Saturday, September 10, 2011

Words, Words

Words, words, words, words, words, words ..., and who listen?
About everything, more or less, as a priest I am told to catechise, yet more words, and who listens?
The Trinity: catechise.
The Incarnation: catechise.
The Mass: catechise.
The Real Presence: catechise.
The Atonement: catechise.
Prayer: catechise.
... and so the list goes on and on and on, ever lengthening.
Frankly, I am tired of it. I preach and teach and it seems as if few listen.
In the Church there is endless, endless talk.

So, a brief question: how did we manage when Mass was in Latin, and sermons happened once a week, often only at the High Mass, which few attended?
Were we less devout? Did less people practice? Were more people ignorant? Were there less vocations? Less evangelisation? Less apostolic work?

Or was it that our "Rites" themselves taught?

45 comments:

YE OLDE JARRA SCRIBE said...

Fr Ray,
A great post! Who is going to listen to the Bishops'request for a: Meatless Friday after a forty year period or so of a lesser discipline!

Cheer,!

shadowlands said...

Latin is a language ofcourse, made up of....... words.

Maybe you don't see your evidence of conversion power yet Father, from your vernacularly spoken words. Even seeing your presence dressed as a priest will have an effect on souls. It does on me, when I see a cleric or nun. It makes me stop, momentarily and recollect reality. Death, Judgment, Eternal life.

I don't think everyone whom the Lord wishes to save(all of us)has access to Rites, even if they do, are they the right Rites?

How do we deliver the truth as we have received it, to the man in the street, or the man we work with, or live next door to? By example, by witness, with words, in conversation? How did Jesus deliver the Good News, whilst on earth and not get tired? He slept. Even during storms, He was reassured of God's purpose. Wait upon God, srength will rise.

Don't forget Father Ray, you are called to be a foot soldier. God will see to the Rite results. You just be Christ to each person that crosses your path, if you believe that is the 'right' thing to do ofcourse. That could mean a word, a blessing, a meal, a miracle or a Rite (although they are both anyway). Don't limit your possibilities, due to tiredness. God doesn't. Even a smile might merit metanoia in a soul.
Let's offer all our created cells to God for His purposes, not just the Latin speaking larynx's, important as they are.

Personally, looking at and embracing the different Rites of Mass is an ever growing fruit of conversion for me, if I keep my eyes and ears peeled for the Lord's invitation and it doesn't get drowned out by people telling me I am not getting my Rites 'right' if I am not celebrating it exactly as they say it should be done.

That is off putting and damaging to my faith which I am told to proclaim from rooftops. I only speak in a language that is in common usage daily near me, about a God who exists and listens and wants a conversation with man, as the Pope said last year.
God asks for that level of proclamation, so he must need words. His word takes root in the prepared soil. It's all needed, but is it all heeded?

We'll find out, one day.

Oh, you might want to recharge your spiritual batteries. I hope you're using 'everready' even when asleep? The King of kings favourite choice!!

Peace and Our Lady's joy to you.

v said...

Forgive me, Father, if I plug AUDIO SANCTO - great Catholic sermons provided freely.

As well as coming from the pulpit, I think catechesis used to be supported by the culture, both in society at large and in the family. Unfortunately, these transmission methods have broken down, so teaching from the pulpit is all the more important.

The problem with contemporary Catholicism in the West is not that there are not enough words, but that too few of them mean very much. I've heard extremely concise sermons in the West Indies and South America which nonetheless communicated truths of the faith effectively. Would that we had more in the UK!

Mike Cliffson said...

FR
How far back does your memory go? Mine goes back to a small town in the north in the fifties with a large proprtion of catholics. This meant a child COULD be catequized, for fist communion by age seven,( as our present Peter opines optimal)and for confirmation by the Bishop's next visit, all but for life,- heard and understood once or twice was enough: no TV, minimal radio; Parish, home, school,neighbours were at one on the basics and there was NOT the incessant barraging 24/7 countercatequesis from the media nor 3/4 of parish, neighbours, etc. etc as above.
Ok,OK , not idyllic, probably suffocating for cradle irishers, others can paint the warts on a mural, they have.
Yes,the very definite hurtful often hateful attacks,verbal, even physical, even on quite small children, from protestants and so on were faithsupporting, which was good, and vengeful tribal solidarity forming, which wasnt.
So you've got a point, of course, but you´ve got a charisma we laiety haven't: not to lecture you on what you know, rather , I have known other priests overdiffident about their use of authority: we laiety can only say " I understand the church says ..." or " I think God is telling me to...." But you Alter Christis are enabled to say "GOD wants us to.."God wants you to..."
The endless endless talk ought to be for others.( yeah, diocesan pastoral subcommision third monthly meeting on liturgical sensitivity to ingrowing toenailsufferers,sister thing presiding) the Gale don't got God on its side, but You, blowing into the wind, do.

nickbris said...

Some of us never stopped abstaining on Friday.

It does not mean that we are automaton Catholics but the way we were brought up.

Don't forget that we did the Catechism first every day at school and the whole school went to Mass on Holy Days plus we had Benediction at 4pm Thursdays.Non-Catholics could be excused but they always chose to join the rest of us.

Most of that is now banned in case it offends the Heathen.

Re-introduction of abstaining from meat would have been easy as the GREEN VEGGIES would approve.

georgem said...

Catechesis was at home and at school in my childhood. We learned the Catechism off by heart, much in the same way as times tables. Once the foundation was there, we'd receive the more complex explanations of what the Catechism, the NT and our faith meant. It was all in context.

Does any school have Bible History classes going through the Gospels as we did?

For instance, if you don't know the story of the centurion in the NT you really would find inviting Our Lord under your roof in the revised translation a tad confusing, if not irrelevant.

The Sunday sermon was an adjunct to catechetical understanding, not catechesis in itself. In other words, the priest was preaching to the converted and was able to go into the more arcane.

Some priests are natural preachers, others find it more difficult. But I defy even the most able to produce something of moment six or seven days a week. Even the finest writers can't do that.

I am convinced that one of the greatest disservices done to priests was the introduction of the daily homily. It is an unnecessary burden. When we hear criticisms of how daily Mass used to last only 20 minutes, it is forgotten that there was no sermon.

Ten minutes to attempt catechesis to those in the congregation who have no grounding or reference points is meaningless. I don't think it's about the Latin Mass v the NO. Strength of faith and the understanding of it doesn't doesn't come about through some kind of osmosis.

Catechesis should return to the the home and school where it belongs. The conundrum is who catechises the catechists.

Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

"Frankly, I am tired of it. I preach and teach and it seems as if few listen.
In the Church there is endless, endless talk."


The only answer is personal holiness.
That's what makes people want to pay attention.
It makes the heart of the listener burn.

Catholic Gadfly said...

Well I don't know! Let's see what really has been happening lately. I know that you are talking about catechisis but, Rome wasn't built in a day. There is a lot to celebrate recently.

1. Summorum Pontificum,
2. A slowly growing number of Latin masses. (we even have two churches in North Lincolnshire now offering a weekly Latin mass).
3. We were told two weeks ago that if we stood for mass then we must bow our heads before receiving communion
4. Some alter rails re-installed (the whole of the congregation in Brigg now kneel for communion).
4. Meat free Fridays
5. A growing Catholic undercurrent on the internet championing pro-life causes, as well as a few more Catholic pro-life vigils out side of hospitals(this is only going to accelerate).
6. Official Catholic youth ministry has slowly seemed to rise from the ashes of despair (the Flame Congress seems to be a step in the right direction - a stepping stone to WYD one day in the UK).
7. The ordinariate.
8 The witness of the Papal visit and in many respects we may find that the beatification of John Henry Newman was a profound turning point.
9. Need I mention the new translation.
10. The visit of the Relics of St Therese.

Surely even the most cynical person would have to raise an eyebrow at so many things happening in such a short space of time. We need to go back to praying the 'Prayer for England' after Mass again. I think this would keep the ball rolling (so to speak).

The Catholic Church has traditionally moved very slowly but, if things keep going a this quickening pace then, you never know, the people may soon start listening to catechisis once again.

There is all to play for at this moment in time. Let's all get paying that 'Prayer for England'.

umblepie said...

Mass was universally in Latin, which could be followed by people of all ages, if necessary using a prayer-book. The Mass, itself the essence of Faith, was backed-up by the regular sermon on Sundays and special Feast-days. Organisations and societies within the parish, cemented the Catholic family ethos, with Retreats and Missions and functions involving the Catholic children of the parish, combining to deepen the spirituality and knowledge of the faith. Unfortunately society has changed over the years, we live in a secular age in which God is publicly denied and His Church derided. Internal dissension and scandals within the Church are world news within hours,and liturgical abuse after Vatican 2 coupled with gross sexual scandals have combined to deprive the Church of many good potential priests and religious, to the detriment particularly of our young Catholic children. Pre Vatican 2 there were many sound Catholic schools in England run by Religious Orders with a priest/nun as Headmaster/Headmistress, and other priests/religious on the teaching staff. Teaching the faith, the truths of our religion, was a priority. Today you would be hard pushed to find any schools where the Head or any of the staff was a Religious. Also many Catholic schools appear to be Catholic in name only, and are often combined with a CoE school to the spiritual detriment of the Catholic children. Finally we did seem to have more outspoken Church leaders, prepared to speak out publicly and unashamedly on matters appertaining to our Faith, and encouraging and exhorting the faithful in the practice of their religion, and we had a Catholic Press which, unlike today, was uniformly loyal to the teachings of the Church, and to the Pope. There are shafts of sunlight in the gloom; the re-emergence and growth of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass,and an increasing awareness of our great Catholic heritage, particularly among the young; the beatification of Bl.John Newman and the visit of the Holy Father immediately come to mind. Dear Father, take heart, you preach the Word of God bravely and loyally through your blog-site,through which you do great and holy work, and no doubt to your fortunate parishioners. Your expression 'endless, endless talk' suggests a real need for a break and some peace and quiet. I would recommend a few days sabbatical on Papa Stronsay, Orkney, with the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer (F.SS.R) community. I'm sure that you would be more than welcome. But don't forget to bring your winter woollies!

Anonymous said...

Praying for your encouragement and refreshment. And thankyou for this blog.
[Valerie, NZ]

pelerin said...

Am I right in thinking that Fr Ray's last question is rhetorical? I think that the manner in which Mass is celebrated ie the Rites is indeed a lesson to the faithful.

Before I plucked up courage to talk to a Priest for the first time, I attended Mass on many occasions and through a combination of what I witnessed happening on the altar, and the devotional attitude I saw in congregations (silence both before and after Mass was the norm in those days) this combined to lead me to enquire further.

Regarding meatless Fridays I spoke to someone only last week who told me I must be mistaken when I mentioned the Bishops' new ruling. She had heard no mention in her south London parish at all and was convinced I had made it up. She added that if it were true she would have no intention of following it. 'Do you really think that God cares what you eat' was her comment. 'I'm a Catholic and always will be' she said ' but I'm not doing that.'

Ye olde jarra scribe seems to be right that a forty year gap in the discipline is going to be extremely difficult to bridge. What was once acceptable by all Catholics as part of their identity is no longer seen by some as being important, and surely it is by following the little disciplines that help us to discipline our lives in more important ways.

And yes Father you sound as if you do need a holiday.

Jacobi said...

You are doing the right thing Father, in catechising, so keep it up!

You said that few listen but that few will be the future Church.

Remember it has taken us some 45 years to get into this mess and it will take another circa 45 years to get out of it - just as in the last Reformation.

The re-sacralisation of the liturgy through the "Reform of the Reform" will help, as it developes.

Mike said...

Like several other people commenting here, I was at school in the 1950s and 1960s (left in 1965). I agree with their comments about us being given a better understanding of the things that Father talks about than people seemed to have been given over the last forty years. But if the schools are not giving a very good knowledge and understanding of doctrines such as the Real Presence then the only place that they are going to get it from is the pulpit.

"Frankly, I am tired of it. I preach and teach and it seems as if few listen." I wonder, Father, if you are being too pessimistic. You say that few ‘seem to listen’. But perhaps they are all listening but how can you tell. Anyway, I hope that you don’t give up but continue to give the knowledge which people need. (By the way, I sometimes felt the same way when I was teaching!)

As for daily homilies, my parish has a visiting priest from Africa just now and you should hear his daily homilies! I don’t know how he does it but they are truly wonderful. Similarly, last year we had two priests from Africa and their homilies were a work of art. I don’t know what they are doing in Africa but it seems to be working very well!

Dominic said...

Father, we had proper Catholic schools in those days that taught about Sanctifying Grace. In the end, it's as simple as that.

Physiocrat said...

The rites teach the faith.

And keep a rosary under the pillow.

Anita Moore said...

The rite does teach the faith -- especially those parts of it that are not spoken. This is one of the big reasons I prefer the Mass of Tradition to the Mass of Paul VI: I get more truths of the faith out of one TLM than I ever got out of 12 years of Catholic school. When Mass is celebrated ad orientem, this in itself speaks volumes.

P.S. Someone is listening, even if you don't get to find out about it this side of Paradise.

epsilon said...

"was it that our "Rites" themselves taught?"

Yes, Father!

Today I had the great fortune to be part of a procession led by Fr deMalleray through fields by Douai Abbey - the sort of experience I really only had last as a child in the 50s. The beauty, simplicity, child-likeness of such an event for all involved is a perfect antidote to modern-day cynicism. This had all been preceded by a beautiful Latin Mass replete with trainee altarboys from 2ft to 6ft tall, a heavenly choir from Coventry, devout congregation, and clear emphasis that at Communion we are receiving the Body and Blood of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, so long as we are baptised Catholics, in a state of grace and fasting for at least an hour beforehand.

Last October or November thousands of us trecked through the streets of London saying the Rosary and singing hymns on a Saturday afternoon from Westminster Cathedral to Brompton Oratory, stopping all traffic outside places like Harrods.

We've got to be prepared to do such simple acts of child-like innocence - we are children of God and we must bring this back to our jaded world. The results are not for us to worry about, we just need to make every opportunity for the world to come (back) to God.

May God give you, and all consecrated priests, the strength to carry on your great work for the salvation of souls, Father!

Saint Michael Come To Our Defense said...

Or was it that our "Rites" themselves taught?...

The Tridentine Mass creates Catholics.

Watch the old man in this video, describing what happened during the Cristero Rebellion:

Juan Guitierrez "Original Cristero Soldier"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrFK9nzgAB8&feature=related

This Faith comes from the Mass; the Latin Tridentine.

Mr. Juan has lived in abject poverty his entire life, and was not academically educated.

He was catechized at Mass by the sermons of the Padres.

Nuns taught him catechism; he soul was fed that his nature became as a child of God.

His soul was fed.

He is not a Modernist, Liberal Catholic.

Don't worry about your sheep not paying attention to your words.

Keep at it.

You will make their souls white as snow, in spite of their inattention.

We will continue to pray for you, Padre.

I like the part in the Mel Gibson movie when Satan ask Christ "Certainly you do not think you can save mankind?"

For being an Archangel, he really isn't very smart.

*

Saint Michael Come To Our Defense said...

"Words, Words"

Here in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA, a young man died while in custody of the Sheriff's Office.

He was strapped to a chair that he be forcibly restrained.

He had demonstrated a superhuman strength level, and talked in ‘tongues’.

While his body and head were restrained, he snapped his head, breaking it, and dying.

Eleven Deputies were investigated by the FBI in an attempt to file murder charges against them.

Long story short:

I went to the FBI and informed them the young man was diabolically possessed at the time, and the ‘tongues’ he was speaking, was actually Latin.

From the Mass.

After much heated discussion and threats from the FBI, I went to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and informed them I would appear as a Friend of the Court on behalf of the Deputies, and speak of the diabolical possession, of which I might know a little something about.

The Deputies were released from any charges, and the young man’s family got $8.5 million dollars for wrongful death.

The moral of the story is, the young man must have been taken to Mass, and the words of the Mass and of the Priest stayed with him even until death.

They stayed with him unto death, even though his body wasn’t paying attention, the soul never sleeps.

May God have had mercy on his soul.

Do not take account of the wind, stay with Christ crucified.

*

Jon said...

My wife, from being a lukewarm, ambivalent Catholic of vague understanding, has become a prayerful, convinced Catholic in charge of our FSSP parish's religious ed program.

She accomplished this because she was forced to read her hand missal at Mass in order to figure out what was transpiring. She was transfixed, and a whole new world opened to her.

Lex orandi, lex credendi.

jean said...

Like many others I agree that in the 50s we were taught about the Faith at school BY NUNS. We also were surrounded by devout practising Catholics who showed us how to LIVE it. People made sacrifices for their faith then. They had large families, they fasted and they prayed together. We were a praying worshipping community (though no one knew the word community then}. It's all gone. The church decided to become 'relevant' and lost its way. Alas,

PM said...

A young religious priest once told me of some advice he received from a wise old bird in his order when he had sought him out in a monment of discouragement: 'you often don't see the fruits of your works'. So don't give up!

gemoftheocean said...

I think I remember reading somewhere that in Soviet Russia the orthodox faith was kept up despite the virulent atheism of the state system. It was against the law to teach catechism to children. [But not against the law to attend services, necessarily, though to be sure one would be harassed, and the state actively promoted the best TV, soccer games, etc. during Easter time, Christmas, etc.] When some old party hack questioned why there was still a continuing 'new stream' of old ladies and men in the churches, [those who'd been subject to the atheist propaganda in the schools] one old person said: 'Ah, but they forgot the liturgy itself teaches.'

shadowlands said...

St M, come to our defence said:

"The Tridentine Mass creates Catholics."

and

"His soul was fed.

He is not a Modernist, Liberal Catholic."

Can I just ask Father to clarify, (so that I don't keep coming to blogs where this is the only fundamental belief and cause unneccessary angst amongst people of a different religion to me, which is frankly, wearing me down mentally and affecting my Catholic faith).

Does Father Ray believe in the validity of the Novus Ordo Mass and Vatican 11? If not, I will not try to fight this, I will just seek out those who accept both forms.

Some of the commenters seem to speak as if it is accepted that only the old form is able to convert men's hearts. Therefore, my claim to be a Catholic would be invalid to them. Bit is it also invalid to some priests and maybe they should name themselves. Souls are after all, precious and at stake with all this confusion.

Epsilon speaks of a beautiful procession she was apart of, not seen since the fifties. Well I have memories of such processions from the seventies in my head? Also, my father has carried a large wooden cross throughout the town where he lives every Good friday with many others in a procession of witness to unbelievers(until this year and last) for over three decades. Is his and their witness of no fruit bearing capability? Is it literally, only, the old form that has any power to convert? Is that what some believe here? If so, please say so. Is that what Rome teaches? Do we all follow Rome's teachings here?

The souls some of you refer to as liberals and seem to discount as beyond saving are the same souls God gave a prayer to an angel at Fatima for. The angel gave it to the children. It ended, "Lead ALL souls to heaven, ESPECIALLY those who have most need of your mercy"

Speak clearly, not in whispers, all you Catholics. Harm is being done to the body. The commenter, St Michael come to our defence, mentions and quotes sspx priests sometimes on blogs (Abbey Roads), is St Michael sspx? Is anyone else here sspx? Speak up!

What is your name(s)?


Blimey! That sounded like an exorcism at the end, sorry Father!

Genty said...

I do think that priests today are hampered by the expectation they should emulate "gentle Jesus, meek and mild".
It would be a brave priest at my parish who tried to spell out in his homily the wages of sin, ie H***. Children would cry, women would faint and the parish committee would be hammering on the bishop's door. The message on loop is that God loves us no matter what, but that all-important word "repentence" is rarely mentioned.
And if repentence is left out of the element necessary to behold the Beatific Vision, why should anyone exert themselves on the core beliefs of the Catholic faith?
I do sometimes wish for an Amos Starkadder to blow away all that niceness.

Physiocrat said...

You can tell what Fr Blake's views are by seeing what he does. It is all in the parish newsletter.

He says Mass every day at 10am, and on Sundays there is a vigil Mass, a High Mass at 10.30 and an evening Mass. The weekday moring Masses are all Novus Ordo in English, the Sunday Mass is Novus Ordo with some sung Latin parts but is mostly in English.

In addition, we have an Extraordinary Form Low Masses on Fridays at 7pm, and a Missa Cantata one Sunday afternoon each month.

We also have about half a dozen celebrations in the Extraordinary Form each year for special occasions.

Which makes nearly 80% of his Masses Novus Ordo.

shadowlands said...

Jean Sullivan french priest novelist, from his journal:

"Between the illusion of the good old days and the illusion of progress and being up to date there is little difference. In order to live profoundly, in time outside of time, to be of every age, it would be neccessary to leave so many things behind! All this makes for terrible bitterness between archconservatives and progressives, in a struggle that keeps their minds occupied and occasionally distracts the general public, while avoiding the real questions.
But here and there new communities emerge, small groups on the move, born out of a genuine experience, living out a vital new relationship. After a while, myths are created, a certain ambiance. Then TV is invited in, and people have the opportunity to uncover scandals among those who live openly in a world of spectators and hypocrites.........I want to repeat that there is no crisis. A few will be enlightened--those who already understand. Those for whom there is no distinction between faith and love, not only because they know that this distinction has no foundation in the New Testament but because they spontaneously consider the New Testament as a poem, a way of existing, in the present, for whom faith is not a catologue but the unseen sap that gives life to the tree. For whom the agony of the present situation is never anything but our fear of truth. Those who know, that when God is confused with ideas, he only represents nostalgia, and that we must cure ourselves of the desire of being everything and lording it over others. Some appease this desire with money, ambition and vanity: others, sometimes simultaeneously, with God and religion. This god has to be put to daeth, for the love of God. In creating men and women, God has consented, to his own unending death in human consciousness. There's no end to death, from one person to the next, from one generation to the next. Humanity is like the animal that does not halt on the road to God. Death, is the imagination of God, erasing, only in order to recreate. In this way, the quest of the infinite goes on forever."

Part-time Pilgrim said...

Dear Father Ray

I can imagine Jesus himself feeling the same discouragement when he experienced his closest followers:

arguing over which of them was the greatest;
sending children away to prop up their own importance;
demanding the most important places in heaven;
reminding him of what they had given up to follow him and wanting to know what they would receive in return.

Weren't they listening? Clearly even Clare's suggestion of personal holiness does not mean every word will have the impact you desire. If it was true for Christ it will certainly be true for you.

However be assured and encouraged that what you say in Mass, the reverence you show during the liturgy and the way you minister to the parish are making a difference. Whilst we can easily see things as we would wish them to be and how far reality falls short of this, none of us can know what things would be like if we were not doing what we do.

So don't be discouraged and don't hark back to some mythical golden age (for all such golden times are mythical) but move on from you and your parish and the Holy Church are at the moment.

God bless

PTP

Dominic said...

Read and meditate upon The Soul of the
Apostolate by Jean-Baptiste Chautard.

epsilon said...

@ shadowlands

As well as Physiocrat's response to you - what more evidence do you want that it's not about Latin!! It just so happens that priests who either say Mass in Latin sometimes, always, or are open to wanting to learn to say Mass in Latin all seem to have one thing in common: they are not trying to appease modern day sensibilities by protestantising The Mass, e.g. avoiding the fact that WE are the sinners.

I have no doubt processions have taken place in small pockets around some parts of the country and in some places in Ireland, but my own experience in Ireland of the 70s and England of the last 30 years was that we should be more "sophistocated"!

Genty describes it perfectly the way things are in my experience also (unless I seek out truly practising Catholic priests who are not antagonistic towards the EF). I say truly practising, because if they are not daring to tell us we are sinners and Confession and the Real Presence in Holy Communion is how we clean up our act, they are not performing their duty as a priest.

The amazing thing about a priest emphasising our sinnerlyness is that it frees us up of all the false boulstering of our own egos which the secular world requires of us at work and in relationships. Suddenly, once we get over the initial shock, we can feel at ease.

What a lot of therapies and depression pills could be thrown away if all priests had the courage of priests like Fr Ray Blake! It's because of people like him that I, among countless others, am managing to see the light.

As Genty said:

"It would be a brave priest at my parish who tried to spell out in his homily the wages of sin, ie H***. Children would cry, women would faint and the parish committee would be hammering on the bishop's door. The message on loop is that God loves us no matter what, but that all-important word "repentence" is rarely mentioned.
And if repentence is left out of the element necessary to behold the Beatific Vision, why should anyone exert themselves on the core beliefs of the Catholic faith?"

We need all the brave priests we can get!

Genty said...

St. Mary Magdalen is not my parish but I happen to know that Father is available to hear Confession after every weekday morning NO vernacular Mass, including Saturdays.
Plus, parishioners recite a decade of the Rosary after every weekday Mass.
To believe that Father only says Mass in Latin is mistaken. But the WAY he reverences the Holy Sacrifice cannot help but draw his congregation in to Christ.

YE OLDE JARRA SCRIBE said...

Fr Ray ,
As has been stated by your previous commentators; there is no doubt that Liturgical Rites etc. within the Church are getting better under this present Pontiff;slowly slowly catch the monkey so to speak! keep going and leave the rest to The Lord. God bless.

Saint Michael Come To Our Defense said...

"...mentions and quotes sspx priests sometimes on blogs (Abbey Roads), is St Michael sspx?..."

No.

I quote SSPX Priests, and the Holy Fathers, and the Saints, because that is where I find the dogmas and doctrines properly spoken as I learned them pre council.

SSPX Priests are the only ones I know of, with the exception of one Novus Ordo Priest I met in Mexico City, that are not under the influence of the Freemason Lodge. Directly or indirectly.

I am a Roman Catholic with ties to Tepeyac Hill, a Cristero, and I attend the Tridentine Mass.

I do get to see some of the treachery caused by the Masons in their pursuit of Lucifer's plan.

I am glad to see that twenty percent of the good Padres Masses are Tridentine; Satan was hoping to smash them completely.

The Holy Mother is perhaps taking him one step at a time that his foundation in Tradition be a solid one.

From afar, I have seen his transformation.

That he is ridiculed for devotion to Nuestra Senora, the Virgin Mary, is a sign from Heaven he is favored by her.

Padre has only eighty percent of his people to bring back to the Faith.

We will continue to pray for him.

*

v said...

SSPX Priests are the only ones I know of, with the exception of one Novus Ordo Priest I met in Mexico City, that are not under the influence of the Freemason Lodge. Directly or indirectly.

Either you don't know of many priests, or you're... how to put this charitably?... a candidate for inclusion in KP snackfood.

shadowlands said...

St Michael

Do you believe Pope Benedict is the true Vicar of Christ, on earth, today?

Dilly said...

Gadfly's list cheered me up. I would also add the observation that Benediction is becoming much more frequent and widespread, since Hyde Park. I'm not just talking about "the usual suspects" like yourself, Father, and other priests that value Tradition in a very visible way. I am talking about very ordinary provincial parishes, where relatives worship, and which I attend in the holidays.

MartinT said...

Father, thank you for the wise comments and for all your continued efforts - if you keep on at us, something will stick!

The point you make is sad but true. I have seen friends and family sit through Mass after Mass, week after week. It is in their language, they can hear everything perfectly, but they understand nothing.

Where is the problem? Part of it is cultural - there isn't a background of catachesis where what is taught at school and at home backs up what is taught in church. And what is taught in church rarely explains anything. Few priests are charismatic or great orators and most will play it safe in their sermons, with a 'thought for the day' commentary on the day's readings. The liturgy meanwhile is frankly, dull and uninspiring. The same old hymns, the same self important people in the choir and being prominent as lay ministers and readers and all that. Unless you are in on the gang, you feel uncomfortable anyway.

The paradox I think is that the Latin Mass made it easier for the mediocre Catholic (which is most of us most of the time) to find something to take home. So despite being in a foreign language and complicated, it was actually easier in many ways. The 'good' Catholics have stayed - they would go to Mass in whatever language; it is the less than good who have drifted off.

Saint Michael Come To Our Defense said...

"...Do you believe Pope Benedict is the true Vicar of Christ, on earth, today?..."

Protestants use variations of questions like this; I always laugh at their tactics.

When used by someone other than a protestant, it becomes a sad commentary.

*

shadowlands said...

Well St Michael

I find your commentary confusing, in fact you speak in riddles most of the time. One of your blogs is called "Bishop Williamson Speaks" and if one of my children were to look at how you profess the Catholic faith, such as saying there is only one Novus Ordo priest you trust, I would steer him away from you.
I respect your right to believe as you see fit, but I just want to be clear about what that is.

I used to mix with a lot of 'fellow' christians who would appear to be including me in their fellowships, then it would sooner or later become apparent that they did not include me as part of the 'body' of Christ.

I see this beginning to happen in blogging circles, once again, people can exclude all they like, but if a blog or it's author is claiming or commenting as a Catholic, I want to know just what that term means to them, also what it does not.

Do you acknowledge Vatican 11 as valid, for example?
I would like it if others would also state clearly their beliefs regarding this, but it seems as if there is a vow of silence.

Why?

Ma Tucker said...

Since your prayers for your flock can never be perfect have you tried more penance?

nickbris said...

What exactly has Vatican II got to do with the price of fish?

Saint Michael Come To Our Defense said...

“…sooner or later become apparent that they did not include me as part of the 'body' of Christ…”

“…I would like it if others would also state clearly their beliefs regarding this, but it seems as if there is a vow of silence…”

“… One of your blogs is called "Bishop Williamson Speaks" and if one of my children were to look at how you profess the Catholic faith, such as saying there is only one Novus Ordo priest you trust, …”

People do not reveal their beliefs to individuals for the same reason your statement has misinterpreted what I have said.

I did not state I do not trust Novus Ordo Priests.

Your neurotic penchants for believing as you wish, rather than understanding that which is presented before you is perhaps the reason some of your friends maintain ‘Radio silence’ around you.

You are not the Lone Ranger when it comes to something like this.

When I first met an SSPX Padre, some of the SSPXers became quite angry that the Padres actually spoke to me.

These Whitened Sepulchers went as far as to hire an Israeli Private Investigation company to perform a criminal background check on me.

They spent much money, time an effort to smash me and my children.

I do not to this day, appreciate the harm they brought to the Padres, my children and grandchildren, and the children and grandchildren of others similarly situated.

As for the Padres and me:

They were Sheppards, I was a sheep.

Speaking to me privately, one told me “They are clamoring because they think I like you. Actually, I don’t. I do appreciate the help you give us, and can’t see anything you have done wrong.”

After twelve years, I still try to help the Padres every chance I get.
Just like I would any other CatholiC Padre.

I am not a registered member of the SSPX.

My Bishop Williamson blog came about because of a few things that happened where I had to provide his writings on a world wide level.

My blog and website get ‘hits’ world wide according to the stats.

The same is true for Et Verbum Caro Factum Est, dedicated to our Mother.

I maintain this site for the edification of souls; the Padres there have no affiliation with me, whatsoever in regard to this web site.

they did not include me as part of the 'body' of Christ…”

You probably are just not a member of their clique.

Big deal.

Any group that would have you as a member you really don’t want to be a member of anyway.

That’s how I feel about groups that ask me to join them.

Some SSPX members have a penchant for knowing every detail about someone that does not measure up to their virtue. They always go after people that fail their test, and will spend every ounce of their strength and many dollars getting their victims punished by SSPX hierarchy.

Very few people ever pass their test. I have come to name this group the Whitened Sepulchers.

So I would stay away from demanding to know, or having someone declare their allegiance, especially while they are standing before the Blessed Sacrament, or they maintain free of donations web sites and blogs.

Since you have visited one of my blogs, for which I thank you, please stop by the Our Lady of Guadalupe blog.

It is intended as a teaching blog.

The picture is from the Carmel built over the very spot on Tepeyac Hill where the Holy Mother called out to Saint Juan Diego.

I understand the picture is several hundred years old.

As for your search for membership, once Baptized you became a member of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Once Confirmed, you became a Lieutenant in the Church Militant.

As for your doubts about this, here is how I will leave it;

I entrust this whole matter in the hands of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, “Mother of the Priest par excellence, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and through Him, of all priests in whom she forms her Son”.

*

Genty said...

If I may clear up a misunderstanding. There is no vow of silence. Some of us prefer Latin. Some of us prefer the vernacular. Each is equally valid and I don't think anything untoward can be read into either preference, as long as the Mass is celebrated with due reverence.
It is liturgical abuse which gets people going, not those who prefer Mass celebrated in English.
In my experience, the abuses are more likely to happen in a vernacular Mass with the priest facing the people. I think most of us have witnessed Father who can't resist improving the liturgy and making a show of himself. It doesn't render the Mass invalid. It just makes him look like a prat.
In my experience, the opportunities do not present themselves if the priest is facing the altar because his audience is God.
So the answer is: Yes, Vatican II is valid. But not what is loosely called "the spirit of Vatican II" - a euphemism for all sorts of strange doings not in the rubrics.
Of course, I can only speak for myself. I enjoy robust debate, but I recognise that, for some, it can seem hurtful and personal. I don't think that's anyone's intention. We're all on the same side, aren't we?

Michael Clifton said...

In general with regard to preaching I tried not to go on too long, to make only one or two points, and them clearly of course, and most importantly not to read the homily but to speak ex corde. If you read a sermon most of its effect is lost. Also I regret always being tied to preaching on the Sunday readings. Inthe good old days we used to have a systematic way of going through the Church's teaching as a basis for sermons.

Laura Hauss said...

Fr. Ray,
You may never know who you will reach, so please keep on keeping on with the catechizing!! There are so many adults out there with huge gaps in their Catholic education. But they listen to a good homilist. Tell us what we need to hear. Be courageous. And break open the gospel for us. There are so many readings that only make sense when a wonderful priest puts it in perspective for us. Please don't become discouraged. You can make a difference!