Reader Mail: The Chasm Between Tradition and , Well, Lutherans?

I was blessed to receive the following email which I share with the author’s permission. For context, I had posted about the anniversary of my father’s death.

Hi “Harvey”,

Beautiful post on your dad. My Mom passed away on January 17, 2015. She, too, attended daily Mass and prayed the rosary daily. My Dad (he’s still healthy and active at 87) and siblings shared beautiful email remembrances and Facebook posts. They all started with the same theme, on how she went straight to heaven. I’m the only Latin Mass trad in the family, and I mentioned how I pray for the souls of Mom, our siblings, et al. at every Mass, and that even though some or all may already be in heaven, those prayers are not wasted as they inure to the benefit of other souls in purgatory.

Well, you would have thought I threw a wet blanket on the entire affair. We’re all on terrific terms, but the disconnect between Tradition and the steady--but rapidly accelerating—slide to protestantism among the Novus Ordo goers is starting to widen.

I found your blog when your post on altar boys went kind of viral (if I found it, it had to have gone viral). It’s been a breath of fresh air.



First, it amuses me to hear that I went viral. I have said before, and I sincerely mean it, I appreciate each, and every person who finds his way onto this page and am most grateful that anyone reads my blog. The reader does strike upon something very important. The Novus Ordo mass is essentially exactly what he says. It was conceived with an aim toward “welcoming our separated brethren”. One other point I will make (and I think our writer alludes to it very nicely) is this. Pray for the dead. Pray without ceasing.Pray without ceasing.Pray for the dead. Pray without ceasing. Pray for the dead. Pray without ceasing. The Blessed Mother, Mediatrix of ALL grace will redistribute as needed. About the only people our faith teaches us that we can surely know are in heaven are the souls of baptized children who have not attained the use of reason.

Thank you for this beautiful reflection! May God bless you richly and let us all pray for each other. We’re in similar boats. Many of my siblings are not “in tradition” yet but I hope they swim over really soon.

St. Joseph, pray for us!

Three Hail Marys: Follow-up

A few days ago I posted a link to a video of a priest’s sermon wherein he preached about the three Hail Marys devotion. I have already noticed an effect in my life since discovering this.

This evening, a friend emailed me thanking me for promoting this devotion. Believe me, it is not only my pleasure; it is my duty to pass along things like this.

So again tonight I wish to invite all who read this to pray three Hail Marys every night, every morning, and every so often in between.

May the holy names of Jesu, Mary, and Joseph be praised forever more!

May He Rest in Peace

Six years ago today, my father went to his judgment.

Pray for his repose, please.

I learned two very important things from him. The first is his devotion to the daily Mass. as a husband and father, he knew this was vital. He moved Heaven and earth to be there every single day of his life.

The other is his devotion to the Blessed Mother. He never missed a rosary.

Due to these two facts, I have true hope that his judgment went well for him.

But remember, none of us ever knows. Aquinas himself doubted that he was in a state of grace at times. So I say again…

Stay confessed.

St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for us!

So They Say…

They say that Bergoglio is really, really upset and that he’s pouncing on Benedict’s death to further “restrict the Latin Mass”.

Forgive my apathy, but at this point, should I really care what an antipope threatens?

Do we know what to do if that happens? Yes. Stay confessed. Stop committing mortal sins. I heard Mark Docherty say something on Barnhardt’s most recent podcast: “Stay close to home.” To this I add, stay close to the Blessed Mother. Pray your rosary. Stock up on beeswax candles because, why not? Feed the hungry. Give drink to the thirsty. Clothe the naked. Get on your knees and pray. Fast. Mortify the flesh.

For heaven’s sake, He gave us the keys to this puzzle 2000 years ago. Stay close to Him.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us poor sinners!

It Blushed

Today at Mass, we heard the Gospel of the Wedding at Cana. This is is my favorite Gospel passage. As a poet once remarked, “The water beheld its God and blushed.”

I remember many years ago when a dear friend died. She was an old woman from the parish in the old neighborhood. She was funeral director with an Irish surname and a big heart. I loved this woman. I’d see her every day when I was a child. We were all part of what we called the “6:30 Club”, as in the 6:30 AM daily Mass. I was in my early 20’s when she died. At her funeral this Gospel was read. Today I would take issue with that. I don’t think people should be “picking the readings”. There really shouldn’t be any option. But for her it seemed fitting as she was so incredibly devoted to Our Lady. The priest, in his sermon at her funeral, spoke of that devotion. He said, “I imagine that if she went straight to God it was because Our Lord greeted her and said ‘Josephine, come with Me. My Mother has told me so much about you.’” And I always loved that image.

Jesus Meets His Afflicted MotherHoly Trinity Catholic Church, Dallas

Do whatever He tells you. These are the last words spoken by the Blessed Mother in Scripture.

Do whatever He tells you. Listen to your Mother. Turn to her as the couple did at Cana. She knew their need before they even recognized and she pleaded for them. And Our Lord, her Son, complied.

Mary, Mother at Cana, pray for us!

What to Make of Poor Cardinal Pell

I remember digesting the coverage of the trial of Cardinal Pell several years ago. It was obvious to me at the time that the whole thing was a massive set-up. What was not obvious were factors that would emerge in subsequent years. For instance, it now seems probably that Vatican entities connected with Cardinal Becciu wired money from the Vatican to Victoria to affect the outcome of the late Cardinal Pell’s prosecution. As a side note, what I’m saying here is that, to me, it looks like Becciu was working to get Pell locked up to get him out of the way. Remember, Pell was a Vatican financial watchdog and Becciu was wiring money to his charities run by his brother to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars in addition to other shady investments. Pell was convicted and spent So Cardinal Pell was grievously wronged, right? Pell spent time in prison, forbidden to offer Mass, until Australian courts vacated his conviction. And then he returned to Rome.

And then there’s the Pell with questionables. Pell was celebrated in Trad(inc.) circles and to some extent he did emit a certain orthodox flair. He was staunchly opposed to ending priestly celibacy. Woohoo. That qualifies as orthodox these days? On the other hand (and I promise to look find the exact clip), Malachi Martin, in one of his Bernard Janzen interviews, describes by name a young Bishop Pell as a dangerous man who spouts whatever the current company line is. That section of the interview was actually a lot more damning for Pell than I just wrote. Seriously, I promise to locate the clip. It’s worth a listen. Pell was said to be difficult to work with, the kind of man most people wouldn’t mind seeing fall from grace due to his temperament. Granted that was several years back and serving thirteen months in prison for a crime one didn’t commit might certainly humble a man. One final point on the dubious creds of the cardinal… Here’s a quote I came across from a debate with Richard Dawkins that was televised in 2012. There are Pell’s own words.

“Adam and Eve are terms – what do they mean: life and earth. It’s like every man. That’s a beautiful, sophisticated, mythological account. It’s not science but it’s there to tell us two or three things. First of all that God created the world and the universe. Secondly, that the key to the whole of universe, the really significant thing, are humans and, thirdly, it is a very sophisticated mythology to try to explain the evil and suffering in the world.”

“A sophisticated, mythological account?” Thanks for the solid, Your Eminence. When you meet Adam and Eve, I hope they’re not too “mythologically” disappointing to you.

And then today I read accounts of his funeral in Rome. A “simple” affair. According to the Register, simple funerals for cardinals are the order of the day in the Vatican. I looked at the story and saw the picture of Pell’s casket resting on the floor. How odd. It certainly seemed like a final slap in the face to the man. Not even a bier? This reminded me of the time when my brother-in-law died two years ago and my sister asked me and another brother-in-law to be pall bearers. My other brother-in-law asked, “Just to be clear, you wanted us to be pall bearers or honorary pall bearers?” As she lit a Virginia Slim 120, my sister replied, “For God’s sake, the damn thing’s on wheels. It’s all honorary.” I get what they’re doing. They did it with Benedict. Let’s minimize the funeral and thereby minimize the life.

Nonetheless, it raises several questions and not enough answers for me. Cardinal Pell. Was he a complicated man? Was he orthodox? A Francis-loving (and thus heretic-loving) leftie? He was certainly a victim of politics and a man unjustly imprisoned and for that I hold him in some esteem. For the good things he said and did, I regard him kindly. For the things he said and did that fly in the face of orthodoxy, I think I feel compelled to offer prayers for him. You see, Cardinal Pell, may he rest in peace, seemed like so many others of the post-Vatican II Church. A fan of the phenomenologist JPII and a “Fwanciss is definitely pope, stupid” curial member, he also authored the “Demos Memo” telling the Cardinals what to do in the next conclave to eliminate the Bergoglian threat to the Church. Man, this guy was all over the map! If any of you can figure him out, please let me know.

Meanwhile I will offer this prayer for him.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

The Baptism of the Lord

Today at Mass, Fr. gave a little sermon. He’s a baby priest, newly ordained. I love this guy. He’s joyful and holy – a knockout combination. In his sermon for this feast of Our Lord’s Baptism he mentioned that each of us should celebrate our own baptismal day because it was the most important day of our lives. He also assumed that most of us don’t know much about that day.

Fortunately, yours truly knows all about it. January 15, 1978. I became a Christian. It was Super Bowl Sunday. My twin sister and I were robed in white. Unfortunately the Cowboys won. Oh well, at least I was received into the Church.

If you don’t know the exact date, I encourage you to find out. Find out and then celebrate. This Sunday I will do just that.

God bless us and the Virgin protect us!