Fr. Perrone: The greatest weapon within the grasp of every Catholic is the keeping of a well-ordered soul

How many times have I written here that, if you are upset with what you see going on in the Church, then “GO TO CONFESSION!”?

I just read a sermon from this last Sunday by Fr. Eduard Perrone of the marvelous Assumption Grotto parish in Detroit.

Let me start with something he concludes with:

I believe that the traditional Mass has all the elements needed for making saintly people: repairing and nourishing the soul.  We are fortunate here to be able to draw from this great source of grace what’s needed in this very upsetting time.  God wills our sanctification, and the Mass, if it is anything profitable to us (as it surely is to God’s exterior glory), it is the outpouring of the transforming grace needed to form holy men and holy women.

Circling backwards, Fr. Perrone says:

While there has never been a time in the Church when both the good and bad have not had to co-exist, yet we seem to be heavily burdened today with so much evil, confusion, scandal, sacrilege, and ignorance as to be discouraging. But what is really happening is that the good and bad crops are both maturing. It must be getting nearer the harvest time — for there has indeed been appointed such a time when all must come to a conclusion.

Fr. Perrone is a fine preacher.  Please look at the whole thing.

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  1. Amerikaner says:

    Question – when I go to an EF Mass, why do the priests and lay faithful look so dour? Oftentimes everyone looks like they are at a funeral.

    I don’t mean this as a snarky question. It’s an honest question from what I’ve seen often. I recognize that the EF has much, much to offer… but why is the effect I see translated into such expressions?

    [First, your question doesn’t have anything to do with the topic. Next, although they say that the plural of anacdote is data, I think I will deny your freely-asserted premise: No, people don’t look like they are at a funeral. Moreover, other people – I include myself – have a different experience. Also, even if they did as you say, and that is not an admission that they do, there is an adage that might be taken into consideration: Risus abundant in ore stultorum. It could be that people have begun to expect exuberance and distracted, self-satisfied grins in churches, where they are being affirmed, in contrast to recollection, awe and patience.]

  2. robtbrown says:

    Amerikaner says:

    Question – when I go to an EF Mass, why do the priests and lay faithful look so dour? Oftentimes everyone looks like they are at a funeral.

    Question – when I receive Communion from a lay woman (which happens as little as possible), why does she insist on smiling at me?

    To answer your question:

    1. I wonder whether you use the word “dour” because you are used to a celebrant who is Fr Smilin’ Jack.

    The proper word is “solemn”.

    2. The Eucharist is the Sacramental re-presentation of the Passion and Death of Christ. Ask yourself how you would have acted if you were present while Christ was being tortured and crucified.

  3. maternalView says:

    ” the good and bad crops are both maturing. It must be getting nearer the harvest time”

    Excellent food for thought.

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  5. Antonin says:

    @rotborwn Ask yourself how you would have acted if you were present while Christ was being tortured and crucified.

    Ask yourself, how you would have reacted meeting the resurrected Christ – we are not a death cult. Jesus’ whole mission was to conquer the final enmity of man – death but providing to us eternal life. That reality is also re-presented

  6. APX says:

    To a certain degree, I have to agree about dour Latin Mass goers, but what irks me is how miserable and grumpy so many Latin Mass goers are (at least at my Latin Mass Community). They look miserable at Mass and after/outside Mass they complain about everything. I don’t even want to be around them because they’re so miserable.

  7. Semper Gumby says:

    Thank you Fr. Perrone and Fr. Z, great sermon.

    “Our Epistle reading mentions that there is the “fruit unto sanctification” which belongs to God’s servants. The availability of this good fruit is why we cannot despair over so many bad reports about what’s happening in the Church, and in the wide-world, but we should make these signals for an ever more resolute adherence to Christian truth, to the Commandments, and to the means of preserving and increasing grace in our souls — especially through our devout participation in Holy Mass.

    “Although there’s a need for a head-on opposition to error and iniquity by those whose duty it is to fight on the front lines, the maintenance of which requires (to return to the metaphor) frequent inspection and “weeding.” How the Church will survive this dark time in her history is known only to God, but it is manifest that each man will be held accountable not for the larger welfare of the Church, but for his own personal conduct.”

    Fr. Perrone’s sermon brings to mind some recent travel and an audio of a 2011 EWTN interview by Fr. Groeschel of George Weigel. Here’s some scribbled notes from about 7 to 10 minutes in.

    Weigel told Fr. Groeschel he was at a dinner at Castle Gondolfo in 1996 with Pope John Paul II and Msgr. Dsziwisz (sp). The conversation turned to the Communist regimes.

    Msgr. Dsziwisz told Weigel: “You have to understand it was us and them. It was all war all the time. It was not episodic confrontation with long periods of calm. It was all war all the time.”

    Weigel to Groeschel: “Cardinal Wojtyla deployed against the Communist regime, among other things, the ability to speak the Truth. The Cardinal did not like to pound the table but he learned how to do it.”

    Fr. Groeschel and Weigel turned to the “Nine Days” of JPII’s pilgrimage to Poland June 2-10, 1979.

    Weigel to Groeschel: “JPII told the Polish people: ‘You’re not who they say you are, let me remind you who you are.’ From this Truth came new forms of political resistance that the Communists could not match.”

  8. richiedel says:


    Yes, looking around at an EF Mass oftentimes lends itself to the observation that everyone isn’t, as R.E.M. put it, shiny happy people holding hands. Though I would not personally describe them as being dour or at a funeral. The expressions I notice are those of people who are concentrating with abandon – taking in what they can from being in the presence of divine action working through the sacred rites but with the realization that it is not by their power alone they will do this, thus the abandon. The sacred rites themselves elicit wonder at the realization that God is at work before them, but it is wonder tempered by the sobriety in knowing we may concentrate in order to follow and actually participate, but that there will always be an infinite wellspring from which to draw more and more. This expression of sober, expectant concentration does not lend itself to forced smiles resulting from constant eye contact with one another. If you look at me next to you are at an EF Mass, however, I will smile so big, you’ll fall out your pew.

  9. FrankWalshingham says:


    The answer to your question is because you are going to Mass at the wrong place! Rest assured if you come to Grotto that Father Perrone and Father John Bustamante are far from dour. They are superb homilists who celebrate the Eucharist with respect and joy. And the congregation departs content and spiritually nourished by the majesty of what they witnessed. The celebrations are even more joyous when Father Perrone arranges splendid orchestral masses on major feast days. You just need to find the right place!

  10. KateD says:

    I’ve been noticing for about 5 years an exodus from the West Coast to the middle of the country. Several years ago half of our homeschool group relocated together en masse. Of the remaining families, one moved to Colorado, another up by you, Father, another couple to Texas, some to Idaho, Wyoming, Indiana…Now in this one town where devout families were drawn to in California, they have been leaving in droves for similar destinations. And the number are increasing and the speed with which they are uprooted and planted else where is astonishing. It feels as if God has been moving His people and He’s moving them more quickly now….

    Maybe it’s a coincidence….but it will happen someday. Best to have plenty of lamp oil on hand, just in case.

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