As we, the heirs of the great jewel that is our traditional Catholic faith, handed down to us through the martyrdom and struggle of untold numbers of faithful, navigate the vast spiritual wasteland of these United States, we must again realize the absolute necessity of arming ourselves in the timeless ascetical practices of our forefathers. These rigorous and sacrificial practices helped prepare prior generations of heroic Catholics for both physical and spiritual battle; a battle they won, earning their heavenly reward.
Mindful of the ever-present distractions and temptations to live a life of ease that sucks the vibrancy and urgency out of our Christian lives, there must be a realization, and therefore determination to be set apart to a healthy degree from a culture that celebrates debauchery, profanity, immodestly, idleness and effeminacy. These are not the way that a Catholic man must exist. As our late Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI once opined, “the world offers you comfort, but you were not made for comfort, you were made for greatness.”
I ask you, dear faithful Catholics, is there anything more de-motivating and less inspiring than the contemporary Church’s Lenten regulations, not to mention the virtually non-existent Eucharistic fast?
As a retired NYC Police Sergeant who worked in Intelligence and supervised a good number of practicing Muslim investigators along the way, I can tell you without hesitation that my least favorite time of year in this capacity was Lent. It was at times, to be blunt, a wholly embarrassing situation; please let me explain. Whereas during the Muslim cops’ observation of their holy month of Ramadan, they would go, many times in the long summer months, from sunup to sundown without a drop of water, never mind food each day for a month. This contrasted with the rest of the personnel in my workplace, made up very likely of a majority of K-12 Catholic school products, who would often be heard complaining about not being able to have a cheeseburger six Fridays out of the year. This lamentation would usually be followed by a gluttonous feast on pizza from one of the premier pizzerias in the city; so much for denying oneself and sacrificing.
This was also contrasted throughout the year by the prayer lives of the Muslim cops, most of whom faithfully observed their prayer times in a secluded place, while the majority of Catholics observed exactly what the culture observes; absolutely nothing. Is it any wonder that we see happening in western civilization what we do? It shouldn’t be a mystery to anyone. While the Mohammedans have kept their discipline and ascetism, we have been given the green light to live lives of ease and indulgence, often resulting in outright rebellion even at the thought of no meat six Fridays out of the year.
I point this out to say that, while I find Islam to be, as St. John Bosco observed, a “monstrous mixture of Judaism, Paganism and Christianity” etc, therefore leading innumerable souls to perdition, I also have respect for these men, as at least they were sincere and faithful to what they believed in and would sacrifice for it. They also understood the reverence and obedience due to God, however different their concept of God is; which is another discussion.
How, I ask, does this compare to the average contemporary Catholic? The sad fact of the matter is that we have been allowed to grow soft, weak, and effeminate, like a fighter who goes into a match in which he is completely physically and mentally unprepared, where he is summarily quite easily disposed of by a better trained and more serious adversary. While there is no doubt that we have been let down by a Church hierarchy – who many themselves are also soft, weak, and effeminate – we cannot allow this to deter us. It has always been the laity that resists corrupt, sycophantic, and worldly prelates; now should not be any different.
We must prepare ourselves for battle.
For sake of our souls and those of our friends and family, enough already with this emasculating, insultingly weak and failed version of Catholicism, which sends any red-blooded man running for the border. It’s time to take off the damned training wheels and let’s get serious. I’m not sure about you, but I’ve had enough.
I do not mince words on purpose. There is a great upheaval all around us. Our families and children’s innocence are under assault. As it is said, “where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more.” We will be given strength if we just cooperate and avail ourselves to the grace of the good Lord, observing the ascetical practices that shaped our forefathers into vessels that could truly be called “Soldiers of Christ.” Furthermore, as I write this, a recently leaked memo from the FBI, Richmond Field Office revealed that traditional Catholics are being labeled as holding “anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT and white supremac(ists)” ideology, while also preferring the “traditional Latin mass.” Having worked in Intelligence the last decade of my police career, I can say without hesitation that based upon many things that I observed along the way, this does not surprise me in the least. I will most likely further elaborate in a future article.
The point I am driving home here is, the long knives are out, and we are encircled by the enemy; so what are we to do? What follows is a Lenten prayer and ascetical regimen that I have done with a number of cops and others over the last few years. We kicked it up a few notches last year and to a man, it resulted in a much deeper, more sacrificial, and charitable faith. I pray that many of you join us, the Patrolman’s Fraternity of St. Michael, and be the men that our Lord created us to be.
I would also like to humbly ask that if any readers know of any Catholics in law enforcement that would be interested in our apostolate, to please alert them to our Lenten Regimen and website, where they can inquire further about our mission, or email us at [email protected]. In short, we are a Catholic lay apostolate for active and retired law enforcements professionals, formed for the sanctification of our members, and therefore our families and society at large.
Here is the routine, which will commence on Ash Wednesday and conclude on Holy Saturday at dusk.
- Morning Offering,
- Angelus (Morning, Noon and Evening)
- Daily Mass
- Daily Rosary
- 15 minutes daily mental prayer
- Daily Fast (except Sunday) (1) full meal along with (2) small snacks in morning and evening to maintain strength. Meat only at principal meal. No meat on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Ember Days.
- Daily Cold Shower
- Stations of the Cross on Wednesday and Fridays
- Fast from alcohol and dessert
- 15 minutes of daily spiritual reading
- Complete social media fast
- Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy-Choose one (1) to focus on each week
We at the Patrolman’s Fraternity of St. Michael look forward to uniting with many of you in prayer on the great triumph of Our Blessed Lord’s Resurrection on Easter. Please join us and get holy!
In the immortal words of the hymn written to commemorate the English Martyrs who refused to give up their faith in the face of the Protestant revolt, “Faith of our Fathers! Holy Faith! We will be true to thee till death.”
Viva Christo Rey!
Police Officer, retired
Matthew Reid is a retired police officer living on the eastern coast of the United States.