Friday, November 30, 2012

Disciples to Apostles,.Priests for Tomorrow,..

   First off, a shout out to Fr Jason Piper for his visit to Cybertron, his post was awesome and hopefully the ‘Clerictron’ will make regular visits.  What was written regarding priestly promises and the Liturgy was intelligent, well argued and to the point.   Padre Pipes will always have a forum to speak on ‘Confessions.’  Safe to say that modernists, heterodox and yes,..well heretics too,..all had a little pee pee in their pants after reading Fr Jason’s post, this of course pre supposes that said groups have intellectual acumen to understand it.  Now on to some reflections,…

   Yup, one of those posts again, perhaps because I really have nothing to speak about or perhaps because I have accepted the fact that while in discernment for priesthood, I am currently where God wants me to be.  My personality remains the same, but I have to acknowledge that my prayer life and thus, my soul is at peace.  What that means is that I’m accepting the reality that this is a supernatural call from Jesus that requires a complete ‘Yes!’  Essentially Jesus doesn’t want 95% of you, He wants all of you, and that means ‘dying to yourself..’ (Shout out to the Evangelical protestant community,..yes they can teach us things too! ;))
Well, I am nearly finished my first semester/session as a seminarian, and to tell you the honest truth, I couldn’t be any happier!  There are moments whereby my own ego, frailty and shades of my past life enter and attempt to disturb me.  What do I mean?  Well for one, living in a house with 30 other guys, not to mention retired old priests can pose its challenges(God doesn’t take away your manhood, and egos, temperaments as well as stress can cause friction, not to mention 50 men burping, farting and scratching).  Logging onto Facebook and seeing friends getting married, girls I’ve dated with other guys, and functions/events that I would gone to in my past life can all play mind games with you..  In this light, I am reminded of St Paul, who after meeting the Risen Christ on the road to Damascus, goes to meet St Peter, then into the desert for what you would call ‘formation.’  After this period does one transition from Disciple to Apostle! (Credit Msgr Frank Leo CSS for that line) . 

   Our late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II issued an apostolic letter Pastores Dabo Vobis and in it, he cites four criteria regarding the formation of future priests.  To briefly go over them and summarize, they are as follows…

-The Spiritual.  Not just Mass and Rosary, but includes personal meditation (especially before the Blessed Sacrament), Praying the Liturgy of the Hours, Adoration and Lectio Divina/Regularly reading and praying Scripture.   In prayer is where we meet Jesus personally, we can know about Him, but if we don’t know Him personally, all the Theology in the world can’t help you.

-The Intellectual.   A proper understanding of philosophical first principals is essential.  Starting with the pre Socratics, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas (all awesome!) all the way to an understanding of modern thought, the nuttiness of Descartes, Spinoza, Kant and in my opinion, the reigning heavyweight Champion of intellectual chaos and verbal diarrhea, MARTIN HEIDEGGER!!! (emphasis added, and yes, I’m biased…)  This prepares us for Theology, if we know and Love Jesus, then we want to know all about Him!  Scripture, Sacred Tradition, Liturgy, Ecclesiology, name it!

-The Pastoral.  Jesus encounter Zaccheus up a tree, He doesn’t condemn,..Jesus encounters the adulterous woman, He doesn’t condemn,.. Jesus promises Paradise to the Good thief,..  I think you get my point.  Jesus encounters, offers Mercy, but doesn’t leave them there,..He leaves them with Truth!  ‘Go and sin no more!’  A call to Holiness!  Being Pastoral doesn’t mean smiling all the time and never getting sanguine, it means protecting and feeding your sheep.  Meeting people where they are, (St Paul in Acts; 17,..usually syrum for SSPX or sedevacante people wanting nothing to do with Ecumenism,..) then proposing Jesus Christ, while respecting the free will of the individual receiving the message.  Here I am reminded of Aquinas,.(Information will only be received by the mode of the receiver,..’Religious Freedom,…VII,..cough,..cough…) .  The Spirit of VII crowd sees being ‘pastoral’ as the opposite and it means tolerating any and everything, you know the whole 397 women Eucharistic ministers on the alter, carrying their purses in procession, as well Fr Feelgood McButterfly not preaching on anything substantial instead speaking about the plight of Northern Cariboo.  The Bishop’s staff provides the most beautiful symbolism, the hook to keep the sheep close, the spear to keep the wolves apart.  (memo to Spirit of VII cookoo crowd, Evil exists, is a fallen angel, and wants your soul…)

-The Anthropological.  This is a dimension of growth far too ignored.  To maintain a healthy balance between ‘work and play’ so to speak because well, keeps you sane.  The key is to let Jesus sanctify what you are doing.  I still avidly train, usually 5 days out of 7 a mixture of resistance, metabolic conditioning and Jiu Jitsu.  As well,.to maintain proper relationships especially with women.  There is a difference between heading to a movie with a girl at 2pm in the afternoon, or still having a coffee or lunch as opposed to being alone with a girl, in private, after 7pm at night.  Judgement and spiritual direction is a key element. 

   So there you have it, the recipe is simple, centred completely on Jesus, nourished by the Eucharist, prayer, The Scriptures, the Blessed Mother and of course each other…Then spreading out into avenues,..

PS:  I am working on a post showing some blatant inconsistencies within The SSPX.  Are they sedevacante?  Are they not?  Some of their own members aren’t even sure,…Stay tuned!! (That should tell you something!)

St Jean Viannay,…………………………Ora pro nobis!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Piper's Pit? Naaah,..Fr Piper's POST!

A few months back, I mentioned that there would be 'guest bloggers' on 'Confessions..'  Well today is one of those days!  The shuttle just landed on Cybertron, along with some valuable energeon cubes and a dose of Padre Pipes!!!!  Think back to Rowdy Piper smashing a coconut on Jimmy Snuka's head,.. Well Father be laying the smackdown on heterodoxy!

A friend told me about some liturgical abuses that happened at a mass she recently attended (at a high profile parish to boot). She said the priest who presided the Eucharistic celebration did not distribute Holy Communion; rather he had a layperson giving Holy Communion in his place. Then, after mass, she asked the priest why he didn’t distribute Holy Communion? He said he had to “wash the dishes” and that the laity are to have a more active role. There are several abuses present here: 1) The presider is to distribute Holy Communion, he is the primary Eucharistic Minister. 2) Referring to the purification of the sacred vessels as “washing the dishes” is completely disrespectful, and downright scandalous. 3) The priest totally missed the boat on VCII’s call of a greater participation by the faithful. These abuses are very upsetting; because they just flat out shouldn’t happen. They are also very disturbing because this is not an isolated incident. In the end, these abuses cause a strain on the faithful who love the liturgy, and are not asking for anything more than the mass to be faithfully celebrated as prescribed by Holy Mother Church.

Recently we celebrated the feast of The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica. The gospel reading (John 2:13-22) for the feast was on Jesus' righteous anger displayed in the Temple due to disrespect for the sacred space that is used for profit rather than prayer. Christians, you must allow Jesus' actions to inspire you, as He is a model for us in all things. When you see injustices going on in the Church by unfaithful shepherds, do not accept them. When you see (and are subjected to) abuse going on in the liturgy, do not accept them. When you hear unfaithful shepherds spreading error, do not accept them.

Flare up with a fire of righteous anger in union with Jesus, for love of His Church. Speak to the pastor, go to the bishop if necessary. Challenge the errors and outright sacrileges going on in the Lord's house. Be like the widow in the parable about the unjust judge (see Luke 18:1-8). For as Christ says, “will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily” (Luke 18:7-8a). Therefore, be persistent, in a charitable manner, as you call for faithfulness from your shepherds.

The Church is the Body of Christ; people of God with Jesus as our head. The bishops and priests are sent to serve the people of God, to serve you, as Christ’s representatives! Not to serve themselves. The cleric is to be modeled after Jesus who, “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 28:28). Therefore, bishops and priests are not to push their teachings, doctrines, ultimately their own vision of the Church based on their will. They are to present the Church's teachings, doctrines, and God’s vision for the Church according to His will... faithfully in its entirety.

It is the Father’s desire, and therefore your God given right; to have bishops & priests 100% faithful to Holy Mother Church. I would also suggest that it is a God given right to worship in your home parish that is 100% faithful to Holy Mother Church, by adhering to all the Church proposes regarding the governance and life of each Catholic community. Do not settle for anything less than all Jesus desires for you, which the Church is to give you, through Her shepherds who promised faithful adherence to all the Church requires from Her ministers.

At his ordination, the one to be ordained is asked by the bishop, “Are you resolved to celebrate the mysteries of Christ faithfully and religiously as the Church has handed them down to us for the glory of God and the sanctification of God's people?” To which the one to be ordained replies, “I am.” This promise is made to God, to the Church (all the baptised), and I would include this promise is made to all of humanity as well; for the priest is to minister directly or indirectly to every soul, so all may come to know and accept Jesus for eternal salvation. God, and the Church, expects the priests to make good on their promise.

Now, it is a terrible thing, and not to be taken lightly, when the ordained does not make good on the promises he made. He is essentially sinning against God and humanity. In abusing the liturgy or spreading errors; the bishop or priest is actually publicly sinning by breaking his promises for all to see, which is scandalous. In doing this, he becomes a false witness. Through his actions contrary to what the Church requires of him, he (be it his intention or not) actively and flagrantly spreads contempt against Holy Mother Church by disregarding his promises, and what the Church requires of him.

With this reality unfolding in The Church, one thing is sure; bishops & priests need prayers! Some become discouraged and write-off their priests as hopeless heretics. Do not dismiss them! Pray for the clergy, your shepherds, that we remain faithful to the awesome task of serving the people of God. Pray that we remain faithful to our promises. Sometimes it is a misplaced intention to do good. Sometimes it is ignorance. Sometimes the ego gets in the way. Sometimes it is down right disobedience and rebellion. Oftentimes bishops and priests face great battles on many different fronts and on a daily basis! Should some of the clergy have fallen away, fallen into error, fallen into unfaithfulness; pray hard for them. At the same time, and this must be reiterated, do not accept anything except what they have promised to do!

Finally, and above all, entrust your bishops and priests (we are ‘yours’ because Christ called us to Holy Orders, and entrusted us with this sacred responsibility for your good. We exist for ministering to you!) to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She will help mold them after her Son's priestly Sacred Heart.

Mary, Queen of the Clergy; pray for us
Saint John Vianney, patron saint of priests; pray for us
Saint Michael the Archangel, defender of the Church; pray for us

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Warrior Pope,..

Obviously we Christians we follow Christ.  There can be no higher King.  Yet sometimes our fragile humanity calls upon certain imaginary heroes to fulfill our idea of the good.  Then again, we can also look up to sports stars.  Chuck Norris, (the mythical one?) what about Segal, Van Damme or Bruce Willis?  Still what about fictional superheroes, like Optimus Prime, Wolverine, Superman and the Hulk?  We all look up to heroes, myself, the ones I mentioned, notwitstanding.  I will also include Royce Gracie, Renzo Gracie, Bas Rutten, and still others.  One contemporary hero stands above the rest…He passed away in 2005,..Pope John Paul II, The Great.  Why am I writing this post now?  The answer is that way too many people considering themselves magistral authority seem ready to label him a modernist.  Obviously this is due to his (seemingly) lackluster approach to the Liturgy.  Well, perhaps now is the time for a much needed apologetic defense of the Pope who from a secular standpoint saved the Catholic Church from an internal dislocation.  As Catholics, we know that it is the Holy Spirit who is ultimately in charge, yet if we come at it from a pure academic/historical perspective,.Holy Father John Paul II will go down as one of the champion defenders of the Faith, and together with Cardinal Ratzinger, a veritable legion of doom and terror of all things modernist.  Credit and shout out to my brother seminarian Richard for an awesome discussion, as we both enjoy smacking both the lefty loonie toonies and the fringe crack pot extreme right(sedevacante) position.

Let’s set the stage for his ascendancy to the Papacy, the aftermath of Vatican II, and Pope Paul VI’s ‘Humanae Vitae.’  The sudden death of Pope John Paul I.  The Church is in massive need for a clean up, the ‘batsignal’ is flashed to Poland…

1978;  Inherits a Church reelings from the nutty ‘spirit’ of VII crowd, mass defections from the Priesthood, a chancery office full of heretics, the sexual revolution, feminism, and especially in the Quebec, the Quiet Revolution. While the Faithful remaining, are now in the full swing of the Charismatic renewal, not that that in itself is bad, however, some took it too far, and left the Faith not seeing the need for a ministerial Priesthood. 
So what does he do?  Creates World Youth Days!  Takes Bishops, at that time nobody knew who they were and puts them on a stage, saying to the flock,.these are your Bishops!  Now they become known and well, so do their,..ahemm, theological positions!  The media now know who they are,.(cough, cough Bernadin,..couch..) Next, creates the Ecclesia Dei Commission establishing the FFSP, asking Bishops to be generous in allowing the use of the 1962 Rite of Mass, now known as Extraordinary Form.  Done in response to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre backing out of a document he SIGNED!  (Ego?)

Sends ‘Fr’ Hans Kung into theological limbo by removing his faculties as a Catholic theologian!  Essentially saying, that’s right Hans, ain’t Catholic!  Took a trip to latin America and reigned in the libertation theology movement which had become in some circles, a Christian marxism,..Infallibly declared that the Church has no authority to ordain women whatsoever, and sends feminists frothing at the mouth while lining up for rabies vaccinations.  (Ordination Sacerdotalis 1994)  Writes the Encyclical Evangelium Vitae as a response to the abortion crowd, Catholics and otherwise as well as reasserts through the Theology of the Body, traditional Catholic teaching on sexuality and republishes the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Finally publishes ‘Dominus Iesus’ (1999) as a response to goofball ecuMENTALists trying to undermine the Faith. 

To conclude, we must contextualize John Paul II before we judge him.  Sometimes all is not what we see, and that Pope Benedict inherited a much different Church that John Paul II.  The heretics are dangerous, but getting older.  The secular world however has completely altered.  What we need now is another hero to rise up, not just publish words.  To act!  Remember John Paul II’s speech in Sicily?  We need another courageous Bishop especially in the West!  Right now we are in the midst of Liturgical Reform, and Benedict, continuing the work of John Paul II through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  ‘The Gates of hell will not prevail against her.’ (St Matthew’s Gospel, you know the verse!)

Our Lady of Fatima,………………….ora pro nobis!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Baum, Voris and Rosica....(All walk into a bar,..)

Sounds like the beginning of a joke,..So much news in Catholic circles has been given to Fr Thomas Rosica (Salt and Light) and his recent interview with pseudo ‘theologian’/modernist heretic Gregory Baum, that yes,..I have decided to weigh into this debate and give my two cents.  It seems that certain ‘so-called’ traditionalists think I’ve abandoned ship because I dared criticize their little poster boy with the funky hair, Michael Voris.  Well newsflash!!!!  I have never critiqued the content of Voris, however I do critique his approach at times especially on the Vortex, which is offered for free, and at times is the only tool some people watch to fuel their anger at the lack of leadership of the hierarchy.   Sometimes I think Voris has a giant Teletraan-1 computer with satelites (gratuitous Transformers reference) at his headquarters which allows him pinpoint every abuse and heresy from around the world.  

So to calm the masses, I am dead set against Fr Rosica inviting Baum on Salt and Light’s ‘Witness.’  I don’t know what he was thinking, inviting an excommunicated ex-priest onto the show, to celebrate Vatican II(more like the ‘spirit/poltergeist’ of VII as Vatican II is to be read within the hermeneutic of continuity)  As Catholics we have enough trouble trying to figure out our own identity that we don’t need theological spin doctors who espouse everything from so-called gay ‘marriage,’ pro-choice and every other goofy proposition, not to mention intrinsic evil,.. that had NOTHING to do with Vatican II.  We can argue that Professor Baum desires the ‘good’ of the Church, but that is ultimately a non issue.  We do not need Baum’s brainwashing nonsense penetrating Catholics at a time when the Reform of the Reform is well underway.

At the same time, (Traditionalists hold your breath,..) I was also against Fr Rosica interviewing Bishop Fellay of the SSPX.  The reasons are pretty much the same.  We do not need Fellay, (Still in schism) confusing Catholics as well.  The SSPX, despite probably good intentions by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre as well as Fellay, are in an ‘irregular’ communion.  Obediance is a virtue, and usually sets out the roadmap to a person’s holiness.  Examples of Padre Pio, and Sr Lucy of Fatima come to mind, they were silenced and they obeyed. 

To conclude, I am and remain a loyal son of the Magisterium, nothing changes.  I follow Jesus, not Voris, Baum, Corapi, Rosica or any other personality or outlet.  I am against Salt and Light interviewing people outside the Church, when it concerns matters of the Church.  Whether they be excommunicated or in schism, for whatever reason.  I do not know Fr Rosica’s intentions, perhaps he has to answer to investors?  Maybe he's starved for ratings? (my opinion,..)  Remember he has to shepherd souls, and we are not in his position.  As for Michael Voris?  I like him, I have met him, I think the Church needs him.  My own experience however, is that one can pinpoint problems, that’s fine.  However we need to find solutions,…that’s the tricky part.  Our Lady gave us a way through the Rosary, fasting and prayer.

***On a final note, I will congratulate the President of the United States who was elected Tuesday night for a second term.  Obviously my readership knows my views.  I will ask for prayers, for the conversion of the heart of Barrack Obama, so that he may realize his views on abortion are simply demonic.  As well for a change of his heart regarding religious freedom,..The stage is set for the Catholic Church to undergo persecution, and the cause?  ‘Luke warm’ catholics.  Cardinal Francis George of Chicago’s words keep ringing in my head, especially in light of potentially becoming a priest,.to paraphrase, -‘ I will probably die in a bed, my successor probably in a jail cell, and his successor will be killed.***

Our Lady of Guadalupe,……………………..ora pro nobis.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

MASS Breakdown Simplified

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Divine Liturgy, the representation of Christ’s Sacrifice on the Cross in unbloody manner.  A gesture first posed by Jesus at the Last Supper, an act that transcends time and space, in which the setting was a seder meal.  What is my point throughout all of this, well an attempt (ATTEMPT) to briefly underline the nature of the Mass, and to a certain extent, its evolution.  Vatican II reformed the Rite, much to the chagrin of many Faithful, however an authentic conversation must be undertaken between the intent as opposed to what actually is transpiring.  There is a reason that Pope John Paul II and now Pope Benedict XVI initiated a ‘Reform of the Reform.’  This blog post will concentrate on the Roman rite, which has not just two but nine rites inside of it.  Many so-called ‘Traditionalists’ seem to think that the older form of Mass was perfectly celebrated all the time, and that Vatican II’s Reform came out of left field, when in actuality, Liturgical Reform was underway before VII came into anyone’s radar screen.  Well,.the reality of this assertion is not the case.  Examples?  Communion-rite drive by ‘liturgies’ with no Mass while the other priest is at the foot of the Alter beginning his Mass (picture almost a baton race, whereby the baton is passed to the next racer.  Parish announcents during the ‘Offertory,’ (instead of after the Communion concluding prayer…) and a Liturgical spin cycle which repeated the same Gospel sequence, inaudible most of the time, and a faithful assisting at Mass praying the Rosary,.(Sorry Michael Voris, this is wrong, despite the fact that the intent is good, and yes good and holy people recite the Rosary.) 

The Mass that my generation grew up on is what is properly known as the ‘ordinary’ Form of Mass.  Once again to be fair, did we really implement Sacrosanctum Consilium?,..The answer is obvious.  The ordinary form of Mass is in actually the more ancient rite of celebrating the Eucharist, despite what the so-called Traditionalists claim.  (here)  Okay so now that you’ve seen words from Justin Martyr,..we can move forward.  We will now attempt to break down the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Sunday style!)

What we need:
1.        A Bishop or priest and an Assembly
2.       Missel and a Lectionary
3.       A Place suitable for worship, with the Alter at the Centre
4.       Proper Matter, (ie bread, wine, Chalice, ciborium, paten, corporal, purificator)

Just like in boxing/MMA let’s break down the Liturgy!

First off we have the opening Rites.  Usually an announcement is made or a bell rung to signal the Assemble to rise (Standing is the proper position for prayer).  ‘Let us stand to begin our praise and worship of God.’

**Abuse Alert number 1.** The master of ceremonies says ‘Let us stand to welcome our celebrant.’ Uhh noooo,..

Next up we have the penitential Rite,..Where the community collectively anticipates to prayerfully prepare themselves by acknowledging their (our) sinfulness.  After this we have the Gloria, and the opening rites are concluded with an opening prayer.

**Abuse Alert number 2** Priests saying ‘Good Morning,..’ There is nothing wrong with that except, if the congregation has already made the sign of the Cross,..its goofy and hokey,.. Before it?  Fine.  Once we ‘dial the telephone’ we should be giving our attention to God the Father!

Liturgy of the Word

First Reading, usually from the Old Testament, then a Responsorial Psalm, then the Second Reading.  After suitable meditation time between them.  The Alleluia starts and the priest or deacon, should there be one, makes his way to the Ambo, carrying the Book of the Gospels.  The Gospel is read to the Assembly and next up, the Word is broken open with the homily.

Abuse alert number 3.  The Responsorial Psalm is replaced by some crappy syrupy protestant song, or campy Catholic song from the 1970s.. Or still the Gospel read by a layperson or nun (woman religious…) or my favorite the homily given by a layperson or nun having NOTHING to do with the Gospel of the day,.. Some nutty ‘so-called social justice leftist nonsense regarding fair trade coffee with funds going to pro choice movements...

Next up we have the profession of Faith, the Nicene Creed, and the Universal prayers, (Church Universal, local, world and regional.)  We finally conclude the Liturgy of the Word.

Liturgy of the Eucharist

Priest goes to the Alter as bread and wine are brought forth.  The priest will prepare the gifts, and position them on the Alter, then will begin to spiritually prepare himself.   This is done quietly or in a low voice, and usually at this time the collection is taken up.  The priest while offering the bread and wine elevates a little,.why?  Because its bread and wine!  Jesus isn’t sacramentaly there yet! 

**Abuse number 4.**  This one drives me batty, because sometimes I feel the priest is acting in a theatre and just really being silly.  During the offertory prayers, he says them loudly,.(people should be praying, those that aren’t can respond with the ‘Blessed be God forever..’ again though quietly) and his arms are extended to the ceiling.

Next up the Eucharistic Prayer, inside of which is the Consecration.  After the words of Institution are pronounced, the Eucharistic presence is venerated so that the kneeling assembly realizes the Real Presence.  It is a veneration with elevation, because the prayer continues.  A bell is rung to call the people’s attention.  The Eucharistic prayer concludes with the Doxology, ‘Through Him With Him,…’ At this point is when the Sacrifice of the Son is offered to the Father.  This is the part where the priest should be completely elevating!  This is followed by the great Amen.  Then the Our Father, the kiss of peace and the Agnus Dei, (when the fraction of the Eucharist occurs.)

**Abuse Alert 5**  Where to begin?, ‘standing’ at the consecration is a start.  The priest not following the words as they are written.  Ad libbing, and my another one that ‘grinds’ my gears, the priest breaking the Host, when he is consecrating,..once again, not theatre time.. The Our Father where everybody holds hands turns the Eucharist into a celebration of the people,..and the kiss of peace looks like a backyard chat with the neighbour over the fence.  The priest rushing off the sanctuary to shake hands with everyone!

The Communion Rite begins, where communion is given hierchically beginning with the Presider all the way to the Assembly.. (Do we need 325 ‘Extra ordinary ministers usually all women?) …
Prayer after Communion concludes the Liturgy of the Eucharist.  Then we can read the parish announcements.  There are some parishes which do the announcements before the concluding prayer, and it just doesn’t make sense, breaks up the Liturgy of the Eucharist.  Finally the final Blessing and dismissal.

Tired,..God Bless!  

St Jean Vianney,…………….Ora pro nobis!