More Meaning?

The Modern Attack on Meaning

Today more than ever we must remain keenly aware of the “Dictatorship of Relativism,” which at its core employs the well-intentioned “meaning” maneuver. For the relativist, meaning is matter of perception and under the dominion of Man. In this model, Man believes that he can create or change meaning by changing elements and perspectives. This process has insinuated itself deep within certain circles in the Church today.

For instance, for decades there were those who experimented with various aspects of the Sacred Mass in an attempt, as someone recently noted, to make it more meaningful. Such a statement completely ignores the Truth of the Mass which was established by Christ Himself in the original Triduum and continues to be revealed to us to this day. The meaning of the Sacred Liturgy is in se. Nothing an individual perceives or does can change, add, or subtract from what Christ did and does in perpetuity in the Mass. Our responsibility is to enter into the mystery as it has been handed to us through the great Tradition of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

Today we suffer liturgically in the Church because there are many priests, deacons, religious, and so-called liturgists who are under the dominion of the Dictator and feel compelled to thwart the meaning that already is the Liturgy. Yes, their intention is to help but a relative perspective can never be better than the great Tradition handed to us from Christ through the apostles and their successors. As these new translations are implemented, the hope is that many will come to know the Truth of Christ’s Act that is the Mass and come to realize that we need not do more -- we just have to let what is speak for itself.

So to all who participate in Holy Mass, be faithful and obedient.

More to Discuss?

Two Species at Mass

In the years following Vatican II, there was a frenetic move by many dioceses in the United States to restore the supposedly lost tradition of distributing Holy Communion under both species. The practice had stopped some eight centuries previous, quite probably for good reason. In the centuries leading up to and since the initiation of the practice of distributing Holy Communion under one species, a solid theology developed and this theology, which is now called concomitance, was concretized by the Council of Trent. Thus, for centuries there has been a continuity of theology and practice in the Church. And now today this is one of those practices that has the power to divide rather than unite.

For good reasons, the council fathers at Vatican II did raise a question regarding the so-called fuller sign and called for a very limited restoration of distribution under both species. The fact that the practice became so widespread so quickly would indicate that it is more from the hermeneutic of discontinuity than of true reform. While a discussion was certainly needed and the limits of good practical sense, the widespread establishment of the practice should have been held in abeyance at least until the discussion was complete. Instead, particularly in the United States, the practice went from obscurity to commonplace seemingly overnight. A careful reading of the documents indicated a need for a concurrent suitable catechesis on the Teaching of concomitance to accompany the reinstitution of the distribution, if it were to be reinstituted at all.

Where things have fallen apart is that the practice was being added in parishes around the country during a period in which catechesis was generally falling into total disarray. Simply put, as the catechetical failure took hold, the practice took off. And the result is that so many today truly believe that they are receiving more when they receive both and are being cheated of something if they are not offered both.

Also, as a result of the catechetical failure, there are more and more Catholics today who do not believe they are truly receiving the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament (the percentage varies depending on the study consulted and the frequency of Mass attendance). Yet this important doctrine and the practice of distributing Holy Communion under two species must necessarily go hand-in-hand. And both are currently suffering from the catechetical failure.

The fact that the practice outstripped the catechesis is why so many think today that the discussion of Holy Communion under both species should continue. While the practice has merits and should have a highly limited scope, the reality is that a great number of so-called practicing Catholics believe they are more fully communicated when they receive both. These are the same Catholics who may attend Holy Mass weekly or more yet hardly ever go to Confession. These are the same Catholics who say they believe in the real presence yet have no problem holding idle conversation before the tabernacle and never come to Adoration. These are the same Catholics who say they are in union with the pope yet promote and/or use contraception. These are the same Catholics who say they espouse the Ten Commandments yet have no problem with abortion.

The irony in this discussion is that those who do attend Mass weekly believe that doing so makes them a better and fully informed Catholic and we priests should be happy they are still there. These would be members of the generation that are victims of the catechetical failure and yet think they know more than enough about the faith. This would be the same generation of Catholics that do not attend adult formation classes or, when they do, come with a chip on his or her shoulder.

So is it a further discussion that is needed or better catechesis?

The End of an Era

The Seminary of the Immaculate Conception

The bishops of the three downstate dioceses in New York have announced the formation of a new inter-diocesan seminary that will take effect next year. There is no doubt that the move was necessary and long overdue. The new union will be a great benefit for all those in formation as it will allow the three dioceses to put the best of their resources into future priests.

The sad reality is that these two great institutions that were once filled to overflowing have been reduced to one institution that still will not be filled. Yes, it is a good move. Yes, it is also a sad commentary on the state of priestly vocations.

The Harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for His Harvest! - Matthew 9:37-38

Take a Vote?

One Holy Catholic and Democratic Church?

Why do so many Catholics think that the Church is or should be a democracy? The most probable origin of this way of thinking is from the priests and other pastoral leaders who took surveys in the parish or diocese about what should be done, usually dealing with basic things like the color of the carpeting in the sanctuary. Now there are many parishioners and clergy who would prefer to put everything to a vote and if the majority speaks, even if it be against the direction the pastors of the Church are leading, the Church should implement the popular whim.

The sad reality is that many priests agree with this way of thinking. Rather than accept the legitimate authority of the bishop and follow willingly, many would prefer to rebel and garner popular support against something he does not want to do. The most recent spate of this way of thinking regards the upcoming new translation of the Roman Missal. Some priests were recently heard saying that they were never consulted about the implementation and would have voted against it. Fortunately we are part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church which will now have the opportunity to take the best step forward, taking with Her the liberal hoards who think this is a step backwards.

For those interested in learning more, here is an excellent video from EWTN:


The Church in all Her Beauty

Fr. Robert Barron has put together a video series on the Church. Hopefully every Catholic will see it. Here is the trailer for it:

The Fall

Our Fallen Nature Still Befuddles The Secular

Anyone who follows anything in the news media can see just how puzzled the secular world is regarding the presence of Sin. The most recent revelations coming from Penn State are case in point. They still wonder how such could happen and why the powerful would “cover up” the “sins” committed. The piece of data they will not admit is the propensity to Sin in all of us. These actions are puzzling and even the best watch dogs will still miss the indicators unless they start with certain basic premises. 1) fallen Nature is inclined to Sin and left to itself will fail in virtue; 2) science cannot remedy that inclination; 3) even those tasked with responsibility are tainted with the same Nature; 4) purity of heart is possible but not without Grace; 5) the answer to all their questions is Jesus Christ!

What is more disturbing with the recent revelations is that the media has dropped the investigation for the most part and has left the reporting to the sports reporters since it happened in a sports program. Of course, any investigation will find the same thing in the end -- there was a gross lapse in judgment that was tainted by desires for power and wealth. If all we learn from this are facts and not Truth, Sin will again rear its ugly head somewhere. While we can and must learn from these failures, the only proper solution is that all begin to truly pray and seek holiness of life.

Repentance is and remains the heart of the Gospel message. Until such happens, Sin will continue to plague humanity and confound even the greatest minds. Even though punishments will be meted out for those responsible, such will not prevent these horrific actions in the future -- only repentance will. And True repentance is always coupled with Grace.

The Enemy Around Us

The Media

So often the liberal media have no clue what they are doing or saying. It seems every reporter these days takes a class in making everything reported into a controversy. And the anti-Catholic sentiment of Newsday strikes again in their feature article in today’s paper on the new Roman Missal. Not only did Mr. Jones get his facts wrong, he collected many quotes from an organization that has separated itself from the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

Although Mr. Jones may claim that he is only attempting to cover the various opinions, the new translation is not a matter of opinion or the democratic process. Rather than report faithfully about a Catholic news story, he instead spent most of his article making the Vatican look like a dictator that does not have the Salvation of Souls in mind and the bishop as if he is out of touch. Nothing is further from the Truth.

For all those wondering, the new translation is the best thing to happen for the Church in quite some time. For too long things have been “dumbed down” and it has cheated people of the depth and beauty of the Mass. The new translation accepts the fact that people are actually intelligent and will get it. Yes, the initial moments of change will require some effort but it will not be disastrous because those who come to Mass are attending with the eye on Salvation. The words used are to that end alone.

The problem we still have in the Church in this country is the case of laryngitis in the public square. The sad reality is that most of the Catholics on Long Island will only see what Mr. Jones wrote. Until the local Church develops a better avenue for social communication, we will always look bad in the eyes of many because there is no secular reporter who truly wishes to report something from the perspective of those who Truly believe.

The Excitement Builds

Change Brings Excitement and Anxiety

The New Translation of the Roman Missal is both an exciting time as well as anxious. The anxiety grows as there are many details that still need to fall in place before the final implementation. The excitement grows over anticipating the beautiful texts to pray each day. In either case, no one has yet to speak of the historic moment that is at our door. And yet when this implementation occurs, it will mark a very historic moment that English speaking Catholics will talk about for decades to come.

For those who sit in the pews, the change is going to be fairly straightforward and simple. All of the changes that will impact the people can be summarized on a “pew card.” The real challenge will be for the priests who will be anchored to the Missal at every Mass for some time to come. This is because everything that the priest will pray from the Missal has been changed. The key in these last few weeks is to spend time with the texts and begin making them one’s own.

Many have said that the Mass really should be chanted. For those interested, the Archdiocese of Boston has put all of the chants from the new Missal into MP3 and FLV format. It is a great resource and will help all who are working on the final preparations.

More Abuse Please

Get Out the Calculators!!

As we enter the final days before implementing the New Translation of the Roman Missal, Bishop Murphy recently sent a memo to all priests (see post for October 10) asking that various abuses be eliminated from the sacred liturgy. Or course, the reaction was strong by those who are entrenched in certain practices that should never have been implemented. For obvious reasons, the memo issued by the bishop could not detail every abuse that goes on and he should not have to as many of them have been addressed through Church Teaching over the years. Of course, that assumes that priests have been reading the documents issued by the Church.

Among the items not covered in the memo but continues to spread like wildfire is the practice of inviting hoards of people into the “presbyterium” for the Consecration and Our Father. This practice was addressed in 1981 by the Congregation of Divine Worship and yet still continues to this day. It is bad enough that there are still parishes that continue the practice but it is even more distressing that the local Catholic paper “reports” its occurrence as if it is a wonderful thing. What makes this most difficult is the impact it has on parishes that try to remain faithful to the Teaching of the Church because of the confusion it creates.

Does anyone have a way of calculating the exponential growth of these abuses and the impact they will actually have on the future of the Church?

The Joy of Seven Billion

Talk about a truly important mark!

Since the middle of last century the flag has been raised on the population growth. While some recognize the beauty of this moment, the Anti-Life groups see the growth as a problem and want to put an end to it. Yet these secular groups with all their science should be proud of their accomplishment because the number is due to a greater life expectancy, lower infant mortality rate, and other medical accomplishments. And as more contribute to the global effort, more good will come of it.

This week the seven billionth person was born. Despite the mainstream media focusing on the doom and gloomists, this is a great moment. At the heart of the fear is a tremendous selfishness and self-centeredness on the part of the “elite” who would prefer to spread the Culture of Death to stem the growth. If someone actually spends a few moments considering the actions of these progressivist population control scientists and social engineers, one would quickly see a form of eugenics behind the thinking. Here we have the educated and modern countries imposing a doctrine on poorer countries to keep them from having children. The only caveat is that these social indoctrinators have imposed the same ideology on their modern contemporaries.

Why are so many afraid of using words like share, help, and charity?