Back at it again

Well, I haven’t written anything on here since last fall. I let it fall by the wayside, but in hindsight I wish I hadn’t. Although I considered shutting down, it seemed untimely. So for now, you’ll have to put up with me!

In the last six months, I have completed two university courses by correspondence, applied for scholarships in the manner of a desperate student, finished a music history self-study course, written a music harmony exam, and gained a provincial recommendation at the local music festival. I have also taken up running again, gotten accepted into university, worked more towards my grade 10 piano exam, and made some more plans for the future (God must be laughing pretty hard at these!).

Now about the Pope. There is some buzz going around about deaconesses (or deaconettes, if you prefer). Nutty business. I fail to understand how some leaders in the Church can have Truth staring them in the face, and yet they ignore it. A shepherd shrouded in ambiguity does nothing to help.

Frankly (pardon the pun), I have been trying to ignore him of late. No, I am not a sedevacantist, nor shall I ever be. Our Lord’s Will is simply so much clearer when I rely upon His Word, Apostolic Tradition, teachings of past popes, and writings of the saints. I cannot abide by ambiguity in this time of moral depravity.

Credo.

 

Post-Synod Analysis

The Synod is finished, thanks be to God!  The fallout and response is somewhat varied though, and the overall outcome is yet to be seen.

The first bit of analysis that I read was on Sunday morning. Christine Niles’ article at Church Militant basically sunk most of my hopes, but then later in the day, I saw this from the Catholic News Agency, saying that the final report backs Church teaching. On Facebook, I found this jewel from Fr. Martin, SJ:

I was very disappointed by this today. One question at this morning’s press conference, by Thomas J. Reese, SJ, exposed a serious flaw in the Synod on the Family, and an instance of clear sexism. While before I had thought that ordination was a prerequisite for voting at the Synod (and one could make that theological argument: it was a synod of bishops, and priests participate in the ministry of the bishop through the sacrament of holy orders), today I learned that Brother Herve Janson, a member of the Little Brothers of Jesus, also had voting rights. That is, he is not ordained. That is, his canonical status is technically that of a layman or laywoman. Thus, ordination was not a prerequisite for voting. So where were the women religious who had voting rights, where were the laymen with voting rights, and where were the laywomen with voting rights? (If you follow the link you can see the exchange on video.)

This was a huge missed opportunity for the Synod, and it goes against Pope Francis’s explicit desire, as stated in “Evangelii Gaudium,” to have more women in leadership roles.

Trust me, man, you would NOT want a woman like me at the Synod. Can you please get off the equality bandwagon for once and focus on something of substance?

On Twitter, apparently he had this: martin

One Mad Mom dishes on that here. Go Mad Mom!

So I clicked over to Fr. Z’s blog (you know he HATES Vatican II 😉 ) to try and get some balanced review on the Synod. If you’re still looking for some, I strongly urge you to read his latest posts.  This one was particularly good, especially if you’re a Lord of the Rings fan.

Rorate Caeli had some good observations, as well as the Catholic News Service’s interview with Cardinal Pell here.

A more hopeful but still realistic view is over at Catholicism Pure. Originally from Fr. Ed Tomlinson, the post contains more exhortations to pray, fast, and stay faithful to the Church, as well as practical things we can do.

The articles which I found the most “to the point” were from Steve Skojec at 1Peter5. If you have the time to read it, check out “No, the “Conservatives” did not “win”.  Strong commentary there.

Pray for the Holy Father. Please.

 

A Better Lent Than Last Year

Over at The Catholic Gentleman, Mr. Guzman has a post on 7 Ways To Have A Good Lent. Check it out, cause it is solid awesomeness. Also on that page is a link for a worksheet, which can help you make … Continue reading

Discouragement and keeping the faith in this time

With the synod going on in Rome and all of the disparaging reports coming out of it, I feel extremely discouraged. This is not like my usual self. On most days, I am joyful, eager to do God’s Will, and full of energy. The past few days have left me very worried and sick about the division among the cardinals. So instead of wasting all my time on worrying, I made a list of little phrases and thoughts to encourage me and keep me going. I would like to share them with you.

-Have courage!

-The Church has survived this far.

-Christ will not abandon His Bride and leave Her to the wolves.

-Fidelity…fides…faith…

-Be hopeful.

-There are still some who defend the Truth.

-“Christ will guard His own!” St. Agnes

-The bishops and the Holy Father may not have a solid plan of attack, but God does!

“Remember, I am with you always until the end of time.” Matthew 28:20

-Pray and fast, giving glory to God.

“…and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18

-Trust in God’s plan.

-“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

-Keep busy serving the Lord.

-“Even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” Psalm 23:4

-Love beyond limits, imitating Christ.

-Thank God and praise Him for His goodness!

-Be a saint every minute of the day.

Also, this.

 

The case for Communion on the tongue

Let’s get something straight here: the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord, right? Right. And we receive the Eucharist at Mass, right? Right again. And because we love Him and want to show reverence for Him, we should handle the Eucharist as much as possible before consuming it, right? Uh…

Where I live, there is no real problem with Communion on the tongue versus Communion on the hand. All the priests we have had in the past fifteen years have been okay with either way of receiving. This is good, as I have read that in other parishes, some people are even refused Communion by the priest when they want to receive on the tongue (by the way, it is against canon law for a priest to do this). So how, after several hundred years of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue, did the Church gradually slide into receiving mostly on the hand?

Well, for starters, it was one of several liturgical changes that were made shortly after the Second Vatican Council (a great article to read can be found here). It started in Holland and although the pope, Paul VI didn’t originally want to, he granted them permission and the Holy See established seven regulations regarding Communion on the hand. In the late 70’s, Communion on the hand came to America.

Now before I start ranting, let me just say that I have nothing against the people who receive Holy Communion on the hand. However, I have many objections to the practice of it.

 

1. It does not foster an attitude of love and reverence towards Our Lord.

To quote the afore-mentioned article:

In 1950, 87% believed in the Real Presence. Today, that number has plummeted to a mere 34%.

I’m not saying that the reception of Holy Communion on the hand is the only reason for this statistic. There are a host of other reasons for it. But I think that this is one of them. Out of respect for Christ, we should refrain from handling the Eucharist more than we actually need to. This is God we’re talking about, people! Don’t tell me that receiving on the tongue is too good for Him. 

2. It is more likely that the Eucharist will be dropped or abuses may occur.

When the Eucharist is placed in a person’s mouth, the physical aspect of digestion begins once the saliva touches it (remember the soda cracker science project back in grade three?). Soon, the sacramental presence is completely dissolved. When the Eucharist is received on the hand, the communicant has to place it in their mouth, but here is the problem: many choose to take their time in doing so. When the rules for receiving Communion on the hand were layed out, part of it was that the Eucharist was to be placed in the mouth while still standing in front of the priest. However, many begin walking away before consuming it, and this can lead to problems. There are a number of satanic cults that use the Eucharist in their ceremonies, and the reception of Communion on the hand makes it easy for anyone to walk up in the line, take it, and put it in their coat pocket when they get back to the pew. My second cousin from Ontario was telling me how when he was serving a high school Mass, he had to tell a classmate to consume the host as he had tried to walk back to his seat with it.

As for dropping the Eucharist, this can happen under either method. Heck, the day of my First Communion I ended up dropping the host and I was receiving on the tongue (thankfully, it was saved by the wonderful altar-boy with the paten). I learned that the tongue has to be out a certain distance, but once you know that, you know it for life.  

3. It can foster dislike or hatred towards Catholics who prefer to receive on the tongue.

This isn’t really a big one where I come from, but in other places it can be. Sometimes people who kneel and receive on the tongue, pray the Rosary daily, or attend Mass during the week are seen as “tradsters”, “old-school Catholics”, or sometimes “rad-trads”. Along with poor catechesis, it is one of the things that breeds resentment between Catholics who want to be good and Catholics who want to be holy. There is a difference, you know, but that is for another post.

4. Many saints throughout the ages have shown support for Communion on the tongue.

St. Hippolytus: “The Body of Christ is meant to be eaten by the faithful, not to be treated with irreverence.”

St. Basil the Great: “The right to receive Holy Communion in the hand is permitted only in times of persecution.”

St. Thomas Aquinas: “The dispensing of Christ’s Body belongs to the priest for three reasons. First, because He consecrates in the person of Christ. But as Christ consecrated His Body at the Supper, so also He gave It to others to be partaken of by them. Accordingly, as the consecration of Christ’s body belongs to the priest, so likewise does the dispensing belong to him. Secondly, because the priest is the appointed intermediary between God and the people, hence as it belongs to him to offer the people’s gifts to God, so it belongs to him to deliver the consecrated gifts to the people. Thirdly, because out of reverence towards this sacrament, nothing touches it but what is consecrated, hence the corporal and the chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest’s hands, for touching this sacrament. Hence it is not lawful for anyone to touch it, except from necessity, for instance if it were to fall upon the ground, or else in some other case of urgency.”

Blessed (soon to be saint) John Paul II: “In some countries the practice of receiving communion in the hand has bee introduced… However, cases of deplorable lack of respect toward the Eucharistic species have been reported, cases which are imputable not only to the individuals guilty of such behavior, but also to the pastors of the Church who have not been vigilant enough regarding the attitude of the faithful towards the Eucharist.”

“There is an apostolic letter on the existence of a special valid permission for this [Communion in the hand]. But I tell you that I am not in favor of this practice, nor do I recommend it.”

 

So there you have it: four reasons for Communion on the tongue. In my opinion, it seems pretty clearly spelled out. Saints and holy people have encouraged it, and because it has been almost discontinued in the United States and Canada, irreverence and abuse levels have risen. Reception of Holy Communion on the tongue is a little way of expressing true love and adoration for God, which in turn, makes us holier.

I have decided my position. I leave it to you to decide your’s based on the points presented.

God bless!

Setting successful goals

I am terrible at setting goals. I can make to-do lists galore and simply end up crumpling them up at the end of the week while saying, “Well, I don’t really need to do that,” and it simply doesn’t get done. However, I have found a way to change that.

Over the past few weeks I have been listening to podcasts by this wonderful fellow named Dr. Taylor Marshall. In each podcast he gives (among other things) a tip that will help you to be more productive or just improve your life in general. In one of the podcasts he suggested just making a few goals for every day. You write down one or two things to do in the morning and one or two things to do in the afternoon. This is how I write mine out.

Jan. 23

AM

( ) Sew on quilt

( ) Practice 30 min. of piano

PM

( ) Do catechism with kids

And that’s it. Just a few things each day and I can say that doing this has definitely improved my life. Why? Because it helps you to focus on the most important tasks and then when they are finished you have time to focus on other things. So if you want to improve your productivity, I suggest you try this.

Until next time, God bless!