On this day when hearts are aflutter and seen everywhere so colorfully, our hearts will continue to beat restlessly, as St. Augustine says, until "they rest in Thee." On this Valentine's Day, there is one Love Letter that is constant and ever-refreshing, never waning but ever increasing in grace and dividends for eternal treasures. No love letter can compare to the perpetual Love Letter we have available to us.
Today is the day of hearts, the day when modern society has canonized it as "Love Day"; yup, it's Valentine's Day. Like many other holidays that have been so commercialized to death, this one originated with a priest, a holy one at that, who possessed the greatest love - to give his life for another. Following the exemplification of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, he lived his faith fully. He was known to have visited the poor, the widows and prisoners, being the consecrated sacerdote he was ordained to be. Outside of the dedicated traditional priests today, that is really something foreign to most who wear the Roman collar. Sad, but true.
It is wonderful that Saint Valentine is remembered, but sadly the love expressed is of the eros nature and society today has totally forgotten the highest level of love - that which St. Valentine possessed: agape which means loving God so much one is willing to deny oneself for others. That greatly transcends the filia or caritas level which has so consumed so many in a humanistic trance, oblivious to why we love and help our neighbor and what it takes to achieve agape love. It is not for a prize or recognition on this earth, but for proving to God our sincerity and steadfastness in the race.
That is the analogy used by none other than the great Apostle Saint Paul in his Epistle featured throughout this week of Ferias for Septuagesima Sunday, taken from his first Letter to the Corinthians. How appropriate this coincides this week with the Olympics for those games are the height of global competition, and Paul puts in perspective that we are not to strive towards corrupt or perishable crowns, awards and recognition as sports and commerce push today, but for an incorruptible - an imperishable crown - the ever-shining Gold Medal of gold medals: Everlasting Life in the presence of the Beatific Vision.
In fact, if you think about it, Holy Mother Church, in her infallible wisdom as the Bride of Christ presents the perfect Love Letter every day in the greatest display of love one could ever perceive: God's love for us as expressed in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. There is no greater love letter left to us for all posterity than the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. This grace-giving Love Letter from our Supreme Love, which Father Faber has called "the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven." is a re-enactment of that ultimate Sacrifice on Calvary, carried out at each Holy Mass in an unbloody manner. It is only in the true Holy Mass, codified forever by Pope Saint Pius V in Quo Primum, that we are able to return that consummate love bestowed by Love Itself. Only in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass can we adore, thank, make expiation for our sins and petition God. The beautiful thanksgiving prayers of devotion after Holy Communion capture the acts that correspond to the four ends of sacrifice.
These prayers, published in the St. Andrew Daily Missal say, in part, for the Act of Adoration, "Through Thee, O divine Priest, I wish to render glory to the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost, even in proportion to the immensity of Their divine Majesty, because I know that by Thee, with Thee and in Thee all honor and glory are given to Them. In union, therefore with Thee, I prostrate myself in adoration before God, acknowledging His sovereign dominion over me and over all creatures." Sheer poetry in expressing love for the One Who made us.
In the Act of Thanksgiving, we express this love with the words, "What shall I render to the Lord for all the favors and graces He has bestowed upon me? What great blessings both known and unknown have I not received, and to all this have I replied only with ingratitude. But having Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ in my heart, I can at this very moment, pay my whole debt of gratitude to almighty God. For this purpose I unite myself to that infinite act of thanksgiving rising continually from Thy Sacred Heart." Pure love can only be found in that Most Sacred of Hearts joined with the Blessed Virin Mary's most Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart.
In the Act of Expiation, we see the very essence of the Holy Mass as defined by the infallible decrees of the Council of Trent, "'The whole reason for our glory,' says our holy Mother the Church, 'is in Thee, O Christ in Whom we live, in Whom we merit, in Whom we make satisfaction by worthy fruits of penance which deriving their value from Thee, are offered to the Father by Thee, and accepted by Him through Thee'. When I communicate I share truly in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass which with that of the cross, makes but one true propitiatory sacrifice, since by the offering of Thy precious Blood, O Lord, it obtains the favor of Thy heavenly Father. Therefore, do I beseech that this Holy Communion may appease the divine justice, obtain deliverance of souls from Purgatory, cleanse away venial sins and remit whatever temporal punishment may still remain due. May this intimate union of my heart with Thine, O divine Victim of Calvary, make me die more and more to myself." That is definitely not the description of the Novus Ordo or anything you'll ever hear in the New Order lodges. Nor do they resemble in anyway the act of expiation in the prayerful words, "I offer The, O God the Father, in union with the Sacrifice of Thy Son upon the cross and as satisfaction for my sins, all the crosses which I shall have to bear during this day. Give me, through Jesus Christ, the courage to endure them with a holy resignation." Oh, there are so many Catholics who have never heard those words of pure love.
Speaking of pure love, that is what God is willing to give us at all times if we but ask. The beautiful Act of Petition: "Thou hast told us, O Lord Jesus, in the Holy Gospel that, 'If you ask the Father anything in My name He will give it to you.' Therefore, 'in Thy name, relying upon Thy merits, and uniting myself to Thee Who art continually interceding for us in Heaven and in the Holy Eucharist, I ask the Father to grant all those graces necessary for me that I may ever do His holy will. Holy Father, seeing that Communion partakes of the efficacy of Holy Mass, which is the same as that of Calvary, I pray Thee, in the name of Jesus Christ, to grant me all the graces that Thou wouldst have accorded me had I been at the foot of the Cross when Thy divine Son died for us. His blood was shed for us: therefore may Its saving power reach all souls and may they be gathered to Thee. Give to me, O God, and to all men, Thy grace in this world and Thy glory in the next. Amen."
Think of it, whatever we ask in Christ's name, He will grant it. We are, of course, speaking here of needs that are not based on greed. We can pray to win the lottery or fall in love with the beautiful girl or handsome businessman, but, as one wise soul once said, 'Be careful what you ask for.' What price the young rich man squandered by walking away from Jesus when asked what he must do to attain everlasting life. The cross was too much for Him. Is it too much for us?
Why is it that traditional Catholics understand that and yet there are so few with great worldy wealth among traditional Catholics? And those very few who have the means to further the traditional movement, including Mel Gibson, do so little to continually help the cause. As an example, there was a report last week that he had bought an eight-lane bowling alley to ship to his own private island in the South Pacific. Do you really need a bowling alley in paradise, Mel? I didn't realize your family was so into keglers. We'll be looking for your children to make the pro-circuit with that kind of edge. In all reality, there is so much Mel could do to help the cause for the universal traditional movement. Yes, his masterpiece The Passion of The Christ was a gem that produced so much good, but there needs to be a follow-up. The world needs to know, Mel, why you only attend the Latin Mass and why you are so mistrustful of priests ordained after 1968 in Paul VI's new rite of Holy Orders. Mel has the global stage. It is contingent on him to take advantage of that for Christ's holy Church. This is no time for political correctness or retreating from the scene. He must have the courage of St. Paul and be willing to speak out uncompromisingly. I stand by the editorial I wrote two years ago Turn the mirage into a Miracle". So far, the mirage continues to get murkier and miracles are few and far between while Mel retreats and stores up riches for himself. Oh, there is so much he could do in helping traditional communities everywhere. For instance, Mt. St. Michael's Academy had an old, old elevator from the 20's that died recently. It will cost upwards of $100,000 to $400,000 to replace. Not chump change, but to Mel it would be a widow's mite. Without that elevator so many elderly and handicap are unable to climb the high stairs to attend Holy Mass daily or even on Sunday, not to mention the five floors the elevator services for supplies, furniture, older nuns, etc. This is just one example of how Mel could contribute to the traditional cause and gain greater graces for Heaven. Like most traditional parishes, St. Michael's is not a rich one and yet provides a grade school and high school staffed by traditional nuns at a tuition cost most reasonable, in fact by today's inflation, downright a bargain for parents' pocketbook. There are many families with four to seven children in various grades, families who tithe despite a tight budget, who sacrifice many temporal things to give their kin the solid faith. I hear tell, and I have no factual information other than hearsay, that Mel presented new Volkswagens to many of the parishioners in his private parish near Malibu. On the surface this sounds more like his little traditional community which, in fact, is one of the most paranoid of parishes security-wise, is more of a country club than a traditional sanctuary for souls. I say this in all Christian charity for our faith is not to be hidden under the bushel basket and reserved only for a few, but to be shared far and wide for the universal Church. Did not Christ say in Mark 16: 15, "Go out into the whole world and preach the Gospel"? Did He not say in Matthew 19-20, "Going, therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost"? Was our Lord merely whistling Dixie when He charged in John 21: 15-17 to Peter and the Apostles, "Feed My lambs...feed My sheep"?
No wonder Christ said that it was harder for a rich man to get to Heaven than for a camel - a weighty, massive beast of burden - to squeeze through the eye of a needle. No metaphor better shouts that worldly riches are worthless unless one is a good steward of what God provides and share their blessings for the further conversion of souls so that, utilizing all their means they cannot only reach the heavenly portal themselves, but enable others to do so as well through the wealth they distribute for the preservation and freedom of Holy Mother Church.
You'll note that nowhere in the conciliar church is there any reference to "Holy Mother Church" for that flies in the face of conciliarism and the One World Order; another sign that the newchurch of Vatican II is not Catholic. Crosses? 'We don't want to hear about stinkin' crosses, but I don't have time to discuss this, I've got a Toleration for Gay and Lesbian Catholics meeting to go to.' Wait a second, isn't "gay" and "lesbian" redundant? Not really because there is nothing "gay" about sodomy, one of the four sins that cries to Heaven for vengeance for it is a sin of impurity against God's natural order, against nature itself (Genesis 18: 20) along with the sins of willful murder (Genesis 4:10); taking advantage of the poor, widows and orphans (Exodus 2: 23); and defrauding the worker of his just wages (James 5: 4).
The beloved late American icon Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen wrote in his book Calvary and the Mass about the unfinished work left to us. "Our Lord finished His work, but we have not finished ours. He pointed the way we must follow. He laid down the Cross at the finish, but we must take it up. He finished Redemption in His physical Body, but we have not finished it in His Mystical Body. He has finished salvation, we have not yet applied it to our souls. He has finished the Temple, but we must live in it. He has finished the model Cross, we must fashion ours to its pattern. He has finished sowing the seed, we must reap the harvest. He has finished filling the chalice, but we have not finished drinking its refreshing draughts. He has planted the wheat field; we must gather it into our barns. He has finished the sacrifice of Calvary; we must finish the Mass. The Crucifixion was not meant to be an inspirational drama, but a pattern act on which to model our lives. We are not meant to sit and watch the Cross as something done and ended . . . What was done on Calvary avails for us only in the degree that we repeat it in our own lives"
That is another reason why the Holy Sacrifice, as His Excellency was speaking of (not the blasphemous Novus Ordo of Paul VI's demonic Masonic creation), is essential for our strength to carry our cross, to do penance, to chastise ourselves, and to condition our bodies, minds and souls so that we can run the good race and win eternal salvation. That is true love. No other rite can offer this guarantee - only the Immemorial Mass of All Ages - the Latin Mass of Sts. Peter and Paul, the Mass canonized by Pope Gregory the Great and reinforced, that is, set in stone by the dogmatic Council of Trent. In the midst of confusion and persecution, the Council Fathers of Tridentine times provided a sonnet of love letters in their decrees and magnificent Roman Catechism - also known as the Catechism of Trent. Daily we can refuel at the Font of Love in the Holy Mass. What love! God is so good.
And He expects us to be good. Free will aside, we must be good stewards as the Gospel this week addresses and earn our daily bread, justly giving a day's work for a fair wage and not being envious of what our employers or higher authorities fairly decide to pay others. Remember one of the sins above that cries to Heaven for vengeance? Justice and charity are the core of the Gospel that will run this entire week with Paul's reminder over and over that God is not pleased with most of those who proclaim His name. And that is a source of sadness that so many are blind to what they have lost.
While the sacrilegious Novus Ordo has done away with any resemblance to sacrifice and expiation, not to mention less and less adoration and thanksgiving, they fill their services with all kinds of petitions, making the "offering of the gifts" the highlight of the conciliar Mess, asking for the world literally for it is interspersed with petitions for God to bless sins and non-believers on their terms while giving Him faint praise in their pushing the incessant 'peace and justice' garbage. Let's all hold hands and sing "On Eagles' Wings"! If you don't you are hurting the 'unity of community' and must be isolated. 'Get with the program, you conservatives. We don't kneel anymore, we don't believe a piece of bread can be God, but we do believe God can appear in many forms.' Ah yes, let's see as Buddha, Mohammed, a snake in Africa, and whatnot, even in a toasted cheese sandwich. All hail and obey Fr. Diversity and Bishop Perversity and his chancellor Sister Tolerance or else. No thanks!
We know there are isolated Novus Ordo Catholics that don't necessarily think that way, but yet they lack the courage to find out why they keep going along with the rot that is decaying their parishes and devastating souls. They need to realize they can no longer remain lukewarm or on the fence. Haven't they read our Lord's words in Apocalypse 3: 15-16? "I know thy works: that thou art neither cold nor not: I would thou wert cold or hot: But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of My mouth." It is in the next few paragraphs which dovetail with what Paul insists he do and advises all others to do likewise: chastise thyself. "Because thou sayest: I am rich, and made wealthy, and I have need of nothing: and thou knowest not, that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked. I counsel thee to buy of Me, gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be made rich, and mayest be clothed in white garments, and the shame of thy nakedness may not appear: and anoint thy eyes with eyesalve, therefore, and do penance" (Apocalypse 3: 17-19).
That very gold our Lord speaks of is the abode for Him - the gold tabernacle, the gold chalice and ciboriums - all tried in the fire of the martyrs that went before in Faith and only those who understand this can don the white garment of grace and realize their human fallen nature and in humility they will see with anointed eyes and heart how close we all are to hell if we do not follow all that God has willed.
In the next sentence, the Lord says in Apocalypse 3: 20: "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man shall hear My voice, and open to Me the gate, I will come to him and will sup with him, and he with Me." I have seen it so many times: Catholics this close to realizing the truth of the deception and heresies of Vatican II, but they will only go so far. They are afraid to knock and open that gate. Why is this so agonizing to understand? Because they have not taken St. Paul's counsel to chastise themselves, and in that very inaction or denial, they have "become a castaway" - as Paul says in Douay-Rheims, "reprobate" (1 Corinthians 9: 27). They are so close, just push on the door and it will open. But so many are afraid to open that door because they know if they do, they must leave all the creature comforts and baggage and 'friends', even loved ones and not look back. When push comes to shove, their reflexes and muscles cannot fight off the temptations and the doubts that satan could not possibly have masterminded the great apostasy. They conveniently forget the prophesies of saints, Our Lady and many holy persons, including Saint Paul's affirmation that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but "against the principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness: against the spirits of wickedness in the high places" (Ephesians 6: 12). The Apostle Paul identifies the beast so clearly in the preceding verse, "Put you on the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the snares of the devil" (Ephesians 6: 11) and in the succeeding verse, "Wherefore take unto you the armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect" (Ephesians 6: 13). We must gird for war with the netherworld, not sure exactly in what form satan will appear for he could come as a gargoyle, he could seem like a poisonous viper, he might appear, as Saint Peter says in 1 Peter 5:8, "your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about, seeking whom he may devour."
Then again, Lucifer might masquerade himself as the girl down the street, or that guy who flirts all the time, or the one whose vocabulary consists mainly of four letter words, or the gossip in the office, or a disobedient son or daughter, or an unfaithful spouse. Or he might be disguised as the friendly, non-judgmental lenient pastor who looks the other way and fails to rebuke, or the politically correct prelate who compromises his faith and sells out to schmooze with the village rabbi, female episcopalian priestess and protestant evangelist, or jeopardizes his flock for a corruptible reward by covering up sins because it would hurt his image. What image!?!
Ah, yes, satan can come in many ways and even within traditional circles he can wedge himself in. He loves bloggers and the emotions of hate and prejudice that can be stirred over the smallest things. Charity often takes a holiday when we, myself included, along with so many other writers of traditional publications and websites, get ahead of the Holy Ghost and vent without prayerfully preparing and being willing ourselves to practice what we preach. Paul warned us and still it sneaks up on us. That devil is so sneaky, so clever, so much smarter than any of us for he was chosen as a superior heavenly being with capabilities and knowledge the equal of the mighty trifecta of Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. Never underestimate God's adversary, but also never underestimate the power of His loyal brigade of Archangels, and heavenly platoon of angels and saints, led by the Queen of Heaven and earth.
Why, we ask every day, is it so easy for us, the few, to see the truth and the deception and untruths permeating the modern church which calls itself Catholic, and for the vast majority not to see it? We cry out, "it's as clear as the nose on your face, dummy. Look, here's the evidence. Read it, please!" But they make some excuse, change the subject or rationalize that we have lost our marbles. We have been given such a treasure, and yet it is rejected by so many. We have to wonder with Christ why throw pearls to swine. But those human 'swine' are precious to our Lord and should be to us for they are made in the image and likeness of God. So what are our marching orders from above? Get down on our knees and pray all the more, offer sacrifice and practice self-denial in conditioning us and always thanking Jesus and His Blessed Mother for lifting the venomous veil from our hearts, minds and soul. It is only through grace that we, the few, have realized the truth. We can say humbly, never with pride, "there but for the grace of God go I." We must dedicate this Time of Septuagesima leading up to Lent and the succeeding forty days to going that extra mile so that others will be given the same graces to see more accurately what we understand so well. Only then will conversions begin. It takes conversion of heart - of hearts that have been hardened and softened, where cockle smothers the arteries of grace, choking the flow and stifling souls. Only sincere prayer and penance, the practice of self-denial and sacrifices will loosen those veins of the venom that now blocks the conduits of achieving everlasting life. That is why, like Paul, we must be willing to chastise ourselves in the manner we act, dress, and speak. Our actions could be responsible for someone converting to the Faith of our Fathers or it could be responsible for sending a soul farther away, scandalized by our conduct or speech. Let us never be afraid to chastise ourselves in body, mind and soul and fear not the race. We must do as Paul instructs: "Preach the word, be instant in season, out of season, reprove, entreat, rebuke with all patience and doctrine" (2 Timothy 4: 2). It would seem the holy Apostle was speaking directly to us in these times for he follows that up with "For there shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: and will turn away indeed their hearing from the truth but will be turned to fables. But be thou vigilant, labor in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry. Be sober" (2 Timothy 4: 3-5).
If we can do that, if we can offer God our best effort no matter our sins and faults, we too will be able to say: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course. I have kept the Faith" (2 Timothy 4: 7). Until we can say that, let us continue to refuel at the Merciful Font of Love - the infrangible Holy Sacrifice of the Mass - and go forth with courage following the Ite, Missa est to fight on with love, Agape Love!
Michael Cain, editor
For past CATHOLIC PewPOINT editorials, see 2006ed.htm Archives