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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!

Veiling: The Gateway “Drug”

Continuing with my blogs on the journey to the Latin Mass, I was texting with a friend last night and came to a conclusion. Veiling, is the gateway “drug” to the Latin Mass. I say this jokingly; however, it was certainly true for several of us who were in the same parish and were one of the few that started “veiling” around 2016.

By 2020, we were all at the Latin Mass. I took the longest to make the journey to TLM.

2016 was also the first planning year for the Catholic Women’s Conference of Denver. Our Inaugural conference was Lent 2017. It was beautiful. It was at our parish as well and there were quite a few women wearing a veil at the Mass.

I saw a friend wear a veil several times but not consistently at Sunday Mass and I began to pray about wearing a veil. I found the scripture for head coverings and did some research online about it. Then, for Christmas, my husband bought me two veils. An ivory one, and a blue one with black lace trim. It’s the one you see in the picture above (which is also in our old parish).

I didn’t immediately begin wearing the veils when my husband bought them. It took me a few weeks to finally gain the courage to wear it. I didn’t want to stand out or be gawked at, plus, I was afraid someone would ask me about why I was wearing a veil all of a sudden and I wasn’t confident I could defend my position.

However, one Sunday, I placed the veil on my head as I entered the church and never looked back. It was not awkward at all despite the fact that there were maybe one or two women wearing a veil at my parish at that time. I have always enjoyed tradition and learned that this was something my mother did as a child. It brought comfort knowing that it was something all women used to do, even if they felt it wasn’t a choice at the time.

If anyone asked, I began to defend my position simply by saying it’s a sign of humility, though I don’t remember anyone specifically asking. I believe I drafted that response so I would have something to say IF I was asked. As shared above, once I began wearing a veil, I never attended Mass without it on my head. The changes began almost immediately.

I was more focused, as I shared in my previous post. I felt more obedient to God and even though I sometimes felt children staring, mostly the little girls behind me who were curious, my heart swelled with love and not anxiety for standing out. I wanted more to see my example and cover their heads. It took time for other people to start but by the time I left the church (with the exception of COVID shutting everything down and no one attending), there were several more women veiling. Not much, but it was progress.

This is also one reason I took so long to leave our parish. We had been there for 15 years and loved it. We were heavily involved in it, our son attended school there, and it was truly our home but I wanted people to continue to see an example of reverence for the Lord. I knew women wanted to wear veils because at conferences, they would share they wanted to wear one but they were scared because so many women didn’t veil.

I was saddened to hear that peer pressure was literally stopping women from showing the due reverence to God. I offered for them to sit near me so they felt more comfortable. Occasionally, I would see someone near me with a veil on.

As the year progressed, I joined some online Facebook groups for women who wore veils. It was interesting to see how many women in the group were scared to wear their veil. Again, sadness over this fact overcame me. There was much encouragement in this particular group and more women became confident enough to do it.

Then the questions of “what do I wear when veiling” came up. Many women wanted to wear a veil but didn’t feel it was appropriate in jeans. I hadn’t really thought about that. I just wore my veil in whatever clothing I was wearing and I was NOT a dress/skirt wearer.

Within a year, I had a set of skirts for Mass. But something happened before that. Something huge! Something I was never taught and had rarely observed as a cradle Catholic.

I began kneeling to receive the Eucharist.

Stock Photo (MART Production)

Soon after I began to kneel to receive my Lord and My God. The Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, I began to do something even more shocking.

I received the Eucharist on my tongue.

Stock Photo

Oh the shock!

Why on earth would I do that? What would possess me to receive Jesus directly on my tongue? Why would I kneel and receive?

What did the women in the Bible do when they saw Jesus? What did they do when they were in his presence? Especially the sinful women?

I think of the woman who washes Jesus’ feet with her tears and the anointing of His feet with expensive oil. He didn’t lean back and lift his feet to her. She dropped to her knees in His Presence.

In fact, when anyone faces God in the Bible, they drop to their face, which would mean, they are on their knees. Why on earth have I been presenting myself to our Lord on my feet? It was easy to kneel to receive Christ. It was harder to open my mouth to receive but I did it. It was a natural progression.

It was banned in 2020.

In fact, young children at my parish school who kneeled and opened their mouth to receive Christ instead of in their unconsecrated hands, were refused Christ. At first, told to receive on their hands and then bypassed altogether. Sacrilege!!

How could merely putting on a veil lead me to worship God in the way He has said to be worshipped? I provided the biblical basis above. Head coverings are in the Bible and it’s very easy to see that anyone in God’s presence falls to their knees. Does He need to spell it out for you?

It took about three years for this transformation to occur and then, no longer accepted in my parish because of the reverence and worship God wanted, I moved to the Latin Mass. I was accepted there in the ways I was already worshipping and I am still on a learning curve, especially when it comes to marriage and obedience within my home. This is another blog altogether.

My call to you is to try it. Go to Mass for two months wearing a veil consistently, every Sunday without removing it. Then come back and share your experiences.

So I will end with what we published in our 3rd Annual Catholic Women’s Conference of Denver Program.

Thinking about veiling at Mass? You are not alone!

Women are rediscovering this beautiful and sacred practice. The veil is an external sign of humility before God who is present in the Blessed Sacrament. For over 2000 years, Catholic women have worn some form of head coving in the Church for many reasons but the practice has always focused on our submission to Christ and his holiness.

“The veil is a visual sermon…a public proclamation before the Lord that He is the Lord and that we love him and that we are ready to obey him. It’s a totally counter-cultural statement proclaiming obedience in the midst of a culture that is totally permeated with the attitude of ‘I will not serve.'”

The veil is a sign of the great dignity inherent to a woman, who has the potential to receive life within herself…both human life and the supernatural life of God. This is an important message the world needs to hear, now more than ever!

This is the way.

Why It Isn’t JUST About Latin

My Latin Mass series isn’t technically over but I certainly haven’t blogged about it this year. I am actually quite surprised that this is my first blog of the year, but it is fitting. The Traditional Latin Mass is under attack, from within it’s own Church and the underlying complaint from “Catholics” is that the Mass needs to be in the vernacular and more modern. They want us to give up our “old, dead language” so everyone can understand and participate in the Mass. Guess what, if you go to another country, Mass is in the vernacular and you won’t understand it. The most offensive statement is that the Latin Mass is what we “prefer.”

Look, it’s not JUST about the Latin.

My family has been attending the Latin Mass for 14 months now. The changes that have occurred within our family are indescribable but I will do my best to share with all of you some of what I find most important about the Latin Mass. In order to do that, I ask that you open your mind to what you are about to read. I ask that you do not compare to what you have at your Mass or church because that’s your story, not mine and I want you to hear mine.

As I stated in my Latin Mass series, I succumbed to the TLM. I didn’t have an “ah-ha” moment where I just felt like this was the place to be from the moment I sat down. I had never felt more alone at the Latin Mass. It was odd but I followed my friend’s (priest) advice and went every Sunday for the next two months. I was hoping for something specific that would solidify this was the right place for me and what I came to find out was, it wasn’t about me at all.

I had come to the Latin Mass for an experience, one that would lead me closer to God, and one that I would “feel good” about. What I received was a wake up call. What I received was a more devout life and family. I began doing things I never thought I would do.

I truly believe though, that God placed me on this path and I became open to His Will and I firmly believe with everything I am made of, that this is God’s Will, even though it looks like the Latin Mass is about to be suppressed and anyone attending Latin Mass will be in schism. I never thought I would be facing schism. Why is this happening?

I was a Novus Ordo Catholic for 40+ years. I grew up in the Novus Ordo and never questioned anything there until I began attending Catholic Biblical School (I’m in my 4th year) and learned deeply about where the Catholic Faith came from and what God has revealed to us in Scripture about the Mass.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise when I began to question what was being said during the liturgy (Mass) when things began to differ from all I had known for decades. I accepted the change of “Lord I am not worthy…,” merely because I asked my parents about this and they said, “those were the words we used to say.” So we were returning to the original translation or rather “tradition.”

But I was longing for the little bits of Latin that used to come every Advent and Lenten Seasons. Somehow, our pastor had removed the Latin and Greek (no more Kyrie or Sanctus). Why? Latin wasn’t used at every Mass but certainly was during Advent and Lent. The seasons came and went and every time I thought…”well, maybe next time?” But that next time never came and gradually, the organ was used less and less and was replaced with piano, guitars and multiple singers who were singing more secular-type songs than the ones I grew up with; which by the way, are considered non-sacred but I loved them. (On Eagles Wing’s, Be Not Afraid)

I had began veiling several years ago, despite only one or two veiling at the Mass; which led me to wearing more feminine clothing like skirts and dresses to Mass. Check out my post on veiling! This was when I started to see a transformation in me. The veil helped me to stay focused on what was happening at the altar. The veil was like blinders; which prevented me from the distractions around me, like hand-holding parishioners, the orans posture by parishioners, and children eating in the pews. These were all things I had seen over the years added by someone at some point with no push back.

Despite already veiling and dressing more appropriately for Mass, switching to the Latin Mass wasn’t that easy. I didn’t understand all aspects of the Mass so there was a learning curve, plus, I had never kneeled at a Communion Rail. Bringing a Latin Mass Missal really helped. I found that single best thing to understanding and learning the Latin Mass. But again, it’s not JUST the Latin.

I didn’t need to read or understand the Latin to feel like I participated in Mass, it was much deeper. I had to follow along very closely and learn all the chanting. I had to read each page of the Missal intently and that’s when I discovered so much more was happening during the Mass than I ever knew.

I also had to learn submission. The Bible is very clear on submission. I had to allow the priest to make the Sacrifice on MY behalf. It wasn’t my Sacrifice to begin with really, it was offered for us. The priest has a very specific role, just like they did in the Bible while they were in the Holy of Holies. Where is that, by the way, in the Novus Ordo Mass? Lay people walk all over the Sanctuary during the Mass and are allowed in all the same places as the priest. I don’t understand this. It would help you to understand Exodus. Re-read it, especially Exodus 25 and on.

I had to learn my place was in the pew, not up near the altar or tabernacle, not reading the readings or bringing up gifts. My place was to offer my own sacrifices as I am a priest, prophet and king but not in the same way the ministerial priest is. Learning submission and allowing the priest to do what they were commanded by God to do was humbling and I began to find much peace and contentment during the Mass then ever before.

I was wearing a veil, still “blinded” to what was going on around me but I didn’t have any worry about someone wanting to grab my hand to pray the Our Father. We were all focused on the same thing; the Sacrifice. I could adore the crucifix. I could offer more to God during the Mass than ever before! I found myself begging God to teach me how to love Him. I asked for forgiveness more. I asked for him to bring me closer to him and follow in His ways.

After receiving the Eucharist, I prayed the Acts of Confidence, Love, and Petitions. Prayers I had never seen before. Instead of asking God for all kinds of “things” after receiving, I had a better understanding of what I needed to do. God knows my needs and my wants, He will grant them as He sees fit.

Confession was even different. Questions were asked in the confessional and advice was given. I have had priests ask me questions before and provide advice so this was not new to me, but it was to my husband and adult son. The advice given was how to live more ordered toward God and how to do better in my vocations (wife and mother). Penances were more specific and more difficult. Instead of 3 Hail Mary’s, I was praying decades or full rosaries.

The sermons were quite different. They really made you think about what kind of person you want to be in God’s eyes. They were focused on eternity and how to live in the secular world when we have been set apart and shouldn’t live for this world. At the Novus Ordo, it was rare that any homily made you question your actions or thoughts so as not to offend you. It seemed God was so merciful, everyone would go to heaven. The Fear of the Lord didn’t seem apparent there but it was at the forefront of every Latin Mass.

There were other things that began to happen. I committed to praying the rosary every day. For the first time, I fasted seriously during Lent, having one meal a day for 40 days, no meat (not just on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday but every day), and more penances throughout lent. Our family began praying the Angelus. I recently started praying the morning prayers and am looking forward to adding evening prayers with a daily examination of conscience.

I created a home altar, added more crucifixes in my home and would like to have a crucifix on every wall at some point so no matter where I look, I will see Jesus. I have bought so many more rosaries and while I have about ten, it’s still not enough. I want to have one in every room, every bag, and every car so that I can pick up the rosary and pray at any time. I also have a ton more books and yes, I have Vatican II AND Vatican I documents, which I am reading.

I found myself defending my faith more and had the ability to, especially at work. I would not be bullied into anything that wasn’t Christ-centered. Modernism is an evil and I am fine being fired for standing up for my religious beliefs. Life is going to get hard as I will likely have to comply or quit. Oh well, we’re not made for this world. I’ll find something else. God will lead me.

I know it’s hard for some people to believe “oh well, God will lead me,” but I assure you, He will. I have this confidence because I have good and holy priests who will lead me into the fiery furnace and I would follow them, because they would die for the faith. God has also provided for us when we stand up for His truth, like when we pulled our son from his “Catholic” school 5 months before he was set to graduate and we were rewarded exponentially. When you put your faith and trust in God, He will provide for you.

There are things I miss about the Novus Ordo Mass but I could never go back. What I miss is just what I grew up with and that doesn’t exist where we were going to church for 15+ years. There might be other Novus Ordo Masses which have those things (some do) but it’s a new church and a new community and still doesn’t provide what the Latin Mass has provided for our family.

Some of you might be thinking, “I do all those things and more.” Maybe you are thinking, “our Novus Ordo is reverent and holy.” And yours might be, but out here, I haven’t found one that provides all these things. I haven’t found a Novus Ordo that uses only the organ, has only altar boys, has so few lay people involved, says the same prayers for the consecration, doesn’t deviate from the missal because the priest is tired or his back hurts, allows the congregation to receive the Eucharist on the tongue and actually knows how to distribute it this way, and will tell you that you need to do better because hell is real and people go there! There is so much more.

My faith has never grown this way. There was never an environment for it to grow this way. There weren’t priests who were leading me to heaven. Actually, one did but he left and got his own parish which now offers the Latin Mass. The priests at the Novus Ordo seemed to be putting on a show and just going through the motions or rather, the obligation. Their advice was mediocre and inconsistent so I was confused and when the Mass was stopped because of an illness, all I had ever known and was told didn’t make sense.

The author of confusion is the Devil. God is unchanging.

No one has the authority to stop Mass, nor stop Tradition. For the Catholics who think the church needs to get with the times, you are misled and are misleading others. We are set apart. We are not of this world. We should not change to be of this world and that includes the liturgy. Tradition is important. To reject Tradition, is to reject Christ.

It’s not JUST about the Latin. It’s all these things. God wants us to worship Him. He tells us exactly how He wants to be worshipped. It’s not a secret.

I worship God His Way. Do you want to worship God His Way? This is the Way.

Where Are My Babies? – Limbo

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.

*Vicarious Faith
*Vicarious Suffering
*Vicarious Atonement
*Vicarious Intercession
*Vicarious Baptism

*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.

1 The Doctrine of Limbo in Catholic Tradition by Taylor Marshall
2 Contra Sedevacantism & the Recent Document on Limbo by Father Phil Wolfe

Salvation – You Only Get One Chance

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. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 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. 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. They are of the world, therefore what they say is of the world, and the world listens to them. 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.

Pope Francis and the Latin Mass

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?

He can’t!

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.

Tradition will restore the Church!

Lex Orandi Lex Credendi!!

Traditional Latin Mass – Part Five

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.

NEW YORK TIMES – October 16, 1984
Pope John Paul II Announces Limited Use of the Traditional Latin Mass – Now what?

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.

Peace be to you.

Finding a Church Home – Part Four

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.”

He was right. Now where do we go?

I succumbed to the TLM.

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