Tag Archives: TLM

Common Sense

I have been praying a lot lately using the book Deliverance Prayers for the Laity by Fr. Chad Ripperger. If you do not have a copy of this book, I highly recommend getting one – especially if you are a man with a wife and children. If you are unsure how to use it, there is a video posted by Sensus Fidelium wherein Steve Cunningham interviews Fr. Ripperger on this exact topic.

One of the themes that comes across very plainly to me is a theme that ought to be obvious and yet, thanks to the general collapse in the Church and in Western culture since the mid-20th century is simply not clear. That theme is this. Our Lord, the author of life, has endowed us men with the gift of common sense. In fact, in several of the deliverance prayers the specific request is made of Our Lord that He pour out his Precious Blood to “strengthen our common sense power”. My own take on this overlooking of common sense is that such an emphasis has been placed on the great good that is human reason, that the focus has fallen on our cogitative power in a way that completely ignores the common sense of each human being.

And what is this common sense exactly? In my own words, it is the grasping of truth through what the senses and our experience and reason can plainly know. In other words, it is the idea that what is right in front of one’s eyes might in fact be the reality of a given situation. So for instance, when the media report to us that the cost of eggs has either not risen that much or has only risen because of an avian flu that struck last year; the average man or woman (especially those who purchase eggs for their family regularly) are inclined to say, “That doesn’t sound right to me… I think I would have remembered hearing about a chicken cull due to illness.” When they tell you, “Elections are safe and never subject to corruption and Brandon is supreme overlord,” most of us would say, “Hmm… Nope.”

On that second point in particular I want to point out that it isn’t just a gut feeling. I grew up in New Jersey. I saw electoral corruption firsthand. I saw in the voter rolls on election day that several of my dead siblings were still eligible to vote. Couple that with the fact that we all know from firsthand experience that machines connected to the internet are absolutely subject to being manipulated. It doesn’t take a conspiracy theorist to know that things are not right.

But part of the problem (or maybe a symptom of?) the general loss of common sense – which itself is symptomatic of sin – is the lack of intellectual curiosity. People simply do not want to ask questions anymore. And I’m not just talking about deep, probing questions that only a well-versed expert in a certain field would think to ask. I was a reality TV producer. Believe me, the things people never ask about the content of what they watch on the idiot box is striking to me. I saw how the sausage is made. Most folks simply eat the sausage and are happy. We ought to be asking the how’s and why’s of this thing in front of us.

All of this got me to thinking about some questions that should be asked and it also reminded me of the late George Neumayr. First, do we accept his death as being caused by Malaria? I don’t know about you, but I do not accept this without any definitive proof which so far has not been provided. So many questions here… And I hope we get answers.

But think about George himself for a minute. The handful of times I interacted with him, I knew he was a man with incredible common sense. I feel that way about Ann Barnhardt as well. She has said, “I just ask the questions and say the things everyone else is thinking.” Yes, but sadly not everyone is thinking these things – their minds have been so dulled by the hammer of mortal sin and a degenerate society.

Drink a glass of wine…

When George heard about Cardinal Tobin and the whole “Baby” situation, what did he do? Well, ultimately he went to Baltimore to the Bishop’s conference meeting, found Tobin in the lobby of the hotel, and straight up asked him the question. Is this man (Baby) living with you or not? My goodness, to everyone’s surprise, Tobin answered in the affirmative! He had a sense of what was what and he investigated.

This has lead me to ponder some other questions. These are questions I imagine George might have asked. Who knows, he may have been following up on these questions as recently as a few weeks ago while traveling through the Ivory Coast. They pertain to McCarrick and they are things I have wondered and for which I have never gotten satisfactory answers. In no particular order:

Was McCarrick actually laicized? George hinted in a December tweet that he was not sure of this fact. Where are the documents? They may exist but I cannot simply trust what has been put forth by most of the men running the show these days.

Why is McCarrick still living in Church property? It seems that Teddy is currently somewhere in Missouri or nearby environs residing with a religious order or in a Church run half-way house of sorts. But, you ask, he’s a “private citizen” at this point. So does the Church extend these kinds of living arrangements to other lay folk? Can I simply live out my final years in a monastery at no charge? What gives? If he’s not in the clerical state, why is he still treated as a cleric? There may be a perfectly acceptable answer to this but I’d love hear it before passing judgment.

What happened to McCarrick’s fortune? The Vatican accepted the testimony of James Grein to “laicize” McCarrick. Why not accept all of what Grein has to say, including the fact that McCarrick was conjuring demons through an exorcist and was a personal inheritor to a few mega-wealthy friends like Conrad Hilton? Where’s the cash?

Why are men known to have been favorites of McCarrick (“nephews”) still being selected for high ecclesial posts? See McElroy.

And for good measure let me add a few that I am personally aware of that have never passed the smell test.

Turks and Caicos. It’s a small British protectorate in the Caribbean. In the late 1990’s McCarrick, on behalf of the Archdiocese of Newark, assumed juridical control of the Catholic Church there. It is known to be a tax shelter. It is also known to be a place where at least one Newark priest was sent who may have had some “issues” and who may have avoided prosecution by being out of the States. Was McCarrick hiding money here? It may be nothing but it deserves a look.

What’s the Ivory Coast connection? I am so dumbfounded as to why George was there. But again, something just doesn’t seem right in light of what we have known about him.

Well, friends, will we ever find answers? George isn’t around to ask the questions anymore. God rest his soul. Who will pick up this mantle? And even if another gumshoe like him emerges (and I hope many do), should we ourselves stop asking the questions at least in our minds? No, friends, no.

It’s called common sense. We all have it. Strengthen yourself in prayers, Mass, and the sacraments. Then use it.

St. Timothy who’s feast is today, pray for us!

*St. Timothy was known to have a weak stomach and appeared to suffer from nervousness. St. Paul gave him encouragement. We also should pray for courage. Timothy died the glorious death of a martyr. We may not be far from his path.

Rita Says Hello!

This evening I had the great pleasure and privilege of entertaining three priests for dinner. When I mentioned to one of them that I had been married to my wife at the Shrine of St. Rita, he replied, “Oh beautiful! She is my patron saint!”

I figured that’s her way of reminding me to take on more intentions for my ongoing novena. I also happened upon a beautiful image of her on my phone earlier. Further nudging?

Can’t remember where I snapped this one.

As always, send me any intones (even if only “special intentions”) and you are guaranteed prayers until you tell me you either got what you were seeking or I die. The patron of the impossible is only too happy to intercede for you. I am only too happy to be her humble assistant.

St. Rita of Cascia, pray for us!

Another Devotional: St. Joseph Novena

Here is another novena to St. Joseph sent in from longtime reader Anne in PA. Anne has been with me almost from the beginning and I have truly enjoyed her emails and comments over the years. she sends along what is, perhaps, one of the most widely known of the St. Joseph novena prayers. In fact, when I saw this in my inbox, I couldn’t believe I had forgotten it. May it bring you closer to St. Joseph, and by extension, closer still to the Infant Jesus asleep in his arms.

Oh St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the Throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.

Oh St. Joseph do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your Heavenly power I may offer my Thanksgiving and Homage to the Loving of Fathers.

Oh St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath.

St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for us [add your intention here]. Amen.

The Inveterates

Tonight I am at a bar. I took my nephew out to celebrate his birthday. We’re at an Indian casino. I haven’t gambled a penny. I’ve had a gin and tonic.

At the last minute, a friend jumped in on our plans. Not usually a problem but this friend has a problem. Actually; this friend has two problems. Drinking and gambling. This is actually a setup for tomorrows post so bear with me. Otherwise it will make more sense then.

I’ve dealt with alcoholics. It seems one gift God bestowed on me is a sense of compassion. I hate to see others suffer and believe me, being a drunk is clearly a form of suffering – very often for more than just the drunk.

And this is not a post about alcohol. Not tonight. Again, tomorrow will make more sense.

But this got me thinking of sin. You see, I’ve come to realize that this friend is an inveterate drunk. He shows no sign of wanting to turn it around. Doesn’t go to meetings. Thinks everything is fine. This is probably because he’s charmed so many people into giving him second chances. And third. And fourth.

I’m contemplating leaving him here, an hour from home, to figure it out on his own. But two things prevent me. 1) I’m actually not that cruel. 2) I might be crossing into hypocrite territory. You see, I believe I’ve been inveterate in my own sins throughout my life. I am certain that I have, on more than one occasion, walked out of confession positive I was golden only to give in to the same sins with such fascinating weakness. By the grace of God; I have been learning and fighting, and resigning myself to God’s grace more ardently now than I ever have. There’s always a ways to tarry. I attribute much of that strengthening to tradition. In the past few years I have come to hear – finally and clearly – what the Church has always taught about sin and forgiveness and the role of the sinner in a thing called a truly firm purpose of amendment.

And I thank God. And I will help my friend (keeping in mind that the best help sometimes does involve letting a man hit rock bottom before he can reach out for the help).

So tonight, think about what “inveterates” you. Turned it into a verb, sorry. I believe the /a/ needs to be long now. Either way, whatever your sins, make the purpose firm to change your life. Sometimes, as a wise priest once proclaimed in a sermon I heard, “How many times do any of us really call upon the Sacred Name of Jesus in our moments of temptation? Because He promised always to help those who call upon Him…”

Stay confessed my friends, and say a prayer for my buddy.

Lord Jesus, hope of sinners, have mercy on us!

George Neumayr, RIP: A Tribute

I awoke this morning to the horrible news of the death of George Neumayr. George was someone I consider a hero and for whom I had great admiration. We can talk another time about the unusual circumstances of the past day. For the record, I do fear that something nefarious was at play. For now, though, all of that is neither here nor there. I pray for the repose of George’s soul and the consolation of his family. Allow me to share a personal story that encapsulates why this man will be missed.

In the summer of 2019 I had some information that I wanted to share with George. I did not know him personally but I had been following his work for some time. The man seemed to be the only investigative journalist actually doing his job and his work on helping to expose McCarrick was of particular interest to me. So I took a chance. I sent him a friend request on Facebook. To my surprise he accepted and subsequently we struck up a conversation through private messages.

“I have some information I think you might be able to use in your investigations,” I said to him. “Can you meet up?” he replied. I told him that I’d be in Northern Virginia within a day or two and we agreed to meet at a coffee shop in Alexandria. I have to admit I kind of “fanboyed” when I saw him walk in the door. And yet, the moment he spoke I knew this was a man of humility. I told him of how I had been in McCarrick’s seminary, had worked in TV news, was a Catholic school administrator, and that I had been following his work and really appreciated his exposes. At times the videos he would post with his stories were more compelling than an episode of Law & Order. In particular I asked him what it was like when he discovered that Teddy had been stashed in a DC Archdiocese-owned house to live with Bishop Dorsonville as his minder. George had knocked on the door and been let in by the housekeeper. He then promptly went looking throughout the residence for McCarrick himself! “What was that like,” I asked, assuming he would say it was “no big deal” or “all in a day’s work”.

“I was scared out of my mind,” he said. “Really?!” I asked. He regaled me with this tale. He had gone there not expecting what happened and yet, as he said, when the door was opened and he was let in, he knew he had to act. “But my heart was racing the whole time for sure.” I can’t put exclamation points at the end of his sentences because he was very measured and it just doesn’t seem right to give his words any level of excitability.

I also share with him something I knew he would find of interest. A year prior I had occasion to be in the security office of a large church in the nation’s capital. There, on the back of the door of the security office, was the infamous wanted poster. George had frequently mentioned that he had been barred from entry to this church because of his work. The church insisted they had no such order in place. I saw the picture. George was correct. He giggled when I told him, vindicated but, I suspect a little incredulous that he was on an actual wanted poster.

Flash forward a month. I’m not the only member of the Harvey family with a nose for news and who was also a fan of George’s work – and who also seems to be mixed up in bizarre situations. My older sister asked me if I could put her in touch with George. She had come across something she thought he could use in his crusade to expose the rot in the Church. So one evening she made a Facetime call to yours truly. She was sitting on her front porch. Nothing out of the ordinary here. She and her husband enjoy nights on the porch with a cocktail in the warm New Jersey summer. And then she turned the phone as she said, “Say hello to George.” There, sitting on a wicker rocking chair was the man himself. He had given her the same courtesy of following up on her lead as he had given to me. He had called her to inquire more of her story and said, “I’m at Penn Station. Where can we meet?” Naturally, she and her husband drove to the station and picked him up. And then they hung out on the porch for a while like old friends. While I was on the phone with him, several of my sister’s kids (all in their twenties) had come home from work. When they saw George Neumayr sitting there having a beer with their mom and dad they legitimately flipped. You thought I fanboyed? George thought this was amusing that he was known by younger Catholics as well as those of us a bit more seasoned. As I recall it was George Neumayr who that night had mentioned to my sister (who passed it along to me) that we really ought to be reading a site called Canon212. Thank you, George. It’s my homepage now.

Do you know what happened next? My sister, my brother-in-law, and George Neumayr got in the car and drove to a local mall. It wasn’t for the great sales… George had been working on bringing to light a situation involving a young laicized priest who had been accused of sexual misconduct. My sister knew where the guy worked. He had been her salesman. They drove there and walked in the door and George got his story. He wrote about it here. Unfortunately the link to the video of the encounter in the story is dead. But I have the original. I thought of posting it. It’s 15 minutes long. Some of you may remember watching it when he first published it. Instead here’s a screen grab. It is George doing what he did best. At one point early on, George asks a series of rapid-fire questions like a dog on a bone, starting with, “Was Monsignor X your pimp?”

This man couldn’t escape when George came with the hard-hitting questions.

George Neumayr was a tenacious reporter and a man fed up by the depravity of the men in the Church founded by Jesus Christ. He will be missed. I doubt we will see the likes of him again soon. Pray for his soul.

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

St. George, pray for us!

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.

Best,

X

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!

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!