There is no Sacred Music in Hell

A consecrated lay brother once taught us that sacred music keeps the demons from bothering you.  They must fear the beauty and heavenly nature of it.  I bet the same can’t be said of Marty Haugen’s music . . .  Yuck!  Please read the article below by Catholic Blogger Philip Kosloski on the power of sacred music.

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http://www.philipkosloski.com/why-the-devil-hates-sacred-music/

Why the Devil Hates Sacred Music

I had never heard Palestrina’s music before, and I bought a record and put it on, and I almost had a mystical experience.  I said, this is the music of angels.  This doesn’t come from earth;  this comes from heaven.  This is a different kind of music, just as a cathedral is a different kind of church.  And I said, what horrible heresy called the Whore of Babylon possibly could produce music that heavenly?  It was a kind of argument that couldn’t be answered. (Dr. Peter Kreeft on his Conversion to the Catholic Faith, emphasis added)

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After listening to Palestrina, Peter Kreeft realized the power of sacred music and it propelled him further into the arms of the Catholic Church. This little episode reveals to us that there is something about sacred music that speaks to the soul and stirs within us a deeper longing for Heaven. Sacred music is very powerful and speaks to anyone who has ears to hear.

Suffice to say, there is no sacred music in Hell.

Music has been a vital part of society for thousands of years. For example, “Plato based his whole ‘ideal’ society, in The Republic, on its educational system, and he based the whole educational system on music as its first step” (The Snakebite Letters, 61, emphasis added). Plato esteemed music so much that he said a society would erode “first through a decay in music” (Ibid.).

The reason why music is able influence society so much is on account of its ability to bypass reason. As humans, we “don’t think about it, [we] just feel it” (Ibid, 62). The most powerful music goes even further, through our feelings and into the “deep center of the soul.” (Ibid).

Many throughout the centuries have converted to Christianity through music; more specifically “sacred music,” the music of the Church. There is even a tradition that God created the world through music, which Tolkien eloquently portrayed in his fictional tale The Silmarillion. Similarly, music is thought to be the “language of Heaven” (Ibid).

This is why the devil hates sacred music so much. It reaches the depths of our soul and raises us up to the Heaven. It should be no surprise to us when a parish’s sacred music program is single-handedly dismantled. He will do all he can to prevent us from hearing the Divine Voice of God.

A Light in the Darkness

Not surprisingly, the past few years has seen an increased interest in sacred music. Our souls long for it and when our soul is not being fed, it will search for one of two places: the garbage heap or the heavenly banquet. Thankfully many in our Church as well as in society are searching for the Song of Songs at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.

One example of this is the religious community of nuns called the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of ApostlesFor two consecutive years, they have been the number 1 bestselling Billboard Classical Traditional artist. Additionally, the beauty of their sacred music has attracted the talents of 11-time Grammy Award-winning producer Christopher Alder, who has assisted them in producing several albums.

Their music and community has been featured on NPR, USA Today, People Magazine and The Washington Times. This is fascinating as their music features “English and Latin pieces sung a cappella on the feasts of the holy Saints and angels” as well as during other liturgical seasons.

Based on the fads in music today, their music shouldn’t be popular. Yet, it is!

This community is about to release another album Easter at Ephesus, which I am sure will reach the top of every list out there.

Their music is continuing an ancient tradition of sacred music that we all long for and it raises our hearts to heavenly places. Their music is a light in the darkness and the success they are having gives us hope for society. If society crumbles first through music, then most assuredly it will rise from the ashes through music.

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The Latin Mass is Timeless

We have linked to an article below written about how the Latin Mass is growing in New Jersey.  The article interviews various Catholics about their views on the Latin Mass.  Of course, several of them make the same tired old objections that they don’t want to “turn back” or that they feel like they are rejecting Vatican II by attending the Latin Mass.  Bollocks!

We have this to say to those that are reluctant to “turn back”:  You are “turning back” to the mass that produced most of the Church’s greatest saints and turning away from a mass that was protestanized.  So give up your pride (or laziness) and give the Latin Mass a chance.  You, your family, your parish, your community, and the world will be better off.  The Latin Mass is timeless.

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http://www.northjersey.com/news/as-latin-mass-gains-popularity-some-in-north-jersey-reluctant-to-turn-back-1.1298231

As Latin Mass gains popularity, some in North Jersey reluctant to ‘turn back’

March 28, 2015, 11:41 PM    Last updated: Sunday, March 29, 2015, 11:04 AM

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A Latin Mass being celebrated at Our Lady of Fatima Chapel in Pequannock. The Catholic Church discontinued the Masses in 1965.

Michael Karas / Staff Photographer
A Latin Mass being celebrated at Our Lady of Fatima Chapel in Pequannock. The Catholic Church discontinued the Masses in 1965.

On Thursday, March 19, about 60 Catholics from North Jersey celebrated the Feast of St. Joseph with a high Mass at a church in Bergen County. The service began at 7:30 p.m. with a solemn procession, replete with flickering candles and incense, and ended 90 minutes later, with the priest shaking the hands of attendees — and requesting that neither his name nor the name of his church be revealed in this article.

Unlike today’s Palm Sunday services and the parish’s other regularly scheduled Masses, this Mass was not listed on the monthly calendar of the church’s website, and few parishioners, save those who heard about it by word of mouth or on social media, were even aware that it was taking place.

It was, as the service’s program indicated, a “Traditional Latin Mass.” And although most church officials refuse to describe renewed interest in this centuries-old ritual as problematic, there is no question that here in New Jersey — and around the world — a growing number of Catholics appear to be yearning for a service that their parishes discontinued in 1965.

Although church leaders are reluctant to describe this emerging movement as controversial, it is, to many, emblematic of the different papal styles of traditionalist Benedict XVI (now pope emeritus) who made the Latin Mass more accessible to parishes in 2007, and Benedict’s liberal-leaning successor Pope Francis, who considers the Mass to be regressive.

It has been 50 years since the Second Vatican Council (known as Vatican II) called upon churches to replace the Latin Mass with Masses done in the vernacular, or, as priests generally refer to it, the “novus ordo” or “new order.”

On March 7, 1965, Pope Paul VI celebrated Mass in Italian, rather than Latin, for the first time, in accordance with the Vatican II novus ordo guidelines. And this month, Pope Francis did likewise, commemorating the anniversary of that milestone. According to the Catholic News Service, Francis also told parishioners, “You cannot turn back. We have to always go forward, always forward and who goes back is making a mistake.”

Traditionalists who favor the Latin service, also known as the Tridentine Mass and “the extraordinary form,” were disappointed by the pope’s message, especially since Benedict XVI’s apostolic letter Summorum Pontificum, which reopened the door to the Tridentine Mass, said it should only be done “upon the request of the faithful.”

Something different

Here in North Jersey, the question of reintroducing Masses in Latin, even on a limited basis, appears to make some parishes uncomfortable.

The priest who celebrated the unadvertised St. Joseph’s Day Mass in Bergen County has held one Latin Mass per month for the last few months, with permission from the diocese. His request not to be identified, he said, was a matter of “protocol” within the parish, which has not decided if it wants to have regular services in Latin.

For many baby boomers and their parents, the Latin Mass conjures up images of women in black lace mantillas, priests who rarely faced their congregations, an altar devoid of girls or women and long stretches of silence broken, occasionally, by snoring or screaming toddlers.

But the service, particularly the High Mass, with a choir, is also recalled as majestic, contemplative and deeply moving. For a younger generation of Catholics, it also has the cachet of being, at least to them, something new.

Anthony Scillia, 32, of Saddle Brook attended his first Latin Mass last year at St. Anthony of Padua in Jersey City. “For me, it was a heightened experience,” Scillia said. “For that hour and 15 minutes it’s as if the veil is drawn back and you have a chance to see and really experience that bit of paradise on earth. Is it a holier experience? I don’t want to say that. Above all things, Mass is about worshiping Jesus Christ. I just feel that, for me, this Mass really elevates that experience.”

Patrick O’Boyle, 40, a lawyer from North Arlington, first became acquainted with the Mass in the early 1990s, when he attended a Latin service at Our Lady of Fatima in Pequannock.

“It was a wow experience for me,” O’Boyle said, “a beautiful celebration that more fully represents the sacrifice of Calvary. I love modern music and architecture. Art is always evolving because it has to. But this Mass is not about old or new. This Mass is timeless.”

Although there is, as yet, no hard data on how many Catholics feel this way, the Rev. Christopher M. Ciccarino, assistant dean and assistant professor of biblical studies at Seton Hall University, said, “I think there is a definite trend, although it’s early in the trend. And I say this because this rise in interest is not just from the old-timers. We see middle-age people, young families who are drawn to the sense of quiet and stillness at the low Mass or the beauty of the polyphony at a high Mass.

“I don’t see it becoming the norm in most parishes. And I suppose there will always be some resistance to it, especially among those who interpret this interest as a rejection of the Second Vatican Council. There is that feeling that we’ve ‘moved beyond’ it. For me, I’m happy with whatever brings people to the church and brings them closer to Jesus.”

At present, only a handful of parishes in North Jersey offer weekly Latin Masses, according to Jim Goodness, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark. They include Our Lady of Victories in Harrington Park and Holy Rosary and Our Lady of Mount Carmel, both in Newark.

Sacred Heart Church in Clifton, part of the Diocese of Paterson, offers one Latin Mass on Sundays at 7:45 a.m. And Our Lady of Fatima Chapel in Pequannock has offered a full schedule of Latin services since 1974.

Although Goodness was unable to comment on whether Catholics who embrace the Latin Mass were rejecting Vatican II, intrigued by something different or, perhaps, a little of both, he did say that the Archdiocese of Newark does not discourage Latin Mass.

“It’s a matter of the parish starting it and having a community that supports it,” Goodness noted. “Benedict, when he was pope, was clear about that. There should be a strong enough interest for the Mass to sustain itself.”

Goodness added that not all of Masses in the archdiocese are spoken in English or Latin. “We do Mass in 20 languages every week,” he said, “from American Sign Language to Italian, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Polish, Korean and Creole.”

Some youth appeal

The Rev. Matthew McNeely, who became administrator of Our Lady of Fatima Chapel in Pequannock last year, said that in his experience with other parishes, “It’s always a surprise to see how many young people there are who show up” for a Latin Mass, which he prefers to call “the extraordinary form of the Latin rite.”

McNeely, 37, added, “I believe the younger generation finds some­thing in it, just as I was drawn to it when I was younger, because it offers this bond with the past and the knowledge that so many saints had gone to this same liturgy.”

McNeeley said he does not feel the desire to celebrate a Latin Mass should be controversial. “I have lots of friends who are priests who say the Mass as most would say it, in the novus ordo,” he noted. “At the same time, I know plenty of people who wish we could all go back to 1945. But this isn’t about going back in time. This is a beautiful service, its beauty attracts people and there have always been different ways in which people express their belief in God, even in the Catholic Church.”

McNeely said that his chapel has about 100 celebrants at each of its Sunday Masses. At Our Lady of Victories in Harrington Park, the number is between 40 and 50 each Sunday, with larger groups on holidays, according to the Rev. Bryan Adamcik.

The 54-year-old Adamcik, who does not say the Masses himself, added that these attendees “come from all over. Englewood, Fort Lee, even New York City. Ours is the low Mass, although we originally had a high Mass when we started about seven years ago. And the Mass is about 40 minutes to an hour long.”

Adamcik barely remembers the Latin Masses prior to 1965. “I recall the Hail Marys at the end of the Mass, but I was very young. That’s all I remember.”

The Rev. David Pickens, 55, of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Haskell refers to renewed interest in the Latin Mass as “a kind of ‘Happy Days’ syndrome — a younger generation getting nostalgic for this. I do think it’s a beautiful liturgy, but the problem I have is that the priest faces the altar. There is a role for women in the modern Mass and in many ways, it’s just more flexible. I think a lot of people prefer that.

Pickens doubts he will ever celebrate a Latin Mass for at least one very good reason: “I was ordained in 2009,” he said, “and I don’t speak Latin.”

St. John Capistrano – 29 March – The Soldier Saint

“The Lord who made the beginning, will take care of the finish” – St. John Capistrano

From Father Carota’s blog:

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http://www.traditionalcatholicpriest.com/2015/03/28/the-soldier-saint-st-john-capistran-march-29/

The Soldier Saint, St. John Capistrano March 29

March 28, 2015

St. John Capistrano was the Franciscan Friar who in 1455 preached the crusade that saved Catholic Europe from the muslims.  Pope Callixtus III begged St. John to organized this crusade against the muslims who were advancing toward Rome and Vienna under the direction of Mohammed II.754px-Battle_of_Nandorfehervar

St. John had a vision that assured victory in the Name of Jesus and the cross.  Remember that the Roman Emperor Constantine also had the vision to conquer ‘IN HOC SIGNO VINCES’, in this sign (of the cross) you win.

At the age of 70, St. John enrolled 70,000 crusades, mostly peasants. When the crusade was actually in operation, St. John accompanied the famous Hunyady throughout the campaign.  After some days of battle, the peasant crusaders left the Belgrade bastion to fight hand to hand with the muslims.  St. John decided to lead them into battle carrying high the Crucifix.

Battle-of-BelgradeHe is famous for his saying; “The Lord who made the beginning, will take care of the finish”.  Chroniclers wrote that the muslims were “paralyzed by some inexplicable fear”   40,000 of the muslims perished that day in battle, while hardly any of the crusaders died.

On July 22, 1456, the muslims retreated and Belgrade and Europe were saved.  St. John Capistrano is also called “The Soldier Saint”.796px-Hunyadi_emléktábla_Belgrád

To celebrate the victory at Belgrade, Pope Collixtus III asked for Catholic churches all over Europe to ring their bells at 12 noon.  To this very day, this custom is still practiced in many parts of the world.

Why I Converted to the Catholic Church – by Randal Schmidt

Please read one of the better articles we have found that explain, in simple terms, why an anti-authority and anti-Catholic protestant converted to the one true faith.  This one man’s conversion proves that Catholicism is a faith of logic and reason.

If you are thinking about converting, or are interested in the Catholic faith at all, please open your heart and mind and read this article.  The only thing you risk by not reading it is your eternal soul . . . No pressure right :)!

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http://www.catholic365.com/article/1105/the-reluctant-roman-or-why-i-converted-to-the-catholic-church-part-i-history-and-authority.html

The Reluctant Roman: or Why I Converted to the Catholic Church, Part I: History and Authority
Photo Credit: Flickr/Jonathan P

Great Catholic Response to a Protestant – Boom!

We discovered the outstanding response to a “protester” attacking the Church in a comment section in regards to the following question:  “Was St. Joseph a Virgin or a widower with Children?”

http://catholicsay.com/was-st-joseph-a-virgin-or-a-widower-with-children/

Manny wrote:

“The Catholic Church was the one that compiled and canonized the 27 books of the New Testament at the Councils of Carthage, Rome and Hippo in the 4th and 5th centuries. At the time there were over 700 writings and over 50 gospels. Protestants didn’t come into the picture until 1,000 years later, yet they accept the same 27 books that the Catholic Church accepted as inspired by God but refuse to accept Holy Tradition along with those 27 books. How then are Protestants so sure that the Catholic Church was correct in accepting those books and not the other ones if the Catholic Church is a “cult” as they say? Besides, not everything is written in the Bible, St. John the Apostle says so in his Gospel Chapter 20:30 and 21:25. So much for the Protestant teaching of Sola Scriptura by Martin Luther.

From the earliest times, the Catholic Church has believed that Mary remained a virgin all through her life, even the Eastern Orthodox Church believes this. St. Joseph, being a just man knew that Mary was the spouse of the Holy Spirit and that her womb was consecrated for Jesus the Son of God alone. St. Joseph respected this and was her chaste spouse and the protector and provider of Jesus and Mary. They weren’t your average couple. Protestants have rejected Tradition and accept what they want to, there is no Magisterium. That’s why there are more than 30,000 different Protestant churches with conflicting beliefs since Martin Luther’s “reformation” in 1517 AD. Each Protestant church interprets scripture as it sees fit, so then, who is “lost?” certainly not the Catholic Church. If the Blessed Virgin Mary had other children there was no reason for Jesus to put her under the care of St. John the Apostle at Calvary. When Joseph and Mary were looking for the 12 year old Jesus and found him preaching at the temple there is no mention of any other brothers or sisters with them. The Bible never says that the “brothers” and “sisters” of Jesus were the children of Mary. Not one verse says the sons and daughters of Mary or Mary their mother. In the Aramaic language that Jesus spoke there was no word for cousin. Uncles, cousins and extended relatives were called brothers and sisters and it was common for them to live within the same area and travel together to the temple, etc.. St. Jerome, who was born in the 4th century was a scholar and was the first one to translate the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into Latin. He wrote that the brothers and sisters of Jesus were His cousins, the sons and daughters of the other Mary at Calvary, the wife of Cleophas, who tradition says was the brother of St. Joseph. Mary the wife of Cleophas is called the “sister” of Mary the Mother of Jesus in St. John’s Gospel but she was her sister in law. In Aramaic there was no word for sister in law either.

The Protestant reformers like Luther and Calvin believed in Mary’s perpetual virginity and that she was the Mother of God even after they broke with the Catholic Church. The founder of the Methodist Church, John Wesley also believed in Mary’s perpetual virginity. Fundamentalist anti Catholic Protestants need to go to the Catholic Answers website and look up these doctrinal issues and also get a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church instead of listening to the same old anti Catholic diatribe.”

Passion Week & Sorrows of Our Lady – Friday Mar 27th

Please click the link below for the three minute homily of Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth, Superior/Moderator of the Oratory in-Formation at Saint Thomas Apostle Church in Washington, DC on Friday –  Passion Week  & Sorrows of Our Lady – Mar 27th.

https://archive.org/details/FridayPassionWeekSorrowsOfOurLadyMar27th

St. Philip Neri’s Maxim of the Day

“To be without pity for other men’s falls, is an evident sign that we shall fall ourselves shortly.”

https://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/novena/fromcross.jpg

A Saint for Traditional Catholics

It certainly is tough times for Catholics that love the tradition of the Church. We are often viewed as mean-spirited or backward looking or just plain nutso. No matter because we have Truth on our side! Please read the post below from Father Peter Carota from traditionalcatholicpriest.com about a saint we can model our life after: St. Athanasius.

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St. Athanasius, Saint For Us Traditional Catholics

March 24, 2015

St. Athanasius (297-373) is the saint for us traditional Catholics today.  The reason I say this, is that he was banned from his diocese by the Church and emperors for at least five times.  He was the Bishop of Alexandria in Egypt for 46 years, but he also spent seventeen of these years in exile for defending Catholic truth.  He was constantly persecuted at the hands of the emperors and Church’s hierarchy for just defending the Divinity of Jesus against the Arian heretics.  Under the pressure of these heretics, even Pope Liberius excommunicated him.

athanasius-coverIt all began when he assisted the Patriarch Alexander, at the famous Council of Nicaea (325).  The Roman Emperor, Constantine, had called this council to settle conflicts in the Roman Empire concerning conflicts over Catholic dogma.  Here, Arius’ heretical teaching, (that Jesus was not consubstantial or co-equal with the Father), was condemned.  The confession of faith that came out of this council is known as the Nicene Creed, (defined at the council of Nicaea).  And this is why the word ‘consubstantial’ was recently re-inserted into the Nicene creed that we recite at every Sunday Mass.

The Arian heresy ‘denies that the Son is of one essence, nature, or substance with God; He is not consubstantial with the Father, and therefore not like Him, or equal in dignity, or co-eternal, or within the real sphere of Deity.‘  1914 Catholic Encyclopedia

Athanasius_monastery-studenica-frescoFrom this council on, Athanasius spent the rest of his life defending the divinity of Jesus and the Holy Trinity.  Because he (mostly alone) continuously stood up against the arianist who had infected almost all of the Catholic Church, the famous saying was penned; Athanasius contra mundum“, that is, “Athanasius against the world.  In the 400’s, Saint Jerome described this period as, “The whole world groaned and was amazed to find itself Arian“.

Today, we traditional Catholics, groan against the whole world and Church, because we find it almost filled with modernist and progressive heretics.

Athanasius_icon_17th centuryLet us not be discouraged.  Over and over again, God got St. Athanasius through his sufferings, false accusations and exiles.  It dearly cost St. Athanasius.  It will dearly cost us too.  But when all is said and done, it is in heaven where St. Athanasius is being rewarded by God forever.

We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to know and defend our Church’s dogma and history.  In the end, good always wins, even if it is not until heaven.

Further Evidence the Eucharist is the Real Presence of Jesus

America Needs Fatima sent out the story below from an article from Father Albert J. Byrne, titled “Nature’s Evidence of the Real Presence.”
Here is the story as it was printed:
On the evening of the last day of his October 1995 visit to the United States, Pope John Paul II was scheduled to greet the seminarians at Saint Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. It had been a very full day that began with a Mass at Oriole Park in Camden Yards; a parade through downtown streets; a visit to the Basilica of the Assumption, the first cathedral in the country; lunch at a local soup kitchen run by Catholic Charities; a prayer service at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in North Baltimore; and finally a quick stop at Saint Mary’s Seminary.
The schedule was tight so the plan was simply to greet the seminarians while they stood outside on the steps. But the Pope made his way through their ranks and into the building. His plan was to first make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament. When his wishes were made known, security  flew into action. They swept the building, paying close attention to the chapel where the Pope would be praying. For this purpose, highly trained dogs were used to detect any person who might be present.
The dogs are trained to locate survivors in collapsed buildings after earthquakes and other disasters. These highly intelligent and eager dogs quickly went through the halls, offices and classrooms and were then sent to the chapel. They went up and down the aisles, past the pews and finally into the side chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. Upon reaching the tabernacle, the dogs sniffed, whined, pointed, and refused to leave, their attention riveted on the tabernacle, until called by their handlers. They were convinced that they discovered someone there.
We Catholics know they were right—they found a real, living Person in the tabernacle!

Other Side of the Hearth – Poem by Mary Beth

by Mary Beth Zeleznik Artz

Wooden pieces of past beyond the hearth of a home, lying flat with the same chipped face.
Wind hisses lament, under sky’s dalliance dome, funneled through flue to relight embers haste.

Fire, sudden, as recall’s breath stirs every air, and assembles the olden town to come to call.
Face down your enemy, memory dares,
Open your eyes, but gone is the light in the hall.

Glowing red reminiscence at the foot of your bed, Were the flames and your burns only a dream?
Show your hands to your face! Reveal pyre’s treads, for things are precisely as they seem.

Watering can on the stone, half full and meant for flowers, Little Thing, stand up, make your way to that site.
Water’s choice, of where to set your bowers, in growth to the living, or in death to a fright.

Stumble through the charge, most known mode of travel, arms outstretched try to block the air.
Step on your own loose threads, gown begins to unravel, bareness, under smoldering remains’ glare.

Fall into the gathered water,
it spills around your feet,
Kick it into the flame of your foe.
Wind gone out of you by remembrance tarted treat, of barefoot splashing puddles from long ago.

Springs spring life, back into your limbs, standing silent in the pond of That old gold day.
Your natural world dampens on anything but whim, your head moves up out of its wilted way.

And though the heat and hue and hour you fought,
listen, for they whistle a song of childhood light.
On the other side of the hearth lies the fire of thought, as cinders like lightning bugs make their flight into the night.

Copyright 2015