Tag: liturgy

Holy Week Lessons

Holy Week Lessons posted in Eleison Comments on April 13, 2019

No Gospel readings can be so rich in lessons as those of Holy Week. Here are a few references from the Passion of Our Lord, quoted in chronological order, having a particular relevance to our own time, that of the Passion of His Church.

Lk. XIX, 40: “If these (disciples) were silent, the very stones would cry out” – As Jesus is about to enter Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the crowd is praising him loudly. Pharisees complain of the noise. But God’s Truth will be heard. As the SSPX falls silent, somebody else must tell the truths it used to tell.

Jn. XVII, 15: ”I do not pray that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from evil.” After the Last Supper, just before leaving the Cenacle, Jesus prays to His Father in Heaven for His Apostles, but not that life be made easy for them. So why should life be made easy for Catholics today?

Mt. XXVI, 31: “I will strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered.” On the Mount of Olives Jesus tells His Apostles that they will all fall away, and he quotes from the Old Testament (Zach. XIII, 7). Today with the Pope being crippled in his faith, the entire Catholic Church is more or less crippled.

Mt. XXVI, 40: “Watch and pray.” In the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus is soon to be betrayed, He warns His Apostles to prepare by prayer for the hour of their trial. He says neither just “Pray,” nor even “Pray and watch,” but “Watch and pray,” because if they do not keep their eyes open, if they cease to keep watch, they will also cease to pray. Today the Church’s supreme hour of trial seems imminent.

Jn. XVIII, 6: “When Jesus said to them, ‘I am he,’ they drew back and fell to the ground.” As the Temple police close in on Jesus, he fearlessly identifies himself, and for one moment lets loose a single spark of His divine power – they all collapse. Another such spark could instantaneously rescue the Church today, but that would not win over men’s hearts. Today’s trial of the Church must be fulfilled.

Mt. XXVI, 52: “Put your sword away, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” Peter is virile, he loves his Master, he absolutely wants to defend Him, but he has not understood Him – Jesus will be the King of Hearts, not the Knave of Clubs. Virile men today seek any action to defend the Church, as they are not content with “only” praying, but let them pray, or they will flee, as did the Apostles (v. 56).

Lk. XXII, 53: “This is your hour and the power of darkness.” Jesus is just about to be seized by the Temple police. He gently complains that they had not seized Him in daylight, when He was openly preaching in the Temple, but they had had to seize Him at night, when he was no longer surrounded by crowds to protect Him. Never in all history has He been so abandoned, have times been so dark, as today.

Mt. XXVII, 26: “And all the people answered, ‘His blood be upon us and upon our children’ Then Pilate released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered Him to be crucified.” Clearly, the “people” here are not only the “chief priests and the elders” who “persuaded the people to ask for Barabbas and to destroy Jesus” (v.26), it was the whole crowd in front of Pilate, about to riot (v.24), which made Pilate give way by their calling down upon themselves and their descendants the responsibility for the deicide (death of God in His human nature). Now this crowd was overwhelmingly Jewish, and the crowd identified themselves as such (“Us and our children”). Therefore the blame for the deicide rests upon those descendants unless and until collectively they recognise and adore their own true Messiah, but Scripture says this will only happen at the end of the world (e.g. Rom. XI, 25–27). Like a true Catholic, Leo XIII (1878–1903) called for the same blood to come down upon the Jews not as a curse but as a “laver of regeneration” (Act of Consecration of the World to the Sacred Heart of Jesus). Meanwhile, they serve God to scourge our apostasy.

Kyrie eleison.

Christ Born

Christ Born posted in Eleison Comments on December 22, 2012

The appeal of the divine baby in the arms of his Virgin Mother still makes of Christmas the most popular of Christian Feasts, but as the world turns away from God, so the heart and soul of the Nativity Scene fade out, and “Christmassy” feelings become more and more fake. Truly Christendom is burnt out. It is time to turn back with the liturgy of Mother Church to the ages before Christ when wise men rejoiced intensely in the expectation of his coming. For them, it alone made sense of the unhappiness of mankind being ravaged by the consequences of original sin. It was their great hope, and it could not be shaken. The Christ would come, and with him the gates of Heaven would be open once more to souls of good will. Here are the Antiphons of the fourth Sunday of Advent, composed from texts of the Old Testament.

“Blow the trumpet in Sion, because the day of the Lord is near: behold, he will come to save us, allelujah, allelujah.” If men do not want to be saved, then they can hardly understand what they were born for, and they must die in a greater or lesser degree of despair. But if we want to be happy for all eternity, and if we know that Jesus Christ alone makes that possible, then how must we rejoice that he came!

“Behold, the desired of all nations will come, and the house of the Lord will be filled with glory, allelujah.” As original sin is universal, so the Magi came from strange and distant lands to adore their Saviour in Bethlehem, and they could have come from all nations of the world in desire of him. Since their time, Christians have indeed come from all nations to find their Saviour in his Catholic Church, and they have filled it with the glory of beautiful ceremonies, buildings, vestments, art and music, ever since.

“The crooked shall become straight, and the rough ways smooth: come, O Lord, and do not delay.” Four thousand years on from the Fall of Adam and Eve, the world had become quite crooked. Two thousand years ago the most astonishing transformation of mankind began with Our Lord being born. For centuries we have taken for granted that smooth ways of civilization will remain smooth, but with men’s spurning of Christ those ways are turning rougher than ever – see any newspaper of today. Come, O Lord, come back, and do not delay, because otherwise we shall all be devouring one another like wild beasts.

“The Lord will come, go to meet him, saying:”Great is his beginning, and of his kingdom there will be no end: God, Mighty, Lord of all, Prince of Peace, allelujah, allelujah.” With such words maybe the Magi greeted the Christ Child when after long travels they found him. Converts of today, after long travails in the desert of godlessness, may still find similar words to remind us of how the Child in the crib should be greeted. Without him the world cannot have peace, and it stands on the brink of another terrible war. Divine Child, come, do not delay, or we perish.

“Thy Almighty Word, O Lord, will leap from thy royal throne, allelujah.” Christmas is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity descending all the way from Heaven, being clothed in a feeble human nature and being born of a human Mother to buy us back from slavery to the Devil and re-open the gates of Heaven for souls of good will, ready to believe. Divine Child, I believe. Help thou my unbelief, and help with special graces on the Feast of your birth millions and millions of unbelieving souls.

Kyrie eleison.

Rector’s Letters – II

Rector’s Letters – II posted in Eleison Comments on April 23, 2011

Several readers of “Eleison Comments” may not be familiar with the “Letters from the Rector” referred to here a little while back (EC 190, March 5). Written between 1983 and 2003 as monthly newsletters from St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary where priests are trained in the USA for the Society of St Pius X, the Letters have been brought together in four paperback volumes, available through the Internet at truerestorationpress.com/4volsletters. A Scottish convert of 18 years back read them recently. Here are some of her comments. They are interesting:—

“These Letters have both astounded and astonished me . . . I was a New Age “dippy hippy” that ran from the New Age Devil into the Catholic Church, only to discover that he was right there in her sanctuaries . . . It is not just that the cardinals, bishops and priests of the Conciliar Church are lily-livered and mealy-mouthed in their defence of Catholicism. There are many who seem to take a positive and malicious delight in tearing her traditions and beliefs to pieces.”

On the contrary, “These Letters are wonderfully and gloriously Catholic . . . They explain the folly of the Conservative and Ecclesia Dei Catholics attempting to solve the crisis of the Church without criticizing the Council. Are not such Catholics considering the appearances of the Conciliar reforms, e.g. in liturgy and discipline, while ignoring their essence, the fundamental internal shift in thinking on Church doctrine that has taken place, as demonstrated by the Council’s documents on Religious Liberty and Ecumenism?

“The Rector’s Letters on Pluralism and on the Liberal view of human dignity wonderfully explain the nature of this shift. As they repeatedly demonstrate, it is impossible to understand the modern world and the situation of the Church within it if one does not understand this radical shift in the thinking of modern Rome. And if the Ecclesia Dei people object that any such radical criticism of the Council amounts to saying that we have no valid Pope, the Letters provide arguments amply demonstrating the wisdom of the position of the SSPX, veering neither to the left with the Liberals, nor to the right with the “Sedevacantists.”

“As for reaching out to the modern world, the men of the Conciliar Church have little useful to say. They are too wrapped up in their revolutionary dream to be capable of addressing its wretched consequences. They could never write Letters like those of the Rector on Pink Floyd, the Unabomber, Oliver Stone or the Children in the Forest, because the mainstream Church, instead of being deeply dissatisfied with today’s materialistic world, always seems to be going along with it. The Letters should be read for the historical record alone, but maybe their true worth will not be apparent until later, perhaps only when the 6th Age of the Church has dawned with the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

And here is the feminine clincher: “What’s more, and I never thought I would say this, the Letters on Slacks have encouraged me to consider re-thinking my ‘wardrobe solutions’.” When women stop wearing trousers, truly the Church will rise again!

Kyrie eleison.


Contamination posted in Eleison Comments on February 5, 2011

If liberalism in its broadest sense be defined as the liberation of man from God (see last week’s “Eleison Comments”), then the liberal Catholicism of the 19th century arising out of the French Revolution (1789) was, broadly, the successful liberating of politics from God, while the liberal Modernism of the early 20th century was the unsuccessful attempt to liberate the Catholic Church from God, attempt scotched by St. Pius X. However, that attempt succeeded half a century later way beyond even most liberals’ dreams, at the Second Vatican Council. Here below is another recent testimony I received, from Italy, observing how liberal Traditionalism is now at work to liberate Catholic Tradition from God (if only we had half the Devil’s perseverance!):—

“After the unchaining of the Tridentine Mass by Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio of 2007, a great quantity of Catholics came closer to Tradition, but their quality varied widely. As was inevitable, the increase in numbers brought towards Tradition many Catholics who had never been convinced of its importance, and whose idea of Tradition was still basically subjective, meaning it is optional for Catholics and not obligatory. In this respect even if Benedict did say some useful things in his charter speech of December 22, 2005, its effect was disastrous.

“Confidence in the Pope then made any critical thinking about the modern liturgy, catechesis or doctrine take second place. To draw distinctions or to clear up confusion made one widely unpopular. However, the announcement of Assisi III dealt a sharp blow to this broad and very fluffy spectrum of Tradition, and Catholics had to make up their minds. Contrasts came out into the open, and the first divisions emerged.

“Benedict XVI has succeeded in infecting the promising potential of young Catholics connected or close to Tradition, and he has succeeded in creating divisions. Much of that potential is now ruined, even if one may put one’s hope in God that many other youngsters will come to talk and behave in a properly Catholic way. So just how many Catholics will embrace whole-heartedly the Church’s just cause? We shall have to wait for the dust to settle, and for men of good will and fresh vigour to make their appearance.

“Witnessing to Tradition calls more than ever for clear and firm statements. Hesitating or vacillating only does damage. Meanwhile let us fight on, sharpening the tone wherever called for, and openly pointing out the evils of Benedict XVI’s Conciliar Newchurch. Public opinion in Italy is far from concerning itself with the Church’s true problems. Catholics here have learned for centuries to believe that what the Pope says is Gospel. They are children of our age.”

Surely this testimony suggests that the marginalization of Econe by the mainstream Church in 1975, and its outright condemnation with the “excommunications” of 1988, each helped to save Catholic Tradition from contamination. Will the Lord God for the same purpose need to permit another such division and marginalization? We devoutly hope not!

Kyrie eleison.

Discussions’ Usefulness

Discussions’ Usefulness posted in Eleison Comments on July 10, 2010

Many Catholic souls presently worried by the on-going discussions taking place between Rome and the Society of St Pius X might be somewhat re-assured if they could hear, as I did two months ago, Bishop de Galarreta giving his reasons why these discussions should proceed to their appointed end (but no further). They present little danger and several advantages, he says.

After the introductory meeting last October, there were discussions proper in January, March and May of this year. Each meeting has a before, a during and an after. Beforehand, the team of four SSPX representatives submits to the four Roman theologians a declaration of Catholic doctrine on the matter in hand, together with the problems raised by the contrary doctrine arising out of Vatican II. At the meeting itself, the Romans give their answers, and the ensuing oral discussion is recorded. Afterwards, the SSPX draws up a written summary of the recorded discussion. So far only the liturgy and religious liberty have been discussed, but the Bishop envisages all further necessary discussions being terminated by the spring of next year.

In evaluating these discussions, he distinguishes between the mere fact of their taking place, and their content. As to their content, he says that the SSPX team is disappointed by the oral discussions because, as another member of the team told me, “They lack theological precision. Two lines of thinking which cannot meet produce not a dialogue but rather two monologues. However, the Romans are nice to us, so the meetings are not so much vinegar as mayonnaise. We say what we think. We are under no illusions.” But the Bishop does say that the discussions’ written product from before and after the meetings will constitute a valuable dossier for the demarcation of Catholic Truth from Conciliar error, and for the tracking down of the latest evolution of that error. “Since the time of John-Paul II it has become more subtle,” he says.

As to the mere fact of the discussions, the Bishop sees several further advantages. Firstly, it is good for Romans to get to know representatives of the SSPX, and vice versa – such contact can cut out much of the Devil’s beloved smoke and mirrors. Nor does the Bishop see great danger in the contact, because these particular Romans are not perverse, he says, and it is clear where they are coming from and where they want to go. Secondly, the mere fact that Rome at the highest level is seriously discussing SSPX doctrine gives to the SSPX credit in the eyes of many a mainstream priest of good will, otherwise inaccessible for Tradition. And thirdly, some of Rome’s best brains are occasionally stopped in their tracks by the old arguments being newly put forward by the SSPX. In other words Catholic Truth may be only beginning, but it is beginning, to impose itself once more.

Dear readers, let us have patience, and a boundless trust in the Providence of God – after all, it is his Church! And let us pray to the Mother of God to maintain in each of us the love of that Truth which alone can save our souls, and without which Catholic Authority can never be restored.

Kyrie eleison.

Mass Error

Mass Error posted in Eleison Comments on October 3, 2009

An interesting criticism of the Society of St. Pius X, mainly false but slightly true, was made by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos in an interview which he gave ten days ago to a South German newspaper (text available on the Internet). He said that the SSPX leaders whom he met in 2000 gave him the impression of being fixated on the New Mass as though it were “the source of all evil in the world.”

Obviously the reform of the Latin liturgy of the Mass which followed on Vatican II (1962–1965) is not responsible for all evil in the world, but it is responsible for a great deal of the evil in the modern world. Firstly, the Roman Catholic religion is the one and only religion instituted by the one true God when he once, and only once, took human nature, becoming the God-man Jesus Christ, 2000 years ago. Secondly, Jesus Christ’s bloody self-sacrifice on the Cross, alone capable of placating the just wrath of God inflamed by today’s global apostasy, maintains that placation only through that sacrifice’s unbloody re-presentation in the true sacrifice of the Mass. Thirdly, the ancient Latin rite of that Mass, essential parts of which reach back to the beginnings of the Church, was significantly changed after Vatican II by Paul VI, in a manner which he himself told his friend Jean Guitton was designed to please the Protestants.

But all Protestants take their name from their protesting against Catholicism. That is why the rite of Mass reformed “in the spirit of Vatican II” severely dominishes the expression of essential Catholic truths: in order, 1/ Transubstantiation of the bread and wine, making 2/ the Sacrifice of the Mass, constituting in turn 3/ the sacrificing Priesthood, all by 4/ the intercession of the Blessed Mother of God. In fact the complete ancient Latin liturgy is the complete expression of Catholic doctrine.

If then it is primarily by attending Mass and not by reading books or by attending lectures that the great number of practising Catholics absorb these doctrines and live them out in real life, and if it is by so doing that they act as the light of the world against error and as the salt of the earth against corruption, then it is small wonder if today’s world is in such confusion and immorality. “Let us destroy the Mass, and we will destroy the Church,” said Luther. “The world can sooner do without the light of the sun than without the Sacrifice of the Mass,” said Padre Pio.

That is why Archbishop Lefebvre’s first priority in founding the SSPX was to save the ancient Latin rite of Mass. Thank God, it is slowly but surely making its way back into the mainstream Church (which it will not do under the Antichrist). But now his Society must save the full doctrinal underpinning of that Mass from the victims and perpetrators of Vatican II, still firmly ensconced in Rome. We must pray hard for the “doctrinal discussions” due to open this month between Rome and the SSPX.

Kyrie eleison.