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The Domestic Church: Catholicism’s Secret Weapon

The days are darkening, and I am angry.

Yes, angry, along with so many others who observe with growing pain and confusion what is happening to our Church from within, far more grievously than from outside. But this anger isn’t a bitter, despairing anger; rather, it is a zealous, irrepressible anger that pulses hot against my skin. Perhaps it is a smaller-scale, imperfect version of what I like to think of as “The Michael Anger”: the holy anger that once swelled up in Heaven into a raging cry that poured over the rupture of ugliness and began the cosmic battle that is still ongoing. Who is like God?

We have to acknowledge the truth that, to quote from Catholic bestselling author Michael D. O’Brien’s debut novel Father Elijah, “The Church bleeds from many wounds.” Those of us who treasure and adhere to our Catholic Faith in its most traditional, reverent, and staunchly orthodox (but attacked and undermined) forms – in short, those of us who revere the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and who strive to live out that same reverence in our daily realities – are finding it woefully easier to see wounds gushing dark blood than to see even a small patch of vibrant, healthy skin radiating light and truth.

These wounds are many and grave. These are the wounds of decades-long liturgical abuse and subsequent deterioration of tradition. These are the wounds of having collectively turned our hearts from the upward Supreme Good (ad orientem) down to the inward self (versus populum); these are the wounds of having abandoned the spirit of awe and self-effacement in worship and replaced it with one of familiarity and entitlement. These are the wounds of modernism, materialism, and liberalism; these are the wounds of having fashioned Christ into a warm fantasy that functions solely as our friend and inclusively tolerant forgiver (no matter what our lifestyle), simultaneously forgetting that He is also our Conqueror King, our High Priest, our Just Judge, and our Mighty God, Whom the angels adore prostrate. These are the wounds of neglecting Mary as our sovereign Queen and sinless Mother. These are the wounds of pride, compromise, and selfishness, of having been deceived by folly. These are the wounds brought about by many members of the Church, clergy and laity alike, who have forgotten – or wanted to forget – who they really are, and who the Church really is.

These are the wounds of a Church groaning under vicious, unprecedented attack.

Once, when confronted by these grim realities, I found it easy to rotate through a cycle of comforting phrases, such as The Church has always been under attack, or Every generation believed that its time was the worst, or to simply quote Matthew 16:18, where Christ assures, “Thou art Peter, and upon this Rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld will not prevail against it.” And I would blithely reason, Why worry? No matter what happens, or who falls, the Church won’t fall, because Christ promised. No need to get upset and panic. Now let me find that chocolate bar…

Yes, Christ promised. Yes, Satan and His demons will never succeed in destroying the Church, the Body of Christ. Any Catholic who believes otherwise has despaired, has snapped his sword in two and walked away from the battlefield before the fight is over. The Church is still His Church: one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic. No matter how battered or unfaithful, she will never cease being the Bride of Christ, her truths will never become obsolete, and He will claim her at the end of time.

But even in the context of Matthew 16:18, there nevertheless are certain things Christ did not say. He never said: My Church will not be attacked. My Church will not be maimed from within. My Church will not bleed, will not weep. My Shepherds will remain true. My sheep will never need to summon all their strength and courage for the Pearl, for the battle that will cost them all they have. The darkness will never appear overwhelming. The light will always be visible.

Because of this truth, my pacifying phrases of comfort no longer hold any effect. It is time for battle. It has been time for battle since the dawn of history, but never more so than now. It isn’t time to merely ride out the storm, to huddle together and weakly murmur, Everything will be fine in the end. It is time to pull down the visor of our battle helmets, grit our teeth, and sprint forward as we’ve never sprinted before.

This basic truth, this need for radically increased spiritual battle on our part, all concerned Catholics will agree upon. But the how of this renewed fight presents greatly varying opinions and disagreements. There are so many wounds, we don’t know where the effective starting point would be for tourniquets. Where do we draw the new battle lines? Whom do we call out? The papacy? The bishops? The clergy? The laity? What weapons do we use? Where should we form our bases? Do we form societies, write publications, start movements? Our heads swim from the cacophony and urgency of what we must do, and meanwhile, all around us, countless others go on smiling and speaking of the Church as thriving and progressing, as daily becoming more welcoming and inclusive toward the “marginalized,” extending Christ’s “compassion and mercy” toward those in “difficult situations,” and we are subsequently accused of being radical, judgmental and traditionalist.

Firstly, to these, I would give a resounding yes. Yes, we are and should be ever radical – radical for Christ, radical for truth, radical for upright moral living that includes far fewer gray areas and exceptions than modern society would have us think. Yes, we should be always judgmental, perceiving and judging the exterior sin (though not the inward person) as we would do poison, out of a spirit of urgent charity and correction for the sake of souls who are going astray. And yes, we should be forever traditionalist; we should hold dearer and more sacred than all our possessions that which our fathers did; our liturgy, our traditions, our prayers; all that made the Church ablaze with beauty, reverence, and splendor for over a thousand years and which visibly reminded us Who God Is, and who we are not.

And secondly, on the heels of all that I’ve described above, I would like to present a weapon for this spiritual battle of ours that is perhaps often overlooked. In fact, I’ve only gradually discovered the power of it through prayer and experience. It is tremendously formidable because it is small, like a tiny dagger that can pierce through vulnerable crevices in otherwise impenetrable armor. It is formidable because it is so numerous, and because of this it can wield incredible potency. It is common, yet unique; ordinary, and yet one of the most sacred and powerful weapons of this spiritual warfare, but only if it is sharpened, kept ready, and used frequently.

It is called Ecclesia domestica, or rather, the Domestic Church.

The domestic church, I firmly believe, is where the battle will be won. Here, cosmic and spiritual realities are distilled down into a single cell: the family. Every pope, bishop, priest, clergyman, and religious sprang from a domestic church; they were and are a direct product of the sharpness, or lack thereof, of this spiritual dagger. And it is from our domestic churches alone that our next pope, our next bishops, priests, clergymen, religious, and lay people, are going to emerge, for better or worse, into the world.

We can try to correct, prune, and tear down the corruption above us as desperately and zealously as we want, but if the very root is rotting, how effective can we ever be? In the domestic church, however, we have been allowed to go underground; we’ve been given a little branch of this root as our weapon. It’s daily within our reach and constantly under our influence, and from it, spiritual life or death will spread to the other root-branches and will eventually swell through the root, the trunk, and the tree that is the Church.

Can we imagine the potential magnitude of effect on our bleeding Church if thousands upon thousands of these underground branches blossomed to life and began flooding the root with prayer, penance, merits, and grace? What if thousands of these daggers were sharpened and plunged into the cracks of our Enemy’s armor – the very same Enemy wreaking corruption from inside our Church on both the hierarchy and the laity?

What if thousands upon thousands of domestic churches became afire with zeal for intense prayer and penance; orthodox worship; and upright, pure, joyous living? What would happen?

The wounds would begin to heal.

So how do we sharpen the dagger that is our domestic church? How do we begin to restore the root of our Church with our own tiny branches?

The answer is simple, and yet the answer is a staggering challenge; it requires all our strength, yet through it Christ bestows even more strength than we use. The answer? We become what we ought to be. Through small but courageous steps, we become authentically, robustly, unmistakably Catholic families. We make our homes, our domestic church, into a place where striving for sanctity is both expected and possible. We open ourselves to life and keep the marital covenant sacred, permanent, and fruitful. With love and discipline, we instruct our children in the way they should go and realize they have a far greater capacity for understanding and embracing the truths of the faith than we might initially suppose. We bless one another’s foreheads at night with holy water. We wear scapulars and use holy cards for bookmarks.

We frequent the Sacrament of Penance weekly and the Eucharist even more often. We cultivate virtue in our homes through patience and example. We zealously defend the liturgy and attend Mass wherever it is offered reverently; devoutly; and, if at all possible, ad orientem to remind ourselves of Who God Is and who we are not. We treasure and study the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, even if we’re not able to attend it. We urge our sons to serve at the altar and our daughters to veil their heads during Mass out of reverence and gratitude for their femininity. We sing old, traditional hymns that honor the Trinity instead of Diversity and bow our heads at the names of Jesus and Mary. We name our children after the saints. We bond with, eat with, and pray with other families who are striving as we are striving. We encourage one another.

We become families who pray the rosary daily, and who pray often in Latin and often on our knees. We become families who, for penance’s sake, fast from meals more than just twice a year and abstain on Fridays even when we’re not required to by current canon law – countless others have done it before us, and it did them good. We revive the Ember Days. We read together about the saints; we display holy images, crucifixes, and icons in our homes and place our homes under the blessing of a priest. We laugh and we love; we embrace our roles as husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, and siblings as gifts from God for our own sanctification, and that of the world. We beg for the conversion of the world, of society, and of those inflicting wounds on our beloved Church. We raise our children to give God first choice in their vocations, and we are not afraid to let them go out into the harvest if they are so called. We love Christ more than life itself; we love Him to the point of death.

We do all of this, not with an attitude of drear or of priggishness, but with a spirit of authentic joy, of gratitude, and of profound love and adoration of the Most Blessed Trinity. We pour out our lives as libations; we give without counting the cost. If we become what we ought to be, our domestic church will spring to life, and the dagger will be sharp and continually fighting.

Today, at this very moment, we have all been given anew the opportunity and mission to sharpen the weapon we already hold in our hands for the good of the Church. We have this opportunity now, when all seems grievous, dark, and grim. We must return to wielding the weapon of the domestic church faithfully and effectively. We cannot be satisfied with the mediocre now. Our homes must become alive with zeal for our Father’s House. This is how we will, slowly but surely, prune the corruption of today. This is how we will rear the pope, the clergy, and the laity of the next generation. This is one of the greatest weapons by which Christ will one day win the battle in which we are currently engulfed.

195 thoughts on “The Domestic Church: Catholicism’s Secret Weapon”

  1. So, this article is great, it really is. And over the last few years, every bit of helpful advice seems to come along these lines.

    There is, however, an entire group of lay people for whom it falls short – the infertile. Speaking of the domestic church is all well and good, but when children can’t be borne, there ends up being a sort of lack… there’s few places for it to go. There are “options” out there like adoption and such but that is terribly expensive and difficult to get through these days…

    Anyways… God bless you all…

    • Thank you so much for your comment, and for raising such a good point. I
      can only begin to imagine how, to infertile couples, it would seem that
      the domestic church’s potential for truly restoring society falls
      painfully short when one can’t conceive, or adopt, children. I freely admit
      that descriptions of colorful family life and anecdotes of raising
      children nearly always go hand-in-hand with, or even sometimes define,
      discussions of the domestic church. As a young woman who loves children
      but has been tentatively diagnosed with possible fertility issues myself
      (issues I’m unable to know how greatly or how little are affecting me),
      I can only begin to imagine the pain of not being able to naturally
      bear children, and to be financially unable to adopt, and can easily
      understand how, if I were married, I could be feeling, “Okay, blithe
      article-writer, you’re telling me I have to cultivate my domestic church
      in order to change the world, but it’s just my husband and me, so where
      does that leave us? Out in the cold?”

      I’d like to offer a few
      thoughts, for whatever they’re worth. First of all; Catholic marriage is
      a sacrament, while Catholic parenthood isn’t. Parenthood is a priceless
      blessing, but Matrimony is the sanctified sacrament upon which the
      domestic church is founded and built. A domestic church, with maybe a
      few exceptions, can’t even come into being until there is a sacramental
      marriage in place; and it certainly doesn’t wait to come into being, or
      exist in a sort of “limbo” phase, until the first child is born. So even
      if an infertile couple cannot conceive children and bring them *into*
      their domestic church, there is nevertheless a very real domestic church
      in existence that belongs solely to the husband and wife for their
      cultivation and defense–and it is capable of wielding exactly the same
      spiritual power. Here, I believe my encouragement is still applicable;
      the childless couple must also become “who they ought to be” in their
      sacrament of marriage, and they embrace and adhere to their faith
      through prayer, penance and good works, which sanctifies their own
      domestic church and aids in healing the wounds of the Church. They
      remain open to life, even if God hasn’t ordained that they receive it.
      And their pain of infertility, if offered back to God for His glory, can
      surely reap perhaps even greater spiritual good for the Church than if
      they were actually raising children. Their infertility, though an
      incomparable Cross, is an integral part of their vocation, and their
      carrying of this Cross together for God’s sake can augment their
      domestic church with a truly special beauty and unique grace of total
      surrender to God’s will for their lives; and if this surrender is
      coupled with, say, the practice of spiritually adopting children,
      particularly the unborn or those children whose parents are spiritually
      impoverished and leading them astray, what a beautiful kind of domestic
      church this could become.

      Again, these are just my humble
      thoughts, and maybe they’re not of much comfort; but while they’re not
      borne of personal experience, they come from a place of deep sympathy
      and even deeper belief that the infertile couple can do just as much, if
      not more than, the ordinary family in sanctifying and sharpening the
      weapon of their domestic church for the sake of Christ and His bleeding

      Take care and God Bless you!

      • Beautiful consolation. May I also (very) humbly suggest, at the risk of seeming opaque, fostering? A close (infertile) friend of mine and her husband recently began fostering a precious 4 year old boy and will soon be able to adopt him. They are having the time of their lives and looking so forward to celebrating Christmas together. Here is a link that, tragically, looks like, but it’s for children in desperate need of a home! God’s blessing on you through the intersection of St. Ann

    • A family constitutes a husband and wife who are open to life. A faithful but infertile couple is still a family, and is still responsible for the sanctification of its members. I’m not trying to paper over the real pain and loss of infertility in any way. I am instead reminding that you are in this fight too, and that you are welcome to your share of the hardships and the spoils. I’ll meet you on the other side of the wall, I’ve heard from the higher ups that these gates don’t stand a chance against us.

    • My dear sister and husband were unable to conceive. They went on to adopt from Korea 16 years ago.
      She is my god daughter and a such a joy to all.
      My sister/husband chose Korea for it is was the most affordable way, and did not necessitate them to go to the actual country.

    • You and your wife are needed Jafin! So much more than I seem to have the words for right now. How I’d love to have a chat with you both to let you know how important you are. Be saints!

      God love and bless you! Praying for you!

  2. I have been a priest for almost 40 years. For many years I thought I was “fighting the good fight” and I was so relieved when St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI seem to be signalling that the nonsense in the Church had come to an end. Now I know that those years were just a brief respite from a titanic struggle for the soul of the Catholic Church. Knowing this, however, I am always very skeptical when someone tells me they have come up with THE VERY THING that will put everything right again. Some good men who are very young in the priesthood seem to think that if they just start wearing the “fiddleback” chasuble, the manipule, and the biretta, the springtime promised by St. John Paul II will burst into bloom. Others think that it will be a return to Latin, or to an “ad orientem” posture will do the trick. I wish it would be that easy. I think that Lucifer and his minions, the Modernists, are far too powerful to be beaten by these weapons alone. I also think that the “Domestic Church Proposal”, as good as it is, is not enough. It is not enough because we have at least 2 generations of Catholics who haven’t the least clue what Catholicism really is! They couldn’t celebrate their Faith at home, because they have never been taught what it is. They have a hodge-podge of semi-truths, lies, sentiments, and sometimes even nostalgia bouncing around in their brains, but when one asks them to give an explanation or description of anything definite, they just can’t respond. This is not just my opinion, it is what I have encountered personally for the last 40 years. It is going to take a coordinated attack on many fronts to defeat “the ancient foe” and bind up the wounds of the Bride of Christ. We would hope that the co-ordinator of that attack would be the Pope, but since that hope has been dashed, I find myself looking for another. In the meantime, I do my best to teach, preach, sanctify, and govern my flock as best I can. Please pray for me and for all pastors. Thank you!

    • Thank you for sharing this wisdom, Msgr. Schulte. I agree with you; while I’ll always believe the domestic church is a greatly overlooked weapon that, if enlivened and emboldened for living out true Catholicism, could have enormous potential for restoring both the culture and our Church, I realize the domestic church does not stand all on its own, and certainly needs the support of authentic catechesis and of other united fronts, etc. as you have pointed out, in order to reach its full potential. You and all the clergy are in my prayers; thank you so much for your service and sacrifices for our Holy Church.

    • Obviously there is no silver bullet, even if the domestic church is our greatest weapon. A healthy domestic church also needs good books, film, and art to thrive. It needs healthy, on-fire parishes where men, women and kids can support each other and grow together in the faith.

      Thanks for fighting the good fight, Monsignor.

    • I will pray for you as I do all our priests, even the fallen and weak.

      You are not alone. May our Mother bring you her comfort and tender love of her Son.

    • Thank you Monsignor, for your integrity. It is only through prayer and sacrifice that this corrupt world can change. Maybe, it will take a thousand years for this to happen. Science tells us that the universe changes slowly. Some believing scientists, who recognize and have equated divine intervention with the genesis and movement and design of the celestial heavens, agree wholeheartedly that the culmination of the divine plan will reveal itself in the redemption of mankind at a time of God’s choosing (see Hugh Ross). We may wish and pray that this happens in our lifetime. I do, too. In the meantime we’ve got to keep steadfast in the truth and trust in God’s mercy and forgiveness. We’re up against the devil’s best legions. We need to battle them with the weapons given to us and live our lives with the same integrity and faith you have lived by. Let’s use our wits, to paraphrase St. Thomas Moore, and run the race as best we can.

    • Perhaps those wounds of the Bride of Christ are not meant to be bound up, Msgr. Where the Head has gone, the body must follow. Maybe it is precisely the bleeding of those wounds which will defeat the ancient foe in the end.

    • Respectfully, Msgr, you refer to John Paul II as “Saint”, and then go on to blast Satan’s minions, the Modernists.

      Same difference.

      2 generations who don’t have a clue what Catholicism is? You bet. I’m one of those. And I entered the Church with JP2 at the helm, with his novelties and ecumenical heresies. I thought all was well and fine and hunky-dory! (What?! You mean Catholics don’t pray with heretics? We don’t praise false religions? It’s not okay to place a statue of Buddha atop the tabernacle? Catholics don’t kiss the diabolical Quran? Girls can’t be altar boys? Muslims don’t worship the same Triune God?)
      He was part of the problem, not any sainted solution. He was a Modernist, through and through.

      • Great post. A “new springtime” for the church??? That was “Saint Pope” John Paul ll flattering himself because he lacked the humility and honesty to face the depths of his betrayal of Christ’s church.

      • Get off his back. You know NOTHING of living in Poland when it was under attack by the Nazis and Communists. You are another Internet rad trad. the Poles have suffered far more thwan YOU and done more to spread the Faith.

        • Dear Old, Yes exactly, he also lost his Mother when he was young, then the nazi’s came and the were defeated, however they did their best to eradicate the Catholic church in Poland. Then the communists came it’s almost as if satan was trying to stop John Paul II becoming Pope. The communists were so scared of this one man that they bugged his confessional and would have had him executed should he mutter a word against their filthy regime. Saint John Paul II was also shot and should have died but thankfully survived.
          Saint Padre Pio met John Paul II when he was a young priest and said clearly that he had met the future Pope and finally the church followed the correct protocol to ensure that he was a Saint.

      • I was bamboozled by the media for 25 years under JP 2, with retrospect and education I have exited the Modernists swamp and can see with clarity now how we were all taken in by the greatest PR extravaganza in history to radically alter the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Saint- right- he’ll be lucky if he escaped Hell.

    • The John Paul II and Benedict years were not a “brief respite”. On the contrary, that years were the time the devil gave us to buy the product. With due respect, Father, you just didn´t get it. But don´t worry, most of us didn´t either.
      But if you still thinking like that, well…..with due respect.

    • May Msgr. John R. Schulte and all priests be blessed on earth and attain everlasting life.
      1) I believe it will get far worse before it gets better, and ,
      2) It is God who will save and exalt his Church by direct intervention.

    • But Father, surely the use of the ancient trappings and rituals would not be just a sign but the thoughts behind this use would be a leaven. We must start somewhere. Does a good priest just hop into the Sanctuary dressed up like ‘an old-fashioned’ priest with no explanation for his flock? Nothing is done in a vacuum.

      I hear what you are saying – there must be a counter-revolution of teaching the Faith, and that more is needed than great vestments. But we are taught by what our senses perceive. The smells and bells will, even by themselves, go a long way in that teaching.

    • Msgr, I cannot begin to imagine your battle fatigue, but I’d like to vouch for the power of the Domestic Church in my family. It all started with a DVD on Catholicism which beguiled me about a religion I was born into but never understood, which led to a DVD Bible Series that explained the entire Catholic Bible (you mean the one I got at LifeWay in high school is different??!) and Salvation History (the Bible makes sense! there is an actual plot line, and foreshadowing, and stuff!) which led to blogs like 1P5, and Rosary groups, daily prayer and – before you knew it I had a Home Oratory and an assigned hour at the Adoration chapel, favorite devotions and a Holy Alliance. There is peace in my home that wasn’t there before. It’s so much easier to g e t a l o n g. The Catholic faith fascinates me because HE is fascinating, and though I am vigilant about the state of the Church and the world, there is joy in the present and confidence in the future I have never known before. And yes, I have also started going to the Latin Mass because I want to worship my King with all the reverence I have and not get ostracized for it. I have no control over what happens in my own Chancery, let alone Rome, but I can control my own household, and building up my Domestic Church has made me feel like I am making a tremendous difference in the world, and in my and my family’s salvation.

  3. O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican.
    18:12 I fast twice in a week: I give tithes of all that I possess.
    18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: O God, be merciful to me a sinner.
    18:14 I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather than the other:
    (Luke 18 – Douay-Rheims)

    • Judge much? That’s how your comment comes across.

      I’m sure Mary Donellan is painfully aware of her sins, and I bet she directs her prayers humbly to God rather than the publican who was essentially praising himself.

      • I mean….I didn’t write it. And I didn’t write an article in which three paragraphs are dedicated to declaring their adherence to (a very specific) vision of the domestic Church.

        I do know this: We traditionalists (and I am one) are not known for our tithing. We are not known for our helpfulness around the parish. We are not known for our participation in charitable causes (other than, occasionally, pro-life causes). We are not known for our joyful demeanor towards other Catholics. We are not known for our understanding towards those who face serious temptations, such as same-sex attraction, nor for our avoidance of course language about those with whom we disagree. We are not known for being cooperative with clergy. We are not known for our understanding of and engagement with people from ethnic minorities.

        And because any of these will split the gates of Hell wide open, we need to be careful about proclaiming that we have found a “solution” to the crisis in the Church. I believe there are saints in heaven, from godly families, who would laugh at any description of familial bliss and souls in hell who would weep over it.

        • The world is broken Clayton Orr. We are all broken.
          There is no perfect anything, and that includes the family. There was one perfect family; The HOLY FAMILY.

          So many families are trying to keep their heads above the water on a daily basis, with divorce rates being high, children having to deal with divorce and remarriage, ( which is VERY difficult), drugs, materialism, …..shall I go on?

          People who attend TLM have the same issues, they are just trying to order their lives as closely to what our Lord desires as possible.

        • And while some of the “TraditionalCatholics” may not have the business you are looking for, be assured, that many do in quiet ways that start with their families first, and in their neighborhoods. Much of the business in parish ministries is really based on self motivation and reaps little fruit at the end of the day. I wish more priests would pray far more, and busy themselves less to these never ending activities.

        • This kind of comment is very frustrating to us stay-at-home mothers who spend a good deal of time doing corporal works of mercy. And, of course, we’re Pharisees rather than Publicans if we point that out. If I gave “credentials” perhaps you would be satisfied, or perhaps unimpressed, or perhaps you’d have some other reaction. At any rate, I’ve been doing this for years even if ‘trads’ aren’t ‘known’ for this work. I’ve seen enough to know that your premise is dishonest, and that nothing but ‘trads’ becoming full-fledged SJWs will satisfy your criticisms.

        • I have to agree with at least some of what you’ve written above, though I think that a strong domestic church is a really good thing. The difficult situation that you’ve described above refers mainly to parish life and life in the world, rather than Catholic home life, which Mary is mainly referring to.
          I agree that trads aren’t known for being involved with charitable causes, or for having a joyful demeanor towards other Catholics, or for understanding those who face serious temptation, and we do have a problem with being chartable toward those with whom we disagree. However, I think that Steve is more charitable in his criticisms than many trad writers, and he at least is mature in his approach, which I can respect. It may seem like an odd source, but Bp. Richard Williamson has been imploring trads to have more charity toward those who attend the Novus Ordo, and some hardline trads are giving him a lot of criticism for it, unfortunately.
          I think that St. Dominic is a good saint to follow in such times as these, in that he spoke Truth without hesitation, but he was also charitable. Not an easy thing to do, but it can be done with great effort.
          Part of the problem is that most Catholics don’t have an interest in really living their Catholic faith beyond attending Mass on Sunday. And, our society doesn’t support it at all. In fact, our secular society is against Catholic life. It can be very difficult for trads to not feel isolated and begin to have a sort of trench mentality.
          But as one grows a life of holiness, we should begin to have at least some pity, rather than anger, towards those who do not practice their faith as they should, which includes the hierarchy. But the Truth still needs to be proclaimed, since many in the hierarchy are negligent in their duty to faithfully proclaim the Faith. We have to forgive them, to a certain extent, because we all suffer from weakness. Many in the hierarchy don’t even realize that they have been influenced by the terrible heresy of Modernism, more or less.

        • What is more important – to be known for it or to just get on and do it anyway whether people know about it or not?

        • Gee, what kind of people do you hang around with? In my experience none of those features are part of our parish life. Besides, the exceptions don’t make the rule.

    • To Clayton Orr:
      Your posts smacks of reverse fariseism: i.e. “I pray like the publican and you do as the farisee”

  4. Having just realized that I would not leave my children {when they were young} or my first grandchild {when he gets out of the Newborn Intensive Care Unit} alone with this Pope unsupervised for 5 minutes, this is the best article I have ever read as a convert to the Catholic Church.

      • In fact, yes. He was born at 30 weeks gestation and I baptized him in the local hospital. He was emergency transported to the intensive care unit. They had to clear a downed tree from the highway to get the ambulance by on the way! He’s now 33 week along and weighs 5 1/2 pounds and is doing very well!! Our parish priest administered a conditional baptism later as there was a bit of concern about my formula. Hey, I tried! But I’m glad the priest did what he did as well.

  5. Yes, yes and almost!
    No such thing as a reverent New Order. By its very theology, the marriage of light and dark, the hybrid of Catholicism and Protestantism, it cannot be reverent. It is nothing but an offense to God, an abomination of desolation in the Holy Place.
    No. We don’t attend this. If we can’t get to to TLM, we read from our Missals, study the Propers and offer a good Spiritual Communion.

    Like organic methamphetamine, there’s no such thing as a reverent New Order; poison is poison.

    But yes, Domestic Church IS the key.

    • I disagree. I have attended Latin Mass only 3 times. One is the most sublime worship I have ever been in (Sunday High Mass). The other two (being the ordinary Latin without hymns) was rushed (the priest’s “fault” ) even though the consecration was reverent. The priest was rattling off the Latin so fast we could not keep up with the English translation side. The Proclamation of the Word was done with such speed you’d have missed it if you blinked.

      On the other hand with the NO, I have attended several weekly masses that were very reverent (kudos to the priest) and one Holy Thursday Mass that is just awesome (beyond this world is how I would describe it). My regular Sunday NO mass though is a pain that I must bear (though why attending the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass should be itself a sacrifice makes no sense).

      The NO can be celebrated Ad Orientem on certain parts (which is what I think was intended in the first place) and I think that if priests want to, the NO can be celebrated very well.

      I especially like the fact that we have more Scripture readings in the NO.

    • I don’t know what to do. Could I have some advice, please? There are numerous NO churches in my area, each has a priest who has said very troubling things to me in Confession (they love and would be adored by PF/Bergoglio). I want to be a member of a parish, but the irreverent liturgy hurts my heart. I desperately want to go to a TLM but the only one that I could make it would be once a month because of it’s distance and it is a monastery. Would it be better to go to the NO every weekend and kneel to receive the Eucharist, wear my veil and close my eyes or…only go to the TLM a couple times a month when I am able?

      • Hi Penny,
        Please do not let my advice take the place of asking a holy priest this excellent question you have posed. I will tell you about my situation which may or may not be helpful. I have a disability, and am frequently in too much pain to leave my house. My TLM priest and I agreed that on the Sundays I am not able to attend, I should watch an EF Mass on YouTube and pray the full rosary in Latin. This sanctifies the day for the Lord, while not requiring me to do things that I physically cannot.

        Again, if you can, make an appointment with a priest you trust and respect, and discuss these options. I don’t know if the Abbott of the monastery could discuss this with you, but that might be the best option. I am personally finished with the NO. Even the most reverent priests I know cannot bring it into line with what I understand our Mass to be from the saints and doctors.

        Pax Christi, Jennifer

        • You simply can’t make such blanket assertions. I’ll go along with you all day on the deficiencies of the NO. I’ll even agree with you that it is designed to diminish the Eucharistic sacrifice and can be damaging to faith.

          But I’ve always believed that what makes it most dangerous is its validity. It cannot simply be dismissed, as you have here.

          And unless you are faced with a Novus Ordo that is so irreverent it is an occasion of sin, it is sometimes a necessary means of accomplishing one’s Sunday obligation.

          I would never recommend it. But I would also never say one could or should never go. To say this is to overstep bounds that should not be overstepped, and could potentially lead people into mortal sin.

      • Even if you only worship at the true Mass once or twice a year, the graces you are receiving there are incalculable, augmented by your devotion in making a special effort to be present. A person can gain infinite treasures of grace at one Traditional Latin Mass than at any number of Novus Ordo liturgies.

        Recall that in the history of the Church, many Catholics never had the blessing of worshipping at a Mass every Sunday. Faithful Catholics today in many parts of the world like China, have to worship in underground services or be subject to arrest, or worse. So, if you are in a position of not having a Traditional Latin Mass at which to worship every Sunday, first of all, tend to your own soul by the time-tested practices for Catholics in that situation.

        See this link:

  6. We become families who pray the rosary daily, and who pray often in Latin and often on our knees

    Why Latin? Would God be displeased with you if you pray in English or Slovak or Chinese?

    I can understand Latin for Mass (for one thing it makes the Mass universal) but private prayer does not require it.

  7. We zealously defend the liturgy and attend Mass wherever it is offered reverently; devoutly;

    And if Mass is by your standards not offered reverently or devoutly enough, will you then skip Mass?

    • This is unfair. It is not the individual who decides that the Mass is not reverent. The Church for untold centuries had a Mass that was intrinsically holy and reverent – by its very nature it was good. The new order of Mass is by its very nature defective, and by its very nature ripe for abuse.

      That said, we must attend to fulfil our OBLIGATION TO WORSHIP. When I have to go (and the circumstances must be desperate) I read the true Mass out of my Missal and block out EVERYTHING that is going on ‘up front.’

      God provides “a Mass,” even defective, so we may worship Him on the day He requested. But it should be a suffering, it should be a reminder of what has been taken away, it should be a means of deep prayer and begging God to sweep the past 50 years away, and give us His Grace of the True Catholic Church once again.

      After all He brought the faithless Hebrews back from captivity time and time again. This is what we beg for: the return of all Catholics from the captivity of ‘the world.’

      • Your obligation on Sunday is to sanctify the day by attending a Roman Rite Mass. The Novus Ordo is not a Roman Rite Mass. It is a Concilior Church invention.

        • Tom, the Novus Ordo, while inferior and arguably even deleterious, is valid. It is Mass of the Roman Rite. I appreciate how distasteful you find it, but these are the sort of proclamations we simply do not have the authority to make.

          • It has taken me quite a while to finally admit to myself that its either the NO or the TLM. I tried living in both worlds for a few years but it just doesn’t work. As I studied and read more and more commentary on the NO it became conclusive that it can’t be Catholic. Im no canon lawyer who gets bogged down in valid and licit etc etc. I just know its not Catholic. Its a meal not a sacrifice.

          • It’s emphasized as a meal, but it still is a sacrifice. As Steve said, we, that is all of us lay people, do not have the authority to make such a proclamation. One day, this will all be clarified. You’re saying that millions upon millions, probably over a billion catholics are not truly fulfilling their Sunday obligation because there is no mass being offered. You’re saying that those hosts consecrated at NO masses are not truly the Body and Blood of Our Lord… no, that’s ridiculous. The implications of what you’re saying are HUGE. I don’t know that you’ve thought about it really. I’m sorry, but you’re wrong.

      • I agree with you,. But the writer said that” we zealously attend Mass WHERE IT IS OFFERED REVERENTLY”. So if it does not satisfy our criteria of reverence because some rubric is not adhered to or another, then does that mean we do not attend Mass?

        As you rightly pointed out, we still do. We suffer it, but we still do. We still go to Mass even when it is less than reverent.

    • The Church has standards called the RUBRICS. Go look those up. The priest is obligated to follow those. And go find a different Mass when clown-like Masses are offered by irreverent priests. I speak from experience. Go to a TLM (“extraordinary form”) Mass and you will find devout reverence.

      • I get your frustration with irreverent celebration of the Mass. But with regards rubrics, what do you consider reverent? 100 % compliance? if so, then you will hardly attend Mass since at least one of these rubrics is is not followed by one priest or another. So where do you draw the line? I am sick of the innovations that priests do but if you will limit your attendance to a 100% compliance with rubrics then you’d be hard pressed to find a Mass that fits that to a T.

          • It was intended to. My behaviour proves the point of little implementation of the full set of proper rubrics in my experience. There was one parish priest who always did a proper Novus Ordo and when I lived nearby I would attend his daily Mass. the region was generally very modernist and he was an exception to that.

          • So basically you are saying that one should not go to Mass at all if the rubrics is not adhered to 100%? That is more than absurd.

          • You show the typical attitude of carelessness of a novus ordoist. Know that it is sinful for a priest to deliberately violate or culpably be negligent regarding the rubrics. It is easy to spot a repeat offender versus an occasional error. I have much experience given that I lived in a modernist diocese where mass was often treated as entertainment. Perhaps you lived in an area where things are better such that you infer the wrong things.

          • You evade my point again. So here it is again:So basically you are saying that one should not go to Mass at all if the rubrics is not adhered to 100%?

          • I evade nothing. You fail to understand. Your inference is wrong. Let me say it differently to get past your indifferentism on rubrics. If a priest regularly violates the rubrics, go somewhere else.

          • And if there is no Mass nearby where the priest is faithful to the rubrics and you are unable to get to a Mass where the priest does the rubrics 100%, should you then skip Mass?

            Isn’t that an idolatry of the rubrics?

          • Another wrong inference. You find a Mass that is valid in spite of illicit rubrics. This com box is not the place to distinguish in detail between invalid and illicit practices, so go look those up to know the difference.

          • And yet you are saying that if priests violate the rubrics we should not go to Mass at all. Seriously, your thinking is just completely up the creek.

          • Nonsense. You set up a straw man of your own confusion or willful ignorance to knock down. I said go to Masses that are regularly celebrated properly. If you cannot find that, go to a Mass which is valid in spite of illicit rubrics, and choose the Masses with the least illicit practices. The best is to find a TLM.

  8. Excellent advice. I would also stress as part of the domestic church observances, we Catholics follow the strictures laid down by the Beatitudes and strive to practice love of one’s enemies. That is to say, we not only need to be faithful to Catholic ritual, but we need to stand out as catholics by our different behavior, and rejection of the secular guidelines that we now operate under as Americans. People should recognize we are Catholics by our behavior. We should be different. At firsts will invite persecution but in the end we will convert the world.

  9. Yes indeed, a holy family is essential to a good culture. It is the root of a just society. Use your anger in a righteous way to motivate your family to become saints. Now that’s counter-cultural today.

  10. Ok, no one can fault on-going prayers in the “domestic” church or otherwise. But I wonder if it’s not also an escape from the harsh truth that the church has been betrayed from the TOP down. Starting with all the popes after Pius Xll. As far as I’m concerned those popes have to be named for what they are. Betrayers of Christ.

    • The point is this: we few and small faithful must do what we can in the present crisis. We all here KNOW the harsh truth. That’s why we’re here. So what can we do? The domestic church is all that we little ones can really affect. We can write letters to bishops, we can talk to our priests, we can talk to other faithful, but at the end of the day, the only thing we really have control over is ourselves and our homes. As the faithful get built up in their homes with the true faith, the overwhelming spiritual power will change things. We can yell and shout about the apostasy in Rome all day long, but that isn’t going to change anything. But you know what will? Our faithfulness. Our Lord is allowing what’s happening right now. I don’t know why and I certainly don’t know how long. But I know what I can do. I can pray. I can uphold my wife. I can delve into the scriptures, the works of the saints, the Church Councils, all to be sanctified.

      If you think yelling in comboxes is going to help, please, feel free. I’m going to be doing it right along with you. But THAT is a distraction, THAT is an escape from the reality of our lives.

      • I once had a combox conversation with a guy who reassured me that he was not “yelling” at me because he used uppercase a lot. I told him I did not think he was yelling, just emphasizing. So this is something that is highly subjective.

        What is interesting, is that your comment to me yesterday reminded me to review the comments for this post on the Domestic Church by Mary Donellan. (Your comment helped me see that I should have been more sympathetic to her). And it was very enjoyable because quite a few opened their hearts and shared their struggles regarding the NOM and TLM. It was very real. Sure there were disagreements, some angry comments, mostly directed against Ad Orientem, but so what? Personally, I was very sympathetic to his comments(assuming “he” is a he) since I’ve come to the same conclusions, except I am still not convinced that sedevacantism is the answer. I started to follow the sede Novus Ordo Watch recently, and I respect the rigorous reasoning they employ, whoever “they” are.

  11. I get sick to death of everyone who lays all the problems the Church faces on the feet of John Paul II or Benedict. The Church is not and never has been an absolute monarchy. Neither of them were puppet masters pulling the strings on every bishop or every priest or ever seminary or every monastery. I go to the Traditional Latin Mass each week and holy days and make sure my son learns the Catechism…something my parents did not bother with much. Holier than thou Internet rad trads who continually bring up the fact that JPII kissed that stupid Koran – no, he should not have done it – act as if it was ALL HIS fault. I would like to see how much faith the Internet rad trads would have had living in Poland when it was invaded by the Wehrmacht and the Red Army. Read the book by Warren Carroll Isabel of Spainthe Catholic Queen. the Church was in awful shape in Castille in the 15th century. She insisted on its reform and it was carried out. Her husband, King Fernando, her second cousin and soverign of neighboring Aragon, had an illegitimate son that he made an archbishop at eight years old. Internet radtrads revel in their misery and repeat the same crap. JPII wasn’t perfect, far from it, but I take insults at him as if someone is insulting my family. I have Polish heritage and my grandparents and greatgrandparents were faithful Catholics. My dad and uncle were not but it was not the fault of their parents. JPII put the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary back on the Church calendar (yeah, the Novus Ordo calendar) after Paul VI got rid of it. Come on, Internet holier than thou radtrads….give him a shred of credit for THAT.

  12. “Sharpen the dagger” of the domestic Church. Absolutely! How? Should all peoples, of all faiths, want to know and believe all the truths that God wants everyone to know and believe? Of coarse! Should all ministers of all faiths enthusiastically encourage all parents in this the most fundamental and essential aspect of true faith in God? Absolutely.

    Faith is both a noun and a verb. Believing in God is an act of the will and a verb. The truths that God wants everyone to know and believe make up the FAITH, a noun. Therefore we should have faith (verb) in the true FAITH (noun) that God must will all to have.

    I am certain there are ministers of every faith that bemoan the lack of zeal for all the truths that God wants all to know, and I am certain there are some ministers of all faiths that are happy with followers who place their trust in that minister and do not question what they are told, thereby rejecting Jeremiah 17:5, “Cursed is the man who places his trust in men or their institutions.”

    So what is needed is for all ministers of all faiths who eagerly want all the faithful to sincerely and honestly seek to know all the truths that God wants all to know, for the ministers to publicly unite and work together for that end, PUBLICLY. This will hopefully force all others to “jump on the bandwagon” or else be seen as not doing what they should be doing.

    Another action that ministers of all faiths should agree with is putting a poster similar to the following up in their church and each month reminding people of the poster and the people in their church eager to help find God’s answers to any and all questions from people of every faith.

    “A Poster and slip of paper” idea to help lead all to the one Faith God wants all to accept by HIS peaceful means.
    To build up the foundation of civilization (the family) with a simple, new paradigm for helping spouses to do what they should be doing but many are not, to wash each other with a “bath of water with the Word” (Eph. 5:25) (truths that God has revealed that He wants all to know and believe)” and by helping them demonstrate a true love of (all) truth so that they may be saved (2Thes. 2:10)
    Please: How can this be improved? (The first 3 pages contain the “meat” of the idea)
    Suggested Poster for all ministers of all churches to put up and remind people of periodically, (and for all good parents, in all homes, all “domestic churches):
    All truly good parents, all truly good citizens, are seen wanting to pray ever more perfectly, are seen washing each other with a “bath of the water with the Word” and committing themselves to a lifelong effort at being open to all Truth from God, through anyone. All truly good people are seen eager to know and believe whatever it is that God wants everyone to know and believe and to help others accept the true love of all truth, and therefore these people, in order to share them with others but especially with their children, are looking for GOD’S ANSWER to the best sequences of questions from people of all faiths with the best verifiable information and who are eager to share such in the sure faith that God’s answers for these questions will lead all, by peaceful means, to the one Faith God must will all to have and for them to thereby reject violence done in the”Name of God” and all man made additions to this Faith.
    There are many in this church eager to help and encourage all spouses to wash each other with a “bath of water WITH the Word” the way GOD WANTS IT DONE (and they have some very good suggestions for questions and ways to do this) and to help anyone start or continue in this quest to pray as perfectly as possible and in the lifelong search for Truth and to help any who are now seeking to find everything God wants everyone to know and believe, one step, one question at a time.”
    (names, telephone numbers, email addresses, [email protected])
    Obviously people will eventually know everything in the above poster no matter how long it is if the minister makes a monthly, strongly worded comment reminding all that there are members of the church who are eager to help anyone find God’s answer to all questions from anyone. Parents and children will each know (because the poster and the monthly reminders put a “spotlight on the parent’s actions”) whether or not the parents are, or are not, doing what they should already be doing but many times today, in this world, are not doing (washing each other with a bath of “water with the Word” and eager to know and believe all that God wants all to know and believe). Is this not a good way for ministers to frequently remind all (without pointing a finger at any one person) of the importance of truly accepting the love of, and therefore being open to truth, from God through anyone and eagerly seeking ALL the truth that God wants all to love so that they may be saved (2 Thessalonians 2:10)? Should you pass this on so others can help improve it If you cannot think of a better way, and this idea might help many, many parents, and many children?
    The devil obviously does not want people to “accept the love of truth so that they may be saved” and therefore the devil will do everything he can to delay that happening. The devil will especially try to convince ministers, shepherds, to not emphasize this essential ingredient to a holy life, the acceptance of true love of all truth.

    To help ALL parents be better helpers of their children, ONE STEP AT A TIME.

    This idea has three aspects:
    1. A poster (similar to the one above) in all churches, put up by their minister for passive but powerful reminding of what everyone knows for certain that parents SHOULD BE SEEN DOING.
    2. Superb questions (God’s questions) that will improve with each succeeding generation with verifiable evidence on slips of paper with a web address.
    3. all ministers (and parents) of all faiths will be expected by their flocks (children) to publicly show they trust God’s answer to all such questions will lead people, by God’s grace, to the one faith God wants all to know and accept (or explain why they do not), and each minister (Parent) will be expected to make available their own sequence of questions or endorse other sequences.
    Verifiable fact:
    I, along with many others, believe God IS so infinitely good, merciful, and powerful that He Wills to, and therefore must be, turning the whole world right side up, by His peaceful means, to the one Faith He wants all to have, without violating anyone’s free will, by His grace, through verifiable evidence and His questions that He wants to give His answers to and God wants us to will to cooperate with His peaceful plan.
    For more thoughts on this idea, you can visit under “poster and slip of paper”

    Think of all the wonderful questions that God will eventually give to those who sincerely believe God’s answers, plus grace, will peacefully bring all to the one faith God wants us to have. But we have to accept the true love of all truth so that we may be saved (2 Thes. 2:10) and do all we can to help others accept that same love of truth as a starting point.

  13. Fatima. It makes sense that the final battle will be over the Sanctity of marriage. To deny the Sanctity of the marital act, is to deny that God Is The Author of Love, of Life, and of Marriage. To deny that God, The Ordered Communion of Perfect Complementary Love, The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity, Is The Author of Love, of Life, and of Marriage, is to deny The Divinity of The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity, and thus Salvational Love, God’s Gift of Grace and Mercy. If it were true that it is Loving and Merciful to desire we remain in our sin, we would not need Our Savior, Jesus The Christ.

    Apostasy is the antithesis of Communion with God.

  14. I’d like to take a moment and step-back… I’m afraid this isn’t so much about the article above, as it is about the comments below.

    I’m not sure what happened, but recently the comments have been getting almost virulent. So much bashing of either each other or bashing those in the Church in authority. I understand, so well, the disgust with what’s going on in the Church. I actually SAT THROUGH the entirety of the public apostasy that was the FrancisCatholic-Lutheran commemoration. It was AWFUL. I understand that the roots of this go back a LONG time… I know the popes from Paul VI (at least) to now have at least been affected by if not fully embracing of modernism. I get it.

    But there is no reason to tell someone they’re blind, or that they “don’t get it” or act holier-than-thou (which many are) to anyone here. We’re all here for the same reason. If there’s a real teaching moment, then go for it, but this hostility toward others who are in the same boat is just not gonna get us anywhere.

    Dear goodness, I understand. I have to stop myself regularly from saying something… But stop attacking each other, stop fighting each other… let’s get through this together. These comments are, for me, one of the only real outlets I have to talk about this… but I can’t take the hostility. Just chill out guys. Please.

  15. If the priest used approved matter (unleavened bread made of wheat and water and first run wine with no additives, excepting where mustum has been approved) speaks the words of consecration with intending to consecrate the bread and wine according to the Catholic Faith then the Eucharist is Validly confected. This is also true of the EF Mass. Any direct defect of the above and it isn’t a valid consecration, even at the EF. The priest can personally doubt or entirely disbelieve the Real Presence and still validly consecrate the Blessed Sacrament so long as he intends to do what the Church intends with the Consecration (see Lanciano)

    The consecration at the EF you attend could be invalid as well…I guess we are going to have to actually have some Faith in God.

    • All this talk is very confusing to me???

      Are we not obligated by the Third Commandment and our Church Precepts to attend Mass on Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation?

      My head is spinning Fr. RP. I have had to suffer Masses making a Spiritual Bouquet.

      I do not know nor keep eye on what the priest is saying to a tea at the altar.

      If however, the Mass is man centered COMPLETELY, it causes me great sorrow and yes” angst”, BUT……God told us to fulfill our obligation by keeping the Sabbath Holy and how on earth am I to JUDGE how to do that??? I cannot. This is why I depend and trust our Church to guide this. And didn’t the Church tell us we must attend Mass on Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation. We attend a TLM and it is about one hour away. We are grateful I came VERY, VERY close to not attending our local NO parish, for reasons you can deduce. But….who am I to make that decision? So I went…..I will leave it at that.
      I wish I had not gone, for my emotions were wrought afterwards with more sadness than anger. I felt dirty after attending the spectacle and on All Saints Day! Several days later now, however, I wonder if Satan was trying to prevent me from attending this specific Mass.
      Yes, it was a loss not receive the Eucharist, I do have faith it was a valid Mass, but my mind and heart were just not there with the Lord, as they needed to be.

      I understand the various responses on this topic. I truly do……but, oh my, if I start to trust myself on with what constitutes a valid Mass and not make the sacrifice to bodily go to Mass when required……this could be very dangerous for my soul.

      Is is permissible to not attend Mass on the Sundays or Holy Days due to Novus Ordo Mass, irreverent Mass, or whatever the case, if you believe that it is in actually a valid Mass, which I always assume…..unless a glaring omission is made?

      • Unless there is some obvious defect you can see (a priest adding or subtracting words from the consecration, using unapproved matter like leavened bread or grape juice, etc.) then there is nothing you can do but assume the Mass is valid. It is necessary to attend Sunday Mass and Mass on Holy Days. Period. Only having a NO Mass nearby or knowing that the Mass will be celebrated in an irreverent way (so long as it’s valid and is not blatantly sinful) then you are obligated to go. To do otherwise is to succumb to the sin of pride. It is to say that you know better than the proper authorities God has placed above you.

        Is the NO deficient? Most certainly. Is it potentially damaging to faith? Yes. Is it the Holy Mass, albeit with all sorts of glaring issues? Yes. Yes it is. If the Church in some later era declare that it was indeed an invalid rite, then that will happen. I doubt it will, though it may be officially and permanently suppressed, but I doubt invalid. BUT we are not culpable for that. We are, to the best of our ability, doing what we as little laypeople can to follow Christ, to worship God. And we don’t have the knowledge, authority, or any other competency to declare a Mass that appears to be valid, even if deficient, is anything other than that. Trust in God, trust in His mercy. Don’t succumb to any sort of pride or arrogance. Follow Christ. Also… just don’t attend the NO if you can avoid it. If there’s something better, then just do that… even if it’s difficult. If you can’t, well, then you can’t. And the Eucharist is still Jesus Christ, the God-Man, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity… and He LOVES you!

      • No it isn’t permissible for you to knowingly refuse to fulfill your OBLIGATION to attend Mass on a Holy Day of Obligation (Sunday’s are automatically Holy Days of Obligation) If the Mass is knowingly invalid, then of course you are not obligated to attend it because it isn’t a Mass.

        Please consider what I am about to say: The Mass isn’t for the fulfillment of your psychological or emotional needs, it’s the Worship of God the Father through God the Son in God the Holy Spirit and that Worship is consummated in the Unbloody Sacrifice of the Eucharist when the Priest consumes the Body and the Blood of Christ (hence in some places it is customary to ring the bell again at that point.) That’s why we go to Mass to be apart of that (everything else is secondary) and if it is Validly offered, even irreverently, then that Holy Worship/Sacrifice takes place every-time.

        Were the Blessed Virgin and Sts. Mary Magdalene and John serenely at peace at Calvary? NO they were not, they were in extreme pain and deep sorrow. When you are at an irreverent Mass (this can happen in many ways, the Priest is an ass, the servers are totally incompetent to the point of great distraction, the people are both zombies and cheering audiences at a show, the Choir/Band(!!!!!) is HORRIBLE etc…) you are actually sharing in the suffering of Jesus and the Saints at Calvary. Should there be any irreverent Masses? NO!!! Are there? Yes, unfortunately there are many of them.

        If Jesus appeared in a crowd of people and they all ignored Him or mocked him (ecce homo) etc…would you refuse to stay with Jesus? Of course not, you would kneel down and give Him the worship that is His due and He in turn would shower you with the graces He has to give to those who Love Him.

        When you are at an irreverent Mass know that you are experiencing just some of the Pain of Calvary and Jesus is asking you if you will suffer with Him and for Him and not abandon Him to those who are mocking Him. Will you?

        Stop focusing on yourself and start asking God for the Grace to suffer out of Love for Jesus. For the sake of sanity and your children attend the TLM that is an hour away as often as is possible (please know that these can be irreverent too, you might just not know it: God isn’t honored by mechanical body movements, he is honored by True Devotion and Holy Obedience from the Heart) but when you cannot make it there, then you must resolve to go and Suffer with Jesus out of Love for Him and the Conversion of that priest and those irreverent people. Offer every painful moment and then thank God for giving you the Love and Courage to suffer with Him and for the salvation of those who are most desperately in need of it. Do like Saint Therese did and ask Jesus for all of the graces He has to give to those present who are refusing them: He will shower you with His Graces and offer you a higher place at the Eternal Wedding Feast.

        How many people have abandoned Jesus to His enemies or at least to buffoons, simply because they don’t like__________(insert anything) about the local Mass, so they stay home in their self-righteous indignation and refuse to go and Love Jesus: “I’m not going to Calvary! Don’t you know that most of the people their including Caiaphas the Priest are horrible! Yeah, sure there are a few decent people there, but they shouldn’t be! Don’t they know that that place is an abomination to God! They are not honoring God!!! I’m not going, I’m staying home…out of love for God…I’m leaving Jesus alone there…out of Love for God.”

        I have been at Mass where I intentionally stayed even though it was HORRIBLE BEYOND BELIEF simply because I choose to Love Jesus there when no one else was, I didn’t want to abandon Him there surrounded by those dogs without someone to suffer with and for Him out of Love. It ended up being a very great blessing as it caused me to stop focusing on ME and stay focused on Him out of Love for Him, not out of Love for me.

        • Thank you for your response. Your words speak Truth.
          I do hope others here on this forum will read your response as well.
          Yes! The focus becomes ” ME”, if I were to let my emotions prevent me from keeping my obligation as the Lord commands. And such a grace to keep watch over Him during the Mass, when so much horrific things are going on around Him.

          Thank you for beautiful personal testimony as well.

          God bless you.

        • ps I honor my obligation to attend Mass regardless of TLM or NO.
          The Lord said to do so. And I will obey.
          But your response has led me to a higher calling when I have no choice to go to
          a Mass that is not reverent.

        • Thanks Father, I know now how to think of those irreverent people at masses now. Many times I say if I didn’t know that Jesus was in that tabernacle I would be gone. It is only him that I want to be near. God bless you.

    • Thank you for taking the time to clarify for me, Father. I have let my sadness and frustration get the better of me. On the Sundays I cannot attend the TLM I will make sure and receive the Eucharist on my knees despite the confused looks at the NO Mass. Heck, maybe it will have a positive effect on the other parishioners.

      I am still in a pickle about where to confess though. The priests don’t seem to feel my sins are worth bothering about. It would be funny if it wasn’t so very wrong.

      Again, my thanks to you.


      • I once corrected a priest in confession when he said :that’s not a sin (when it was.) However, I don’t bother with that anymore, being a non-necessary element of confession (the priest’s erroneous opinion on what sin is) I just confess my sins and ignore any stupid remarks of the priest (I have a regular confessor now, so I don’t have this problem anymore.) You have a right to the sacramental absolution being given as the Church prescribes it to be given (so long as you have repented) so insist upon the correct form and contact the Diocese over any priest refusing to follow the prescribed form of the Absolution.

        Counsel is not a necessary part of the Sacrament so do not fret about it, if you need it read the Saints or seek out the advice of a good priest who blogs (easy access.)

      • Dear Penny, Sorry to interject but you have immense Love for GOD by receiving communion on your knees.

        We are at the mass to show God our love and as our Priest says “Mass is not a social meeting!” I’m praying for you………. if you do not mind that you fight the good fight and set the good example.

        • Dear Christopher,

          Thank you so very much for this. It is a challenge for me to swim against the current at my parish because I feel curious eyes upon me. In fact, this past Sunday I didn’t kneel to my shame…people like you on this site give me the strength to do better for my Lord.

          Thank you, Christopher and thank you, Steve for this site where I can share what’s in my heart. (I apologize if this conversation was a bit off topic)

          God bless you and our Lady’s arms protect you.


  16. I have read almost all comments here and we really live in a difficult, confusing time. We really take part in the suffering and militant Church. Thank you very much Steve, for this beautiful text you wrote!! It made me cry and gave some hope and courage… we need it.. God bless all domestic churches!

  17. I have no solution but to never give up.
    I pray for all faithful priests and bishops as few or as many as exist.
    The bishop of Rome is on his own worldly path, that is quite evident.
    Something wicked this way comes. Bet on it. We ain’t seen nothin’ yet.


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