Something you can 'book' on for Advent |
Spiritual reading comes in many forms that awaken the heart, soul and mind to the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, it has been some time since I last wrote to you. Having regained most of my strength, it fills me with joy to be writing to you as the Holy Season of Advent begins.
I have been pondering in my soul about the meaning of Advent to us in this 21st century. I am in awe that God has chosen us to be alive, His Soldiers of Christ, as the new millennium gets under way. One of the things I notice is that in the post-conciliar Church of today, Advent has lost much of it's significant spiritual meaning, and is regarded rather as a time when the various lay groups working in the parish find that they are the ones who must make of Advent a means of making money so the parish social groups keep going, and, of course, that there is plenty of money to decorate the church for Christmas.
Advent is a time of preparation, remembrance, and anticipation. We are to prepare ourselves spiritually for the glory and joy of Christ's birth, the Son of God made man. We are to remember the four thousand years from the time of Abraham to the Birth of Christ, with striking readings from the Old Testament that foretell of the Birth of the Savior. In addition, we anticipate. We should be anticipating the Birth of Christ…a moment in history that, for me, stands out as the most astonishing moment that could be announced on the TV News stations, on radio talk shows, banners in stores, etc., all shouting the great good news that the Messiah is so close.
However, sadly, in most Novus Ordo parishes, you will find little emphasis on the spiritual meaning and preparation that Advent calls us to do. So much in the New Mass has been lost regarding the Divine link between the Old Covenant and the New, especially in the rituals. Yes, there is the Advent Wreath, and at each "communal" meal that is celebrated, the candles are lit, one week at a time.
Is this not also a foretelling of the words of Christ in Sacred Scripture about the wise virgins, who kept their lamps lit because they had brought extra oil with them? Is not Advent a time to prepare for Christ's Birth by filling our souls with sanctifying grace? Do you know what sanctifying grace is, what it does for the soul? Without sanctifying grace we are as dead, whited sepulchers, our soul withering away, keeping God far away.
Thus it comes into play that Advent is also a time of learning. We are invited by God to learn of His promises to mankind from Adam and Eve to the present moment, and into the future. His promises are kept, but it is our soul, the heart of our soul, combined with our human free will that must cooperate with the Holy Ghost if we are to learn correctly. We must not rely upon interpretation that is passed off as being discernment. We, ourselves, must discern with the Holy Ghost that we are being told the truth, being taught the absolutes of Holy Mother Church. The strict measures God imposed on the Israelites in the Old Testament, speak of His Justice. Christ's coming brought into salvation history a clear mark of God's Infinite Mercy. Yet, we cannot separate the two…they are inseparable.
Advent is a time for us to cleanse our souls of all stain of sin. This we do by going to Confession. No, not a penitential service. One on one with the priest, in the confessional. We should go to Confession at least once a month, more often if possible. Certainly, in the Latin Rite, venial sins are forgiven at the Absolution that concludes the Confiteor. However, the Absolution is taken away in the Novus Ordo rite, and though many will tell you it is implied, it is not. Therefore, if you belong to a Novus Ordo parish, you need to go to the Sacrament of Penance as a testimony that you are preparing and anticipating Christ's Birth. Communal Penance never was and never will be a sacrament. You must desire to be as pure in your soul as the first snowfall of the winter, so that spiritually on Christmas you will be there in the hovel where Christ was born, laid in a manger, and wrapped in swaddling clothes. You can spiritually kneel where the shepherds and Wise Men knelt, and give to Christ the one thing He asks…your heart.
It's not easy in these End Times to trust someone enough to give our heart away; we are a very cliquish people who pick out certain people with whom we wish to associate, then close out everyone else. No, we must willingly give away our heart, our entire being to Christ, withholding nothing because He is Perfect Love, and His Birth is our source of joy.
We should have our own Advent Wreath in our homes and practice proper prayers when we light the candles at a given time of the day when the entire family is present. We should also renew and invigorate our prayer life. How are you doing in your personal prayer life? Do you pray? Do you pray often? The daily Rosary is the best spiritual exercise available. Do you remember the prayers you learned from your parents, and do you still say them? I do remember what I learned growing up in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Faith, with its absolutes, its Truths, its Canons and Decrees. Once I had returned to the Traditional Latin Rite all the Latin I had learned, both for liturgical occasions, as well as basic Latin, came flooding back. And though I had, for over thirty years, said these prayers which never appeared in the Missalettes for the Novus Ordo rite, I found them again in my Missal, with the bookmarks still there, the holy cards, and the ribbons marking the various places to turn to during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Oh, those old missals are such a treasure. If you have one packed away, go and retrieve it. Look through it and you'll understand only too well what I mean.
Since I am on the topic of reading and since Advent is a time of preparation and anticipation, I would like to ask of each of you a favor. First of all, to read Sacred Scripture in its truest form - the Douay-Rheims version of the Holy Bible translated from the Latin Vulgate of Saint Jerome in the fourth century. Of all the translations and versions out there today, the only true, unadulterated Word of God is the Douay-Rheims. You can access it on-line at www.scriptours.com/bible or obtain this excellent Bible from TAN Books. I ask you to
please call TAN BOOKS at 800-437-5876 or order on line at Tan Books. To prove my assertation as to the Douay-Rheims Bible being the most accurate, ask for the special booklet "Which Bible Should You Read?" and it will confirm to you the truths of this when compared to all the modern translations out there. You also have a plethora of books available from TAN - all of them tried and true. You'll find books like "The Imitation of Christ" or "Spiritual Exercises" by St. Ignatius of Loyola or any number of devotional and inspirational books that are all available at a discount.
One book you can't afford not to have is "THE GREAT SACRILEGE" by Father James F. Wathen, O.S.J.. It is only $13.50 and well worth every penny. Tan's review of this book is thus: "Published in 1972, this was only the second major book critical of the New Mass, yet it is still probably the very best. The Catholic Church having come nearly completely apart since the New Mass was introduced, this book after 20-plus years now stands vindicated. Not a word has been changed--or needs to be in this challenging book!"
The book was written in 1971 when Paul VI was Pope and has yet to be refuted and it includes a tremendous introduction by the owner of TAN Books Thomas A. Nelson himself. Thirty years later no one has proven anything Fr. Wathen wrote as wrong or exaggerated. Rather, what he says is backed by the Church herself - up until so much was ransacked by the reforms of Vatican II. We promote this book freely with no commissions or anything like that, only because we believe it is a book everyone should read.
We have received personal permission from Fr. Wathen to put the entire book on-line by installment, but that will take time to complete the entire book. Because it is such an important work and so many need to read it fully to understand fully the consequences, we urge you to buy the book. If one would read his logical theological arguments and undeniable truths he lays out in his book, you'll better understand why Michael and I have returned to the Tridentine Mass and have questioned so many of the reforms of Vatican II, why The DAILY CATHOLIC must defend the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church. We are not doing so in pride, we are not doing so in righteous anger, but in love for Christ, Our Lady and our beloved Church as we endeavor to convey to so many how much has been lost. It saddens us greatly how so many - Michael and I included - have allowed so much to be compromised over the years believing it was all just the 'spirit' of Vatican II. To those who believe that, I strongly recommend three other books as well. One is "The Rhine Flows into the Tiber" by Father Ralph Wiltgen, S.V.D. also available from TAN for only $10. Two others are by Atila Guimarăes and available from Tradition in Action. One is "The Murky Waters of Vatican II" and the other is "Animus Delendi - I". Both of these excellent works are packed with facts, not fiction. Yet, they show so clearly the friction that caused so much of the damage that has been done. Make any of the above books a Christmas present to someone you care for. They and you will hunger for more.
Why am I asking you to make "The Great Sacrilege" your spiritual reading for the season of Advent? Simply put it will renew, ignite your spiritual well-being, it will set your soul on fire for Love of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It will renew your devotion to Our Blessed Mother, ever-virgin. It is a refresher course in what Catholicism always was, and must be till the end of the world, and I promise you you'll understand every word and wonder how could you have been so blind, so dumb. Believe me that's the way I felt.
Being prepared is essential in the spiritual journey we must make to arrive in the Heavenly Realm, where we shall see God face to face. I cannot emphasize this enough: Read this book. It is a must. It should be on the best-seller list for all Catholics, and non-Catholics as well, to read. It pertains to everything you do, or do not do, on Sundays. It lays out in a clear method, your Catholic Faith. For me, it was all of these things, and with it came the enlightenment and discernment of the Holy Ghost.
In my own heart and soul I know that what Fr. Wathen has written is truth, even though so many deny that inevitability because of so much propaganda against it without any clear or logical or theological arguments to refute even one point in his book. Pray to the Blessed Trinity for the grace to open your heart, mind and soul to the truth as Christ's Holy Church truly teaches in this one particular book. I do believe it will change your life...for the better. Will it be easier? Oh, Heavens no. But isn't that expected if we are truly faithful Catholics? Jesus said it wouldn't be easier, the path would be narrow. Believe me going against the grain of what everyone else is swept up in is a narrow path, but the RIGHT PATH. If you are already on fire with Love for God, Fr. Wathen's book will increase your love. If you find that your faith, your knowledge of your faith, has grown dim, it will re-light the lamp of Faith in your soul.
You will see clearly with the eyes of your soul, and in your intellect, all that Christ said and did for us, and which He commanded to be done in perpetuity until the end of the world and what was reaffirmed by the Council of Trent and Pope Saint Pius V in his Missale Romanum and papal bull Quo Primum. It will bring back to you your desire to become a saint, for it displays in easy language the very Faith of the Saints, those who were martyred for the Faith, those Holy Popes, those saintly Doctors of the Church, and all the hosts of Heaven. You will be caught up in the grace of the Holy Ghost and lifted up out of yourself into a sublime realm where the calm voice of Christ will beckon you to Love Him anew, to Love Him properly, as He commanded.
This is the best way known to me to help you to prepare for Christmas during the Holy Season of Advent. It is not a long book. It is 181 pages total, which is approximately 6 pages per day. Now, that's not too much for any of us who lead a very busy, hectic lifestyle. Order the book, make the time, and give yourself to Christ with all your being. You'll be delightfully surprised at the graces you'll receive from reading this book, and sanctifying grace will flood your soul. Come Christmas, you will be fully prepared to join Our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse, the humble shepherds, and the Wise Men from afar, who knelt and worshipped the Christ Child. Your worship of Christ will be vastly improved, and the knowledge of your priceless gift of the One True Faith will come alive again in a marvelous way.
I will sincerely keep each of you in my prayers throughout the season of Advent, and I will journey with you through "The Great Sacrilege," as I type each day from the book, reading it again, learning its Truths again, and finding there my heart's desire…to know, love, and serve God better each day; I set my sight on my Heavenly Home, and strive to be a saint. I am far from that status, but then we all must be patient with one another, for God isn't finished with us yet. He's still polishing the rough edges off us, until we resemble Him in His image and likeness.
Please do keep us in your prayers during this Season. While we are encouraging you to spend a little on some great books, I would humbly and politely ask that each of you who read this column, and our website, and are not afraid of the Truth, donate whatever you can to this ministry. It would be a true lifesaver. As always we are in desperate need of donations, always tax-deductible, to keep The DAILY CATHOLIC on line for all…for it is free to all. We have lost some readers who, for whatever reason, refuse to see the obvious. Yet, in balance, we have gained several new ones for our dauntless stance. Whatever you can send will be greatly appreciated, and for your charity towards this Apostolate, may the Good Lord bless you a hundred fold, both in this life and above all in the next. You can send a love offering on line by saying Yes! I want to help!. May you all have a blessed, inspired Advent in preparation for receiving the Christ Child on Christmas morn.
Your very little sister in Christ, who holds you in her prayers,
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November 26-December 2, 2001
volume 12, no. 158
Cyndi Cain's SYMPHONY OF SUFFERING column