Novus Ordo, TLM, SSPX, FSSP, Sedevacantist – What do all these mean? These are Catholic terms and terms I had not heard until my 40’s despite being born and raised Catholic. Aren’t all Catholic’s the same? Isn’t it the Universal Church? Isn’t Catholicism the progression of Judaism? Catholicism is an ancient religion that has been around for more than 2000 years? But it’s been corrupted and reformed. Yes, it’s been reformed despite so many of you thinking it’s outdated.
Look how this church in Germany has been “reformed.” It’s basically been destroyed. This is not what a Catholic church should look like. I wonder what the Mass is like here?
I heard the term SSPX in 2016. I served a Catholic family who sadly lost their baby. In talking with the family, SSPX was identified as part of their faith. Most specifically, when I discussed babies going to heaven and becoming saints that pray for them, I was informed they did not believe that and they believed their baby to be in limbo (it’s a 3 part series by the way). I am familiar with limbo and this certainly brought me to books and study but for me, limbo was no source of comfort for the babies I had lost.
But this term pushed me to study more about my faith and I learned about “sects” of Catholicism: SSPX and FSSP to be exact. There are more but I’m going to talk about these two. What I learned about SSPX immediately pushed me away. I could not get on board with priests and a bishop that would not follow Rome. I knew about the Baltimore Catechism. I knew there was something big that happened with Vatican II (do you even know what it was) but I was unaware of the complexities. I would be drawn farther into learning more.
FSSP was in line with Rome but I knew little about it. At the time, SSPX had a website that had their own documents on it, their own Bible, etc. It was like a cult. I vowed to stay away from them. Then I opened up the Baltimore Catechism and read about limbo. It did not bring peace. Then I watched videos on limbo and while it opened my eyes to a broader understanding, it did not bring relief about my dead, unbaptized children.
I did not pursue any information on FSSP but this is about the time I began praying to be able to attend Biblical School. I was soon expecting a baby and I figured I would not be able to go to Biblical School as a new mother of three and the expense was also an issue. I knew though, that if God wanted this for me, He would provide the way and of course, if I prayed specifically for it, I would be granted the ability to go.
A year after my baby was born, God granted me the ability to go to Biblical School and on day one, my eyes were opened. Here is what I shared with my Year One instructor as I drove home from the first day of Biblical School.
“Thank you for your class today. It was fantastic. You probably get messages often about how CBS changes people so I am sure what I am about to say isn’t new but I want to share it anyway. I have been a Catholic since birth. I attended CCD my entire childhood. I completed the sacraments but left the Church after high school. I was called back when I met my husband in the Marines, a non-Catholic who believes he met me because God was calling him home to the Church. He converted in 2003. We have only grown in our faith over the last 20 years but more recently in the last 8 years.
I manage the Catholic Women’s Conference of Denver and I am nearly ashamed to say it because I am strong in my faith and am not a good apologetic (although I am learning). I *should* know more and I have been told that I shouldn’t manage the organization (not by our group but outsiders) because I am not “Catholic enough.” Most recently, I heard that same phrase from a priest friend of mine and that was a catalyst to signing up for CBS a few weeks ago.
I knew I would learn about the Bible and I was excited and anxious to actually study the Bible but I did NOT expect to have such an experience on my first day. My brain is full right now processing all you shared today and I just want to know more but as I drove out of the parking lot, a profound sadness came over me. I cried.
I cried because I didn’t realize how much of a gift the Bible was. I cried because I have never actually read the Bible because I was always trying to read it like a novel. I cried because I felt like I failed God in something so simple, reading the Truth. I know he loves me and I swear I heard him in the car say, “It’s okay child, you know now.”
The Ah-Ha moment was talked about on prayer day but I don’t even consider this an Ah-Ha moment. This was different. This was God SHOWING me the home, not calling me there. I have been living in the house but not really understanding what is in the house. The house is full of His love but not in the sense that we humans feel it or believe it to be.
Thank you for today. Thank you so much for this opportunity! I can’t wait to read and learn more!”
I could not believe that the Bible contained so much about Catholicism!! How is it that I did not know?! I felt sad and ashamed. I felt like so much had been taken from me. I should have known and I didn’t. I would learn so much over the next three years. It’s a four year program and year three is just about over but I know so much more now. In fact, my heart hurts for so many of you. The truth is out there and so many do not know how to interpret it. If you only knew your Jewish roots, you’d be Catholic, not Protestant.
What more would I find out on this journey of grief? What was wrong at my parish? I never thought or considered I would find something wrong…