Author, Blogger, Educator

Category: Catholic (Page 1 of 3)

Catholic Postpartum Book

No, this isn’t my next book. Although I am highly qualified to write such a book, I have other books I need to focus on at this time. Here I am, yet again, to publicly state that the book A Catholic Postpartum – by Julie Larsen, is a boo that Catholic’s should stay away from. That is, until the author accepts with humility that the book is in error and she researches and updates it.

I know earlier I blogged about the Responsibilities of Being a Catholic Author and I share that I had not read the book. I now change that statement. I have read the book and it is much worse than I thought.

Below is my review of the book:

GOOD:
The book has short chapters
The book contains bible verses from Douay-Rheims
The book contains a warning on Yoga
The book has written recipes that are easy to follow

The rest of this review is a warning to Catholics and explains that the book is poorly laid out and contains grammar errors. The font is hard on the eyes and it is very clear the book is unedited and self-published. In addition, each chapter is full of weblinks rather than the author giving you the information, she writes the book like this is her personal blog and refers you out to look up the information yourself. This would be very difficult for any postpartum mother.

Sleep When Baby Sleeps is outdated and causes more anxiety in postpartum women. If the author had done research, she would be aware and no longer promote this. She also promotes co-sleeping yet doesn’t explain how to do this safely. Page 27 has some weird formatting issues and is confusing. Lettuce? Other outdated information was about using alcohol on the umbilical cord stump. I’m sure there is more but this book is difficult to read and the table of contents isn’t helpful.

When the author discusses circumcision, she had the opportunity to explain that circumcision is not Catholic teaching but again, refers you to some other website for you to research. The Baby Care section should just be eliminated.

The author explains padsicles and talks about c-sections and using them yet ice is not needed on the perineum following a c-section. This is confusing. Most of the book is confusing.

The author fails at explaining the necessity for baptism. This should be done right away yet she says it’s okay to wait and then refers to Appendix A for choosing Godparents, yet there is no Appendix A. Why even have an appendix? Just explain the importance of choosing Godparents in this section? When I did find the section on choosing Godparents (page 150) it was called Bonus C and discusses that the Godparents are people who take your children when you die and this is incorrect yet it is the secular understanding.

Much of the book has pagan ceremonies and resources. Bone-closing, mother-roasting, don’t eat cold foods, Yoni vaginal steaming, homeopathy, ceremonial belly-binding, placental consumption, and more. The resources the author points to are pagan websites (not Catholic) and there is no biblical foundation nor Catholic tradition to provide a basis for any of what the author claims. Some of the links the author refers the reader to are broken as well.

When an author claims “catholic” in any title, they must do their due diligence in order to preserve the soul of the person reading their content. This author has shared that they do not know any theologians and didn’t even consult their pastor/priest. This is very dangerous. The links provided give “authority” and that may lead a Catholic to believe it is acceptable to participate in anything they find on these websites. As teachers, God calls us to a higher standard and warns us against poor teaching. “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, for you know that we who teach shall be judged with greater strictness.” James 3:1

The author does not share or explain her “authority;” meaning, what training and experience does she have in writing the book? This book is gives medical advice, has no theological basis for any of what is written, and the author doesn’t share her credentials other than the fact that she is a woman, has had babies, and claims to be Catholic.

My authority to critique this book comes from over 18 years of experience as a doula and childbirth educator as well as a Catholic. While I hold a certificate in Catholic Biblical Studies (4 years), I do not claim to be a theologian; but as an author myself (unrelated books), I consult at minimum my priest before claiming anything in a book of mine is Catholic teaching.

This book is not Catholic just because the author put bible verses in it and shares about Saints. Much of the material is problematic yet if the author took the time to research, I believe this could be an excellent guide for postpartum mothers. Unfortunately, the author is hostile about any feedback regarding her books so if you do read this book, please know it is not Catholic.

Stay clear of this book.

I do hope and pray that the author of the book will accept the criticism as a catalyst to make this book the best Catholic Postpartum book on the market, better than one I could write and one that will lead Catholic’s to a more spiritually fulfilling postpartum experience. If not, I hope another Catholic will write the book because it is certainly needed.

On a side note, I have consulted with a theologian on this topic and there is no documentation of a ritual for postpartum women in the Bible outside of Leviticus 12. Traditionally speaking, there could be rituals that were lost but anything addressing “energy,” anything that is Mayan or Chinese Medicine are all pagan rituals and should not be passed off as Catholic.

Do you receive gifts or take them?

I’m in the middle of my first year of catechetical school and we are studying the Eucharist, also known as the Blessed Sacrament, Holy Communion, etc. About six years ago, I had no idea that the Eucharist was called the Blessed Sacrament. Looking back, it’s amazing to see how far I have come in my faith journey. I want to share my thoughts on the reception of the Eucharist.

One of my biggest pet peeves now is when people refer to “taking” the Eucharist. Maybe some look at this from the perspective of the Eucharist was placed on their hand so they are “taking” the Eucharist and consuming it; however, I believe that this is actually said because they believe somehow the Eucharist is there for the taking.

This is error.

No person “takes” a gift. They are given gifts or rather, they receive gifts. It’s what we teach our children about gift giving. Don’t be stingy. You don’t “take” it. You must wait to be given it. Usually they have to wait until their birthday or other special day to receive the gift. Finally, they must thank the person who gave them the gift. The Eucharist is a gift. It is not to be taken.

When we go to Mass, it is a sacrifice. That is why it is called the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is not a service. It is not entertainment. While we are under obligation to go to Mass, we should not approach Mass as “just an obligation.” Never approach Mass as the weekly check off box item. Your full participation is required. This is your mental participation. Your disposition, not merely sitting in the pew but active in your worship.

I often ponder why so many Catholic’s do not believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist and I wonder if it’s because they approach the Eucharist as their “exchange” for showing up. I came; therefore, I better “get” it. It’s the participation “trophy” or “gift bag” because they were there.

If they truly believed in the Real Presence; that Jesus Christ is fully present in the Eucharist, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, they would never demand Him and they certainly wouldn’t stand to receive Him or even meet him standing. After professing they are not worthy to receive Him, they approach the King standing and demand placement in their hand.

What pride that is! Are you so arrogant that you are “good” enough to stand there? I use the term good because so many people use it, “I’m a good person.” Interesting.

To what do we owe the King? Obedience.

How do we approach the King? On our knees

How are we received by the King? With Love and Mercy

When the King gives himself to us, what is our response? Thanks

I know one of the number one questions people ask about this is that is receiving the Eucharist in the hand a main contributor to why so many Catholic’s do not believe in the Real Presence. Honestly, I think there is something to this. I have blogged before how some people I have talked with so strongly believe they do not need to kneel. It’s beneath them to kneel and since the Vatican says they don’t have to, they are unwilling to kneel. Such pride!

I was asked today about my experience with my First Communion. How old was I? What memories do I have of receiving my First Communion? Has our study of the Eucharist deepened my appreciation of the Sacrament? I will share what I shared with my instructor:

I do not remember anything about receiving my First Communion. There are various reasons why I believe I can’t remember but nothing seemed very significant to me growing up. It seemed as it was the “next” step in the process of being “Catholic.” I remember our religious education teacher but only because she taught us for over a decade and still teaches today! This section hasn’t helped deepen my appreciation. My transformation to the Latin Mass has been a catalyst in deepening my appreciation of the Sacrament.

When the Sacrament was taken from us during COVID, there was a longing for the Eucharist that I never experienced before which brought me to the realization that many people do not have access to the Eucharist as frequently as I do. I was attending Novus Ordo at that time but had recently moved from receiving the Eucharist in the hand to on my tongue and kneeling. This was no longer an option during COVID .

What I began to realize is that receiving on the hand did not deepen my relationship with Jesus. It seemed to be something given versus something I received. When I began attending the Latin  Mass, I discovered an intimacy with Jesus I had never experienced before. After the initial, “am  doing this correctly?” I began to experience a profound intimacy.

I was kneeling for our Lord, in front of our Lord, closing my eyes and opening my mouth to receive Him. There is an immense amount of trust that needs to be placed in that position. You are extremely vulnerable in that position. With eyes closed, anything could be placed on the tongue. Anything could happen to you in that moment, yet the sweetness of Jesus is placed on the tongue. He has made Himself available to you in a very intimate way.

He gives us His flesh and lives, literally, inside of us in that moment. It is very similar to the union of the bodies between husband and wife yet on a completely different level. If we are what we eat, we eat Jesus, and He will fill us in a way nothing else can. While some saints at a young age have felt this deep longing, I regret that I received Him for so long without the deep longing to be united to Christ.

I can no longer imagine standing to receive Him. It’s not intimate and it places me on the same level as Christ. I am not worthy to receive Him at all, yet he offers Himself to me and asks me to receive Him. In fact, He demands it.

I hope and pray more people will read this and want that intimacy. I can’t imagine having that sort of intimacy standing in a line waiting to have the Eucharist placed in the hand but I am certain someone feels that intimacy. If they feel it there, I wonder how much more intimacy they may feel kneeling, eyes closed, opening their mouths and waiting for the sweetness of the Lord?

I originally intended to write about receiving the Blood of Christ because many are anxiously awaiting the return of the lay people receiving His Blood. There was a question today that basically was about demanding they receive this species. So many don’t or haven’t ever received the Blood. How presumptuous of you to deem yourself worthy of receiving Him in that way.

In fact, one person stated that if they cannot receive the Blood due to Infection Control Prevention (let’s not even address this lack of faith), they should be able to dip their Eucharist into the cup of Blood. My dear Catholics, you shouldn’t even be touching the Eucharist. We are not worthy.

The Responsibilities of Being a Catholic Author

I’ve written several books and published them. I truly enjoy writing and all my books are meant to serve and help others but they are secular in nature. Becoming a “Catholic” author has been intimidating because I am held to a much higher standard.

Actually, as an educator, God says that teachers are judged more strictly, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, for you know that we who teach shall be judged with greater strictness.” James 3:1.

I take it very seriously when I say that any Catholic should do XYZ because I could be responsible for damning their soul based on my advice. Not only that, the publics perception of me (who read my books/blog), also needs to align with the Truth of my faith. I certainly can’t be a part of the Girl Scouts as a Catholic (due to their Planned Parenthood ties).

Last August, I was hit hard with humility when a woman admonished me for a blog post I had written. She’s an amazing woman and I am thankful she had the courage to reach out to me and admonish what I wrote. You can click on her blog in the previous sentence. I wish we lived closer so we could meet in person.

It turns out that the way I phrased my blog (men lactating), it appeared as if I was reducing the dignity of motherhood and the woman’s role. I was horrified. Instead of becoming defensive, I prayed and re-read what she was sharing. I could clearly see there was an error and was able to modify what I wrote so that no other person would fall into sin by asking their husband to lactate to feed their baby.

So when a woman shared her “Catholic” book in one of my Catholic groups, I felt courageous enough to reach out to her and tell her that she could be responsible for leading Catholic’s astray. Unfortunately, she wasn’t in the same space spiritually and I was blocked though she did private message me and referred me to The Educated Birth website so I could read about the pagan (Mayan) bone-closing ceremony. The Educated Birth website is full of anti-Catholic, non-science based information; ie. men can have babies and uses the terms birthing person. Do not visit this site.

I find that very sad so this post is an effort to bring attention to an error in the book A Catholic Postpartum: A Plan for Catholic Mamas by Julie Larsen. I do not want to link to her book because I do not want anyone to buy it. It contains a Pagan ritual called “bone-closing ceremony,” which the author denies is Pagan.

This isn’t a “review” of A Catholic Postpartum. I have not read it as I will not pay over $25 for a 113-page, unedited, non-researched “Catholic” book. What I write here is a warning for those who may read it and believe that a bone-closing ceremony is something Catholic’s can do/did do.

I was able to find an email for Julie and I reached out to her and apologized for offending her with criticism about the pagan ritual in her “Catholic” book though I was met with hostility. She shared some information with me on her thought process. For instance, she admitted that she did not even read the information about a bone-closing ceremony on the website that she referred to me.

I was quite shocked! This website is the only place she got her “research?” She also shared, “I thought the bone closing was a Mexican tradition and that’s the only reason I put it in the book – most Mexicans are Catholic.” She also stated, “I don’t know any theologian to ask – I should[sic] have to consult someone to write a book – I based it on my own personal research. It doesn’t have an Imprimatur – ok?” Unfortunately Julie, if you are going to put a Catholic name to this, you DO need to consult someone. At the very least, consult your pastor.

It appears A Catholic Postpartum is not Catholic at all and is Catholic in name only. As a doula and childbirth educator, I am aware of the spiritual dangers that line of work can lead to. Doula’s are all about holistic ideology. The word “holistic” is actually died to pantheism. Despite being a Catholic, when I worked as a doula, I was led to energy fields/healing energy, acupuncture, Mayan abdominal massage, card reading, oils from witches and pagan shops, and all sorts of things that led me AWAY from God.

It seems as if Julie is there, navigating this pagan world with the Catholic one. I really had hoped she would prove me wrong that a bone-closing ceremony was an ancient Jewish practice that we lost. After all, there must have been something that women experienced during the 40 days after birth. Did the local women tend to them?

That is a question I am now asking my Catholic network to answer. There must be something? For now, we do not know and there is nothing that shows the bone-closing ceremony was a part of Jewish tradition or early Christianity/Catholicism. It is wise to avoid this book for now and pray for Julie to be open to doing the research required for this book to be amazing. She has a responsibility as an author to ensure her work is inline with Catholic teaching.

Donum Dignitatis: The Catholic’s Guide to Miscarriage

It’s finally happening! I’m in the homestretch to completing this work. I can’t say it’s been a long time coming but it’s been in the making for over two years. Of course, the manuscript sat for quite some time until the Holy Spirit tapped me on the shoulder and was like, “hey, you going to finish this book or not?”

So I prayed about it and asked Mary for intercession on what I should do. Should I finish this book or just let it collect dust to be lost on my computer hard-drive forever? Shortly after, I received all the energy and time to finish the manuscript. I then had to make the hard decision, self-publish or look for a publisher. I prayed again, many times and felt I should submit to a publisher.

Doing so is a long and daunting process but it has brought me to my knees in prayer and humility. It’s just me. I don’t have a literary agent. I have some talent but not enough to get me published by a publishing house so I was scared to even submit the manuscript. I’d like to tell you that I was accepted after getting rejection letters from many publishers but I wasn’t.

When I tell people that the manuscript was rejected many times, they always ask why. I don’t know. They never tell you. Some ask you to submit the entire manuscript (if it’s complete) and others want snippets or one or two chapters. Some just want your idea and to submit a query or a proposal. All of this takes an immense amount of time and without paying for a literary agent, I am stuck with my own wit. Apparently, it wasn’t good enough to get noticed.

I could have taken all the rejections as a sign that the work shouldn’t be published but then I see so many women suffering through miscarriage and wondering how to handle it. I see stories of women who went to their priests who didn’t know how to help them or gave them wrong information and it breaks my heart. Every baby has dignity and deserves to be treated as if they were the most important and beloved person of a royal line. Because if you truly understood who you are, you would know you are royalty, destined for the Kingdom of God to be with Him for all of eternity. Our babies are no different, even if they died in the womb.

In March of 2022, I sent my completed manuscript to be professionally edited. My editor finished the process in April so I then sent the manuscript to people I have met along the way whom I felt might be able to help with an endorsement of my book. I also sent the book to my pastor and a few other priests that I have friendships with. I felt I needed a priestly review of the book.

It’s interesting how busy priests are because only a few were able to briefly skim the book. Most cited that I was not a parishioner so they couldn’t dedicate much time to reading it. The book is so small, I found that confusing but I understood. Those that did read it, loved the brevity and felt the information was extremely important and would help parishioners and other priests.

Because my book contains theology, I felt it needed a look over from a theologian, so I began looking for someone to read it. Any time I needed someone to read it/review it/check my content, I prayed about it and every time I received help or an answer. This was very comforting. I also sent the book to the Archdiocese of Denver. I was seeking a nihil obstat. I had seen that some books have that and not a full Imprimatur and I felt that was all I needed to ensure what I had written was theologically sound.

I received a message that the book likely didn’t need to be reviewed by a censor so I left it up to the two theologians I solicited to review the content. By July, all the reviews were completed. I made all the changes necessary but I was still waiting on publishing houses to send me notice. It takes weeks and/or months to receive a letter. Most publishers won’t allow you to submit to multiple publishers at the same time so it was a long wait to hear back and then submit again to someone else who has a completely different set or requirements for submissions.

Again, rejection after rejection came in. It was hard to see the “we’re unable to accept your work at this time,” but that’s about all you get in terms of feedback. I had to remember that this was not a rejection of my work on a personal level. At least, that’s what I had to tell myself since they don’t give you anything substantial.

My motivation reignited when I received a letter from the censor from the Archdiocese of Denver. I was in shock. The book I thought had gone nowhere was receiving an Imprimatur! Just before Thanksgiving, the Imprimatur arrived in the mail. Praise be to God!

The biggest reason I wanted the book published by a publisher wasn’t so it would sit on a book shelf, it was because I wanted the book to be easily ordered in bulk by a parish. This will now be my focus; getting the book on the shelves of parishes. I have a plan and will execute it but I have to publish this work first.

I just received my final rejection notice so my goal this week is to finish the cover art and layout of the interior of the book. The book will then be officially published on Ash Wednesday, February 22, 2023! My first book, All That is Seen and Unseen; A Journey Through a First Trimester Miscarriage, was also published on February 22nd.

Interestingly enough, the date my Imprimatur was written, was on the Feast Day of the Dedication of SS. Peter and Paul and the feast day for the publishing day is the Chair of St. Peter! St. Peter, Pray for Us!

Satan Despises Latin – Part II

In my last post, I ended with my opinion that if the Catholic Church returned to kneeling to receive the Eucharist, more people would come to believe in the Real Presence. I have heard that people haven’t always kneeled to receive the Eucharist. Fair enough…but there also wasn’t this crisis where people didn’t believe what they were receiving in the Eucharist. Maybe there was, and that is why we returned to kneeling to receive?

I can only guess right now, as I am not a theologian or expert in that area. Maybe you know more? Share it!

It’s quite obvious that receiving the Eucharist in this way makes us vulnerable. We are kneeling, closing our eyes, tilting our heads back, and receiving in an exposed area of our body. It takes an act of humility to receive in this way. Is our pride really so strong that we cannot control it to receive God’s love in this way?

There is still the question of why someone believed the Mass at the women’s conference was a Latin Mass. She specifically called it a “Pre-Vatican II” Mass. I wonder if she has ever attended a Pre-Vatican II Mass because 70% of the prayers that are said during the Pre-Vatican II Mass are NOT said during a Novus Ordo Mass. Want a side-by-side comparison? Here is another link you might find helpful.

Many will also say that it’s “for our benefit” that those prayers were removed. After reading my Missal for the past two years while following along with priest during the Mass, I am shocked at how much I didn’t know. Prayers I never knew existed were right in front of me. These are the prayers the saints were exposed to yet I had no knowledge of them.

And then there was the priest, facing away from me.

The woman complaining she couldn’t understand the Mass, a Novus Ordo Mass by the way, was really upset because the priest faced away. After 45 years of attending Mass with the priest facing away, this was probably the least confusing aspect for me when I began attended TLM. If I were being honest, it almost makes no sense for Ad Orientum (priest facing away) when the Mass is not in Extraordinary Form. Too much is missing.

Yet, if you truly understand what the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is, it’s really not questionable. It makes complete sense. Remember, we are a fulfillment of Judaism. Some of the manners will be similar. What did the priests do in the tabernacle or Temple?

The altar is in a different location for the Novus Ordo Mass and there is much discussion regarding the problems with the placement of the altar. To face the congregation means the priest is the focus of the Mass. The priest should not be the focus. The priest is there for you, offering for you, THROUGH him, TO Him.

Active participation is usually the next argument. If it’s in Latin, I don’t understand it and I can’t participate OR, I won’t know if the priest’s words make the Mass invalid. The first argument is just silly. Active participation is INTERNAL, not external. And the latter argument is ridiculous. How would you even know in the vernacular if the priest said something that invalidated the Mass unless you are a liturgical scholar?

Every movement of the priest in the TLM is purposeful and liturgical. It is truly amazing to have a priest DO for you. Again, it’s an act of humility and trust. “It’s not what we grew up with.” “It’s so unfamiliar.” I get it, truly I do. Remember, when I first attended, I felt the most alone at a Mass then I ever had. I felt far away from God but now, I don’t want to leave when I am there. It’s as close to Him as I will get on this earth. I am there early and stay long after Mass.

When I read Revelation (Apocalypse), it was blatantly obvious that this is the Mass of Heaven. THIS IS what the angels and saints participate in. There IS an altar and we worship Him in Heaven. After four years in Biblical School and the culmination was reading Revelation, I realized I was lied to my entire life. Revelation is not to be feared, it is to be longed for. It is the fulfillment of all that is right and true. It is the Mass, not the destruction of the world.

So again, I challenge you. Read Revelation. Go to a Traditional Latin Mass (High Mass) but don’t just go once. It’s rare that you’ll experience an “ah-ha” moment that first time. Go five times, or seven! Seven is a fantastic number and means so much in our Catholic “culture.” Read the book and follow along the Latin. You will see all that is familiar to you in the Novus Ordo yet there is so much more.

It’s not really about the Latin, because Latin IS the normative language for the Novus Ordo Mass. Every priest could change the language of the Mass to Latin and it would still be the Novus Ordo Mass. It could be a distaste or struggle with change and it’s likely related to your pride. It’s our tradition. Why is tradition a bad word these days?

If you find you just can’t go to a Traditional Latin Mass, maybe start as I did? I began to kneel to receive the Eucharist. I still received in my hand but I felt that since we believe that the Eucharist IS the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, I could not receive him standing as if we were equals.

After months of kneeling, I felt a call to receive on the tongue. Every piece of Christ would remain in my mouth. Nothing would fall to the ground or be stuck to my clothing. Yes, even tiny particles are left on your hand but if you are absolutely convicted that you will not receive on the tongue, kneel. He is Our Lord. You will be unable to stand if He came to you now. Believe the Eucharist IS Him.

Humble yourself and kneel for the Lord.

Satan Despises Latin – Part I

I’ve heard this phrase many times. It’s one of the reasons people give to me to learn Latin and to pray in Latin. Exorcists seem to say this as well. Learning the prayers in Latin isn’t really that hard, but learning actual Latin can be much more difficult.

I have pondered why I truly attend the Traditional Latin Mass and I can say now, it’s not the Latin that brings me there. It’s beyond Latin, yet I have friends who despise Latin. I even had someone share with me that they could not understand the Mass at the Catholic Women’s Conference of Denver because of the Latin.

Let me say that the Mass at the recent conference was NOT in Latin. Nothing about the Mass reflected the Traditional Latin Mass with the exception of the priest facing away from the congregation. So why on earth would this woman say that she couldn’t understand the Mass? I surmise it’s because she despises traditionalism and anything that might point to it.

The Mass at the conference was a Novus Ordo Mass. The priest who celebrated it will tell you this was a Mass of ordinary form according to the spirit of Vatican II. The Mass had women readers, women gift bearers, modern songs with some chanting during the Mass (think of the Kyrie, Agnus Dei, and Sanctus chanting during Easter and Advent), incense, and reception of the Eucharist either standing/kneeling in the hand or on the tongue.

What I have come to know was the use of the communion rail was “offensive and divisive” and the priest should not face away from the congregation. Because of those two things, the Mass literally could not be understood because of “Latin.” Wait, What? The Mass was not Latin. Everything was said in English (our vernacular), except the Kyrie (Greek), Agnus Dei (Latin), and the Sanctus (Latin).

Why did this person identify the Mass as a Latin Mass?

Kneeling at a communion rail and the priest facing away from the congregation. Those two things made this Mass…”Latin.” I truly pity this person and pity is NOT a bad word. I have compassion and sadness towards her because she does not understand what the Mass is nor the differences between Extraordinary Form and Ordinary Form.

In further exploring the concern with kneeling at a communion rail, another person explained it was divisive. Why? Because they felt the only choice was to kneel instead of stand to receive and either is acceptable. Honestly, the communion rail allows for a smooth “communion.” It eliminates the need for lay Eucharistic ministers. The speed in which the Eucharist can be distributed is very swift (when people know how to use the rail).

You can approach the rail standing (as some did at the conference) and receive in the hand or you may kneel and receive in the hand or you may kneel and receive on the tongue. Contrary to what happens when a person kneels and opens their mouth at most Novus Ordo Masses, not a single person was denied the Eucharist.

When a person kneeling with their mouth open to receive Our Lord is denied Our Lord, it’s an act of “activism” by the denier; whom could be a priest. It’s their very way of protesting traditionalism. It’s their demand that the person kneeling conform to modernism. It’s not about “safety” or “reducing the spread of disease.”

When I read the entire Bible, one thing stood out perfectly clear. Every person who faced God in some way, fell to their face. In other words, they dropped to their knees. Are we like Job? Attempting to believe that we are so worthy that we do not understand our insignificance to what God has done for us?

PRIDE

Job demanded God answer him and God replied with Job’s insignificance. Yes, God knows Job. God knows all of us, “every hair on our heads is numbered” most specifically. Heck, even I don’t know all the hairs on my children’s heads. Yet, Job was not there when God created everything from nothing.

God is our Creator. The Creator of the Universe. Jesus is God’s love manifested. Jesus IS God. Therefore, Jesus was there when God created everything from nothing. If we believe that Jesus’ Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity is present in the Eucharist, and as a Catholic we are bound to believe this, why on earth is it not in our nature to kneel for our Creator?

I can only surmise that they do not truly believe they are receiving Our Lord when they “take” the Eucharist because if they believe this, they would fall to their knees. Yes, I was taught to stand. I was never taught to kneel and receive on the tongue so there is a degree of ignorance but if you are reading this, you can no longer claim ignorance. Failure to kneel is now defiance. It is an act of pride.

And I have heard that “the church changed so I don’t have to kneel.” The “church” is mere men. You know better so you should do better. I firmly believe that if the church stated you must kneel to receive (whether on the hand or on the tongue), more people would begin to believe in the Real Presence.

Part II

Idolatry Today

I just completed four years of Biblical School and received a Certificate in Biblical Studies. I never imagined I would read the entire Bible AND be able to understand it. While there is so much more to learn, I am grateful for what I know now. My eyes have been opened.

We’re in the final chapters of Revelation aka Apocalypse. The fullness of what’s in Revelation would take more than the five weeks of study we receive. There is so much in Revelation and it can be quite confusing. The Dragon, Beast, and Harlot are what was covered today. Satan.

How many believe Satan even exists?

He certainly does so if Satan exists, God exists. There have been tabernacles that have been stolen recently. These are often made of pure gold, worth thousands yet the tabernacle is discarded because what the person was after was inside. A priceless item. Christ Himself.

If they believe in the Real Presence, why do so many Catholic’s lack belief?

What will they do with Christ now that He has been stolen? Most likely a Satanic Ritual where horrific atrocities are performed, likely child sacrifice, sucking of each other’s blood, sexual rituals and more. Celebrities have been sharing their stories, many practice it. I pity them.

In Revelation, we are to see the Justice in God. God spills out his wrath on us, the sinners. Those who reject Him. The not-so-funny thing, people who love God, also reject Him so they think…I’m not going to hell. I’m not one of the bad ones. We are ALL sinners but are we constantly trying to turn back towards God and follow Him? Or are we so focused on living IN this world…the world we are not made for?

So what is Idolatry today?

Idolatry was easy to pick out in the Bible. The worship of gods like Zeus and graven images of calves. It’s hard to see today even though Pope Francis brought the idol Pachamama into the Vatican and allowed the worship of this goddess. But Idolatry today is even more discreet. Modern day idolatry is anything you love or prioritize over God.

Idolatry defined: “the worship of idols,” “extreme admiration, love, or reverence for something or someone.”

Idol: an image or representation of a god used as an object of worship. a person or thing that is greatly admired, loved, or revered.

“I just want to die and go to Heaven so I can see my dog, my baby, my child, my mother, etc.” You should want to go to Heaven to see God and only God. You will not need any of these people or pets in Heaven. If you need them, you likely won’t end up in Heaven.

This phone, sports/baseball game, food, etc…is more important than praying to God or going to Church/Mass. Some of you will say, this isn’t idolatry, it’s life. I again point you to, we should want NOTHING of this world and only the “after.” After, is God but you must love God, want to know Him, and serve Him in this world in order to have your “after.”

We spend our days searching for happiness. We are in a constant search for more yet we seem to never find the “more” we are looking for. There always seems to be an empty hole that cannot be filled. You will only find it in God. When you think of Him often, pray to Him often, love Him often, serve His people (all His people, even those who hate you) often, and worship Him (His way, which he prescribed in the Bible which is the Mass).

We are so scared to place our Trust in Him. We say it to people all the time but do we do that? Do you actually place your worries, fears, anxieties, and needs at the foot of His cross and ask him to take them from you and then walk away trusting that He will? Do you thank Him for what He provides you? Everything you receive is from Him.

So when we place a device, a child, a friend, sex, sports, etc above God, we are practicing idolatry. We are pagans. It doesn’t matter if you believe in Him. Nothing should be placed over Him. Nothing should be desired over Him. You have free will. You can choose to love Him or you can choose to reject Him by living for this world.

We may not be happy in this world. We may suffer and face persecution from those we do not know and those we love but I promise you, what you suffer here for Him, will bring you to Him eternally. And that’s where I want to be and where I want you to be.

The Morning Prayers

About three months ago, I began to say the morning prayers. I had been thinking about it for about a year and I decided that I wanted to begin this “devotion” in mid-January to February. I don’t recall exactly when I began praying them but at first, it was a bit difficult.

Mid-lent, I imagined that I would never been able to keep up with this. While on my knees reciting them, I tried to see myself as an old woman reciting my morning prayers. Would I really be able to keep up with such a devotion? Am I strong enough? Lord, grant me the endurance to keep reciting them!

And here we are on May 1 where I am still praying them and over the past two to three days realized that I have become subject to the prayers. What I mean by that is, I am now seeing the areas in which I am failing to do good. It’s almost as if it’s a morning “examination of conscience,” which makes little sense if you do the evening prayers because you do an examination of conscience before bed.

I haven’t been able to add the evening prayers yet. My evenings are usually busy as this is the time I reserve for my daily rosary and reading a saint books with my middle child. My rosary time is usually heavily interrupted with kids declining bedtime, wanting a shower even though we reminded them 30 min ago it was their last chance and sometimes I help with putting the kids to bed (although this is hubby’s area since he hasn’t had much time with them throughout the day). Sometimes, I delay my rosary to pray it together with my middle child. This isn’t my favorite because he likes to lead and often doesn’t realize he skips a Hail Mary or two.

I very much enjoy my morning prayers now. It’s my “alone time” with God where I can be solely focused on him. I don’t usually wake up with a wandering mind and I can really concentrate on being one with my Creator and offering up to Him. If my body wishes to sleep longer, my morning prayers become interrupted as well with the little ones stumbling down the stairs, the annoying sound of my dogs paw nails clicking on the wood floors while she begs to be let outside, and sometimes the kids turn on their devices and I hear songs and/or disagreements depending on whose pad is charged or not.

I long for this time but my body sometimes doesn’t want to give it. I realize that’s normal and I just want my body to freely want this time because in the beginning, it really was a fight to get my body out of bed, retrieve my Missal, get on my nearly 50 year-old knees on thin carpet in front of our home altar and pray. Sometimes I wanted to skip the Litany but I refused…most days.

What I have found today though, is that the morning prayers are beginning to change my life. These prayers are giving me joy and comfort I have not experienced. It’s a peace and reassurance that is difficult to describe and I do not look at them as just “another thing” I need to do in my day. When I do that, when I feel I am obligated to do that instead of desiring with my heart to say them, I will know there is something wrong.

I should never look at any prayer or Mass as just an obligation. That’s living more as a slave rather than living for my Creator. If it feels like an obligation, I shouldn’t do them. I want to continue to strive to do better in the areas that are mentioned in the morning prayers, “to be mild, humble, chaste, zealous, charitable and resigned. Incline my heart to keep thy commandments.”

There is so much more to these prayers. I recommend everyone begin their day with 10 minutes or longer of prayer but if you can’t, start with just the Sign of the Cross at waking. You will find that as you put God at the forefront of your thoughts as often as you can, He will be there more and more often in your thoughts. It’s definitely hard at first to remember but you and your soul will be the better for it.

Pax Christi!

Latin Mass, FSSP and Pope Francis

Today we received joyous news that Pope Francis has allowed the FSSP to continue to celebrate the Mass and Sacraments according to the 1962 Missal. Yet, there are many traditional Catholics who are upset and are calling this another gaslighting move of the pope.

I get it. I don’t understand his motive. Is it genuine? Is it to corral the trads in order to cut them off? What is it?

Today, I do not want to focus on that. I want to offer thanksgiving because that’s what we SHOULD do. Why?

For months you all have been telling me that it’s over. The Latin Mass is disappearing and by Ash Wednesday, the pope will have declared us schismatics. For months I have heeded this warning, so I prayed, offered penance and sacrifice, abstinence and fasting (although I fully admit I could have done more).

And today, we were rewarded. The FSSP was consecrated to Mary and I believe her intercession was received. This does not mean I am blind to what the pope might be doing. This does not mean I am not still in the fight over the Latin Mass.

What this does mean, is that I am going to offer prayers of Thanksgiving today and continue to pray for intercession that the Latin Mass is NOT suppressed. That this does not become part of a larger issue of corralling people to the FSSP parishes and then cutting them off as schismatics.

I want to rejoice in the fact that for now, my son will be confirmed and receive his First Communion in the Latin Rite and rejoice that this has been held off a bit longer so more children like my son can receive the Sacraments in the Latin Rite! These children are going to receive hefty graces to enter into this spiritual battle! They will be able to fight along with us knowing the Truth!

So today, I am grateful because many of you were wrong…about today.

The fight is not over. I have am close friends with a priest who offers the TLM at his Novus Ordo parish and he will be devastated when/if his Bishop brings down the hammer. I know a few other priests who LOVE the Latin Rite and celebrate Ad Orientem. Their hearts will be crushed. I will continue the fight for them too, and all those who love the Latin Mass.

But I urge all of you to take a moment and thank the Lord. This is not over but the Lord deserves thanks. Please, I beg you, offer thanksgiving.

What Happens After Latin Mass?

In my Traditional Latin Mass series, I shared something that happens after Latin Mass. As a new attendee (December 2020) in my late-40’s and having attended the Novus Ordo since birth, what happens after Latin Mass was confusing for me. So confusing, I almost made a fool of myself and now, I treasure these moments.

What could possibly happen after Latin Mass that is so interesting someone would blog about it? Well, since I haven’t seen this happen in a Novus Ordo Mass (at any of the dozens of churches I have attended), it warrants a post. I have attended Novus Ordo in many states and have never seen such a sight. So let me share it with you.

When we attended the Latin Mass for the first time on the first day of Advent 2020, we went with friends who helped us throughout the Mass. I recommend that if you go, you either watch videos and go with friends who attend (or even a mentor), or watch the videos ALL THE WAY through. Many have their Masses online now, thanks to COVID so you have an opportunity to watch every aspect, with the exception of the communion rail (although some do show this).

I watched some videos on the Latin Mass, to include how to receive on the tongue, prior to attending. I noticed immediately that Mass was similar to what I had been participating in my whole life. Kneeling, standing, sitting, etc. I was concerned about receiving on the tongue, NOT because of disease transmission, and believe me, as a germaphobe, I am always concerned about germs. I was mostly concerned that I would look stupid, the Eucharist would drop, I would not stick my tongue out enough, etc.

I needed to feel confident that I would be able to receive on the tongue so this was very important to me. It was not at all a concern of my husband or children. I guess I was overthinking it. The good thing is, the parish newsletter actually published information on how to receive the Eucharist on the tongue not long after we began attending.

Back to my story.

As I stated in my one of my TLM posts, I felt alone and isolated during the Mass but I had no idea the changes that were occurring in my family. It would be weeks before I would feel “at home.” I was okay with that because I wanted to see and believe that the Latin Mass was for my family.

So I sat through Mass, grasping at all the pieces I recognized and found comfort in them. I tried to ignore the areas that felt out of place or I didn’t understand. The communion rail was so much easier than I had anticipated and it moved along so quickly. It was perfect order and I loved that only the priest offered me the Eucharist.

At my Novus Ordo parish, people would flock to the priest or deacon and that line was always much longer. I wonder why so many want to receive from the priest? Is it just merely the location in the pews or do they have an underlying desire (from the Holy Spirit) to receive from the priest?

It was clear when the Mass ended. We all kneeled and performed the Sign of the Cross. Then the priest went to the Gospel side of the Altar and it looked like he just stood there for a while and then everyone kneeled briefly as the priest kneeled. The music began and the priest and altar boys began to recess out of the church. That’s when it happened.

Not a single person moved. No one rushed out of the pew. It was the strangest thing. Everyone was singing or just listening. When I attend Novus Ordo with my parents, as soon as the priest passes them, they bolt out of the pew. I used to do so with them, but then I started staying until the song was over (usually one verse).

It annoyed my parents but they didn’t say anything to me about it (except to mock me occasionally by calling me “holy”). They would meet us at IHOP anyway so they left as usual and my family stayed. Sometimes my sister would stay too and I loved that.

So why were the people staying in the pews at the Latin Mass? Did they not have a breakfast/brunch to go to? Did they not have a football game, kids soccer or something else to attend to? I thought to myself, “How respectful to the choir and organist. I guess we need to wait until after the verse to head out.” Four verses later and everyone was still in the pew.

Hmmmmm…

Once all the verses had been sung, I was shocked at what I observed. Instead of people bolting out of the pews, everyone kneeled. I was surrounded! There was no way I could get out of the pew! It was almost like I was a hostage…except not really since we had the aisle and could scoot out at anytime but then we would be noticed.

So we kneeled. I wondered what everyone was doing. Now I know but at the time, I was confused. I want more people to experience what I have but so many have their eyes and ears shut. They don’t want to see anything beyond what they know. I didn’t either until it was placed on my heart. I pray the Lord places it on your heart, before this is gone. Before all the bishops follow the demands of the pope.

I ask you…why take this away? What benefit is it?

There would be few people at my Novus Ordo church that kneeled after Mass. If they did, they couldn’t concentrate because those that did stay, would begin talking in the pews with each other, sharing about the football game or whatever they felt like talking about and laughing loudly.

Stock Photo (RODNAE productions) NOT my Novus Ordo Parish

The same thing would happen as you entered the church. If you wanted to kneel and pray before Mass began, there wasn’t silence. There certainly wasn’t any priest telling the parishioners not to talk when they enter. There was no bulletin to remind people of the proper reverence due to God by being silent in the pews while people prayed. There was no instruction at all.

So I found it just as shocking that the more we attended the Latin Mass, we heard the rosary being recited as we entered the church. People were kneeling and praying the rosary together. So we began to come earlier so we could pray with them at the start instead of joining in the middle.

Unfortunately, we have had to stop this practice because there is not enough time to pray the full rosary prior to the Mass. Why? Because we have FIVE Sunday Masses with a half hour in-between! There isn’t enough time to pray the rosary AND prepare yourself for Mass. The priests didn’t want to stop the rosary but the rosary was going right up to the processional. That can’t happen either.

We have FIVE Sunday Masses that are nearly packed. It’s not a tiny church but it’s not as big as our Novus Ordo parish. I’m not sure many of you can imagine sitting through every Mass when it feels like Christmas and Easter at those Masses. Packed in the pews like sardines. If only you can imagine.

So what do we do when we kneel after Mass? We pray. We thank God for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We don’t ask God for things like health, a better job, etc. We THANK Him. And now, I beg the Lord that this isn’t taken us, because that’s what the pope wants. Pray for us. If you don’t agree with the Latin Mass, pray that it’s not suppressed. It will not affect you. No one is pushing this on you.

I’ll end with this…please try it. What do you have to lose? It might just bring you closer to God in ways you could never comprehend. Maybe that scares you? Maybe it scares you that you will learn to be more accountable to God and then desire it?

Recommendations for when you attend Latin Mass for the first time:
Watch the Mass online before you go
Watch videos on how to receive the Eucharist on the tongue
Read about what happens at a Latin Mass
Use the Missal or handbook that all churches have to help you through it
Don’t worry you don’t know Latin, it’s all in the Missal and you will recognize many parts depending on the liturgical season outside of just the Kyrie, Alleluia, Gospel, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei.

I pray you try it out. Give it five Sundays or two months? Make this your Lenten journey! You can sit with us!

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