Father Pfeiffer comments on the silence of priests and why they have a duty not to be silent. And not just priests …
September 20th, 2013 at 3:38 am #
I have yet to listen to Father Hewko’s tape and am downloading Father Pfeiffer’s. However, I am committed to the resistance priests and have actually stopped attending neoSSPX Masses. The main problem with the laity is that they need to be told HOW to practise their faith if they stop going to Masses. This is the basic reason why they remain silent and afraid.
Many of them agree with what is wrong in the Society, but do not know HOW. They need a step by step guide and confirmation as they take those steps. HOW does a layperson practice their faith when they do not go to Mass? I try to help those I can help to make the transition by telling them how it is done, but I have no authority….only a priest can tell them. This aspect has to be addressed. I have made the transition but I have no authority with which to reassure them…only a priest will reassure them. Please listen to this. They keep hearing all the reasons WHY they should leave but no direction as to HOW! God bless you for your wonderful strong faith but the average lay person is not able to act unilaterally. They have no personal contact with a resistance priest to get advice, and they cannot act without that advice on the ‘how’. Jesus, Mary and Joseph pray for us.
September 20th, 2013 at 8:27 am #
One of our parishioners advised us last night that she has now completed the transition (as you have). We have to help people through it when we can. But, it is their decision.
September 20th, 2013 at 8:57 am #
Of course it is their decision Joseph. That is not the point I wished to make. I was congratulating you on your strength of faith, but pointing out that others need a lot more help than people like your parishioner and yourself. I needed a lot of help, and it came when I saw bit by bit HOW to make it. I was very weak and know the help I needed. But most layfolk do not have the access to the knowledge I had access to help me see HOW to do it. It’s too big a leap to expect layfolk to just take in the good Fathers’ sermons and the fact that they SHOULD leave…but there is a huge gap for them to cross even though they see what is being said and done that is wrong. I speak for weak souls. Being one myself I know I needed the step by step advice and encouragemtent that is not being given to these people I love so much, and who are suffering so much.
It is no good telling people what they SHOULD do when they probably know they should…that just makes them feel more guilty. ‘How do I keep my faith when I can no longer go to Mass?’ Who do they ask?
September 20th, 2013 at 9:23 am #
I agree with your points. People who have left can offer advice on how they cope, not just on why they have left. Maybe that will help.
September 20th, 2013 at 1:28 pm #
We have also left the NewSSPX. We realized that we had to leave, just as we did the FSSP years ago once we truly realized that there was a compromise to the Faith. In our experience so far, many people would probably join the Resistance but are reluctant to leave the Sacraments. It is a huge step to make, especially if one has children as we do. I agree that it would be nice to have some official step-by-step “instructions” on how to go about the transition! It would give people more confidence that they are making the right decision. But it is helpful to know that there are other like-minded souls such as here on ecclesiamilitans. That is what helped us through!
September 20th, 2013 at 10:46 pm #
Spot on ‘True Faith’. We need the authority of the priest to take those steps. And especially, as you say, when you have children. A priest is the only authority that can guide people out of the neoSSPX. And Joseph, ‘maybe that will help’ is not enough by a long shot. As I said in my first email – I try, as a lay person, to help but it can only be by example. A lay person has no authority. Others will only obey a priest to tell them specifically HOW. People have shied away from me, and I don’t blame them. I wouldn’t follow an isolated lay Catholic either. Rightly, they shy away from me if (a) I am alone, (b) if I am female (c)if I am not a priest. I know lots of laypeople who believe the resistance priests. But a priest must answer this question for them: “How do I practice my faith when I stop going to Mass?” “How do I miss mass on the first Sunday when I stop? It is a mortal sin”. The few laypeople I know who support the resistance priests still go to the neoSSPX masses because they do not know how to cope with that first Sunday when they miss Mass. Many would even attend a conservative NO Mass to avoid committing a mortal sin.
Good Catholics will never commit a mortal sin.
I was in a similar situation years ago after Vat.II policies took root. There was no way I recognised the true faith any more in the Mass/teachings(?)/etc. etc. I went through murder because I could not find the true church let alone attend it. I began to pray the Mass at home each day from my Missal. It was a revelation because I began to understand the beauty of liturgical prayer.
And with my Rosary in my hands I found myself meditating on the beautiful words I was just beginning to ‘see’. It took me between one and two hours to finish praying when, normally, I could not sit still for five minutes. Each time I stopped to reflect on the words I said a decade of my Rosary. I felt closer to God than I had ever felt in my whole life, and I used to go to daily Mass. This method of praying is beautiful. I learned to examine my conscience before saying the Confiteor with true sorrow. I fasted before praying, just as I would if going to Mass. I am terrified about sharing this so openly here. But I must! It was as if I was understanding the depth of my faith for the first time, and that, dare I say it?, grace was certainly supplied….BUT ONLY BECAUSE OF THESE CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE WE CANNOT GET TO MASS. AND ONLY BECAUSE A PRIEST SOMEWHERE IN THE WORLD WAS SAYING THE TRUE MASS THAT I SPIRITUALLY UNITED IN.
The priest is vitally essential because if there was no Mass being said my praying thus would be in vain. Walls are no barrier to assisting to offer Mass.
Eventually, by the grace of God, a priest, in confession, confirmed that I was keeping Sunday holy by praying as I had learned to pray. It was not a mortal sin.
I will not be saying anything more on this subject here because I am in unknown territory by sharing it so intimately. I can share it anonymously, but only once. The resistance priests tell us we have to be prepared to lose everything before we gain graces from God. THAT IS USING FAITH AND FAITH ALONE TO THROW YOURSELF ON HIS MERCY. You, Joseph recently published a extract from a letter from Father Giraroud saying precisely that – using our naked faith when all around us seems lost. Countless souls are willing to join the resistance priests but they need to be given permission BY A PRIEST!
During the French revolution a priest guided the people to pray along the lines expressed above when they could not get to Mass or receive the Sacraments.
When we are forced to throw ourselves on God’s mercy alone, it is as if He is saying, AT LAST SHE BELIEVES THAT IT IS MERCY I LONG TO POUR OUT ON MY PEOPLE. I HAVE NOT COME TO JUDGE BUT TO SAVE.
September 21st, 2013 at 10:28 am #
I appreciate your comments, but I disagree with one point – A priest is the only authority that can guide people out of the neoSSPX.
Priests in the neoSSPX and priests in the Resistance do not have authority except that which we grant to them via supplied jurisdiction.
We do not have personal spiritual directors to whom we have granted authority to guide us. We are responsible for our own faith and how we react to what we have been given.
We are quite fortunate to have the sermons and writings of the Resistance bishop and priests and the document linked here
So, if we determine that the SSPX has become an indult (in principle), we have the responsibility to reflect on how that can impact on our faith and act accordingly (as you have).
We do not have to have pangs of guilt waiting for permission from a priest, but should have assurance that we are doing what is required.
Tony La Rosa
September 21st, 2013 at 7:55 am #
Donkath and True Faith, thank you both for your comments. I see a good will in both of you.
September 21st, 2013 at 9:38 am #
Thank you Donkath, that was beautiful! Now that we don’t have the Mass or sacraments we feel the same. We say our Act of Contrition and spiritual Communions in a whole new light now!
September 21st, 2013 at 10:08 pm #
There is no disagreement Joseph with what either of us has said. The point I was making is that LAY PEOPLE WILL ONLY LISTEN IF THEY ARE TOLD BY A PRIEST. Their faith is irrevocably tied to what the priest says. They do not know how to practise their faith if, or when, they cannot got to Mass. You are aware that we can, I am NOW aware of it, as is ‘True Faith’ aware of it. Of course there is no need for them to feel guilty BUT THEY DO! For the reasons already given. May I take the liberty of posting a comment here made by a ‘Stabl’
which, I believe, sums up what I am trying to say.
….Of course we are fortunate (an understatement) in
having the resistance priests. We would not know what is happening in the Society without them. They have laid down their lives for us. IT IS THE CONNECTION between the terrified laity and these true priests that needs to be established. We can’t be complacent because, by the grace of God, WE have listened to, and heard them. The ones who are afraid are too afraid to even listen, to know or to read. And their fear is fed, kept alive by the quietist-practising priests in the Society. My question is the same Joseph: How fill the gap? How are these imprisoned people to make a connection to our saintly priests? I truly apologise for taking up so much space which you have graciously granted me Joseph. I have no authority or training to back up what I am saying…I can only speak from experience enlightened by the grace of God. Christ will do anything to save our souls, and if we are denied the sacraments does he abandon us? NO!
He pours out ceaselessly his mercy/grace abundantly.
The good that He is bringing out of this is that the laity have a chance to use their naked Faith and trust in Him when we are abandoned. One gets the impression that this is exactly what He wants. But first the fear barrier has to be broken down. A deadly fear that has paralysed countless good, holy Catholics.
September 21st, 2013 at 10:23 pm #
Forgive me for this post script. There is a silent cry coming forth from Catholics paralysed by fear….they know what they HAVE to do -they want to know HOW.
September 21st, 2013 at 10:37 pm #
Excellent comments. People have to come to the decision their own way, in their own time. We can help a bit by offering the opportunity to think and by giving them something to think about. The HOW is as you previously defined and in what the Father Demaris article recommends. Our parishioner who has made the decision has some useful ideas, and I am hoping that she will comment in a few days. I would like to give her the opportunity. Perhaps you, yourself could prepare an article with suggestions, since you see the problem so clearly.
September 21st, 2013 at 11:52 pm #
I will do my best Joseph. I’m sure your parishioner will indeed offer some suggestions. It is humble people like that whom we never hear from. They are the ones with the greatest faith but, lacking any authority, who listens to them? No, they are kept at a distance from the general crowd. I will try to speak for us with the invitation to such wonderful Catholic layfolk to add what is in their beautiful faith-filled hearts.
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