Is “Third Order” Membership Risky?

Editor writes: The following comment came to me in an email a few days ago, and I thought it might provoke an interesting discussion on the question of whether Third Order membership risks distorting the lay vocation…
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Correspondent writes: I found [the following] on an SSPX [Facebook] site…

Education is a process. It [does not happen] overnight. So if you think you are educating people by provoking them, [no matter] how good your intentions may be, still you [make] them feel [angry, notwithstanding] your charitable intention with [what seems like an] uncharitable approach. How do you feel after posting things that provoke your neighbor?  if you are happy, I think you are on your way to great punishment. We should not be happy [when we provoke others to anger] instead we [should] show some remorse or [pity for] those who do not see the crisis.

Instead of talking, have you gone in the streets to bring food for the hungry? Or have you dressed the naked? These things are much more important than you asking the approval of people and in the process your virtues are compromised. So live a normal life in accordance to one’s state. If you have kids better save them and discipline them instead of other kids you focus your attention to. If you are an employee focus your attention to your work and offer every work for God rather telling people about the crisis, which makes people flee from your sight and [you] lose the chance of showing them – instead  -your good works. That is not the way.

Let God do his works in finding sinners, not you. You are to show your light in that area where you are, for people to see God through you, and find people whom He wants to give the grace. That is our work. Let the Church[man] do his job and you focus on your job and save your soul.

Yes, the Church is in a state of emergency but let the hierarchy do the job not you. God asks from you to pray for the Pope, for Him to solve this crisis. God is not asking you to tell the people about the crisis. He sent Mary to inform people, to [tell them to] offer prayers and sacrifices for the reparation of sins and that is what we should do. More often we are more concerned about informing people about the crisis and we have not even prayed and fasted for a month, or at least become a victim for others.

God’s way is consistent. St. Therese of the Child Jesus preached through offering every little thing for God and why can’t we do the same? It is better you take away your TV at home than you telling people about the crisis. See the difference?

In conclusion, the Church is in its stage where people knows about the Catholic Church, however they hate it. So if you start talking you will lose the chance. It would better if you recommend him or her to God and say your rosary every hour for them. Let your deep conversion transcend and illuminate your light for others to see God through that light.

Comment:  

Unfortunately, our  correspondent was unable to copy the link to the above Facebook comment.  If you click here, however, you will read the official SSPX Third Order page. While the sentiments expressed in the above Facebook comment do not accurately reflect the official position of the Society as set out in the above Third Order page, they are not uncommon among the Catholic laity today.  How come, then, that the above commentator has formed his/her erroneous view about the lay vocation?  Do you think Catholics who take on membership of Third Orders – whether SSPX, Franciscan, Dominican, whatever, risk misinterpreting their vocation as lay people – as the above Facebook commentator has misinterpreted it?  Or maybe you think he/she has not misinterpreted the lay vocation, but has got it right.  That we should forget about alerting other Catholics to the crisis in the Church, and the fact that Pope Francis is doing much damage, and just leave it all to God. Share your thoughts.  Politely 😀 

Knight & Day: Fighting the Good Fight!

From Damsel of the Faith (USA) –  By email…

I thought the readers of Catholic truth, especially our Catholic men, would enjoy this poem, personally composed by myself. May it inspire you all to keep fighting for the truth of Catholic Tradition.

knight2“Rise up, knight, the Holy Church needs you to fight for her honor against those who would dishonor such a great and glorious Queen.

Faith, Charity, Truth, Valor, Prudence and Fortitude, these are your beatitudes, with the whole armor of God and your feet shod to proclaim the Gospel of Our Lord and God.

Fearless and courageous, with the sword of truth in your hand and the love of Christ in your heart to reach the promised land.

Where art her defenders in her greatest hour, to wrest the forces of evil from those who are in power, for the hour grows late?

Stand out from the rest in your courage and bravery, militancy and hatred for the slavery of Modernism, for then we shall see who is the best.

Fight like you mean it for truth, justice and honor, and for all that is right, with your whole mind, soul and might for this is the hallmark of a true knight.

When the hour grows late and weary you grow, remember who you fight for, namely the Church of the Lord, with all manner of foes inflicting upon her the most bitter of blows to bring her to ruin.

To Rome you must ride with the Holy Angels of God on your side, for Christendom, the Church, in Hoc Signo Vinces, until she arise with the newness of life in her eyes, at her glorious and grand restoration.

Satan encamps around the Church of our Master always inflicting all sorts of disaster, to cause the destruction of souls in the hereafter, always with such gleeful laughter.

And so, Knight of the Church, fight you must for your duty to God is to be militant and brave, for His honor and glory so that souls might be saved.

Rise up, knight. The Church is in need of brave knights who will never give up the fight, to fight till the death even till the very last breath, for the Bride of Christ, the Holy Church.”

Comment: 

how many Catholics today, including those raised in the Church prior to Vatican II, remember their obligation to be “Knights” – or “Soldiers of Jesus Christ”?  Not many, by my reckoning – what thinkest thou?  Or, in all truth, was there ever a time when the laity properly understood their vocation to be Soldiers of Christ – and were encouraged by the clergy to fight the good fight?

With thanks to “Damsel of the Faith” for sending us the above lovely poem. 

Church Militant aka Soldiers of Christ…

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Catholics protest at Tim Kaine’s parish: If priest won’t ‘instruct parishioners’ on Church teaching, we will

RICHMOND, Virginia, August 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Roughly a dozen pro-life activists protested Sunday outside of pro-abortion, pro-homosexuality Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine’s Catholic parish. 

“Sen. Kaine has failed in his duty as a Catholic public servant to defend the preborn and Fr. Arsenault has failed in his duty as pastor to admonish Sen. Kaine and to instruct the rest of his congregation on the teachings of the Catholic Church regarding the sanctity of human life,” Virginia pro-life activist Maggie Egger told LifeSiteNews in an email.

“I, along with a group of Catholics from various parishes around the Diocese of Richmond, went to St. Elizabeth’s yesterday to do what Sen. Kaine and Fr. Arsenault will not: defend our preborn brethren by exposing abortion as the decapitation and dismemberment of tiny human beings, instruct the parishioners of St. Elizabeth’s on the teachings of the Church, and inform them that Sen. Kaine publicly supports the decapitation and dismemberment of tiny human beings under the guise of being ‘personally pro-life,’” Egger said.

Kaine’s parish, St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, gave him a standing ovation at Mass after he became Hillary Clinton’s running mate. His pastor, Father Jim Arsenault, praised Kaine in an NPR interview.

“I know that he’s definitely against capital punishment and works to help defend those who are on death row,” Arsenault said. “The church has a teaching with regard to we’re pro-life, and we believe in that seamless garment of life. We respect sometimes lawmakers make difficult decisions.” Arsenault was commenting on how as governor of Virginia, Kaine oversaw several executions. The priest told NPR that he thought the issues most important to Kaine were women’s pay and “social justice issues.”

Frances Bouton, one of the event’s organizers, told LifeSiteNews that the protest didn’t disrupt Mass and the pro-life activists felt St. Elizabeth’s was an appropriate venue to protest given it was where Kaine was praised so heavily after becoming the Democratic vice presidential candidate. She said the protestors waited until the 9 a.m. Mass had begun and latecomers had arrived before setting up outside the church.

Most of the people at the Mass saw the anti-Kaine signs outside St. Elizabeth’s when Mass was over, Bouton said, but none of them spoke to the protestors.

“We understand that the priest had told his parishioners … not to talk to the media. We don’t know whether that also included … us,” she said.

“There were some people who stood at the top of the stairs and spent time reading our signs” after Mass, Bouton said. “Some of them took a long time to read the signs.”

The protestors’ message to St. Elizabeth’s was “by honoring Tim Kaine you are supporting all that he supports,” Bouton said.

Kaine touts his Catholic faith and Jesuit education but supports abortion and same-sex “marriage.” As governor of Virginia, Kaine opposed partial-birth abortion and authorized the state’s “Choose Life” license plate option. Nevertheless, “I don’t think ultimately we ought to be criminalizing abortion,” he said at the time, and maintained his support for abortion as governor.

But once he became a U.S. Senator, the role of Kaine’s “personally pro-life” views in his politics became nonexistent.

Planned Parenthood gives him a 100 percent rating for his time in the Senate, when he has supported the abortion giant. NARAL Pro-Choice America also gives him a 100 percent for his time in the Senate. Kaine co-sponsored the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill to undermine pro-life laws across the country.

Upon announcing Kaine as Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential candidate, the Clinton campaign immediately said Kaine had decided to support taxpayer-funded abortion in order to assume that role. Several days later, Kaine denied doing so

Kaine said he has become “comfortable with the notion that I can have my personal views but I’m going to support the president of the United States — and I will.”

“In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, Catholics and people of good will are called to perform acts of mercy,” the protestors said in a press release. “In the Catholic Church, we are given specific corporal and spiritual works of mercy — seven of each.  The corporal works include feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and burying the dead.  But it is two spiritual works of mercy [that] we hope to perform in front of St. Elizabeth’s Church — admonishing the sinner and instructing the ignorant.”

There are a lot of “low-information Catholics” who “just haven’t been [properly] catechized,” Bouton said, and when “they don’t see bishops” calling out pro-abortion politicians, they are led to believe one can separate faith and public actions as a politician. “In this particular circumstance,” it’s a scandal that Kaine’s priest is praising him, Bouton said, and this can lead to further confusion.

Richmond Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo has said Catholics have a duty to determine their worthiness to receive Holy Communion “through an upright and informed conscience.” He has not ordered priests in his diocese to stop admitting Kaine to Holy Communion.

Canon 915 of the Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law instructs that those “persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”

“No parishioners talked to us … a few took pictures,” Egger said. “And when Fr. Arsenault was asked a question on his way past us to the rectory, he wouldn’t even look up at us.”  Click here to read the original Lifesitenews report with more photos of the group…

Comment:

WOW!  Now, those are Catholics, Confirmed Soldiers of Christ! 

Shouldn’t we be doing this sort of thing in Scotland and the wider UK? We’ve tried the letter-writing, we’ve tried petitions to enforce Canon 915, we’ve done the hand-wringing all round; nothing has worked. Would direct action make any difference – didn’t seem to make any difference to the priest in the above parish or his parishioners, let alone the bishop. Dead consciences. Still, it is, is it not, the sort of “in your face” militancy that just might hit home on our turf, if only because the clergy and hierarchy hate adverse publicity.  To be exposed as negligent, with “Canon 915” screaming forth from posters, just might have an impact.  Certainly, on the few occasions when we have publicly gathered a few faithful to protest (e.g. when St Patrick’s church in Glasgow was handed over to Buddhists for a concert) we felt that, at least, we had alerted those with open minds and hearts to the scandalous nature of the event.

Time to do more of this, perhaps close to elections – to name and shame the pro-abortion “Catholic” MPs/MSPs?  

Ideally, of course, it shouldn’t be left to us; we would be happy to follow the lead of the pro-life groups but they tend not to like this sort of thing.  A tad distasteful, although not half as distasteful as the sight of a murdered baby in a stainless steel dish, or the sight of the “Catholic” legislators responsible lining up in the Communion queue on Sundays.

So, ought we to consider following the example of these American cousins of ours? What thinkest thou, folks?

11 or 16 – What’s The Best Age To Receive The Sacrament of Confirmation?

ImageMy   dear brothers and sisters in Christ

I   have decided that, from now on in the Archdiocese of Glasgow, the   Confirmation of baptised children will take place around age 11 when children   are in P7, their final year of Primary School.

This   decision was motivated principally by pastoral concerns. It seemed sensible   to prolong the period of sacramental initiation of baptized children to give   parents a longer time to accompany their children through the reception of   the sacraments and to make the best of the efforts of Catholic teachers and   parish catechists. I felt too that Confirmation will mean more to children   who are a little older. And I imagine that most people would agree that it   will be spiritually more satisfying to celebrate Confirmation at Mass when   the newly-confirmed children can receive our Lord in Holy Communion as the   centre and high-point of their sacramental life.

It   is also very helpful that the new RE Syllabus for our Catholic schools, This   is Our Faith, fully allows for children to receive the Sacrament of   Confirmation at P7, P6 and P4, with age-appropriate learning. In fact, the   material on Confirmation for P7 in This is Our Faith is of a very high   order. Our P7 Children and their teachers will thus be able to access the   appropriate material within the very syllabus which is currently being used   in our schools.

So,   I would envisage that the Mass of Confirmation will be celebrated each year   in P7 in the time from Easter until around the Feast of the Sacred Heart   (usually mid-June). Since the bishop is the ordinary minister of Confirmation   (and since I love doing Confirmations!), I will celebrate as many of these   Confirmation Masses as I can. Since at the moment we have 90+ parishes, I   certainly will not be able to do them all, and Parish Priests will obviously   be delegated to celebrate Masses of Confirmation, as they are now for the   Rite of Confirmation.

So   the next “season” for the Confirmation of baptized children in the   Archdiocese of Glasgow will be in the final term of school year 2017-18,   which gives us 4 years to prepare for this small change to our sacramental   practice for baptised children, and we should be able to put all the   practical arrangements in place in that time.

The   timings of First Confession at P3 and of First Holy Communion at P4 remain   unchanged.

Having   heard the Council of Priests on this matter, and having consulted many people   – priests, parents and teachers – I am confident that this new arrangement   for Confirmation, which I have seen in practice, will enhance our efforts to   transmit the faith to our children and young people, and to evangelize   families, parishes and school communities.

Yours   devotedly in the Lord,

†Philip Tartaglia
Archbishop of Glasgow  (Click on photo of the Archbishop for source).

Comment: this is a welcome restoration of the “older” age for Confirmation – but would 16 be even better? If young people had to opt to be confirmed at 16, would not that put paid to the criticism that they are only following the religion “imposed” by their parents? Or are there other – more important – considerations to be taken into account?