Comfort Catholicism Has to Go; It is Time to Prepare for Persecution |Blogs | NCRegister.com

We are at war for our own souls and the souls of people we love. We are at war for the soul of this culture and nation. And like any soldier, we must train to fight well.

BY MSGR. CHARLES POPE 08/21/2016

There is a growing consternation among some Catholics that the Church, at least in her leadership, is living in the past. It seems there is no awareness that we are at war and that Catholics need to be summoned to sobriety, increasing separation from the wider culture, courageous witness and increasing martyrdom.

It is long past dark in our culture, but in most parishes and dioceses it is business as usual and there is anything but the sober alarm that is really necessary in times like these.

Scripture says, Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle (Psalm 144:1). Preparing people for war — a moral and spiritual war, not a shooting war — should include a clear setting forth of the errors of our time, and a clear and loving application of the truth to error and light to darkness.

But there is little such training evident in Catholic circles today where, in the average parish, there exists a sort of shy and quiet atmosphere — a fear of addressing “controversial” issues lest someone be offended, or the parish be perceived as “unwelcoming.”

But, if there ever was a time to wear soft garments, it is not now.

The Church of the 1970s-1990s was surely well described as the era of “beige Catholicism” (a term coined by Bishop Robert Barron, and not by way of flattery either). Those of us who lived through that era, especially in the 1970s, remember it as a time when many parish signs beckoned people to “come and experience our welcoming and warm Catholic community.” Our most evident desire was to fit in and be thought of as “normal.” Yes, Catholics were just like everyone else; and we had been working very hard to do that, at least since the early 1960s when John F. Kennedy was elected. Catholics had finally “made it” into the mainstream; we had been accepted by the culture.

Church architecture and interiors became minimalist and non-descript. Music and language in the liturgy became folksy. Marian processions, Corpus Christi processions, many things of distinctive and colorful Catholicism all but disappeared. Even our crucifixes disappeared, to be replaced by floating “resurrection Jesus” images. The emphasis was on blending in, speaking to things that made people feel comfortable, and affirming rather than challenging. If there was to be any challenge at all it would be on “safe” exhortations such as not abusing the environment or polluting, not judging or being intolerant, and so forth.

Again, if there ever was a time to wear soft garments, it is not now. It is zero-dark-thirty in our post-Christian culture. And while we may wish to blame any number of factors for the collapse, we cannot exclude ourselves. We who are supposed to be the light of the world, with Christ shining in us, have preferred to hide our light under a basket and lay low. The ruins of our families and culture are testimony to the triumph of error and the suppression of the truth.

 Read more here: Comfort Catholicism Has to Go; It is Time to Prepare for Persecution |Blogs | NCRegister.com

Si vis pacem, para bellum. If you want peace, ready war

Posted on 24 August 2016 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Sometimes Leon Trotsky is given credit for saying that you might not be interested in war but war is interested in you.  He didn’t say that, exactly, but it is nevertheless true.

I have not infrequently challenged you readers to be ready and to get readier for sudden reversals of fortune and for what I think are inevitable long-term struggles, both on the general, human level and on the level of our being members of the Catholic Church.

At the same time I as I been pushing the old semper paratus line, the old “Si vis pacem, para bellum” line, some folks out there in the wider interwebs have been snuffling and sniveling and wringing their hands over bellicose imagery, hard stands, adherence to standards and – forehand – doctrine and law.  They moan that the time for being culture “warriors” is over, nay rather, that such militant attitudes are counter-productive and, well, just not very nice.

To these I say: “Nuts!”

My friend, the awake and watchful Msgr. Charles Pope has written something which must be read.  HERE

Please take note of this sample and then read the rest there:

Comfort Catholicism Has to Go; It is Time to Prepare for Persecution

We are at war for our own souls and the souls of people we love. We are at war for the soul of this culture and nation. And like any soldier, we must train to fight well.

There is a growing consternation among some Catholics that the Church, at least in her leadership, is living in the past. It seems there is no awareness that we are at war and that Catholics need to be summoned to sobriety, increasing separation from the wider culture, courageous witness and increasing martyrdom.

It is long past dark in our culture, but in most parishes and dioceses it is business as usual and there is anything but the sober alarm that is really necessary in times like these.

Scripture says, Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle (Psalm 144:1). Preparing people for war — a moral and spiritual war, not a shooting war — should include a clear setting forth of the errors of our time, and a clear and loving application of the truth to error and light to darkness.

But there is little such training evident in Catholic circles today where, in the average parish, there exists a sort of shy and quiet atmosphere — a fear of addressing “controversial” issues lest someone be offended, or the parish be perceived as “unwelcoming.”

But, if there ever was a time to wear soft garments, it is not now.

[…]

Again, if there ever was a time to wear soft garments, it is not now. It is zero-dark-thirty in our post-Christian culture. And while we may wish to blame any number of factors for the collapse, we cannot exclude ourselves. We who are supposed to be the light of the world, with Christ shining in us, have preferred to hide our light under a basket and lay low. The ruins of our families and culture are testimony to the triumph of error and the suppression of the truth.

Read more here: Fr. Z’s Blog | Formerly entitled: “What Does The Prayer Really Say?” – Clear, straight commentary on Catholic issues, liturgy and life by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf    o{]:¬)

Spiritual Warfare: Why We Are Losing – OnePeterFive

BY FATHER RICHARD HEILMAN ON AUGUST 23, 2016

In recent decades, we have seen Satan engage the world as never before. In all of human history we have never witnessed evil promoted so effectively, while virtue, character, and morals are roundly mocked and rejected. Meanwhile, it could be said that the Mystical Body — the Church — has never been so unprepared for and unengaged in the challenging mission of spiritual warfare. It is obvious that Satan’s forces are well trained and well organized, while ours clearly are not. At the very beginnings of our great nation, Sir Edmund Burke warned, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

Recognizing the widespread spiritual lethargy of our times – the emergent detachment from the Divine Life – Pope John Paul II’s master plan for the new millennium was one that asked us to set aside our disconnected busyness, and to start fresh by contemplating the face of Christ. It is clear that the Holy Father was encouraging us to place our emphasis on reconnecting to the Divine Life of God, which is classically referred to as the unum necessarium, the one thing necessary.

The one thing necessary constitutes the essential foundation for the interior life and stems from the story of Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38-42), where we first see that, amazingly, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity was sitting right in their living room. Even so, Martha remains busy with the good and noble protocol of hospitality, while Mary sits at the feet of Jesus, her eyes locked on His Holy Face, peering into His soul, hanging on His every word. Mary is actually in adoration, soaking in everything our Lord wants to give her. I like to say that she is “Mary-nating” — soaking in the gusher of God’s graces. Mary had come to understand what St. Augustine once said: “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” Remarkable!

When Martha objects to Mary’s lack of activity, Jesus tells Martha that she remains anxious and upset about many things while Mary has chosen the better portion, the one thing necessary. Mary was the one who was making the guest truly feel welcomed, while Martha remained detached, going through the motions of the demands of protocol. God is light and love and truth Who brings order and meaning and serenity to our lives. While we remain disconnected from our Source, we remain easily agitated, frustrated, and feeble in our disordered and chaotic existence as we continue to walk in darkness.

The disconnection is seen, first and foremost, in the Martha-like indifference to the presence of the Divine in so many of our present-day liturgies, compared with a more Mary-like contemplative way of worshiping. Contemplative awe and veneration have always been the distinctive way Catholics worshiped, until recent decades. In awe and wonder, we would worship Him and soak in the supernatural graces necessary to stand firm against the tactics of the devil (Eph. 6:11) and to grow in the way of sanctity.

The consequence of the modern initiative to push for a very busy and more insouciant way of worshiping that is performance-oriented and man-centered has led to an epidemic of detachment from the Divine, facilitating the modern prevalence of spiritual sloth (indifference toward the Divine Life). Like Martha, God is “right there in our midst,” but we act as though He is not — or if He is, what’s the big deal? We have become the spiritually impotent.

This is why Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Ratzinger) stated that any real effort at renewal in the Church must begin with a new liturgical movement:

“I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy, which at times has even come to be conceived of etsi Deus non daretur (as though God were not there): in that it is a matter of indifference whether or not God exists and whether or not He speaks to us and hears us.”

Read more here: Spiritual Warfare: Why We Are Losing – OnePeterFive

The Remnant Newspaper – Who are the Real Promethean Neo-Pelagians?

Bishop Zubic prays at Franklin Graham’s 2014 praise festival in Pittsburgh

Written by  Christopher A. Ferrara

In his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis famously, or rather infamously, accused tradition-minded Catholics of exhibiting the “self-absorbed promethean neopelagianism of those who ultimately trust only in their own powers and feel superior to others because they observe certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style from the past.”

The thoughtful reader will notice, however, that what lurks behind this unprecedented insult of observant Catholics by a Pope is the accuser’s own neo-Pelagianism. The essence of the heresy of Pelagius is an emphasis on the primacy of human effort in salvation, with divine grace providing mere assistance to what man is capable of accomplishing on his own, as if his nature were not wounded by Original Sin. It is implicitly Pelagian to reduce what the Church has passed down through the centuries in her teaching and worship to merely “certain rules” and “a particular Catholic style from the past,” as if the ensemble of ecclesiastical and apostolic traditions, a work of the Holy Ghost, were merely the collective result of human effort whose elements could be discarded willy-nilly in favor of a new human effort and a new “Catholic style.”

Irony of ironies, it is precisely this implicitly Pelagian mentality, which asserts that human effort by way of continual “reforms” can improve what the Church has handed down, that has led to the worst crisis of faith and discipline the Church has ever endured.

A perfect case in point is the hapless Bishop David Zubik of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, who ponders what to do, what to do, as the Faith in his diocese continues the precipitous decline that began with the neo-Pelagian “great renewal” following Vatican II, when virtually every aspect of the Church’s life underwent disastrous reforms engineered by human commissions and committees from the Vatican on down. Most disastrous of all was the New Mass, the Novus Ordo, which, as Cardinal Ratzinger once put it, was imposed upon the Church from “a bureaucratic ivory tower”—a purely human effort to tamper with a sacred liturgical tradition organically developed over the centuries under the influence of the Holy Ghost.

Now Bishop Zubik has to confront the results of this ruinous neo-Pelagian effort to remake the Church by human will. As the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review notes as background for its interview of Zubik: “The number of active Catholics within the Pittsburgh diocese has declined rapidly in recent decades, from 914,000 in 1980 to 632,000 in 2015, diocesan figures show. Since 2000, weekly Mass attendance has dropped by 40 percent — for almost 100,000 fewer regular churchgoers; K-8 Catholic school enrollment fell by 50 percent; and the number of active priests plummeted from 338 to 225. By 2025, if trends hold, the diocese projects that just 112 active priests will remain.”

The Faith is literally dying on Zubik’s watch, just as it is throughout Novus Ordo church, producing what John Paul II called “silent apostasy.” But does Zubik recognize the urgent necessity of restoring traditional worship and catechesis—that “Catholic style from the past” Francis finds so contemptible? Not at all. Absolutely not.

What, then, is Zubik’s solution to the crisis? It is precisely a neo-Pelagian one, calling for yet more human effort to repair what human effort at “reform” has already destroyed. Thus he declares in all seriousness: “The No. 1 priority has to be, ‘We need to make our worship better.’” Got that? We need to make our worship “better.” We need to fix it—like a plumber fixes a broken toilet.

Zubik also proposes that “we need to do the best job that we can to get not only more ordained leaders, but we really have to open up lots of doors for the lay leaders of the church.” More neo-Pelagianism: we need more “ordained leaders”—Zubik won’t even call them priests—and more “lay leaders” to replace the disappearing priesthood. Yes, we need lots more leaders because leaders fix things. That’s the ticket!

Read more here: The Remnant Newspaper – Who are the Real Promethean Neo-Pelagians?

Does Pastoral Practice Take Precedence Over Doctrinal Faith?

It seems an important question to ask at this time; for we have recently endured a recurrence (which was predominant after Vatican II) of adhering more to pastoral practices and less to our Doctrinal beliefs. Practices, that for all intents and purposes, seem to fly counter to the Doctrines of our Faith.

For the Doctrines of the faith and all practices which emphasize those Doctrines are seen to be Draconian in our present expression of faith which looks more like coddling than the old idea of spiritual direction.

It is no longer enough to simply learn the laws from the Supreme Law-Giver and try to live according to them. We must try to pretend that they are not there at all or else hide them from prying eyes so that nobody will be offended; such is the fallen state of human minds and wills in this overly-sensitive society. And there is the problem.

For from this newly found gentleness and sweetness we have devised pastoral practices to coincide with this present age where pampering and stroking of ones self-esteem (our egos) is more important than speaking the Truth plainly and unashamedly. To teach rather than to ‘share’ is old-fashioned and mean-spirited. Let’s talk about what it means to me and how I ‘feel’ about this article of faith or morals. It is not enough that Christ has written the Law in our hearts and has established a Church to teach His laws to mankind thoughout the world. For the teaching is too hard; who can bear it?

After many years of bad blood between those who accepted the Coucil of Vatican II but did not accept their pastoral documents (which seemed to fly in the face of earlier Church Teachings) we now have a situation where the Vatican is now saying explicitly that the non-adherence of the SSPX in these pastoral documents is not an obstacle to their reintegration into the Church. We all knew that and it had been said by traditionalists over and over again these last 50 years but it is only now that such an admission is being made by Rome. But the Church took baby steps to rectify this situation after ensuring that a huge change in practice had already taken hold and that the generations raised in a post-Vatican II Church would not remember or know what the kerfuffle was about. All they know is the present day expression of Church teachings (or the lack thereof) which they have become acustomed to.

So Pope Benedict XVI finally gave us his motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum that clearly stated that the old Mass was never abrogated and that any priest who wished to say this Mass need not ask permission to celebrate it. We knew that as well – and boy what a lot of heartache could have been saved had this been proclaimed at the outset of the reign of the Novus Ordo Missae.

So with the admission of both the Traditional Mass being still operative in the Church and that documents such as Nostra Aetate need not be adhered to and may, in fact, be flatly rejected by a priest or parishioner, then all this internal fighting and bickering would  have been nipped in the bud from the start. Sadly, the damage is done as stated before. Most Catholics living today have never been to a Traditional Latin Mass nor have they heard the Catechism taught without hesitation or regard for having to sugar-coat the teachings or pamper the little ‘dears’ who are too delicate to learn the faith of their fathers. Ecumenism has fallen into a false irenicism in far too many corners of the Church and these things have caused irreperable harm to the Faithful.

Is it too late? I guess it is never too late for our Lord. We might yet recover from the degenerative effects of placing the practices above the teachings that they were to be the living witness of. Or maybe not? But the faith shall endure . . . even if it is a remnant Church.