Month: <span>July 2021</span>

“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” says the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the Lord. Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, says the Lord.  Jeremiah 23

This is a good portion of the first reading in the ordinary form of the Holy Mass. The words, which assuredly Pope Francis heard proclaimed, are prophetic. For HE is the shepherd who had brought division to the Church by his latest motu proprio, Traditionis Custodes. In this document, he quite literally undoes the act of unity, charity, and pastoral solicitude of Pope Benedict in Summorum Pontificum. Whereas Pope Benedict liberalized the liturgical books in use in 1962, Pope Francis has rigidly revoked that magnanimous permission in this document in the name of unity. Clearly, he has not spent much time around those who love the Extraordinary Form, because never have I found a group more unified around the perennial teachings of the Church. Never have I seen a group more faithful and unified in their reception of the Sacraments. Never have I seen a group so unified in their life of prayer and devotion. If you want to see unity, go to a Traditional Latin Mass parish.

Many of us have become disturbed by this news and what it will bring. Let me offer a few thoughts.

  1. Have complete confidence in God who has allowed this for our own purification. He wants us to resist, for sure, but at the same time we must have confidence in God. God, who gave us Summorum Pontificum, can soon give it back. Confidence!

  2. Be incredibly careful that we do not fall into sin. Be kind and charitable. Just because Pope Francis has lobbed a liturgical bomb our way, doesn’t mean we should respond in kind, by becoming liturgical terrorists. If we have, we must go to confession. In fact, just go to confession, period.

  3. Following on this point, be careful what your tone is in writing to Pope Francis, your bishop, and your pastor. Be kind and charitable. Do not give them a reason to say, “well, just another angry, hateful, disunity causing traditionalist.” Simply, and respectfully share your positive impressions of the Traditional Latin Mass. Do not, even if you want to, rail against them. That just gives them the ammo they need to shut the whole thing down.

  4. Priests should be especially careful to be charitable and respectful of the office the bishop holds. Depending on your bishop he may change nothing, which deserves praise.

  5. Seminarians, if their bishop has asked your opinion should give it, even if that includes, “I will be looking elsewhere if the Traditional Latin Mass cannot be part of my priesthood.” If the bishop doesn’t ask, for Pete sake shut up and get ordained, or look elsewhere.

In the coming weeks I will be writing to Pope Francis, and my own bishop, who wisely has solicited the opinion of priests and seminarians before he begins to discernment as to how he will implement the document in our diocese. After I send them I will publish them here. They will, by their nature be somewhat repetitive.

My dear flock, do not fear. The Lord is in control, and as he promised in the reading above, I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, says the Lord. So, children, have no fear. Have confidence in the Lord of justice and mercy.

It’s time to choose who you will follow. The Tradition of the Church or the anti church. How bishops and priests respond to the document released today by Francis will reveal who you can trust. This clear attack on the Traditional Latin Mass is an attack on what we have believed and done for millennia. It formed countless saints. This attack thus is an attack on the Catholic Faith, but remember what I wrote on my blog yesterday. Let us have confidence in the Lord, even when he is asleep.

More to come in the next few days as I pray about this.

“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

This passage from the Twelfth chapter of St. Luke is one that gives us great confidence. In fact, the whole chapter does. A wise man would read it meditatively immediately. It is a beautiful way of gaining the trust and confidence we need during these times of upheaval and disunity in the Church and in the world.

The Lord knows of our needs. He knows what a terrible situation the Church and the world is, yet, he calls us to trust Him and have Confidence in Him. He knows.

We, on the other hand, don’t know. We don’t know the future. We don’t know one iota of what could, might, possibly, might happen in the Church or the world. It could all be remedied in an instant. Or not. But worrying, fighting, and spiritual violence (to which so many have been subjected, especially in the past sixty or so years,) or physical violence we see sweeping our streets, is not the answer.

We must rightly correct, and in some rare cases, disobey even our bishop. For instance, if he commands something immoral such as to give Holy Communion to manifest, unrepented, and grave sinners. Priests must disobey that unlawful order. Or if a bishop suspends a priest who has not committed a Canonical Crime and without due process. That priest has no obligation follow that directive. Obedience has limits. The ultimate obedience is to Christ, not a pope or bishop. Bishops and popes should take heed of the office they hold lest they become little dictators in their sees doing whatever fits their “brand” of Catholicism. Woe to you scribes and pharisees! You are whitewashed sepulchers filled with all manner of filth!

But I digress. Confidence is the topic. Confidence in Jesus is the remedy when bad things happen in the Church or the world. Or even in our personal lives. When I was diagnosed with ALS, I immediately panicked. But frankly, that was not the proper supernatural response. The correct supernatural response is absolute, unmoving, undying, an and unwavering confidence in Jesus, who desires to give you the Kingdom. After a time, my confidence came back. Because we are mere men, we can fall into panic and lack of confidence. When I do, I remind myself that Lord desires to give me the Kingdom. That in the stormy sea, he is asleep, but there. He never leaves us in the storm. He merely sleeps till he awakens to calm the storm in the blink of an eye. So, fear not little flock, come hell or high water, and it may come, put your confidence not in the bishops, nor the pope, but only in the Lord, asleep in the boat.

So, have confidence in Him.

No matter what comes our way, confidence in Jesus. Confidence in the Immaculate Heart of Mary, confidence in St. Joseph, Terror of Demons.

“My little flock, it is my desire to give you the Kingdom.”