PRAYER FOR THE FORTY DAY FAST FOR THE TRUTH OF GOSPEL NONVIOLENCE JULY 1-AUGUST 9

For the uniting of all churches in proclaiming the truth of the nonviolent jesus of the gospels and his way of nonviolent love of friends and enemies

Abba, in the name of Jesus we ask you to send the Holy Spirit to gather the Churches together, so that with one heart, one mind and one voice they may proclaim as God’s Way Jesus’ Way of Nonviolent Love of all people—friends and enemies—and thereby teach that
violence is not the Christian way,
violence is not the Holy Way,
violence is not the Gospels’ Way,
violence is not the Apostolic Way, violence is not the Way of Jesus,
violence is not the Way of God,
and thus set Christians free forever from bondage to the unholy, un-catholic, un-apostolic, un-Christlike ways of the false gods and theologies of justified homicidal violence and enmity.
We plead this grace so that the Nonviolent Lamb may be our Lord in deed, as well as, in word and sacrament.
We request this gift so that the Christian Community may be—for afflicted humanity—a faithful witness to Jesus’ Way of overcoming evil.
We implore this healing so that the Church may be an authentic extension in time and space of the Way of the Lamb of God, of the Way of the Nonviolent Jesus, which is the Way to renew the face of the earth.
Amen.

Our Lamb has conquered—let us follow.

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An invitation to participate in the ANNUAL FORTY-DAY FAST For the Truth of Gospel Nonviolence July 1-August 9

By Fr Emmanuel Mccarthy

“This is the kind (of unclean spirit) that can be driven out only by prayer and fasting.”

Mark 9:29

An Invitation to Fast for the Truth of Gospel Nonviolence
    Jesus Christ is the incarnation of the only true God who is Agapé, Unconditional Love, Unending Forgiveness and Everlasting Mercy toward all without exceptions. The person who accurately sees Jesus sees God, for Jesus and God are One. It is the Spirit of this God which is life giving. It is this God in whose image and likeness we are formed. There is no other God. All that is not of the only true God is idolatry and death.
The God of the New Testament, the God who dwells fully in Jesus Christ, the only true God is not a warrior God who will lead people in historical victories over enemies. The Way of Jesus is not the way of violence, retaliation and enmity. The Way of the Jesus of the Gospel is the way of nonviolent love. What Jesus taught by word and deed for times of common affairs, as well as times of crises, is nonviolence, non-retaliation, love of enemy, forgiveness seventy times seven, return of good for evil—mercy. Since God is love and Christ is God, to live in the life of God is to obey Jesus’ new commandment “to love one another as I have loved you.” This means that the Christian—the one who says he or she desires to follow Jesus—commits herself or himself wholeheartedly to following Jesus, who did not use violence and who did not threaten the use of violence, but chose instead—even under the threat of lethal violence—to overcome evil with good. Jesus Christ is the truth of God and nonviolent love of friends and enemies is the truth of Jesus Christ.

Therefore, it must be said clearly, and again and again, that violence is not the Gospels’ Way, violence is not the Christian Way, that violence is not the Apostolic Way, that violence is not the Way of Jesus, that violence is not the Way of God. It must be said clearly, and again and again, that this does not mean that only nuclear war and induced abortion are contrary to the way of Jesus—but all violence and retaliation, even culturally condoned, indeed honored, violence and retaliation, are contrary to the way of Jesus. Therefore an activity that cannot be conducted without violence or an end that cannot be achieved without violence is an activity or an end that cannot be conducted or achieved by the followers of Jesus Christ.

The Churches’ and humanity’s mutiny against mercy must cease. Jesus’ teaching is clear. Christ authorized no one to substitute violence for merciful love toward friends or enemies. As the renowned biblical scholar, Rev. John L. McKenzie, concludes, “If Jesus did not reject any type of violence for any purpose, then we know nothing of Him.

The god, who endorses, supports or commands war is not the God of Christlike mercy. All the ways of God are mercy. In the Incarnation of Mercy in the Nonviolent Jesus, God’s Being, which is from eternity to eternity outside of time and beyond the world, unfolds itself in time and before the world. Mercy is what God is. Mercy is why we are. Mercy is what we need. Mercy is what God wants. Mercy is the supreme attribute of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Way of Christlike Mercy, not the way of violence, is the path of our pilgrimage to the Absolute.

Yet, since the fourth century most Christians have not proclaimed that violence is not the Christian Way, that violence is not the Catholic Way, that violence is not the Apostolic Way, that violence is not the Way of Jesus. In fact, during the last 1700 years, at one time or another, Christians have justified as consistent with the Way of Jesus participation in such activities as war, capital punishment, torture, the burning of heretics, witches and homosexuals, colonialism, violent enmity-creating nationalism, violent revolution, abortion, genocide, wife-beating, child-beating, torture, terrorism, etc. The spiritually symbolic low point of this false proclamation of the Gospel—this incarnational heresy— occurs on August 9 in the years of Our Lord during World War II.

On that day of Our Lord in 1942 Christians in Auschwitz, Poland—because of the nurturing they received in their Churches—believed they were following the Way of Jesus when they destroyed Edith Stein, Saint Teresia Benedicta of the Cross, in a gas chamber. On that day of Our Lord in 1943 Christians in Berlin, Germany—because of the nurturing they received in their Churches—believed they were following Jesus when they beheaded Blessed Franz Jagerstatter, a Christian who refused to join Hitler’s military. On that day of Our Lord in 1945 Christians from the United States—because of the nurturing they received in their Churches—believed they were following Jesus when they evaporated the people of Nagasaki, the oldest and the largest Christian community in Japan.

Today, as for most of the last 1700 years, most Christians continue to be nurtured by their Churches and their Churches’ leadership to justify as consistent with the teaching of the Jesus of the Gospels those energies, understandings, emotions and spirits which lead inevitably to August 9. Today most Christian Churches still do not unequivocally teach what Jesus unequivocally taught on the subject of violence and enmity. Today most Christian leaders and most Christians obstinately continue to proclaim that violence is the Christian Way, that violence is the Apostolic Way, that violence is the Way of Jesus. They are eternally dead wrong! They are destructively spreading untruth as the salvific truth taught by Jesus. They are, to date, an unstoppable spiritual and moral catastrophe in the Church and for all humanity.

It is because of this tragic and sorrowful fact that this Forty Day Fast is undertaken again this year. This Fast is a call to the Christian Churches, to Christian Church leaders and to individual Christians to repent and turn to the Christ and learn what the Father’s will is and how to live it in relation to the diabolic spirits of violence and enmity. It is a call to learn from Him who unambiguously teaches by courageous words and by costly deeds the Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies as the Way of God and the Way of authentic discipleship.

This Fast is a prayer that the Universal Church will gather in Ecumenical Council on some August 9 in the not too distant future and declare once and for all that violence is not the Gospels’ way, that violence is not the Christian way, that violence is not the Apostolic way, that violence is not the Holy way, that violence is not the way of Jesus, and with this declaration disassociate Herself forever from the gods, philosophies and politics of homicide and be for all humanity the extension in time and space of the Nonviolent Jesus Christ, who unambiguously teaches, as the Way of the Father and as His Way, a Way of Nonviolent Love of all—friends and enemies—with no time-outs and no exceptions.

Please pray and fast as you are able. The smallest, mustard seed effort done in Christic love to bring   Jesus’ salvific truth, life and love to humanity will be honored by God and will be fruitful beyond all calculation and measure. 

Submitted for your personal and merciful meditation in Christ-God, amidst the anguish and absurdity of a world being mercilessly crucified daily by humanly created and religiously endorsed violence and enmity.

Thursday: Holy Week–A Dangerous Memory

Guest article by Fr Emmanuel McCarthy

Friends,

The Eucharist, thanks to which, God’s absolute ‘no’ to violence, pronounced on the cross, is kept alive through the centuries. The Eucharist is the sacrament of non-violence! 

-Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap. (March 11, 2005)

 The narrative of Jesus’ Passion and death was the first part of the Gospel Tradition to acquire a fixed structure and, of all portions of the Gospels, was the first to be included as a recited liturgical remembrance. Note it is the narrative of Jesus’ Passion and death that was the central remembrance around which the Gospels took form and that was the primal remembrance of Christian liturgical recital. Note also, it was narrative, and only narrative, tethered intrinsically to the Gospels’ Passion narrative, which was primal and paramountnot theological, metaphysical or mystical expositions of the Passion of Jesus.

Probably a billion Christians participate in the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper, the Agape Meal, the Mass, the Divine Liturgy with some remembrance of Jesus’ Passion and death every week. Moreover, billions of other Christians over the last two thousand years have also participated in the Eucharist. Think what the Church and the world might be today, if today and yesterday, Christians continuously heard in the anamnesis/remembrance narrative of the Eucharist Prayer—instead of the verbal generalities “suffered” and “died” as the remembrance of Jesus Passion and death—a narrative of particulars drawn directly from the narratives of the Gospels. For example, suppose that instead of simply “suffered and died,” a billion Christians this week heard and billions of Christians going all the way back to the time of Constantinian continuously heard and pondered a liturgical recital of the Passion narrative along the lines of the following: what would be the state of the Church and humanity at this moment?

 On the night before He went forth to His eternally memorable and life-giving death, like a Lamb led to slaughter, rejecting violence, loving His enemies, and praying for His persecutors, He bestowed upon His disciples the gift of a New Commandment:

“Love one another. As I have loved you,
so you also should love one another.”

Then He took bread into His hands, and giving thanks, broke it, and gave it to His disciples saying:

“Take this, all of you, and eat of it,
for this is my body,
which will be given up for you.”

In a similar way, when the Supper was ended, He took the chalice. And once more giving thanks, He gave it to His disciples, saying:

“Take this, all of you, and drink from it,
for this is the cup of my blood,
 the blood of the new and eternal covenant,
 which will be poured out for you and for many,
for the forgiveness of sins,
“Do this in memory of me.”

Obedient, therefore, to this precept of salvation, we call to mind and reverence His passion where He lived to the fullest the precepts which He taught for our sanctification. We remember His suffering at the hands of a fallen humanity filled with the spirit of violence and enmity. But, we remember also that He endured this humiliation with a love free of retaliation, revenge, and retribution. We recall His execution on the cross. But, we recall also that He died loving enemies, praying for persecutors, forgiving, and being superabundantly merciful to those for whom justice would have demanded justice. Finally, we celebrate the memory of the fruits of His trustful obedience to thy will, O God: the resurrection on the third day, the ascension into heaven, the enthronement at the right hand, the second and glorious coming. Therefore we offer You your own, from what is your own, in all and for the sake of all…

Excerpt from The Nonviolent Eucharist (1991)

The intentional erasure or hiding or ignoring of a memory or of history always serves an end. It is not possible to envision any spiritual advantage or to find any good end that is served by truncating the Eucharistic Passion narrative down to “suffered and died.” Such an extremist shrinking of the narrative of Jesus’ Passion all but converts the Eucharistic anamnesis into a liturgical instrument of amnesia.

Holy Thursday of Holy Week is a dangerous memory because it is the memory of the institution of the Eucharistic with its two commands: “Do this in memory of me,” and the “new commandment: Love one another as I have loved you.”  If the memory of me is bowdlerized, then the content and meaning of the new commandment will be correspondingly bowdlerized. And, the consequence of this interconnected and interactive bowdlerization will be, in the Church and in humanity, what? Look out of the window or turn on the television!

The insertion by the Churches of Christianity of a narrative of Jesus’ Passion—as clear and as descriptive as the narrative of the Gospels—into the anamnesis/remembrance of their Eucharistic Prayer is a requirement of truth, a requirement of agape, a requirement of fidelity to the Word of God Incarnate. It is a gift all Christians need to receive from the leaders of their various Churches. It is a witness to the grace of the cross that all Christians and all humanity need to encounter in Christian practice.

Wednesday: Holy Week–A Dangerous Memory

Guest article by Fr Emmanuel McCarthy

Friends,

A third reason that accurate remembrances of Holy Week and of Jesus’ Passion in the anamnesis of the Eucharist Prayer are potentially dangerous memories is that such memories do not look only to the past; they also look toward the future. Acute memories of acute human suffering have the power to motivate people to make life better in the future, especially if the particular suffering remembered is still unabatedly operative in the world. New memories of human suffering or new insight into well known memories of human suffering can reveal the tragic flaw in the taken-for-granted worldview of a group. Pondering the memory of a single suffering person has the power to undermine the prevailing myths by which a secular or a religious society and its rulers live and operate, e.g., the memory of one Third World mother in agony and out of her mind with horror holding her child who has just been decapitated by a First World drone or smart bomb. But, memory must be kept alive for it to have a future and not just a past.

The Church is supposed to be the bearer of the dangerous memory of Jesus, a victim of the violence of the powerful, and by compassionate extension the bearer of the dangerous memory of all the victims of the violence of the powerful across the ages down to this very day. The Church is supposed to be the bearer of the dangerous memory of Jesus’ torture and death that motivates witnessing to humanity by word and deed to overcome evil with good (Christlike agape).The Church is supposed to be the Body of Christ that responds to its own violent victimization in the Way it remembers Christ responded to His violent victimization—thereby breaking the perennial cycle of violent reciprocity, retaliation and revenge by returning good (agape) for evil.  The Church is suppose to be that group of people who hears and listens attentively to the anguished cries of intolerable pain of the victim of the violence of the powerful, Jesus of Nazareth, and by the grace of His cries hears, with compassion and urgency, the anguished cries of all the victims of the violence of the powerful. But is this what the institutional Church is?

Do the Churches of Christianity, in whatever nation they may be situated, proclaim the memory of Jesus in such a way that it draws Christians and others into strongly identifying with the victims of the violence of the powerful, beginning  with Jesus? Or, is the proclamation of the memory of the torture and murder of Jesus by the institutional Churches of Christianity made so metaphysically and mystically circuitous and innocuous that these Churches nurture their Christian people into strongly identifying with the powerful and their violent agents, who operate out of the same spirit and myth as their occupational predecessors, the torturers and murders of Jesus?

Traditional Catholic Teaching on Sacred Scripture

By CatholicScout

It’s hard to find a single website which lists the pre-Vatican II teachings on Sacred Scripture. But, contrary to certain popular beliefs, the Second Vatican Council and it’s Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum is not the source and summit of Catholic teaching on the subject!

A long time ago someone commented that the position put forward on this blog (that Christ taught a Way of non-violent love of friends and enemies, and bound His Church and followers to practice such Way) was not consistent with Sacred Scripture. That I was essentially putting God the Father vs Jesus. Which of course is nonsense in lots of ways.

So I am dedicating this post to the question:

Is Gospel Non-violence consistent with Sacred Scripture?

The short answer is yes, of course it is. I’m not making this stuff up, you can read the words of the Divine Lawgiver right here – Mt 5:21-25.

So the question is really, how does a Catholic reconcile Christs teaching of non-violent love of friends and enemies, with the God of the Old Testament.

There are a lot of references, which to an uneducated mind, point towards a homicidal God. A war-approving God. Here’s a few: Gn 6:8; 19:4-5,26; 38:7,9-10. Ex 12:29; 14:28. Lv 10:1-3. Nm 11:1-3,4-35; 14:36-38; 16:27-32,35,49; 21:4-9; 25:9. Js 10:10-11. Ez 16:46-47, 49-50. 1Sm 6:19; 25:38. 2Sm 6:6-7; 12:14-18; 24:13. 1Kn 13:1-24; 14:10-18; 20:35-36; 22:51. 2Kn 1:9-12; 2:23-24; 17:25-26; 19:35. 2Ch 13:20; 21:14-19.

The problem of course, is that the Gospels are conspicuously different. In the Gospels, God is not a perpetrator of violent torture and murder. He is the victim of it. In fact, God in the Gospels expressly forbids it.

So what, did God change His mind? No, God cannot change His mind. He always Was, always Is and always will Be the same. He is the Eternal Constant.

So Sacred Scripture is wrong? No, Sacred Scripture is not wrong. The Prophets of Old were not mistaken in what they wrote. To say that Sacred Scripture can err is one of the manifestations of the heresy of Modernism. It was Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Providentissimus Deus, who beautifully and comprehensively explained the role of Sacred Scripture – please have a read!

As St Augustine explained in his letter to St Jerome, where there is an inconsistency with Sacred Scripture. It is not God at fault. It is not the inspired author at fault. It is the reader. I am misunderstanding Scripture.

For I confess to your Charity that I have learned to yield this respect and honour only to the canonical books of Scripture: of these alone do I most firmly believe that the authors were completely free from error. And if in these writings I am perplexed by anything which appears to me opposed to truth, I do not hesitate to suppose that either the manuscript is faulty, or the translator has not caught the meaning of what was said, or I myself have failed to understand it.

St Augustine also points out that the Gospels are the primary revelatory documents of the Church in his work “On the Catechising of the Uninstructed“.

So, for you Traditional Catholics trying to reconcile the Old Testament with the New. Stop. Read Leo XIII, read St Augustine, and relax. The Gospels are the Gospels. Christ is God. His teachings are Gods teachings.

Please, please please listen to this audio file from Fr Emmanuel McCarthy – “Question and Answers on Gospel Non-Violence – What about violence in the Old Testament?” which so eloquently answers this particular (apparent) conundrum:

I will leave you with this quote on interpretation of Scripture from Leo XIII, which is a gem.

The authority of other Catholic [newer] interpreters is not so great; but the study of Scripture has always continued to advance in the Church, and, therefore, these commentaries also have their own honourable place, and are serviceable in many ways for the refutation of assailants and the explanation of difficulties. But it is most unbecoming to pass by, in ignorance or contempt, the excellent work which Catholics have left in abundance, and to have recourse to the works of non-Catholics – and to seek in them, to the detriment of sound doctrine and often to the peril of faith, the explanation of passages on which Catholics long ago have successfully employed their talent and their labour. For although the studies of non-Catholics, used with prudence, may sometimes be of use to the Catholic student, he should, nevertheless, bear well in mind-as the Fathers also teach in numerous passages(41) – that the sense of Holy Scripture can nowhere be found incorrupt outside of the Church, and cannot be expected to be found in writers who, being without the true faith, only gnaw the bark of the Sacred Scripture, and never attain its pith.

41. Cfr. Clem. Alex. Strom. vii., 16; Orig. de princ. iv., 8; in Levit. hom. 4, 8; Tertull.de praescr. 15, seqq.; S. Hilar. Pict. in Matth. 13, I.

So as a last note to you Traditional Catholics, the Second Vatican Council does not have all the answers regarding Sacred Scripture.

Yes, You have to scrape around for the teachings and traditions regarding our traditional teachings on Sacred Scripture, but they are there!

We can much more effectively argue the Inerrancy of Scripture, the Primacy of the Gospels, and many other points, without ever having recourse to Dei Verbum – Thanks be to God!

Tuesday; Holy Week a Dangerous Memory

Guest article by Fr Emmanuel McCarthy

Friends,

A second reason that an accurate remembrance of Holy Week and of the Passion of Jesus in the anamnesis of the Eucharistic Prayer are potentially dangerous memories is that memory defines known history. If the only memory available is the memory of those who were the victors, who successfully prevailed, then the very identity of people is formed from the narration of these memories and from the values, attitudes and beliefs the victors and the successful embody and encourage. Generally there is hardly any remembrance in history of the losers, the oppressed, the forgotten, the broken, the victims—like Jesus of Nazareth.

When secular and religious memory is controlled by the 1%, it is assured that what they include and what they erase, what they emphasize and what they  downplay, what they glorify and what they ignore in memory, and therefore in history, has as its purpose creating an identity for human beings, which is thoroughly consistent with the interests and needs of the 1%. As Johannes Metz writes, “Selective memory that remembers only the triumph of the powerful and “screens out” the agony of their victims, creates a false consciousness of our past and an opiate for our present.”

Since grace works through nature and not independent of it, the primal experiential memory during Holy Week should be the primal natural phenomena of Holy Week, the agony of the victim Jesus at the hands of the powerful, and by empathic extension the agony of all victims of the “great ones.” But it is not. Such a memory is too dangerous to the 1% of this world, who have built their victories and success on an ongoing, en masse, agonizing crucifixion of human beings. But if memory is distorted, by commission or by omission, to that extent it will distort any spiritual, metaphysical or mystical experience and/or interpretation derived from it.

Martin Luther said of the princes of Germany who were protecting him from the violence of the Church of Rome but who were also being attacked by the peasants they had been brutally oppressing for generations, “It is easier today for a prince to get to heaven by killing a peasant than by prayer.” The memory reflected upon in sermons and homilies and pieties during Holy Week, like the memory presented during the Eucharist, is composed and mediated, since the time of Constantine, by the victorious 1% and their kept scribes. Think about that and the dearth of concern about the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and His Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies in all the Churches of Christianity today and for the last 1700 years.

CatholicScout Ponders: Remedies to Recusant mindset, Elitism and Over-focus on the Mass

This post marks the end of this line of pondering. I have considered three reasons that contribute to the fact that Mass attendance at Traditional Masses has plateaued in England and Wales. Recusant Mindset. Elitism. And Over-focus on the Mass.

How to break out of the Recusant Mindset

As I mentioned, the Recusant mindset is both an instinctual reaction and an ingrained historical memory for English and Welsh Catholics. It is a coping mechanism. So really the way to break out of that is to apply some of the tools of modern psychology. The first hurdle is to identify that the problem exists. Once that is identified and held consciously in mind, Grace can start working in ways it could not before.

The cause of the threat is the “Catholic news” – information. Too much “bad news” creates a panic response. So perhaps a program of recovery around Catholic news obsession would be in order. Seeking a Spiritual Director would be optimal, as he would be able to advise how to carry out that recovery in practice.

I would suspect a Spiritual Director would suggest abstinence from viewing and/or gossiping about “Catholic news”, as a start. A period of voluntary abstinence from all internet media, or something like that.

With all that spare time, one could use it fruitfully in improving one’s personal relationship with God (ideally under guidance of a Spiritual Director). Clearing out any Grace-blocking items from one’s conscience, by careful examination and Confession.

In a way, it is about living life here and now, having Faith, being Holy.

poster saying "keep calm and be holy"How to break out of institutionalised recusancy, for instance in the cases of close-knit Traditional Communities. Maybe situations where the Priest (and therefore Spiritual Director) is also party to this mindset. Well, the recovery of the whole, starts with the recovery of the individual. But if Pastors were able to request their flock to commence a period of abstinence from Internet Media and News, that would be a great start.

Then I hear the clamour “but if we were to abstain from Internet Media and News, how would we hear the good news and advice from CatholicScout?!” – well, just how many bloggers do you hear of suggesting people should abstain from reading Internet Media and News? Not many. I don’t write this blog to get “hits” or “followers”, I write it to bear witness to truths which I have learnt.

I found voluntary abstinence very helpful, so I don’t read Internet media and News before 8.00am or after 6.00pm. I also freely choose not to read Internet media and News from time to time. Instead spending the time doing something fruitful, such as praying a Rosary. Most of all I keep very close to my heart the maxim written above. Keep calm, and be Holy. It works. Remember, ask yourself “What would Jesus do?” Would Jesus be spending His day on Facebook, or surfing for the latest gossip from Rome? No. He would be about doing His Father’s will, and as a result, be Holy.


 

Elitism

In my post on Elitism, I dealt with three manifestations, there are more, but these three are prominent enough that most people will identify them.

The Remedy for Young Fogeyism

Humility. Docility to the Spirit, which whispers to you, when you read the Lord’s Words:

No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat: and the body more than the raiment?

[…]

And for raiment why are you solicitous? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they labour not, neither do they spin.

But I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these.

And if the grass of the field, which is today, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, God doth so clothe: how much more you, O ye of little faith?

Matthew 6:24-29

Do not be solicitous. It doesn’t mean “wear a potato sack”. But if you find this level of abandonment a little to challenging, don’t just shirk away without asking for God to help you to fulfil His counsels. He will help.

After having asked for God’s help in fulfilling His counsels, and having confessed your lack of faith, and infidelity to His counsels. You can always take the path of modesty.

Be modest. Modesty is an off-shoot of humility. The two go together. Modesty seeks not to be noticed, think of it as Catholic Camouflage. How can I not attract attention?

Bright pink socks or black socks? My best gold and green waistcoat or not?

There is nothing sinful about wearing beautiful clothing. There is something very sinful about vanity. If it is for show, or to participate in a show, then it is vanity. Public show of vanity, is really an occasion of public scandal. For here, a sin is being expressed in the public.

So what is the remedy for Vanity? Well, again it is abstinence first, then the practising of it’s opposing virtue humility. Does that mean wandering into Mass in tattered jeans and a t-shirt? Or flagellating oneself publicly while wearing sack-cloth and ashes? No.

Firstly, abstinence. If there is an occasion of sin, one should avoid it. If there is a Mass where there is a public show of vanity, one should probably look to go to Mass elsewhere (if you have such an option!).

Correction of self. The sin that needs to be corrected is within ourselves. I can only cooperate with God’s grace to save my soul. I can’t save anyone elses. So my job is not to police them out there. It is to regulate myself, by cooperating with God’s Grace. The first thing that I can recommend is getting a Spiritual Director (you will see that “get a Spiritual Director” is a running theme…) who is not part of that vain scene.

It should be someone who understands that we want people to be watching Jesus, not looking around in the pews comparing. Shift your focus off you, and others, and on to the Eucharistic Lord. Modesty is the key.

This is Who should be drawing people’s attention, not you.

The Remedy for Traditional Catholic Supremacists

Humility. I think it will be hard for Traditional Catholic Supremacists to let go. So much energy in protecting their Mass. So many years, so much effort. But let go they must.

Humility to adopt new perspectives, to accept new criticisms. Humility to try new things and new approaches. An email correspondence of mine, pointed out that this problem is very similar to a psychological phenomenon he has witnessed. He said it may be recommended if these Supremacists are in groups to humbly and honestly inform themselves of the psychological phenomenon of GroupThink and to practice the precautions regardless. Thank you for that pointer.

Lastly, and this ties to the next Elitist group, transparency! No more secrecy!

The Remedy for Misers and Old Money Catholics

Humility. This out of all three, I think will be the hardest group to remedy. Detachment from money is very, very tough.

Voluntary transparency would be a good manifestation of the humility required to remedy these problems. I know very few people who would voluntarily make their accounts public, but it could be done. It could also be given as a penance by astute pastors…

Of course the Miser or Old Money Catholic could be dishonest in publishing his accounts, but that would be more coals heaped upon their head.

Lastly, I think the people who find Old Money Catholic odious (which I may add, I am included), is the perception that they do not labour for their earnings (ref: 2 Thes & Gen 3). A remedy for such a person would be for them to earn a living, which pays for their bread (not relying on the fat). Transparency of accounts also would go miles to correct it.

What to do with the Old Money itself though? Well I think Rerum Novarum is the way… voluntarily spread it out. Imagine if all the Misers and Old Money Catholics shook off their bonds and pooled the money to set up a Traditional Catholic Building Society, helping Traditional Catholics own property close to other Traditional Catholics?


Over-focus on the Mass

The remedy for the over-focus on the Mass, is a larger problem than the one than the others. The others, with good will, can be self-corrected. Sure sound preaching against these problems will be needed. But the over-focus on the Mass is out of the hands of ordinary people.

There are organisations such as FIUV, who may have the clout to express these issues, but ultimately the response lies in the Church authorities. Pope Benedict XVI promulgated Summorum Pontificum, but the Bishops ignored it. What can you do when Bishops ignore the Pope?

Pope Francis celebrating the Traditional Mass? well we can dream…

If His Holiness Pope Francis, had a sudden blinding conversion to the Traditional Mass, and by some bizarre misdirection was reading this article, I would recommend an addendum to Summorum Pontificum.

Something along the lines of:

It is binding that every Diocesan Bishop shall set up at least one Church per major population centre (over 100,000 inhabitants) that is to be exclusively dedicated in perpetuity to offering the Mass in the Extraordinary Form. These Churches are to be in locations that are easily accessible to the majority of the population, close to the centre and near good public transport terminals. The Diocesan Bishop is free to invite a community to take care of the Church, otherwise he is bound to diligently provide Sacred Ministers for the exclusive celebration of the Vetus Ordo.

So aside from sheer fantasy, I believe that the remedy for this problem is:

For Traditional Priests to educate (and preach) on the Encyclicals of the Popes. Particularly Summorum Pontificum. For Traditional Priests to preach and practice more of the Traditional Devotions (Sunday Rosary, Sermon and Benediction, Procession on the Third Sunday of the Month, Weekly Thursday Holy Hour, October Devotions, Processions, public Novenas etcetera).

For laity to educate themselves on the Encyclicals of the Popes. Particularly Summorum Pontificum. For Laity to practice more of the Traditional Devotionals at home and in public. For them to ask Priests to lead these Devotions.

For photographers, to turn around and photograph the Nave, not too much of the Sanctuary!!


Lastly, of course, in all of these, we will be battling apathy.

Evil reigns when good men do nothing.