The Effects of the Protestant Revolt

This blog recommends a book titled “An Essay on the Economic Effects of the Reformation” by George O’Brien.  We will begin posting quotes from the book.  Here is the first:

The division of History into organic and critical periods we owe to Saint Simon.  During the organic periods mankind accepts with firm conviction some positive Creed while during the critical periods men lose their old convictions without attaining any new ones of a general authoritative character. The organic period of Christianity came to an end, and the critical period began, at the Reformation, when the authority of the Church was assailed and the reign of private judgment inaugurated. . . This critical phase has lasted for 400 years, and it will continue until a new organic period can be begun by the universal.acceptance of some common creed.  The discovery of that creed is man’s capital task today.  Ever since the reformation, the old foundations of European life have been attacked by successive waves, first of protestantism, and then of rationalism, until society has arrived at its present chaotic, formless, distracted condition. . .

There is one institution alone which is capable of supplying and enforcing the social ethic that is needed to reviving the world.   It is an institution at once intra-national and international; an institution that can claim to pronounce infallible on moral matters, and enforce the observance of its moral decrees by direct sanctions on the individual conscience of man; an institution which, while respecting and supporting the civil governments of nations, can claim to exist independently of them, and can insist that they shall not intrude upon the moral life or fetter the moral liberty of their citizens.   Europe possessed such an institution in the Middle Ages; it’s dethrone mentioned was the unique achievement of the reformation; and the injury inflicted by that dethronement has never since been repaired.
(The institution he is referring to is of course Holy Mother Church)
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Quote of the Day – Pope St. Pius X

“That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error. Based, as it is, on the principle that the State must not recognize any religious cult, it is in the first place guilty of a great injustice to God; for the Creator of man is also the Founder of human societies, and preserves their existence as He preserves our own. We owe Him, therefore, not only a private cult, but a public and social worship to honor Him. Besides, this thesis is an obvious negation of the supernatural order… Hence the Roman Pontiffs have never ceased, as circumstances required, to refute and condemn the doctrine of the separation of Church and State.” (Pope Saint Pius X “Vehementer Nos” section 3: On the relationship between Church and State)

RIP Justice Scalia: Lover of the TLM

A friend and fellow Old St. Mary’s Parishioner has written an article below about his memories of his time attending the Traditional Latin Mass with Justice Scalia.  May eternal light shine upon him!

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Wall Street Journal: Scalia the Music Critic and Pew Policeman
Putting on a tie using his car’s mirror before attending Mass—the one in Latin, of course.
By Kenneth J. Wolfe
Feb. 18, 2016 7:01 p.m. ET

Antonin Scalia attended the traditional Latin Mass nearly every Sunday, at St. John the Beloved church near his home in McLean, Va., or at St. Mary Mother of God church in the Chinatown section of Washington, D.C. When he went to the latter location, it was usually followed by a day of reading in his nearby Supreme Court office, which he did for decades on certain Sundays during the court’s term.

In the 20 years I saw him at Mass, not once was he protected by Supreme Court police or by U.S. Marshals. The associate justice with his home number still listed in the telephone book was surprisingly down to earth, true to his New Jersey roots. It was not uncommon to see him park his  BMW  on G Street in the District before Mass and put on his necktie using the car’s mirror. He would walk into St. Mary’s with his pre-Vatican II handmissal, always sitting in the same general area, near Patrick Buchanan, about halfway up the aisle on the far left side of the nave.

Justice Scalia loved music, especially opera. So when I was the director of an amateur choir at St. Mary’s in the late 1990s (in a Verizon Center-less neighborhood far different from today), we were under increased pressure during the Sundays when he attended High Mass. Our choir was admittedly awful, and even though we rehearsed every Thursday night and Sunday morning, it didn’t seem to help much.

The church’s pastor at the time would hear from Justice Scalia about the choir’s underwhelming performances. In what would become a familiar ritual over a period of months, we would fail to sing basic, four-part sacred music in tune. Justice Scalia would register his disappointment with Father, and I would be urged to try to do better. I wasn’t surprised when one day I was called into the pastor’s office to be gently informed that my volunteer choir-director days were over.

As was so often the case during his career, Justice Scalia’s dissent was entirely justified and ultimately a blessing to the world. The mixed-voice choir was soon replaced by a group of men (including me) who would sing Gregorian chant at the Sunday 9 a.m. Latin Mass at St. Mary’s, with that schola continuing to chant to this day. The congregation seems to appreciate it, and as recently as a few months ago when we last saw Justice Scalia, there have been no complaints about the music.

He was a character at a church full of character. After the Sunday 9 a.m. Mass at St. Mary’s, a coffee and doughnut hour is held in the basement, and Justice Scalia could often be found there. For years, the rear right corner was where the smokers gathered, doing a balancing act of cigarettes, pastries and hot beverages. Justice Scalia seemed to relish that time, smoking and talking, recounting his world travels and shaking his head over the liturgical and theological argle-bargle he found in some Catholic churches overseas.

One morning in the smoking corner, Justice Scalia pulled out a cigarette and looked around to see no one joining him with a lighter. He asked where his fellow tobacco traditionalists were, only to learn that a newly established traditional Latin Mass in rural, conservative Front Royal, Va., was apparently a more convenient option for the smoking crowd. Conversation carried on anyway, and by request he got the latest scoop on shenanigans at his alma mater, Georgetown University.

Like the rest of us, Justice Scalia was not perfect. He had no patience for unruly children and was the local sheriff of the rear left of the nave of St. Mary’s. But his willingness to talk with anyone—as long as it was not about a pending court case—was generous, and he certainly could have had better coffee and doughnuts at home instead of a church basement in Chinatown.

Despite his having attended the traditional Latin Mass for decades nearly every Sunday, the funeral for Justice Scalia will be a post-Vatican II, concelebrated service in English on Saturday morning at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. Still, pre-Vatican II Latin Masses have already been offered this week for the repose of his soul, and fellow parishioners continue to beg God that the good and faithful servant attains salvation after years of prayer and labor. May there be a tuxedo-clad waiter in a dark Italian restaurant serving him white pizza and Chianti in heaven. And good music, we pray.

Mr. Wolfe is a contributor to the traditional Catholic blog, Rorate Caeli.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/scalia-the-music-critic-and-pew-policeman-1455840082

In Thee O Lord I have hoped

On Prayer And Fasting

February 9, 2016

On Prayer And Fasting

My dear brethren,

According to an ancient and salutary tradition in the Church, on the occasion of the beginning of Lent, I address these words to you in order to encourage you to enter into this penitential season wholeheartedly, with the dispositions willed by the Church and to accomplish the purpose for which the Church prescribes it.

If I look in books from the early part of this century, I find that they indicate three purposes for which the Church has prescribed this penitential time:

  • first, in order to curb the concupiscence of the flesh;
  • then, to facilitate the elevation of our souls toward divine realities;
  • finally, to make satisfaction for our sins.

Our Lord gave us the example during His life, here on earth: pray and do penance. However, Our Lord, being free from concupiscence and sin, did penance and made satisfaction for our sins, thus showing us that our penance may be beneficial not only for ourselves but also for others.

Pray and do penance. Do penance in order to pray better, in order to draw closer to Almighty God. This is what all the saints have done, and this is that of which all the messages of the Blessed Virgin remind us.

Would we dare to say that this necessity is less important in our day and age than in former times? On the contrary, we can and we must affirm that today, more than ever before, prayer and penance are necessary because everything possible has been done to diminish and denigrate these two fundamental elements of Christian life.

Never before has the world sought to satisfy—without any limit, the disordered instincts of the flesh, even to the point of the murder of millions of innocent, unborn children. One would come to believe that society has no other reason for existence except to give the greatest material standard of living to all men in order that they should not be deprived of material goods.

Thus we can see that such a society would be opposed to what the Church prescribes. In these times, when even Churchmen align themselves with the spirit of this world, we witness the disappearance of prayer and penance-particularly in their character of reparation for sins and obtaining pardon for faults. Few there are today who love to recite Psalm 50, the Miserere, and who say with the psalmist, Peccatum meum contra me est semper—”My sin is always before me.” How can a Christian remove the thought of sin if the image of the crucifix is always before his eyes?

At the Council the bishops requested such a diminution of fast and abstinence that the prescriptions have practically disappeared. We must recognize the fact that this disappearance is a consequence of the ecumenical and Protestant spirit which denies the necessity of our participation for the application of the merits of Our Lord to each one of us for the remission of our sins and the restoration of our divine affiliation [i.e., our character as adoptive sons of God].

  • In the past the commandments of the Church provided for:
  • an obligatory fast on all days of Lent with the exception of Sundays, for the three Ember Days and for many Vigils;
  • abstinence was for all Fridays of the year, the Saturdays of Lent and, in numerous dioceses, all the Saturdays of the year.

What remains of these prescriptions—the fast for Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and abstinence for Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent.

One wonders at the motives for such a drastic diminution. Who are obliged to observe the fast?—adults from age 21 to 60 [here in the USA, the minimum age is 18 years old—Ed.]. And who are obliged to observe abstinence?—all the faithful from the age of 7 years.

What does fasting mean? To fast means to take only one (full) meal a day to which one may add two collations (or small meals), one in the morning, one in the evening which, when combined, do not equal a full meal.[The archbishop is referring to the European order of meals; in the United States though, dinner is usually the evening meal—Ed.]

What is meant by abstinence? By abstinence is meant that one abstains from meat.

The faithful who have a true spirit of faith and who profoundly understand the motives of the Church which have been mentioned above, will wholeheartedly accomplish not only the light prescriptions of today but, entering into the spirit of Our Lord and of the Blessed Virgin Mary, will endeavor to make reparation for the sins which they have committed and for the sins of their family, their neighbors, friends and fellow citizens.

It is for this reason that they will add to the actual prescriptions. These additional penances might be to fast for all Fridays of Lent, abstinence from all alcoholic beverages, abstinence from television, or other similar sacrifices. They will make an effort to pray more, to assist more frequently at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, to recite the rosary, and not to miss evening prayers with the family. They will detach themselves from their superfluous material goods in order to aid the seminaries, help establish schools, help their priests adequately furnish the chapels and to help establish novitiates for nuns and brothers.

The prescriptions of the Church do not concern fast and abstinence alone but also of the obligation of the Paschal Communion (Easter Duty). Here is what the Vicar of the Diocese of Sion, in Switzerland, recommended to the faithful of that diocese on February 20, 1919:

  • During Lent, the pastors will have the Stations of the Cross twice a week; one day for the children of the schools and another day for the other parishioners. After the Stations of the Cross, they will recite the Litany of the Sacred Heart.
  • During Passion Week, which is to say, the week before Palm Sunday, there will be a Triduum in all parish churches, Instruction, Litany of the Sacred Heart in the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament, Benediction. In these instructions the pastors will simply and clearly remind their parishioners of the principal conditions to receive the Sacrament of Penance worthily.
  • The time during which one may fulfill the Easter Duty has been set for all parishes from Passion Sunday to the first Sunday after Easter.

Why should these directives no longer be useful today? Let us profit from this salutary time during the course of which Our Lord is accustomed to dispense grace abundantly. Let us not imitate the foolish virgins who having no oil in their lamps found the door of the bridegroom’s house closed and this terrible response: Nescio vos—”I know you not.” Blessed are they who have the spirit of poverty for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. The spirit of poverty means the spirit of detachment from things of this world.

Blessed are they who weep for they shall be consoled. Let us think of Jesus in the Garden of Olives who wept for our sins. It is henceforth for us to weep for our sins and for those of our brethren.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for holiness for they shall be satisfied. Holiness—sanctity is attained by means of the Cross, penance and sacrifice. If we truly seek perfection then we must follow the Way of the Cross.

May we, during this Lenten Season, hear the call of Jesus and Mary and engage ourselves to follow them in this crusade of prayer and penance.

May our prayers, our supplications, and our sacrifices obtain from heaven the grace that those in places of responsibility in the Church return to her true and holy traditions, which is the only solution to revive and reflourish the institutions of the Church again.

Let us love to recite the conclusion of the Te DeumIn te Doming, speravi; non confundar in aeternum—”In Thee, O Lord, I have hoped. I will not be confounded in eternity.”

+ Marcel Lefebvre
Sexagesima Sunday
February 14, 1982
Rickenbach, Switzerland

Quote of the Day

” At this moment it seems as though science will never be able to raise the curtain on the mystery of creation. For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

-Robert Jastrow
(Agnostic astronomer and physicist)

The Catholic Church is the Mountain of God

Please watch this great homily that discusses the story of Jihad Johnny “Taliban” Walker who was raised “Catholic” as well as the biblical story about the Good Samaritan. We weren’t aware of all the symbolism contained in the good Samaritan story. Where there is Peter there is the Church. The Catholic Church is the Mountain of God! Please watch.

A Glimpse of Hell is all it Took

https://americaneedsfatima.org/Conversions/conversion-on-death-row.html

In 1943, twenty-year-old Claude Newman was awaiting execution in a Mississippi prison for shooting Sid Cook, his beloved grandmother’s abusive second husband. One day, Claude noticed a medal hanging around the neck of a fellow prisoner, and asked the young man what it was. The latter responded by casting the medal to the ground with a curse and said, “take it.”  Unbeknownst to him, the curious pendant was a Miraculous Medal. Even though he knew nothing about it or who it represented, Claude picked up the trinket and hung it around his neck. He had no idea how that simple action would change his life.

Visions

Man praying

During the night, Claude was awakened by a glowing vision, which he later described as “the most beautiful woman that God ever created.” The vision calmed the frightened man and said, “If you would like me to be your mother, and you my child, send for a priest of the Catholic Church.

And she disappeared. “A ghost, a ghost!” screamed Claude, clamoring for a priest. The next morning, Fr. Robert O’Leary (who later recorded the story) was summoned.  After listening to the extraordinary account and speaking with him, the priest discovered Claude to be a very simple, illiterate soul who knew very little about religion.

The priest proceeded to teach the young man about Catholicism, and soon the catechism lessons grew to include four other inmates who were deeply impressed by Claude’s vision.  Several weeks later, Father introduced the Sacrament of Confession, and Claude volunteered, 

Oh, I know about that! The Lady told me that when we go to confession we are kneeling down not before a priest, but before the Cross of Her Son. And that when we are truly sorry for our sins, and we confess our sins, the Blood He shed flows down over us and washes us free from all sins.”  The others were stunned at this new revelation. Seeing their surprise, Claude apologized, “Oh, don’t be angry, don’t be angry, I didn’t mean to blurt it out!”

Revelation

Assuring him that he was far from angry, Fr. O’Leary asked Claude if he had seen the lady again. Taking the priest aside, the young man said, “she told me that if you doubted me or showed hesitancy, I was to remind you that lying in a ditch in Holland in 1940, you made a vow to her which She’s still waiting for you to keep.”  This revelation fully convinced him of Claude’s claims. During the war, Fr. O’Leary had promised to erect a church in honor of the Immaculate Conception if he survived. He fulfilled the promise in 1947, and the church still stands in Clarksdale, Mississippi. As Father and Claude returned to the class on Confession, Claude told his friends, “You should not be afraid of Confession. You’re really telling God your sins, not the priest. You know, the Lady said that Confession is something like a telephone. We talk through the priest to God, and God talks back to us through the priest.”

Finally, the catechumens were received into the Church. In the baptismal records of St. Mary’s parish in Vicksburg, MS, Claude’s baptism is registered on January 16, 1944, four days before his scheduled execution. As the day neared, the Sheriff asked Claude if he had a last request.

“Well, all my friends are all shook up. The jailer is all shook up. But you don’t understand. I’m not going to die; only this body is. I’m going to be with her. So, then, I would like to have a party.”  

The Sheriff was shocked, but consented, and even allowed Claude’s fellow inmates to attend.

Execution

On the morning of execution, Claude was full of joy. As he mentally prepared himself with Fr. O’Leary, the Sheriff rushed in shouting that the Governor had granted a two-week reprieve. To his amazement, the young man broke down in sobs, inconsolable.

But you don’t understand! If you ever saw her face, and looked into her eyes, you wouldn’t want to live another day! …What have I done wrong these past weeks that God would refuse me my going home? …Why, Father?  Why must I still remain here for two weeks?”   

Suddenly, Fr. O’Leary had an inspiration. James Hughs, a fellow prisoner on death row, harbored a particular hate for Claude and all things religious despite having been raised a Catholic. Fr. O’Leary suggested that Claude offer his disappointment for Hughs’ conversion, and the final two weeks of the young man’s life were spent praying for the salvation of his fellow inmate.

Claude was finally executed on February 4, 1944. Fr. O’Leary testified: “ I’ve never seen anyone go to his death as joyfully and as happily. Even the official witnesses and the newspaper reporters were amazed. They said they couldn’t understand how anyone could sit in the electric chair beaming with happiness.”

To heaven, but not alone

Claude Newman and the Virgin Mary the Teacher Icon

When the time came for James Hughs to be executed, he violently refused all spiritual assistance, cursing and blaspheming even while seated on the electric chair. Suddenly, looking intently towards a corner of the room, a look of surprise came over his face, quickly followed by one of sheer horror, he shouted, “Get me a priest!”  Fr. O’Leary approached and heard the man’s full confession, and ask him to explain his change of mind. The condemned man had seen Claude Newman and the Blessed Virgin standing behind him, her hands on his shoulders. Per Claude’s request, Our Lady showed James a glimpse of Hell, and filled with horror, he immediately demanded a priest.

Once again, the simple wearing of the Miraculous Medal called down our mother’s gaze, and saved not only one, but many souls in that Mississippi Prison.

Post from a Converting Protestant

 

We found this on the intraweb and found it very instructive.  Please share with your protesting friends so they may one day experience the truth.

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I am a former Protestant, and have made the decision to convert to the Catholic faith. I haven’t voiced this decision openly to everyone I know yet, many of whom are Protestant (or at least non-Catholic, or even anti-Catholic), but I look forward to the day that I can, and intend to. There are so many things they don’t understand, that I myself didn’t understand about Catholicism until recently. However disturbing the inclination to become Catholic was to me at first, I am nevertheless grateful to God for being led to the historic faith once delivered to the saints. For Protestants reading this, I would urge you to read the writings of the apostolic fathers for a deeper comprehension of what (and how) the early Church practiced during the first century; the letters of Clement, bishop of Rome, and especially the letters of St. Ignatius of Antioch, and Polycarp. These men were disciples of the apostles, and very Catholic. Too few Christians today are familiar with their work, and the history of the Church in general, which is a great cause for the disunity we’ve been experiencing for the last 4 centuries. Love to all my Christian brethren. Do not fight amongst yourselves. God the father, and our Lord Jesus Christ bless you.