Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Vigil of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

What is this aurora before which the brightest constellations pale? Laurence, who has been shining in the August heavens as an incomparable star, is well near eclipsed and becomes but the humble satellite of the Queen of Saints whose triumph is preparing beyond the clouds. 
Mary stayed on Earth after her Son’s Ascension in order to give birth to His Church. But she could not remain forever in exile. Yet she was not to take her flight to Heaven until this new fruit of her maternity had acquired the growth and strength which it belongs to a mother to give. How sweet to the Church was this dependence! A privilege given to her members by our Lord in imitation of Himself. As we saw, at Christmas time, the God-Man carried first in the arms of His Mother, gathering His strength and nourishing His life at her virginal breast: so the mystical body of the Man-God, the holy Church, received, in its first years, the same care from Mary, as the divine Child our Emmanuel. 
As Joseph heretofore at Nazareth, Peter was now ruling the house of God, but our Lady was nonetheless to the assembly of the faithful the source of life in the spiritual order, as she had been to Jesus in His Humanity. On the day of Pentecost the Holy Ghost and every one of His gifts rested first on her in all fullness. Every grace bestowed on the privileged dwellers in the cenacle was given more eminently and more abundantly to her. “The sobered stream of the river makes the city of God joyful, because first of all the Most High has sanctified His own tabernacle, made her the well of living waters, which run with a strong stream from Libanus.”  
Eternal Wisdom herself is compared in the Scripture to overflowing waters. To this day, the voice of her messengers traverses the world, magnificent, as the voice of the Lord over the great waters, as the thunder which reveals His power and majesty: like a new deluge overturning the ramparts of false science, levelling every height raised against God and fertilising the desert. O fountain of the gardens hiding yourself so calm and pure in Sion, the silence which keeps you from the knowledge of the profane, hides from their sullied eyes the source of your wavelets which carry salvation to the farthest limits of the Gentile world. To you, as to the Wisdom sprung from you, is applied the prophetic word: “I have poured out rivers” (Ecclesiasticus xxiv. 40). You give to drink to the new-born Church thirsting for the Word. You are, as the Holy Spirit said of Esther, your type: “The little fountain which grew into a river, and was turned into a light, and into the sun, and abounded into many waters” (Esther x. 6). The Apostles, inundated with divine science, recognised in you the richest source, which having once given to the world the Lord God, continued to be the channel of His grace and truth to them. 
As a mountain spreads out at its base in proportion to the greatness of its height, the incomparable dignity of Mary rested on her ever growing humility. Nevertheless we must not think that the Mother of the Church was to be nothing more than a silent winner of Heaven’s favours. The time had come for her to communicate to the friends of the Spouse the ineffable secrets known to her virginal soul alone, and as to the public facts of our Saviour’s history, what memory surer or more complete than hers, what deeper understanding of the mysteries of salvation, could furnish the Evangelists with the inspiration and the matter of their sublime narrations? How could the chiefs of the Christian people not consult in every undertaking the heavenly prudence of her whose judgement could never be obscured by the least error, any more than her soul could be tarnished by the least fault? Thus, although her gentle voice was never heard abroad, although she loved to put herself in the shade and take the last place in their assemblies, Mary was truly from that time forward, as the Doctors observe, the scourge of heresy, the mistress of the Apostles and their beloved inspirer. “If,” says Rupert, “the Holy Ghost instructed the Apostles, we must not therefore conclude that they had not recourse to the most sweet teaching of Mary. Yes, rather, her word was to them the word of the Spirit Himself. She completed and confirmed the inspirations received by each one from Him who divides as He wills.” And Saint Ambrose, the illustrious Bishop of Milan, speaking of the privilege of the beloved disciple at the Last Supper, does not hesitate to attribute the greater sublimity of his teachings to his longer and more intimate intercourse with our Lady: “This beloved of the Lord who, resting on His bosom, drank from the depths of Wisdom, I am not astonished that he has explained divine mysteries better than all the others, for the treasure of heavenly secrets hidden in Mary, was ever open to him.” 
Happy were the faithful of those days, permitted to contemplate the ark of the covenant in which, better than on tables of stone, dwelt the plenitude of the law of love! At her side the rod of the new Aaron, the sceptre of Simon Peter, kept its vigour and freshness, and under her shadow the true manna of Hheaven was accessible to the elect of this world’s desert. Denis of Athens, Hierotheus, both of whom we will soon see again beside this holy ark, and many others, came to the feet of Mary to rest on their journey, to strengthen their love, to consult the august propitiatory where the divinity had resided. From the lips of the Mother of God they gathered words sweeter than honey, calming their souls, ordering their life, filling their noble minds with the brightness of Heaven. To these privileged ones of the first age might be addressed those words of the Spouse, who in these years was completing His gathering from His chosen garden: “I have gathered my myrrh with my aromatical spices: I have eaten the honeycomb with my honey: I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends, and drink, and be inebriated, my dearly beloved” (Canticles v. 1). 
No wonder that in Jerusalem, favoured with so august a presence, the first group of faithful rose unanimously above the observance of the precepts to the perfection of the counsels. They persevered in prayer, praising God in gladness and simplicity of heart, having favour with all the people. And they were of one heart and one soul. This happy community could not but be an image of Heaven on Earth, since the Queen of Heaven was a member of it. The example of her life, her all-powerful intercession, her merits more vast than all the united treasures of all created sanctities, was Mary’s contribution to this blessed family where all things were common to all. From the hill of Sion, however, the Church had spread its branches over every mountain and every sea. The vineyard of the Pacific King was extended among all nations. It was time to let it out to the keepers appointed to guard it for the Spouse. It was a solemn moment. A new phase in the history of our salvation was about to begin: “You that dwells in the gardens, the friends hearken: make me hear your voice” (Canticles viii. 13). The Spouse, the Church on Earth, the Church in Heaven, all were waiting for her, who had tended the vine and strengthened its roots, to utter a word such as that which had heretofore brought down the Spouse to Earth. But today Heaven, not Earth, was to be the gainer. “Flee away, O my beloved” (Canticles viii. 14). It was the voice of Mary about to follow the fragrant footsteps of the Lord her Son, up to the eternal mountains where her own perfumes had preceded her.
 - From the commentary on the Vigil of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 14th) in The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Gueranger.

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Toronto area Latin Masses for the Feast of the Assumption

Dear friends, this Thursday is the Feast of the Assumption. Please let family, friends and those of good will who are searching for the Truth. 

Let us never for get the words of the first Pope, St. Peter: 

"Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved". (Acts 4:12).

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Pope Benedict XVI...Six years on, and STILL going strong! Why did he REALLY resign?

The other day, "Pope Emeritus" Benedict XVI paid a visit to Castel Gandolfo. According to the reports carried in the SSPX news agency, the former Pope was described by witnesses as ".. a man still in good health for being 92 years old, “smiling, aware, curious, available, and affable.”

According to Crux, another witness stated: " was striking to see his fairly thin, very fragile physique and his severe difficulty in walking".

The two statements are not contradictions, but complementary. They describe an elderly, mentally aware gentleman, who in his 92nd year has taken on some understandable frailties, such as difficulty walking. 

Now, Let us cast ourselves back six and a half years to 2013, and re-read the following reason for the papal resignation: 

However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the barque of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.  
For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005...

Nearly seven years ago, Pope Benedict informed the Church that due to deteriorated strength of mind and body that came on "in the last few months", he was "for THIS reason", renouncing the papacy. I, like so many others I know, believed that a health issue had come upon the Pope and that he was in his final months of life.

However, since he is still very much alive, obviously the event/events were NOT medical

So, what were they? 

What precipitated this collapse of "strength of mind and body..."?  


The Pope himself gives us a clue as to the real reason: "shaken by question of deep relevance for the life of Faith..." The "life of the Faith", in other words, the Church was under attack not only from the world, but also from WITHIN. 

Question: Why do you think the Pope resigned? 

The combox awaits readers reflections, comments, and contributions as to the reason/s  and motivation/s for the papal resignation. 

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Charity demands much from us - traditionally-minded and otherwise

Today's attack on Michael Voris - stemming as it did from recent accusations against the SSPX made by Church Militant - has got me thinking about charity.

What have I concluded? It is sorely lacking among Catholics of all stripes, not just one particular Catholic group or another.

It is said, by both Paul and the Beloved Disciple, that charity is the greatest of virtues. We can have faith. We can have hope. But if we don't have charity, then, well, faith and hope mean nothing.

Yes, it is that simple and stark. And it is sorely missed in our world today.

We are all familiar with the epithets the pope hurls at simple, small-town bloggers like myself, Barona, Vox Cantoris, Boniface, and so on. Pharisee. Rigid. Rosary-counter. Self-absorbed, Promethean neo-Pelagian.

We are also familiar, no doubt, with the times in our lives when Catholics who don't think as we do have resorted to ad hominems and have looked upon us unfavorably as a result of what we say. Blogger and otherwise.

These ought to irk us, and rightly so, as they are quite uncharitable.

But - and I say this with a strong awareness of my own culpability in this - that does not justify returning the favor as traditionally-minded Catholics.

Like I said earlier, I get it. We are angry and frustrated after being poked at with a stick in a cage for 50 to 60 years. We feel robbed and we want things to be solved as of yesterday.

But really --- does it justify the viritol and mud-slinging we see between various traditional Catholic factions on a daily basis?

No one is immune from this lack of charity. I, admittedly, capitulated to this with my short series on the "true traditionalists."

Barona has admitted to personal, unrestrained anger at some Catholic figures in the past, and issued a public apology on this blog.

The FSSP, during some important festivities here in Canada last year, used the occasion to once again lamblast the SSPX for being "in schism" and whatever else.

Some Catholics who attend Masses offered by the SSPX like to opine that the Fraternity was created to destroy the SSPX.

I would go on, but I have made my point.

Charity is sorely lacking in many, many Catholics these days. It doesn't matter who I am talking about, we could all use lessons in charity from time to time. Traditionally-minded Catholic or otherwise. Even if it is the same lesson we keep on needing to be told.

The virtue of Charity is so important that entire books have been written on it, and continue to be written as I speak.

It demands a lot from us, this virtue. It always has, and as humans, we have failed in exhibiting it as as a whole time and time again. The only difference between earlier times and this one is that the stunning lack of it is more accessible for all to see.

Perhaps - just perhaps - it is time to break this cycle, starting with our own lives.

Leave Michael Voris alone!

It seems like everyone has a problem with everyone these days.

If it's not this person, it's that person. It never seems to end, this nitpicking and character assassination.

Case in point: Michael Voris.

Whatever Mr. Voris' problems are, they are his problems and he needs to work them out, just like we must work out whatever our own problems are. 

We can't do that for him. However much we might want to.

But does it justify the "fraternal corrections" that are going on right now with regards to his past homosexual lifestyle - which he has fully, publicly repented of, by the way - and his denouncement of the homosexual lobby in the Church via his apostolate, Church Militant?

No. No, it does not.

This bringing up his homosexual past to call his denouncement of the homosexual lobby hypocritical, by the way, is detraction.

And what do they call detraction? A mortal sin.

Look, folks. Yes, the situation in the Church is bad. It's really bad. So bad, to the point where yours truly is really not interested in delving into the muck and pulling out whatever is wriggling to write about, for their own spiritual benefit.

But that doesn't justify any of the backbiting and whatever foolishness we are doing. I get it. We're angry. We're frustrated. We've been poked at in a cage for 50 to 60 years. We want to punch someone - figuratively speaking, of course. We want answers, we want solutions, and we want them yesterday.

But, is any of this acceptable to Our Lord? Of course not. What did He do when He hung on the Tree of our salvation? He asked His Father to forgive His enemies, for they knew not what they were doing.

We are all called to imitate Our Lord in this life.

So, perhaps instead of going out there to "call out" Mr. Voris for his particular mistakes, and whatever "beef" you have with him, perhaps pray for him and his intentions?

This would be a much better action than what others have suggested so far, suggestions that I have echoed and have since realized were uncharitable on my part.

In short, leave Mr. Voris alone! Do not continue the cycle that has plagued the Church since 1970.

Monday, 22 July 2019

The working class didn't ask for the changes wrought by Vatican II

Our Canadian readers may be familiar with the name Anne Roche Muggeridge, the daughter of a Newfoundland coal miner who passed on to her eternal reward in 2010. She is known for two things: establishing the Latin Mass community in St. Catherine's, Ontario (which is still ongoing), and her books The Gates of Hell and The Desolate City

One thing that struck me in her books is how she juxtaposes her early life in the Church in Newfoundland and her life adjusting to the Church after the Council. Of note are two visits to a convent in Newfoundland, before and after the Council. In her visit prior to the Council, she describes the nuns as having a proper sense of decorum, piety and bearing appropriate to convent life. After the Council however, the rapid abandonment of these norms caused great pain in Anne. She makes it clear that, as one from the working class, this was something she did not want to see or witness, and that it caused her great sorrow to see such a thriving community whittle away in a number of years.

Which brings us to today.

On Twitter this morning, a user by the name of Michael Grasinski revealed that he attended his first High Mass yesterday. In the Tweet he put up, he admitted that not only did he connect with the saints in "a new and special way," he also felt "like [he] had be robbed up to this point." 

In a few short words, Mr. Grasinski echoed what the late Mrs. Muggeridge felt in the immediate aftermath of the Council.

She, Mr. Grasinski, and countless others, including you and I, have been robbed of our heritage because of what a few conniving Roman intellectuals decided what would be "best" for the Church.

Let me be perfectly clear.

The changes foisted onto the laity during and after the Council - a laity overwhelmingly comprised of the working class - were not asked of on the part of the laity. Not. One. Iota.

These changes were instigated and put into writing by men who had let the intellect supercede their faith, if they had faith in the first place.

It is a pattern that continues today, with the likes of Cardinal Marx and countless others pushing for yet more changes to the perennial rituals and teachings of the Church using intellectual - flawed, yes, but intellectual nonetheless - arguments.

To understand just how intellectually-driven the "reformers" were at the Council, I recommend a reading of The Rhine Flows into the Tiber, written by a Father who was present for much of the Council and speaks to the machinations that went on. 

Machinations that were in no way instigated by the working class.

Saturday, 20 July 2019

It was 50 Years ago today....Apollo 11

Apollo 11 Mission, Copyright NASA

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth,
the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, 
while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.
Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
(Genesis 1, 1-3).