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What to do should the Sacraments become unavailable May 29, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, episcopate, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Interior Life, martyrdom, paganism, persecution, Sacraments, sadness, Society, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.

Skeinster sent me a post by Supertradmum who examines a potential reality we may come to face: a future where the Sacraments are available sporadically, if at all.

I don’t think it takes an overactive imagination to envision future scenarios where many Catholic parishes – perhaps those with the most “recalcitrant” faithful priests – are closed or under heavy pressure from the government for refusal to take part in grave immorality.  Supertradmum recommends some ways for us to start preparing ourselves for this potentiality today, and I think she gives some very good advice (I add emphasis and comments):

I have been pondering for almost four months life without sacraments, as I could not get to daily Mass or weekly confession until recently. This lack of the sacraments could only be endured because I was praying so much during the day, trying to keep at least three monastic hours, doing my three sets of third order prayers, as well as contemplation, rosaries, and Divine Mercy chaplet.

Without the sacraments, almost constant prayer is absolutely needed. Therefore, the Benedictine way of working in the Presence of God becomes essential in a barren land without the usual means of sanctifying grace.

Think on this. How would you react without the sacraments in your area? I pray for perseverance and for courage, for long-suffering, for deep, deep patience, and for peace. [Very good advice.  Because I can never forget what I learned in Narcotics Anonymous, and saw painfully demonstrated many times: be careful begging God for patience, or He’ll give you plenty to be patient about.  I unfortunately saw some pretty good people fall back into active addiction when they got overwhelmed with trying circumstances.  I’m certainly not telling you not to pray for patience, but simply to be prepared for anything if you do]

Imagine no daily Mass, no Sunday Mass, no regular confession…one must learn to repent immediately of venial sins and break habits now in order to remain in grace, as venial sins weaken the will and lead to mortal sins too often.

Think of no priests in your area, no Adoration, no sermons or meetings of parishioners who may encourage and help you.

One reason for persecution is the purification of the faithful. Many saints came out of the English suppression of the Catholic Faith, but the price to become and to stay holy could be high.

Are you ready for this scenario? Are you willing not to follow the majority who will go after the easy way out and the comfort of compromise? [I’ll raise the ante, though this is not directly related to having the Sacraments taken away: are you ready to be criticized by authority figures in the “establishment” Church that  you are a bad person, maybe even a heretic, for not making the same accommodation with the culture that they have?  We have to be prepared for a situation a la the formation of the Church of England, where a new “church” is stood up in place of the old, but those within it pretend it is actually the embodiment or perfection of the old.]

Please consider these serious thoughts. One must become grounded in the daily discipline of love in order to keep the faith and hope through hard times.

I can easily see a time, a time that may not be far off at all, where parishes that refuse to perform false simulations of marriage between people of the same sex will be heavily persecuted, possibly closed down.  But here is another corollary: what if a good number of bishops decide it’s not worth it to lose their tax exempt status, and start up an American Catholic Church that does whatever the government/sexular pagan overculture demands of it?  There may be parishes open near you offering the Sacraments, but would you, could you, avail yourself of membership in this dubiously Catholic body?  Would the Vatican go along and approve such and declare them in “full communion?”  Would that declaration matter?

Many, many questions.  We can’t answer any of them.  I do think the important thing it to prepare ourselves for the very difficult times ahead.  That may include loss of access to the Sacraments, that may include blood persecution, it may include shockingly unpredictable things.  If we’re to survive, we’ve got to start preparing ourselves now.  Hopefully, many have already been doing so for some time.

We do have the guidance of great Saints and martyrs to help us.  Learning more about the English persecution and the reaction of faithful Catholics is a very good way to help prepare oneself for what is to come.


1. TG - May 29, 2015

I agree about praying for patience. Be careful. Now instead of praying for patience with my toddler grandchildren, I pray that they behave and mind me and ask Our Lord to help me to love others.

2. TG - May 29, 2015

If there would be an American Church as you describe, I guess the SSPX would be an alternative. I wonder what the FSSP would do? I don’t think all the bishops would abandon the truth. There’s still some good ones out there.

3. Baseballmom - May 29, 2015

Make friends with good, solid, priests. They will need a place to live when they can no longer stay in rectories…. When they are no longer welcome in the rectories of the New and Improved American Catholic Church.

Tantumblogo - May 29, 2015

There might be a priest hole to two in Irving, and the town has a disproportionate number of faithful Catholics. Not a bad place for a priest to be.

4. A Mom - May 29, 2015

I am not being a smart-Alec but am seriously asking…how is the scenario you present different than the current stand of the SSPX? If I’m not mistaken, they exist to try to shelter the faithful from what they see as the errors spread by those in “full communion,” but We are told that no matter what, we must remain obedient and stay away. If our only other option is a NO where the people will hear that contraception is not a sin, or that hell is empty, or that all denominations are part of the Church, we still must fulfill our Sunday obligation there instead of the SSPX out of obedience, right? How would a parish caving under pressure to accept this particular error suddenly make it ok for us to stay away? Thank you for considering my questions.

Tantumblogo - May 29, 2015

Those are serious questions. If the “ACC” remains in union with Rome or has the approval therewith, it would be a very difficult situation. I realize that’s a huge can of worms. May not have been too prudent in putting those scenarios out there. All would depend on whether the ACC was said by Rome to be in full communion. I’m sure at that point most would go along. Not sure what choice we would have. I pray it does not come to that.

Tim - May 29, 2015

The term “full communion” is a farce. Where is the official Catholic teaching on “partial communion”? You are either in or you’re out. The SSPX is in the Church. The bigger question is: are the apostates and heretics in the hierarchy in the Church?

Tim - May 29, 2015

Your concerns are well addressed here by a canon lawyer and Doctor of Thomistic Philosophy:

5. Paul - May 29, 2015

As long as we have Catholics are ignorant enough to vote for Democrat Candidates tha profess they are Catholic like VP Joe Biden, that support Gay Marriage, & Abortion rights we can expect our Religious freedoms to be attacked. The Democrat platform supports both Gay Marriage & Abortion. What do you expect from a Democrat

6. MFG - May 29, 2015

Excellent questions. First we have been encouraged by faithful priests in the past to begin stocking up on approved liturgical wine and unconsecrated hosts. That will at least allow a priest to come and offer Mass secretly in a home.

Second and more scary is what happens if your post yesterday and today occur simultaneously. No food for most people due to a disaster and no sacraments. Yikes.

On a hopeful note, yes we should look to English and Irish Catholics (of the past) who practiced their faith in secret for hundreds of years. St. Oliver Plunkett pray for us!

7. Magdalen - May 29, 2015

I have a sacramentary and other items for Mass in my home. I do need a recipe for making communion hosts and perhaps a little press to make them though. I used to keep some unconsecrated hosts in my freezer. I also bought, some years ago at Lourdes, a small monstrance which has never been used as one must have permission for adoration but in an emergency time, perhaps then?

The rosary is and always will be our ‘weapon’. For now, we attend daily Mass and regular confession and participate in the sacraments as much as we can while also honing our prayer lives. Only the strong in the faith will survive with it intact in times to come as Fr. Hardon used to predict.

8. David - May 29, 2015

A few years ago, some publications had articles pertaining to services without a priest. The intent was to discuss a service if a priest was ill or a priest was not available for Sunday Mass.

Unfortunately, some publications slanted this information like it was going to be a common scenario (the use of this liturgy is for extreme circumstances) and several “one hour Catholics” are poorly catechized and don’t know the difference.

9. Kathleen - May 29, 2015

Thank you for this!

This discussion will doubtless be of great value to many.

Out of time for now, but it would be great to have a serial discussion.

Perhaps one post per sacrament.

That way things like how to properly baptise in an emergency (for instance how to properly pour the water) could be reviewed for folks.

10. JeanMarie - May 30, 2015

This past week I learned of a situation regarding my brother, who is a priest in my diocese. He told me he was approached after mass by 2 men together who then asked him for a “blessing”. He inquired the reason for the request and they said it was for their “relationship”, yes they were a couple. He informed them he could not give them a blessing as sin can not be blessed. My brother is the priest director of Courage and it appears the sodo activists knows which parish he is at. They have him on their radar and will, I am sure, continue to harass him. Please keep him in your prayers as well as all the priests who work in this type of ministry. I fear the persecutions are coming very soon. I do believe we will lose our parishes, the enemy has moved all the chess pieces into position and is about to declare checkmate.

11. Missy Farber - May 30, 2015

What is the Benedictine way of working in the Presence of God?

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