Tag Archives: Catholic

The solid Rock – the triumph of love born out of Faith

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“O Catholic faith, how solid, how strong you are! How deeply rooted, how firmly founded on a solid rock! Heaven and earth will pass away, but you can never pass away. From the beginning the whole world opposed you, but you mightily triumphed over everything. This is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. It has subjected powerful kings to the rule of Christ; it has bound nations to his service. What made the holy apostles and martyrs endure fierce agony and bitter torments, except faith, and especially faith in the resurrection? What is it that today makes true followers of Christ cast luxuries aside, leave pleasures behind, and endure difficulties and pain? It is living faith that expresses itself through love. It is this that makes us put aside the goods of the present in the hope of future goods. It is because of faith that we exchange the present for the future.”
~the last sermon of St Fidelis of Sigmaringen before his martyrdom.

Hatred of Catholic Tradition

Modernism is rooted not only in pride but in hatred of the Church’s History.

Pope St. Pius X explains:

“They [the Modernists] recognize that the three chief difficulties for them are scholastic philosophy, the authority of the fathers and tradition, and the magisterium of the Church, and on these they wage unrelenting war… They exercise all their ingenuity in diminishing the force and falsifying the character of tradition, so as to rob it of all its weight…The Modernists pass the same judgment on the most holy Fathers of the Church as they pass on tradition; decreeing, with amazing effrontery that, while personally most worthy of all veneration, they were entirely ignorant of history and criticism, for which they are only excusable on account of the time in which they lived.” — Pope Pius X

To wage war against the Church’s tradition is to wage war against Her history because Her history is found in Her tradition, which is the bulwark of our Faith.  Modernism ultimately undermines the very nature of the Church, for the Modernists put their authority on their new man-made religion which has little to nothing to do with the Catholic Religion practiced for the past 2,000 years.  While Traditional Catholics are trying to uphold the Church’s history, the Modernists want to tear it down by destroying all that the Church holds sacred, including and especially the deposit of Faith. Ultimately, the aim of the Modernists has been to fashion a new religion and a new church, divorced of the True Church that has sanctified men throughout history.

“The customs of God’s people and the institutions of our ancestors are to be considered as laws. And those who throw contempt on the customs of the Church ought to be punished as those who disobey the law of God.”   ~St. Augustine

Many Saints have spoken on tradition and the importance of adhering to it, in the same way as our forefathers:

“The best advice that I can give you is this: Church-traditions— especially when they do not run counter to the faith— are to be observed in the form in which previous generations have handed them down… The traditions which have been handed down should be regarded as apostolic laws.”

Without question, as things worsen in the Church and the Modernists continue to wage war against all that is good and holy, we are in the final battle, between those who serve God and the Church and those who serve themselves and their God, mammon. The Immaculate Heart of Our Lady triumphs.

~Damsel of the Faith

On “Fiftiesism”

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A common argument put forth by some Catholics in defense of Vatican II and the Novus Ordo Missae is that weekly attendance at Holy Mass began to decrease in the 1950’s.  Thus, the “Novus Ordo” itself would be exempt from much of the blame for the current lukewarm climate in the Church, since it was implemented after the statistics started to trend downward.  

Response:  It is true that Sunday Mass attendance among Catholics in the West started to decrease about a decade before Vatican II.  On the one hand, we cannot ignore the errors of Vatican II and the New mass and the absolute chaos that has ensued since both have been implemented.  On the other hand, what then is the origin of the very beginnings of these “rotten fruits”?  It is amazing that as strong as the Church structures appeared to be in the 1950’s, they were almost totally demolished by Modernism a decade or so later. 

As the events in the life of Christ parallel those of His Church, we can draw a certain parallel between Palm Sunday and Our Lord’s Passion and the 1950’s and the post-Vatican II era.  In the Palm Sunday Gospel, Our Lord is greatly exalted and honored as he triumphantly rides into Jerusalem.  However, to say there were many who hated him was an understatement.  Plots to take His life were being dreamed of by the Jews, culminating in His capture only a few days later.  

Similarly, in the 1950’s, Christ’s Church was enjoying an almost unprecedented apparent rise to glory in the world.  I need not explain it in detail; everyone who is familiar with the period or has lived in it himself will know exactly what I mean.  The plans of the enemies of Our Lord to subvert the Church were already well-advanced though.  Still, one can wonder whether this was such a golden age for the Church as is often perceived.  If the Faith was held ever so fervent, then how did so many, if not most, of these same Catholics lose their faith and make such severe compromises with the world a mere decade later?

This leads to the discussion of the errors spread most prominently in the West particularly following World War II.  Although many hold “officially” that the West emerged victorious in this war, further research may prove the opposite.  For purposes of this post, let us just say that the true concept of authority was destroyed and the West made many compromises with evil.  It is simply a fact that many errors of the Revolution were firmly entrenched in the West by the 1950’s.  

Unfortunately, so many Catholics, if not the great majority, had fallen into many of these errors and were making compromises with the world, thus watering down their Faith.  Many traditional Catholic priests(particularly SSPX priests) have coined this perilous spirit as “Fiftiesism”.  Despite the apparent great growth of the Church, such a state could not last very long with such widespread lukewarmness.  God, however, in His infinite love and mercy, would provide graces for those Catholics of good will to remain faithful.  One very great grace was His gift of Abp. Lefebvre, who would continue to preserve the sacred priesthood and fight for the good Faith!   

In the letter attached below, Bp. Richard Williamson, then Rector of St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary(SSPX), describes some of the main errors of “Fiftiesism”.  After dismantling these errors, he points out the simple remedy: to remain fully faithful to Our Lord and His Church.  Let us strive then to simply be found faithful!

From the August 1998 “Letter From the Rector”:  

         

Following on the mention of “Fiftiesism” in last month’s letter, a reader reasonably asked what it is, and if there is anywhere he can read up on it. Since Fiftiesism is a serious threat to “Traditional” Catholics, and since little has to my knowledge been written about it as such, let us examine it here.

“Fiftiesism” is a name for the kind of Catholicism that was generally practised in the 1950’s, between World War II and Vatican II. To many Catholics who can look back that far, the 1950’s seem like a golden age for the Church, because all kinds of Catholic systems were still up and running that crashed a few years later. On the other hand, precisely because so many Catholic systems crashed in the 1960’s and 1970’s, not all can have been well with the Church in those 1950’s. There must have been “something rotten in the State of Denmark”.

For instance the magnificent building now housing the Seminary in Winona was put up by the Dominicans, sparing no expense, in the early 1950’s, only to be abandoned by them in 1970, and sold for a song. And this Novitiate for their central United States Province was merely one Catholic institute amongst thousands all over the world that followed this path from riches to rags. Can the 1950’s really have been such a golden age as they seem?

Fiftiesism is then the name for what was wrong alongside – or inside – all that was right in the practice of Catholicism in the 1950’s. Church structures stood tall but termites were burrowing away within, so that with one strong push from Vatican II, the structures were all ready to fall over. Traditional Catholics today must take thought to avoid re-building a Church of the 1950’s all ready to fall over again!

To illustrate what was good as well as bad in the Catholicism of the 1950’s, let us think of English Catholicism in the 1520’s, just before the Reformation in England of the 1530’s and 1540’s.

On the good side, England looked in the 1520’s like a completely Catholic nation. It had been Catholic for nearly 1,000 years, with the result that for an Englishman then to be Catholic was the most normal and simple thing in the world. Young King Henry VIII was so Catholic that he was awarded by Rome the title of “Defender of the Faith” for his refutation of Luther’s errors! As for the English people, a scholarly book was written a few years ago to prove how Catholic they still were, as though the Reformation was none of their fault.

Alas, on the bad side, what were the fruits of this 1520’s Catholicism? By the end of the 1550’s Catholics were being persecuted, and Queen Elizabeth I was skillfully and ruthlessly maneuvering England into national apostasy, wherein to remain Catholic was a glorious but highly dangerous avocation. Catholic priests were hunted down by her secret police, hanged, drawn and quartered as traitors, so that while an English priest in the 1560’s had to have the same Catholic Faith and priesthood as a priest in the 1520’s, nevertheless in the transformed circumstances he was called upon to be a quite new kind of priest. Hence the Jesuit Order, “old and new”.

What had happened? The Catholicism of English Catholics in the 1520’s had been tried by the Lord God and found wanting. As events of the 1530’s and 1540’s proved, their Catholicism, which we might call “Twentiesism”, had been too much of a shell-game. The clergy had “lacked grace” (Thomas More). As for the people, they had resisted, for instance in the Pilgrimage of Grace, but not enough. So God punished English Twentiesism by letting it turn into the permanent shell-game of Anglicanism (known in the U.S.A. as Episcopalianism), founded on Elizabeth’s Anglican Establishment.

Now imagine a Jesuit priest in England of the 1560’s saying to the small congregations of his faithful remnant, “My dear people, all is changed, changed utterly, a terrible beauty is born. No more Twentiesism!”, and you can see why a Traditional priest would say to Traditionalists in the 1990’s, “No more Fiftiesism!”

In fairness to English Catholics of the 1520’s, the problem of their shell-game had been building up over many generations before them, and it did not mean that every English Catholic was losing or would lose the Faith, because of course there was a glorious first harvest of martyrs under Henry VIII, and a second under Elizabeth I.

In fairness likewise to the Fiftiesism of our own time, the pre-Vatican II shell-game was the end-product of 150 years of Liberal Catholicism blending Church and world, attempting to combine the values of the Faith with those of the Revolution, and not every Catholic of the 1950’s proved to be deep-down in love with the world, because, as in Reformation England, a by the grace of God faithful remnant pulled through Vatican II to constitute the bedraggled but glorious remains of the Tridentine Church known to us as “Tradition”, or the Traditionalists”!

At the heart then of Fiftiesism in our own time is that while outwardly the Faith in the 1950’s seemed to be lived, practised and defended, and the Mass was the Mass of all time, nevertheless inwardly too many Catholics’ hearts were going with the world. Thence it was simply a matter of time before all those strict priests celebrating the ancient liturgy with every detail in place, would throw away their birettas and loosen up with eucharistic picnics improvised from one moment to the next. Americans old enough remember how suddenly this change could take place, almost overnight. The inside was rotten. Many Catholics pretended to love God, but really they loved the world. God spat them out at Vatican II.

But why in the 1950’s were so many Catholics inwardly loving the world? Because the modern world, industrialized and suburbanized, is too much with us, all-glamorous, all-powerful, all-seductive. For even if a man and his family are intent upon remaining Catholic, still man remains a three-layered creature, not only individual and familial but also social, and all three layers are connected. Hence society exerts an enormous anti-Catholic pressure upon Catholics when it has been, like ours, largely in the grip of Masonic Revolutions for the last 200 years.

To illustrate Fiftiesism here in the U.S.A. (since most readers of this letter are Americans, but of course Fiftiesism was worldwide, as was Vatican II), let us quote three anti-Catholic principles firmly believed in by many American Catholics of the 1950’s (and 1990’s?), one social, one familial, one individual, amongst many others.

False social principle: separation of Church and State. This deadly error means that Jesus Christ is no longer King over society, He is only King of the sacristy. Society can supposedly do as it likes, and Our Lord has nothing to say! On the contrary read in the Bible the history of the People of God from Abraham and Moses through David, Solomon and Ezra to see if God’s religion tells peoples what as peoples they must do!

False familial principle: co-education. Boys are designed by God quite differently from girls because He has quite different parts for them to play in life. So the Catholic Church has always known and taught that from as early an age as possible, let us say no later than seven or eight, they should be taught differently and separately. Yet how many “Catholics” in the U.S.A. were accustomed to coeducation in the 1950’s and still see no problem with it in the 1990’s? Not even in the most primitive tribes will you find coeducation! They have too much sense!

False individual principle: the split between “religion” and real life. To how many “Catholics” in the 1950’s was “religion” what one did on Sunday morning while in real life the world was being saved, for instance from Communism, by the American Constitution, free enterprise, etc. etc.? No doubt the Faith was believed in, every article of it, but how many “Catholics” let that Faith form their character and define their view of the world? How many “Traditionalists” to this day really put their trust in Our Lord Jesus Christ to solve problems of home, family, politics, education, economics, the arts, etc., etc.? How many on the contrary seek to “enjoy” the world as much as they can, to have all possible “fun”, while keeping just short of mortal sin? That is pure Fiftiesism, and it will have the same disastrous results.

What is the solution to Fiftiesism, then and now? It is not complicated. The problem lies in pretending to put God first but not really doing so. The solution lies in obeying the First Commandment first, in loving the Lord God – Jesus Christ – with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength and with all our mind, and in putting no other gods or solutions before Him. Nor is it impossible to do so. The world, the flesh and the Devil may dominate our environment as never before in all history, but God remains God and we remain children of His Mother.

A powerful and practical means she obtained from her Son to help us put the First Commandment back in place is the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. These were given only twice at the Seminary this year, but they brought forth a bouquet of testimonials from which we shall quote next month to encourage you to make use of one of the Society’s three retreat houses in the U.S.A.. Go to the retreats where you hear they really knock down, drag out the retreatants! Those are where the action is!

And may Our Lord pull all of us back from the world, the flesh and the Devil, lest His Chastisement catch us still in Fiftiesism, ready for Hell!

 

~ Steven C., “The Knight Of Tradition”

Some of my treasures

Since I hardly ever share a personal post, here are some treasures of mine, that I recently bought. You all get to see the Damsel’s taste, although I believe a lot of it is self evident from the blog here.

Enjoy the pictures. Feel free to share your own in the comments. St. Joan of Arc & Pope St. Pius X, ora pro nobis!

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An authentic picture of the great Pope St. Pius X.  Holy Card is from the 1930s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St. Jose Sanchez del Rio

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Brutally martyred in the wake of the religious persecution of 1927 in Mexico, a boy, at the young age of 14, was put to death for Christ, while courageously shouting Viva Christo Rey.  This young martyr was St. Jose Sanchez del Rio, just recently canonized on October 16, 2016.  He was one of those called the Christeros, that band of militant Catholic men, who took up arms in defense of their Church and country.

The parents of young Jose instilled in him a love of the Faith and the Blessed Sacrament from an early age. This great love of God and the Church was Jose’s strength to face the severe persecution that Plutarco Calles, the President of Mexico, inflicted upon the Church. This persecution originated from the anti-clerical laws written in the Mexican constitution.

This boy was the epitome of courageous militantism. He eagerly desired death so that he might die for Jesus Christ. With this mindset, St. Jose begged the Christeros to allow him to fight alongside them, for God and Country. Relenting, the General of the Christeros allowed him to be their flag bearer.

Jose’s final courageous act cost him his life. The General’s horse was wounded in the fighting and Jose replaced it with his own. The revolutionaries captured him and locked him in the sacristy of a church. The church they used as a barn for roosters. Seeing this, Jose exclaimed, “This is not a barnyard! This is the House of   God!” The climax approaches, as the revolutionaries become enraged, demanding Jose renounce Jesus Christ. They tell him to say “Death to Christ the King!” He refuses and they torture him by stabbing him with a machete. They cut his feet, while forcing him to walk on salt. With every torture, he shouted all the louder, “Long live Christ the King!” Finally, Jose is shot in the head, but before he expires, he draws a cross on the ground and kisses it. What saintly fortitude and love of God! May we have a fraction of St. Jose’s virtues!

The Modernists could learn from St. Jose, for the event leading to his death involves disrespect to the House of God. The churches have turned into a barnyard of sin, immodesty and sacrilege. What would St. Jose say today if he saw the despicable atrocities that happen in the House of God? The small always confound the “great.”

St. Jose, ora pro nobis!

~Damsel of the Faith

 

 

 

 

 

The forgotten day of Sunday

 

I gave you six days to work, I kept the seventh for myself, and no one wishes to grant it to me. This is what weighs down the arm of my Son so much.“~ Our Lady of La Salette

We wish our readers continued blessings during this Christmas Season! Christmas is only beginning, not ending! It is no wonder that today’s world regularly claims to be “depressed”. They have only one day of Christmas after all. Even if the Christ Child is now born, should that stop our Christmas joy? Do we only celebrate the birth of a child on the day he is born? It is rather a very joyous atmosphere for many more days to come. The same applies to only the greatest extent for Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Every Christmas Day is also quite unique in our age for a far different reason. When we go about traveling to Holy Mass and our families on this day, we see that virtually all of the stores and shops are closed. The vast majority have thankfully left their material interests aside for a day to enjoy the blessed company of family and friends and to (hopefully) attend Holy Mass in commemoration of the Birth of our Savior. It would seem, however, that Christmas Day is the only day of the year that the world still respects enough to keep holy. The commands of the Lord’s Day do not oblige only on this Christmas Day, but on every Sunday. In the post-Christian West, unfortunately, Sunday has become like any other day of the week. Businesses and worldly merriment continue on as usual. It is no surprise to see so much of the world economy in such a dire state. God does not bless such abuse of His day!

The famous Maria Von Trapp explained in her book, Around the Year with the Trapp Family, about the stark difference she encountered with the post-World War II Sundays in America as compared to the joyous Sundays in pre-Vatican II Catholic Austria. The Calvinist excesses in the West combined with Vatican II and the emergence of a proposed Freemasonic political “New World Order” have slowly but surely led to a materialistic, atheistic observance of Sunday. We are now imitating the Communist Soviet Union in this way!

Excerpts from Mrs. Von Trapp’s work:

“Our neighbors in Austria were a young couple, Baron and Baroness K. They were getting increasingly curious about Russia and what life there was really like. One day they decided to take a six-weeks trip all over Russia in their car. This was in the time when it was still possible to get a visa. Of course, at the border they were received by a special guide who watched their every step and did not leave them for a moment until he deposited them safely again at the border, but they still managed to get a good first-hand impression. Upon their return they wrote a book about their experiences, and when it was finished, they invited their neighbors and friends to their home in order to read some of their work to them. I shall always recall how slowly and solemnly Baron K. read us the title “The Land Without a Sunday.” Of all the things they had seen and observed, one experience had most deeply impressed them: that Russia had done away with Sunday. This had shocked them even more than what they saw of Siberian concentration camps or of the misery and hardship in cities and country. The absence of Sunday seemed to be the root of all the evil.

“Instead of a Sunday,” Baron K. told us, “the Russians have a day off. This happens at certain intervals which vary in different parts of the country. First they had a five-day week, with the sixth day off, then they had a nine-day work period, with the tenth day off; then again it was an eight-day week. What a difference between a day off and a Sunday! The people work in shifts. While one group enjoys its day off, the others continue to work in the factories or on the farms or in the stores, which are always open. As a result the over-all impression throughout the country was that of incessant work, work, work. The atmosphere was one of constant rush and drive; finally, we confessed to each other that what we were missing most was not a well-cooked meal, or a hot bath, but a quiet, peaceful Sunday with church bells ringing and people resting after prayer.”

Here I must first tell what a typical Sunday in Austria was like in the old days up to the year before the second world war. As I have spent most of my life in rural areas, it is Sunday in the country that I shall describe.

First of all, it begins on Saturday afternoon. In some parts of the country the church bell rings at three o’clock, in others at five o’clock, and the people call it “ringing in the Feierabend.” Just as some of the big feasts begin the night before–on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, Easter Eve–so every Sunday throughout the year also starts on its eve. That gives Saturday night its hallowed character. When the church bell rings, the people cease working in the fields. They return with the horses and farm machinery, everything is stored away into the barns and sheds, and the barnyard is swept by the youngest farm-hand. Then everyone takes “the” bath and the men shave. There is much activity in the kitchen as the mother prepares part of the Sunday dinner, perhaps a special dessert; the children get a good scrub; everyone gets ready his or her Sunday clothes, and it is usually the custom to put one’s room in order–all drawers, cupboards and closets. Throughout the week the meals are usually short and hurried on a farm, but Saturday night everyone takes his time. Leisurely they come strolling to the table, standing around talking and gossiping. After the evening meal the rosary is said. In front of the statue or picture of the Blessed Mother burns a vigil light. After the rosary the father will take a big book containing all the Epistles and Gospels of the Sundays and feast days of the year, and he will read the pertinent ones now to his family. The village people usually go to Confession Saturday night, while the folks from the farms at a distance go on Sunday morning before Mass. Saturday night is a quiet night. There are no parties. People stay at home, getting attuned to Sunday. They go to bed rather early.

On Sunday everyone puts on his finery. The Sunday dress is exactly what its name implies–clothing reserved to be worn only on Sunday. We may have one or the other “better dress” besides. We may have evening gowns, party dresses–but this one is our Sunday best, set aside for the day of the Lord. When we put it on, we invariably feel some of the Sunday spirit come over us. In those days everybody used to walk to church even though it might amount to a one or two hours’ hike down and up a mountain in rain or shine. Families usually went to the High Mass; only those who took care of the little children and the cooking had to go to the early Mass. I feel sorry for everyone who has never experienced such a long, peaceful walk home from Sunday Mass, in the same way as I feel sorry for everyone who has never experienced the moments of twilight right after sunset before one would light the kerosene lamps. I know that automobiles and electric bulbs are more efficient, but still they are not complete substitutes for those other, more leisurely ways of living.

Throughout the country, all the smaller towns and villages have their cemeteries around the church; on Sunday, when the High Mass was over, the people would go and look for the graves of their dear ones, say a prayer, sprinkle holy water–a friendly Sunday visit with the family beyond the grave.

In most homes the Sunday dinner was at noon. The afternoon was often spent in visiting from house to house, especially visiting the sick. The young people would meet on the village green on Sunday afternoons for hours of folk dancing; the children would play games; the grownups would very often sit together and make music. Sunday afternoon was a time for rejoicing, for being happy, each in his own way.

Until that night at Baron K.’s house we had done pretty much the same as everybody else. Saturday we had always kept as “Feierabend” for Sunday. There was cleaning on Saturday morning throughout the house, there was cleaning in all the children’s quarters–desks and drawers and toys were put in order. There was the laying out of the Sunday clothes. There was the Saturday rosary, and then–early to bed.

On Sunday we often walked to the village church for High Mass, especially after we had started to sing. Later we used to go into the mountains with the children, taking along even the quite little ones, or we used to play an Austrian equivalent of baseball or volleyball, or we sat together and sang some of the songs we had collected ourselves on our hikes through the mountains. We also did a good deal of folk dancing, we had company come or we went visiting ourselves–just as everybody else used to do. And if anybody had asked us why we began our Sunday on Saturday in the late afternoon, why we celebrated our Sunday this way, we would have raised our eyebrows slightly and said, “Well, because that’s the way it’s always been done.”

(…..)

Even the younger ones knew that “to visit the sick” and “to help the poor” on Sunday corresponds to the character of a day of mercy–“dating back to the ninth century,” they would proudly explain to an unsuspecting uncle.

But, most of all and above all, the gay, joyful character of Sunday was jealously guarded, “because this is the day we should rejoice in the Lord.” The children would arrange folk dances with their friends, ball games in our garden, hikes through the mountains, and home music. Through all these activities, however, the contemplative character of Sunday was always evident, with the children demanding to read the Gospels together and to discuss the liturgy even during mealtime.

After our talk with Father Joseph, our previous observation of Sunday seemed to me like a house built on unprepared ground, until a true builder saw it, straightened it up, and put a strong foundation underneath.

And then we came to America.

In the first weeks we were too bewildered by too many things to notice any particular difference about the Sunday, but I remember missing the sound of the church bells. When I asked why the bells of St. Patrick’s Cathedral do not ring on Sunday morning, I was told, to my boundless astonishment, that it would be too much noise. These were the days when the elevated was still thundering above Sixth Avenue. Never before had we heard noise like this in the heart of a city!

Then we went on our first concert tour. As we were driving from coast to coast in the big blue bus, we tried to make the most of Sunday–as much as the situation permitted. On Saturday afternoon “Feierabend” was declared, and this meant no school (our children had their lessons in the bus and had to take tests twice a year). Then we met to prepare for Mass, as had become our custom under Father Joseph. Everyone took his missal and we either crowded together in the middle of the bus or met in a hotel room, all taking turns reading the texts of the Sunday Mass. This was followed by a more or less lively discussion and a question period led by Father Wasner. Sunday we would wear our Sunday dress, the special Austrian costume set apart for that day. But otherwise Sunday was the day when we were, perhaps, a little more homesick than on any other day, missing the church bells, missing the old-world Sunday.

As we got more used to being in America and as our English progressed, we made a startling discovery Saturday night in America! It was so utterly different from what we were used to. Everybody seemed to be out. The stores were open until ten, and people went shopping. Practically everybody seemed to go to a show or a dance or a party on Saturday night. And finally we discovered the consequence of the American Saturday night: the American Sunday morning. Towns abandoned, streets empty, everybody sleeping until the last minute and then whizzing in his car around the corner to the eleven o’clock Sunday service.

Once we were driving on a Sunday morning through the countryside in the State of Washington and we saw trucks and cars lined up along the fields and people picking berries just as on any other day. To see the farmers working on a Sunday all across the country is not unusual to us any more, and this happens not only during the most pressing seasons for crops.

When we lived in a suburb of Philadelphia in our second year in this country, we found that the rich man’s Sunday delight seemed to consist of putting on his oldest torn pants and cutting his front lawn, or washing his car with a hose, or even cutting down a tree (doctor’s orders–exercise!); while the ladies could be seen in dirty blue jeans mixing dirt and transplanting their perennials. There was none of that serenity and peace of the old-world Sunday anywhere until we discovered the Mennonites and the Pennsylvania Dutch. They even rang the church bells!

The climax of our discoveries about the American Sunday was reached when a lady exclaimed to us with real feeling, “Oh, how I hate Sunday! What a bore!” I can still hear the shocked silence that followed this remark. The children looked hurt and outraged, almost as if they expected fire to rain from heaven. Even the offender noticed something, and that made her explain why she hated Sunday as vigorously as she did. It explained a great deal of the mystery of the American Sunday.

“Why,” she burst out, “I was brought up the Puritan way. Every Saturday night our mother used to collect all our toys and lock them up. On Sunday morning we children had to sit through a long sermon which we didn’t understand; we were not allowed to jump or run or play.” When she met the unbelieving eyes of our children, she repeated, “Yes, honestly–no play at all.” Finally one of ours asked, “But what were you allowed to do?”

“We could sit on the front porch with the grownups or read the Bible. That was the only book allowed on Sunday.” And she added: “Oh, how I hated Sunday when I was young. I vowed to myself that when I grew up I would do the dirtiest work on Sunday, and if I should have children, they would be allowed to do exactly as they pleased. They wouldn’t even have to go to church.”

This was the answer. The pendulum had swung out too far to one side, and now it was going just as far in the other direction; let us hope it will find its proper position soon.

And then we bought cheaply a big, run-down farm in northern Vermont and set up home. By and by we built a house large enough for a big family, and a chapel with a little steeple and a bell. We could celebrate Sunday again to our heart’s content just as we were used to doing. Saturday is a day of cleaning and cooking in our home, and five o’clock rings in “Feierabend,” when all work ceases and everyone goes to wash up and dress. If there are any guests around the supper table, Father Wasner will announce that “after the dishes are done we will all meet in the living room, everybody with his missal, for the Sunday preparation, and everyone is heartily invited to join.” When we are all assembled, we start with a short prayer and then we take turns reading the different texts of the coming Sunday’s Mass, everybody participating in a careful examination of these texts. First we discuss briefly the particular season of the Church year. Then we ask ourselves how this Sunday fits into the season. Do the texts suggest a special mood? Some Sundays could almost be named the Sunday of Joy, or the Sunday of Confidence, the Sunday of Humility, the Sunday of Repentance. Everybody is supposed to speak up, to ask questions, to give his opinion. It is almost always a lively, delightful discussion. At the end we determine the special message of this Sunday and what we could do during the next week to put it into action, both for ourselves and for the people around us. After this preparation for Mass, we all go into the chapel, where we say the rosary together, followed by evening prayers and Benediction.

On Sunday we often sing a High Mass, either in our chapel or in the village church, and on the big Sundays of the year we sing vespers in the afternoon. We know this should become an indispensable part of Sunday, now even more so because the Holy Father has spoken.

I remember my astonishment when our Holy Father, Pope Pius XII, found it necessary to say, in his address on Catholic Action in September, 1947 “Sunday must become again the day of the Lord, the day of adoration, of prayer, of rest, of recollection and of reflection, of happy reunion in the intimate circle of the family.” Such a pronouncement, I knew, is meant for the whole world. Was Sunday endangered everywhere, then ?

In the year 1950 we traveled through Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, through the Caribbean Islands and Venezuela, through Brazil and Argentina; we crossed the Andes into Chile, we gave concerts in Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia; and after many months of travel in South America, we went to Europe on a concert tour and sang in many European countries. And I came to understand that the Christian Sunday is threatened more and more both from without and from within–from without through the systematic efforts of the enemies of Christianity, and from within through the mediocrity and superficiality of the Christians themselves who are making of Sunday merely a day of rest, relaxing from work only by seeking entertainment. There was once a time, the Old Testament tells us, when people had become so lazy that they shunned any kind of spiritual effort and no longer attended public worship, so that God threatened them through the mouth of the prophet Osee: “I shall cause all her joy to cease, her feast days and her Sabbath, and all her solemn feasts.”

And now the words of our present Holy Father in his encyclical “Mediator Dei” sound a similar warning:

“How will those Christians not fear spiritual death whose rest on Sundays and feast days is not devoted to religion and piety, but given over to the allurements of the world! Sundays and holidays must be made holy by divine worship which gives homage to God and heavenly food to the soul….Our soul is filled with the greatest grief when we see how the Christian people profane the afternoon of feast days….”

Newspapers and magazines nowadays all stress the necessity of fighting Communism. There is one weapon, however, which they do not mention and which would be the most effective one if wielded by every Christian. Again the Holy Father reminds us of it: “The results of the struggle between belief and unbelief will depend to a great extent on the use that each of the opposing fronts will make of Sunday.” We know what use Russia made of the Sunday. The question now is:

And how about us–you and I?”

Dear readers, the world will not be converted until all nations keep holy the Lord’s Day. May our families and our chapels be the beginning of this great restoration! Let us observe Sunday as beautifully as little Therese:

“And if the great feasts came but seldom, each week brought one very dear to my heart, and that was Sunday. What a glorious day! The Feast of God! The day of rest! First of all the whole family went to High Mass, and I remember that before the sermon we had to come down from our places, which were some way from the pulpit, and find seats in the nave. This was not always easy, but to little Thérèse and her Father everyone offered a place. My uncle was delighted when he saw us come down; he called me his “Sunbeam,” and said that to see the venerable old man leading his little daughter by the hand was a sight which always filled him with joy. I never troubled myself if people looked at me, I was only occupied in listening attentively to the preacher. A sermon on the Passion of our Blessed Lord was the first I understood, and it touched me deeply. I was then five and a half, and after that time I was able to understand and appreciate all instructions. If St. Teresa was mentioned, my Father would bend down and whisper to me: “Listen attentively, little Queen, he is speaking of your holy patroness.” I really did listen attentively, but I must own I looked at Papa more than at the preacher, for I read many things in his face. Sometimes his eyes were filled with tears which he strove in vain to keep back; and as he listened to the eternal truths he seemed no longer of this earth, his soul was absorbed in the thought of another world. Alas! Many long and sorrowful years had to pass before Heaven was to be opened to him, and Our Lord with His Own Divine Hand was to wipe away the bitter tears of His faithful servant.

To go back to the description of our Sundays. This happy day which passed so quickly had also its touch of melancholy; my happiness was full till Compline, but after that a feeling of sadness took possession of me. I thought of the morrow when one had to begin again the daily life of work and lessons, and my heart, feeling like an exile on this earth, longed for the repose of Heaven—the never ending Sabbath of our true Home.”

~Steven C., “The Knight of Tradition”(On the feast of St. John the Apostle)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voting as Catholics

We republish our post on voting for this Election Day in the United States of America. We ask that all of our non-American readers pray especially for our country on this most important day. May America give to the world a president who will exercise his authority for the greater honor and glory of God!

For our American readers, they also are asked to pray and do much penance, but they also have a duty of the greatest importance to fulfill. One of our two viable candidates up for election this day is running on the most anti-Christian platform this country has ever seen, perhaps even one of the most significant the entire world has ever witnessed. If elected after eight years of the current administration, this country would seemingly find itself in a pitiful situation. However, because of noted imperfections present in the other candidate, many wonder whether they can vote for him in good conscience.

I would like to remind our readers of the words of Pope Pius XII concerning the April 1948 elections in Italy, that of the Christian Democrats vs. the Communists. The Holy Father urged Catholics to vote against the Communists, despite the fact that the Christian Democrat party was by no means perfect:

“In the present circumstances, it is a strict obligation for all those who have the right to vote, men and women, to take part in the elections. Whoever abstains from doing so, in particular by indolence or weakness, commits a sin grave in itself, a mortal fault. Each one must follow the dictate of his own conscience. However, it is obvious that the voice of conscience imposes on every Catholic to give his vote to the candidates who offer truly sufficient guarantees for the protection of the rights of God and of souls, for the true good of individuals, families and of society, according to the love of God and Catholic moral teaching.”

Good Catholics, the Church has never required Catholics to vote for only Charlemagne or Louis IX. When it is necessary, a Catholic may certainly and even should vote for the candidate running on a platform of far greater good.

Our (SSPX) parish priest requested that we directly voice in this post what our readers MUST do this day, under pain of grave sin. Catholics must go to the polls and cast their vote for Donald Trump, the only candidate who has a viable chance of preventing Hillary Clinton’s demonic administration from reaching the White House.

“What if Trump doesn’t keep his promises on moral stances?”, one might ask. Even if he falls short on such promises as the overturning of Roe v. Wade (although I believe his selected Justices certainly may overturn it and many other evil laws), we will still have escaped outright Communism as a nation. We will still be able to practice our Faith openly, to support the Church, to continue raising our families with some semblance of normality in our country.

For those still uncertain, I provide two sermons from priests who regularly pray the Traditional Mass, explaining why Catholics should vote Trump/Pence. I also attach a video from Michael Matt and Christopher Ferrara about this election. For those who can only listen to one, listen to the first sermon. With our combined sources from our repost and original post, I hope good Catholics can make a well-informed, prudent decision. As for me, I could never forgive myself if such an evil administration took office simply because I did not place a vote as I should have. May God bless our nation.

http://reginaprophetarum.org/audio/20161023-Should-I-Vote-for-Cyrus-or-Antiochus.mp3

Damsel of the Faith & Knight of Tradition

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https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-burke-to-u.s.-voters-consider-candidate-who-defend-life-family-fre

Cardinal Raymond Burke has spoken regarding the upcoming U.S. Presidential election.  We do appreciate the Cardinal offering counsel on this subject, as there has been so much unnecessary confusion, even amongst good Catholics.

Given the present tragic state of the world, it is understandable that Catholics may be confused as to how to approach the corrupted political landscape.  I attach below an article from the SSPX, in the hope that it might also help good Catholics to form a clear conscience about the application of this important duty.

~Steven C., “The Knight of Tradition”

The Catholic Dilemma in Voting

October 10, 2015

Why is it that today in Western Countries, we have so many elected officials, and some who even identify themselves as Catholic, who promote such evils as abortion, same sex marriage, and euthanasia? Did not many of these countries, particularly in Europe, have Catholic constitutions with Catholic principles?…

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