A reflection on all that we Catholics once owned, by right, that has now been almost totally misappropriated, by scoundrels

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In light of the unfolding (or perhaps one should say unraveling) of Pope Francis’s pontificate, we should revisit words once spoken by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, predating and anticipating Summorum—words that now have an alarming portentousness:

I am of the opinion, to be sure, that the old rite should be granted much more generously to all those who desire it. It’s impossible to see what could be dangerous or unacceptable about that. A community is calling its very being into question when it suddenly declares that what until now was its holiest and highest possession is strictly forbidden, and when it makes the longing for it seem downright indecent. Can it be trusted any more about anything else? Won’t it proscribe tomorrow what it prescribes today? (Salt of the Earth, 1997)

He has asked a question to which, so far, no honest answer has been given by the Church’s leaders. The reason is not hard to see. Ratzinger dared to say that the Church’s very being had been called into question when Paul VI declared the old Mass forbidden—which in fact he repeatedly did, in response to attempts to maintain a liturgy the Church had celebrated for 500 years, and in its essentials, for 1,000 years, and in the core of it, for 1,500 years. The longing for this treasure of faith was mocked, stepped on, suppressed, treated as a form of disobedience, arrogance, or neurosis. And the haunting question rises up: “Can the Church be trusted any more about anything else? Won’t it proscribe tomorrow what it prescribes today?”

If Paul VI in 1969 can abolish the oldest liturgical rite of Christendom and replace it with a new-fangled rite fashioned by committee according to modern ideas, with the two rites having very little in common when one looks at their details, why can’t Francis today modify the Ten Commandments or the Gospels? They, too, are awfully old, rejected by vast numbers of people as irrelevant to modern times, extremely provocative, and rather narrow in their fixation on obeying God or else. Don’t we need to update and modernize the whole of Christianity? If we can do this with what is our holiest and highest possession, namely the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we can do it across the board, top to bottom. What is permitted, what is forbidden, what is to be construed as good, what is to be rejected as evil, is simply up to the will of the reigning pontiff.

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Controversial Midwestern Bishop teaches: The reason Catholics go to Mass is to offer sacrifice. It’s not to be entertained or to do what they like.

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Editor’s note: There was a time when most Catholics actually understood the nature and purpose of the Mass. There also was a time when more than seventy five percent of Catholics attended Mass every Sunday. Participation today is well under thirty percent – and falling.

Pope Francis labels as heretics those Catholics who hold a more traditional understanding of the faith, yet he is unwilling to make a similar prudential judgment as to the nature of many of his fellow Jesuits, certain radical women’s religious orders, and those who suffer from disordered sexuality.

Modernism, Liberalism, hypocrisy, and arrogant humility apparently go hand in hand.

Emmanuel (God with us): Why the real presence of Jesus Christ is so important for proper worship.

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by Doug Lawrence

From all eternity, up until the physical conception and subsequent birth of Jesus Christ … in the flesh … man perceived God as a mysterious, awesomely powerful, largely unknowable being, whose divine essence was thought to consist of pure spirit.

Christmas fundamentally changed man’s perception of God as well as the reality of his divine person-hood,  since we know now that God, as part of his true nature … assumed a distinctive, eternal, human soul, along with a (now) resurrected and glorified human body. A body that is presumably … fully compatible with both heaven and earth.

So, after Jesus’ relatively short, earthly human existence was complete, it would have been quite appropriate, as well as completely truthful, to exclaim, “My God, how you’ve changed!”

The terms of God’s New Covenant substantially incorporate and memorialize that profound change in many ways, none more important than the definitive liturgical sacrifice of the New Covenant … the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass … where the memorial symbolism of the traditional Hebrew Passover Feast is replaced by the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ … the true Lamb of God … who takes away the sins of the world.

Jesus did that … just as he subsequently suffered and died for us … in the flesh … and as one of us, in every way … except for sin.

Hence, from that moment forward, anyone who desires to fully worship Jesus Christ … in spirit and truth … i.e. “body and spirit” … can no longer be fully satisfied with his spiritual presence alone, despite the way some choose to interpret the following passage:

Again I say to you, that if two of you shall consent upon earth, concerning anything whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by my Father who is in heaven. For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:19-20)

It’s very nice to know that God is listening to our prayers, and that he is there for us, whenever we gather in his name, but the difference (to we human faithful) between God being present in a purely spiritual sense and being  truly physically present for us … body, blood, soul and divinity … as in the Holy Eucharist … is a difference of such magnitude that it is impossible to put into words.

If it wasn’t for the incarnation, where God took on flesh and became one of us, in order to save us from our sins and reconcile heaven and earth, we would all still be hopelessly enslaved to Satan, sin and death.

Catholics incorporate all of this and more into the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the essential liturgy given to us by Christ himself, at the Last Supper, where we give correct praise and proper worship to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit … with, in and through Jesus, who is the perfect mediator and who remains the only acceptable sacrifice for sin … becoming truly present for us on the altar, at every Mass.

Presented with a sacrifice such as this, we can be assured that God will always find it pleasing and acceptable, and that he will graciously respond, even in the face of our many iniquities and human failings, since at least one of us humans present there (Jesus) has already attained divine perfection.

Without Jesus Christ, truly present, body, blood, soul and divinity … God with us … at the very center of our divine worship … we miserable sinners have very little to offer up to God. But at Mass … with Christ, in Christ, and through Christ … in the unity of the Holy Spirit … we have the ability to invariably please God, become the recipients of all his graces … and successfully maintain in our hearts the blessed hope of spending an eternity with him, in heaven.

Attempting to worship God any other way begs the question: Why would God have gone to all the trouble of becoming man, instituting the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper, becoming a living sacrifice for the sins of the world, rising again from the dead and personally founding his one holy, Catholic and apostolic Church, if not to have things done the way he set them up?

Why indeed!

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Catholic Apologetics – The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

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Editor’s note: It doesn’t get any better than that … this side of Heaven!

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as prophesied in the Old Testament Book of Malachi: Proper worship and acceptable sacrifice, 24/7 and 365, all around the world, until the end of time.

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Reflections on Holy Thursday and the Last Supper

At the Last Supper, Jesus instituted the New Covenant, and he also gave us the definitive sacrifice of that Covenant, his very own body, blood, soul and divinity, under the traditional auspices of ordinary bread and wine. Doing so, Jesus perfectly fulfilled all the institutions, holy days and sacrifices of old, particularly the Jewish Passover, making them, along with the totality of the Old Law, things of the past.

If this were not the case, then there would have been no reason for Jesus to give us a “NEW” Covenant at all, since the “OLD” (with a few strategic alterations) might have then sufficed.

2Corinthians 5:17 –

“If then any be in Christ a new creature, the old things are passed away. Behold all things are made new.”

What had only been prophesied before in scripture, through mysterious types and shadows, was now a new, eternal and saving reality.

Jesus was the lamb whose blood would be poured out, in order to save the people of God from Satan, sin, and eternal death.

The ancient Passover observance was always about Jesus. And once Jesus fully revealed himself and completed his work, all of the ancient observances and feasts would be divinely incorporated into just one universal (Catholic) New Covenant observance of the Paschal Mystery, that we know today as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Lest anyone doubt this is true,  all we need do is consult the Old Testament Book of Malachi, written around 400 years before the Last Supper, where this singular, eternal, and uniquely “unbloody” sacrifice was described and clearly foretold.

Malachi looks forward to a time when only a “clean” (unbloody) sacrifice would be offered up to God … not by the Jews … not only in Jerusalem … but by Gentiles (non-Jews) the world over.

Malachi 1:11

“From the rising of the sun, even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, in every place there is a clean oblation (unbloody sacrifice) for my name is great among the Gentiles, says the Lord of Hosts.”

From this it should be absolutely clear … it’s no accident that today, every hour of every day, every day of every year, in virtually every nation, all around the world … Jesus, in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass … is offered up to God, for the needs of the whole world. And in this sinful and seriously misguided world, it’s very nice to know that somewhere, there’s always a few good people still faithfully heeding Christ’s personal instructions: “Do this in memory of me.”

Anticipated at the Last Supper, fulfilled at Calvary, made present for us (and for every generation) at Mass … this one time, once for all, eternal sacrifice serves as the “engine of divine grace” that in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, perpetually empowers the Church and sanctifies its members, courtesy of Jesus, our perfect victim, high priest, mediator, God, risen brother and king.

The “token” which confirms God’s promise of salvation is none other than the Holy Eucharist, wherein the same Christ, truly present under the auspices of bread and wine, personally reaffirms his new, sacred and saving  covenant, each and every time we receive him. A better example of a real, close, personal relationship with Jesus Christ is available only in Heaven!

This is why Catholics have priests, rather than ministers, since the primary function of a priest is to offer sacrifice to God, for the people, and the Mass is indeed a true, liturgical re-presentation of Jesus Christ’s singular, perfect, and eternal  sacrifice on the cross, at Calvary. An image of the crucified Jesus on the cross … the crucifix … serves to remind us of this.

It’s also no accident that at the Last Supper, Jesus  instituted the Ministerial Priesthood of the Catholic Church, making the apostles the first New Covenant priests, since the fullness of the ministerial priesthood will always be essential to the basic work of the church (teaching, sanctifying, governing, in Jesus’ name).

It wasn’t until a few days later, when the apostles encountered the risen Christ, that they began to truly understand how all this actually worked. The scriptures explain that Jesus made things pretty clear for them:

Luke 24:44-48  And he (the risen Jesus) said to them: These are the words which I spoke to you while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled which are written in the law of Moses and in the prophets and in the psalms, concerning me.  Then he opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.  And he said to them: Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer and to rise again from the dead, the third day:  And that penance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, unto all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  And you are witnesses of these things.

Jesus spent another 40 days working with the apostles, before he ascended to Heaven, promising:

John 14:26  … the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you.