Monday, October 29, 2012

Just thought I'd share...

The Last Sunday of October

Feast of our Lord Jesus Christ the King

  In his Encyclical of December 11, 1925, H.H. Pius XI denounced the great modern heresy of laicism.  It refuses to recognize the rights of God and His Christ over persons and peoples and organizes the lives of individuals, families and of society itself, as though God did not exist.  This laicism substitutes pride and egoism.  It begets jealousy between individuals, hatred between classes and rivalry between nations. 
  The world denies Christ because it ignores His royal prerogatives.  It must be instructed on this subject.  Now "a yearly feast can attain this end, more effectively than the weightiest documents issued by ecclesiastical authority."  The Holy Father has instituted this new feast to be a public, social and official declaration of the royal rights of Jesus, as God the Creator, to be known and recognized, in a way most suitable to man and to society by the sublimest acts of religion - particularly by Holy Mass.  In fact, the end of the Holy Sacrifice is the acknowledgment of God's complete dominion over us, and our complete dependence on Him.  And this act is accomplished, not only on Calvary but also through the royal priesthood of Jesus which never ceases in His kingdom, which is heaven.  The great reality of Christianity is not a corpse hanging from a cross, but the risen Christ reigning in all the glory of His triumph in the midst of His elect who are His conquest.  And that is why the Mass begins with the finest vision of the Apocalypse where the Lamb of God is acclaimed by angels and saints.
  The Holy Father has expressed his wish that this feast should be celebrated towards the end of the liturgical year, on the last Sunday of October, as the consummation of all the mysteries by which Jesus has established His royal powers and nearly on the eve of All-Saints, where He already realizes them in part in being "the King of kings and the crown of All Saints"; until He shall be the crown of all those on earth whom He saves, especially by the Mass.  It is indeed principally by the Eucharist which is both a sacrifice and a sacrament, that Christ, now in glory assures the results of the victorious sacrifice of Calvary, by taking possession of souls through the application of the merits of His Passion and thereby unites them as members to their head.  The end of the Eucharist, says the Catechism of the Council of Trent, is "to form one sole mystic body of all the faithful" and so to draw them in the cult which Christ, king-adorer, as priest and victim, rendered in a bloody manner on the cross and now renders, in an unbloody manner, on the stone altar of our churches and on the golden altar in heaven, to Christ, king-adored, as Son of God, and to His Father whom He offers these souls.

  (from) The Saint Andrew Daily Missal, 1951

Monday, October 15, 2012

A parting of paths...

Next Tuesday H and I have been called to meet with our fraternity council, concerning our spiritual direction, or, as the e-mail stated, to "discuss where you are and where you are going." 
For us, it is simple.  We are firmly pursuing life as Franciscans by following the Rule of 1221.  This original rule, given by St. Francis to the laity, is basically ignored by the Secular Franciscans of today.  We find that living our lives firmly rooted in the traditions and laws of our Roman Catholic faith, through the glory of the Traditional Latin Mass, we are living as, we believe, Franciscans should live.  Our fraternity, and I imagine most fraternities who exist solely in accordance with the Novus Ordo Mass, the New Mass, will be forever intwined with the modernism of today.  With no apologies, H and I refuse to go down that road any longer.  If our paths must permanently part, so be it.  In obedience, we will attend the meeting, and present our side.  But we will not plead.  I am not a good apologist for my faith.  I cannot argue 'the good fight' like others I know.  I will end this post by saying that I will follow our God wherever He leads me, even, if so, unto death.  I pray always to remain completely humble and filled with the knowledge that no thought or decision I have is my own, but His who is our Father.
Please pray for us as we appear to have come to an end of one road.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The Transitus

  Last evening we celebrated the Transitus of St. Francis and it was so good to be with the Franciscan family again.  The church was filled with Sisters and Brothers, priests and other Seculars and a handful of just regular people.  All there to celebrate the completion of Francis' life on earth, to hear of his final acts and the words he spoke to his brothers.  In its own way it was a beautiful ceremony in a very beautiful chapel, but for me, these events are always tinged in sadness, for inside I long to see these ceremonies as they where fifty, sixty or a hundred years ago.  God has turned me from the Novus Ordo Mass to, I believe, the full force of the one true Catholic way of life, living daily through the Traditional Latin Mass and the change of heart that comes with that.  So to hear all the "Hello, how are you?" and to see all the hugs and greetings going on before the ceremony always depresses me a little.  And it shouldn't, it wasn't a Mass, and everyone was truly enjoying themselves.  I was, as usual the only miserable one there (well, maybe H too).  No matter, it's only me.  I think one reason for my selfishness is because I don't get to spend much extra time in church, so when I do get the chance I like it to be quiet for a while.  Again, it's only me and I'm whining again.  I don't know if I could write a blog and not whine.  But I'll try to not whine much, I promise.  These are all tremendous faults, and in the quietness at the end of the day I agonize over them and lately I've come to see that in all the complications of living a life called by God to follow His Son that in a way it's all right there before us, simply put by God through His Son, for us to see.  The problem; our worldly selves get in the way and we slip often from the God-centric life to man-centric life, the way of the world.  As a Franciscan I'm called to live just this life, in both worlds, and it is hard.  No amount of simplifying makes it, this life, any easier.  But I've become this way and I'm thankful to Him for it.  He has brought me along to this point in life for I don't know why.  It is not for me to question God.  I will accept all his actions, and I will try to love them also.  But at times I"m made aware of how hard it is to live a Franciscan life without the support of a fraternity, a community.  Oh blessed are those men and women who surrounded us last night!  In one way, in my way of thinking, their life is perhaps less lonely in only by being able to live together in a community, which is their family, their support group.  H and I are more or less out on our own, living a mostly solitary Franciscan life, but also a very Traditional Catholic life.  We live the Rule of 1221, which requires us to stay in this world and not to leave it, to live really with a foot balancing us in both worlds, with more leaning towards the abandonment of World.  We do come together formally once a month but right now it is a fledgling group, with two of the five of us in discernment with myself our pitiful leader, trying to inspire and lead.  I find myself praying about this place He has put me in often, because I do not at all understand God's ways.  I pray for guidance and strength to be a good leader, but I just don't know.  Again, in the bitter-sweetness of last night I know the spirit of Francis lingered, and I felt a common purpose in our all being there, in our being Franciscan.  The call to follow Christ is unbelievably strong, and I'm dumb-founded that the world cannot hear His Voice.

Is this just me?

Oh, Mother of sorrows,
I call to you again.
Guide me and comfort me,
for I am lost.
The Narrow Way is dark
most times, and the trials are many,
pure joy few.
Help me through with grace
to see, to follow
the Light of the Son.