Friends, this evening, while on vacation at a beach on the Eastern Seaboard, a friend invited me to visit a friend of his a few miles further along the beach. We got in the car and drove. We drove until the pavement ended. We drove onto the sand in a 4 wheel drive only area. Fortunately our vehicle has 4 wheel drive. We arrived at a beautiful house. We weren’t sure if it was the right house. I walked up the steps and peered through the glass.
“There’s a high altar up against the wall! This is clearly the place!” I said.
And it was.
And not only did I get to fraternize with like minded Catholics, I met him. He is one of the cancelled priests of the past few years. I have seen his videos and read his words. Tonight I shook his hand (kissed his hand because he’s a priest). And then I talked with him for two hours and I realized that he is the real deal.
I will leave out the details of our conversation but I will tell you that at the end of the night, I took my leave and asked him for his blessing.
I kneeled before him as he blessed me through the intercession of St, Rita.
Pray for our priests. Pray especially for him. Pray for the cancelled priests.
I am at the point in my long summer road-trip where I am actually on vacation. As in, I am not currently engaged in any work related activities. I am at the beach for the next week. I have a priest staying with our family. He is an old family friend and he is saying a TLM for us every day, facing the east – the literal east, looking out over the Atlantic Ocean.
Life if good.
In the meantime, the posts will be light for a few days. Since it is the Octave of Pentecost, enjoy some music.
And please keep me and my family in your prayers. The drive starts up again next week.
Happy birthday to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church! And while we’re on it, not because I hate anyone but out of love for my fellow man, I pose a question. If you have not found your way into the One True Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, why not? What are you waiting for? Sure, the place is a trainwreck right now but it’s still the only guarantee of salvation. Remember Peter’s words to Christ: “Lord to whom should we go? You have the words of everlasting life.”
The first Pentecost saw the Blessed Mother surrounded by the Apostles sitting together praying. They had prayed for nine days. They anticipated the Spirit but probably had no idea what to expect (save for the Blessed Mother, who had been pondering in her Immaculate Heart all these things for years). The Spirit came upon them and they were emboldened. What flowed from that awe-inspiring event – the tongues of flame and the rushing wind – was a mass baptism. Thousands were converted that day.
Flash forward nineteen hundred years. The Apostles’ successors promised a “new springtime”, a “second Pentecost”. What followed that frightful event was the greatest apostasy in the history of the Church. Priests left the priesthood in droves. Convents and monasteries emptied almost overnight. The faithful were treated to spiritual whiplash as just about every tenet held by Catholics from the very beginning was undermined. Those who remained went uncatechized, malformed, and malnourished.
Today, many of us spend hours praying our novenas, trusting in Our Lord’s promise that He will never abandon us. It is hard not to identify with the people in that upper room in the moments before the Spirit came upon them.
On Pentecost I often recall the holy martyrs of the Church. Filled with the Spirit, these men, women, and even children willingly spilled their blood out of love for Him Who died for them. Many of these martyrs were subsequently removed from the Roman calendar after the Council, by the way. I wonder why. I think in particular of the Martyrs of Compiegne, France. During the Reign of Terror, these Carmelite sisters were rounded up, stripped of the dignity of their garb, led to the scaffold, and beheaded. One by one, they ascended the steps to their beheading. To the last woman, they had the mystical lyric poem on their lips. Veni Creator Spiritus! The scene was recreated in the film Dialogues des Carmelites.
Come Holy Ghost! Renew in the hearts of Thy people Thy seven-fold gifts. Make us to see that to live for Christ is to die to ourselves and that to die for ourselves is to live in Him forever. Thy Church is in disarray, in terrible eclipse. Make us to love Thy commandments and to burn with zeal for Thy house.
My travels have brought me to a point where I have many things to say but no common theme to connect them. I sort of long for a fast-paced news cycle wherein I could write out of necessity because there would be so much to discuss. But alas, you’re stuck with my ramblings for another day. And so…
First up, I’d like you all to consider signing up for a course. I am a huge fan of Miss Ann Barnhardt’s work. Through her I first heard Dr. Ed Mazza. Dr. Mazza is a scholar and a gentleman (and pretty funny to boot). I must state that although I do not know him personally, I have corresponded with him several times and he has always been scholarly, gentlemanly, and, yes, funny in our exchanges. Last year I took one of his online courses called Advent and the Antipopes. It was well worth the cost. Dr. Mazza is about to run another course. This one is called Romans, Christians, Barbarians! It is a seven week mini-course. Follow this link to sign up and you will not regret it.
Next up, I’d like to share a song with you. On our last driving day (Tuesday, where I drove the family from Greenville, SC to Northern Virginia), there came a moment when my wife brought up a very happy memory. There was a lull in the conversation and the music I was listening to had stopped. My wife asked our now-13 year-old daughter if she remembered the song Liza Jane. Liza Jane is an old American folk tune. I first heard it in 2014 during a production of a play about the history of Texas and was captivated by the melody enough to download the first version I found. That version happened to be a recording of jazz legend Nina Simone from the Newport Jazz Festival. At the time our daughter was 5 years-old. From the back seat she, having memorized the song quickly (amazing how kids do that), would belt out the lyrics with all the soul of an old black woman. I played the song the other night. It all came back to her. And it was priceless. Ah, when music was good… I’ll embed it below.
The Canons Regular
Finally, I will share with you the amazing blessing of my life on the road and my commitment to the daily Latin Mass. Most of you know by now that finding a Latin Mass even in whatever hometown you might be in is hard enough. I am truly blessed that the largest TLM parish in the world is in my backyard. Our priests are good and holy men (we have four of them full time) and the Mass and sacraments schedule is seemingly round-the-clock. So when we travel, it is a cause of concern to me. At the end of the day, if I knew I couldn’t get to one, I’d forego the trip. But the Blessed Mother has been good to me. I asked her to help me and she has. She has seen fit to bring me to her Son every day. I really do believe that sometimes you just have to ask and to mean it. Trust me, I’m the worst of the worst sinners. She’s not doing it on my account, but because I asked her to bring me to Him Whom she bore. So far, every single day on my trip I have been to Mass in the ancient rite. Going to Mass on the feast of St. Rita and knowing that it was the Mass she herself worshipped at was something else. Anyway, where I am right no (and for the next few days, Northern Virginia) is a challenge. The bishop has instructed the priests of the diocese not to publicize Mass times for the TLM on their websites. Keep in mind that the number of locations for the TLM has been reduced down to almost nothing. There is an SSPX chapel nearby and I would gladly go there but I do not believe they have weekday Masses. Perhaps someone in the readership can email me and tell me I’m wrong.
Regardless, there is a Mass on weekdays about 25 minutes from here at 7:15 AM. Yesterday morning, on exactly four hours of sleep, I awoke at 5:59 and hit whatever passes for a snooze button on my iPhone. I went back to bed for what felt like an hour. I woke up again and proceeded to go to the kitchen for my coffee, thinking the whole time that I had missed Mass. I was a bit crestfallen. While pouring the water into the coffee pot I heard my alarm go off again. “That’s odd,” I thought. “Why’s it going off again?” I went back to the bedroom to discover that the additional hour of sleep I had gained was, in reality, only an additional two minutes and my 6:01 alarm was now going off. Needless to say I did a little happy dance; but not too happy – wouldn’t want to break any toes and I was barefooted. It’s happened before, especially without my morning java. Anyway, I got to Mass. Yay!
But this morning was different. I asked my guardian angel to pull the covers off, figuratively speaking, at the right time and to nudge me out of bed so I could get to Mass again. Unfortunately, I didn’t open my eyes until 9:00. Now I really was sad. But just then, almost as if he was whispering it in my ear, I remembered something from a year or two ago and another trip where I passed through these parts. There is a small church in Charles Town, West Virginia – about an hour away from where I am – staffed by the Canons Regular of New Jerusalem. I’ve studied the Catholic faith my entire life and I still couldn’t adequately tell you what a canon regular is. What I know is that I looked at the clock and realized that today, I would be taking a drive into the eastern panhandle of the Mountain State.
And that’s what I did. The scenery was beautiful driving through the Blue Ridge Mountains. I had ample time to pray for 15 decades, all my novena, and even to reflect on the love of the Blessed Mother for her children on earth. So the next time your plans seemingly go awry, reach out to her in prayers and ask if there isn’t some other way. I’m pretty sure that she who can obtain pretty much anything she wants from her Son would be only too happy to help you find Him in the sacrifice of the altar. Perhaps she will even help you find Him in the other areas of your life. As for me, I’ve got several more weeks of travel ahead of me and I have no doubt that she will help me keep my pledge to Him. And for that I am most humbly grateful.
I received a beautiful email today from a priest in the Czech Republic. First, I had no idea that I had any readers in that part of the world. As I have stated before, it is still amusing to me that anyone at all reads what I write. I mean that with no false humility. It is truly a beautiful gift to me and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Here is Father’s note.
I just wanted to share a wonderful experience I had today.
Because of you and your blog that I read daily I finaly started my novena to saint Rita. Ended it on her feast day and started another one the same day. I pray for conversion of my nephews and their return to our faith.
Today, a friend that I have not seen for years stopped by. (I baptized her long time ago)
She asked if I would like a rose from Saint Rita. 😲😲😲
She was in the Holy Mass at Augustinians on the feast of St. Rita and they were blessing roses there. So she took some for people she would occasionally meet. Stunning.
Thank you very much!
Thank you, Father, for such a thoughtful email, for reading my blog, and most of all, for praying for this poor sinner. Tomorrow, I will remember you by name in my own Mass intentions, in my rosary, and with St. Rita.
There is a reason that St. Rita is among the most popular saints of our Church. Clearly, she is interceding for you. I do believe that in these latter days, God is pouring out His grace in a superabundant way to those who seek after Him. Yes, the world is so depraved right now. I have heard it said that Sodom and Gomorrah are owed an apology. But where sin abounds, grace abounds the more. How marvelous that God has shared his friends with us and that these friendships are deeper and more abiding than they otherwise would be!
Friends, pray for our priests. More and more lately I have been privy to the diabolical attacks the evil one launches against them. I have my friends who are priests. Satan has targets on all of their backs. I went to confession today and thought about this fact. If I, who am nothing in the grand scheme of things is so susceptible to the same sins over and over again, as if the devil knows what to do to drag me down; how much more will he go after the men who have become other Christs to us?
Think about that sobering fact. Think about the trad priest who offers Mass for you. Think about the Novus Order priest who simply wanted to give his life to God and to His people. Think about the good, the bad, and the ugly among them.
Pray for them. Pray for the Church.
O Mary Conceived without Sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Folks, I got off all that social media nonsense a while ago. Sorry but I'm not on Twitbook, Facepalm, YouHu, WingWang or any of the others. Maybe an event will happen to make me change my mind like Peter and Paul coming down with flaming swords and commanding it be so. Until then, read the blog and if you feel a comment is in order or you feel like sharing a tip or suggestion for a topic, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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