Our Light and Our Salvation

Christ our light

By Charlie Johnston

In 2 Timothy 3:5, St Paul warns that a time will come when there are people who have a “form of godliness, but deny the power thereof.” He urges that we all turn away and avoid such men.

I am well aware that there are many who wear clerical robes who do not actually believe in God, but think the Church is a convenient path to power and influence. These seem obvious, but they don’t really fit because they lack all but a specious fig leaf of religious trapping while rejecting any actual godliness. There is a type who fits this description and is on the rise: those who think they are orthodox, survey the chaotic disorder in the hierarchy and the faithful and convince themselves the Church is on the verge of capsizing. These actually believe in God, but effectively deny He has the power to preserve His Church, despite His promise.

While we are God’s hands and feet on earth, it is seriously mistaken to think that He is helpless without us. Rather, it is we who are helpless without Him.

The Church is now roiled in serious scandals and doctrinal tumult. It is right that we should speak and act to deal with that. The first thing, though, is to know that God will prevail and His Church will emerge triumphant, whatever we do. The second thing is to soberly consider what He calls each of us to do to participate in the Triumph He absolutely guarantees. The third is to play our position, to act properly according to our station in life, considering what God calls each of us to do and not to do.

Panic over the doctrinal strife in the Church has clouded over the minds of some of the very best. I have much respect for the writing of Dr. Taylor Marshall. His latest book, “Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within,” leaves me cold and disturbed, though. Though I have only read a synopsis of it, the narrative sounds more like the sort of dark fantasy that Dan Brown, author of “The DaVinci Code,” would come up with than a serious study and critique of the issues around us. I am not as brutal in my contempt for it as Dr. Jeff Mirus is over at Catholic Culture, but only because I sympathize with the dismay that is driving some of the moral panic clouding the minds of some otherwise prudent people.

Italian journalist and veteran Vatican watcher Antonio Socci’s latest book is entitled, “The Secret of Benedict XVI: Is He Still the Pope?” Again, I have only read lengthy synopses of this book. His premise is that Benedict both is and is not the pope. Call it the Schrodinger’s Cat theory of the papacy, if you will. I just call it absurdist sophistry. A man may make an engaging case that a square is actually a circle and a circle, actually, a square. However cleverly the argument is devised, though, it is still wrong.

In politics, I used to get aggravated at candidate clients who were always restlessly searching for a “magic bullet,” a bold stroke that would solve all issues and sweep them to unanimous victory. I would (sometimes quite agitatedly) tell them there IS no magic bullet. Victory is achieved by blood and sweat through mud and tears – and the search for a magic bullet just distracts attention and effort away from the things that can and do bring victory. Now I find churchmen restlessly searching for a magic bullet to make Pope Francis go away and put everything back to what it was. I am no more enthused by that approach in the Church then I was to it in politics. It is a combination of despair and wishful thinking wrapped in feckless impotence. People seduced by this are no closer to a magic bullet than Ponce de Leon was to the fountain of youth. They are just firing blanks – while there is serious work to be done.

I deeply appreciate the work, for example, of Cardinals Burke, Mueller and Sarah. They speak bluntly about the doctrinal crises as their position obliges them to do, without trying to find shortcuts or pretending that this will be resolved by anything but a lot of hard work to defend Scripture and the Magisterium and a renewal of holiness at every level in the faith. The upcoming Amazon Synod may well become a flash point in the internal doctrinal struggle in the Church. Cardinal Burke bluntly calls the working document for the Synod, to be held in October, “apostasy.”

I deeply appreciate the quiet fidelity of all those among the laity who continue to live the faith according to the words of Christ in Scripture and the definitive Magisterium. I deeply respect those laymen who have entered the fray with prudence, criticizing honestly all assaults on the faith and standing boldly against abuse without devolving into overheated 1000-year conspiracy theories or Schrodinger’s Cat absurdities.

I deeply appreciate the work of those clerics – Bishops, Priests and Deacons – who are honestly trying to find their way through the doctrinal minefield the hierarchy has become. I know many who are seriously trying to balance their legitimate filial duty with their shepherdly duty – and I know this is not as formulaically simple to get right as some of the loudest voices think it is.

I deeply appreciate the work of those Religious Communities – many of which are under assault right now from, of all places, the Vatican, if they dare to be orthodox. I am not supposing this: I spend a good chunk of time each year visiting with the women and men in our religious communities – and they are suffering enormously these days – if they are orthodox. How I admire and love those who have chosen to stay the course, trusting in the Lord of Hosts to vindicate their fidelity.

My friend, Bishop Rene Gracida, who I much admire, is leading the charge to get the results of the last Papal Conclave invalidated over what he asserts are serious technical deficiencies. It is the proper role of Bishops to raise such questions, so I respect that he is playing his position. I respectfully disagree with the substance of his argument. The great historical issues are not settled by technicalities – nor should they be. On the rare occasions when they are, it resolves nothing and unsettles everything, as partisans begin restlessly searching for their own technicalities to exploit. If the effort to invalidate the last conclave were successful, every pope in the future would have to waste time wrestling with a multitude of attacks on technical grounds. The Kansas-Nebraska Act was advertised as settling the issue of slavery in the territories once and for all. No doubt its advocates thought it would. Instead, it ensured that the controversy could only be settled by war, a war it helped precipitate. People will never accept a technical solution to a fundamentally moral question. That applies to the Church as well as the larger society.

Some are calling for a complete and mandatory return to the Latin Mass. I have friends and family members who are devoted to the beauty of the Latin Mass. I hold Bishops who try to forbid its celebration, in defiance of former Pope Benedict’s edict, in contempt. Yet this is to confuse form with substance. This, too, is not the simple cure-all, the “magic bullet,” if you will, that some hope it will be. It is as pitiable as a 60-year-old woman, finding she has late-stage cancer, relentlessly wearing her favorite dress from when she was 25, reasoning that everything was good then.

Now, some faithful Catholics are self-selecting into Latin Mass enclaves. It is an understandable retreat. Yet, in the days when the Latin Mass was the only available option, some of the ugliest sexual abuse was occurring in Europe. As a dear friend likes to tell me, some 40 percent of those Latin Mass Catholics were contracepting. Priests were much more authoritarian and nobody dared question a Priest. Thus, the faithful were less familiar with Scripture, less capable of defending their own faith, and the ground was being cleared for substantial clerical abuse AND doctrinal confusion. If you attend a Latin Mass because you love the beauty and worshipfulness of it, I stand with you (even though I prefer the Novus Ordo celebrated ad orientum and using communion rails). If you think it is the palliative that will solve our problems, you deceive yourself and are destined for deep disappointment, even were you to succeed.

The sexual revolution had already gathered gale force before Vatican II started. The Jesuits, a marvelous asset of the Church when their intellectual rigor is tempered with humility, had been suppressed several times before Vatican II when that rigor gave way to ideological pretensions. Does anyone really think that the large number of dissident Priests who abusively misinterpreted Vatican II would have been gentle lambs without it? We were caught up in a cultural convulsion that had been building since the Enlightenment – and began to crest concurrently with the opening of Vatican II. It is its own sort of blessing if we can fit into our favorite outfit from when we were 25. But however soothing it might be, it will not cure the cancer that has infected our faith. I often tell people in my presentations not to look back to what seems safe and familiar, a lesson I lived on my pilgrimage. That will only paralyze our progress. Go forward into the unknown with good courage, determined to be heralds of Christ. The Latin Mass will always be a part of the Church’s rich treasure. It is part of our past, present and future, but it is not the answer to what ails us, however comforting that thought might be. We must resolve to be holy anew as Our Father in heaven is holy. Until we live that resolution by acknowledging God, taking the next right step, and being a sign of hope to those around us, all our prescriptions will fail. Once we do live it anew, everything healthy will be restored to us.

Some have adopted a reflexive, formulaic position that they think answers all questions. There are those who, forsaking the Magisterium and the commands of Christ, determine to do whatever a Pope, Bishop or Priest tells them on anything – even if the commands of the three are conflicting and incoherent. That is equivalent to a mindless, magical incantation. It is also as ineffective. Others think if they restlessly attack, seeking out error with the grim relentlessness of a heat-seeking missile, it will solve all ills. Nah, it will take out a lot of chaff – but also a lot of wheat in the process, something Our Lord expressly forbids.

There is a more practical reason, still, to avoid formulaic reflexiveness. If you use it to replace considered deliberation, you become very predictable and easily manipulated. I always watched to see what an opponent reflexively jumped on – and used that knowledge to lay traps that would ensnare them. (My traps were craftily designed to avoid snaring the innocent; only mindlessness or malice could lead you into them. But I damaged or destroyed the credibility of a lot of opponents that way). The next right step must be deliberate. We must be like water, pure and deliberate while ever adapting ourselves to the unique circumstances we find ourselves in.

We are entered into the Lord’s winnowing fan. The Pope is called to be guardian of the Magisterium and defender of the faith promulgated by Jesus Christ. Bishops are called to do the same as head of their Dioceses and to consult with the Pope in setting the course of the Barque of Peter. The laity are called to live that faith with resolute fidelity, obeying the lawful orders of the hierarchy on faith and morals – and objecting, whether privately or publicly, to unlawful orders or efforts to usurp the primary prudential responsibility of the laity in temporal affairs. We will all be called to account to the Lord for how well we lived our particular duty to Him and to our fellows.

All around us a great storm continues to rise to ever greater violence. Even now, there are many otherwise good people, both among the laity and in the hierarchy who think if they just keep their heads low all of this will pass them by. Not this time, I don’t think. The Lord is revealing all the rot at the heart of our culture and in our hierarchy. He will not rest until all have declared themselves. All must choose what they will serve, whether it be the world or the Lord, and then declare themselves.

It will go hard for those clerics who seek to conform the Church to the world, rather than seeking to conform the world to the faith. It will go hard for those laymen who seek through blind servility to betray the Gospels which they are called to uphold. It will go hard for those laymen who seek through blind malice to conform their neighbor to a gospel of their own devising rather than that given by our merciful God. It will go hard for those who are miserly in bestowing on their fellows that mercy which they, themselves, have received in such abundance from above. We are all called to defend the faith, hearten the faithful, and defend the faithful. Everything we do must be tied to that. We must reason together, correcting our brothers in charity, accepting a brother’s correction with humility, and defending the faith and the faithful against all who assault her. Different tactics for different situations, all deliberately chosen to obey Christ as best we can understand.

The fact is that God wins. The critical question before us is not how we will win for God, but whether we will comport ourselves through these trials in a manner that inspires Him to call us to share in His victory. Everyone of us is now standing in the docket before God, giving witness of what is in our heart, with the satan desperately trying to inflame what is worst in us. Be steady and deliberate.

When fear and confusion start to get the best of me, I usually turn to my favorite Psalm, the 27th. (I have mentioned that I prefer the King James translations for the Psalms, both for their poetry and acuity – and so that is the translation I use here). The Psalm begins, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” What a wonderful place to begin, as the Psalmist goes on to relate his severe trials and afflictions. At verse 11, understanding that the assaults of his enemies both inflame and demoralize him in ways that can affect his behavior, the Psalmist asks, “Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.”

It is in the final verse that the Psalm reaches great majesty and wisdom as the Psalmist exhorts himself and the reader while making a bold and profound statement of faith: “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”

Back in my mid-20s I was having a doctrinal crisis of faith that had been building for a few years. At the apex of the crisis, this bracing line jumped out at me and ended the trouble altogether. When we are shaken to our core, when fear threatens to overwhelm us, when we are tempted to either strike out rashly or retreat in despair, this is what we should do: wait on the Lord: be of good courage and he will strengthen our hearts: wait, I say, on the Lord. He is our light and our salvation – our only light and salvation.

153 thoughts on “Our Light and Our Salvation

  1. Oh wow, Charlie, so beautiful with elegantly expressed counsel! The Road is long and all those emotions you name are readily provoked when weariness also rises. We DO need to wait on the Lord with hope and courage lest we pull a Sarah and try to help Him out with His Plan and end up creating a more complicated mess… or grumble as they did at Meribah and Massah and at so many other places along the way of the Exodus Journey.

    Indeed, we must resolve to be holy anew as Our Father in heaven is holy and be like water, pure and deliberate while ever adapting ourselves to the unique circumstances we find ourselves in. But holy water buckets! Impossible without the Holy Spirit.

    In Jesus’ Name, Come Holy Spirit with all the love and fire we need to set our faces like flint, ready to do what God asks of each one of us! Thank you and Praise all our days!

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  2. Viewing affairs an outsider to the Church, when the current Pope disappoints me, such as advocating “return” of Israel’s biblically covenanted land to terrorist organizations, I am reminded of God’s perfect gift to Man of Free Will. Mistakes are what we too often do as mortal.

    In truth, there would be no “magic bullet” by Design. If there were any such shortcuts, living from birth to death would be pointless.

    Thanks Charlie for another thought provoking message and deep perspective.

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    1. I really suggest you read Dr. Mirus’ cogent takedowncogent takedown of the positions of this book. It uses some history to bolster positions Marshall began with while ignoring everything that would contradict it. It most assuredly is not scholarly work (in the best sense of the term – I realize that few universities are producing any scholarly work in the humanities these days, only parodies of it). I loved Mirus’ article because it tapped into exactly what had concerned me from the first synopsis I had seen of this book. Readers who are not already fairly deeply historically informed will come away from it thinking they have the answer when they have not yet even confronted the question. Sorry, SanSan, but this book is an overheated screed.

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      1. Oh, and SanSan, let me make clear I do not consider it a bad book because I disagree with it (though I largely do), but because it does not follow the standard protocols of serious inquiry. I won’t get into details of that, though Dr. Mirus did a shorthand version. In a book like this, I expect an author to consider alternative possibilities and explain why they do not find them compelling – and to deal candidly with factual data that counters his thesis rather than just ignoring it altogether. A problem with analysis is that one has to be careful not to just “find” what you expect – so you have to act with real rigor. Even worse is when someone only finds what they want to see – a critical problem on the left today and one that is growing on the right, as well. So my decision about the value of a serious book is not how closely it aligns with what I already believe, but how thoroughly it vets its theses, considering contra material, and that it avoids jumping to explanatory conclusions for events that it does not justify. Almost every book that comes up with a “this is the REAL story of how we got here” storyline fails in most or all of these critical areas.

        It is one of the reasons why I so loved Desmond Birch’s “Trial, Tribulation and Triumph.” Books of any sort of spiritual theology are particularly prone to these failings. I came to deeply value Desmond’s intellectual honesty because he did not scrimp on grappling with opposing interpretations and carefully explained why he had selected each of his conclusions. No over-heated cherry-picking at all. Reading it actually deeply cemented our friendship.

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        1. I haven’t read the book. I thought Dr. Mirus was mean. Like really really mean. Not having read the book, but only having read that review, it didn’t make me think well of the reviewer. The reason is because he criticized Dr Marshall’s person. He can certainly criticize the content, which he did do also, but he essentially called the author an idiot and insane. He could have left it at the list of reasons why the book was wrong and let that stand on it’s own merit, but it was an attack on Dr. Marshall as a person, well that’s the stuff I don’t like.
          I agree with your assessment on the Latin Mass. I do find it beautiful. I do not think it will fix our church like a magic bullet. We’re supposed to keep our eyes on Christ and be living sanctuaries, no matter where we are planted. And here recently the Lord has just been saying, “wait”. It’s been an exercise in letting go of control. Things are crumbling rapidly both at local levels and in the world. And yet, I think there is much we need to wait on the Lord for. God Bless you Charlie.

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            1. I had quit read Marshall a long time ago…I don’t remember now what he wrote that bothered me! I always read Mirus, but I agree– he was pretty rough on Marshall. And Charlie, I’m with you– Mass in English and orientem my favorite– don’t have that option in the Memphis area right now.

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              1. It was tough, but the toughest part was it was on target. I do sympathize with Dr. Marshall for going into panic and writing overheated conspiracy theories…but I have to confess that I also sympathize with Dr. Mirus’ obvious frustration. I get exasperated when people I fundamentally agree with write overheated tripe thinking they are helping the cause when what they are actually doing is inflaming the gullible and ultimately bringing disrepute to our cause. We have enough problems without facing the unintended friendly fire of allies who make things worse rather than illuminate a way forward.

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                  1. I have no doubt of that, Eric. Sadly, at times of great upheaval, part of the mass confusion is that intellectual rigor is suspended for quick answers – which are almost always wrong answers. People under stress are overwhelmingly tempted to only see what they expect or, worse, what they want. This problem affects even the best. During WWI, British Intelligence and the Foreign Office convinced themselves that the Russian Revolution was a Jewish Conspiracy. Even more absurdly, they operated under the assumption that the Arab Nationalist movement was also a Jewish conspiracy. It was not their anti-Semitism that did them in, but their lack of rigor or vetting. I knew very well that as things got more intense, even some otherwise insightful commentators would be infected, at least for a time, by this. Marshall is usually a thoughtful commentator and I consider this book to be an aberration.

                    Whether people agree with me or not, I demand demonstrable rigor before I will even seriously consider their premise. This book does not meet that standard. I’m guessing you disagree with me on this. I hope it is just because you want to believe it so bad that you are temporarily willing to suspend your normal, more exacting standards. I know that you have previously dealt with synopses that you hoped were true because they were convenient, but smelled something wrong with them. I know that, in the end, you have almost always demanded rigor.

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                    1. Fair enough. Before 2018, however, people would have said it was a “conspiracy theory” to assert that the Cardinal Archbishop of the United States’ most prominent diocese was a homosexual abuser and harasser of seminarians. But now he has been laicized.

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                    2. That is definitely true. Sad to say, in times of great upheaval, it becomes more prevalent that things which, in normal times, would come straight from the fever swamps, turn out to be true. On some of my behind the scenes work, I have sometimes spoken in amazement with colleagues that the reality of certain things are proving worse than our most fevered nightmares. I sometimes chuckle ruefully when I consider Lily Tomlin’s great quote, “No matter how cynical I get, I can’t keep up.” It was meant to be a joke.

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                1. You know, Charlie, I think you nailed some things very well in a comment you made last night: “In a book like this, I expect an author to consider alternative possibilities and explain why they do not find them compelling – and to deal candidly with factual data that counters his thesis rather than just ignoring it altogether. A problem with analysis is that one has to be careful not to just “find” what you expect – so you have to act with real rigor. Even worse is when someone only finds what they want to see – a critical problem on the left today and one that is growing on the right, as well. So my decision about the value of a serious book is not how closely it aligns with what I already believe, but how thoroughly it vets its theses, considering contra material, and that it avoids jumping to explanatory conclusions for events that it does not justify. Almost every book that comes up with a “this is the REAL story of how we got here” storyline fails in most or all of these critical areas.”

                  Unfortunately, in our school systems – both public and private – instruction has been lacking in teaching this kind of analysis process… and the skills of how to analyze could readily be taught, in an intellectual/age appropriate way throughout grade school and high school.

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                  1. Ha Beckita! Some of my relatives often thought I was a smart-aleck because I constantly asked why and how – and if the statements did not match up I would say it plainly. Some of my teachers thought the same, but they were more amenable to it as they often got insights from my questions that they had not thought of before. I actually was not being a smart-aleck. I just wanted to know and to be able to defend what I knew. When I was in media full-time, I sometimes made a factual error. When I did, I shouted the correction more prominently than the original error. For me, it was a matter of discipline. It always stung a bit to say I had erred – but the stinging was a useful prod to vet hard, knowing that however hard I vetted, doing it every day I would still make the occasional error. But I could make darn sure when I did err, that my readers and listeners heard the correction from me first and so were not erroneously informed for much longer than I was. In analysis, everyone is going to error occasionally, for that is a process of taking current facts and data and extrapolating them into conclusions based on current trajectory. I don’t mind the errors that arise honestly there…but I am intently aware that the sloppier the data you amass, the more likely you are to err – and I do NOT like to err because of my own intellectual sloppiness or refusal to vet properly.

                    Occasionally, I would go on a rant when getting reports from subordinates in campaigns. Some were pollyannas looking through rose-colored glasses and others were eternal pessimists who saw two Indians behind every tree. I would rant that I had to make decisions for the overall good of the effort – and that to do that well I needed solid, well vetted, defensible data – so spare me the smoke up my rear or the “We’re doomed, we’re never gonna make it” school of analysis and give me hard data I can use to make good decisions. That remains my ethos and will continue to be the case no matter how violent the storm gets.

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                  2. Beckita, I attempted to point out the bias of a google search and got nailed for it. And, this was with a whole group of librarians for Pete’s sake. People who are supposed to be objective. On LifeSite news website there is an article about this very subject.

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                    1. HTTP, your experience gives evidence to the reality that too, too many in the teaching ranks in America – be they public or private employees – have bought the lies of the Left. I still wonder at how people so entrenched in the lies of the propagande machines in this country will respond as more and more truth is exposed. In pondering these things – and I have always believed the traditional understanding of the Warning described at Garabandal with a discrete simultaneous event – my conviction is ever deepened that only an Illumination of Conscience will dispell the refusal of those who see all around them what God is revealing, yet, refuse to believe how broken is our culture and how far we have collectively fallen. I think the beauty of what is yet to come is that we’ll have a vast field of souls who will need us as guides and support as they return to the Lord. We have a future full of hope!

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  3. I’d like to share a personal opinion about the Latin Mass—an opinion which in my mind at least, rises to the level of conviction. I do not see the Latin Mass as either a “magic bullet” which will solve all problems, nor as a nostalgic escape into an idealized past which never really existed. I see a different purpose. I see Latin as a step in the direction of a more prayerful liturgy and a holier Christian people.

    Many readers here are familiar with the ancient Christian maxim “lex orandi, lex credendi, lex viviendi.” It translates loosely as “the law of praying, is the law of believing, is the law of living.” Or, “as we pray so do we believe, and as we believe so do we live.” This saying dates to about the 5th century. I believe there are three things about Latin—namely, its universality, its antiquity and its mystery—which deeply enhance liturgical prayer. In its antiquity and universality, Latin reminds us that our faith predates us by innumerable generations, and belongs not just to our land, but to all the peoples of the world. In its mystery, Latin reminds us of the mystery of God himself. It’s for those three reasons that I believe that Latin elevates or common prayer, and is particularly well-suited to praying the Mass.

    Now, if one agrees with the premise that the depth of our prayer directly influences the depth of our belief, which then affects our behavior, then I hope it is clear why I believe that the Latin Mass would be a step in the right direction for the Church. Please do not misunderstand. I harbor no illusion that the widespread use of Latin will cure all, but I do believe it would help.

    For most of the faithful, a switch to Latin would be an utterly foreign experience. That’s why I believe that any visible change as drastic as this would require episcopal or even Papal leadership to be effective.

    Most people believe that Vatican II purged Latin from Mass and replaced it with vernacular languages. These same people are astonished to discover that Vatican II mentions Latin precisely once, and when it does so, insists that, while vernacular languages may be used, Latin must be preserved. Latin was not widely preserved, of course. In that sense at least, the Second Vatican Council is still awaiting proper implementation.

    …did I mention that I don’t think Latin is a magic bullet? 🙂

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    1. Ha, Victura! I was hoping someone would come up with that argument. I take it very seriously. While form is not to be mistaken for substance, there is no doubt that form can either enhance or diminish the substance it frames. I know that Latin is a very precise language in its intellectual formulations. There is something to be said for tapping into an ancient and consistent form. The problems, of course, are that if Latin is not widely understood, many can just be doing it by rote – and that is a bar to real faith. But this argument is a very serious one that I take seriously. I don’t know where I come down on it, but it is worth deep and serious consideration. If I had my druthers, a Latin Mass option would be as common at Catholic Churches as anticipation Masses – and so all would be well fed and it would not be strange to many.

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      1. I think there is a profound sense of reverence when I witness a Latin Mass. I have traveled the world and when I go to Mass in a foreign country and see any part of a Mass using Latin, it brings a sense of familiarity and comfort. There is a unifying aspect to it. At home, I prefer Novus Ordo. Boy, that sounds like a good name for a plain cheese. Can I have Novus Ordo cheese please?

        Anyway, I love the analogies you used in this piece Charlie. Thanks!

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    2. I agree with you, Father. At one of the parishes in my hometown, we are blessed to have a parish which has a Latin Mass on Sunday afternoons (as well as the Novus Ordo on Sunday mornings). My husband and I take our kids maybe 3 or 4 times a year, so that they may have some familiarity with it. Hopefully when they are out on their own, they’ll continue to seek out a Latin Mass once in a while; and hopefully they’ll teach their kids to have a healthy respect for it.

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    3. Have you ever heard this statement, Father, “The devil hates Latin–ecclesiastical Latin especially”? I agree with you that Latin is not a “magic bullet” but there seems to be some evidence at least in the realm of Exorcism that it’s ‘bite’ is more substantial than using the vernacular.

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      1. Exorcists, when trying to deliver a soul from an oppressive spirit, learn how to deal with demonic forces not so much by use of theology, or reason, as by anecdotal evidence. They learn by word of mouth, for lack of a better term, from other exorcists. It’s a very mysterious business. One thing they seem to agree on is that the prayers of deliverance are best recited in Latin. Why? I have no idea, and neither do they. I know all the exorcists in our diocese, and they all tell me the same thing, “that’s just how it works best.”

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          1. In my opinion, it is because Latin is the official language of the church. Since the gates of Hell will not prevail over her, her language is the language of her authority over every authority. Being creatures of pure intellect and will, demons are most influenced by the intellectual power of Latin which has become the universal tool of the church, science and reason.

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            1. Phillip Frank, I’ve also seen it observed that because ecclesiastical Latin is not only the official language but also ecclesiastical Latin “is only used for holy things, and is a dead language that does not change and has been reserved for centuries just for prayer, (especially the Latin Mass). For this reason, the devil hates it.” (Fr. Peter Carota RIP July 2016)

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              1. Live languages change, look at how much English has changed since 2000 years ago, and look at all regional variations. Maybe the evil spirits find it easier to distract & distort non-Latin prayers.

                I’m not sure about Latin masses, it’s hard to understand a language you’re not fluent in, masses should stay in the local language with the option of saying the prayers in Latin (prayers are easier to learn than a whole language).

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                1. Translation is an art. If one makes a bad translation, then some meaning is lost. Sometimes the meaning is totally obscured if there is a translator who does not have the necessary skills. I am not just referring to language skills. Many translators need to understand the material at hand, whether it be technical, cultural, historical, religious, or a combination of these.

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                  1. How much worse the translation, when it’s the average person trying to understand another language they aren’t fluent in? Modern translations are pretty descent nowadays considering the side notes & references for the more problematic passages.

                    The word of God never changes, which is probably why exorcists find Latin more effective, as it’s not changing/moving target like English.

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                  2. Speaking of the importance of proper translation, this morning in our pastor’s homily, he quoted the name of God as “I am who I am.” Any human can say that of themselves. “I am who I am,” I am a created creature of God. The normal Catholic translation is, “I am who am,” which has the meaning that God is the ever present and always was existence from whom all existence flows and has its being, a creation of God that exists in time only. It is sad that many priests borrow from protestant beliefs in what they falsely term ecumenism, trying to find commonality but end up adopting false teachings and poor scripture. jas.

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              2. You said it, “Latin does not change” I think that when they translated the mass, they did not translate very well. Probably “modernized” the language, which means it may have been a bit watered down.

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                1. StJudith, you hit the nail on the head! Anyone who studies the Latin and the translations, especially before the recent updating which tried to be a more faithful translation, would know the truth of your statement. Most people don’t have any idea that Latin was to be retained in the Mass, as well as Gregorian chant, etc. Certain prayers were to be allowed in the vernacular, not a wholesale dumping of the language of our Rite. There is power in words, nowhere more apparent than in prayers.

                  Liked by 2 people

            2. From Fr.Amorth’s book, ‘An Exorcist Tells His Story’ “It is also advantageous that the prayers be said in Latin. All this is to avoid using words that alarm and thus obtain the opposite of what is desired.” Goes on to say , (that besides the usual Blessed water,salt,oil,incense), “that demons experience pain at the sound of sacred music and gregorian chant.”
              Beckita,(or anyone), I sometimes listen to g.ch. when walking, but lately it seems y.t. is adding new age type music and calling it healing gregorian chant. Is there any way to tell the difference between authentic g.ch. and non? So far I’ve just used cd’s from monks and brothers.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Apparently, people who work in the music industry started labeling authentic Gregorian Chant – when it first showed up in recording – as New Age. Then came the integration of sounds and bells into the monk chants. Reminds me of operatic singers teaming up with rock stars for some, what I think is, beautiful music. If your personal preference is to have pure chant, sticking with the monks and brothers is a good plan. Too, some orders of sisters also have recorded gorgeous chant.

                Liked by 3 people

          2. I remember sitting in the pews as a little girl. I did not understand Latin and had no idea what was going on. I speak and understand Spanish but still do not understand Latin. If there is more power in the Latin mass, then it is possible that the translation to English ( or another other language) is bad. I have had a few older priests tell me certain things were said in the Latin mass that are no longer said in the English version. And we no longer say the prayer to St Michael at the end of Mass! …Jesus did not speak Latin. I believe it was Aramaic. It seems to me that it is the translation and the meaning that matters more than the actual language, though I do not doubt what the Exorcists say.

            Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you Charlie for your perspective on all that is happening. I feel that the cancer that is in the church can be cured just as mine was 5 years ago. I truly believe that as you say God will definitely prevail and we must be patient and watchful that we live the best life possible, pray and believe that He will strengthen us especially when we need His graces the most. God Bless you in your endeavors.

    Liked by 7 people

  5. My friend Dr Robin Lawson (deceased) a evolutionary biologist and geneticist, had that scrutiny and rigor you speak of Charlie. He was an incredibly intelligent and ambitious man who would take on Herculean projects that took years and years to complete (some he never completed) because he considered if something needed to be done, it needed to be done right, honest and thoroughly and would leave no rocks unturned in his endeavors. One time, out of plain youthful ignorance and probably some lazy unholiness, I asked him why he didn’t just write what he believed instead of spending so many years looking for the answers through physical evidence that never seemed to come easy or quickly enough for me.
    “That would be dishonest, he said, and would not give the scientific evidence needed to prove the truth of it”.
    Later in life he became a renound reviewer of genetic research papers because of his thorough analysis and great knowledge the subject.
    Despite claiming to be an atheist, I cannot believe that a man so interested in truth is not looking upon the Face of Truth right now.
    God rest his soul in the joy of such a vision.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Phillop, this is where I absolutely love our church which teaches that God’s Mercy can be extended beyond the bounds of Catholisism. It is what makes our faith universal in all aspects and holds it above all other faiths. My soul magnifies the Lord in this aspect in his great love and mercy. I witness folks that are not Catholic and have a stronger faith in God than I do. It really humbles me when I see it. If your friends heart is pure and sincere, I have no doubt you will see him again.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I’m with you on this Doug.
        If our hope is in the Lord, who can stand against it?
        I have no doubt that God puts people in our path for just such a purpose. He loves them more than any of us could and by giving them to us to fall in love with as well we, as His body, do the work of redemtive actions that they do not and sanctify them with our intercessory prayers. It would be cruel to believe that God would allow for any other course by such a relationship.
        In retrospect though, I guess thier possible damnation could be partly our fault if we do not interceding rigorously enough on thier behalf!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, yes. God asks is yo choose good, choose joy, choose the way of love. I have to pray, “Lord, let me fall in love with people”. It does not come natural for me.

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          1. I am right there with you Doug. I often pray for me to decrease and the Good Lord increase in me so people only see Him when they look at me. I don’t want the me part to interfere with people knowing God. I am more of an introvert and shun crowds.

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            1. HTTP, we are all so unique and different with different gifts. My son in law is one who loves people and gets energized from being around people. I admire that because to get energized, I need to have alone time to clear my mind. I think that is why I like being an engineer. I am happy most days to close my door and spend the whole day working on a design. Of course, when I work on a design, I marvel at the amazing things God created and what possibilities there are. My job builds my faith. This is probably akin to someone else taking treks in the desert and admiring wild Mustangs. I am also content to take walks alone through the willowwacks of NH and admire the out doors. There is so much beauty in God’s creation. Ok. I’m drifting again……

              Liked by 3 people

              1. Doug,
                You are just recognising in creation it’s Author and thus the genius behind it. Once we move beyond ourselves and thin the veneer between His creation and the Fall’s effect, we will see the true beauty of it all, including the beauty in the fallen ones (us). There is still a lot of beauty there, it is just twisted a bit by sin (both ours in our viewpoint and theirs in thier fallen nature).
                Mother Theresa looked at the poor and saw Jesus (literally). She thined the veneer so much that His face shown through the reflection of His creatures. By doing this, she then reflected back to them Jesus with her goodness and love fully imbued and working as the “body of Christ” for His purpose.

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  6. Thank you Charlie for identifying and clearly explaining a deep conundrum about the relationship among various segments of faithful Catholics. For the past year, I have attempted to read and study and pray about the present crisis facing the Church. In this search I came upon a number of traditionalists such as Taylor Marshall. Many of their insights about the status of the Church resonated with my own sense of things. At the same time I found among many writers, and even more so among many of the people who commented on their blogs, a rigidity that seemed off the track. The often vehement contempt for the post Vatican II form of the Mass, the denial of Vatican II as a valid action of the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, the condescension for Catholics, even conservative, orthodox Catholics, who did not subscribe to their views made me very uneasy and left me spiritually troubled.
    Charlie, your use of the term “magic bullet” brought my thoughts into focus about all of this. The attempt to return exclusively to tradition is an attempt at a one step, comprehensive, and conceptually easy resolution of the multitude of things that afflict the Church, the world and the faithful at this moment. The answers are more complicated than a one step cure-all can resolve.
    The reality is that we cannot resolve much of what is happening. It is only God who can overcome the things we face. We can cooperate with God’s restoration if we submit to His will and follow him, wait for Him, or we can attempt our own solutions which will not work in the end.

    JT

    Liked by 11 people

  7. I recite and pray Phil 4:8 each day during morning prayer. This should be every news agency’s mission statement. In context and in relation to this posting:

    Catholic Study Bible

    Philippians 4:4-9

    4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

    5 Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand.

    6 Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

    7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

    9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.

    Philippians 4:13

    13 I can do all things in him who strengthens me.

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  8. Thank you again for being a spiritual father to us all. You provide hope, protection, insight and guidance. It really helps in so many ways- you bring courage when you share your experiences as well as showing us the dangers ahead when we don’t focus on our own struggles with fear and anger. In Narnia’s Last Battle, Aslan says something to the effect of “To face the evil without, you must face the evil within.” So glad that you touched on what to do when we are scared.. The prayer that keeps coming up lately has been an incessant prayer for courage to do God’s will. Courage is so needed now. Thank you!

    Liked by 5 people

  9. I had no idea that there was an upcoming Amazon Synod. Pantheism takes us back to B. C. Very, very distressing to see a Christian / Catholic Pope go from concerns about the environment to actually distorting teachings to attain whatever worldly goals he sees as important. Actually it is shocking and I had thought I could no longer be shocked by Francis.

    Liked by 6 people

  10. On the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, please join in unity the 54-day Rosary for Holy Mother Church, Increased faith of all people, Our Nation and all of the personal intentions (name them) of those who pray. Go to Father Heilman’s graceforce.com

    Liked by 11 people

  11. It seems there is more of a problem then the form of the Mass at play in our time and day especially here in America.

    https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/08/05/transubstantiation-eucharist-u-s-catholics/

    70,412,021. 22% of the U.S. population as of 2017 called themselves Catholic. Of these approximately 70% do not believe the Eucharist is the the real presence of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

    This is the truly scandalous crisis in the Church. Chasing down the pedophile and abusive priests pales by comparison to this problem.

    Faithful, knowledgeable, nun-taught Catholics are fighting an uphill battle with Catholics In Name Only sitting on either side of them in the pew on Sunday morning. Outnumbered 2 to 1. It’s like trying to get a Republican elected in a 70% Democrat District. Good luck.

    Pulling that kind of conglomeration of beliefs, half beliefs, ignorance, superstition and perhaps even subversion together in a unified reform is … well …. a challenging proposition.

    Money, money, money. If you are a Bishop or a priest staring at that kind of poorly catechized and fractured community it is pretty hard to make a stand without hearing the purses snap shut all through the Church. The strategy of boycotting with your weekly envelope goes both ways. If you are outnumbered 2 to 1 in your own Parish or Diocese on really what ought to be fundamental eazy peazy matters of faith then you have a real problem on your hands in trying to impact the broader society.
    Wonder why there is so much timidity in the American Hierarchy?

    This kind of limp religion amongst the Catholic population is why American Catholic Politicians are not afraid to blow with the wind and why reversing Roe V. Wade is such a hard nut to crack. Excommunication? Why, the Archbishop of NY can’t even excommunicate a defiant Governor. Mass excommunications of “the little people” who disagree with and flout the fundamentals of the faith? Not gonna happen.

    United we stand. Divided we fall. Unity is a hard thing to direct or organize sometimes.

    Going to take a mighty Divine intervention to bring about IMO.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Thank you, Eric, but no. I already have a good 50 books in the hopper and I don’t have any time to read things that I already know enough about to know is just going to irritate me. I’m not talking about a blurb, I am talking about several long synopses of his argument.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Mirus: For this purpose, it was necessary to streamline or even jettison many things…

    St. Paul: So then brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us. [2 Thess 2:15; see 1 Cor 11:2]

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  13. Mirus mocks the “tired Traditionalist narrative” and any “wild assertion” that Freemasonry has attacked the Church, among other things. I find it truly amazing the people so quickly dismiss the issues raised by Dr. Marshall’s book with the perjorative “conspiracy theory” or “Traditionalist” label. Is Our Blessed Mother a “tired Traditionalist”?

    In a message dated June 13, 1989, Our Lady told Fr. Gobbi that “the beast like a lamb” prophesied in the Book of Revelation is none other than freemasonry that has infiltrated the Catholic Church: …The black beast like a leopard indicates Freemasonry; the beast with the two horns like a lamb indicates Freemasonry infiltrated into the interior of the Church, that is to say, ecclesiastical Masonry, which has spread especially among the members of the hierarchy. This masonic infiltration, in the interior of the Church, was already foretold to you by me at Fatima, when I announced to you that Satan would enter in even to the summit of the Church…the task of ecclesiastical Masonry…is that of destroying Christ and His Church, building a new idol, namely a false christ and a false church…

    http://mmp-usa.net/in-defense-of-the-orthodoxy-of-the-marian-movement-of-priests-our-ladys-messages-and-fr-gobbi/

    Our Lady of Akita (Church approved) has a similar message:

    The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, and bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their Confreres. The Church and altars will be vandalized. The Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.

    St. Paul VI (October 13, 1977), surely no favorite of “tired Traditionalists” had this to say:

    “The darkness of Satan has entered and spread throughout the Catholic Church even to its summit. Apostasy, the loss of the faith, is spreading throughout the world and into the highest levels within the Church.”

    I do not think we can simply dismiss a discussion about these issues as Mirus does by calling Dr. Marshall a crazy relative. The Church is not healthy right now and people want to know WHY. Mirus’ approach is an Alinsky-style attack with some critical analysis within it. I can’t believe that it is held up as a “Catholic” response.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry, Eric, but to equate Our Lady’s approved statements from apparitions with Marshall’s screed is a huge reach. The words of OL of Akita and St. Paul VI make perfect sense to me. Marshall’s book does not. I am sorry we will be in such fundamental disagreement on this, but that is how I guess it must be. Just because people want to know WHY does not mean I will suddenly start giving every crackpot viewpoint credibility. I want to know WHY with accuracy. I have stated where I stand; you have done the same.

      Liked by 3 people

        1. Oh, we disagree here quite fundamentally, but you know how much I value your take on most subjects and that I have often benefitted mightily from your insight. I’m glad you’re here – and I’m a little glad that our disagreement proved once again that here, people of good will can disagree quite baldly and still value each other’s contributions and insight.

          Liked by 7 people

  14. I have not commented before (and maybe only once on Charlie’s former blog) – so bear with this rookie who loves the liturgy and “thinks” he knows something….

    Having read your column last night, Charlie, and just now skimming through the comments, I am glad Storm Tracker Ed has brought up the Pew Research findings in this debate over liturgy and liturgical form. Full disclosure: I have offered the Latin Mass for the last three years (out of 20 as a priest) – and no, it is not a magic bullet in my mind either. However, as I continue to enter more deeply into the details and precision of the Latin Mass with continued practice (because we are all “practicing our faith,” after all 😉), I believe that among the real issues of our time that have led to the faith crisis in general and the present example of the lack of faith in the Real Presence is the real lack of consistency and precision in the offering of the Novus Ordo Mass – none of which is present in the Latin Mass. While some of this lack of consistency is simply because there are so many legitimate options within the Novus Ordo (from 10 Eucharistic Prayer options, to three Penitential Act options, for starters) far too often the inconsistency and imprecision is manifested as personal preferences run wild – reducing the Mass to a subjective offering that needs to be relevant “for me.” (And Charlie, I must pick on you too: as you yourself express a personal preference for “ad orientem” and “with a communion rail” among many options. While I total am on board with your preference, believing that these two legitimate options within the offering of the Novus Ordo would be game changers – is this language of preference not part of the problem: even though they are legitimate options [and rarely exercised ones at that]?). Is it therefore any wonder that people will not believe objective truth if the means to encounter that truth has been made subjective? I therefore think that the full value of the presence of the Latin Mass is yet to be realized in many circles – if for no other reason: that the Latin Mass aids us in surrender to God and that sacraments of Holy Mother Church in its precision and consistency. Rant over.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. Deeply insightful comment, Fr. Joel. I have thought many times that one problem with the Novus Ordo is that it is looser in its rubrics, so is much more vulnerable to abuse than the Latin Mass. My main objection to the Latin Mass is that most people don’t speak Latin, so do not really know what is going on – and I do think that can contribute to a mindless rote that hinders the development of real faith. I know that in the Masses I go to, when someone tries to add their own flourishes, I gently suggest they stop – for even though they do it piously, it sets the precedent that people are free to add their own flourishes. What is worst is when some errant Priest thinks he is the star of the show.

      We certainly are in need of serious liturgical reform. Perhaps under some future Pope who is not so hostile to the virtues of the Latin Mass, we can significantly tighten the rubrics in the Novus Ordo to remove its deep vulnerabilities to abuse. And I am entirely serious that if I had my way, a Latin Mass option would be as common at every Catholic Church as a Saturday anticipation Mass. I regard the two forms of liturgy as akin to steak and lobster – two wonderfully different but elegant and nutritious temporal foods. I would that people would experience both – and I would that Catholics would experience both forms of liturgy, properly conducted, so that we get elegant and nutritious spiritual food, as well.

      Thank you for adding depth and reason to the discussion on this sometimes volatile subject.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. I had a pleasant encounter today with the vicar general of our diocese. For logistical reasons, I attended Mass at a parish about 40 miles from home. A newly arrived priest from India was the celebrant. After Mass, the vicar general explained to a couple of us that he was there as part of the training process he leads for all of our many missionary priests from other countries. This training ensures that all Masses in the diocese are celebrated in the same way, although ~ of course ~ each parish has its own flavor. It was a reverent and beautiful Mass on a special Holy Day.

        Liked by 7 people

    2. Fr. Joel. Thank you for your comment. It sounds as if your practice of offering the Latin Mass has aided you in surrender to God. Would you say that it has affected the way in which you communicate/teach the objective truths of faith to lay people? If so, in what ways?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, Islam_Is Islam: it has had an impact. Not long ago, in wrestling with how to be better in communicating the faith, the expression “clarity with charity,” came to mind – which I have seized upon. Going back to this time last summer when all the news of the PA Grand Jury report and the Vigano’ testimony were breaking, I have strongly believed that we in the Church need to simplify our presentation of the faith, being very straight forward with our teaching while emphasizing childlike trust in God and surrender to His will in living the truths of the Catholic Faith – and I remember saying as much when preaching about these matters late last August. While such sentiments are by no means entirely due to the Latin Mass, I do give some credit to the precision and yes, clarity, of the Latin Mass (even within the unfamiliarity of Latin) for bringing about these sentiments within me – as the Latin Mass invites such childlike trust and surrender by nature of its mystery and its precision. (I hope that answers your question).

        Liked by 6 people

        1. Yes, you have answered my question Father. Thank you. “Clarity with charity” I like that. It’s a truism I will adopt when trying to “nail jello the wall” with fellow Catholics who haven’t even heard of the heresy of Modernism let alone understand that we’ve been stewing in it like proverbial frogs for seventy years and more. I guess Modernism just “feels” nice and sounds really nice, too. it’s so darn slippery maybe even serpent-like. Lol

          Liked by 1 person

  15. Charlie,

    I have no use for books like Taylor Marshall’s as I found them to sensationalistic and failing to provide documentation. However, Dr. Mirus’s review was uncharitable as well as revealing of his own shortcomings, which to me undercut the credibility of his review. To equate the liturgical movement, for example, with a desire to remove accretions from the Roman Mass shows an abyssmal ignorance, as well as a lack of the scrutiny and rigor you write of, Charlie. There are two good books on the history of the Liturgical Movement. One is a work contemporary to the movement by the late Father Gerald Ellard, SJ, the Mass in Transition from 1956 and the Organic Development of the Liturgy by Alcuin Reid from 2004-2005. Both are excellent and copiously documented, unlike what Mirius or Marshall have done.

    What more can I say? . . .
    Dr. Mirius has done other very good work, but his review is lousy.

    Neither Dr. Mirius, nor Marshall, are ones I read or follow.

    Father Heilman like Taylor Marshall’s works.

    Taylor Marshall is now a traditionalist? I thought he was an Ordinariate fellow.

    Charlie, you would probably like the Ordinariate Liturgy. It fits like a hand in a comfy mitten to what you described. If I still have it, I will send you their mass form as I received it from my old pal Father Peter Scagnelli when it was still embargoed.

    Well, as a Canadian Major stated at a talk at Fort Ticonderoga in 2004 regarding the death of Lord Howe, “Friendly Fire . . . Ain’t Friendly.”

    Liked by 6 people

  16. It has been so long since I have heard a Latin Mass that I would have to take Latin again as a class. It was beautiful and in the late1960s I remember the daily guitar Mass I would attend as a nursing student at the Newman center. The communion rails- yes, I wish we had them again and kneeling for communion is always a good thing to show respect to God our creator.

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      1. Just the same observation I was going to make, SanSan. In fact I took my 1962 Missal to my NO Mass for Our Lady’s feast yesterday. I noticed that as well as Latin on the left and English on the right, the information written in the margins of the missal instructs the faithful about what is going on at the altar and seems to me a self-teaching avenue for both interior and exterior union with the whole Body of Christ–Church Triumphant, Suffering, and Militant.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I use the St. Joseph’s Missal at NO Masses……sometimes its hard to keep up bc they have dropped so much of the beauty. But it really helps me to get through watered down liturgies.

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          1. my 1962 missal reminds me of Father Z’s motto: Say the Black, Do the Red. Yes, the English/Latin partitions and red instructions within the text help to follow the Latin Mass, but the Latin Mass as such seems to provide an order and precision (Fr Joel’s excellent word) that exhibits a sense of respect and awe more easily than at a NO Mass. I am NOT saying that a NO Mass is not respectful. I just notice that priests can ad lib more easily in English, thus instructing/addressing the congregation, instead of the Eternal Father, or adding words that seem to be better.
            A priest who uses the communion rail for distributing Holy Communion said that it is easier to give communion to a person kneeling because they are an easier “target”–both on the tongue and in the hand. He also has a server with a paten under every chin and hand to catch every particle that might fall, even in situations when kneeling is not possible. (It probably helps to prevent, to some degree, the theft of consecrated Hosts.)
            I am of the opinion that regardless of the Mass attended, respect must be shown to this sacred ritual.
            An older priest always gave a homily at least twice in summer that went like this: If you were invited to the White House, St. Peter’s in Rome or Buckingham Palace, would you be wearing what you are wearing now? Then, to be clear, he would go down the list of items of wear not acceptable.
            Another priest in town, has signs in the back of church that say basically the same thing.
            One thing I know–people learn by watching and imitation of what they see. Showing respect and acting with respect leads to respect. Of course, catechesis MUST be included. Expectation of respect is a good beginning. Lex orandi, Lex credendi, Lex vivendi.

            Liked by 5 people

  17. I believe that the Internet and Social Media have contributed to the loss of, say, rigor, in the writings of people who otherwise would never do so in an academic setting. Too easy to put out a quick podcast or blurb on Twitter, for example. We get lazy. Life makes other demands. Precision falls, but at least thoughts are lobbed at the target.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Thank God for Father Z; Father Heilman; Father Nix; Father Stone; Michael Voris; Dr. Taylor Marshall and all the other faithful Catholics out there crying in the desert which is social media.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The President and CEO of an institution I once worked for advised me that when the “natives get restless” vocational students in this scenario, to take a poll and give them the impression…. This seems to me like a similar passive tactic.

      At a glance, I observed many responses appear to be outward vs. internal solutions. IMHO, from the top down, we have to be a *true presence* in order to regain the lost faith. The good news, it is happening as God’s plan to restore us is unfolding before our eyes. We are on the front lines! ❤

      Liked by 6 people

    2. Thank you for providing this link SanSan.
      Copied directly from church Militant .

      https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/us-bishops-ask-laity-how-to-restore-faith-in-real-presence

      The bishops’ post received more than 1,200 responses. The vast majority say faith in the eucharistic Lord can only be ignited by treating Him reverently in countless ways. Specific advice to bishops included:
      Masses should be said ad orientem
      Communion rails should be restored
      Tabernacles should be front and center
      Ordained priests and deacons should distribute Holy Communion
      Communicants should receive while kneeling and on the tongue
      Communion in the hand should be banned
      Communicants should dress appropriately
      Gregorian chant, sacred music and Latin at Mass should be restored
      Sacred silence at Mass should be restored
      Eucharistic adoration should be promoted
      Homilies should teach the Real Presence
      Remind communicants to receive only in a state of grace
      Encourage confession and make it available before Mass
      Pro-abortion politicians must not receive Holy Communion

      Oh, how I wish so many of these be instituted…especially the sacred silence and music. After communion I desire silence so that I could commune with Jesus only, not some on this inane noise they call music.(My rant-there is one song that has the same tune as My Little Toaster-my kids would laugh when they would start singing it…its awful…ok, rant is over now.)

      Liked by 5 people

      1. HTTP: I’ve never heard of My Little Toaster, but my kids did recognize the similarity of My Little Pony advertising and theme song and one of the variations for the Gloria. AND the older ones were home for a visit once, after having been deployed, during their absence the use of hand sanitizer on the altar for the lay distributors of Our Lord had become the healthy option at our home parish. My former Marine sons looked at each other and could barely restrain themselves. Their collective brains went to the Holy Hand Grenade scene from Monty Python’s Holy Grail movie. Yeah…..it’s just so nice and healthy all around.

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  19. Charlie,

    The problem with polemical vituperations, as well as sensationalism, is that they serve as a wasteful diversion from an important good that is arising in the Church and something we have not directly addressed on this site, but Susan Skinner has touched on this issue at her site, and Father Z has picked up on this as well: The coming together of charismatics and traditionalists. Yes, there are both on both sides who oppose this, but it is the future, of both Roman and Byzantine Catholics, make no mistake. In many of the comments above, as well as many of those of Beckita’s in the past, we have found ourselves dancing around this, but nobody has articulated the obvious – there is a growing trend of charismatic traditionalists in the Church.

    They are not mutually irreconcilable groups and people should look up what Father Z has said about this here: http://wdtprs.com/blog/2019/07/surviving-and-thriving-in-the-demographic-disaster-we-face-as-a-church-wherein-fr-z-rants/

    and here: http://wdtprs.com/blog/2019/08/ask-father-why-didnt-benedict-xvi-say-the-tlm-how-can-we-get-one-what-does-the-future-look-like/

    When Susan Skinner discussed it, I remember Jnurseter making a comment about it.

    Crisis had an article on it: https://www.crisismagazine.com/2019/will-catholic-charismatics-embrace-the-latin-mass

    So, let us pray. I never would have imagined we would even been discussing this 20 or 30 years ago. Amazing how the Holy Spirit blows.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much for these interesting articles, James, and for bringing this topic to the fore. There is definitely a “new wave” of charismatic renewal happening in this country and, from what I’ve learned and experienced, it is not about focusing on becoming emotional in prayer, public worship or while ministering to others – although, as human persons, we certainly experience emotions in these times – rather, it is very much about an ardent desire to connect deeply with the Holy Spirit, for the sake of bringing God’s Kingdom more fully on earth by fostering an intimate relationship with each Person of the Trinity and, therefore, becoming more equipped to tend to others, as we ponder Jesus’ final promises and exhortations given at the Last Supper… such as in John 14:
      12 “I can guarantee this truth: Those who believe in me will do the things that I am doing. They will do even greater things because I am going to the Father. 13 I will do anything you ask the Father in my name so that the Father will be given glory because of the Son. 14 If you ask me to do something, I will do it. and “I have told you this while I’m still with you. 26 However, the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything. He will remind you of everything that I have ever told you.”

      As far as the discussion concerning the Novus Ordo Mass and the Traditional Latin Mass, what I think God will most likely do is bring about the vision He entrusted to Fr. C. Frank Phillips, former pastor of St. John Cantius Parish in Chicago. There was no “new Mass-old Mass” conflict in rebuilding that Church and community. The focus was seeking Christ and implementing the directives of the Second Vatican Council. As that process was well underway, 10 men emerged who were being called to the priesthood. It is simply an extraordinary story of restoring the sacred while rebuilding the faith of God’s people. Here’s a wonderful video with tremendous stories of faith about the adventure. I dream of such parishes all over the world.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. As one who was brought back to the Church through the charismatic renewal, I have no trouble understanding or accepting the seeking of tradition. One of the first gifts I received from the Holy Spirit was a profound faith in the reality of transubstantiation and the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. In light of that gift of faith, there was nowhere to be, to live, to grow, other than in the heart of the Catholic Church. Faith itself, in God, in Jesus, in the Resurrection, in the role of Mary, in the institution of the Church as the Body of Christ, is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Faith is only maintained in our lives though the continued outpouring of the Spirit and in our accepting and submitting to this power. It is through the working of the Spirit in our hearts and minds that scripture, the Church fathers, the lives of the saints, the Rosary, the sacrifice of the Mass, come alive and take on their true meaning.

        It was 1972 when I first encountered the Charismatic Renewal. The renewal was young. I was young. Through the years I have seen the good and the difficult as the renewal grew, developed and dealt with its issues. One of the things many of us longed for was not to be a separate, somewhat strange and foreign offshoot of the Church, but to be accepted and integrated into the life of the Church. The ultimate hope was not to start some new “cult of the Spirit” but to see the recognition of the Holy Spirit, and the working of the Spirit in power become a part of every Catholic’s daily life.

        The tsunami of the present world rises ever higher and approaches ever more quickly in its attempt to overwhelm and wash away all that is left of God’s kingdom and Christ’s followers. It the face of this we Catholics desperately need to band together, to cling to each other as we face the coming onslaught. I am greatly disheartened when I hear or read the words of Latin Mass and Novus Ordo Catholics swinging away at each other as if one side will emerge the victor in a prize fight. The father of lies smiles at this, knowing we will be much easier to overcome if we are fighting each other.

        As a “charismatic” I love the Latin Mass. I want it to be preserved and to be offered everywhere. I also love a faithful, reverent, Novus Ordo Mass and do not wish to see it banned as the Latin Mass was for so long in many dioceses. We can work together. It will take great doses of charity, humility and good will but with the assistance of the Holy Spirit we can do it.
        JT

        Liked by 6 people

        1. Beautiful witness, reflection and exhortation, JT. Amen. Amen. And thank you for this. I know it takes a while to view the video about the developments which brought St. John Cantius’ church and community back to life. I love how it shows real people, clergy and laity, living what you have shared with us. In my experiences with the Charismatic Renewal, over the years in my area, I noticed difficultites develop within the groups which bypassed incorporating a greater focus on the Eucharist and the Blessed Mother as movements emerged to bring devotion to these two pillars of the faith. Such groups somehow did not endure over time.

          Liked by 5 people

        2. One of the TLM Low Masses that I happened upon in my travels in the States was perhaps an indicator of the kind of working together of which you speak, JT. The faithful and reverent rubrics that the laity followed was reminiscent of a Latin NO Mass because the laity as a whole mirrored the altar boys and choir/schola in the unison responses of words and chants as well as many but not all of the altar boys’ actions (e. g. when the servers moved to different positions on the altar, the laity did not move from one pew to another–lol). In fact I’ve noticed that as long as the laity remain worshipful and non-disturbing in their choice of rubrics at either an NO or TLM, the “sky’s the limit” for what we say and do. Perhaps that’s an indicator of the reality that–Ordinary Form or Extraordinary Form–the Mass is the Mass without any laity present–except perhaps a server.

          What do you think would be the motivation for banning a faithful, reverent Novus Ordo Mass? The reason I ask is because years ago when a small group that I belonged to petitioned our now bishop emeritus for a regularly scheduled TLM, he wouldn’t allow it on the basis that “he didn’t want to have a schism in his diocese”. Those were his words.

          Two things are noteworthy in regards to this man who led our diocese for 25 years. First, his case for decades-long clerical abuse is finally under investigation at the CDF and second, his comment about schism was made after JPII’s Moto Proprio “Ecclesia Dei” but before Pope Benedict’s even more generous Moto Proprio “Summorum Pontificum”. My reason for asking you this question, JT, is that it seems to me that unlike destructive interpretations and implementations of Vatican II documents which de facto banned what Pope Benedict told us was never de jure banned, Pope Benedict’s firm establishment of both forms of the Latin Rite of Mass should be sufficient for safeguarding faithful, reverent Novus Ordo Masses.

          I would hope that the assault on the faith done by irreverent “clown”-type Novus Ordo Masses would go away due to attrition or better yet conversion of those whose preference it is to celebrate them and participate in them. To be clear I am not saying or implying that reverent, faithful Novus Ordo Masses that include Charismatic, healing, and deliverance themes belong to the “clown”-type, liturgical abuses that most of us have endured over the years. Rather the hopeful observation with which I started this reply seems to me to indicate that there is evidence of charity and humility already at work unifying Catholics in the Truth given to us through and in the Mass without creating schism or the need to ban either form.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Islam:

            I too hope that “clown” Masses fade away into a historical short term departure from sanity.

            I think my reservations come from reading the comments on some of the traditional web sites I have been following for the past year (not usually the opinions of the site moderators but of the participating bloggers). There are folks, and not just a few of them, who Hate the Novus Ordo Mass and, if given the authority to do so, would seek to abolish it. A number of these folks also decry all of Vatican II as being a false Council that should be completely overturned. My personal opinion is that many of these people are hurting from the harm done to them by the virtual banning of the Latin Mass in many dioceses over the past fifty years. The suppression of the prior version of the Mass was wrong. Thankfully this wrong was addressed by JPII and Benedict and hopefully will never be inflicted on the faithful again. Unfortunately there are some out there who would impose the ban in reverse and do away with the Novus Ordo form. We must pray for them and for God’s protection for all Catholics.

            I believe that Catholics are, or can be taught, to accept both forms and even some blending of the two. My own home parish has a pastor who is thoroughly orthodox. Liturgies are reverent, homilies are based on the readings of the day. Confession, the rosary, novenas and other tradition Catholic practices are encouraged. The format is very Novus Ordo with alter girls, Communion in the hand, etc. but the atmosphere is reverent in accord with the great mystery occurring.

            The parish closest to our cabin in Northern New Hampshire has a young pastor who is very in tune with both forms. He obtained a beautiful old alter from a closing parish to replace the blank wall that was behind the modern table alter. He moved the tabernacle from the side of the sanctuary to the center of the new alter and moved his chair off to the side. He sings much of the Mass and the congregation has followed him with this and sings the replies. He recites the Eucharistic prayer slowly and reverently, uses incense at most Sunday Masses and reverently purifies the holy vessels after communion. At the end of each Mass, before he process out he stops to say prayers for vocations and to say the St. Michael’s prayer for the whole Church. At first some of his changes irritated me a bit but I have come to love the reverence and the solemnity of these Masses. I look forward to the weekends when we can participate.

            Another parish I have discovered in the last year has a pastor who is very in tune with charismatic forms of prayer and worship. At the same time he is extremely orthodox and the Masses, while Novus Ordo, are a reverent combination of many older practices with a strong devotion to the Holy Spirit as part of the teachings.

            Lastly, in my own diocese of Providence, Bishop Tobin (the ‘good’ Tobin) invited the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter to take over a failing inner city parish. They have instituted the Latin Mass as the norm for the parish and they appear to be flourishing. My wife and I have participated in Mass there. I am not ready to make it my home parish but is it wonderful to see and hear the old format in all its holiness and splendor.

            The times are difficult with many problems but it we can be open and charitable to each other the Lord is opening many doors and trying to provide us with many wonderful things even in the midst of all the trouble and chaos.

            Thank you for you comment, Islam. As you can see it is a subject close to my heart, about which I could go on about for quite a while. I welcome the opportunity to share these thoughts with you.

            JT

            Liked by 5 people

              1. Doug: You know it is. I keep praying for God to move Providence an hour closer to Manchester but He keeps responding by putting the thought in my head that I am supposed to bloom where I am planted. At least I get to share the occasional weekend with you guys at your great parish. It’s like going on a mini retreat/pilgrimage whenever I can get there.

                JT

                Liked by 2 people

                1. JT, you are very kind. We do feel very fortunate to be in the parish we are in and it is even better when you visit. Life has taught me that there will be change. So your thoughts on blooming where you are planted are very wise. I just hope I am not a desert flower when the time comes 😎

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  20. Moving forward is only sensible choice, if we regressed backwards we’d have to relive the horrors we’re living now…

    It’s a good read to help us refocus, even I go off on tangents at times.

    Liked by 6 people

  21. Hahahaha…I was cleaning a house yesterday for someone…and I’m pretty sure there was a ghost/demon in it (it happens often) and I heard loud crashes on other room..no one home..but all harry Potter books in kids room..ugh…I for the next 5 hours kept singing..”the Lord is my light and my salvation. ..of whom shall I be afraid…of whom shall I be afraid?” I wondered why I was singing that hymn..and just figured out right now this am..it was Charlies title of this piece…btw..that mean demon knocked over my mop n broom…plz say a prayer for this household. I did too to Blessed Mother and St Michael..oh what a crazy world we live in today…prayer up everyone🙇🙏

    Liked by 10 people

          1. I think maybe we should all pray for that family too that has a ghost /demon in the house…so many homes are letting them in through bad stuff…just terrible spiritual battles going on …I guess at this point it will take Triumph of our Mother to clean up houses messes..ugh

            Liked by 2 people

  22. It is often an argument of doctrine versus discipline. I think many of us need to be catechised in the difference. Where it gets sticky is when some treat doctrine as discipline and some treat discipline as doctrine. We need to clearly understand what is doctrine and what is discipline. Doctrine cannot change where as there is a level of flexibility in discipline. In all, we must keep in mind a respect and dignity in asking ourselves, “how can I be more holy and lead my life as to draw others unto Christ?”

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Exactly, Doug! Your closing thought is the essence of what we’re about. Driving wedges among the differences of legitimate discipline is not fueled by good spirits as this behavior weakens our unity. May we bring to life the Mandatum, the great commission in the Washing of the Feet. May Ubi Caritas be our sustaining theme:

      Where charity and love are, there God is.
      The love of Christ has gathered us into one flock.
      Let us exult, and in Him be joyful.
      Let us fear and let us love the living God.
      And from a sincere heart let us love each other (and Him).

      Where charity and love are, there God is.
      Therefore, whensoever we are gathered as one:
      Lest we in mind be divided, let us beware.
      Let cease malicious quarrels, let strife give way.
      And in the midst of us be Christ our God.

      Where charity and love are, there God is.
      Together also with the blessed may we see,
      Gloriously, Thy countenance, O Christ our God:
      A joy which is immense, and also approved:
      Through infinite ages of ages.
      Amen.

      Liked by 9 people

    2. Okay, Doug, and Bekita. Now please add the word “Dogma” to the mix—doctrine, discipline, and dogma.

      It seems to me that things have gotten really slippery rather than just sticky. Take for example this quagmire of jello: On the one hand, neither the admissibility or inadmissibility of Capital Punishment nor the definition of marriage being between one man and one woman are dogmatic statements. On the other hand the 2000-plus year doctrine (teaching) of the Church on both issues are based on Scripture and discipline. BUT are these particular disciplines small ‘t’ traditions or are they big ‘T’ Traditions? Hmmmm

      SERIOUSLY, I mean up until a year ago both of these specific disciplines, not dogmas, seemed to have/had Scriptural basis and 2000-year consistency. What determines the stability of a discipline? Or are disciplines just “jello-like” prudential preferences–Communion on the tongue and kneeling or in the hand while standing; Mass ad orientum with communion rails using Latin or the vernacular; etc…? How do we know? Where do we go to find out? Do we follow the ordinary Magisterium or the extraordinary Magisterium when they appear to contradict? I am seriously asking these questions. I am not trying to “stir the pot”.

      Here’s the specific jello quagmire of the day: Knowing these facts about marriage and Capital Punishment (neither is a dogma), can one decide that, acting according to one’s conscience, it just shouldn’t matter what prudential choice one makes on the discipline of these issues since neither of them are dogmatically defined? Is is a matter of preference? Kind of like how do I prefer to receive Holy Communion? Which Form of Mass do I prefer to attend?

      Please understand that I am not looking for a Levitical or Islamic-law-based practice for every little nitty-gritty undertaking of the day, BUT I am looking for “clarity in charity” when I ask where do ‘sheep’ locate the firm foundation and ‘rock of Peter’ when the strategy of Modernists is NOT to directly attack the Apostolic dogmas of the faith but to undermine with shape-shifting ambiguity both the practices (disciplines) and the words (doctrines) from which we learn and pass on the fundamental dogmas of “whatsoever Jesus commanded us to observe” before He ascended into Heaven? Thanks for the input anyone.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. So many questions here with varying weight, Islam. We know that many traditions in the Church and Biblical teachings are not dogmas. Doctrine involves the constant teaching of the Church, through the years, even though it is not formally defined. I know you know this: following the teachings of the Magisterium makes for safe passage through any times. The precise language Doug used – and I echoed – is not “tradition” but “discipline.” In this arena, legitimate practices have changed according to times and places and have often been shaped by culture. In some areas of discipline, the Holy See has allowed whole Bishop conferences and, in some areas, the local Bishop alone to make a final decision. For example, as a person approaches to receive holy communion, the Holy See requires, at least, a bow but also also allows kneeling to receive. Again, whole Bishop Conferences often decree a specific discipline of action or posture. When we return to our seats, the Holy See allows the option to stand, kneel or sit. Confusion arises when people may not know what the Church teaches and/or when those who know choose not to follow the legitimate authority’s guidelines or norms.

        If there are many specific things that really bother you, I would seek out a knowledegable orthodox priest who can walk you through these many questions you have. I trust that as we traverse the Storm and rebuild the culture and our Church, a good, holy order will be restored. In the meantime, what particularly struck me in Doug’s comment is a focus which brings me great peace amidst the disobedience and confusion: “In all, we must keep in mind a respect and dignity in asking ourselves, ‘How can I be more holy and lead my life as to draw others unto Christ?’” God bless III.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Thank you, Bekita. You mention following the Magisterium. Very well. Is there a link to where the clear, unambiguous teachings of the Magisterium can be found–both the ordinary and extraordinary Magisterium?

          At the suggestion of my pastor, I found a couple links that contain lists of either 255 or 258 dogmatic statements. The dogmas are clearly stated, but even so some of them need explanation. BTW, that suggestion came after I presented to my pastor the same jello quagmire that I presented to you all in the comment above. Regarding that slippery quagmire, he first advised me that I don’t trust myself enough. I replied that like Sts. Joan of Arc, Catherine of Sienna, the Cure of Ars, etc, etc, etc,,, he is correct; I absolutely do NOT trust myself but I do my best to trust in God and His Church. He opined that yes, he supposed mistrust of self might be the better course. Then he advised me that I don’t trust the Holy Spirit to lead Jesus’ Church. I replied in that he was mistaken because I absolutely and totally trust the Holy Spirit to lead Jesus’ Church. I added, however, that I have reasonable doubts that the Church Pope Francis is leading is indeed Jesus’ Church.

          Without correcting me on this point, he replied that in his forty-plus years of being a priest he has not seen the split in the Church so visible. I don’t know, Bekita. I like him. He’s a “straight shooter” and works hard to be a good shepherd, but perhaps he’s not orthodox enough to direct me to the sources from which that good, holy order for rebuilding the culture and Jesus’ Church will be found while we all traverse the Storm.

          Maybe I’m mistaken but it just stands to reason that those sources that contain “the good, holy order” are here right now and at their essential and fundamental core they contain the same commands now that they did when Jesus told Peter I give you the Keys of the kingdom. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven. I’m truly seeking so I trust I will find. In God’s time and way, I will find. Maybe you can give me some direction to a couple of links besides the dogmatic statements. Thanks.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. You are blessed to have a straight shooter pastor, as you call him, Islam. I’d stick with following his suggestions for resources. You’ve struck up the discussion with him, so it makes sense to allow him to guide you through what you are seeking.

            I do believe that knowing the doctrine and dogma, in detail and depth, will not have as big an impact on the world around each of us – unless we’re called to teach these things – as living a sacramental life in the faith while praying, sacrificing and fasting for Holy Spirit’s guidance and inspiration to descend on the people in the Church and greater world as we chop the wood which the Lord assigns to each of us.

            The Servant of God Maria Esperanza, very much a spiritual mother to me, often dropped one liners which prompted further pondering. She told me there are souls assigned to me that I must bring to Heaven with me. (And I know if she said it to me, it’s true for each one of us.) Of course, we know that our primary mission field includes spouses, children and other family members… but it certainly isn’t the totality of it. Every offering to God – including traditional ways of praying and, as Charlie consistently reminds us, the prayer of doing – really does ripple far and wide to make a difference in the whole world by God’s grace. All around each of us are people who do not know how much God loves them. In my contemplation and heart cries to the Lord about how to be a better agent of change, I continue to work at honing my skill set of evangelizing in words and deeds. (My current ministry studies involve a morning prayer group with folks from all around the country, thanks to the tech of webcams, in addition to teachings and interaction via a closed FB page.) I DO see the importance of dogma and doctrine but I don’t think naming it to people, who need to discover God’s love, will move them closer to Him by me telling them the major and finer points concerning the teachings… until they are ready and ask for them.

            For example, I recently heard from someone in Chicago who is aware of a non-denominational church in the city which focuses on inner healing so that the church simply welcomes, loves and prays over anyone living a homosexual lifestyle. The prayer leaders particularly focus on delivering these folks from an orphan spirit. The experience has been that after approximately a six month period, the homosexual couple awakens to God calling them out of their current lifestyle so that the couple, on their own, decides to cease the sexual activity and live in the freedom of His Ways and Laws. In pondering this right now in light of dogma and doctrine, I’m brought to another reality. We’re all sinners. No doubt, in certain phases of our lives, we’ve chosen to live in a lot of dirt. Still, the gold God put in each one of us remains, so my energy and attention are directed to the goal of connecting with the gold in those around me. God bless you and guide you, Islam, as He fills your heart’s desires.

            Liked by 9 people

              1. Islam: Twice in one day responding to someone. I think this is a record for me. I am an attorney and the one thing I know for certain about the “law” is that it is too broad and deep and immense for me to know it all. Sometimes the best advice I can give my clients is to help them find a competent attorney who deals in areas of the law where I have no expertise. I think that trying to “know” the full extent of the teaching of the Church and the magisterium are similar. Whenever I am in doubt I ask God to “educate” me by leading me to the materials or people who can answer the question at hand. If you are sincere in your search I think the Holy Spirit will always provide the necessary information.

                JT

                Liked by 4 people

            1. That was pretty profound insight Beckita..wow..and to have known Maria Esperenza…she always amazed me when I’d see her on tapes from betania…what a powerhouse mystic she was…

              Liked by 1 person

          2. That is exceptional advice from B, III.

            Another one who I love, famous for dropping one-liners of immense value, is Mother Theresa. Surely she understood how to live the prayer of doing, not only bringing others the embracing, compassionate hands and arms of Christ, but his Face as well. And what did those folks encounter there? The face of doctrines, dogmas and hair-splitting? No. His Face is Love, and of course none of this makes the least sense without Jesus.

            “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” — Mother Theresa

            Liked by 7 people

  23. I finished sending angels for Doug this week and will send angels for Linda next week. In case anyone is wondering if the comments of the last two days were a factor, no, I had selected Linda to receive angels next during last week. I have in mind the candidate for the week after next unless something should intervene. May God continue to bless and guide all here. jas

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Ha! Thank you JAS. I did not know this. I had some personal issues this past week. So this was greatly appreciated. Funny too. For some reason, I have been thinking a lot about angels this past week. Now I know they have been ganging up on me. Well, not really ganging up on me, but more involved than usual. God bless you!

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Doug and these nine angels, one from each of the nine courts of angels will assist your guardian angel in your care and protection for the rest of your life according to the promises given by Christ in consecutive nine communions novena in the Jesus King of all Nations devotions. I say a special prayer at least once a day in my morning prayers after the guardian angel prayer that all the angels from the courts of angels will guide and protect me, lead me in Christ’s Holy Love and His Holy Will. May God continue to bless and guide all here, lead us to all holiness and TRUTH. jas

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Well folks, school starts tomorrow with students coming in on Thursday. Talk about being on the front line in the trenches. Please keep all students and teachers in your prayers. If you are not a teacher you most likely don’t grasp the just how much of a battlefield teaching is.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. HTTP: My wife just retired from twenty years as an elementary teacher in a public school. She loved the children but the system was a constant trial. This will be the first September she does not return to the classroom.. We will pray. We know how it is. May God surround you with a battalion of angels to protect you, guide you and lead the way.

      JT

      Liked by 4 people

    1. Little One, this is all so big for us. For most of us, prayer and sacrifice is the best next right step at this time. In belonging to the Auxilium Christianorum (AC), I have agreed to pray the series of prayers laid out for each day of the week which support the exorcist priests in their work while they and all lay members are praying for each others families.

      I’ve been praying against any potentially wicked plans for the Amazon Synod by asking Our Lady – ordained to crush the head of the serpent – to confuse and confound any members of the synod who are being led by evil spirit activity. I actually adapted this prayer from the AC:
      I offer my prayers, supplications, sufferings and good works to thee, Blessed Mother, so that thou may purify them, sanctify them and present them to thy Son as a perfect offering. May this offering be given so that the demons that influence or seek to influence the members of the Amazon Synod do not know the source of their expulsion and blindness. Blind them so that they know not our good works. Blind them so that they know no ton whom to take vengeance. Blind them so that they may receive the just sentence for their works. Cover me with the Precious Blood of thy Son so that I may enjoy the protection which flows from His Passion and Death. Amen.

      Liked by 6 people

  25. Many years ago I did a lot of substitute teaching in the Irving, Texas public schools of all grades and levels. I was always challenged by the situations that came up, until one day I realized what was behind it all. It was the after effects of divorce and the eventual remarriage of the parents that was behind their lack of discipline. The remarried can not be really true parents to children that are not their own. They can only become diplomats and hope for the best and the schools become a modified version of a prison, complete with the teaching staff as wardens and guards, and woe to the teacher who really tries to teach.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. By the way, am seeing this first hand from a different perspective from a mom at work who has two kids and is divorced from her husband who had an affair. The husband re-married and has a kid from the other woman. The mom at work has almost no control over her kids. It is apparent there needs to be a dad. My heart grieves for her and her kids. I can see why God hates divorce. It is so destructive to the family.

      Liked by 5 people

  26. Yes, people are too quick in a lot of instances to divorce instead of working hard on showing our children how it takes a lot of work to get to adulthood and beyond; the original parents can usually help the children better because the children want both parents together and are affected by divorce no matter their age.

    I have a school teacher living next to me who started leaving his trash cans right outside my kitchen window where my table is; when I questioned him about the move, he said it was a fair trade for him having to see my bumper sticker [small] TRUMP/PENCE2020 and it doesn’t have 2020. The left are afraid!

    Liked by 3 people

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