Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Facing A New Year

The past two years have been, perhaps, the most trying for Catholics. We have seen the open schismatic movements, which many of us knew were there from experience, coming out of the woodwork and wreaking havoc in the perceptions of Catholicism.

We have seen the persecution of Catholics worldwide increase to a point where it is hard for anyone concerned with news to keep up with these financial losses, mutilations, deaths.

We have witnessed confusion among the laity regarding sound bites and statements from a new pope, who is not European and a Jesuit. We have seen our favorite cardinal sent to the Knights of Malta.

We have seen, on the other hand, a rising of the laity in such groups as Voice of the Family, and SPUC coming into a maturing regarding lay involvement and fidelity to the Teaching Magisterium of the Church.

We have also seen more people in the Church realizing that prayer is the number one priority and that sainthood is the call for all.

As we face a new year, some with sadness, some with hesitancy, some with a muted joy, I am reminded of the words of Our Lord to a church which no longer exists, one which was persecuted to the death and to exile. Eventually, the Ghazi, the Islamic warriors, destroyed the Christian presence in Smyrna, overcoming the Knights of Malta in the process. We have been warned, but also promised life through all of this persecution, which is beginning and not yet in earnest.

Revelation 2:8-11 Douay-Rheims 

And to the angel of the church of Smyrna write: These things saith the First and the Last, who was dead, and is alive:
I know thy tribulation and thy poverty, but thou art rich: and thou art blasphemed by them that say they are Jews and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer. Behold, the devil will cast some of you into prison that you may be tried: and you shall have tribulation ten days. Be thou faithful until death: and I will give thee the crown of life.
11 He, that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches: He that shall overcome, shall not be hurt by the second death.
Let us pray and hope that the Church in Great Britain, and, indeed, in Europe, will not suffer this type of almost complete destruction.
I am not optimistic and believe in a very small remnant.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Happy Christmas from Europe

The customs of Europe for Christmas vary greatly. In Malta, there is virtually no penitential Advent, so Baby Jesus is in the manger for almost the entire four weeks before Christmas, and carols are sung at Mass.

The real celebrations take place in the families, but families go out for Christmas as well. Some restaurants are closed but many are open.  The Mediterranean custom of being in community, and Malta being a country which celebrates feasts outside, leads to this groupy type of eating out.

I, as a single person not part of any extended family, am grateful for this open-air custom of being out on Christmas Day, and today, December 26th. Boxing Day is not celebrated here and the buses are running on the normal daily schedules.

One thing I miss, despite the plenitude of food and good wishes, is the sense of a solemnity. I attended the supposedly most solemn high Mass on the island and some people were so dressed down I was surprised. The majority were not, were in their Christmas best. But, the Co-Cathedral was not full, despite the superb choir and the fact that the Apostolic Administrator was the celebrant. We all received a pontifical blessing, which was nice.

But, I wonder if the type of high liturgy, which one experiences in Rome, or London, or even Dublin, is possible here on this relaxed island.

Later today, I am going to Gozo, for a bit, and the natives take Nativity Cribs, or Creches, seriously, as do the Maltese. This custom was imported from Naples, apparently.

Merry Christmas from Malta, and it is now 16 degrees C.

Ciao, ciao from one member of the Guild.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Report: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe 2014

On Friday, 12 December 2014, the Knights of Columbus Woodlawn Council 2161 Traditional Latin Mass Guild hosted a High Mass at St. Titus Church, Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas.

The celebrant was Canon Moreau of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.  Attending in choir were Monsignor Anthony Spinosa, Rector of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon, North Jackson, Ohio, and Fr. Ladis Cizik.

For a brief report and additional photos, see here.

Knights of Columbus Latin Mass

Sunday, 14 December 2014


Rejoice...we are almost through this time of waiting and preparation.

For all the tired and beleaguered bloggers...Praise God in all things!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

St. Nicholas Day Thoughts

When we lived in Sherborne in the early 1990s, as usual in our little family, we celebrated St. Nicholas Day.

At that time, no one is my "group" had ever heard of the customs surrounding this wonderful feast day. Coming from Czech and Luxembourg background, this day was an important feast day in my family growing up. My husband, who was a convert, loved the celebrations, as, he had brought up low church. We would get panettone, giant oranges, giant apples, Belgian chocolates as well as gifts. Stollen was a must.

The entire day was one of anticipation in my family back in Iowa, As the day wore on, we wondered if we had been good enough to get small presents, candy, huge oranges, gigantic apples and nuts in the cold, dark evening of the sixth of December.

Every year the custom happened exactly the same. We would all be seated down at the dinner table, Mom, Dad, three brothers and me, waiting. At six o-clock the doorbell would ring. We held our breaths, because we knew that if we had been bad, we would only get coal and willow switches for "gifts"

Dad would get up and go to the door. Now, it is black as black can be in Iowa at six on this day, and as a child and through my teen years, snow was on the ground. Dad would open the door, and, of course, no one was there.

St. Nicholas had a habit of never being seen. We would run to the door and look out on to the snow to see if there were any footprints.

No, of course, not. Saints, we knew, do not leave footprints. Neither did the Moor, Peter, who was in charge of the switches and coal, and of whom we had a fear of punishment.

When I was in my fifties, I finally asked my mom how they managed to be all sitting down at table, when St. Nicholas came. Who was his earthly emissary?

Mom told me that it was Mr. Jens, the Lutheran next door, who would use his snowshoes to hide tracks. Mom would bring the presents over earlier and our ecumenical friend would bring the things over at just the right time.

Simple days of simple joys cannot be forgotten. In Sherborne, so long ago. my son claims he saw the red vestments of the saintly bishop, as the holy man was running away from the door, after leaving his presents, now including legos, on the front stoop on Trendle Street.

Hmmmm, another secret of St. Nicholas, never to be known, until we all share stories in heaven, God willing.

More thoughts on the day may be found here.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Because of the movie, a repost of mine

Saturday, 19 April 2014

For my friends in America and in France-a cruel reminder

French General Francois Joseph Westermann penned a letter to the Committee of Public Safety stating: "There is no more Vendée... According to the orders that you gave me, I crushed the children under the feet of the horses, massacred the women who, at least for these, will not give birth to any more brigands. I do not have a prisoner to reproach me. I have exterminated all."

I have been teaching the massacre, the genocide of the Vendee Catholics to my pupil. I was in the Vendee two years ago and the area is numinous. I have wanted to write more about this horrible time, but have not had time.
More here: http://supertradmum-etheldredasplace.blogspot.com/2014/04/note-this-catholics-there-was-genocide.html

This time of barbarism will happen again. I am waiting to read Michael Davies book on this subject.

The French Government still denies this was genocide. It was. Up to 425,000 Catholics, including women and children were killed.

If you are in denial, as I have written since 2007, I urge you to read the history of these people. I think Robert Hugh Benson was influenced by their martyrdom, using some imagery of the atrocities in his book, Lord of the World.

I have put a few links below to get you started. This time of history, 1793-1796 must be taught.

We do not have much time.

This history has been repressed because of the American glorification of the French Revolution, which was started by Masons, the great enemy of the Church.



Look up the meaning of "The Grace to the Prisoners" when a Vendee leader made his men listen to the words of the Pater Noster.


The loyal Catholic farmers used the windmills as signals. Here are some:

The mills, stood on the the high grounds, are excellent signals for the Vendean fighters and are burnt by republican army. The positions of the wind-vanes give the necessary indications:
1. nothing to signal;
2. caution musters of troops;
3. enemies in the neighbourhood;

4. no more danger. 

photos from the first link above

Monday, 1 December 2014

Purgatory or The Dark Night

St. John of the Cross calls the Dark Night a "purgatory".  And, as he, and later Garrigou-Lagrange tell us over and over, only the perfect see God.

Knowing that only those who have gone through the Dark Night of the Senses and who go into the Dark Night of the Spirit actually are pure enough to be free of the ego and work for God in the Church and not themselves. one wonders why more people do not cooperate with the graces of the Dark Night.

I first wrote this post in 2013, a follow-up distilling some of the characteristics of the Dark Night from John of the Cross' writings showing that one can endure this purgation here and now.

Why wait until purgatory? Why put off what can be done for the benefit of the Church as a whole and not merely for one's own benefit?

Many Church leaders are stuck in the lowest stages of spiritual growth. This is often too obvious, as actions from those cardinals, bishops, priests, nuns, lay people who are caught up in acting out of their egos rather than doing God's work are clear, if one is allowing God to deal with one in purification. Those in purgation see the evils of the ego, perhaps for the first time in their lives.

I do not need to name personages, but it is clear to me that too many cardinals and bishops are acting totally out of worldly standards of seeking fame, status, or achieving worldly goals. If we had more leaders who could give us good examples of humility and a purified will, the Church would be in a different place.

That so many of the laity think they can only achieve purgatory, instead of perfection, is a tragedy of our times. One is not a canonized saint if one makes it to purgatory. Sorry, saints are those willing to go through purgatory on earth, another name for the Dark Nights of the Senses and Spirit. Remember, only the perfect see God, which means, going right into heaven. The rest must be purged of sin and the tendencies to sin.

Cooperating with purgation here and now benefits not only the individual, but the entire Church.

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