Prayer Crusade for Priests

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One of the most important apostolates of the SSPX in the United States is the prayer crusade for priests, under the spiritual direction of Br. Gabriel Marie. The purpose of the prayer crusade is to pray much and devotedly for the welfare and sanctification of the priests of the Church, which is an emmense grace and privilege for the faithful. The prayers of the faithful keep our priests steadfast in holiness so that we might all have the Faith, for as St. John Vianney famously said, the parish will be holy only if the priest is holy

I’m blessed to be a member of  the Crusade. One of my greatest loves has always been the Priesthood, which I hold in high reverence. There are currently 1,478 Crusaders. I highly encourage everyone to join. We will save the Church by supporting our good priests, our most solemn duty.

Crusaders pledge themselves to pray for vocations to the Priesthood, for the sanctification of priests, for faltering priests or those struggling to persevere. May Our Lady of the Clergy protect them all under her mantle. St. John Vianney, intercede for the priests.

~Damsel of the Faith

The Consecration Prayer:

Almighty God, in union with the sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary, and in union with the most Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, I, (name___), consecrate to Thee and resign into the hands of Thy Mother, my life and my death as a sacrifice of love for the sanctification and fidelity of Thy priests. To this end, O Almighty God, I beg Thee to grant me the grace of perseverance until death. I promise to fulfill to the best of my ability the obligations of the Prayer Crusade for Priests. Let me love Thee, O God and serve Thee faithfully all the days of my life. Amen.

The Daily Oblation:

O Jesus, humbled in the Eucharist to be the source and center of charity of the Catholic Church and the strength of souls, I offer Thee my prayers, my actions, my sufferings in behalf of Thy Priests, to the end that each day may behold the wider extension of the Kingdom of Thy Sacred Heart.

A prayer to be prayed for all priests:

O Jesus, Eternal High Priest, Good Shepherd, Font of life, Who by a special favor of Thy most tender Heart hast given to us our Priests, in order to accomplish in us those holy ideals with which Thy grace inspires our hearts, let Thy mercy, we beseech Thee, come to the aid of our Priests. Grant them, O Jesus, lively faith in their works, unshakable hope in their trials and fervent charity in their intentions. May Thy word, radiant with eternal wisdom, become through continual meditation the never failing nourishment of their interior life; may the examples of Thy life and Passion be renewed in their conduct and sufferings, for our instruction and as a light and consolation in our sorrows. Grant, O Lord, that our priests, free from all earthly attachments and solicitous for Thy glory alone, may persevere to their last breath in the fulfillment of duty and in purity of conscience. And when in death they deliver into Thy hands a task well done, may they have in Thee, Lord Jesus, their Master on earth, the eternal reward of the crown of justice in the glory of the saints. Amen.

 

 

 

Novus Ordo Lamentations: The Altar is no longer

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https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2017/07/paul-claudel-at-le-figaro-1955-mass.html#more 

Paul Claudel, French poet and writer, laments the growing implementation of the Novus Ordo and its dangerous effects for the life of the faithful and the Church, in 1955, long before the Novus Ordo was officially forced upon the Church. Words to heed and reflect upon.

Paul Claudel
Le Figaro
January 23, 1955

I wish to protest with all my strength against the growing practise in France of saying Mass facing the people.

The most basic principle of religion is that God holds first place and that the good of man is merely a consequence of the recognition and the practical application of this essential dogma.

The Mass is the homage par excellence which we render to God by the Sacrifice which the priest offers to Him in our name on the altar of His Son. It is us led by the priest and as one with him, going to God to offer Him hostias et preces [Victims and prayers]. It is not God presenting Himself to us for our convenience to make us indifferent witnesses of the mystery about to be accomplished.

The novel liturgy deprives the Christian people of their dignity and their rights. It is no longer they who say the Mass with the priest, by “following” it, as the saying very rightly goes, and to whom the priest turns from time to time to assure them of his presence, participation and cooperation, in the work which he undertakes in their name. All that remains is a curious audience watching him do his job. Small wonder that the impious compare him to a magician performing his act before a politely admiring crowd.

 

It is true that in the traditional liturgy the most touching, the most moving part of the Holy Sacrifice is hidden from the view of the faithful. But it is not hidden from their hearts and their faith. To demonstrate this, during Solemn High Masses the sub-deacon stays at the foot of the altar during the Offertory, hiding his face with his left hand.We too are invited to pray, to withdraw into ourselves, not in a spirit of curiosity but of recollection.

In all of the Eastern rites the miracle of transubstantiation takes place unseen by the faithful, behind the iconostasis. It is only afterwards that the celebrant appears on the threshold of the sacred door, the Body and Blood of Christ in his hands.

A vestige of this idea lingered for many years in France, where the old missals did not translate the prayers of the canon. Dom Guéranger protested energetically against those who had the audacity to do away with this custom.

Today’s deplorable practice has turned the ancient ceremony upside down, to the great consternation of the faithful. There is no longer an altar. Where is it, this consecrated stone which the Apocalypse compares to the Body of Christ Itself? There is nothing but a bare trestle covered with a tablecloth, reminding usdepressingly of a Calvinist workbench.

Naturally, as the convenience of the faithful was held up as the guiding principle, it was necessary to rid the aforementioned table of the “accessories” cluttering it up: not only the candlesticks and the vases of flowers, but the tabernacle! The very crucifix! The priest says his Mass in a vacuum!When he invites the people to lift up their hearts and their eyes…to what? There is no nothing left in front of us to focus our minds on the Divine.

If the candlesticks and crucifix were kept, the people would be even more excluded than in the old liturgy, because then not only the ceremony but the priest himself would be completely hidden from view.

I would resign myself to this situation with the greatest grief, as henceforth, it would appear that not the slightest spiritual effort will berequired of the common people. It seems necessary to stick the most sublime of mysteries in their faces, to reduce the Mass to the primitive form of the Last Supper and in doing so, change the entire ritual. What is the meaning of Dominus vobiscum [The Lord be with you] and orate fratres [pray brethren] spoken by a priest separated from his people and requiring nothing of them? What is the significance of the sumptuous vestments worn by those we have delegated as ambassadors to the Divinity?

And our churches, is there any reason to leave them as they are?

 

Cardinal Sarto exhorts Catholics to keep the Faith alive – in 1895

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One of Cardinal Sarto’s (the future Pope Pius X) most important duties as Patriach of Venice, and one that he placed high priority on was the pastoral visitation, whereby he traveled from parish to parish, assessing the spiritual needs of both clergy and laity alike. Hear these words, given to his faithful, in 1895. They could be spoken of with just as much truth today.

~Damsel of the Faith

“How necessary it is to stir up again the spirit of faith, at a time when there is a growth of that malignant fever which would discredit everything and deny every dogma of revealed religion! How necessary it is at this present time when people are trying to dismiss the mysteries of our faith, when people are claiming to explain them – while Christ has demanded the submission of the intellect – when they are casting doubt on the most established prophecies, when they are denying the most manifest miracles, when they are rejecting the sacraments, deriding pious practices, and discrediting the magisterium of the Church and her ministers! We must build a dyke against the torrent of evil which is spreading everywhere; we must find the antidote to the poison which is threatening the life of society; we must give this sick world the remedies which will cute it; we must save, by a single word, even the souls of those who hate that word and persecute it, because for them too Jesus Christ shed His precious blood.”

St. Joan’s virtuous example

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A nice article about St. Joan taken from the SSPX’s primary publication, the Angelus:

How nice it sounds, “St. Joan of Arc.” But through all the history of sanctity you will find this same quality persisting—the quality of realizing that what we see and touch and feel are transitory things and unreal, and that the solid and substantial things, are the things that appear not, the world we only grasp by faith.

And I am insisting on that particular quality this morning because I think it is one that stands out with quite extraordinary clearness in St. Joan’s life: she did really live for a promise, and we know that the promise came true, but she did not—not in this life. She was very young, you know. Did you realize that she was less than twenty years old when she was burnt at the stake? It is not true that she dressed as a man: she dressed as a boy. When she was only thirteen years old, at the age when other boys and girls were fidgeting and playing the fool during Mass, as people did in those days, she could hardly go out of doors without hearing the voices of saints and angels talking to her. And those voices dominated her life; they echoed so loudly in her ears that all the world’s noises were drowned for her. People said: “It is very silly of a small girl like you to think she can go and see the King”—she did not hear them. And the King, as you well know, disguised himself and hid among his courtiers, and she went straight up to him: “But I am not the King,” he said; “that is the King over there.” “Oh, yes, you are; I have come to raise the siege of Orleans and crown you King at Rheims.” It was no good; the voices had told her about it. And I suppose when she had been appointed Chief of the Army, the General Staff would always be raising military difficulties about re-entrant angles and being enfiladed by arquebus-fire, and so on, but it did not make a bit of difference to her, she always did what the voices told her—they were close to her ear, you see, and the criticisms of the General Staff were only a distant echo. She went out, not knowing whither she went.

And of course she had disappointments. After the first few victories, after the crowning of the King, the people she had come to save contented themselves with a partial conquest, and hung about making treaties and demobilizing troops. And truly, if she had been mindful of that from whence she came out, she had doubtless time to return; she could have gone back to Domremy and rested on her laurels. But the ingratitude and apathy of the court affected her no more than its honours had done; she simply went on obeying the voice. And the French lords played her false, and she was taken prisoner. But she endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

And then came the hardest time of all. I do not think she minded being in prison; I do not think she minded the threat of execution; that was not why she tried to escape. No, it was simply that it seemed quite obvious to her she was to deliver France—the voices had told her so—and France was not yet delivered. And so she went to the stake, her hopes still unfulfilled, but never doubting for an instant that the voices were true. Five years later the King entered Paris; twenty-two years later, England had no possessions left on French soil. She believed that he was faithful who had promised, not having received the promises, but beholding them afar off and saluting them. She could not foresee that her unjust condemnation would be reversed, point by point, twenty-five years after her death: she could not foresee that, nearly five hundred years after her death, France, once more liberated, would receive the tiding of her canonization by the tribunal to which, in life, she never ceased to appeal, the tribunal of the Holy See. But she believed that he was faithful who had promised.

That, then, is her great witness, as is the witness of all the saints: that is her capital contribution to our Christian hope—we know, because the saints have told us so, that it is the things of this world that are shams and shadows, and the real things and the solid things are the things we cannot see. Our Saviour Christ has ascended up into heaven, and a cloud received Him from our sight, but we are not therefore to think of the spiritual world as something far removed from us, only to be reached by a supreme effort of thought. On the contrary, the spiritual world is all about us: the voices are still there, only St. Joan could hear them and we cannot. I wonder whose fault that is? Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

From the May, 1983 issue of The Angelus

Archbishop Lefebvre & the Princess

 

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http://sspx.org/en/example-catholic-resistance

Most don’t know the Italian noblewoman, Princess Elvina Pallavicini, accepted Archbishop Lefebvre into her palace for a conference, showing him and ultimately the Traditional Faith her support, when few in the Church would even stop to listen to anything Archbishop Lefebvre had to say about the Faith that sanctified the Church for 2,000 years. She was threatened with excommunication for even entertaining the Archbishop. However, fidelity is victorious in the end and the palace of the Princess became a focal points for many priests, bishops and cardinals. Indeed, the Princess was right: there is no room in the Church for the cowardly.

Read the story below.

~Damsel of the Faith

An Example of Catholic Resistance: Princess Elvina Pallavicini

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
July 12nd 2017

Palazzo Pallavicini-Rospigliosi as it appears today

Forty years ago a historical event took place: Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre held a conference on June 6th 1977 at the Pallavicini Palace in Rome, on the subject “The Church after the Council”. I think it is worthwhile to recall that event, on the basis of notes and documents I have kept.

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, founder of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X (1970), after the priestly ordinations of June 29th 1976, was suspended a divinis on July 22nd of the same year. Informed Catholics however, had serious doubts as to the canonical legitimacy of these measures and in particular, incomprehension with regard to the behavior of Paul VI who seemed to reserve his censorships for only those who said they wanted to remain faithful to Church Tradition. In this climate of disorientation, in April of 1977, Princess Elvina Pallavicini (1914 -2004) decided to invite Archbishop Lefebvre to her palace in the Quirinal, to hear his reasoning.

Princess Pallavicini was 63 years old at the time and the widow of Prince Guglielmo Pallavicini who had been killed on his first war mission in 1940. For many years she had been in a wheelchair as a result of progressive paralysis, but she was a woman of indomitable spirit. She had a close group of friends and advisors around her, among whom were Marquis Roberto Malvezzi Campeggi (1907-1979), Colonel of the Papal Noble Guard at the time of the corps’ dissolution in 1970, and Marquis Luigi Coda Nunziante di San Ferdinando (1930-2015), former Commander of the Italian Navy. Initially, news of the conference circulating during the month of May did not stir up any concern from the Vatican. Paul VI thought it would have been easy to convince the Princess to desist from her idea and entrusted the task to one of his closest collaborators, “Don Sergio” Pignedoli (1910-1980) whom he had made a cardinal in 1973.

The Vatican Reacts

Princess Elvina Pallavicini in younger days, and visiting with the Archbishop

The prelate called the Princess and first of all asked kindly about her illness. “I am happy –Elvina Pallavicini noted ironically – about your interest [in my physical well-being] after such a long period of silence”. After about an hour of pleasantries the cardinal’s question at last arrived: “I heard you will be receiving Archbishop Lefebvre. Will it be a public or private conference?” ” If it is at my home it can only be private”, the princess replied. The cardinal then ventured: “Wouldn’t it be opportune to postpone it? Archbishop Lefebvre has made the Holy Father suffer quite a lot. He is very grieved about this initiative…” Princess Elvina’s reply chilled Cardinal Pignedoli “Your Eminence, I think I can receive anyone I like in my own home.”

Faced with this unexpected resistance, the Vatican turned to Prince Aspreno Colonna (1916-1987), who still occupied, ad personam, the office of Assistant to the Papal Throne. When the head of this historic household asked to be received, the Princess told him she was busy. Prince Colonna asked to visit the next day at the same time, but the noblewoman’s reply was the same. While the Prince withdrew quietly, the Secretary of State thought of getting through in another way. Archbishop Andrea Lanza Cordero di Montezemolo, who had just been consecrated Archbishop and named Nuncio to Papua-New Guinea, asked for an audience with the Princess. The prelate was the son of Colonel Giuseppe Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo (1901-1944), head of the Monarchic Resistance in Rome and shot by the Germans at the Fosse Ardeatine. During the German occupation, the young Princess Elvina had collaborated with him, meriting a bronze medal of honor. I also took part in the meeting, but my presence really irritated the future cardinal, who, in vain, appealed to the memory of his father to avert the upcoming conference. The Nuncio was told that it was the same resistance of many soldiers to National Socialism, and how it was necessary at times, to disobey unjust orders from superiors in order to respect the dictates of one’s conscience.

At this point the Secretary of State played his last card, by turning to the King of Italy, Umberto II, in exile in Cascais. Marquis Falcone Lucifero, Minister of the Royal Household, telephoned the Princess to let her know that the Sovereign had strongly urged her to postpone the conference. “I’m astonished at how His Majesty allows himself to be intimidated by the Secretary of State, after everything the Vatican did to the monarchy”, she replied decisively, confirming that the conference would be duly held on the date established. Marquis Lucifero, being the elderly gentleman he was, sent the Princess a bouquet of roses.

At this point the Vatican decided to use tougher tactics. A real campaign of psychological terrorism then began in the major daily newspapers presenting the Princess as an obstinate aristocrat, surrounded by a handful of “nostalgics” in a world destined to disappear. In private, it was made known to Donna Elvina that, if the conference was to take place, she would be excommunicated.

The Princess “Goes Public”

On May 30th, with a press release to Ansa, the Princess specified that her “initiative was not motivated by any intention of challenging ecclesiastic authority, but rather by love and fidelity to Holy Mother Church and the Magisterium.” “The contrasts in the conciliar Church,” continued the communiqué, “unfortunately exist, apart from the person of Archbishop Lefebvre, and in Italy to no lesser degree, even if less evident than in the rest of the Catholic world. We intend with the conference on June 6th to offer Archbishop Lefebvre the possibility of voicing directly his theses in full freedom, precisely with the aim of clarifying the problems which disturb and grieve the Catholic world so much, in the certainty that peace and serenity can be brought back again through a restored unity to the truth.”

On May 31st, on the front page of the daily newspaper “Il Tempo”, a declaration from Prince Aspreno Colonna appeared where we read “The Roman Patriciate dissociates itself from the initiative”, deploring it as “completely inopportune”. The bombshell was dropped however, on June 5th by the Cardinal Vicar of Rome, Ugo Poletti (1914-1997). With an aggressive statement in the Italian Bishops’ daily newspaper Avvenire, Poletti attacked Archbishop Lefebvre and ” his aberrant followers”, defining them as “a handful of class nostalgics, prisoners of traditional habits”. He further expressed, “astonishment, pain and sorrow, but the firmest disapproval for the offence made against the Faith, the Catholic Church and Her Divine Head, Jesus”, Archbishop Lefebvre having placed in doubt “fundamental truths of the kind relating to the infallibility of the Catholic Church founded on Peter and his successors, in matters of doctrine and morals”.

From the Princess’ headquarters there came an immediate reply: “It is difficult to understand how the private expression of theses which have been those of all the bishops of the world until a few years ago, can disturb the security of an authority to such an extent, as it has on its side the strength of doctrinal continuity and the evidence of its positions.” The Princess declared: “I am a more than convinced Apostolic Roman Catholic, seeing that I have reached the true sense of Religion through the refining of physical and moral suffering: I owe nothing to anyone, I have no honours nor prebends to defend, and I thank God for everything. Within the limits that the Church allows, I may dissent, I may talk, I may act: I have to talk and I have to act: it would be cowardice not to. And allow me say, that in our Home, also in this generation, there is no room for the cowardly.”

The Day of the Conference

 

Inside the Palazzo, similar to how it may have looked the day of the conference

Finally the fateful day of June 6th arrived. The conference was carefully reserved for four hundred invited guests, controlled by “private security” provided by the “Alleanza Cattolica” youth, but there were more than a thousand who filled up the staircases and the garden of the historical Rospigliosi-Pallavicini Palace, famous all over the world for its works of art. Archbishop Lefebvre arrived accompanied by his young representative in Rome, Don Emanuele du Chalard. Princess Pallavicini went to meet him in her wheelchair, pushed by her Lady-in Waiting, Donna Elika Del Drago. Princess Virginia Ruspoli, widow of Marescotti, one of the two hero-princes at the Battle of El Alamein, gave Archbishop Lefebvre a relic of St. Pius X which had been given to her personally by Pius XII.

Despite [the fact] that the Grand Priory of the Order of Malta in Rome had expressed “a binding necessity” to abstain from intervening at the conference, Prince Sforza Ruspoli, Count Fabrizio Sarazani and some other courageous aristocrats defied the censures of the institution and were there in the front row, right beside Monsignor François Ducaud Bourget (1897-1984), who had led the occupation of the Church Saint-Nicolas du Chardonnet in Paris on February 27th.

Princess Pallavicini introduced Archbishop Lefebvre and he took his place under the red baldachin with the coat of Arms of Pope Clement IX, Rospigliosi. The Archbishop after some moments of prayer, began with these words: “I respect the Holy See. I respect Rome. If I am here it is because I love this Catholic Rome.” The Catholic Rome that he had before him interrupted his speech repeatedly with thunderous applause. The hall was filled to overflowing and a crowd had gathered on the great staircases of the palace.

The “Council of aggiornamento” – explained Archbishop Lefebvre – in reality wants a new definition of the Church. To be “open” and be in communion with all religions, all ideologies, all cultures, the Church should change its excessively hierarchal institutions and break up into many National Episcopal Conferences. The sacraments will insist on initiation and the collective life, more than the driving out of Satan and sin. The leit-motiv of change will be ecumenism. The practice of the missionary spirit will disappear. The principle that “every man is Christian and doesn’t know it” will be proclaimed, so it doesn’t matter whatever confession is practiced – it is seeking salvation.

The liturgical and ecumenical changes – continued Archbishop Lefebvre in the hushed silence of all those present – cause the disappearance of religious vocations and make for deserted seminaries. The principle of “religious liberty” sounds outrageous to the Church and Our Lord Jesus Christ, as it is nothing other than “the right to public confession of a false religion with no interference from any human authority”.

Archbishop Lefebvre then lingered for a bit on the post-council’s caving-in to Communism, referring to the repeated audiences given to Communist leaders by the Holy See; the agreement not to condemn Communism during the Council; the contemptuous treatment reserved for more than 450 bishops who asked for this condemnation. On the contrary, dialogue with Communism was encouraged by nominating pro-Communist bishops like Monsignor Helder Camara in Brazil, Monsignor Silva Henriques in Chile, and Monsignor Mendez Arceo in Messico.

It is a fact, added Archbishop Lefebvre in conclusion, that numerous Dominicans and many Jesuits who profess heresies openly are not condemned and bishops who practice inter-communion, who introduce false religions in their dioceses and churches, who even end up blessing concubinage, are not even placed under inquiry. Only faithful Catholics risk being thrown out of churches, persecuted, condemned. “I have been suspended a divinis because I continue to form priests as they were once formed.”

Turning to a listener touched by his words, Archbishop Lefebvre concluded his conference saying: “Today the most serious obligation for a Catholic is that of conserving the Faith. It is not licit to obey those who are working to diminish Her or make Her disappear. With Baptism we asked the Church for the Faith because the Faith conducts us to eternal life. We will continue to our very last breath to ask the Church for this Faith.”

The meeting ended with the singing of the Salve Regina.

The Vatican reporter, Benny Lai in La Nazione of June 7th, commented: “Those who expected a tribune found themselves in front of a man of meek bearing, who, before inviting those present to recite the Salve Regina, concluded [his speech], with these worlds: “I don’t want to form a group of any kind, I don’t want to disobey the Pope, but he must not ask me to become Protestant.”

The conference was a strategic victory for those who were inappropriately called traditionalists, as Archbishop Lefebvre managed to make his theses known on the international level, without [suffering] canonical consequences.

Paul VI died a year later, devastated by the death of his friend Aldo Moro.

The name of Cardinal Poletti is still linked to the murky business of the nulla osta he granted on March 10th 1990, for the entombment of the Banda della Magliana Boss “Renatino” De Pedis, in the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare.

Princess Pallavicini came out a winner from this “challenge”. Not only was she not excommunicated, but in the following years her palace became the point of reference for many cardinals, bishops and Catholic intellectuals. She and her Roman friends were not “phantoms from the past”, as the Corriere della Sera defined them on June 7th 1977, but witnesses to the Catholic Faith who were preparing the future. Forty years later, history has proven them right.

 

Source: Roberto de Mattei
Translation: contributor Francesca Romana on Rorate Caeli

Bishop Fellay on the four effects of the Mass

http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/listen-bishop-fellays-sermon-4-effects-mass-ordinations-weekend

Bishop Fellay gives a thought provoking and beautiful sermon at the first Mass of Fr. Ian Palco, a newly ordaimed priest, on the importance of the Priesthood in relation to the Mass, the meaning of the Mass and why it’s important for us to have a great love for the Mass, the atonement which the priest makes to God on our behalf for the sins of mankind. There are four traditional ends of the Mass: adoration, atonement, thanksgiving and petition.  Read the summary provided by the Society and better yet, listen to the calming voice of the good Bishop expound upon these points and preach the doctrine of the Church.

~Damsel of the Faith

Bishop Fellay preached at the first Mass of Fr. Ian Palco, explaining the dignity of the priest and the mystery and value of the Mass.

The Lord expects from his priests a love that is infinite, ever-growing, and unlimited: not a mere human love. Christ wants the priest to adore God in a perfect way, to give thanks to God at all times, to make reparation for the sins man has committed, and to intercede for mankind in all their intentions. This sermon was delivered on Saturday, July 8, 2017, the day after the priestly ordinations at the new seminary in Dillwyn, VA.

The main points of His Excellency’s sermon are provided below – the video provides audio of his sermon explaining the four ends of the Mass.

The First Duty of Man is to Adore God

The act of adoration means that man recognizes the authority of God and that he freely accepts the rights God has over man. But, all men being sinners, and their acts being limited by their senses, they cannot go beyond this world on their own. Incapable of exceeding the sphere of the simply natural and to reach out to the infinite, man, by himself, cannot offer to God due adoration. Only Jesus Christ, being the Son of God, makes us understand the narrowness of human life. He offers himself in the Holy Mass and, through the priest, we can offer to God adoration that is fully acceptable to Him.

Justice, Thanksgiving, and Piety

Many times in life, man rejoices at important gifts which he is never able to give back in full: what we have received from our parents, our country, and God is invaluable. We are never truly able to thank our parents and adequately express what we owe them. It is the same with God. We owe him our life! He cares about us unceasingly, He gave His Son, and offered us the possibility of becoming His sons. Never could we thank God as we should if it was not for the Holy Mass. Being elevated to God’s instrument, the priest offering Mass can say thanks to God the way God desserves to be thanked.

The sacrifice the priest offers at the altar — “my sacrifice and your sacrifice” — “the sacrifice of the priest and the sacrifice of the faithful” (Offertory), united with the sacrifice of Christ, becomes a sacrifice with an infinite dimension, impossible to be understood by man, a sacrifice that is pleasing to God.

 

Satisfaction

The satisfaction that one Holy Mass gives to God, being an act of Christ, is sufficient to make reparation for all the sins of humanity. But this satisfaction must be allocated to man. The Holy Mass is the source of all graces that can easily fill a man’s heart. But the amount of graces to be received, and the forgiveness given to man, depends on how open he is to the action of grace. The more man is prepared to receive the graces, the more man will receive.

Prayer

The Prayer of Our Lord during the Holy Mass is infinite and infallible. Again, since man prays with Our Lord, since he has a part in this prayer, the act by itself and the fruits coming from it, is tainted by the imperfection of man. If we had the faith and we knew the plan of God, there would be no unanswered prayer. The most efficient prayer we can ever present to God happens at Mass, thanks to and through the priest.

Care for the Faithful

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre called prayer the essential apostolate of the priest. Any apostolate aims to bring his people closer to God, to help them avoid sin, and to make them progress in virtue. None of this can happen without the graces of the Mass. The graces of Christ in the Mass are universal and know no borders or limitations. Even the angels have less power than the priest! Celebrating Mass means is the essence of the priesthood.

How Does God Expect the Priest to Help the Faithful?

There is a short prayer in the breviary: “Fac ut sim sacerdos secundum Cor tuum.” “Make my heart like unto your heart!” Jesus wants to be one with the priest and he wants the priest to be one with him. He wants to pour into the heart of the priest the love of God and, through the heart of the priest, he wants to approach the faithful. The priest should look at Christ at all times and ask: What do you want me to do? To say? The life of the priest is about the love of Christ and the love for the sheep he has entrusted to the priest. Human nature is such that man loves what he finds to be good. A priest, like Christ, who dies for all people, has to open his heart to all men and must be ready to die for the sinner.

Charity Summarizes all the Commandments

“We must love God with all our heart with all our strength.” There can not be any limitation to our love. This charity, the union we have now with God, is the same as the saints have for God in heaven. As long as we live on earth, our charity has to increase every moment. No man can say at any moment that he is loving God and his neighbor as much as he should. The progress souls make from one Communion to the next, following St. Thomas Aquinas, is exponential. Only God knows how much progress we make at every Communion, and what marvels God works in our soul.

Source: SSPX US District

 

History of the Russian Greek Catholic Church

A marginalized Rite of the Church, the Russian Greek Catholic Church, comprised of 30,000 members that have no episcopal leadership, have consecrated themselves to Our Lady of Fatima, in prayers that she will grant them a bishop. Read their story, from the Society’s website:

http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/russian-greek-catholic-church-meet-historic-congress-31049

~Damsel of the Faith

From June 6-9, representatives of the Russian Greek Catholic Church (RGCC) met for a historic congress in San Felice del Benaco. One of the aims of the congress was to request a bishop to lead its 30,000 members worldwide.

As the smallest of the sui iuris Eastern churches in communion with Rome, the RGCC’s faithful have been entrusted to the care of local Latin ordinaries rather than having their own specific hierarchy. While some Latin bishops have been supportive of the RGCC’s survival, others have been less so. If the RGCC is to have a future, both in its native Russia and in the diaspora, having its own hierarch is imperative.

History of the RGCC

The history of the RGCC dates back to the late 19th century. Despite Greek Catholicism being illegal throughout the Russian Empire, individual Russian churchmen and intellectuals, including the eccentric and controversial Vladimir Soloviev, began pushing for Russian Orthodox Christians to unite themselves to Rome. Soloviev, for example, posited a novel theory that Rome and Moscow had never truly broken communion after the Great Schism (typically dated to 1054 A.D.). Following Tsar Nicholas II’s edict of religious toleration in 1905, it became possible for more Russian Orthodox to join the Catholic Church.

Eventually, in 1908, Pope St. Pius X, through the Vatican Secretary of State, decreed that the Russian Catholics should retain their liturgical and spiritual patrimony in full, without any alteration or admixture with another rite. What this meant is that Russian Catholic communities could use both the so-called Synodal form of the Byzantine Rite as had been approved for the Russian Orthodox Church by its leadership and the so-called Old Rite that had been suppressed violently in the mid-17th century. Those holding to the Old Rite, known as Old Believers, had been persecuted by the Russian state for centuries because they resisted reforms to the liturgy. Several Old Believer communities entered into communion with the Catholic Church during this period of time.

Unfortunately, after the Soviet Revolution in 1917, the nascent RGCC found itself persecuted violently. While some RGCC communities managed to survive in the diaspora, as the decades moved on, little attention was given to the needs of the RGCC, partially as part of a larger policy of appeasement by the Vatican toward the Soviet Russian state. Even after 1989, the remnants of the RGCC in Russia found it difficult to gain support from the Vatican, leaving them to largely fend for themselves without much opportunity for growth.

The Situation Today

 

Although the Soviet state is no more, ecumenical concerns at the Vatican have continued to keep the RGCC marginalized. The present Russian Orthodox Church maintains the position that all Greek Catholics, including those living in Ukraine and Belarus, should return to the Orthodox fold. The Russian Orthodox Church has also been critical of any Catholic proselytism of Orthodox Christians and has pressured Vatican officials to curtail any expansion of Greek Catholicism into lands like Ukraine and Russia. For the Orthodox, Greek Catholicism is a threat to their ecclesiastical hegemony.

Whether Rome follows through in supporting the resolutions and requests of the RGCC remains to be seen. In addition to asking for a bishop, the RGCC wishes for the process of Russian Orthodox entering the Catholic Church to be simplified, and for former Russian Orthodox becoming Catholic not to be absorbed automatically into the Latin Church.

It is telling that the clergy meeting in June took the opportunity to consecrate the RGCC to Our Lady of Fatima, for it will only be by her prayers and protection that the RGCC will continue to thrive and survive. Prayers should also be offered that the RGCC will serve as a bridge to lead the Russian Orthodox back into communion with Rome.