A Return to Basics is Fundamental to our Faith |
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
for some weeks now I have been meditating upon and contemplating this very Holy and Sorrowful time of Our Lord's Most Sacred Passion, and the Holy Spirit wishes me to address something to you that you may know, or may not have thought about in some time. What Lent is truly about.
The Lent I remember has been altered to fit our comforts and wants instead of our needs. It all stems from the changes made after the Council closed and the "phantom spirit of Vatican II" that took over as the liberals sought to reduce the sacrificial aspect of our Faith. We can see this just this past Sunday. In the past there was always Passion Sunday when the Crucifix and all statues were covered in purple or violet as a reminder of intensifying our Lenten resolve during the final two weeks. Now we have been reduced to only the combined Passion/Palm Sunday. They have even managed to drop references of the Fourth Sunday of Lent as Laetare Sunday as it was in the past, and Gaudete Sunday during Advent. Now we have the Passion read on Palm Sunday and Good Friday and everyone is invited to sit and "enjoy" it. Do you think Christ enjoyed it? It is a reminder to us that we, too, must take up our cross daily and follow Him.
But you don't hear that very often any more. What is the rationale for the bishops and priests striving so to make us comfortable, to entertain us, to not ask too much of the faithful - except for building funds, of course - of wanting to make sure that we are all "unified" in doing the same thing - celebrating ourselves? I don't know, but I can remember many Lents where we endured because it was Lent. It wasn't easy attending two and three-hour services, but that was part of the penitential nature of the season that we lived day in and day out for those 40 days just as Christ did in the desert. Lent is a reminder of what Our Dear Lord endured for our sake, personally, and for the entire history of mankind-past, present, and future, and for us to respond in kind by willingly carrying our crosses daily and being willing to be nailed to the Cross with Him. The Lenten meaning and liturgy cried out to our souls to become holy, to walk the road to Calvary with Jesus, as He told us in Scripture that this is the only way to Heaven. The pablum we are getting today, my dear brothers and sisters, causes me to wince for it seems we are being robbed of the very meaning and purpose of Lent.
Today, Lent is comprised of Ash Wednesday, the Paschal Triduum, and the annual Lenten Penance Service in which a multitude of priests rotate among the parishes making themselves available for confessions within a two-hour span on one evening in each parish. Many parishioners go to these thinking it is a communal penance and they don't have to confess individually. Many Catholics go there and then go to Mass on Easter Sunday and think they are good Catholics because they've made "their Easter duty." Oh, how ignorant we have become.
The time of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday - the Easter Triduum - has become more a celebration of equality and RCIA. Today you have women apostles having their feet washed on Holy Thursday evening. I don't remember Our Lord appointing any females as His apostles. Even His Own Blessed Mother was not in attendance at the Last Supper. But this is the "new Church" - the enlightened institution founded in 1965. The whole RCIA program is the framework for this. The basics, the fundamentals are not being taught. The true tenets of our rich and wonderful Faith are not being taught, and most of all, any thing regarding Traditions, our Latin Traditions are not being taught. Instead they are being taught to "love" everyone and be tolerant of all, not to judge others. Can't you see what this is doing? It is demeaning the absolutes of our Faith. They are being fed a watered-down version that is "politically correct" with today's thinking.
Do you find yourself thirsting for a deeper commitment to Christ, and to the Divine Trinity? Do you feel, often, that something is lacking in your spiritual journey. Are you finding it difficult to make Lent even meaningful? After all, we are only asked to fast and abstain on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, with the Fridays of Lent being those of abstaining from meat. How many really keep this directive of Holy Mother Church? I have corresponded with many people, who are amazed, even embarrassed when I mention that it is Friday, and we should be fasting and abstaining. They say, in short: "Oh, I didn't even remember the day of the week." Excuse me, how can you not know it's a Friday? I don't dare ask them if they remember Ember Days.
My point, the point the Holy Spirit wishes me to bring to your mind, is this: Vatican Council II did not change these things. Read the documents and post-concilior documents of the Council, and see if you find there any reference to this new teaching that de-emphasizes the meaning of Lent. Find, anywhere, where the Lenten Fasts were reduced to only those mentioned above. The changes you are living with in your local parish church, within your own dioceses, have often been the work of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Many things this conference is said to have decreed has not received approval from Rome. Let alone, many things have not even received the approval of the bishops, yet is pushed on it as if it is. A good example is the liturgical norms that are so liberal. The National Conference of Catholic Bishops has the duty to be in full accord with the See of Rome-with the Holy Father. Any document that the put forth as "law", must first be approved by the Holy Father, and until it is approved, no matter how much rhetoric they put into their explanations, no matter how much "power" they think they have, they are bound by total obedience to the Holy Father, whose teachings and papal bulls, pastoral letters, etc., are those which we, as Catholics, must all obey and adhere to.
From the inaction of our bishops over three decades it would seem we have been deprived of the real essence of our Faith. It is so sad, but true that many of our problems have been the result of bad leadership in this country from the majority of our bishops. For whatever reasons, that only God knows, they have allowed this to happen. We must be more attuned to what they are and are not saying. Hence, when the bishops proceed to make changes in their respective dioceses, no matter how much they 'gang" together, if they are not in unison with Rome, if what they are promoting is not in full accordance with the Holy See, then these bishops are in disobedience to Rome, and hence you can see the confusion that ensues.
My husband Michael pointed out to me that the document "Always Our Children," which they tried to sneak by us as official, is a good example of this. It was never approved by the NCCB, and surely not Rome, yet it was foisted on us as if it were. Thank God, some orthodox bishops caught it in time and stopped it in its tracks. But, as Michael has been discovering in his research, many bishops have been strangely silent about the homosexual legislations that are fast becoming acceptable. This, dear friends, is what bothers me the most. We both ask why have they not spoken out more vociferously against these transgressions that are definitely against God's sacred laws, as well as His Holy Church?
I want you to know two facts: First, the Second Vatican Council, the real council, changed very little, and, yes, it was of the Holy Spirit under Blessed Pope John XXIII. What happened after his death, we'll only know in Heaven. Secondly, the changes made were not that drastic, they were only made so over time and abuse. After struggling with these abuses for so long and getting nowhere in trying to correct them, feeling so empty in our hearts and souls because, as Michael calls it, the "protestantization" of our Church, I and my family have been led back to the Latin Mass. This is the Tridentine Mass that is approved by Rome and I can see so clearly that this Latin Rite is the only way to preserve the TRUE FAITH.
Michael and I have come to this decision through volumes of research and our hearts. Never did Vatican Council II do away with the Latin Mass. NEVER. The liberal implementation of this Council did that for us, and we bought it hook, line, and sinker. There is also another vital point I want to share with you. Since the Jubilee Year, talks have been underway between the Vatican-under the commission of Ecclesia Dei and the Society of St. Pius X. The Vatican has recognized that these bishops are legitimate bishops.
And Pope John Paul II realizes that the Latin Rite is the only way to preserve the TRUE FAITH. Therefore he has intensified talks in an effort to bring the Society of St. Pius X back into the mainstream of Holy Mother Church - not just to end the "schism," but also to fix, for lack of a better word, the god-forsaken abuses of the liberal implementation of Vatican Council II. In fact, my dear brothers and sisters, the Society of St. Pius X was never in heresy; schism, yes; heresy, no. Please read what heresy means and tell me who is in heresy. Look at what many of the bishops here in our country are allowing to be taught and ask who is spreading heresy.
Michael has written much on this and continues to do so for it is necessary to alert the faithful if we are being led astray. In many parishes in America we are being led further from what Jesus' beloved Church teaches. I am horrified at the horror stories we see everyday, more and more on a regular basis about abuses. It seems the liberal elements can get away with whatever they want, say whatever they want and many of the bishops fall in step as if robots. But let someone speak out for orthodoxy and they are labeled as "dangerous."
We have covered up too long, as Michael says, the cancer in the chanceries that is also trying to permeate the Roman Curia.
Tomorrow I will conclude this article on sharing what my heart says and what our Church says. They are in unison and therefore need to be said. Until we come together tomorrow, may you be safe in the Two Sacred and Merciful Hearts.
For past installments by Cyndi Cain, see SYMPHONY OF SUFFERING Archives
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April 3, 2001
volume 12, no. 93
Cyndi Cain's SYMPHONY OF SUFFERING column