Tag Archives: Catholics Hold Fast!

Take Up Space! Don’t Cede the Public Square to Those Who Hate Us.

Archbishop Viganò (bless him!) has rather aptly categorized the two “teams” vying for control of our world: The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness.

Team Darkness: On the March

Let’s face it: the latter half of 2020 has been looking pretty sweet for Team Darkness. Western governments are actively engaged in a contest to see who can outdo the other when it comes to suppressing freedom in general (and Christianity in particular) with ever more draconian lockdowns and restrictions on personal liberties. The astounding hubris with which the mainstream media and Big Tech are hailing the fraudulent destruction of the American electoral system must have Team Darkness cheering in the stands as well.

What’s coming next? If Team Darkness has their way, expect more of the same in 2021. Your opinions on social media apps such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter will continue to be suppressed. We will see drastic reversals in policies which for the last four years have favored (or at least been refreshingly neutral) on Judeo-Christian values such as the sanctity of life. I expect that we’ll see a dedicated effort to suppress Christian opinion (and even thought) in Big Media, Big Tech, and (may God forbid) the Deep State if Team Darkness succeeds in their power grab.

How do we Fight Back?

Prayer is an obvious first response. Continuing to maintain Christian households is essential. We must protect our families and loved ones from the assaults of Team Darkness by holding fast to what we know to be the Truth. But there’s more that we can do. We must, as Dr. Taylor Marshall puts it, “Take up space.”

What does that mean, exactly? In a nutshell, it means don’t let them push you out of the public square! Team Darkness, as the name implies, gets creeped out if too much light is shining around them. The best way to suppress those Christians on Team Light is to push them off the stage, confine them to the 21st Century equivalent of a ghetto. “Yes, let them practice their hateful beliefs (for now), but not in public! You may be against the Great Reset, and you’re free to express your opinions to your fellow like-minded bigots, but NOT in public and ONLY if you adhere to whatever rules we have mandated for you. We’d prefer very much if you NOT have any public manifestations of your faith because it makes others uncomfortable.”

Well, we’re not going to let them push us around like that! Team Darkness, you may think you’re on top right now, but the King of Kings is returning to claim what is rightfully His, and we are going to keep reminding you of that blessed fact by continuing to take up space in the public domain!

Strategies for Taking Up Space

Here are some simple ideas for implementing this strategy. Worshiping in public is at the top of the list. Keep going to Mass, and let ’em know you’re doing so! If there’s a public prayer vigil, Eucharistic procession or Rosary Rally, seriously consider participating. You are witnessing to a world that is, in the words of a beloved preacher from my pre-Catholic days, “Lost and doomed, damned and dying.”

There are additional ways you can take up space. Up until just a few years ago, these public expressions of faith would have seemed almost trivial and without the slightest whiff of in-your-face controversy. Now, in 2020 and beyond, they have the potential for making a much bolder and vitally necessary impact.

This vinyl bumper sticker lets ’em know where you stand, though many on Team Darkness probably won’t have a clue as to the context of this message. The Left is like that...

Bumper Stickers. It’s simple. It can seem cheezy. But it is a very real way to express who you are and what you believe. Most bumper stickers you see while driving are inconsequential. They might be amusing. They are often profane, if not downright obscene. But they can communicate profound truths as well. How many people driving around see stickers proclaiming that the driver is a Catholic? That they are pro-life and pro-family? Stickers which can remind the lukewarm to pray the Rosary? Stickers which remind the reader of Who Christ is, and that He’s returning soon? You can find some great ones at religious stores and on the internet. There are many on-line resources for designing your own custom-made bumper art. Do be aware of a couple of important considerations if you take up this form of automotive evangelization: First, the effectiveness of your message–your Christian witness, if you will–may well be diminished if you drive like a jerk. (“Hey, that Catholic in the Ford just cut me off and flipped me off!” No bueno.) Second, there will be people on the road who will take serious exception to your message. You may well experience unsolicited feedback, which may range from a dirty look, an obscene gesture, and perhaps even some degree of road rage or vandalism if they come upon your car and its associated message in the Walmart parking lot. Getting run off the road because you’ve proclaimed your Christianity is a form of white martyrdom, maybe…don’t blow it by responding poorly.

Statues in your front yard–like these from Design Toscano–proclaim your Faith.

Yard Art. The once ubiquitous garden statue takes on new significance in these apocalyptic times. If you’re going to have yard art, why simply have a statue of some maiden pouring water out of a jug when you can have a sculpture of the Sacred Heart or Blessed Virgin proclaiming your faith to passers by in the neighborhood? The time may be coming where some Leftie Snowflake may find such a public display so disturbing that he/she/it declares it “Hurtful” (a major felony for Team Darkness) and seeks its removal. The battle for the soul of our society will take place on many fronts. Speaking of battles…

Why have a vanilla-ish “Have a Nice Day” garden banner, when you can have something like this?

Hoist Your Colors! Do you have a flagpole or one of those little hangers for “garden banners?” Instead of hoisting the colors of your favorite sports team or one of those meaningless little “Let it Snow!” garden banners, why not put it to better use? We’re in a spiritual war. Why not hoist the battle flag of St. Michael, or the colors flown by the Catholic patriots of the Vendee? Let ’em know you’re Catholic and you’re ready to stand your ground! Many stunning and colorful Catholic-themed flags are available online. Hank Igitur, the Traditional Roamin’ Catholic, has turned his RV into a LAV (Liturgical Assault Vehicle) by flying a “Deus Vult” flag from the Crusades from his rig. Why not do something similar? It’s bold, it’s eye-catching, and it lets people know where you stand. In other words, it takes up space.

Hoist your battle colors. God wills it!

Don’t Give Up the Web! During the War of 1812, Captain Lawrence, mortally wounded as his ship slugged it out with a British man-o-war, famously uttered “Don’t give up the ship! Fight her till she sinks.”  We could do to remember the Captain’s words. Don’t give up your online presence in social media. Keep posting on social media. Let an increasingly hostile world hear the truth. You may get blocked. You may get banned. No matter. Keep firing away. Don’t give up. Fight her till she sinks.

A Prayer to Our Lady in this time of Plague

Can you spare 90 seconds to offer a prayer to Our Lady?

Can you afford not to???  The Stella Coeli prayer is a powerful supplication!

And while you’re at it, why not seek St. Michael’s intercession as well?

Remember our priests in prayer as well!  This clip from a Spanish film reminds us that our shepherds stand firm (despite the attacks raging around them) when offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass:

Catholics: Hold Fast!

Two fists held close together. On each knuckle a letter is tattooed. The words "Hold Fast" are spelled out across them.

After years of scandal and controversy, it’s easy to forget how heroic so many of our priests are.  We must support them and pray for them.

And we, Catholic brothers and sisters, must remain brave ourselves, and firm in our Faith!  Tribulations are coming.  One could easily argue (Wuhan Virus, anyone?) that they are here already.

#CatholicsHoldFast

Why I’m no longer attending my Latin Mass Parish weekly

“Take it, lad. You need it more than I do.” – Chaplain George Rentz, giving his life jacket to a seaman following the sinking of USS Houston during the Battle of Sunda Strait, 1942.

Commander George Rentz was a Chaplain aboard USS Houston, a cruiser sunk during a fierce naval battle with superior Japanese forces in the dark days of 1942. Clinging desperately to a hopelessly overloaded piece of wreckage with several other sailors, he relinquished his spot of safety.  Giving his lifejacket to a young seaman with those words, he pushed away, treading water for a while before his strength gave out and he sank below the waves, joining 800 other men from Houston who perished that day. He was awarded the Navy Cross for his action, the only chaplain so honored during the Second World War.

George_S._Rentz-colorrentz

Commander George Rentz was a Navy Chaplain who laid down his life for a fellow Sailor following the sinking of their cruiser in 1942.

Please God that he has received a far greater reward.

Rentz’s words became one of a handful of famous naval sayings which (along with better known phrases like “Don’t give up the ship” or “I have not yet begun to fight”) my Naval Academy classmates and I were ordered to commit to memory over 45 years ago.

It’s funny how those words stick with you. Thinking about it now, those three phrases (which I shouted with gusto as a sweating frightened Midshipman 4th Class whenever prompted by an upperclassman) can apply to us Catholics of a traditional/orthodox bent during these troubling and apocalyptic times for our Church. And surely 2020 will be a year as dark for our beloved Catholic Church as was 1942 for the U.S. Navy, the year Rentz laid down his life.

Hopefully, nobody reading this will be scratching their heads wondering why I lament the state of things in our Church. If you don’t know the situation, you simply haven’t been paying attention. For the rest of us, perhaps those three phrases will seem like good advice.

“Don’t give up the ship!” – I don’t know about you, but there’s no way I’m abandoning the Barque of Peter, no matter how hot the battle.

Don't Give Up The Ship

The original battle flag flown during the Battle of Lake Erie now hangs proudly in the rotunda at the U.S. Naval Academy. Those fighting words from the War of 1812 ring true for us Catholics today!

“I’ve not yet begun to fight!” – The enemy is demanding our surrender. Far from complying, we’re about to renew the battle with fierce determination.

“Take it, lad. You need it more than I do.” – Well, maybe this one isn’t as clear. Let me explain.

My response to the desperate battle facing us is nowhere near as noble or heroic as what that chaplain (only a month away from full retirement) did amidst one of the fiercest naval battles of World War II. It’s really pretty trivial and cheezy in comparison.

Instead of giving up my lifejacket, I’m giving up my seat at my FSSP parish.

Huh?

My FSSP parish is small. When FSSP was granted permission to have a parish in my city, the small run-down church had been closed and abandoned, stark evidence of Catholicism’s post-Vatican II continual collapse. After three years of effort (including some pretty serious engineering), the building had been restored to its former beauty. The high altar was in place, and all vestiges of the Novus Ordo experiment were gone.

And our little parish began steadily growing. It wasn’t just cranky old timers incapable of “getting with the times,” as the Traditional Mass’ detractors like to paint us. Nope. More and more young families came through our doors. In ten years our little outfit produced five vocations.

The growth was steady but manageable. Then came the Summer of Shame.

When it became evident how rampant the scandals, how deep the rot, how Modernist the hierarchy, and how big the mess confronting our Catholic faith, attendance at my little parish exploded. We ushers saw more and more new faces every week. There were more and more new families showing up. They were curious first-timers, and they had questions which we tried to answer, always encouraging them to come back.

Overflow TLM

Taking it to the streets: Undaunted, Catholics unable to find a seat at the Latin High Mass carry on.

And, boy, did they come back! Our job as ushers, of course, included finding seats for our parishioners and visitors. These days we look less like ushers and more like those famous Japanese train conductors who have to pack passengers like sardines! Our three FSSP priests laid on additional Sunday Masses to alleviate the strain, but the crowds kept growing. We’re now at the point where if you don’t show up for Mass at least a half hour early, you’re not going to get a seat…at least not in a pew inside the church.

During good weather (which is abundant in our state), we leave the double doors open and set up two rows of folding chairs under a portable canopy. People sit outside, peering in and listening to the homily broadcast on exterior speakers. During the parts of the Mass where you’re supposed to kneel, they kneel uncomplainingly on the concrete sidewalk. We’ve taken two of our classrooms and made them overflow rooms where the Mass is relayed via WiFi onto large screen displays.

Station workers push a passenger into a crowded subway train at the Ikebukuro station on the Marunouchi line during rush hour in Tokyo

These Japanese train conductors have the makings of excellent ushers at my parish’s wonderfully overcrowded Latin Mass!

A first-time visitor to our parish shouldn’t be forced to watch from such disadvantaged locations, so it isn’t uncommon for parish “regulars” to give up their pew for a visitor.

Such is the state of our little Latin Mass parish.

The good news is that we’re not the only place in our city where the Mass is offered in the Extraordinary Form. Two much larger parishes have brave priests who offer the Latin Mass at least once a week, offering their parishioners the opportunity to attend the Extraordinary Form in addition to their regular Novus Ordo Masses. I say these priests are brave for two reasons: first of all, they haven’t had the extensive training which Latin-only outfits like FSSP, ICKSP, and SSPX seminarians go through. The Latin Mass is beautiful, but certainly difficult for a man not trained from the ground up in saying it. Secondly, our city is home to one of the more liberal bishops in America. So far, he has been tolerant of these pre-1969 Masses being said by his diocesan priests. That, of course, could change at any moment.

I’ve attended these Latin Masses, and they are growing as well. They’re both said in very large churches, so there’s still plenty of room. I’d put the attendees at a Novus Ordo parish Latin Mass at about (this is a very unscientific wag) 40% Traddie and 60% Novie. Many, many families are being exposed to the old rite. It’s good to have a significant number of Traddies in the pews there. We act as guides of a sort, I guess. If you’re a Novie Newbie and are struggling to keep up, it’s helpful to keep an eye on the people wearing mantillas and sporting those massive black missals. When they kneel, you kneel. Ain’t nothing wrong with that!

I’ve also struck up a friendship with the pastor of one of these Novus Ordo parishes. He’s a wonderful guy, orthodox in his theology and eager to bring authentic Church teachings to his people. I love encouraging and supporting him. Due to logistical imperatives (dealing with chronically ill family members), my wife and I have been attending separate Masses on Sunday in order to always have somebody at home. She’s been going to this Latin Mass at the big Novus Ordo church for a couple of years now.

Now, I’m doing likewise.

I’m still a member of my FSSP parish, and continue to support them financially. I still plan to get there at least once a month. But I think it’s time to give up my pew there to make room for that next confused and battered Catholic who stumbles through the door in search of the genuine Faith which seems to be evaporating before our eyes in far too many places.

To that Novie looking for a pew where they can experience the full beauty of the Traditional Latin Mass, I gladly say, “Take it, lad (or lass). You need it more than I do.”

Francis, Chairman Mao, and King Henry VIII

It’s hard to keep up with all the moves being made during this pontificate.  Many of the pronouncements coming from the Vatican seem to be intentionally ambiguous, allowing for the faithful to fib to themselves that nothing’s changed, and allowing the less heterodox among us to exploit the carefully constructed loopholes in documents like Amoris Laetitia.  No doubt the end product of this month’s synod will produce whoppers of equal magnitude.

Then, of course, there are the outright moves of betrayal, such as the stunning agreement with the Red Chinese which effectively throws the Underground Church in China under the bus.

Even though many faithful Catholics are confused, perplexed, disturbed, and perhaps even outraged by the Pontiff’s moves, there are those whom we suspect would be quite pleased…

“I’m Viganò!”

Hand forming the "V for victory" sign. Next to it are the words "V is for Vigano"

V_is_Vigano_GOOD_2

The hunt is on for the “renegade” Archbishop!  In the wake of his bombshell eleven page letter which named quite a few names, more than a few high-ranking prelates are ticked off.  According to some press reports, the Vatican is actively seeking the whereabouts of Abp. Viganò, and has dispatched agents to locate him.  Fearing for his life, Abp. Viganò has  gone into hiding.  From an undisclosed location, Viganò has written two additional letters.

Pray for Viganò’s safety during this time of crisis.  Pray that his allegations be investigated fully, and pray to Our Lady that our beloved Church will emerge from this present tribulation stronger and holier!

See…This is the problem.

The Roman Catholic Church has a deficit of cardinals who openly embrace the Magisterium.  We need more men like Cardinal Sarah.  Instead we have guys like this.

Some months before his infamous “rabbit hole” remarks the cardinal in charge of the Chicago Archdiocese still had plenty of other weird things to say.

In a recent talk at the Catholic Theological Union when praising the concept of “thinking out of the box,” he went just a little too far.  According to a LifeSiteNews article published Nov. 2 2017,  Blase Cardinal Cupich (appointed by Pope Francis) stated that if Catholics want to engage in “discernment” like Pope Francis does, they must let go of “cherished beliefs.”

Riiiiiight…

Excuse me, Your Eminence, does “cherished beliefs” include things like the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church? The Magisterium?  You know…stuff like that?  Here, see for yourself what Cupich is saying:


I don’t know about you, but talk like this gives me the creeps. Just sounds like a justification of “cafeteria Catholicism.”  Cupich et Luther

Letting go of “cherished beliefs” like the magisterial teaching of the Church and instead engaging in something like following a path of personal discernment….hmmm…isn’t that what the arch-heritic Martin Luther did? This guy sounds like he’s just another protestant to me.