The unilateral conferral of jurisdiction for Marriage, the last salvo before killing the prospects of recognition for now, yielded more defections and divisions in the heart of the SSPX in France.
United We Stand, Divided We Fall
If my theory is correct, then in the early 2000s the Vatican authorities changed their strategy from luring individuals and small groups into regularization to causing division within the SSPX by creating the appearance of a regularization that would never actually happen. If this is true, then it is not Bishop Fellay who has fallen into their trap but, rather, the priests who abandoned him and the Society to which they made promises. By their defection, they have weakened the single most effective force for Tradition the post-Vatican II Church has ever seen, all for fear of a theoretical compromise with Rome that has never happened. Rather than confronting the Modernists with thousands of priests and religious, the clerical and consecrated souls of the Society numbers less than 700 while the ranks of defectors suffer further ruptures and isolation. The enemies of Tradition could not have hoped for more.
In the Gospel, Our Lord tells us: “Every kingdom divided against itself shall be made desolate: and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand” (Matt. 12:25). May all the members of the SSPX – priests, religious, and lay faithful – take His words to heart and strive “to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). Source
Title at source: A Society Divided Against Itself: SSPX Ranks Must Preserve Internal Unity by Brian McCall.
This article originally appeared in the November 2017 issue of Catholic Family News.
THE REMNANT UNDERGROUND: Headed up by Bishop Athanasius Schneider and two other Archbishops from Kazakhstan, a total of 6 bishops and 1 cardinal have now signed a statement of opposition to the pope-approved interpretations of Amoris Laetitia that non-repentant public adulterers can return to the sacramental life of the Church. This is revolution and counterrevolution in a Catholic Church in total crisis. Plus, looking ahead to October’s Synod of Young People in Rome—will the Church deep six Humanae Vitae? Will the Vatican give the green light to so-called ‘gay unions’? Finally, an old Jimmy Stewart movie, “Call Northside 777”, includes a sobering reminder of what it used to mean to be Catholic–something Pope Francis would do well to consider.
When the news broke of Pope Francis’ criticism of the “Our Father”, I dismissed it as a blog topic, certain that nobody in their right mind would give it a second thought, let alone take it seriously enough to change this ancient prayer. I forgot about the Scottish Bishops. Alerted to the incredible news that the Bishop of Paisley, (John-wasn’t-Martin-Luther-a great-guy-Keenan), and former Bishop of Galloway, (the notorious Maurice-I’m-proud-of-my-part-in-creating-the-awful-liturgical-texts-for-new-Mass-Taylor), are sympathetic to the possibility of changing the Lord’s Prayer to suit Pope Francis’ latest shocking whim, and might thus seek to influence the rest of the Bishops, I decided to launch this thread. Me? I’ll say this latest “new” prayer, like,never. What about you? Click here to check out the “cautious welcome” given to the Pope’s proposal to change the Pater Noster by these two outright modernists, and then read the excellent commentary from the Fatima Center (Canada) website below.
How obtuse and inattentive have been the custodians of the Faith these past two thousand years! We and our ancestors have apparently been permitted, even enjoined, to recite the Our Father in an inaccurate and misleading way. Resonating through the corridors of time, from the first century until our own, are the words, “lead us not into temptation.” (ne nos inducas in tentationem — in the Latin Vulgate) At last, however, in this year of Our Lord 2017, we have a Pope who is prepared to lead us out of the traditional Lord’s Prayer and into a new and improved version that will save us from the misunderstanding we have presumably labored under through the millenia.
Just what is this misunderstanding that requires correction? It is, according to Pope Francis, the idea that God tempts us to sin. “A father doesn’t do that,” the Pope said in a recent television interview. “He helps you get up right away. What induces into temptation is Satan.”
Did we not know this already? Does it require the Pope’s critique of an ancient translation to enlighten us in the matter? All authorities agree that the traditional translation from the New Testament Greek is accurate, and it has never posed a problem — until now.
But does it really pose a problem at all?
We have all prayed the Our Father countless times and repeated the words “lead us not into temptation” with the clear knowledge that we are asking Our Lord to save us fromfalling into sin. We have prayed these words with the understanding that we are asking for the grace to help us resist the lies of satan, and the attractions of the world and the flesh that are laid before us and that tempt us to forget we have an immortal soul and an eternal destiny.
Have any of us actually thought that God wants us to sin? That Our Lord is trying to induce us to transgress His laws and harm our souls so that He may damn us? How absurd! Yet, Francis is admittedly worried that such may be the case. How ought we to respond to the Pope’s desire to change the words of the Our Father?
We are forced, by common sense, to doubt the genuine nature of Francis’ expressed concerns. It cannot be that a Vicar of Christ, a highly educated Jesuit, really believes that the words of the Our Father have been misinterpreted for two thousand years and that a corrective is needed at this particular time. To take the Pope’s words at face value we must impugn either his intelligence or our own. Francis is not a stupid man, and Catholics are not so doctrinally benighted as he seemingly fears.
So what is this new commotion regarding possible changes to the Our Father really about?
Many things were changed following Vatican II: liturgy, discipline, customs, catechesis, prayers. Many of these changes appeared to be gratuitous, others gravely troubling. But the overall import of the changes was to unsettle the Catholic mind and heart. Once we accepted that anything and everything was subject to change, we were more likely to accept with acquiescence whatever novelties authority proposed. We simply got used to having the ground shift beneath our feet with such frequency that we no longer minded the large and little earthquakes that shook the Church.
All of these changes were merely cosmetic, we were told: an updating of language and discipline to keep pace with the times. Nothing of substance was being lost, we were re-assured time and again. But imagine someone cut off from the Church, say from 1960 until the present. Would he recognize as Catholic anything that he might see going on today in his parish? Would he not be dumbfounded by the words of the post-conciliar popes? Would he not regard Pope Francis as incomprehensible and outrageous? Would he not, like Mary Magdalene at the tomb, say in pain and confusion, “What have they done with my Church?”
What would he make of the vernacular Mass, the changed words of the Consecration, lay men and women distributing the Blessed Sacrament, people receiving Holy Communion in their hands or drinking the Precious Blood from the Chalice? What would he make of the typical Novus Ordo funeral Mass, which is now a falsely jolly ceremony of canonization? What would he make of Amoris Laetitia? Of the pedophile scandals among the clergy? What would he think of a notorious homosexual prelate being placed in charge of the papal residence and serving as the papal representative to the corrupt Vatican bank? What would he make of Pope Benedict’s resignation? We could go on. But we all know how vast and deep have been the so-called reforms that followed the Second Vatican Council. The Church is hardly recognizable from what it was a half-century ago and from what it has been throughout the ages.
And there is no end in sight for the “updating” that is deemed so necessary to keep the Church relevant to the modern world. Now, we are told that the Our Father may need to be updated, too. France has taken the lead and its bishops have already changed the phrase the Pope finds theologically troubling. “Ne nous laisse pas entrer en tentation” (do not let us give in to temptation) has already been adopted. So, the Pope can rest easy that at least the Catholics of France, or the diminishing remains of them, will not be misled.
As for the rest of us, we are apparently still in need of further instruction and the habits of a lifetime may have to be broken, for our own good, presumably. But does any of this nonsense about the words of the Our Father have to do with genuine pastoral concern? Is the Holy Father really worried that spiritual harm will befall us unless he intervenesto change the custom that has persisted for two millennia? It may be doubted, to put it politely.
Even the most mild and conciliatory of Catholic commentators are clearing their collective throats about this latest of the Pope’s initiatives. “Pope Francis has made a habit of throwing things into confusion, and this is one of them. It just makes you wonder, where does it stop, what’s up for grabs. It’s cumulative unease.” So says Philip Lawler, editor of Catholic World News and a compliant apologist for any number of post-conciliar novelties. Perhaps, if Mr. Lawler and others had not allowed their unease to accumulate but had addressed it immediately, we would not be faced with the present absurdity, which even they feel compelled to address, albeit in their restrained and ineffectual way.
The Protestant world, however, is not so restrained. According to a report in the New York Times, R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said he was “shocked and appalled” by the Pope’s remarks. “This is the Lord’s Prayer. It is not, and has never been, the Pope’s prayer…”
But Southern Baptists probably fall within the spectrum of those fundamentalists for whom the Pope has repeatedly expressed his disdain, so he is unlikely to be deterred by his otherwise keen ecumenical sensitivities. Still, Mohler’s remarks are refreshing in their frankness when set beside the timid reservations of Lawler’s “cumulative unease.” During her final years, Sister Lucy said that we must take the initiative in prayer and penance and not look to those in authority to lead us in these things. Those who have seen the full Third Secret, such as Cardinal Ciappi, have told us that apostasy in the Church will begin “at the top.” Has it not begun? All we can do is follow Sister Lucy’s advice. And when we pray, let us pray the words of Our Lord, “lead us not into temptation.” Source – Fatima Center Staff
Well – will YOU ever say the new Our Father? Even if you are attending the new Mass, praying the new rosary, reading the new catechism, accepting the new morality, supporting the new canonisations, new everything. Will you draw the line at this outrageous change? Or do you agree that Christians have been idiots for two thousand years and didn’t understand the meaning of this simple prayer – thus, now we need to grow up and get with the papal programme, which appears to be to leave nothing, absolutely nothing unchanged. Let’s hear it…
QUALITIES OF A HOLY PRIEST – From the writings of Saint John Eudes on The Priest, His Dignity And Obligations…
He is an angel purifying, illuminating and perfecting the souls that God has entrusted to him. He is a seraph sent by God to teach men the science of salvation which is concerned only with knowing and loving Almighty God and His Divine Son, Jesus Christ. The priest is an archangel and a prince of the heavenly militia, waging constant war against the devil who strives to drag countless souls into the depths of hell.
He is the real father of the children of God, with a heart filled with love which is truly paternal. That love urges him to work unceasingly to nourish his flock with the bread of the sacred word and of the sacraments, to clothe the faithful with Christ and the Holy Ghost, to enrich them with celestial blessings and to secure for them everypossible assistance in the salvation of their souls. Above all else, the priest is the.father, the advocate, the protector and defender of the poor, widows, orphans and strangers. He is the refuge of the afflicted, of the desolate and the discouraged. He Is happy to visit and console the sorrowful, to bring them what assistance he can, taking upon himself their burdens and defending them against their oppressors.
He is a captain in the mighty army of God, always ready to battle for the glory of God and the defense of Holy Mother Church. He is ever prepared to lay siege to the world, the flesh and the devil. For him the conquest of kingdoms means only the salvation of souls for each soul is a kingdom more precious than all the empires of the world.
The priest is a prince of the realm of God, one of the kings of Christ’s empire, the Church. He is appointed to rule by the maxims and laws of the gospel as many kings and queens as there are Christians committed to his care. His duty is to make them worthy to possess in eternity the very kingdom of the Sovereign Monarch of the world.
The priest is an evangelist and an apostle whose chief work is to preach publicly and privately, by word and example, the Gospel of Jesus Christ; to continue and perpetuate the functions that the apostles were commissioned to perform, and to practise the virtues that they practised….
It is obvious that the priest is favored with far more graces than any other human being except the Blessed Virgin Mary. It follows, then, that no one on earth is held to a greater perfection and sanctity of life than the priest… Learn to hate intemperance in eating and drinking. Avoid every occasion in which sinful excesses may be committed. This vice is low and bestial and most definitely contrary to the sanctity and dignity of the priest, who should be an angel among men.
Abhor impurity. Avoid with the most scrupulous exactitude the places, persons or things which might constitute the slightest peril or suggest even the smallest shadow of that abominable vice. What could be more necessary and becoming to the life of the priest consecrated to God. the priest whose life is spent in the church near the altar, whose time is spent performing angelic functions amidst divine mysteries, what is more necessary and becoming than purity of mind and body? What can be more terrible than an impure priest? He is a monster, a Judas, an antichrist.
Consider the words of St. Paul: if any man has not care of his own, and especially of those of his house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1 Tim. 5, 8). Lest, therefore, you be condemned by God as apostates, learn to rule and govern your household that it may be a shining example of virtue, modesty, charity and piety for all Christian families to behold and imitate.
Articles on the crisis in the Church/shortage of priests, written from the modernist perspective, tend to present the priesthood as “un-attractive”. Always, as well as insisting on more lay involvement, power etc., they refer to the need to encourage more men to become priests, with the rider that the priesthood needs to be made more attractive.
That’s never spelt out. So, reading the vision of St John Eudes, a priest himself, on the qualities and duties of a Catholic priest, made me wonder if the description above would be “attractive” to young men considering the priesthood today. Personally, I think it would, certainly for those with a traditional Catholic formation and spirituality, but I think those demanding a “more attractive” priesthood, really mean an easier life for priests, less demanding. Or, am I being cynical again?