An Independent Protestant Scotland…

One of the Treasures of the National Archives of Scotland, the Declaration of Arbroath was written to the Pope in 1320, on behalf of the barons and community of the realm of Scotland. This eloquent letter, written in support of King Robert Bruce (Robert I) and an independent Scotland, is still regarded as a spirited statement of a nation’s claim to freedom. Click here to read the Declaration of Arbroath

Comment:

With the SNP once again calling for a referendum on Scottish independence, it is worth reflecting on Scotland’s deeply Catholic roots in order to consider the question of  “freedom”. Outside the Catholic Church, can there BE true freedom for Scotland?  Think “gay marriage”; think Named Person Scheme; think the Freemasonic roots of the EU, which the SNP wish to rejoin after Brexit/and (they hope) a successful independence referendum.  Take note of the  reference to “poor Scotland” in the Declaration – a description so apt in our times. Poor, poor Scotland.

In short, knowing that the original call for Scotland’s independence was made by loyal sons of the Church, is it permissible today for  Catholics to vote in good conscience for an independent (Protestant) Scotland?  

General Discussion (14)

animated-computermanbeing-punched-by-machineIf there’s something of interest in the news that’s not covered in one of the topic threads, or you have a question to ask, a comment you’d like to  make about anything under the sun, more or less, this is the thread for you.

However, please check first, to ensure that you haven’t missed a topic thread or another thread where it would be appropriate to post your comment, as the GD discussion threads fills up very quickly.

Readers, all too often, go straight to the General Discussion thread to post news that is already the topic of a thread or to ask a question that is already being discussed elsewhere. So, do your Sherlock Holmes – at the very least check the side-bar – before posting here, please and thank you!   Your “news” may simply be a different angle to a subject already under discussion, so do, please check before posting your comment here.         

Feel free, also, to share your favourite spiritual reading books, prayers and devotions.Whatever.   Enjoy! 

To read previous 10 General Discussion Threads, click on the links listed below.

(1) click here  (2) click here  (3) click here  (4) click here  (5) click here
(6) click here  (7) click here (8) click here  (9) click here (10) click here
(11) click here (12) click here   (13) click here

Is Doubting The Faith No Longer A Sin?

quote-about-faith-st-elizabeth-ann-seton

VATICAN CITY – Everyone experiences doubts about the faith at times – “I have” many times, Pope Francis said – but such doubts can be “a sign that we want to know God better and more deeply.”

“We do not need to be afraid of questions and doubts because they are the beginning of a path of knowledge and going deeper; one who does not ask questions cannot progress either in knowledge or in faith,” the pope said Nov. 23 at his weekly general audience.

Pope Francis said that although the Year of Mercy has concluded, he still wanted to continue his general audience reflections on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

With fewer than 10,000 pilgrims and visitors present and with rain forecast, the Vatican moved the audience indoors to the Vatican audience hall.  Click here to read more

Comment:

Am I alone is not having experienced “doubts” about the Faith? Maybe I was taught, too thoroughly, that wilful doubt is one of the chief sins against the Faith (Scottish Catechism of Christian Doctrine, Chapter XXVIII, The First Commandment – Section 1: the Worship of God, # 541)

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), # 2088 teaches that the first commandment requires us to nourish and protect our faith with prudence and vigilance, and to reject everything that is opposed to it. There are various ways of sinning against faith: Voluntary doubt about the faith disregards or refuses to hold as true what God has revealed and the Church proposes for belief. Involuntary doubt refers to hesitation in believing, difficulty in overcoming objections connected with the faith, or also anxiety aroused by its obscurity. If deliberately cultivated doubt can lead to spiritual blindness. End of extract from CCC

I was taught that God cannot deceive, and thus, we are obliged to accept, in the spirit of Faith, what He has revealed. Obviously, such Faith is accepted in the context of learning about the nature of Church, that the authority of the Catholic Church comes from God, and that, thus, there is no need for “doubts”. Of course we should continue to study and read about the Church, but not in a spirit of asking God to prove Himself to us.  It has become a fashion to doubt, the implication being that unless we entertain doubts we are somehow less intelligent that those who do. The opposite is, in fact, true. It is entirely against the nature of true Faith to entertain doubts. The legitimate questions which arise, and to which we seek answers, are not “doubts” so it is a pity that Pope Francis is using the word and encouraging the idea that it is a good thing to doubt. 

Personally, I think that Pope Francis is confusing the duty to keep ourselves educated in the Faith through study and prayer, with doubting, which is, as indicated above, one of the chief sins against the Faith.  What do you think? 

General Discussion (13)

conversation If there’s something of interest in the news that’s not covered in one of the topic threads, or you have a question to ask, a comment you’d like to  make about anything under the sun, more or less, this is the thread for you.

However, please check first, to ensure that you haven’t missed a topic thread or another thread where it would be appropriate to post your comment, as the GD discussion threads fills up very quickly.

Readers, all too often, go straight to the General Discussion thread to post news that is already the topic of a thread or to ask a question that is already being discussed elsewhere. So, do your Sherlock Holmes – at the very least check the side-bar – before posting here, please and thank you!   Your “news” may simply be a different angle to a subject already under discussion, so do, please check before posting your comment here.         

Feel free, also, to share your favourite spiritual reading books, prayers and devotions.Whatever.   Enjoy! 

To read previous 10 General Discussion Threads, click on the links listed below.

(1) click here  (2) click here  (3) click here  (4) click here  (5) click here
(6) click here  (7) click here (8) click here  (9) click here (10) click here
(11) click here (12) click here   

Pope’s Sinister Suggestion: Are ‘Rigid’ People Guilty of Living Double-Life?

How many times will I have to say "don't be rigid"?!**!

How many times will I have to say “don’t be rigid”? There are still Catholics who want to keep the Commandments! For Goodness sake!

Don’t be too rigid.      

According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis warned against this natural tendency, and reminded how God wishes for us to be good and merciful, during his homily today during his daily morning Mass at his residence Casa Santa Marta.

The Holy Father drew inspiration from today’s Gospel reading according to St. Matthew, which tells of when Jesus, who was teaching in the synagogue, healed a crippled woman and in doing so, ignited the anger of the righteous.

“It is not easy to keep to the path indicated by God’s Law,” Francis noted.

Jesus’ action, the Jesuit Pontiff pointed out, provoked the fury of the leader of the synagogue who was “indignant that he had cured the woman on the Sabbath” because Jesus violated God’s Law by doing so on the Sabbath day which is set aside for rest and worship. Francis also recalled how Jesus called the synagogue leaders ‘hypocrites,’ and how Jesus often referred to those who followed the Law too rigidly by this name.

To Make Us God’s Children

“The Law,” the Pope said, “was not drawn up to enslave us but to set us free, to make us God’s children.”

“Behind an attitude of rigidity, there is always something else in the life of a person,” the Holy Father said. “Rigidity is not a gift of God. Meekness is; goodness is; benevolence is; forgiveness is. But rigidity isn’t!”

Often, Francis added, rigidity conceals the leading of a double life, or it can have to do with something pathological.

Francis also commented on how those who are both rigid and sincere often are afflicted with difficulties and suffering, which is because they lack the freedom of God’s children.

“They do not know how to walk in the path indicated by God’s Law,” the Pope said, adding, “They appear good because they follow the Law; but they are concealing something else: either they are hypocritical or they are sick. And they suffer!”

Prodigal Son

Recalling the parable of the Prodigal Son in which the eldest son, who always behaved well, was indignant with his father because he rejoiced when the youngest son, after having led a life of debauchery, returns home repentant.

This attitude, the Pope explained, shows what is behind a certain type of goodness: “the pride of believing in one’s righteousness.”

“The elder son,” the Pontiff said, “was rigid and conducted his life following the Law, but saw his father only as a master. The other put rules aside, returned to his father in a time of darkness, and asked for forgiveness.”

Difficult Balance

“It is not easy to walk within the Law of the Lord without falling into rigidity,” he underscored.

Pope Francis concluded, praying for all those who think that by becoming rigid they are following the path of the Lord.

“May the Lord make them feel that He is our Father and that He loves mercy, tenderness, goodness, meekness, humility. And may He teach us all to walk in the path of the Lord with these attitudes.”   Click here to read the original Zenit report

Comment:

There surely has to be a path somewhere between “rigidity” and “false mercy”…  In any case, seems to me that the Pope doesn’t understand the difference between being “rigid” about man-made or secondary rules, and adhering faithfully to God’s essential, natural moral law.  And what about his narrow (if predictable) interpretation of the Parable of the Prodigal Son?  Poor elder brother gets it in the neck again. No mercy for him!  Nor is the Pope’s list complete of what “the Lord” loves:  missing is fidelity, yet God loves fidelity – and, indeed, Christ teaches this in His Parable of the Prodigal Son… through the relationship of the elder son and the Father!  Pope Francis missed that bit! Over to you – what does the Pope mean by not being too “rigid” – do we interpret the fasting laws more liberally (I mean, where to go with a “fast” that is only an hour long anyway?) or is he talking about one or other – or all – of the Ten Commandments?

And what’s this about “rigid” people possibly living a double life?  Correct me if I’m wrong, folks, but, to date, all the scandalous reports of double living within the Church have involved “liberal” types,  who could not be described, in a million years, as being “rigid” about keeping God’s moral law.  I, for one, object to be characterised as a hypocrite, and suspected of living a double life,  on the grounds that I believe the Ten Commandments are binding on us all.  What about you?

Stats: The Cruel Cost of Vatican II

keep-calm-its-only-statistics-1From the Rorate Caeli blog…

“[Earlier this week, we marked] the 54th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. There’s really not much left to be written about this – all you need to know, frankly, is easily found by visiting a local parish. But it is a good opportunity to look at the numbers since the Council’s close in 1965. It’s also very interesting to look at them in comparison to Pope Venerable Pius XII, which we [also] provide…

As numbers don’t lie, the three charts [post-Vatican II]  show the undeniable slow death of the Church. It also shows the so-called “Francis Effect” has had zero effect on Sunday Mass attendance. 

[Then we have]  a glimpse of what the Church was. The numbers of Pius XII, the pontiff preceding the Council, are [below the post-Vatican II charts].  And they are equally as staggering in a good way as the post-Council numbers are devastatingly bad.”

Click here to check out the stats for yourself  and then tell us if you think Vatican II was about the worst idea any pope ever had, in the entire history of Christendom. Recommended answer: “yes”!   

Teenager Issues Challenge: Don’t Change The Mass – Let The Mass Change you…

Award-winning American author Dan Graham’s article Words That Count first appeared in our newsletter, Issue No. 51, September, 2008….Dan’s original article was easily one of the most popular we’ve ever published, as was the updated version published in the newsletter in 2010. In recent weeks I’ve been approached for copies of it (available on our website) so it might be worth airing it on the blog at this time.  American spellings prevail. 

Dan Graham, Award winning author

Dan Graham, Award winning author

This paper methodically compares the texts of the Tridentine Mass 1945 (TM) and the Novus Ordo Mass 1973 (NOM) so Catholics can better understand differences. The method is simple: off-the-shelf software WordListCreator™ alphabetizes and counts words in a text. I used the English translations. I simply compare the words and counts from both masses and ask: what does the NOM remove or add? My operating principle comes from St. Thomas Aquinas: whatever is objectively real is objectively true. This method helps avoid the acrimony that often derails fruitful discussions about the two masses. I present my two conclusions, then my supporting findings by working through a comparison of the words in the TM and NOM. Readers can review the data and come to their own conclusions. The first conclusion is that the two masses differ profoundly. Some argue that the differences in the two missals are trifling, a mere preference of style, but a close examination of the text proves otherwise.  Click here to read the entire article and then share your thoughts in the comments section below. 

 

Comment: 

For those Catholics who believe that the only change to the Mass has been the switch from Latin to the vernacular, this article will (or should) come as a shock.  However, the Catholic sense has been dulled to the point of extinction, so for a lot of Catholics, probably the majority, the “shock” will be nothing more than a mild surprise accompanied by a shrug of the shoulders and a “well, so what?”   Still, there’s been an increase in Catholics showing an interest in the Traditional Mass recently – at least, that’s been my personal experience. What about you? And what about the teenager who quoted a friend of his to me, a girl who had summed up the problems in the Church today with the words I’ve used in the headline above (may it not occur to her to sue me for copyright): “Don’t change the Mass” she reportedly said: “Let the Mass change you…”   Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, thou hast perfected praise. (Matthew 21:16)

 

“Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you - for you alone?” St.Thérèse of Lisieux

“Do you realize
that Jesus
is there in the
tabernacle
expressly for
you – for you
alone?”
St. Thérèse of Lisieux