CatholicScout Clarifies: Traditional Baptism side-by-side with Novus Ordo Baptism

So to my knowledge, no one has yet put the two rites of Baptism side-by-side. So below (after my preliminary notes) is the Old Rite side by side with the New Rite. This is a reference free for all.

Preliminary notes

The Novus Ordo Rite of Baptism is almost impossible to place side-by-side in equivalent parts, as vast sections have simply been removed, and wholly new ones put in.

As you read through it, you will see there are areas which have been moved across to the Novus Ordo (with changes), but are usually transposed to a different part of the Rite.

Areas that have been wholly removed from the Novus Ordo:

  • Exsufflation outside of the Church
  • Imposition of hands
  • Imposition of salt
  • First exorcism before admission into the Church building
  • Second imposition of the Sign of the Cross
  • Second imposition of hands
  • Formal admission into the Church building
  • Recital of the Creed
  • Second (and Solemn) Exorcism
  • First anointing prior to the Profession of Faith and Baptism

In addition the Ephphetha in the Novus Ordo is optional.

Things added to the Novus Ordo Rite, which are absent in the Traditional:

  • Scriptural Readings and Homily
  • Intercessions (including Litany of Saints – partial or full)
  • Blessing and Invocation of God over Baptismal Water
  • Blessing to the people at the conclusion of the Rite

As you will see the Rites are almost completely different to one another. One is anthropocentric (human-centred) in it’s perspective (Novus), the other Theocentric (God-centred) – (Usus Antiquor). Please note that I am a little confused as to why in the Novus Ordo they have the “Blessing and Invocation of God over Baptismal Water” at every Baptism, since a blessed object receives nothing extra from being blessed again. I don’t think that this part of the Rite is obligatory, but I’m not sure.

Lastly, the Novus Ordo Rite of Baptism given below is as per the 1965 Roman Missal (updated), I have only taken options A, and that I think very few people would experience Baptism strictly according to the words and rubrics here presented, innovation is king.

Usus Antiquor

Novus Ordo

The Rite of Baptism

Part I

Outside the Church

The Rite of Baptism

[Options A]

Entrance to the Church

The priest (wearing a violet stole), sponsors, and the catechumen stand in the narthex of the church, symbolizing that at this point, the candidate is not a member of the Church. The celebrant greets all present, and especially the parents and godparents, reminding them briefly of the joy with which the parents welcomed this child as a gift from God, the source of life, who now wishes to bestow his own life on this little one. First the celebrant questions the parents:

The Questioning

Celebrant: What name do you give your child? (or: have you given?)
Priest: N., what do you ask of the Church of God? Parents: N.
Sponsor/Catechumen: Faith. Celebrant: What do you ask of God’s Church for N.?
Priest: What does Faith offer you? Parents: Baptism.
Sponsor/Catechumen: Life everlasting. In the second response the parents may use other words, such as, “faith,” “the grace of Christ,” “entrance into the Church,” “eternal life.”
Priest: If then you desire to enter into life, keep the commandments. ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.’ Celebrant speaks to the parents in these or similar words: You have asked to have your child baptized. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training him (her) in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring him (her) up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbor. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?

The Exsufflation

Parents: We do.
The priest then breathes 3 times on the candidate in the form of a Cross, recalling the Spirit (breath, wind, “ruach”) of God. Celebrant turns to the godparents and addresses them in these or similar words: Are you ready to help the parents of this child in their duty as Christian parents?
Priest: Go forth from him (her), unclean spirit, and give place to the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete. Godparents: We do.

The Sign of the Cross

Celebrant: N., the Christian community welcomes you with great joy. in its name I claim you for Christ our Savior by the sign of his cross. I now trace the cross on your forehead, and invite your parents (and godparents) to do the same.
The priest now makes the Sign of the Cross with his thumb on the candidate’s forehead and breast. He signs the child on the forehead, in silence. Then he invites the parents and (if it seems appropriate) the godparents to do the same. The celebrant invites the parents, godparents, and the others to take part in the liturgy of the word. If circumstances permit, there is a procession to the place where this will be celebrated, during which a song is sung e.g., Psalm 84: 7, 8, 9ab.
Priest: Receive the Sign of the Cross both upon your forehead + and also upon your heart +; take to you the faith of the heavenly precepts; and so order your life as to be, from henceforth, the temple of God.

CELEBRATION OF GOD’S WORD

Priest: Let us pray: Mercifully hear our prayers, we beseech Thee, O Lord; and by Thy perpetual assistance keep this Thine elect, N, signed with the sign of the Lord’s cross, so that, preserving this first experience of the greatness of Thy glory, he (she) may deserve, by keeping Thy commandments, to attain to the glory of regeneration. Through Christ our Lord.

Scriptural Readings and Homily

Sponsor/Catechumen: Amen. One or even two of the following gospel passages are read, during which all may sit if convenient.
John 3: 1-6: The meeting with Nicodemus.
Matthew 28: 18-20: The apostles are sent to preach the gospel and to baptize.
Mark 1: 9-11: The baptism of Jesus.
Mark 10: 13-16: Let the little children come to me.

The Imposition of Hands

After the reading, the celebrant gives a short homily, explaining to those present the significance of what has been read. His purpose will be to lead them to a deeper understanding of the mystery of baptism and to encourage the parents and godparents to ready acceptance of the responsibilities which arise from the sacrament.
The priest places his hands on the candidate’s head. After the homily, or in the course of or after the litany, it is desirable to have a period of silence while all pray at the invitation of the celebrant. If convenient, a suitable song follows, such as one chosen from nos. 225-245.
Priest: Let us pray: Almighty, everlasting God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, look graciously down upon this Thy servant, N., whom Thou hast graciously called unto the beginnings of the faith; drive out from him (her) all blindness of heart; break all the toils of Satan wherewith he (she) was held: open unto him (her), O Lord, the gate of Thy loving kindness, that, being impressed with the sign of Thy wisdom, he (she) may be free from the foulness of all wicked desires, and in the sweet odor of Thy precepts may joyfully serve Thee in Thy Church, and grow in grace from day to day. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Intercessions

Priest: Through the same Christ our Lord. Celebrant: My dear brothers and sisters, let us ask our Lord Jesus Christ to look lovingly on this child who is to be baptized, on his (her) parents and godparents, and on all the baptized.
Sponsor/Catechumen: Amen Leader: By the mystery of your death and resurrection, bathe this child in light, give him (her) the new life of baptism and welcome him (her) into your holy Church.

The Imposition of Salt

All: Lord, hear our prayer.
Now the priest puts a little blessed salt in the candidate’s mouth. Salt is the symbol of that wisdom which gives a relish for the sweetness of divine nourishment; preserves, by the teaching of the Gospel, from the corruption of sin, and prevents evil passions from growing in men’s souls. Adult catechumens might be signed on the brow, ears, eyes, nostrils, mouth, breast, and between the shoulders before the imposition of salt. If this procedure is followed, afterwards the candidate will kneel, recite the Our Father several times, and a Cross is made on his forehead, first by the sponsor and then by the priest. Leader: Through baptism and confirmation, make him (her) your faithful follower and a witness to your gospel.
Priest: N., Receive the salt of wisdom; let it be to thee a token of mercy unto everlasting life. May it make your way easy to eternal life. All: Lord, hear our prayer.
Sponsor/Catechumen: Amen. Leader: Lead him (her) by a holy life to the joys of God’s kingdom.
Priest: Peace be with you. All: Lord, hear our prayer.
Sponsor/Catechumen: And with your spirit. Leader: Make the lives of his (her) parents and godparents examples of faith to inspire this child.
Priest: Let us pray: O God of our fathers, O God the Author of all truth, vouchsafe, we humbly beseech Thee, to look graciously down upon this Thy servant, N., and as he (she) tastes this first nutriment of salt, suffer him (her) no longer to hunger for want of heavenly food, to the end that he (she) may be always fervent in spirit, rejoicing in hope, always serving Thy name. Lead him (her), O Lord, we beseech Thee, to the laver of the new regeneration, that, together with Thy faithful, he may deserve to attain the everlasting rewards of Thy promises. Through Christ our Lord. All: Lord, hear our prayer.
Priest: Through the same Christ our Lord. Leader: Keep his (her) family always in your love.
Sponsor/Catechumen: Amen All: Lord, hear our prayer.

PART II:

ADMISSION INTO THE CHURCH BUILDING

Leader: Renew the grace of our baptism in each one of us.

The Exorcism

All: Lord, hear our prayer.
The priest makes the Sign of the Cross over the
candidate three times and says:
The celebrant next invites all present to invoke the saints:
Priest: I exorcise thee, unclean spirit, in the name of the Father + and of the Son, + and of the Holy + Spirit, that thou goest out and depart from this servant of God, N. For He commands Thee, accursed one, Who walked upon the sea, and stretched out His right hand to Peter about to sink. Therefore, accursed devil, acknowledge thy sentence, and give honor to the living and true God: give honor to Jesus Christ His Son, and to the Holy Spirit; and depart from this servant of God, N. because God and our Lord Jesus Christ hath vouchsafed to call him (her) to His holy grace and benediction and to the font of Baptism. Holy Mary, Mother of God. All: Pray for us.

The Sign of the Cross

Saint John the Baptist. All: Pray for us.
The priest again makes the Sign of the Cross on the candidate’s forehead Saint Joseph. All: Pray for us.
Priest: And this sign of the holy Cross, which we make upon his (her) forehead, do thou, accursed devil, never dare to violate. Saint Peter and Saint Paul. All: Pray for us.
Priest: Through the same Christ our Lord. The names of other saints may be added, especially the patrons of the child to be baptized, and of the church or locality. The litany concludes:
Sponsor/Catechumen: Amen All holy men and women. All: Pray for us.

The Imposition of Hands

Prayer of Exorcism and Anointing Before Baptism

For the final time, the priest lays his hand on the candidate’s head Celebrant: Almighty and ever-living God, you sent your only Son into the world to cast out the power of Satan, spirit of evil, to rescue man from the kingdom of darkness, and bring him into the splendor of your kingdom of light. We pray for this child: set him (her) free from original sin, make him (her) a temple of your glory, and send your Holy Spirit to dwell with him (her). We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Priest: Let us pray: O Holy Lord, Father Almighty, Eternal God, Author of light and truth, I implore Thine everlasting and most just goodness upon this Thy servant N., that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to enlighten him (her) with the light of Thy wisdom: cleanse him (her) and sanctify him (her), give unto him (her) true knowledge; that, being made worthy of the grace of Thy Baptism, he (she) may hold firm hope, right counsel and holy doctrine. All: Amen.
Priest:Through Christ our Lord.

The Anointing

Sponsor/Catechumen: Amen. Celebrant: We anoint you with the oil of salvation in the name of Christ our Savior; may he strengthen you with his power, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Admission into the Church Building

All: Amen.
The priest lays the end of his stole on the candidate as a symbol of his priestly authority, and admits him into the church building, which is the symbol of the Church of Christ. If the catechumen is an adult and was annointed in Part I above, he may be asked to lie prostrate before the Altar in adoration of Christ before this next step. He anoints the child on the breast with the oil of catechumens. Then they go to the baptistry, or to the sanctuary when baptism is celebrated there on occasion.
Priest: N., enter thou into the temple of God, that thou mayest have part with Christ unto life everlasting.

CELEBRATION OF THE SACRAMENT

Sponsor/Catechumen: Amen. Celebrant: My dear brothers and sisters, we now ask God to give this child new life in abundance through water and the Holy Spirit.

The Credo and Pater

Blessing and Invocation of God over Baptismal Water

Sponsor/Catechumen: I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into Hell. On the third day, He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence shall He come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy Catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen. Then, turning to the font, he says the following blessing (outside the Easter season).
Sponsor/Catechumen: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation: but deliver us from evil. Amen. Celebrant: Father, you give us grace through sacramental signs, which tell us of the wonders of your unseen power. In baptism we use your gift of water, which you have made a rich symbol of the grace you give us in this sacrament. At the very dawn of creation your Spirit breathed on the waters, making them the wellspring of all holiness. The waters of the great flood you made a sign of the waters of baptism, that make an end of sin and a new beginning of goodness. Through the waters of the Red Sea you led ?Israel out of slavery, to be an image of God’s holy people, set free from sin by baptism. In the waters of the Jordan your Son was baptized by John and anointed with the Spirit. Your Son willed that water and blood should flow from his side as he hung upon the cross. After his resurrection he told his disciples: “Go out and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Father, look now with love upon your Church, and unseal for her the fountain of baptism. By the power of the Spirit give to the water of this font the grace of your Son. You created man in your own likeness: cleanse him from sin in a new birth to innocence by water and the Spirit.

PART III

IN THE NAVE OF THE CHURCH

The celebrant touches the water with his right hand and continues: We ask you, Father, with your Son to send the Holy Spirit upon the water of this font. May all who are buried with Christ in the death of baptism rise also with him to newness of life. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

The Solemn Exorcism

All: Amen.
Priest: I exorcise thee, every unclean spirit, in the name of God the Father + Almighty, in the name of Jesus + Christ, His Son, our Lord and Judge, and in the power of the Holy + Spirit, that thou be depart from this creature of God N, which our Lord hath deigned to call unto His holy temple, that it may be made the temple of the living God, and that the Holy Spirit may dwell therein. Through the same Christ our Lord, who shall come to judge the living and the dead, and the world by fire

Renunciation of Sin and Profession of Faith

The Ephpheta

Celebrant speaks to the parents and godparents in these words: Dear parents and godparents: You have come here to present this child for baptism. By water and the Holy Spirit he (she) is to receive the gift of new life from God, who is love.  On your part, you must make it your constant care to bring him (her) up in the practice of the faith. See that the divine life which God gives him (her) is kept safe from the poison of sin, to grow always stronger in his (her) heart.  If your faith makes you ready to accept this responsibility, renew now the vows of your own baptism. Reject sin; profess your faith in Christ Jesus. This is the faith of the Church. This is the faith in which this child is about to be baptized.
The priest takes a little spittle and touches the ears and nostrils of the candidate with it. For health reasons, the use of spittle may be omitted. This rite comes from Mark 7:33-35, when Jesus healed the deaf-mute: “And taking him from the multitude apart, he put his fingers into his ears: and spitting, he touched his tongue. And looking up to heaven, he groaned and said to him: Ephpheta, which is, Be thou opened. And immediately his ears were opened and the string of his tongue was loosed and he spoke right.”. Celebrant: Do you reject Satan?
Priest: Ephpheta, that is to say, Be opened, for an odour of sweetness. Be thou, devil, begone; for the judgement of God shall draw near. Parents and Godparents: I do.

The Renunciation of Satan

Celebrant: And all his works?
Priest: N., do you renounce Satan? Parents and Godparents: I do.
Sponsor/Catechumen: I do renounce him. Celebrant: Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
Priest: And all of his works? Parents and Godparents: I do.
Sponsor/Catechumen: I do renounce him. Celebrant: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
Priest: And all his pomps? Parents and Godparents: I do.
Sponsor/Catechumen: I do renounce him. Celebrant: Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?

The Anointing

Parents and Godparents: I do.
The priest annoints the candidate with the oil of catechumens on the heart and between the shoulders in the form of a Cross, saying: The celebrant and the congregation give their assent to this profession of faith:
Priest: I annoint you + with the oil of salvation in Christ Jesus our Lord, that you may have everlasting life. Celebrant: This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Sponsor/Catechumen: Amen. All: Amen.

PART IV

AT THE FONT

Baptism

The priest removes his violet stole and puts on a white one. Celebrant: Is it your will that N. should be baptized in the faith of the Church, which we have all professed with you?

The Profession of Faith

Parents and Godparents: It is.
Priest: N., do you believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth? He baptizes the child, saying: N., I baptize you in the name of the Father, He immerses the child or pours water upon it. and of the Son, He immerses the child or pours water upon it a second time. and of the Holy Spirit. He immerses the child or pours water upon it a third time. After the child is baptized, it is appropriate for the people to sing a short acclamation.
Sponsor/Catechumen: I do believe.

Anointing with Chrism

Priest: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord, Who was born and Who suffered? Celebrant: God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has freed you from sin, given you a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and welcomed you into his holy people. He now anoints you with the chrism of salvation. As Christ was anointed Priest, Prophet, and King, so may you live always as a member of his body, sharing everlasting life.
Sponsor/Catechumen: I do believe. All: Amen.
Priest: Do you believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting? Then the celebrant anoints the child on the crown of the head with the sacred chrism, in silence.
Sponsor/Catechumen: I do believe.

Clothing with the White Garment

Baptism (Matter and Form of the Sacrament)

Celebrant: N., you have become a new creation, and have clothed yourself in Christ. See in this white garment the outward sign of your Christian dignity. With your family and friends to help you by word and example, bring that dignity unstained into the everlasting life of heaven.
If the one to be baptized is a baby, the godparents take him to the font (the godmother holds him in her arms, the godfather touches the baby’s shoulder with his right hand); if he is an adult, the sponsor puts his right hand on the shoulder of the one to be baptized. All: Amen.
Priest: N., will you be baptized? The white garment is put on the child. A different color is not permitted unless demanded by local custom. It is desirable that the family provide the garment.
Sponsor/Catechumen: I will.

Lighted Candle

The priest pours water over the head of the candidate three times, once after each mention of the Divine Persons. The water he uses will have been consecrated during the Easter Vigil or on the Eve of the Pentecost. As he pours the water, the priest says these words (or the words of a conditional Baptism): Celebrant takes the Easter candle and says: Receive the light of Christ.
Priest: I baptize you in the name of the Father + and of the Son + and of the Holy + Spirit. Someone from the family (such as the father or godfather) lights the child’s candle from the Easter candle.

The Anointing with Chrism

Celebrant then says: Parents and godparents, this light is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly. This child of yours has been enlightened by Christ. He (she) is to walk always as a child of the light. May he (she) keep the flame of faith alive in his (her) heart. When the Lord comes, may he (she) go out to meet him with all the saints in the heavenly kingdom.
Priest: May the Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath regenerated thee by water and the Holy Spirit, and who hath given thee the remission of all thy sins, may He Himself + anoint thee with the Chrism of Salvation, in the same Christ Jesus our Lord, unto life eternal.

Ephphetha or Prayer over Ears and Mouth

Sponsor/Catechumen: Amen. If the conference of bishops decides to preserve the practice, the rite of Ephphetha follows. [in the United States it may be performed at the discretion of the minister.] The celebrant touches the ears and mouth of the child with his thumb, saying:
Priest: Peace be with you. The Lord Jesus made the deaf hear and the dumb speak. May he soon touch your ears to receive his word, and your mouth to proclaim his faith, to the praise and glory of God the Father.
Sponsor/Catechumen: And with your spirit. All: Amen.

The White Linen Cloth

CONCLUSION OF THE RITE

This priest takes a white linen cloth — symbolizing the purity of a soul cleansed from all sin, and a relic of the days when the newly baptised wore white albs for 8 days — and places it on the head of the candidate. Next there is a procession to the altar, unless the baptism was performed in the sanctuary. The lighted candle is carried for the child. A baptismal song is appropriate at this time, e.g.: You have put on Christ, in him you have been baptised. Alleluia, alleluia.
Priest: Receive this white garment, which mayest thou carry without stain before the judgment seat of our Lord Jesus Christ, that thou mayest have life everlasting.

Lord’s Prayer

The Lighted Candle

The celebrant stands in front of the altar and addresses the parents, godparents, and the whole assembly in these or similar words:
The priest gives the candidate or the sponsor a lighted candle. Dearly beloved, this child has been reborn in baptism. He (she) is now called the child of God, for so indeed he (she) is. In confirmation he (she) will receive the fullness of God’s Spirit. In holy communion he (she) will share the banquet of Christ’s sacrifice, calling God his (her) Father in the midst of the Church. In the name of this child, in the Spirit of our common sonship, let us pray together in the words our Lord has given us:
Priest: Receive this burning light, and keep thy Baptism so as to be without blame: keep the commandments of God, that when the Lord shall come to the nuptials, thou mayest meet Him together with all the Saints in the heavenly court, and mayest have eternal life and live for ever and ever. All present join the celebrant in singing or saying:

Last Words of Good Will

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Priest: N., go in peace and the Lord be with you. Amen.

Blessing

Sponsor/Catechumen: Amen. The celebrant first blesses the mother, who holds the child in her arms, then the father, and lastly the entire assembly:
Celebrant: God the Father, through his Son, the Virgin Mary’s child, has brought joy to all Christian mothers, as they see the hope of eternal life shine on their children. May he bless the mother of this child. She now thanks God for the gift of her child. May she be one with him (her) in thanking him for ever in heaven, in Christ Jesus our Lord.
All: Amen.
Celebrant: God is the giver of all life, human and divine. May he bless the father of this child. He and his wife will be the first teachers of their child in the ways of faith. May they be also the best of teachers, bearing witness to the faith by what they say and do, in Christ Jesus our Lord.
All: Amen.
Celebrant: By God’s gift, through water and the Holy Spirit, we are reborn to everlasting life. In his goodness, may he continue to pour out his blessings upon these sons and daughters of his. May he make them always, wherever they may be, faithful members of his holy people. May he send his peace upon all who are gathered here, in Christ Jesus our Lord.
All: Amen.
Celebrant: May almighty God, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit, bless you.
All: Amen.
After the blessing, all may sing a hymn which suitably expresses thanksgiving and Easter joy, or they may sing the song of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Magnificat. Where there is the practice of bringing the baptised child to the altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary, this custom is observed if appropriate.

Well, what do you think. Leave a comment


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CatholicScout Comments: How to oppose the Dark Lord

Continuing the theme of my last two posts commenting on the truth spoken by J R R Tolkien through the lips of Haldir in the book, the Fellowship of the Ring:

“In nothing is the power of the Dark Lord more clearly shown than in the estrangement that divides all those who still oppose him.”

Stained Glass style depiction of the Lord of the Rings

I introduced the importance for a Catholic Scout (and Catholics as a whole), to understand the Principles of War. I then went on to describe the method of the Dark Lords attack; subversion, and how modern tactics have attempted to tackle that problem.

This post is about How to oppose the Dark Lord. I am not expecting to set this all out in one go. There is some fundamental groundwork that needs to be prepared first;

Firstly, before undertaking the task of opposing the Dark Lord, his legions of hell and his agents on earth, it is very important to understand the enemy.

“The dumbest devil is more intelligent than all mankind together”

(FrECM quoting St Thomas Aquinas Summa Theologica 1054)

Firstly, from this fact, it is important to realise that any human effort to construct a strategy against the Dark Lord, is futile, because of the vast intellect and power that incorporeality and immortality grants the Dark Lord and his Legions of Hell.

Secondly, our Catholic Faith has condemned the concept that a human is able to strategise against the Dark Lord without the aid of Sanctifying Grace (Pelagianism).

So if it futile for you or me to strategise, because the Dark Lord is able to witness our strategies and neuter them in ways we could not even imagine. And even the belief that a human could strategise against the Dark Lord (without the aid of Sanctifying Grace), is condemned by the Catholic Church. Just how, then, can one oppose the Dark Lord?

Well, the answer is actually quite easy, the key is Sanctifying Grace.

There is One who has a Greater Intellect than the Dark Lord and all his Legions of Hell put together. He has strategies. Like a good Commander He does not reveal the full battle plan to the soldiers, rather He gives them specific orders, He does not explain why (nor is He required to).

The soldiers are us. The issue is that we must put ourselves into a position by which we can receive those orders and do them. That calls for Sanctifying Grace, for Our Catholic Faith, teaches us that we cannot do anything good without Grace (cf Council of Carthage 419 – Canon 113). And remember that while we can do nothing good without Grace, Grace does not make us infallible if we revert to trying to work things out on our own power.

What I am therefore saying is; God has a plan. He has specific actions for an individual soul to take. He can, and will, communicate those actions to that individual soul, if (and usually only if) a soul is in the state of Sanctifying Grace. By those plans alone is there hope that the Dark Lord will be defeated (and it is the only way that he will be defeated – and he most certainly will be defeated by these means). Of course this requires cleaning out everything that stands in the way of Grace, then after doing that, listening to what the Lord desires us to do and doing it! But what I have said here is nothing different than what Our Lord said in the Gospels (just said differently).

So, the key to us mortals is just how do we obtain Grace by which we can then do effective battle with the Dark Lord (and win)? Well that’s content for my next post. But as a sneak peak it involves: Surrender, repentance, confession and penance, followed by receiving guidance, and taking action.


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CatholicScout Comments: Haldir Quote

CatholicScout Comments: Divide and Conquer

Continuing the theme of my last post commenting on the truth spoken by J R R Tolkien through the lips of Haldir in the book, the Fellowship of the Ring:

“In nothing is the power of the Dark Lord more clearly shown than in the estrangement that divides all those who still oppose him.”

I introduced the importance for a Catholic Scout (and Catholics as a whole), to understand the Principles of War.

J R R Tolkien states something vitally important about the enemy. Divide et impera, divide and conquer. The Church Militant is constantly, and will constantly be attacked by divisive tactics. Why? Well, apart from the fact that Diabolos comes from the Greek verb “to divide”, because as military doctrine points out, it is both highly efficient and effective.

There are three important tactics in divide et impera;

  • the effort to defeat an enemy by destroying small portions of its armies instead of engaging its entire strength (defeat in detail)
  • the effort to prevent smaller power groups from linking up (interdiction)
  • the effort to cause infighting (subversion)

The most valuable of these tactics is the last. Subversion. There is a minimal “cost” to the aggressor, and very high “cost” to the defender. In researching this article I came across a very interesting (if not now quite antiquated) article on RAND on Countering Covert Aggression, which a Catholic should be able to “translate” using their imagination. I understand subversion, and I see the effects of subversion on the Church.

The question is just how does one counter subversion in the Church?
The RAND article offers some insightful conclusions, it proposes

  • direct action against the sources of covert aggression
  • a more professional military
  • wider education of the danger of subversion
  • wider intelligence activities

Interesting. But these throw up some interesting questions;

What are the sources of covert aggression?  We all know who the Dark Lord is, we all know that the source of covert aggression starts with the Legions of Hell. But what are their agents upon earth? Well, there is no easy answer to that, anyone who loves sin is an agent. But there are organisations that are intent upon destroying the Church [epic fail – they just don’t get it do they], such as Freemasons, Communists, Satanists, militant homogenos erotomaniacs (and their sympathisers), militant pro-death lobbyists, Mohammedans, Idolators, Heretics, Schismatics and the likes.

Now you might say “that is a bit rich”, but before I get burned at the stake, let me point out; anyone who loves sin is an agent of the Legions of Hell.

What constitutes “direct action”? NOT VIOLENCE AND ENMITY!!! Direct action consists of taking Christ-like actions towards the source. Not concealing the Truth, but correcting error. And dying for it if necessary.

What does “a more professional military” mean in terms of the Church? Well, this could be on all levels. We all are Church Militant, so more professionalism across the board, better catechetical formation, regimentation, drilling and exercise. Better weapons training: Prayer, Alms and Fasting, Rhetoric training, Apologetics training, growth in personal holiness. Better defensive training: Sacramentals, life of prayer, frequentation of Sacraments.
But in addition to this, it calls for more professional Officers Training (meaning Priests). The Church could also be seen in terms of an army. Your laity are privates, you’ll have some NCO’s in there too. Your Commissioned Officers are Priests, Bishops and the Pope (men only, sorry ladies). They need to understand that there is a war going on, and that they are Officers called to lead, not to worldly arms, but to spiritual ones. For worldly arms, violence and enmity were completely rejected by Christ.


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CatholicScout Comments: Haldir Quote

Catholic Scouting – but why? Part II

Catholic Scouting – but why? We have secular scouting, why do we need anything separate? I will endeavour to answer these questions in this post.

Baden-Powell had great insight, he suspected something would work, he had the courage to try it, and thus he discovered that it did work. Boy Scouts worked.

Baden-Powell discovered that people who have a common goal, are more likely to achieve it. Basically unity brings about victory. If there is a common purpose, the effort of the whole, working as a single body, is more effective than just an individual.

What he discovered at Mafeking, was that young people are very dedicated when they have a common purpose. Now, Mafeking is not something a follower of Christ can sing about, because the boys were essentially employed in warfare as messengers etc. But Baden-Powell did learn some important lessons from it.

What Baden-Powell then went on to develop was Boy Scouting. Which was more of a ethical work. Boy Scouting was about developing a virtuous person. Why did Baden Powell want Boy Scouting to be about developing a virtuous person? Baden Powell perceived that a virtuous person was of greater service and credit to a nation than an unvirtuous person. An easy example is: the honest person is of greater service and credit to a nation than a dishonest person.

Baden-Powell lived in a time where the cultural perception of the populace was: that to be virtuous was a good and self-promoting thing. While the social ladder was sadly not absolutely governed by virtue, it certainly aided being a virtuous soul. This is not so much the case today.

Baden-Powell correctly identified that if one gathered a group of people with that same basic understanding -for instance, that virtue is good for the country – then that group would grow in virtue more efficiently than an isolated individual. Why, does a group tend achieve it’s goal more efficiently than an individual? A group tends to be more efficient because of psychological and fraternal factors, such as (but not limited to), fear of letting others down, peer-pressure/encouragement and the desired identity/association in the group.

Now Baden-Powell did not perceive the effects of World War II, of the rampant secularisation and the development of anti-nationalistic scepticism that has grown since then. For the Christian, nations mean nothing. The nation state is not the object of salvation, human beings are. Nations are geographical human constructs, they pass. The Lord taught and the Church has dutifully passed on “Render unto Caesar what is Caesars”. But it is very important that the Christian remembers that nations are not our primary identification.

The truth is that Baden-Powell did not perceive the destination of the Philosophy that had been festering and growing for a long time; relativism  Relativism has stripped the modern equivalent of the Scouts of it’s former primary purpose: to develop virtuous people for the benefit of the country.

Thankfully, this woeful situation does not have to affect Catholic Scouting. The purpose of Catholic Scouting should be to develop virtuous people (holy or saintly people) for the benefit of the Church. The Church should occupy the first place of nationalistic pride in our hearts, not our geographical human constructs, which by the very nature of their work of human hands, are fallen and temporal. I will write a post on the evils of national patriotism another time.

The final question of this post is: Why would a body of Catholic Scouts the most efficient means of promoting virtue in it’s members? A body of Catholic Scouts would be an efficient means of promoting virtue in it’s members because it benefits from the observations of Lord Baden-Powell, namely that youth become very dedicated to a common cause (especially one that also have practical active application and an aspect of adventure involved) and that a collective is more efficient than an individual.

I think it would be presumptuous to say that it would be the most efficient, but a body of Catholic Scouts separate from the secular scouting organisation, has distinctive advantages. The mix of adventure and practical skills is more attractive and has a greater holding power than a purely spiritual guild/association.

Let me know your thoughts, leave a comment.

A Scout Serves II

The Scout serves, he serves his fellows. His job is to make clear the path. He scouts ahead, finding the best route, discovering dangers, so that others may avoid them. Because scouts are vanguards – they go ahead of the main body – their life is often fraught with danger, and sometimes there are casualties.

But there is also another type of service. The scout is in the service of someone or something. Military scouts are in the service of their countries, as are boy scouts. But the Catholic Scout is in the service of something else, or more precisely someOne else. The Catholic Scout is in the service of God. His life is to be God-centred. His honour, his being, finds it’s source in God. The more the scout is God-centred the more the scout fulfils himself, his role, and his goals.

A scouts goal, is to be totally God-centred, in His service, serving Him perfectly, diligently and swiftly.