ROME 22/11 – Day 34: Four Last Things… Vetus v. Novus… Wherein Fr. Z rants

In Rome today the sun rose well after I did, at 6:43 and it will set at 17:04. I, however, unlike the sun, may have a nap: there will be no eclipse today… at least visible from Rome. If there is some other syzygy, I will be unaware of it. The Ave Maria bell ought to ring at 17:30. There are 59 days left in this calendar year and Advent is on the horizon.

For this day, Lord, we thank you.

Given that we are in the month dedicated to prayer for the dead, let us also consider on our own the Four Last Things, Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell. Two of these are not optional. The other two are contingent. BUT… you will wind up in one of them. You will. It might mean a period of time in Purgatory. In that case, we should be solicitous about those who are NOW in Purgatory, whom we can help along by taking on some of the penance they might in justice still perform due to temporal punishment due to sin. Through the treasury of the merits of Christ’s Sacrifice and of the saints, Holy Church has Christ’s own authority to “unbind” temporal punishment due to sin to one degree or another, partial or whole. The Church has designated certain works to perform, in a prayerful and devout attitude and with a proper intention, which can be applied to souls in Purgatory.

The Golden Rules applies here, doesn’t it. The “poor” souls, rich in the knowledge that one day they will enter Heaven, are still members of the Church. We who are members who are still alive on Earth should be interested in them, as we are interested in the materially poor or sick in front of our eyes.

You can gain plenary indulgences during the eight day period after All Saints/Souls. Make use of this gift.


BTW… a priest wrote to tell me that I was wrong about the period for the plenary indulgence during the “octave”.  He said he was sure that the period was extended for the entire month of November.  I don’t believe that is correct.  It was extended in a Decree of the Sacra Paenitentiaria Apostolica in 2021 for that year because of COVID-19 (Prot. No. 1253/21/1).  The extension of the indulgence was granted for November 2020 and 2021.

NOW IT IS OVER.  There has returned in force the concession #29 in the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum.   The dates for the concession 1-8 November.

Fathers: Don’t be telling people that they have all of November.

Finally, since I am in Rome this morning I called the offices of the Sacra Penitenzieria and asked them specifically.

I’ll update a previous post with this.


The ordo ( for the Vetus Ordo) for this year has this: NB the 3rd paragraph.

Speaking of raising the souls of Purgatory through the mercy of God….

On the side of the catafalque.  Tempus fugit.  Again, I say…


A cheerfully bound book for the celebration of Requiem Masses.

We are living in a time in the Church when the Last Things which are FOUR in number (mentioned above) are more or less reduced to one alone: Heaven.  The Novus Ordo systematically stripped out of the prayers concepts like sin, guilt, penance, propitiation, etc., in favor of an emphasis on the future joy of Heaven.   The result is a rosy view of our final end, as individuals and a Church that doesn’t correspond to reality.

While it is true that Christ conquered Death and Sin once for all time, it remains true that, in order to partake of that victory, we have responsibilities.   It isn’t automatic.

There are some in the Church today, let’s call them Vatican II absolutists, who argue that we mustn’t stick to the texts the Council produced, we have to discern the new and revolutionary style of the documents in which we discover the Council’s real authority.  Rather than a style of judgment or prescriptions or correction, V2 gave us a new “age of the Church” (yes, people say that) characterized by dialogue, welcoming, accompaniment, etc.  This new style, call it the “spirit of Vatican II” is so radically charged with – they claim (though I am not sure on the basis of any evidence) that virtually everything about the Church before the Council “event” must be reinterpreted, changed, brought up to date, etc.   What was before is not so much “sacred and great” but rather antithetical to the “spirit” discerned (I am not sure how) on the new spirit-inspired “style” of the Council.  It’s all right there, not in the black on which of the documents but rather between the lines, in the inspirations of those who were at the Council, in the imaginations of those who followed.

So, we are now and Easter people and Alleluia is our name.  We don’t worry now about sin, guilt, expiation, propitiation, in sober black that reminds us of our dusty future.  No.  Now we blue sky together as we engage in dialogue with a few to the Heaven that is doubtless ours.  So great is that future, that we also should bring our utopia of dialogue to life here and now in a kind of permanent revolution of “walking together”.

So, the prayers of the Novus Ordo and of the Vetus Ordo seem to some to be in conflict.

They are not.

The problem is that the Novus reduced the content to the eschatological joy of Heaven and obscured what you have to do to get there.

On the other hand, the eschatological joy of Heaven is front and center in many of the prayers of the Vetus Ordo, but the tough message of how to get there remains also.

If the Novus Ordo points optimistically to where we want to go, the Vetus Ordo also points there but is more practical in telling us what we have to do to get there: penance, works of mercy, constant examination of life.

Meanwhile, lovely light.  Too bad about that tarp.

Please remember me when shopping online. Thanks in advance. US HERE – UK HERE  These links take you to a generic “catholic” search in Amazon, but, once in and browsing or searching, Amazon remembers that you used my link and I get the credit.

WHITE TO MOVE. You need a strong forcing move to gain the decisive material advantage.  The first move is not obvious, or it wasn’t at first to me.  But it “cleared” up fast once I found it.

[I’ll hold your solutions in the comment queue for a while to let others work it without spoilers.  It has been great to see your answers!]

Priestly chess players, drop me a line. HERE


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Four Last Things, GO TO CONFESSION, SESSIUNCULA, Wherein Fr. Z Rants. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. “Dialogue” is nothing more than psychological warfare. It’s time we stopped falling for it.

  2. Joseph7505 says:

    not sure if i am missing something but i like the move d6 Bxd6 Be6

  3. TonyO says:

    “Dialogue” is nothing more than psychological warfare. It’s time we stopped falling for it.

    Yes. It is, also, explicitly identified as a tool by marxist methodology for the “permanent revolution”: they do not engage in it with a sincere heart (i.e. a heart open to learning truth), since their purpose is not truth. Indeed, at least by their rhetoric and tools, they don’t even believe in truth. As a result, even when they engage in discussion, they are doing it so as to overcome the opponent’s will with their own will – i.e. for naked power. (And then they project that purpose on their opponents – again as a tool to undermine resistance.)

  4. Kent Wendler says:

    I prefer to think of Purgatory not as a place of “punishment” (i.e., a God Who IS Love does not do vengeance), but rather as a spiritual hospital, healing the penitent of his spiritual sin injuries. I understand that in treating burned flesh, debridement can be quite painful, so I do not doubt that the spiritual pain involved can be great. I don’t see it as a “punishment”, though, but as a healing in preparation for the Beatific Vision.

  5. Kentucky Gent says:

    I would play

    1.d6 Bxd6
    2.Be6 Rf6 (probably least bad choice)
    3.Rxd7+ Ke8 (or…Kc8)

  6. Son of Saint Alphonsus says:

    “Fathers: Don’t be telling people that they have all of November.”

    No worries. Most of them don’t even know what an indulgence is, never mind encouraging the faithful to gain them. You know. That’s just those rigid traditional Catholics and their medieval superstitions, and all that.

  7. Pingback: The Four Last Things… and Vetus Ordo vs. Novus Ordo | Catholicism Pure & Simple

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