Tag Archives: TLM

Judgment to Face… Every Day

1.) Being Prepared

Someone asked me recently about the header image on this page. I assume you’re looking at it now. If not, go ahead. I’ll wait…

I’ve written this blog since 2008. True, most of my older posts have been archived. They were more for my kids to read one day and learn about their early life and all the fun things we did as a family. I’m very proud of that writing and I hope one day my kids will look with as much fondness on those time as I had when writing about them. Recently the focus of my writing shifted a bit. My life has shifted a bit. Prior to a few weeks ago the header was a funny picture of my Jack Russell Terrier. He was sitting in my lap in stopped traffic on an interstate in Texas. He had his paws on the steering wheel as though he was driving the car. Now, that image has been replaced with what you see above. And what you see is a home altar set for the Traditional Latin Mass. Believe me, I prefer mass in a church; but you see there was this snowstorm in Texas that knocked out power for a few days. When a flurry falls in the Lone Star State all roads become impassable. We happened to have a priest-friend visiting. All flights were cancelled so he stayed and said mass for us every day. If you look carefully you’ll see the altar cards (printed from my laptop and framed in the kids’ old piano recital frames), a statue of the Blessed Mother, crucifix, paintings of St. Joseph and the Christ Child and (again) of the Blessed Mother, two candles (low mass) made of beeswax and blessed using the traditional forms, and my favorite, an old copy of the 1970’s-era Worship hymnal used to prop up the Canon of the mass. How’s that for irony? Couple it with the clearly-visible snow out the window and it’s not a bad picture.

So, not to sound like one of those crazy traddy conspiracy nuts but… shhh… *Are you prepared for home mass? It’s not hard to get your home ready. Thanks to Bergoglio and “TC” it may become more of a thing down the road than you think. It may not either. Either way, it’s not a bad idea to be prepared.

2) He’s Still Not Pope, Just in Case You Forgot

In the epistle at mass this morning we heard this:

“And the multitude of men and women who believed in the Lord increased still more, so that they carried the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and pallets that, when Peter passed, his shadow at least might fall on some of them.”

Acts 5

My source in Rome tells me (though any quick image search tells you all you need to know) that crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square or the serpentine audience hall nearby are simply not what they used to be. Imagine that the early Christians hoped simply that Peter’s shadow might fall on them. Today people just don’t seem interested. Could it be they know this guy ain’t Peter? Oh for the days of on unimpeded see!

3) What to Ponder Daily

Also in the missal is a prayer entitled “Subjects for Daily Meditation”. I love this one because it’s short and to the point. The prayer begins “Remember Christian that today thous hast…” and then lists off a dozen or so subjects for daily meditation. God to worship, the angels and saints to invoke, etc. The most striking, to me, is the line “judgment to face”. This is certainly very true and not something most of us want to think about. But how necessary it is TO think about it.

This past Sunday morning, while driving along a quiet stretch of I-20 in Alabama, I noticed a yellow Ryder moving truck parked perpendicular to the travel lanes. The truck was in that triangular area between where the highway continues and an exit ramp splits off. In New Jersey we used to refer to it as the “zebra stripes” but I think the Federal Highway Administration calls it the “gore”. As I got within 1/8 mile of this truck, the driver did something I was not expecting. He gunned his engine and darted straight onto the highway. It appears he had come the wrong way down the ramp, realized his (incredibly obvious) mistake, and decided the through lanes were the ideal spot for a giant U-turn. It also appears he did NOT see me barreling toward him in a Yukon at 85 MPH. No flex, it was a rental. A calm came over me as I said, “Honey, brace yourself,” to my wife seated beside me. And then, I promise you, my best friend, my guardian angel took the wheel and fishtailed me through that yellow blur. I just remember almost going off the road into a ditch and coming right back into the lane I was in as if nothing had happened. My niece from the back seat asked if I had taking tactical driving lessons from the FBI.

My life did not “flash before my eyes”. I had just been to mass. I try to make use of weekly confession. But in the time after that near-death experience I thought to myself, “Was I truly prepared?” I think the answer for all of us should be to live as though we could stand before the Just Judge at any moment. I’ve been trying to incorporate more devotional practices into my daily life and particularly for my family. I kiss the feet of Our Lord’s corpus on the crucifix in my bedroom before I leave in the morning. I carry my rosaries with me at all times. On that point, believe it or not, that practice had actually been beaten out of me as a young seminarian many years ago. See my last post and you’ll know why. But I want to have a greater intimacy with Our Lord and His Mother and the saints and my angel. I want to know that if I were suddenly standing before the cross, which is the “throne of judgment”, I would advance toward my bleeding, disfigured Savior and not run away in terror and shame.

That’s one reason why I go to mass every day – to prepare for Calvary by going to Calvary.

Holy Angel, My Guardian, Pray for me!

Our Lady of LaSallette, Pray for us!

TLM Atlanta: Mother Loves Us

We departed our beach house yesterday morning and headed for home. This morning I woke up in a hotel room in Atlanta, GA.

This morning began early. That’s because it’s Sunday. This was both a travel day (meaning, for us, we would drive about 800 miles) and the Lord’s Day (meaning we would move Heaven and earth to find a traditional Latin mass).

In the suburb of Mableton, GA, we attended the 8AM low mass for Pentecost in, drumroll please…

Another St. Francis de Sales parish!

Have I mentioned he’s the patron of writers and I think he’s stalking this writer?

This parish is run by our old friends, the FSSP and has been ensconced in this current property since the early 2000’s. I actually attended a daily mass here a year ago. The parish church is not huge but not particularly tiny either. So it surprised me that there was a sign in the parking lot indicating mass would be in the gym. After some searching we found said gym. Down a hill. A very long bill.

I surmise that the interior of the church building might be undergoing some renovations as the gym has, in addition to a few hundred folding chairs, a semi-permanent sanctuary space made out of finer polished oak and complete with a proper rail on three sides.

St. Francis de Sales, Mableton, GA. Picture taken last year on a different trip.

The priest who said mass preached a phenomenal homily, as is now expected by me of all Fraternity priests.

What really caught my attention, though, was the fact that every single person in attendance was properly attired. I will be writing on proper mass attire soon. But especially the men…

Suits.

Ties.

Hair neatly parted.

Like men.

Grown men.

Strong masculine men who love their wives and children and aren’t trying to show off but simply to look their level best for Christ and His sacrifice.

As I said, more on that to come. Just remember, this was Atlanta and there was a certain Gone With the Wind vibe to be felt.

I loved it.

And I truly loved that the great Mother of God, Mary Most Holy absolutely came through for me. I mentioned I had asked her prior to this trip to make Latin mass available to me every day. That she did.

Never doubt the love of a mother for her children. She wants only good things for us. She is happy when we want to kneel beside her as her Son gives Himself for our sins. I think of the many times in my life when my own ingratitude towards her Son’s sacrifice must have pierced her Immaculate Heart.

Never again.

Mother, give me to worship thy Son every day in His sacrifice!

And she did. And she will.

And He is only too happy to oblige anything she asks of Him.

Turn to her. She loves you.

Virgin most powerful, pray for us!

Let Us All Step Backwards!

The incomparable Fr. Z. has a link to a video of a newly ordained FSSP priest giving his parents his first blessing. Check that out here.

Zulhsdorf accompanies the video with a bit of snarky editorializing. I happily expect nothing less. In his commentary, Fr. mocks the sentiments of those modernists who refer to us trads as “dangerous backward-steppers”.

This got me to thinking of a couple of important things.

1.) This is the first Friday of the month of June. June is the month of the Sacred Heart. MAKE THE DEVOTION OF THE NINE FIRST FRIDAYS! Start today if you can. Make reparation to His Sacred Heart by receiving Him worthily in Holy Communion. This month has been co-opted by sodomites under the direction of Satan himself. They call it “pride”. We must empty ourselves and practice ever more the virtue of Calvary – humility.

2.) Our Lord died on the cross to give Himself to us. He awaits us daily in the tabernacle. He even allows His priests to place Him in a monstrance for us to come and adore. Fr. Malachi Martin once remarked that what sets the Catholic apart from all others is his intimacy with the divine. Again, MAKE THE DEVOTION OF THE NINE FIRST FRIDAYS! Go to Him. Console Him in His agony borne for our sins. Tell Him your troubles. Honor His Mother. Give Him thanks. Spend an hour simply gazing upon His loveliness and wonder how the King of the Universe made Himself to be present for you in this way.

3.) When you visit our exposed King and it comes time to take your leave…

STEP BACKWARDS away from the monstrance. For heaven’s sake, if protocol demands we never turn our back on the Queen of England, how much more fitting to keep one’s eyes fixed on the Lord? Be a true “backwards-stepper”. You see, the more the enemies of Christ ridicule us for our devotional life and practices, the more we ought to serve it right back up at them.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!

She Never Disappoints

Never.

At the start of this long cross-country road trip, I asked Blessed Mother to make it possible to keep my promise to come to worship Her Son at daily Latin mass every single day.

So far, so good.

On Sunday morning I attended a 7AM low mass at St. Benedict’s parish in Chesapeake, VA. This parish is run by the FSSP. The pastor took the time to approach my son and me after mass to introduce himself and welcome us. This was a beautiful place and a much needed respite on a Sunday morning. Granted my son and I drove an hour and a half to get to this mass even though a dear friend, a priest, had offered an anticipated Novus Ordo Sunday mass the previous evening at the house where we are staying at the beach.

I explained to my teenage son that the Novus Ordo is valid and that this fulfilled our Sunday obligation. So at 5:15 in the morning on our way to Chesapeake I asked him, “Son, in your own words, why did you want to get up so early and go to this mass?”

His reply was perfect.

“Dad,” he said, “I have a preference for the TLM. And it’s Sunday and I go to mass on Sunday.”

God bless my boy. I pray he is called to the holy priesthood one day.

And even since then, Blessed Mother has come through. Without going into any details, another dear friend decided to vacation with us and to offer a daily TLM in our vacation rental.

He asked me to serve for him. I explained that, although I have been present at daily Latin mass for almost four years, I have never served one proper. He put his trust in me and allowed me to use the red book. It went fine.

This morning, still a little incredulous that I had served a Latin mass the night before, I served again. This time I had a bit more awareness about me. After the consecration I could not take my eyes off the Host. “That is Him,” I thought to myself. “That is the Victim Par Excellence.” I had a better vantage point than I have ever had, kneeling beside my old friend as he offered the sacrifice. I witnessed him in a whisper speaking to God Almighty, commanding that bread and wine be transubstantiated into the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of His Son. The Host lay on the corporal. The Body of my Lord was on the altar being offered for my sins. I could not take my eyes off of Him except for a moment to look out the window, distracted by the Atlantic Ocean.

“You made that,” I thought to myself. “You made that vast ocean for love of me. I don’t know why this thought came to me but it did. This I believe, is the true personal relationship with Our Lord to which we are called.

I thanked Blessed Mother for answering my prayer.

God is far too good to me.

Mary, Star of the Sea, pray for us!

We Need a Network of Underground TLM Priests (If It Doesn’t Already Exist)

On this trip, as previously mentioned, I had prayed for a Latin mass every day I am traveling. Again, this is a rather large request – trying to find a Catholic mass in the United States. Stop and re-read that.

So far, the Blessed Mother has not disappointed me. Late last night I knelt down to say my prayers and asked again, “Blessed Mother and Guardian Angel, please wake me at 5:30. The mass nearby is at 6:15 and if I miss it, I’m out of options.” Well, they did. And guess what I did.

I hit snooze.

Truthfully, I really needed sleep. I had been deprived of slumber for a while, what with sitting behind the wheel for hours on end the past week. But I thought to myself when I woke up again some two hours later, “She made it available to me. I just didn’t respond in kind.” And I feel awful about it.

But let’s come back to that headline because I know some of you have thought it. And it’s not just for guys like me taking my family on a road trip. Remember, I will always be at a Sunday mass. I will never again let the bishops shut me out of that. And I will always be at a daily mass provided I truly cannot make it.

But you know it’s coming. You know it will be harder to find TLM’s. Every other week I read a headline that this or that bishop has decided to “follow the Responsa ad dubia” that we all know weren’t ever asked. By anyone. Ever. It might just become near impossible to find the mass of the ages.

This is just a thought, but what if someone were to start a network of underground TLM priests? What if the retired priests who say the old mass privately in their homes were to leave their side doors unlocked and some of us just happened to wander in?

I could be overthinking this. Perhaps it’s not that dire. Look, it’s not like our bishops placed us under interdict for a year because of a seasonal cold, right?

TLM West Virginia/ Harrisburg: Finally Saw a Canon in Action

I’m combining yesterday and today into one exposition.

Yesterday the kids and I drove through the town of Charles Town, WV. This eastern panhandle hamlet had been previously known to me as the home of a horse racing track and that’s about it. Mass is offered here by the Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem.

“So what’s a canon?” you ask. Short answer: canons are priests who live in community following the rule of St. Augustine. These canons were established by Cardinal Burke when he was Archbishop of St. Louis and somehow made their way to West Virginia. The church, a small-ish structure on a quiet tree-lined street downtown is unassuming from the outside. Stepping inside, though, I found a structure that was a tribute to the people who had transformed it into the home of Our Lord.

A couple of oddities(?) I noticed. First, this was a dialogue mass. These aren’t common in TLM communities. Typically the people only chime in at a high mass. Personally, I tend to follow along in my missal, silently (or at least extremely quietly) praying along the whole mass. There were only four other congregants this day. This was also unusual to me. I come from a large parish where the infants on hips outnumber the elderly (and there are many of them too). I dutifully followed along, brushing up on my Latin responses along the way. I’m hoping to learn to serve mass myself. You never know when it will be necessary. Humility will direct me to ask my 7 year-old nephew for help when I return home. The final quirk here was that the priest read the Epistle and Gospel in English from the altar. I suspect this is a TC thing and I don’t like it. Enough said.

Notice the canon hiding in plain sight. Priory of the Annunciation of the Blessed Mother, Charles Town, WV

Today my guardian angel violently woke me at an ungodly hour. I had asked him to do that so I had to comply. Mass at St. Lawrence in Harrisburg, PA was only at 7:10 and it’s a 20 minute drive from here. Fortunately I’ve been coming here for a few years whenever I visit my sister and I not only know some of the parishioners but also the parish well. This is a beautiful church one block in from the Susquehanna River and one block out from the State Capitol. The diocesan cathedral sits between the two. This parish has a full mass schedule (Sunday-Saturday) and is run by the FSSP.

It is what happened right before mass that I want to tell you about here. I try to go to frequent confession. Even though we were running late, we made it in the door at 7:05. I prayed a priest would be in the box. I find Our Lord tends to answer these prayers quite favorably. I noticed a woman exiting the confessional so I quickly stepped in the door. I imagine Fr. was hoping he’d be free to step out and vest for mass. Instead he got me.

Fr. gave me a manly penance. I LIKE MANLY PENANCES. I do not like “Think about something nice about someone…” Still wonder why I tradded?

Again, St Rita makes her appearance (first window on the left). St. Lawrence, Harrisburg, PA

And then Fr. invited me (not as part of my penance) to consider practicing daily mortification. He even suggested some tips. In mass I have been meditating of late on Our Lord’s passion. I find myself saying, “Lord Jesus, let me take you down from the cross. My sins put You there. This isn’t fair.” Then I remember His words to Peter when Peter scoffed at the idea of Our Lord’s crucifixion.

“Get there behind me, Satan.”

He called him Satan. Clearly, I can’t take Him down. This is how He satisfied the debt of my sins and still gives Himself to me daily. Instead I have come to understand that He is inviting me gently to be drawn up to the cross with Him. These daily penances, these “mortifications” will be the way. Thank you, my Lord! Give me to suffer with Thee for my sins, my family, the world!

Then Fr. finished by saying, “Go in peace, but let me go first.” You see, he needed to get to the sacristy but didn’t want to see any of his penitents. Good man.

May your days be penitential, folks.

Mother of Sorrows, pray for us!

And So, Eminence, I Ask You, Do You Renounce Satan?

Following the announcement late last week that Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Ordinary of San Francisco, had prohibited House Speaker and baby murder cheerleader Nancy Pelosi from receiving the Holy Eucharist in his diocese we get the following from Washington.

Keep in mind that Wilton Cardinal Gregory is the Ordinary of the see in which Pelosi spends a majority of her time attempting to legislate the wanton and wholesale slaughter of millions of babies.

Meanwhile, back in September Crux reported the following.

Holy Wilton doesn’t think it is his place to “police” the Eucharist. Quite odd coming from the same prelates who think nothing of bandying about a phrase like “Traditiones Custodes” in reference to the venerable mass of the ages. They can “guard” Bugnini’s rite at all costs but not guard Our Lord Himself. Huh.

Seems our friend in red needs some help. So let me spell it out for him. I was a teacher. This should be easy.

1.) Eminence, do you renounce Satan and all his works and empty promises? You do? Great! In case you didn’t know, it is he who demands child sacrifice. He does this because he hates God. That brings us to question number 2.

2.) Eminence, do you believe in God the Father Almighty… and in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son… and in His Holy Catholic Church? What’s that? Same?! Wow! This is easier than I thought. So the thing is, Jesus Christ established His Church for the salvation of souls not to play nice with worldly politicians. He left His Apostles (present-day you) in charge of things specifically to guard His Body; not as the Roman soldiers outside the tomb but as dispensatores mysteriorum Dei. It is your duty to protect Him at all costs and to charitably prevent manifest public sinners from dying in a state of unrepentant mortal sin. Eating the Body of the Lord unto one’s condemnation would be a bad thing for Mrs. Speaker, wouldn’t it?

Ok, last one. You’re doing great so far. I’m getting my star stickers out.

3.) Eminence, do you really truly super-duper promise you’re answering truthfully? Come on, man. Don’t front with me. You what? You’re not going to say any more on the subject? But you were batting a thousand. Man, OK… We’ll have to re-enroll you for next term. But don’t worry. You’re young. You’ll get this.

Oh wait a minute. I’ve just been informed that Holy Wilton is not exactly young and that apparently any of us can face judgment any day. Wow. That sucks.

Folks, pray for these men. If I come across as pugnacious it’s because I learned it from my dad. Not unlike the early Christians who stood up in their churches and told their Arian bishops, “You’re wrong!” he was known to take Fr. aside in the narthex after mass and tell him his homily was “bullsh*t”. He did this, by the way, in his three piece suit while reaching into his jacket pocket to take out his pipe, tobacco pouch, and Zippo (just to give you an idea of how stylish and in command he was). We must testify to the Truth at all times. What Archbishop Cordileone did last week was long overdue but necessary and yes, charitable. What Cardinal Gregory is doing? Well, if you’re reading this you probably feel as I do that decades of bishops refusing to call out anyone for this sin is decades too long. Pray your rosaries. Pray them more. Pray for the shepherds.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!