It’s hard to believe I would have an 11 year old right now. A girl, approaching her teen years but I know if she was born, I likely wouldn’t have my other children. I think of her often still. I think about what she would be like and the things we would be doing together. Sometimes I think about the things we have missed but I try hard not to focus on that much.
She had a purpose and she fulfilled it regardless of how tiny she was. Her life and death inspired so much in me. I wrote a book about her and her loss that has helped so many people. God can use everything for good and while I know her little life wasn’t what it was just so I could write a book, even the tiniest of babies not born can serve purpose.
I also began my bereavement ministry and supported other families through their own losses. In that process, I learned so much. I learned things that I didn’t want to know and things that were horrific that I didn’t know were actually a thing (like NICU nurses wanting to kill babies by stopping life support while their parents weren’t in the room), but I also learned so many good and amazing things like options that bring comfort and met people who really do care about miscarriage and stillbirth.
Ruby Josephine meant more than just the book, the websites and the services. She was my first daughter, a sibling desperately desired and loved, she’s present in our home in many ways, and will never be forgotten by us. Hopefully, the experience we had changed the way doctors do things when women experience pregnancy loss and I hope that her legacy continues even if I can’t provide bereavement services right now.
I just wanted to say, “Happy Birthday” Ruby. We love you!
Many of you know, I’m in the process of completing my next book, “The Catholic’s Guide to Miscarriage,” and I have been researching many topics. The purpose of the book is not necessarily to bring comfort or closure to anyone’s loss. It’s a reference guide at best and may bring some comfort through knowledge of what to do and options a family has through pregnancy loss.
But I have a chapter entitled, “Where’s My Baby?” and I wanted to be sure I provided sound Catholic teaching because after all, this is a Catholic’s Guide. So where do miscarried babies go? Or rather, where do babies go who have not been baptized?
WARNING: This content may be disturbing to you. For further clarification, I recommend speaking with a Traditional Priest. You may also utilize the links below for assistance in understanding Limbo.
Five years ago I was assisting a Catholic client through her miscarriage. It was also about that time where I was undergoing a “reversion” in my Catholic faith. Although looking back at this, I wouldn’t call it a reversion per se; but more of a wanting to know my true Catholic faith. You have read about some of that reversion in my Traditional Latin Mass series and now I will go into more detail in this post.
While working with this client, I made the assumption she believed in what I believed, after all, she identified as Catholic. I realize this sounds odd but now I have full knowledge there are many heretical and Catholic hypocrites. The last few elections have certainly shown this but it’s important to note that she and her family were NOT one of them…I came to learn that I was. I wasn’t a democrat (Catholic’s cannot be democrats, FYI: This does not mean they are republican). She identified as a Traditional Catholic, something I would later identify as and it’s quite humbling.
While attempting to comfort her and her family through this pregnancy loss, I shared her baby was in Heaven. She graciously said her baby was in limbo. She did not “correct” or “admonish” me, she merely stated, “as Traditional Catholics, we hold to the long standing tradition of limbo. Not as a place of deprivation, but a place of complete and natural joy.”
Limbo? I had heard this term before from my mother. She described the miscarried baby she had as in limbo. I didn’t think much more of it because I had never heard teaching on limbo. Therefore, I surmised that limbo was one of the “old concepts” of the Church and just a theory. Time passed and nothing more was learned about limbo until about three years ago when I was learning about The Four Last Things. Limbo isn’t mentioned here but in my research about The Four Last Things, I learned about the four levels of hell.
Oh boy! What? There are levels of hell? I seemed to be on some sort of a quest. One topic lead to another, which lead to something even deeper and more difficult to understand or grasp. I began the Denver Catholic Biblical School in this time as well so I was on a fast track to learning the Bible and the Catholic faith.
Fast forward to now and the research for my book. I reached out to one of the traditional Catholic priests I know for help. I knew Taylor Marshall had information on limbo but he was by no means and “expert” on this topic but I did search for more information on limbo written by him1.
His paper was helpful but I needed more; which is when I reached out to Father Nix. With his background and history, I knew he would be a great resource. I was also already aware of what my parish priests would say, “your baby is in limbo,” so I didn’t necessarily need to reach out to them. (I have since reached out to one of my priests and I was corrected – see below).
Father Nix provided me with a talk by Father Wolfe, FSSP on limbo2. I found this talk to be very enlightening. The topic of limbo has been addressed for centuries and while it’s one of those “old concepts,” I thought about when my own mother discussed limbo for her baby, I now realize that the Catholic faith IS OLD. Seems silly to say that but the Catholic faith is unchanging. The Catholics who want the Church to “get with the times,” are not Catholics. There is a Protestant church down the street for you.
The list of popes and church documents discussing this was astonishing! Some use the word limbo. Most reaffirmed that infants who die without baptism cannot receive salvation. I was especially intrigued by Pope Sixtus V statements in 1588 with regards to abortionists who should be sentenced to death, not merely for killing an unborn child, but also for damning these unborn babies souls and denying them the Beatific Vision (See Taylor Marshalls paper referenced below).
The timing of such statements by popes, saints, and councils are not without question, after all, such statements are usually issued for specific reasons attributed by societal considerations. Meaning, were these statements issued because society was denying baptism was necessary for salvation? Were parents delaying baptism for illegitimate reasons? That is research I do not have the time for at the moment but I am certain I will revisit this topic.
So the final verdict? Babies, including the unborn, lack reason so they cannot have a “Baptism by Desire.” This is why parents must present their babies for baptism soon after birth. Deceased babies cannot be baptized, so therefore, unborn babies who die in the womb cannot be baptized.
If baptism is required for salvation; which is Catholic Doctrine and scriptural (See John 3:5), then we must surmise that miscarried and stillborn babies would not go to heaven.
The concept is not hard to accept if you believe that Baptism is required for salvation; which, EVERY Catholic SHOULD believe because it’s been revealed through Scripture. Not to believe it, is called Pelagianism and is heresy. It is also heresy to believe there is no such thing as original sin.
It seems this might be a “cut and dry” answer, but it’s not; because of Matthew 9 – Jesus Heals the Paralytic. What could this healing have to do with where unbaptized babies go? It could have everything do to with the answer. In discussing this with a friend, who has also lost a son to miscarriage, he shared that vicarious faith saves. A new term for me to research = Vicarious Faith. It’s not an easy search.
Matthew 9, “they brought to him (Jesus) a paralytic.” The place where Jesus was teaching was so full, no more people could enter the area, so they cut a hole in the roof and lowered the paralytic. “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart my son, your sins are forgiven.” Jesus recognized the faith of those who brought the paralytic but did not recognize the faith of the paralytic.
This is vicarious faith. The paralytic was healed through the faith of those who brought him to Jesus. Is it then safe to surmise that a faithful parent would have brought their baby to be baptized and their faith in Jesus and the Sacrament of Baptism would be enough to save the baby from hell? I don’t know.
This is never-ending research. Research on one topic leads to rabbit-hole after rabbit-hole. All of which I want to research but lack the time. In researching vicarious faith, the following subjects also came up.
*I do not know what is Catholic teaching on these subjects so do not assume they are in-line with Catholic teaching. Some are Mormon, Wesleyan or Calvinist.
It is extremely difficult to believe that our ever-merciful God would damn an innocent child to hell because they lacked baptism. This is not a correct way of viewing this though. The nature of man did this. It’s a consequence of the fall of man. But why would an all-knowing God allow this to happen to unborn babies?
This is a mystery, likely not to be revealed until the end of time. Limbo is not a place of punishment but it is not a place where God is. I do not find comfort in this though, nor do I know anyone who would. I have found comfort knowing Jesus holds my children and learning that is likely not true is painful. But I entrust my children who died without baptism to the mercy of God.
Nothing I have found says that at the end of time, those in limbo would join God but nothing says they won’t. After all, those in purgatory will. At the end of time, all that is to exist is Heaven and Hell and if purgatory is a level of hell and all in purgatory will join those in Heaven at the end of the earth, why then wouldn’t those in limbo?
Limbo is tradition. Unbaptized babies going to heaven is liberal church teaching. It is a relatively “new concept” since the 1990’s. If unbaptized babies receive saving grace, what would the point of baptism be at all, other than initiation into the church?
UPDATE (11/23/2021): Then there is what my priest sent me. It was also very enlightening. He brings up a few points I have pondered yet failed to mention in this post. St. John the Baptist leaping in his mothers womb at the presence of Christ in HIS mother’s womb. This implies that Our Lord and Savior was recognized. Much can come from this revelation and I shall ponder it more. My thoughts will go into the book so I hope you’ll pick up a copy when it’s ready.
The answer remains to be found. If you know it, share it.
Yesterday I received a phone call from a grieving mother who had a miscarriage at about 16 weeks of pregnancy. She was calling because she had no money and didn’t want her baby to be sitting in a cold fridge at the coroner’s office. She was desperate to find a final resting place for her child.
She was desiring cremation but as she had been told, cremation at that stage would yield little to no ashes and she wanted something tangible. COVID has made it much more difficult for bereavement services and support in facilities. Many families have endured more suffering than needed and miscarriage and stillbirth rates have skyrocketed since the COVID-19 pandemic. I was blessed that this woman reached out for assistance, because I had resources for her. Free resources.
I talked with this woman about what her desires were and she settled on a resting place at Mt. Olivet. It’s free and she can still have her baby cremated if she wants or the baby could be laid to rest in a communal grave and a grave marker could be purchased. She would be able to visit her child’s grave and that was comforting to her. It’s also possible for her to receive a portion of the wood that the casket was made of. The white cross below was made from the casket that our Augustus Jude was laid to rest in.
I got the little wood box from Hobby Lobby and placed all the ultrasound pictures inside, cards from friends, flowers, and any other items that remind me of Gus. I open the box occasionally but it sits in our living room for all to see. He is a part of our lives and our children know who Gus is. Gus would be six this year. Ruby would be 11.
Catholics experiencing miscarriage and still birth should be aware that their child’s remains should be placed in a cemetery and not made into jewelry, placed in a pot, or have their ashes spread. This is one of the main reasons I am working on my next book A Catholic’s Guide to Miscarriage (expected release 2022). I really want you to believe that your child was worth something and has dignity and therefore should be treated with dignity.
The dignity of the human person is hard to come by these days. Society screams that we should all be loved and treated with love but when it comes down to true human dignity, it’s not understood. We believe that death to someone who won’t live a “normal” life (what is a normal life anyway) or who doesn’t look “right” (what is right anyway) or who won’t amount to anything is an act of mercy or charity.
The old should die because they lived their life and consume resources (yes, this is thought among many…FYI: you will be old one day). The disabled baby should be killed in the womb. When we lack respect for the differences in humans and lack understanding of the true dignity of the human person, how can anyone who has a miscarriage or stillbirth receive the care and validation they deserve for the loss of their child?
It’s what so many who experience this devastating loss seek. They want someone to know their baby lived, even if it was for a moment, one breath, or one kick in their womb. They need others to know they loved someone they didn’t get a chance to know. They need others to feel their loss and have empathy.
But it’s getting harder to receive because of the Culture of Death. The genocide that the world wants under the guise of Climate Change (aka population control/genocide). Not all my posts are political or religious even though that’s a focus these days but you must see that this is happening. I too have been told I have too many children and shouldn’t have more because the world is overpopulated. How does that make the loss of my two children any better? Yes, thank God they died because the world is overpopulated…that helps!
We lose babies every day. Someone needs love and empathy for that loss every day. When we see the dignity in EVERY human person, only then will we be able to provide the empathy the person is seeking.
Today is All Souls Day…visit the cemetery and pray. There are babies there. You’ll find them if you look. Pray for their grieving parents. Pray they meet again one day. Pray for the Holy Souls!
Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, you have no life within you. John 6:53 (Eucharist)
Today, the news is reporting that Joe Biden met with the Pope and the Pope called him a good Catholic and to keep receiving Communion (Eucharist). I laughed. First, Joe Biden can barely remember anything of value. I feel sorry for him because he is being exploited and it’s a crime. So I cannot believe that these words are true. I CAN, unfortunately, believe that Pope Francis said these things.
I used to be shocked at what Pope Francis said and I used to defend him and try to explain what the Pope really meant, but I can’t anymore. I have never experienced such confusion BUT I know where to find the truth so I focus on that. So many Catholic’s falsely believe that we must “follow” or be “obedient” to the Pope and that the Pope’s words and opinions are infallible. I too, believed that. But, the Pope is a man, he’s not divine and he will make mistakes. We have had many antipopes in Church history, so why would anyone deny or refuse to believe that we could be living in a time of an antipope?
Let me be clear! I am NOT calling Pope Francis an antipope.
I am merely stating it is a possibility because “by their fruits, you shall know them,” (Matthew 7:16) The “fruit” so far, is confusion and God is NOT confusing. Being a follower of Christ is HARD. “How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it!” – Matthew 7:14
So Joe Biden is a good Catholic and he should continue to receive Communion? No one should not receive the Eucharist unworthily. Any priest who knowingly gives an unworthy person the Eucharist, is NOT being charitable or merciful, they are damning the person and creating scandal. How dare you be so full of pride that you demand to receive Christ!! You must not approach Christ unless you are worthy. I know that if Christ appeared to me, I would fall to my knees and hid my face like so many of the prophets. Seriously ask yourself, would you honestly feel worthy enough to look directly at Christ? Even after that social media post or response?
If you find that living Catholic is easy, your road is broad. Best change paths. Living Catholic is one of division and persecution. Family members may hate you. You’ll likely be called pious and not in a loving way. You may even be shunned. You WILL suffer. You are not made for this world and your soul desires to be with your Creator! Keep the faith, because you will meet your Creator if you enter through that narrow gate. I came from a Catholic family and even I can experience derision within my family. They aren’t “Joe Biden” Catholics (aka heretics) but I strive to be devout and sometimes this can make another person feel guilt about the way they practice the Catholic faith. It’s not my fault, it’s within them. They desire to do better but the sins of the flesh are hard to master. I have not mastered them either.
Which is why I am grateful for purgatory where I can be fully cleansed before entering Heaven. “Nothing unclean will enter it,” Revelation 21:27 so I cannot have a desire for anything else but my Creator. I cannot desire family or food over God. Or in the case of some people, masturbation, pornography, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, etc. I MUST only desire my God. Living like this is hard! I’m grateful for God’s mercy through the Sacrament of Confession where I can do penance and receive forgiveness although I still must atone for my sins either here on earth or in purgatory. Yes, purgatory is biblical.
So, back to Pope Francis and Joe Biden. If you think that being a good Catholic means you go to church once a week and have the Pope’s picture on your desk, the road is broad. I am not a good Catholic. I don’t have the Pope’s picture in my home at all. I’m also not striving to be a “good” Catholic. “Good” people don’t enter Heaven. I’ll put this another way, Heaven isn’t full of “good” people.
God is the Judge but open your Bible and learn what it’s telling you. It’s not about “love.” Well, it is, but not in the sense we think of today, “love is love,” blah, blah, blah. God loves us and is merciful. We have stomped on God throughout history, forgotten him, worshipped idols (aka, they exist today. I’ll list some, your phone, computer, news, climate change, abortion, famous people, even friends, etc). You might not stand in front of a golden calf and kneel to it, but these things take your focus away from God. They rarely being good into your life, only anxiety and suffering. Did the six hours of Facebook being down cause a problem in your life? How many of you didn’t know Facebook was down?
Back to confusion…Pachamama. Why would the Pope allow the Pagan Pachamama Mother Earth idol into the Vatican to be worshipped? Ok, some of you don’t know that happened, or that a bowl of dirt was placed on the altar during Mass as an offering, or even that in our own United States that Pagan rituals are making their way into Catholic Churches but these things are happening. If I go onto a Catholic Facebook page who breaks the story about this sacrilege, “Catholics” will respond with, “this is cultural, you’ve obviously never attended a Cultural Mass.” They accept it and I should to. It’s an abomination but I must be corrected, not the parish that is doing it. This is part of that confusion. Why have you been blinded?
I’ve been to MANY other Catholic Churches in many different states but I have NEVER left the United States. But I know many people who have and while there are expressions of culture within their churches, the liturgy is the same. Mass is the same where ever we go (or at least, it should be).
Can their be the expression of local culture in the Catholic Church? Yes. Just go to a Catholic Church in Germany, then visit one in Poland, than another in Mexico. The Native American ceremony performed in the Catholic Church in San Bernadino, California at the opening Mass for the Synod on Synodality, was blasphemy.
Taylor Marshall explains this really well in his recent video. I will not share the video here. It’s horrific. The laity in that “church” should be ashamed. This is me, admonishing the sinners who were there; which I am called to do. It’s an act of mercy. We don’t add rites or procedures into the Mass especially Pagan ceremonies. You CANNOT change the liturgy (despite what they did during Vatican II). I firmly believe that the reason there are so many confused Catholics, is because there is too much leeway in the liturgy.
This is why I go to the Latin Mass. It’s the same today as it was yesterday. One could argue with me (as some have) that the Mass has changed and is ever changing because the Missal has been changed many times. Hmmmm, but has it? Really? The Mass is the fulfillment of the liturgical ceremonies in the Old Testament. How do I know this? I’m studying it.
You want the Truth??? I’m referring you again to Justin Martyr. “We call this food the thanksgiving [Eucharist], and the only people allowed to receive it are those who believe our teaching and have received the washing for the remission of sins and for regeneration; and who live according to the commands of Christ.” The truth is found in the Catholic Church. I know that’s hard to hear and it’s hard to live by but we can’t just “lead a good life.” We are called to do more. You are capable of more. I pray you do more.
If you still struggle, visit Jesus. Ask Him to reveal it to you. He will, if you are quiet and you ask for your eyes and ears to be opened. The place you go should look like this.
I’ve brought many here, aka Eucharistic Adoration. People who aren’t Catholic and people who are struggling with their faith leave here without confusion. If anything, they leave feeling great peace. I ask every time if adoring our Lord helped. They might not even understand but they recognize the awe and beauty and their soul knows. There is peace here and it’s what we all seek.
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already. 4 Little children, you are of God, and have overcome them; for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are of the world, therefore what they say is of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are of God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and he who is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” 1 John 4:1-6
Be of God! The Antichrist is coming. I pray your eyes will be opened too.
I want him out! Who wouldn’t want their spouse out?
Police work used to be something people were proud of. Not just the families of the officers but citizens too. It used to be work you could share with others but now it must be hidden so families aren’t targeted. Police Officers are hunted now. They had been in the past so this isn’t new but it’s certainly new for our time (day and age).
Last night this came across an email. It was a private email prepping officers. Two Aurora Police Officers had warrants issued for their arrest for their performance of duties on a trespassing call. It was disturbing last night but today the news is much worse. The press conference is in an hour or so from when I wrote this.
It can always be worse and it likely will be. But there is something deeper in here when the first email came through. The implication before any of these extra details had come out, was that officers are being prosecuted for doing their job. AND, this will be the new norm.
As this story progresses, it doesn’t look that way but the shock of the last 12 plus hours is that officers need to be on the lookout as they serve their regular duties. And this is not something that officers are really prepared for. I know that doesn’t make much sense, especially to the younger population, who are social justice warriors and subscribe to defund the police (very dangerous by the way) and who have turned good into evil and evil into good.
The devil has certainly taken over here. It’s biblical. You were predicted to be this way. It’s quite dangerous and we pray that God will prevail. There is quite alot to unpack in all this but I’m trying to keep this short.
Police incidents like this seem to be very common. The news perpetuates it and they are no different than ambulance chasers. They just want clicks and likes and the next “story.” Many are without merit. This particular story hasn’t manifested enough for me to make any determination although if Haubert had been arrested previously, he should have been disqualified for hiring as a police officer.
Police officers sign up to be at risk of death. Wives worry and stress that every phone call will be THE ONE. Wives really struggle with this possibility and I will admit, it’s not something I have really worried about much. I don’t think that it’s because this is not a possibility for us. I don’t think it’s because I trust all the training my husband has, although he will tell you that when he first started I asked him to show me multiple times how fast he could draw his weapon.
I think I have just accepted this as a possibility or rather, a reality. I have planned his funeral and his eulogy. I never want to read it. I never want to see his children stand up to speak for their father. I never want any of it to happen, but I have prepared for it as best I can. What I have not prepared for, is for society to speak out against him. When I say him, I am referring to officers.
I have not prepared for the public to chastise him, to push legislation against him, to want to string him up for doing his job; a job which the public asked for and needs. A job that the federal government cannot provide although that’s the end result. Why oh why do you young people want the government to provide everything? Don’t you know they don’t really care about you?
When the State of Colorado approved legislation following the death of George Floyd, the legislation was against the police. It doesn’t protect the citizens from police officers like Chauvin. It restricted all officers, including the good ones. It has restricted their desire and ability to protect the public. A direct result of this has been an increase in crime and less people in jail. The restrictions keep coming. Evil good, good evil.
Is the ultimate goal to get rid of the police? It is happening within itself. It is becoming harder and harder to find people to do this job. It is becoming harder and harder to find GOOD, QUALITY candidates. Standards have been lowered. We’re running out of the “good” officers. It’s your fault.
Legislators are not interested in what really needs to be done. I contacted all of them last year when they were proposing the legislation on police reform. Only ONE responded and he never followed up with me. I begged them to talk with the officers, NOT management, who train officers and see the problems but these problems can’t be addressed BECAUSE of police management. Police MANAGEMENT IS THE PROBLEM!!
Hiring good employees costs money. Being unable to retain those employees costs money. Companies want a return on their investment. Well, that return on investment is coming out in law suits. Oh, but cities have funds set aside for that. Your loved one has a monetary number placed on them by MANY companies, not just cities. It’s the amount that will be paid out if the organization is somehow responsible in some way for the maiming and death of your loved one.
It’s true! It’s sick.
When I ran a hospital security program, I proposed that a large rug be removed from the hospital. It was a beautiful rug with the name of the hospital on it at the entry way of the facility. I asked for it to be removed because my responsibility was to ensure the safety of everyone that walked through those doors. That safety just didn’t mean crime but all kinds of safety, to include those who trip and fall on that rug. Many were tripping and falling on the edge of that rug.
One day, an elderly woman tripped, fell, broke her nose and hip. She was paid out. The rug would not be removed. “It’s too beautiful. We want it. We have funds to pay families for these kinds of events.”
Those are the words I was told. It’s so very disturbing. So when you want the higher ups to do something and to put these bandaid solutions on things, and you believe the government has your best interest in mind…THEY DON’T!
This happens in every company and organization; government or not.
When you want to really solve these issues and you really want to spend the money and take the risk involved, there are people who are ready. But that’s coming to a close. Those people are leaving and the corrupt will be left. I dread that day because you won’t recognize it.
At the beginning of this year, I was thrown into an emergency situation within my primary extended family (parents and my siblings). It was unexpected and out of the blue as many of these cases are and I found myself feeling lost and alone. Yet, when I posted in groups about certain needs I had, I found the situation to be common.
How could it be that there are so many people struggling through the same crises, yet it seemed so rare?
It is similar to miscarriage. We suffer through it in silence and we don’t share until someone else is in the same situation. I was so confused and disoriented and I searched for a book to help me. I had no idea when I would be freed from the obligation (so many dates were tossed about) so it was difficult to plan much of anything. So if you know someone going through this, one way to help is to bring a meal. My friend did and it was extremely helpful as we settled in.
I won’t go into the extreme details of our family crisis because what you might be enduring is likely very similar but here are a few things that helped me (entire family) and my sister get through the experience.
First, a brief synopsis. My estranged brother (estranged for roughly about 18 years), reached out. Most of the contact we had had in the last 18 years was turmoil for four years followed by 10 years of silence and another four years working through reconciliation and being kept at a distance. He reached out over the course of a few days where much was revealed and we learned his children were at an extreme risk. Someone was going to die or be killed if intervention didn’t take place. Yes, the situation was dire and he asked us (my sister and I) to intervene. He asked, we followed his instructions.
My sister and I hadn’t been talking for about six months, mostly because of a disagreement and no apology had been offered but when our brother reached out for help, we both instantly came together to help him. The disagreement disappeared as we both left our home states in a matter of hours to help our brother and his family. Over the course of six days, we learned many horrible things about the life he had been living and how distorted his own sense had become. His children were at risk and he turned both of them over to us. I took my nephew (13yrs) and my sister took my niece (10yrs).
Separation of the two seemed drastic but the situation demanded that both children should not be with each other. Because of how dangerous the situation was and how quickly things unfolded over six days, my sister and I had no real time to prepare our homes for such an arrangement. Only in our minds had we considered bringing home another child but we weren’t actually prepared for it.
Personal items and necessities
I knew nothing about incorporating an older child into my home. All I wanted for him was a peaceful place to rest his head that felt safe. Our family did our best to do that. My 7yr old gave up his room for his cousin. I didn’t think this would be hard for my son but it ended up being a big issue as the days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months.
My nephew, who did not really know us and had been told his whole life that we hated him, could not get comfortable in that room. Nothing was really his so we did our best to help make the environment more “his.” He had brought a few personal items that were meaningful to him and we could put on display. I removed some of my son’s own things and tried to make the room less baby(ish) and more teen. That seemed to help because within a few hours, he seemed more relaxed and happy.
We wanted to ensure he had his own personal things so we took him shopping. We later learned he felt uncomfortable and unworthy of this but it was a gesture we believed would be helpful and not hurtful. I could not comprehend how this was making him uncomfortable and I had to come to terms with it and validate his feelings. We had to go slow and try to meet him where he was.
I sought help from my county social services/child welfare agency and while they could not help much (because he was here from out of state), I was put in touch with a specialist who offered some good resources and really, validation for what I was going through and how hard it can be. I also contacted my pastor.
We registered him for the public school after learning he had been failing most of his subjects at his last school and the recommendation from his principal was that he needed to attend in-person school instead of online classes. This was probably the easiest of all things. The paper my brother signed turning over custody for the time was all that was needed to get him enrolled. My sister on the other hand, had a more difficult time in her state and she needed court documents so she had to go to court and be granted guardianship. So this situation will vary state to state and probably county by county.
Therapy was another obstacle. My nephew had been through some very traumatic years but the final straw was something out of a True Crime documentary. He acted like nothing was wrong and that what he endured will not affect him but it was clear that the years of abuse and neglect he endured affected his entire way of thinking. His sister was in a similar situation and all of the experts involved knew this would take a lifetime to manage.
He needed trauma therapy so I set him up with what I thought would be the best kind of therapist. They were a forensic/trauma therapist who worked with teens but they did not have a collaborative approach, meaning, if he didn’t talk, there was no progress. They did not work with the parent or me (the guardian) at probing to get him to talk and open up about his experiences.
In discussing his case with the county social worker, she recommended attachment therapy. I found a collaborative therapist who specialized in teens and had multiple ways to encourage free thinking and sharing. He was God-sent. My nephew pushed back on him often but when he decided to open up, so much was revealed.
So if you are in the same situation, here’s my advice.
Be kind to yourself
You don’t have to be perfect
A warm bed and a warm meal is enough
They are not your children so your obligation to them isn’t the same
You do not have to be a mother/father to them, be an advocate and an ally
Your own children should not suffer
You can’t save them all (lesson from my pastor)
You’ll likely be the bad-guy/enemy in the end
It’s for the children and only the children
Get your own therapist!
My sister and I are now the outcasts in our family. Our help was turned against us and the rest of our family somehow believes that we were trying to take the kids away. We wanted what was best for them (two healthy parents) but it didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things according to our family. The experts understood and tried their best. Some things could not be done because it was unethical to open Pandora’s box with such little time. Even the therapist said that this wasn’t something I could help with.
And finally, repeat to yourself, “this is for their good, not mine.” You’ll suffer in ways you never thought possible but there will be many good fruits through that suffering. Our family became closer. My 17yr old recognized how strong I am and how much of a good mother I have been to him. He would often say there is no way he could have done this. I have been blessed with much more patience. My husband became my ally and we drew closer together through the tough moments.
I could write a whole book on the entire experience. I’m not sure anyone would want to read it. What you read here is nothing of the real experience and only some of what I learned. It was terrifying at times, traumatic, extremely heartbreaking, and sad. You really see what your family is when you have a crisis. Sometimes it reveals the good but in our case, it revealed the bad and the worst in our “extended” family. It literally tore us apart and it’s likely unrepairable. That safety I had in my parents and siblings is gone and that brings immense grief.
It’s all over the news. Pope Francis has begun the journey of attempting to destroy and remove the Traditional Latin Mass. If this had come out one year ago, I may have applauded the move like I have seen many Novus Ordo participants do recently but I would have done that out of ignorance and fear. I can hear some of my friends saying, “no, you wouldn’t have been applauding it, but you might not have fought against it.”
I know better now and I call myself a Zealot for the Latin Mass. How could the Mass of the Saints be abrogated? How could the Pope, with the brush of a pen or the push of a button, make the Traditional Latin Mass stop?
But he’s trying!
The purpose stated in the pope’s letter is to stop the division in the Catholic Church but anyone who has eyes can see that the pope isn’t bringing unity with this motu proprio. After all, as the meme above suggests, the Catholic church is divided and it’s getting worse. With the pope allowing priests like Father James Martin to continue causing scandal and confusion; while bishops silence priests like Father James Altman who speak the Truth; the Catholic Church is sinking. His letters also contradict each other. He doesn’t want the Latin Mass celebrated BUT the Bishops can decide, BUT, if you don’t attend Novus Ordo now, you’ve lost salvation. WHAT?
I won’t go into a theological debate on Vatican II. I’m not a theologian and I have barely scratched the surface on the knowledge needed to debate much of Catholicism; however, I do know that Vatican II Protestantized the Catholic Mass and the numbers of Catholics and Priests are dwindling. Why?
Well, I believe that much of our deposit of faith has been taken from us. I had no idea what I was missing in my faith by attending the Novus Ordo. Not all Novus Ordo Masses though are missing these elements but the parish I attended for over 15 years did dramatically change, erasing nearly every portion of reverence.
No Latin. No Greek. Less bowing. Hands being held up. Parishioners participating in nearly all aspects of the Mass. Adding Altar Girls. Music filling every moment of silence. No Organ. The addition of guitars and drums. The changing of the words at the Consecration. Lay people handling the Consecrated Eucharist! Adding whatever a priest feels called to in that moment. And if it couldn’t get any worse, preaching from the pulpit that God is merciful and that hell is empty.
If hell is empty, why confess? If God is merciful, why confess? God “knows what’s in my heart!” Salvation for everyone! It doesn’t work that way and never has. We have a wrathful God. Merciful yes…but one must ask. Which means one must recognize that they have sinned against Him and that they are not worthy of His mercy but God will give it if they ask. It’s not a birthright.
When lay people handle the Eucharist, it changes the way people think about the Eucharist. If THAT person can handle the Eucharist, it must not be the actual body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, because I know what he does on the weekends. I know how sinful he/she is.
From the beginning of the Church, lay people did not touch the Eucharist (see the Apologies of Justin Martyr or CCC 1345). Why is it okay now? The Novus Ordo (New Order of the Ages), is only 56 years old. How old is the Mass of the Ages? Centuries!
People demand and expect to receive the Eucharist. If a priest preaches from the pulpit that you must be worthy when presenting yourself to receive our Lord, they get offended. This isn’t a right! You must be worthy. If you believe that the Eucharist is what Catholic’s believe it is, how on earth can you present yourself unworthily? Would you really walk up to Jesus himself and demand he give himself to you or would you fall to your knees because you are in the presence of God and that alone makes you feel unworthy?
When you attend the Traditional Latin Mass, you will immediately notice that the people there believe they are in the presence of God. They are on their knees the moment they walk through the doors, they are in the confession line that fills every wall of the church, they have their missals open in prayer, they are quite and focused towards Christ, they bow or kneel when Christ on the Crucifix processes in and bow or kneel when the priest (in persona Christi) processes behind the Crucifix, they are dressed modestly, and if Christ himself entered (which he does), they would fall to their knees (which they do).
There is no muttering or complaining when the priest preaches the virtues they should be seeking. They do not say, “how dare he!” when the priest tells them the gates to heaven are narrow. Instead, they understand that their priest (Father), loves them so much, they are willing to tell them such hard things in order to save them from the fire.
Hell is hot! Don’t go there!
Father Ed Buelt
There is much silence in the Latin Mass. There is no need to fill it. The Latin Mass has built in reverence. Without the reverence needed for the Eucharist inside the Mass, why would anyone believe in the Real Presence of the Lord within the Eucharist anyway?
I’m not saying that all Novus Ordo Masses are irreverent, although the one I attended for the last six years or so became progressively irreverent. I am pointing out there is a big difference in some Novus Ordo Masses but all Traditional Latin Masses are the same.
I can go to a Novus Ordo Mass down the street and the Mass will be completely different than the Novus Ordo Mass 20 miles away, and both of those Masses will be different than the next Mass 15 miles from the second. For instance, we went to a Novus Ordo Mass when we recently traveled to Florida. People clapped during that Mass (a no-no because Mass isn’t entertainment). At another parish down the street, there are kneelers for those who want to receive the Eucharist on their knees (how one should present themselves to the Sovereign Good).
With this much latitude (given at Vatican II), no wonder there is so much confusion in the laity. But what I don’t understand is why the pope doesn’t have an understanding of the Mass, especially the Latin Mass and the meaning of it. He himself stated that “the faithful would not assist as strangers and silent spectators in the mystery of faith, but, with a full understanding of the rites and prayers, would participate in the sacred action consciously, piously, and actively,” about the Latin Mass; as if those with their heads in the Missal, praying fervently, are just “strangers and silenced spectators.”
Father preached today that we should not be focused on what we can see with our own eyes. These are the “things of this world.” It sounds like the pope is focused on being able to see the people “active” in the Mass but that is not the way. A person does not need to read the readings in order to participate actively.
A final note as there is much more to be said about the pope’s letter but my vocation is calling me (dinner for my family needs to be made). There are traditional priests in the Novus Ordo. We had several as parochial vicars at my last parish. When we had a traditional priest, who preached truth and not fluff, the parishioners flocked to his Mass. They would literally change their Sunday routine in order to hear this priest. The pews emptied at the Masses where it was preached we all go to Heaven. This is the same reason people are flooding the Latin Mass Churches. If you think the Latin Mass is dying, you’re mistaken.
Do not fall into despair brothers and sisters, for that is what the Devil wants. The Devil wants to destroy all that is good and he is running rampant these days. He is clever and makes people feel good about what they are doing but it’s part of his evil plan. Evil is good and good is evil. The Devil has distorted everything and it’s why we feel like we are living in the Twilight Zone. Do not succumb to it. The Church WILL prevail.
I’m returning to my Traditional Latin Mass series. In my last post, I stated I succumbed to the TLM (Traditional Latin Mass). That’s not really a nice way to say we left our parish and moved to another parish. I had a friend over and we talked extensively about why those who attend the New Mass seem so against attending TLM. As you can read, I was one of those people too but I also didn’t realize what the TLM was about nor did I know was Mass really is.
Somehow, my heart and mind were opened and I was curious. I won’t say that I purposefully sought this out because I didn’t. I knew that TLM was what my parents grew up with. They went through the changes in Vatican II when they were in their teens. In talking with my mother about it, her church just switched to the “New Mass.” She said she believes they just started substituting English for Latin and that no one questioned the New Mass, it was just accepted. “No one questioned the church’s teachings.” Even her parochial school didn’t question it. They just opened up the new missals and off they went.
Did they not understand what the Mass really was? Did they not realize what was being taken from them? It makes me so sad to see that the change happened so swiftly with no one questioning it. I had dinner with Father Nix last night and he said it was a two-week transition and the Latin Mass was over.
So that got me thinking when did the Latin Mass stop?
1963 – Latin Mass Banned following the Second Vatican Council
What the heck? How could the Latin Mass be banned and why? It was the Mass of the Saints. It was the Mass that had been utilized for centuries. So when did the Latin Mass begin? The Latin Mass Missal was finalized in 1570 by Pope Pius V.
This Mass is often referred to as the Mass of St. Pius V but just because it was formalized in 1570 with the issuance of Quo Primum an apostolic constitution; which by the way also correlates with the Reformation (or rather the church revolution), does not mean that was the “birth” of the Latin Rite. I point out the correlation with the Reformation because it’s extremely common for an event like this to trigger an official statement.
It happens often in Church history where we have been doing something for centuries and then the Vatican issues an official statement on the teaching or dogma. This takes decades or even longer but that doesn’t mean this wasn’t the Tradition or Culture of the Church prior. This is actually how you should read and understand the Bible. Why did Paul issue letters to the different cities? They were doing certain things so he preached to them and by the way ADMONISHED them based on their sins.
So my point is, it’s not like in 1570 the Church all of a sudden changed the Mass to the Latin Mass and that the Second Vatican Council brought us back to the “original Mass.” For all intents and purposes, the Latin Mass WAS the “original Mass” in the Roman Rite (there are other rites as I have previously stated).
Missale Romanum was a helpful read on the changes of the Second Vatican Council and warrants further study into what was “restored” but not so much what was “added” or “new” in the Mass. Learning about this isn’t easy. It’s an overwhelming study and I have barely cracked the “book” on this or rather the many books.
Summorum Pontificum was issued by Pope Benedict XVI and there is concern that the Latin Mass will again be banned when Pope Benedict dies; however, I cannot expand much more on the Mass. It’s beyond my knowledge, understanding, and education and it’s something I am still studying but you can read more on Quo Primum here.
And finally, I’ll again point you to Justin Martyr because his Apologies not only tell you what early Christianity was like (are you willing to die for what you believe as a Christian), but also what the Mass was like…only a “President” (presiding person aka priest) distributed the Eucharist for instance.
Which one is right? I can’t tell you. I’m still on my journey but you are either to the point of “yeah, which one is right?” or “This lady is a traditionalist nut.” I’m not the latter but I will ask you to do something. Maybe you have never done it before or you do this regularly but I urge you to find an adoration chapel; one where you can sit in front of the Blessed Sacrament, and then ask God.
Be specific. “God, please open my heart. Help me to listen to you and to know you are speaking to me. Please God, reveal to me which is truth, the New Mass or the Traditional Latin Mass? I will open my heart to your Word.” Now it’s your turn to listen. I don’t know where God will lead you.
I’m going to take a short break from the series of posts on the Latin Mass and turn towards my my popular post on this blog. I never in a million years would have suspected that blog post would bring so much traffic to my blog but it tells me so much about our world we live in. What Does it Mean to Bring a Baby “Earthside” and Why it’s Offensive is the most popular blog post having hundreds of thousands of visits since it was written in 2016.
I bet I would know so much more about why people are visiting that post if I turned on the comments but I turned commenting off after several months on that particular post because people just wanted to argue with me about why “earthside” is a fine term. It’s a “Mother Earth” term. I have news…there is no “thing” called Mother Earth. God created everything. Mother Earth is an idol. Ask any Pagan.
This is one of the most frustrating things about the English language besides how difficult it is to learn. I should know, I’m homeschooling my 2nd grader right now and all the “rules” he needs to learn but then don’t apply in “this” situation or “that” situation. This must be why Latin is easier to learn but also, it’s a dead language so there’s no adjusting it or changing the meaning of any of the words.
The English language not only manipulates the meaning of words but they add them…Google is a verb, not just a noun and that word didn’t exist when I was a child. It’s first known usage was in the year 2000. I actually thought it was more recent than 2000, considering I didn’t have a cell phone as I entered the new millennium.
I’ll be frank with you…LOL…that’s not a P.C. term to use so instead I will say I am going to be blunt and honest with you. I haven’t re-read my original post in order to write this one. The post is what it is and it’s still how I feel. Saying “bringing baby earthside” when announcing you’re in labor is offensive.
My two babies who died in my womb were earthside. My son is buried IN the ground so his physical body IS still earthside but his soul is not and I will meet him in eternity. Unfortunately, Ruby was destroyed with medical waste. She was likely burned up and tossed out but the physical form of her body likely touches this earth somewhere. “For dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return.” – Genesis 3:19 Douay-Rheims Version
As I write this, my spell check has red squiggly lines under earthside. Even the computer tells me this term doesn’t exist. Ah, but the “mother earthers” will continue to use it to describe some out of this world, celestial experience of bringing a baby from one’s earthly womb onto her earthly bosom. I suppose though, that her lack of faith in a supreme creator would manifest into paganism for we truly cannot reject that we have a creator be it God or some other pagan god. By the way, if we believe in pagan gods, you would also believe you are a slave to them since that would be the purpose of that god creating you.
Seriously though, you weren’t created by a pagan god. You, as well as my babies were created by God, in His image and likeness. All of us are created with a body and a soul. It’s not okay to deny this, although many do. Many also deny that Mother Earth is a pagan god. This is purely ignorant. It’s a lack of formation regarding your own personal dignity. I challenge you to become informed about where you come from.
I had to Google many things in order to write this post. Who is mother earth? I learned her name is Gaia. Who is the Supreme Creator? I learned that God is the Supreme Being. Who created humans? The first Google response told me that God created humans. Who created the Catholic Church? Google tells me that Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church.
WOW! Google can tell me alot of things. I wonder how many people actually believe what Google says…oh wait…most everybody. So why do people have such little belief in their Creator, even when Google tells them so? I can’t answer that. Maybe one of you can?
I’m sure many of you Googled the term earthside and came upon my blog and oddly enough, Google says earthside means, “when on planet Earth.” So again, where are these babies if they are NOT earthside when they are in the womb? Is this about where their soul is? I took to Google and asked, “Where is the soul?”
Oddly, the first Google hit was from the National Institutes of Health which stated, “The soul or atman, credited with the ability to enliven the body, was located by ancient anatomists and philosophers in the lungs or heart, in the pineal gland (Descartes), and generally in the brain.” WOW! Fascinating. So if the soul is part of the human body, this would mean that even in the womb, the soul would be on earth. SHOCKING!
So why are people using the term, “I’m bringing my baby earthside” to describe going into labor and pushing the baby’s body out of their womb? Please, just call it what it is. Birth.
Birth = the start of life as a physically separate being.
Prior to the pandemic, attending another church was easy. You just walked in but now many required sign-ups to go. Some super private as if you needed to be on an exclusive list. Even Easter Masses were not shared with the general public in order to push out the “C&E” Catholics (those that attend only on Christmas and Easter). How could the church do this? Why was the Archbishop allowing this? Church has always been for anyone and everyone. This was very divisive.
After feeling quite abandoned by our church, we decided to start attending the one that was close to our home. We had been driving 25 minutes to go to our parish for the last 15+ years but technically, it wasn’t our home parish. I checked the rules for the parish near our home and they had their sign up accessible online. It didn’t matter if you were registered there or if this was your first time. They were welcoming all!
Off we went. We walked in and they had holy water in their fonts and people could receive Holy Communion on the tongue. In fact, they had four kneelers present in the communion line to indicate who would receive on the tongue. The only ones who distributed Holy Communion were the priests and deacons. This felt reverent and seemed to have more of what we were looking for, except the progressive music.
We also had some friends that were on the “exclusive list” for the TLM and they were able to bring us. But before I asked for them to add us to the list, I needed to get past the prideful TLMers. I decided to reach out to a few friends who I knew had been attending TLM or had recently switched. One conversation did not go so well. The friendship almost ended. Part of that was on me and the feelings I had towards what she was sharing. That was something I needed to explore but I met with another friend who was loving and explained things really well. I felt confident I could at least go once and just see. Everyone explained I would have some “extraordinary” moment and I wouldn’t be able to go back to the Novus Ordo.
So I asked our friends to put us on the list and walk us through our first TLM as a family. I had been to a Latin Mass as a child but didn’t remember much of it so this was really a new experience for me as well. Our first TLM was on the first day of Advent, the beginning of the liturgical year. How fitting!
I want to tell you so badly about the “extraordinary” moment I had at the first TLM but nothing happened. In my experience, I felt alone and isolated. I felt farther from God than I ever had when attending Mass. I was overwhelmed with not knowing anything or any of the norms and I was distracted by an unruly child in the pew in front of me. I felt sad.
I didn’t really want to go back if that was how I was going to feel. I had finally been participating in a way I had never done before, singing, reciting, kneeling more fervently, praying more reverently, etc. Friends would tell me that those who attend the NO were so unholy, “but you’re not.” They would point out abuses and tell me that I was “a good one.” This was offensive. And then I am attending “their Mass” and I find myself questioning why they like it. They don’t do anything. There is really no participation at all…at least not externally.
What I didn’t realize though, with all that was going through my head, was just how much my family was experiencing. My oldest finally felt at home. My youngest was in awe and shock that Jesus was in a “castle” and how deserving and fitting it was that the Lord was being worshipped. My daughter was enthralled and finally quiet in the pew, plus, she asked to wear her veil for the first time (because most of the women wore veils). This was the norm I wanted her to see and this is what I wanted my children to know but I was empty inside. My husband also was uplifted and he felt we were finally in the right place. Shocking considering he was a Protestant convert (although most great Catholics are converts).
I reached out to a friend who was also a priest and told him how I was feeling. His response…”Give it two months.” While he is an NO priest, he’s traditional, often encouraging us to find a TLM. In fact, he just brought TLM to his own parish!
Despite the advice, we decided to go back to the church by our home. We felt that it might be the in between we needed. So we signed up again. We got seated in the front row this time and felt a bit awkward since we were still new there but we made it work. The Mass was horrific. The Missal Book for the readings was missing. No one could find it. Mass was stopped. There were several little issues but this one was huge. Right before Communion my husband leaned in and said, “I have been praying and asking if this is the right church for us and for a sign that we needed to be here and this is a sign telling us otherwise.”