ADVENTCAzT 02: Waiting

Here is ADVENTCAzT 02, for Monday in the 1st Week of Advent.

These 5 minute offerings, to help you prepare for the upcoming feast as well as for your own, personal, meeting with the Lord, are a token of gratitude for my benefactors who donate and send items from my wishlist.  Thank you!

Make some Mystic Monk Coffee and have a listen!

Some music used today: US HERE – UK HERE

Chime in if you listened.

PS: These podcasts should also be available through my iTunes feed, though in years past I have had problems with it. Let me know how you are listening.  Through the plug in on this post? Through iTunes? Downloading?

Posted in ADVENTCAzT, ADVENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments


16_07_20_TSHIRT_LAT_02 copyI hope you readers out there will post about the changes effected in parishes concerning ad orientem worship for Holy Mass.

Did you see priests “turning towards the Lord”?

I’ve been hearing about some places in email.

¡Hagan lío!


For my part, the pastor of the parish where I help on weekends has as of this weekend shifted the other two churches of the three in his care to ad orientem worship.  The third church has been ad orientem for some time now and it has been a huge and fruitful success.


I think that the priests who have done this, should write a note to Card. Sarah, perhaps including the pastor’s page or handouts that taught about the changes.  I think that lay people who want this and who see it now in their churches, should write a thank you note to Card. Sarah.  Be brief: one side of one sheet of paper.  Be sure to include a promise of prayers.

His Eminence
Robert Card. Sarah
Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship
Palazzo delle Congregazioni

UPDATE 28 Nov:

I was sent a link to a post by a Spanish priest who celebrated Holy Mass ad orientem versus for the first time. It’s great.  It’s also in Spanish.


His people appreciated it.  He wrote of his own experience:

¿Y el celebrante cómo lo ha vivido?  Con mucha emoción, tanta que hasta he de confesar que dormí mal la noche anterior. Para mí ha sido una misa como nueva. Especialmente ofertorio y consagración.

Mi sensación ha sido sobre todo la de sentirme cara a cara ante el misterio de Dios. Como cuando Moisés se encontró con Dios cara a cara y el pueblo estaba expectante.Todos ante Dios y yo, el sacerdote, el primero, con el corazón encogido mientras me atrevía a pronunciar las palabras de la consagración. Como en una nube envolvente de misterio. Solo ante Dios, pero con una soledad asentada en la presencia y participación de los fieles que se han sentido contagiados por esa aura de misterio y profundidad y con su oración y su estar apuntalaban y sostenían mis súplicas.

UPDATE 28 Nov:

Meanwhile, one wag sent me this…

16_11_28 people look east except the priest

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, ACTION ITEM!, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Turn Towards The Lord | Tagged | 37 Comments

Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point made in the sermon you heard for your Mass of obligation?

For my part, I had both EF and OF today, including a 1st Holy Communion.  Nice.

I spoke about the liturgical year and its arc and our lives and their arcs.  The Lord comes to us during both in various ways.  Proper disposition for the ways that the Lord comes to us.  To tie in the 1st Communion, which she received on the anniversary of her Baptism, I continued with the issue of disposition, but also said that disposition is a continuous focus throughout our lives, in view of the final way the Lord comes, to greet us in heaven, but that begins for us at a certain point in time in our lives.  Everyone present should make sure their Communions are a pure and special as their First in view of the rest of our lives and the goal of heaven.


Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 7 Comments

ADVENTCAzT 01: Sitting… doing…

This year I once again offer short daily podcasts to help you prepare for the upcoming feast as well as for your own, personal, meeting with the Lord.

Here is ADVENTCAzT 01, for the 1st Sunday of Advent.

These 5 minute offerings are a token of gratitude for my benefactors who donate and send items from my wishlist.  Thank you!

Have some Mystic Monk Coffee and have a listen!

Some of the music used today: HERE

Chime in if you listened.

PS: These podcasts should also be available through my iTunes feed, though in years past I have had problems with it. Let me know how you are listening.  Through the plug in on this post? Through iTunes? Downloading?

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ADVENTCAzT 00: Preparation and You

This year I once again offer short daily podcasts to help you prepare for the upcoming feast as well as for your own, personal, meeting with the Lord.

Here is ADVENTCAzT 00, for Saturday before the 1st Vespers of Advent.

These 5 minute offerings are a token of gratitude for my benefactors who donate and send items from my wishlist.  Thank you!

Have some Mystic Monk Coffee and have a listen!

Some of the music used today: HERE

Chime in if you listened.

PS: These podcasts should also be available through my iTunes feed, though maybe not immediately. Let me know how you are listening.  Through the plug in on this post? Through iTunes? Downloading?

Posted in ADVENTCAzT, ADVENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments

BISHOPS – PRIESTS: When shall we see his like again?

von Galen 300At The Catholic Thing there is a piece by David Warren which merits attention.  Warren had been to the presentation of a new book about Bl. Clemens August Card. von Galen, the “Lion of Munster” who famously stood up in the public square directly in the path of Hitler and Nazism.  When shall we see his like again?

Where are the von Galens we need today?

Where are the Ambroses?

Where are the John Fishers?

That’s what Warren wonders about too.

Here is a sample… but read the whole thing there.  My emphases and comments.

Silence of the Lions

What is the use of bishops? This has been a question in the minds of many Catholic faithful, through my adult life, as I have learnt from conversation. Often the question itself, or something like it, is asked sarcastically, about one bishop or another who has failed, signally, to uphold Catholic teaching when he was called upon “by events.” The cock crows thrice and then – the possibility fades.

The faithful are told, by this silence or (more often) incoherent mumbling, that when it comes to the witnessing of Christ and Christ’s teaching, they are on their own. They may have the Catechism of the Catholic Church before them, to remind them what’s what in our faith, but if they make a stand they cannot expect their leaders to support them.  [This is often the experience of priests in parishes who try to teach Catholic Faith in its fullness, including messages about human sexual morality.  They come under attack and the bishop won’t back him.  Instead the priests are left to the wolves, the wolves including, sometimes, sadly, the bishop himself.  Mind you, what was said about “silence or … incorherent mumbling” is also endemic among priests.  Many things written here can apply to priests and not just bishops.]

Rather, more likely, they are quietly disowned, as “fanatics,” and left to stew in that reputation. For they are now taken to be speaking only for themselves, in a time when anything said with clarity and precision can be dismissed as the outpouring of mere “feelings,” then slandered as “hate speech.” [Witness the treatment of Robert Card. Sarah after his invitation to priests to say Mass ad orientem.  Witness the way that Card. Burke is treated by the catholic Left, even from the heights of the Twitter account of Fr. Spadaro (SJ), who called him – via a posted image – a “witless worm” as if the Cardinal were Wormtongue from the Lord of the Rings.  HERE]

In a dark time, when speech codesare advancing on every academic, legal, social and political front, the lawless Dictatorship of Relativism is being consolidated. Anything you say may be, potentially, prosecuted on the argument that it might, potentially, hurt the feelings of unknown members of some vaguely defined, politically favored group. The dissident loses his livelihood, or if he hopes to keep it, must submit to public humiliation and some course of “counseling,” or “sensitivity training,” or “re-education.” [Witness the recent treatment of Prof. Anthony Esolen ]

Maoism is thus alive and well on the college campuses; and spreading beyond them. [I suspect that in referring to Maoism, he may mean the Cultural Revolution, with its spectacular terror, shifting deadly political sands, and show trials.] Or Stalinism, or Hitlerism, if gentle reader prefers. Or “McCarthyism,” insofar as it was conceived to involve show trials.

McCarthyism was defeated, fairly quickly – inside three months – when several prominent establishment figures stood up to the late Wisconsin senator, and said they had had enough. Joe McCarthy was himself labeled a pariah, and his case made a warning to any who might wish to emulate him.  [McCarthy, by the way, wasn’t wrong.]

Indeed, a more formidable McCarthyism of the Left was planted in the corpse of that politician, and his name made into a propaganda slogan. But to begin with, I think, there was genuine outrage at the recklessness of McCarthy’s senate hearings, and for the first who stood up, some nerve was required.

As courage will always be required – in all times, in all nations – for those who will oppose an injustice.

We have by now, in the Catholic Church, a legacy of bishops who were brave and worthy, written into the annals of our Saints and Martyrs. Conducted chiefly through the liturgy, they amount in practice to a Third Testament – an exemplary chronicle through twenty centuries in which, by the lives of great men and women, the Life of Christ persisted in this world.

By no means can we say that bishops always fail us; nor even when they fall silent are we necessarily left to fend for ourselves. God finds others who step forward to give the example. Too, it should be said that we ourselves are entitled, by the grace of our baptism, to step forward – to vindicate the good and the true; to condemn their opposites. But such acts are uncommon. [More on this point, below.]

That they are uncommon is part of the teaching, about sinful man. We are so attached to our worldly comforts, by our worldly imaginations, that in the clearest opposition between right and wrong we will seek the quiet life. And as we could know if only from the Gospels, the man well fed and well housed, well friended and conspicuously decorated (such as a bishop), has more to lose than most. Why risk it all in exchange for public persecution, and the risk of abandonment by his own supporters? For rewards not of this world, invisible except to the eyes of Faith?  [Because we are under constant pressure from the World, the Flesh and the Devil.  Because of Original Sin.]


For a while now I’ve been saying, in the context of trying to expand the use of the older, traditional form of the Roman Rite, that lay people can’t just sit on their hands and wait for priests and bishops to do something for them.  Lay people have to take matters into their own hands, organize, and make it happen.  Yes, of course, Mass requires the priest.  But everything needed for Mass can be handled by lay people.  Be ready to do all the work.  Remove every obstacle.  Make straight the path to that ad orientem altar.

Are you tepid?  Are you spiritless or halfhearted?  Do you not feel zeal?  Are you downhearted?

Let us all make a thorough inventory of our situations in life and review our own vocations.  We must examine our consciences and GO TO CONFESSION!  Then we have to apply ourselves with greater zeal to the work in front of our faces.

Posted in Liberals, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Olympian Middle | Tagged , , , , , | 21 Comments


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Registered or not, will you in your charity please take a moment look at the requests and to pray for the people about whom you read?

Continued from THESE.

I get many requests by email asking for prayers. Many requests are heart-achingly grave and urgent.

As long as my blog reaches so many readers in so many places, let’s give each other a hand. We should support each other in works of mercy.

If you have some prayer requests, feel free to post them below.

You have to be registered here to be able to post.

I still have a pressing personal petition.  Two, in fact.

Posted in Urgent Prayer Requests | 28 Comments

PODCAzT 152: Bishop Athanasius Schneider on the Five Dubia of the Four Cardinals

bishop-athanasius-schneiderYou know about the Five Dubia of the Four Cardinals submitted, first privately, now publicly to His Holiness Pope Francis about Chapter 8 of Amoris laetitia.

I have another PODCAzT about Bp. Schneider on Amoris laetitia.  HERE

The Four Cardinal and their questions have come under strong attack.

Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary of Astana in Kazakhstan, issued an open letter in defense of the Four Cardinal, or rather, in defense of what the Four are trying to accomplish: seek and maintain the Truth.

Schneider’s letter is called: A Prophetic Voice of Four Cardinals of the Holy Roman Catholic Church

There are many online sources for the Bishop’s Letter, who asked that it be made widely available. I received many copies by email. You can find it online at the National Catholic RegisterHERE.

Because some people find it easier to listen to texts, while driving or doing chores, etc., I’ll read it for you, instead of just posting the text.  Hopefully, in this way I can fulfill the Bishop’s wish to make sure that lots of people get the text.

You might hear a little music along the way.  If you are interested, the tune is called Dic, Christi veritas.  It is, I think, a 3 part conductus of a text by the Parisien writer Philip the Chancellor (+1236).  This version is from Sequentia.  US HERE – UK HERE

Here is the text, of which you might hear snatches.

Dic Christi Veritas,
dic cara raritas,
dic rara Caritas,
ubi nunc habitas?
aut in valle Visionis,
aut in throno Pharaonis,
aut in alto cum Nerone,
aut in antro cum Timone,
vel in viscella scirpea
cum Moyse plorante,
vel in domo Romulea
cum bulla fulminate?
Bulla fulminante
sub iudice tonante,
reo appellante,
sententia gravante,
veritas opprimitur,
distrahitur et venditur,
iustitia prostante.
itur et recurritur
ad Curiam, nec ante
quis quid consequitur,
donec exuitur
ultimo quadrante.

And you might hear the sound of a TARDIS.


145 16-04-27 Athanasius Schneider on ‘Amoria laetitia


Posted in Hard-Identity Catholicism, Our Catholic Identity, Patristiblogging, PODCAzT, The Drill | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments

BRICK BY BRICK! Parishes are “Turning Towards The Lord”, going “ad orientem”


During a conference in London last summer, Robert Card. Sarah famously made a prayerful and earnest personal suggestion that priests begin to say Holy Mass ad orientem beginning with Advent.  Advent begins on Sunday.

Of course the Cardinal was speaking as an individual churchman, rather than in his capacity as Prefect of the CDW.  He also included the usual clear statements about prudence and catechesis and circumstances, etc.

The Left quite simply had a calf!

That said, priests are paying attention to men like Card. Sarah, whose mind and heart are revealed in books such as his amazing God Or Nothing, which every priest and bishop should read.  Give your priests this book for Christmas! UK HERE USA HERE

Contrast the attitude of Card. Sarah, as communicated in his book, with the attitude of those who attack him.

I am getting notes that priests, indeed, “turning towards the Lord”.

For example, I had a note from a reader:

Our local parish (St. Mary) here in Anacortes, WA is continuing to bring the sense of the sacred back into the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

This past weekend our Priest included the following bulletin insert announcing ad orientem for weekday Masses this Advent! As you can see, he’s built on a solid groundwork of catechesis (including some of his predecessors here at the parish).

Exciting, courageous, and beautiful – I’m looking forward to it!

Attached was this image (sorry, not a text):


Only weekday Masses.. but…

Brick by brick!

Also, I note that a priest friend of mine with three parishes, who took one of the parishes ad orientem a few years ago with great success, is now going ad orientem with his other two parishes.

Brick by brick!


Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ACTION ITEM!, Brick by Brick, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

WDTPRS – 1st Sunday of Advent (Novus Ordo): They are His but they are ours

AdventWe’ve come around this weekend to the 1st Sunday of Advent, the beginning of a new liturgical year.

In the newer, post-Conciliar calendar this Sunday is back to back with the Solemnity of Christ the King, honoring the future Second Coming at the end of the world, even while Advent prepares us for celebrating His First Coming at Christmas.

Advent is about how the Lord comes… not just in His Nativity and at the Second Coming, but in every way. He comes in actual graces. He comes when the priest says, “Hoc est enim corpus meum….This is my Body.” He comes in Holy Communion and in the person of the needy.

“Make straight the paths!”, the liturgy of Advent cries out with the words of Isaiah and John the Baptist.

As we begin Advent, perhaps you would do well to remember that when the Lord comes, He is going to come by a straight path whether you have done your best to straighten it ahead of time or not. He will do the straightening for you, one way or another. Better to start doing now, don’t you think?

Let us drill into the very first oration of our liturgical year, according to the Novus Ordo or Ordinary Form

This is a new prayer for the Novus Ordo but based on ancient prayer from the so-called “Gelasian Sacramentary”.


Da, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus,
hanc tuis fidelibus voluntatem,
ut, Christo tuo venienti iustis operibus occurrentes,
eius dextrae sociati, regnum mereantur possidere caeleste.

This is how we begin our year, suffused with the language of deep humility: “Grant, we beseech You….”

There may be a current of Matthew 25 flowing into this prayer, with its parables of the wise and foolish virgins, waiting for the Bridegroom to come, and image of the Lord’s right hand, where we hope to be gathered after the separation of the goats from the sheep.  Both parables have to do with the coming of the Lord, as Bridegroom and as Judge.

The prestigious Lewis & Short Dictionary says that voluntas is basically, “will, freewill, wish, choice, desire, inclination”, but in our collect I think it has also the nuance of a “disposition” toward a thing or person. Occurro is, “to run up to, run to meet” and the deponent verb mereor, “to deserve, merit, to be entitled to, be worthy of a thing”. The usually active socio, “to join or unite together, to associate; to do or hold in common, to share a thing with another”, has a “middle” impact in this passive construction with the dative.


Almighty God, we beseech You, grant
to Your faithful this (disposition of) will,
that those rushing with just works to meet Your Christ, now coming,
united at His right hand may merit to possess the heavenly kingdom.


All-powerful God,
increase our strength of will for doing good
that Christ may find an eager welcome at his coming
and call us to his side in the kingdom of heaven.


Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God,
the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ
with righteous deeds at his coming,
so that, gathered at his right hand,
they may be worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom

It can be hard to get certain constructions from Latin into English. The “Christo tuo venienti” with its present active participle is one of them. The present or, better here, contemporary participle has the time of the verb of the main clause. It describes “Your Christ” in the very act of “coming”. We can do that as “Your Christ who is coming” rather than “Your Christ-right-now-in-the-process-of-coming” or the awkward “Your coming Christ”. We are rushing forward (occurrentes) and smoothing the path for the feet of our King. This requires work, just works, just by their origin, Christ Himself. When even in this life we are united to the right hand of Christ (dextrae sociati) our works are truly ours but also truly His and we merit heaven. The image of the “right hand”, the Biblical place of honor, points to the eternal glory of God and the inauguration of the Messianic kingdom… regnum…celeste to which we look forward even as we look back to His First Coming (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church 663-4).

A Protestant or fundamentalist Christian would not say this prayer with its “just works”, its “meriting”, its “disposition”. Frankly, libs wouldn’t say this prayer with any understanding either.  I mean…

“But Father! But Father! Disposition?  What is that?!?  That’s old language.  You claim that this means ‘disposed‘? I thought the Spirit of Vatican II disposed of that!  HA HA!  See what I did there?  This prayer HATES VATICAN II and SO DO YOU!!”

Seriously, what does “disposition of will” (voluntas) mean for us fallen humans? Protestants think our nature is wholly corrupt and so our disposition must be entirely evil. But we know man is wounded by the Fall, not wholly corrupted. Protestants believe anything good in us must be imposed from outside through the “alien merits” of Christ. Is the voluntas we are begging in the prayer going to be our will or someone else’s will covering us over? The prayer doesn’t say if the voluntas is God’s or ours.

Once we are baptized and live in the state of grace, we are New Creations and God the Holy Trinity is at work in us. Our cooperation with God’s gift of faith through good works saves us, not “faith alone” or a mere “covering over”. A proper interior “disposition of will” is made possible and given by God but after that it is really ours. Our works do not by themselves merit anything, but once we are transformed and renewed by sanctifying grace, “united at His right hand” already in this life, our work on earth merits the increase of grace and the reward of heaven because they are His while they are ours.

Thomas de Vio Card. Caietanus (Cajetan +1534) explained to Martin Luther (+1546) that, when we say that we “merit”, we are saying that Christ merits in us (cf. De fide et operibus, 12).

St. Augustine of Hippo (+430) preached that, “When God crowns our merits (merita), He crowns nothing other than His own gifts (munera)” (ep. 194, 5, 19).

We merit salvation on the foundation of habitual, sanctifying grace, through the virtuous works which we perform. His will becomes our sole desire.


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First meeting of Study Commission on the Diaconate of Women

In my email a Communiqué of the Holy See Press Office

Today, November 25, 2016, the first meeting of the Study Commission on the Diaconate of Women took place. This commission was established by the Holy Father on August 2 with the purpose of doing an objective study on the situation in the early Church. Chaired by Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, S.J., Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Commission members will meet in morning and evening sessions over two days in the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

So, their slow march to the vanishing point has begun.

Reading that Communiqué’s carefully crafted text suggests a few things.

First, the commission has a purpose: “the purpose of doing an objective study on the situation in the early Church” with respect to the “Diaconate of Women”.  That’s the commission’s purpose.  Not another.

The purpose of the commission, as stated at least, is not to make recommendations about what to do (i.e., Holy Father you can ordain women / you can’t ordain women!).  Also, they are confined to the early Church.  That takes us up through, probably, what many scholars call “late antiquity”.  There is still a lot of material there, but most of it has been picked over already.

Second, they are tasked to produce a “study”.  What sort of “study” can 12 members produce collectively?  And on what time line?  Don’t hold your breath or keep your calendar open.

Third, they have four meetings over two days for this round.

Consider how meetings go.

The first meeting has to be nuts and bolts and introductions.  Then at 1 PM they will break for a long lunch, because when in Rome that’s what you do. The first day’s second session will probably allow individual members to make short presentations.  Since there are twelve of them, they would have to be really short, maybe 10 minutes a piece.   In Rome things rev up after lunch at about 4 PM and they go to 7 PM: 3 hours. That’s two hours plus and the bulk of the afternoon session.  They might be asked to turn in texts so that everyone else can get them tomorrow morning, if they weren’t collected and distributed ahead of time.  They won’t be that organized.

And there was – or will be – evening, and morning, the first day.

On the second day, tomorrow, they’ll probably hear anyone who didn’t get squeezed in today because some members will run long and take 15-20 minutes.  Then, after a coffee break with dry biscuits around 10:30 (‘case that’s when we did it when I worked there), they might open up the table for a kind of round-table discussion, with some backing and forthing.  Then they’ll break at 1 PM for another long lunch, because that’s what you do in Rome.  In the lunch-groggy evening session, punctuated by a coffee break with more biscuits, they will have a soul annihilating philological rag chew about what the meaning of the “is” is in 4th century Coptic manuscripts (there will be claims and counter claims) until Archbp. Ladaria, poor man, calls a halt around 7 PM.  They’ll be congratulated for a couple of fruitful and enlightening days and then adjourn sine die.

So….  Nuts and bolts.  Introductions.  Initial comments.   A little discussion.  They go their separate ways without knowing the date of the next meeting.

I’ll guess 6 months, at the least.  Maybe 9.  Why rush?

This will go nowhere, verrrrrry slooooooowly.

Meanwhile, Deacon Greg Kandra has on his blog a piece with an update about how some Orthodox have begun their own study of deaconesses.  I can’t see that going anywhere, either. HERE

Bottom line: As I wrote before and stick to now:

The question will eventually be resolved (frankly, it probably is already resolved) wholly on the basis what it means to be ordained TODAY, not centuries ago.  What do Holy Orders mean NOW.  That’s the key.  Inevitably our present understanding of Holy Orders will trump history, philology, etc.  I suspect that this move [establishing a commission to “study” the early Church] will forever bury the question, and properly so.


Posted in Deaconettes | Tagged , , | 20 Comments

Archbp. Carroll’s “Prayer for Government”

washingtonprayingFathers, you might want to have everyone pray this after Mass on Thanksgiving Day and other major public holidays.  This, and other prayers, are deeply needed today.

The following prayer was composed by John Carroll, Archbishop of Baltimore, in 1791. He was the first bishop appointed for the United States in 1789 by Pope Pius VI. He was made the first archbishop when his see of Baltimore was elevated to the status of an archdiocese. John was a cousin of Charles Carroll of Maryland, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.


This needs no translation for Catholics who love their country!


We pray, Thee O Almighty and Eternal God! Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy Name.

We pray Thee, who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, Pope N.,  [Francis] the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own bishop, N., all other bishops, prelates, and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise amongst us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation.

We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President-ELECT of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.

We pray for his excellency, the governor of this state , for the members of the assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.

We recommend likewise, to Thy unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.

Finally, we pray to Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives, and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation, and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of divine worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.

I became familiar with this moving prayer at my home parish of St. Agnes in St. Paul (MN) where it was recited after all Masses on civic holidays of the USA, such as 4 July and Thanksgiving.

Americans among the readership might print it and bring it to your parish priests and ask them to use it after Mass on national holidays.

firstcontcongresslarge (1)

Continental Congress at Prayer

The opening prayer session of the 1st Continental Congress was about 3 hours long.

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Thanksgiving Day Proclamations for your perusal and edification.  Perhaps you might find a good one and read it aloud.  HERE

Here’s a good one.

A Thanksgiving Day Proclamation… just days before his death:

NOVEMBER 5, 1963.

Over three centuries ago, our forefathers in Virginia and in Massachusetts, far from home in a lonely wilderness, set aside a time of thanksgiving. On the appointed day, they gave reverent thanks for their safety, for the health of their children, for the fertility of their fields, for the love which bound them together and for the faith which united them with their God.

So too when the colonies achieved their independence, our first President in the first year of his first Administration proclaimed November 26, 1789, as “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty god” and called upon the people of the new republic to “beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions… to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue… and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.”

And so too, in the midst of America’s tragic civil war, President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November 1863 as a day to renew our gratitude for America’s “fruitful fields,” for our “national strength and vigor,” and for all our “singular deliverances and blessings.”

Much time has passed since the first colonists came to rocky shores and dark forests of an unknown continent, much time since President Washington led a young people into the experience of nationhood, much time since President Lincoln saw the American nation through the ordeal of fraternal war – and in these years our population, our plenty and our power have all grown apace. Today we are a nation of nearly two hundred million souls, stretching from coast to coast, on into the Pacific and north toward the Arctic, a nation enjoying the fruits of an ever-expanding agriculture and industry and achieving standards of living unknown in previous history. We give our humble thanks for this.

Yet, as our power has grown, so has our peril. Today we give our thanks, most of all, for the ideals of honor and faith we inherit from our forefathers – for the decency of purpose, steadfastness of resolve and strength of will, for the courage and the humility, which they possessed and which we must seek every day to emulate. As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.

Let us therefore proclaim our gratitude to Providence for manifold blessings – let us be humbly thankful for inherited ideals – and let us resolve to share those blessings and those ideals with our fellow human beings throughout the world.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOHN F. KENNEDY, President of the United States of America, in consonance with the joint resolution of the Congress approved December 26, 1941, 55 Stat. 862 (5 U.S.C. 87b), designating the fourth Thursday of November in each year as Thanksgiving Day, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 28, 1963, as a day of national thanksgiving.

On that day let us gather in sanctuaries dedicated to worship and in homes blessed by family affection to express our gratitude for the glorious gifts of God; and let us earnestly and humbly pray that He will continue to guide and sustain us in the great unfinished tasks of achieving peace, justice, and understanding among all men and nations and of ending misery and suffering wherever they exist.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
DONE at the City of Washington this fourth day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-eighth.


Posted in Turn Towards The Lord | 2 Comments

ASK FATHER: Does the Thanksgiving Friday Indult apply to deployed US military?

From a reader…


I’ll be deployed overseas this Thanksgiving Friday. I belong to a personal parish (FSSP) in a regular geographic diocese back home, but deployed I fall under the Archdiocese of Military ervices. Does the Pope Pius XII Thanksgiving Friday indult apply to me, despite my not being in the United States?

Military service personnel are subject to the Military Archdiocese and, therefore, are subject to the laws of These United States. However, the mythical indult of Pius XII, which has never been seen, would no longer apply because of the reordering of the laws on fast and abstinence in 1966.

Under the law in force, Catholics in These United States and our military bases around the world are obliged to either abstain or do some other form of penance on all Fridays of the year, unless the Friday is a Solemnity.

We must choose abstinence on the Friday’s of Lent. The bishop could dispense this for a just cause.

And so, on Friday you can choose to substitute some other hopefully meaningful penance.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , , | 32 Comments

ASK FATHER: Why should I remain Catholic when the Church doesn’t seem to believe her own message?

From a reader…

Why should I remain Catholic and believe the Catholic Church’s, when the Church HERSELF doesn’t even seem to believe In her own message?

I attend Mass with my family weekly, mostly to maintain spiritual harmony in our home. However, I sit in the pew of the modern parish, stoic and silent. I am essentially non-practicing. I have to say that the ecumenical lovefest in Lund was the final nail in my Catholic coffin

I am getting emails like this with greater frequency.


With the recent comments of the Holy Father about young persons and the Latin Mass…as a young person it hurt me immensely and at times has made me feel as if I have no place in the Church and limited to doubts. Pray for me. Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated. All I want to do is be faithful to the Catholic Church, that is all I want, but things seem so dark lately. I am doing my best, I go to Mass and Confession every week. … Pray for a strengthening in my faith, I don’t want to doubt, and I don’t want to fear about the Pope. This is all foolishness on my part, but I ask for prayers on my behalf. That I can be faithful to the Church ALWAYS. I understand a response might not be possible, I know you are busy, but prayers are all I ask for.

How to respond?

First things first:

Brethren, be strengthened in the Lord, and in the might of his power. Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Therefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice, And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace: In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God). By all prayer and supplication praying at all times in the spirit; and in the same watching with all instance and supplication for all the saints: And for me, that speech may be given me, that I may open my mouth with confidence, to make known the mystery of the gospel. For which I am an ambassador in a chain, so that therein I may be bold to speak according as I ought.

These words from Ephesians speak to me today in a special ringing way.  I’ve determined that I need to make a few changes to my own prayer life in order to deal with this onslaught, which weighs heavily on my mind and heart.

Now, let me speak as I ought.

We are living in very strange times, in which many things seem upside down.  The Enemy can take advantage of our disorientation to urge us in directions which, in more stable days, we would never consider.

Does anyone here really think that the Devil is not roaming the earth like a roaring lion seeking whom he might devour?  I firmly believe that.  It is the sole goal of the Enemy to steal souls from heaven so that God will have just that much less glory, that there will be just that much less joy.  Therefore, the Enemy will target the Church that Christ founded, through whose mediation every soul is saved.

Never underestimate the savagely cruel, relentlessly clever work of the Enemy of our souls.  When I signed up, when I became a Catholic, I committed to what I was in for… though you never really know what you are in for, until you are actually in it.

“But things are going so wrong now!”, some say.

In the satirical writings, dialogues, of the 14th c. Italian author Boccaccio there is story about a Jew who has to go to Rome for something.  The local Bishop has been trying to get the Jew to convert the Christianity.  Knowing the Jew was about to see the Church at its worst in Rome, the corruption and moral turpitude of many of the clerics and religious, even Popes like the Borgias, the Bishop despaired that the Jew would ever covert on his return.   However, once returned from his trip, the Jew went to the Bishop and said, “I’m ready to convert now!”  The Bishop, flabbergasted, replied, “You went to Rome and you saw how horrid things were there… and you still want to join this Church?”  “Yes”, said the Jew. “I figure that with so many wicked and corrupt people hard at work trying to destroy the Church, it shouldn’t have lasted 14 years, much less 14 centuries.  It has to be of divine origin!”

The Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ.  That fact alone should be compelling enough for us even in our darkest moments of doubts.  If Christ founded it, why would we ever want to be anywhere else?

He founded the Church and gave His own authority to her to teach, to govern and to sanctify.  He gave her the ordinary means of our salvation in the Sacraments He instituted.  When we pray in our sacred liturgical worship, Christ Himself is praying with our voices, gesturing with our hands in intimate unity with us through our baptismal character.

If we see someone wounded, we run fast to help.  We open our veins to give blood in times of emergency.

If we see people who are on fire or being attacked, we run towards the gunfire, towards the blaze.

Let’s now gird ourselves for battle.

Some of you will be in the front lines where the clash is.  Some will be in the supporting ranks, where the binding of wounds takes place.  Some will be on supply lines.  Some will provide QRF.  Some will be on oversight.  Some will provide command and control.  We all have to step up and own who we are as Catholics and own our vocations.  We must own our missions and our roles.  If we focus on our individual pain we won’t serve our cause well.

Let us be warriors together, not worriers separated.

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, Cri de Coeur, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Our Catholic Identity, Semper Paratus, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, Wherein Fr. Z Rants | Tagged | 70 Comments