Thy Faith Fail Not

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“I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren.” -Luke 22:32

In one of the texts for a religion course which I took in high school, the author cites this verse from Scripture to prove the primacy of Saint Peter. She writes, “Peter received the special grace to preserve the faith of the Church…Christ did not say that Peter would never sin but rather that his faith(belief in the truth) would not fail.” Thus, Peter did not lose the gift of faith even when he thrice denied Our Lord. Nowhere else in the Scripture does Jesus Christ mention that He has prayed for a single person, further confirming the significant role of the first pontiff.

Christ’s promise that Peter’s faith would not fail also extended to Peter’s successors. No matter how many mediocre, immoral, or downright scandalous men occupy the Chair, the faith will always be preserved through Jesus’ particular prayer for Peter. This promise must also extend to those popes who lacked prudence and insight, as well as those popes who were terrible theologians and teachers.

A person might ask, and without no good reason, how could this be? Does it not seem like a contradiction to believe that the papacy preserves the faith, yet the man holding the office may not even be considered a theologian in the basic sense of the word? With every bad or questionable thing Rome has done, not just over the past fifty years, but stretching back even further, perhaps even to the very birth of the Church, how could it be considered as a bulwark of the faith?

How? How? How? Why do we become so wrapped up in the question of the how that we forget the what? In this matter, the what is Christ’s promise that Peter’s faith will never fail. How that faith will never fail is ultimately a mystery, one that we will never be able to penetrate fully in this life.

However, recognition of and humble submission to the mystery does not mean completely casting off understanding. In fact, it is this very recognition and humble submission of which faith consists. Faith precedes understanding, and true understanding comes only by faith. As St. Augustine has taught, we believe in order to understand.

In the end, let the questions come. For as long as we have faith, we will never lose our sense of the mystery itself, no matter the degree of understanding which God deigns to bestow upon us.

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The East, The West, and the Church

I always have to laugh whenever I read a Protestant attacking the “Roman Catholic Church” saying “Roman Catholics do this! Roman Catholics do that!” However, what they fail to understand is that Roman Catholic is not the only kind of Catholic there is. In fact, Roman is just one of the many rites in the Church. It is the largest, and the head of the Roman Church is also head of the Catholic Church, but there are many other rites: Byzantine, Maronite, Coptic, and Chaldean just to name a few.

Yet, because of Rome’s political structure, there always seems to be a push for “Latinization” of the East. All Catholic churches believe the same doctrine and dogma, even if it is in a different perspective. Latinization refers to the attempts to Romanize the liturgy. The Church herself says that these rites have the right to exist (4th Lateran Council, Council of Trent, Quo Primum) so it isn’t the Church. It is people within the Church.

However, today’s topic is not about the Latinizations or bad people within the hierarchy. It’s rather about the traditions that the East has and the traditions that the West has. We are blessed in an age where we have the ability to learn anything by a simple internet search. We can buy books on Amazon about things that in years past, only rich people or monastic vocations could ever read.

Pope St. John Paul II was not my favorite Pope by any means, but he was had his good moments. In Ut Unum Sint, the Holy Father explains how the West and the East are the two lungs of the church and how the Church must “breath with her two lungs!” I will post on Western devotions later (seeing how this page is for the Roman Rite in general).

THE EASTERN DEVOTIONS

Like the rosary, the Eastern Catholics have a traditional prayer on prayer beads. But it isn’t an Eastern Rosary as some erroneously believe. It is called a “Chotki.”

 

There is a great deal of history about it, as there is the rosary, and I would encourage you to research it. On every knot, the Jesus prayer is said. “Lord Jesus Christ, son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” The goal behind this is to pray without ceasing, so that this prayer becomes a part of one’s breathing. It’s a very effective prayer at battling temptations.

The East also employs Canons, which are like Western prayer devotions. One of my favorite is the Canon of Repentance. There are a few others, but their theological richness is very deep.

The Eastern rites are more than a beautiful side altar in the Roman Church. Rather than being secondary to the Roman Rite, they are equal in all rights and precedents, each having its own rich patrimony and theological history/devotions. This post is just a primer for you. I hope that you will seek the devotions that the East uses because they are different, but just as good, as the West.

 

Perfect Contrition

All too often, when we sin and need to go to confession, we think of the damage we have done to ourselves or maybe to others. A lot of us have developed the mindset of “oh I’m in mortal sin, I need to go to confession and then I’ll be fine.” Maybe they are confessing because they want to receive communion at the next mass, and they are wise enough to know that receiving in mortal sin is gravely dangerous to one’s spiritual and even physical life. People treat confession as the Sacrament of Being Able to Receive Communion on Sunday. But when we treat confession in that manner, is there any real contrition?

The next set of people are those who are ashamed and sorry for their sins because their sin injures there spiritual pride. “I sinned! I can’t believe I did that! I need to try harder next time. I’m sorry God for sinning! Mea Culpa!” This statement is what these people will utter. But what they really mean is “I’m disgusted by this sin. I don’t want to sin anymore because of how ugly it is.” This can merit imperfect contrition, however it is still self-centered.

Next are those who confess their sins because they don’t want to go to hell. For instance, it could be someone who had it dawn on them that if they die at that moment, they are going to hell. Because of this, they pledge to sin no more and to avoid the occasions of sin, for fear of God’s punishment. This is also imperfect contrition. At the root of all of these is a selfish motive. “I need to do this so I can better myself.” That mindset sums all of these up. Even the person confessing out of fear of hell falls into this category.

Lastly, there is perfect contrition. Perfect contrition is sorrow for sin arising from perfect love. In perfect contrition, the sinner detests sin more than any other evil, because it offends God, who is supremely good and deserving of all human love. Its motive is founded on God’s own goodness and not merely his goodness to the sinner or to humanity. This motive, and not the intensity of the act, less still the feelings experienced, is what essentially constitutes perfect sorrow.

But how does this relate to confession or sin in general? And why should we strive for perfect contrition? By committing a mortal sin, we essentially told God “get lost, I don’t need you.”

Let that sink in for a moment. God, who came down from heaven, humiliated himself to the point of being made something that was originally his own creation, was beaten in the most cruel way and died so we could be freed from sin. He who rose from the dead and gave us the Church that we might not have to suffer eternal torment. We say “nah, don’t need him. This sinning stuff feels good.”

Think about this. You have a friend all through high school. Your friend has always been there for you, keeping you out of trouble, and then you decide that he is hurting your popularity so you ditch him even though you know it’s wrong. You later feel the guilt of betraying your friend and are moved to reconciliation with him. That is sort of like what perfect contrition is. You aren’t doing it because you need him to get something else you want but because you are legitimately regret hurting the person that’s always been there.

Now turn the tables. You are the friend that got abandoned now. After all you have done for them, they leave because you weren’t good enough for them. Imagine the pain, anger, and sadness you would feel. Is God any different. After all, we were created in His likeness and image, and God clearly has his moments of anger and sadness in the scriptures.

This is a way of explaining it, but I can assure you that it runs much deeper than that. The remorse stemming from the fact that we hurt God and our relationship with Him is where perfect contrition lies. It is not self centered.  When we go to confession, we confess to a priest who stands in as the representative of God and the Church. You confess to him your sins and beg for forgiveness because by your sins you have harmed both God and the Church.

Therefore, next time you approach this great Sacrament of forgiveness, remember why you are confessing. You aren’t confessing to improve yourself, but to express to God and the Church how we have hurt them and that we are sorry for hurting Him (which is in the act of contrition that we pray).

 

Response to the Latin Mass Society

MG from @catholiclegion here. The past few months, @crosarioppxii (Traditional Altar Boy -TAB) and I, along with some other friends have been investigating the Latin Mass Society (LMS). It was first called to my attention by TAB who was concerned that the LMS was producing sacrilegious materials and photos in the name of the Latin mass. TAB first questioned whether or not they were Masonic. You can view his work here.

Following this, TAB received a lot of backlash. “How dare you accuse people of being Masonic for modeling to promote the Latin Mass” is the general response he got. But something in our guts told us that there was a serious issue with these people. TAB continued to monitor the LMS for a while, and then their leader, Anthony Perlas going under the name Anthony Tridentine, showed his true intentions. Both TAB and I published this on Instagram and on the blogosphere, which you can read here.

Still, we received some backlash. There were still people accusing us of taking things too far. It was not until the FSSP published a statement about him that the backlash stopped. This is the document:

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The fact that the FSSP actually had to publish a statement is a sign that there is something seriously wrong. Still, the LMS created a counter video message.

In this five minute, shoddily edited video, the “ambassador”, using nice, beautiful music explained how the Latin Mass Society and Anthony Perlas are not blasphemous or objectifying women. To be honest, I was expecting a rebuttal that actually had substance, but instead all I heard were things like “the models feel empowered”, and “the models feel like goddesses!” Obviously, there is a problem with a Catholic woman trying to make herself a “goddess” but I digress.

After going through the poorly edited video, in which they couldn’t even take the effort to eliminate the noise of the wind from the microphone, I found a number of disturbing quotes. It would actually be more efficient for me to post a transcript than to list all of the quotes.

The quote that takes the cake, however, is “even if I didn’t wear skirts, or wore lingerie, or modeled for Maxim, who are you to judge me when you are not in my shoes. I’m not being objectified, I am doing what I love, and, um, just being who I am.”

She further continues with “Everybody knows that negativity doesn’t get us far, and these people have no lives.”

So, in essence, there was nothing in that video saying that they were doing what they thought was pleasing to God. I would have understood that argument. Flawed? Absolutely. But it is understandable nonetheless. However, in this case, her entire argument is that “it makes the models feel good” and “we like it.” Instead of refuting the claims of the FSSP and other Catholics, she tells us that we should stop judging them and get lives.

This is the same attitude that is shared by the majority of the culture. Rather than accepting the words of knowledgeable priests and laypeople, the LMS ignores it and does what they want instead. I know a lot of modern “Catholics” do this as well, but being Catholic should be uncomfortable, and we are going to have to stop doing things that we think are ok but the Church says are not. God’s law is at odds with the sinful nature of humans, and there are going to be aspects of Catholicism that we are not going to like. Some may have to give up eating solely for pleasure, others might have to give up modeling. It is only when we give up all that we are and follow Him that we find true peace.

Omit the Gospel, Omit the Faith

I’ll be brief, but lately, I’ve been noticing that in the Novus Ordo, the lectionary will say something like “Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 18:1-5,10,12-14.” This is not an isolated trend. There are certain readings that have verses omitted. Let’s see what the readings for this gospel reading say: “Be like children, save the lost sheep.” Ok that’s nice that Jesus loves us and that we should be humble. But what does verses 6-9 say. Verses 6-9 talk about the punishment and judgement that is called down upon those who leads children astray and how anything is preferable to sin.

Is it a coincidence that the verses telling people to change their ways in a more extreme manner got omitted? This isn’t just an anomalous occurrence. Anything regarding judgement is written away to make people feel “loved and comfortable.” It is disgraceful and disgusting what has been going on. If you don’t believe me, go to http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/ and take a look at the readings. Then grab your bible and read what got left out. Most likely, it’s a warning against sin lest severe punishment be dealt.

Be warned. The Devil is indeed within the church. When teaching is suppressed, it disappears from the faith.

My Journey to Tradition

IMG_9141Hi everyone,

I wanted to take some time and let you all know about my personal journey into traditional Catholicism, how I became a “trad Cat.”

So, I converted to the Catholic Church a few years ago from Protestantism, but there was something weird going on in my area parishes. I would attend and feel even less tradition, even less focus on God, than at my old Baptist Church. It felt to me like the whole focus was on man and the works of humanity, with the priest facing me instead of God, with praise and worship songs focusing on mere creatures instead of the Creator.

This stuff was very disheartening to a pretty much newbie to Catholicism. So I started doing my research. I read through many encyclicals of the Popes in this wonderful book called The Popes Against Modern Errors and I was shocked to find that everything I was seeing now with an increase in liberalism, an increased focus on man, a kind of relativism of faith, it was ALL condemned by the Holy Father’s of the past. Why did it change?

The one thing that caused it to change was Vatican 2. This council of the Church ushered in a new era of Catholicism, a new form of Catholicism far different than anything in the past. As Father Franz Schmidberger explains that, in Time Bombs of the Second Vatican Council, the Second Vatican Council brought about the destruction o f true Catholic belief by: “not clearly defining Catholic Truth; failing to definitively reject error; adopting ambiguous, contradictory language; and establishing teachings very close to heresy.” This council was subjected to the forces of communism, freemasonry, and liberalism which ushered in the era of modernism that we are under today. With a new form of the mass modeled after Protestantism and an abundance of liturgical abuse, we are left here to watch on as our Catholic Church slowly becomes unrecognizable.

What are we to do? It is left up to those of us who hold firm to tradition to pick up the pieces. It is up to us to stand firm on the tradition of the past and to pray for the future of our Church. I urge you all to attend the Traditional Latin Mass at a diocesan, FSSP, or SSPX parish. Pray the rosary daily and include petitions for the Church and the Holy Father. Study great Catholic literature and writings of the saints. Above all, continue praying for the crisis that is at work in our Church and stand firm for your beliefs, do not give in to modernism.

Let me leave you with the Traditional Catholics’ Motto:

We are what you once were.
We believe what you once believed.
We worship as you once worshipped.
If you were right then, we are right now.
If we are wrong now, you were wrong then.

God bless each and every one of you. Stand fast to tradition. As always, if you ever need to discuss traditional Catholicism or have questions about it, please do not hesitate to contact us! Our e-mail address is cppxii @ gmail.com and our Instagram page is @cppxii

Contact us below for any questions, comments, or concerns!

Charlie, Charlie

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Good afternoon everyone,

I wanted to post right now about something spreading quickly through the realm of many teenage circles nowadays. Popularized by various videos on Twitter and Vine, this occult practice invites the evil one, Satan himself and other evil spirits, to enter into your home and your life.

The Charlie, Charlie “game” is similar to a ouija board, asking for a chance to commune with an evil spirit, thereby permitting the cohorts of the devil to enter into your home and speak with you through this game. Although it seems harmless, it is truly diabolical. It is practices like these that merit the need for a Roman Catholic priest to come and bless your home, and if you go too far, may need an exorcism approved by the church to save you.

I exhort all of you, do not practice this occult game. If you know anyone who has tried this, have them repent, go to confession for the occult practice. If you have done this practice, sprinkle the paper and the pencils/pens used with holy water and then destroy them.

The devil should not be taken lightly, we need to be afraid and never get to the point where we dabble in the occult practices.

God bless you all,

-Landon