The Church has concluded her longest penitential season of the year, Lent. We now celebrate in the joy of Christ’s Resurrection from the dead. This celebration, however, does not confer on Catholics that penance is now obsolete. While on the so-called New Calendar, Friday within the Octave of Easter is observed as that of a solemnity, meaning one ought not fast or abstain from meat. However, on the Traditional Calendar, that being the calendar observed until the introduction of the New Order of Mass in 1969, Catholics were obliged to abstain from meat on Friday within the Octave of Easter. What does this mean for us Catholics today and, in general, how should penitential practices or ascetism be observed outside of Lent?
Today, men seek peace and freedom. However, the means that men use to obtain peace and freedom lead themselves into deeper despair and enslavement. The Supreme Pontiffs of history past have warned us of an increasing adherence to the errors of Russia, the rise of the Masons, the proposition of religious liberty, with an underlying factor of turning away from God and His Commandments. Our Lady came to Fatima, Portugal in 1917 to warn that if men continued to submit themselves to the ways of the wayward culture, it would be devastating for the world and the salvation of mankind.
The Holy Season of Lent will soon be upon us, the time prescribed by Holy Mother Church to unite ourselves to the Passion of Our Lord through prayer, fasting, and works.
Prayer is the foundation for a fruitful Lenten journey; without prayer, fasting and almsgiving have little to no value. While during Lent it is encouraged to partake in extra devotional prayers such as the Stations of the Cross, the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, the Seven Sorrows Rosary, and many others. These practices are very good and can be very fruitful.
How much longer can the faithful see all the abuse taking place and remain silent? If we do not speak up now, many more will continue to fall into the grave errors that are present in our Church.
Christ gave us Seven Sacraments, of those seven, the supreme sacrament is the Most Holy Eucharist, the very Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. One must only take a brief look into the Gospel of Saint John and see that Christ gives us His flesh to eat. I must quote the Scripture in full here:
We are now faced with a decision. Does one submit to the culture or does one submit to the Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ?
One could extensively write on the wayward ways of the current culture, or for that matter the secularist culture that has reigned since the birth of Christ. The “popular culture” has never been one to accept and adhere to the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Church. The culture glorifies the man who adheres to a universalistic way, whether he be a free-thinker, atheist, or a member of any other religion that removes Christ from His throne. To this degree, even many Protestants have fallen to the grave matter of living according to the culture and not of God. Man cannot simply think and act as they like and achieve Eternal Salvation (see 2 Tim 4:1-5).
As Catholics we have some of the richest of literature, the beautiful expression of written words to express the fullness of our faith, the truths that Christ came to proclaim, and the timeless prayers of our Church Fathers.
There is an endless amount of books and literature that we can read, but where should we start? There are so many authors, ideas, and agendas, so where should one start in 2021 with good, solid, and truthful Catholic literature? I would like to share five books that I have read recently, that will give one spiritual nourishment and the Truth of Christ’s Church to any reader.
Yes, the rulers of the world directly impact us and can create significant desired and undesired outcomes for the people they govern. While many in modern governments only seek the “kingdom” in which they govern, Catholics should be reminded that we are first citizens of the Heavenly Kingdom, Philippians 3:20. Everyone should participate and make their voices heard in whichever form of government they are submitted to, however, our dealings with earthly leaders and objects will not aid us on our journey toward our eternal homeland.
The Church is traditionally divided into the Church Militant, the Church Penitent, and the Church Triumphant. The Church gives us this month, the month of remembering those of the Church Penitent, or suffering. The Church invites the Church Militant to pray for the Church Penitent, that they may become members of the glorious Church Triumphant.
One cannot begin to write about history in an all encompassing sense. First, history is so large that it would not be possible to write such a piece. And secondly, my view of history is flawed, as someone who has an opinion, and as someone who has barely been alive long enough to leave a single mark on history.
Therefore, I seek to write not on our historical past, but how we must put ourselves on the right side of history going forward. Many argue that those within the Millennial Generation and younger have failed to learn from what the world has negatively experienced in the past. We cannot think like such, we must allow for each to become who they want to be, not what a generation deems as acceptable.
And yet there seems to be another side effect of the “global pandemic” that has captivated the entire world since mid-February 2020, an increase in falling into sin. No, I don’t have any studies or Pew Research Polls to back this up, but I do have observations that have greatly impacted and enlightened me on this pressing issue that can ultimately determine one's Eternal Salvation of bliss or damnation.
When the world shut down, and in some areas continues to be shut down, our churches were closed, doors locked, “no entry” written on the doors. What does this do for the soul? When one yearns to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation but is told they will have to wait several months, when one desires to receive the Flesh of God in the Eucharist but is told it is unsanitary, what do these things do to the soul? How much harm is caused? If the Church isn’t open, the internet is. The plague of social media exposes one to explosive politics, damning content such as impure images, explicit music and movies, and this list continues for quite some length.