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Fr. Albert on Admonishing the Sinner August 7, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, priests, religious, Restoration, sanctity, Society, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Some interesting thoughts below.  Fr. Albert, a traditional Dominican in Belgium working with The Fatima Center declares admonishing the sinner is a moral duty and failing to do so can be sinful on our part, but then states that the situations wherein we have a positive duty to act are quite rare.  I haven’t a great deal of time to flesh this out today, but this is one of those matters that is very dear to many Catholic hearts and one that does cause quite a bit of division.  See what you make of it:

Do you feel Father Albert “wimps out” towards the end in stating that these admonishments may cause more harm than good and thus the situations where they are required are quite rare?  Or is this necessary prudence.

This matter comes up with some regularity at the local Fraternity parish, where we have had instances of people evidencing great hurt at being corrected by other lay people, and the priests have basically cautioned against such admonishments, asking matters like fraternal correction over immodest dress or how to raise and educate children be left to the priests (with some room for action if the matter is dire or pressing).  Some people very much agree with this stance, while others feel that doing so could lead to rapidly falling standards since priests won’t often have time to make such one-on-one corrections.

I covered this topic in a post a few months ago, so I don’t want to retread that ground all over again, but one thought that has occurred to me in the intervening months is that one’s approach to this matter depends very much on how one views their local traditional community as a whole, and how newcomers and those who err publicly fit into it.  Some hold the view that pretty much everyone who is bothering to come to a traditional Catholic parish is already extremely dedicated, generally trying hard to do their best, and should be given a lot of latitude to “come up to standard” with things like dress or homeschooling or using NFP or whatever hot-button topic.  These same people view the community as quite resilient and able to stand some problematic public displays in the interest of being accommodating and helping the community grow.

Then there are souls who are very concerned about standards, who well know the threats to the traditional practice of the Faith both inside and outside the Church, and who feel that those souls who are failing in certain, quite public, ways pose a threat to the integrity of the community.  They may even have direct experience of communities softening standards and inevitably sliding into mediocrity or worse, total collapse to the culture.  Many of these folks have been traumatized, in a sense, by experiences in Novus Ordo world or the culture generally, and place a high premium on protecting the integrity of the community/parish.  These people are also naturally zealous for the Faith and see its defense as a primary duty, recognizing rightly that a reverent, faithful Catholic parish is an incredibly precious thing, maybe even a vulnerable thing, and very much worthy of protection.

The thing is, neither of these outlooks is wrong.  Thus the tension that exists in many traditional parishes over how to handle matters like fraternal correction.  My natural disposition is much more towards the latter, and I will admit to being a bit suspect of the motives of those who have been in traditional communities a long time and  yet seem to take a certain joy in being non-conformist in various regards, without going into specifics.  I am also one who tries to take correction in the best light, instead of getting instantly offended and hurt and storming out of the place – not that I have not at times disagreed with someone’s well-meaning recommendations.

But, I also don’t want to see rigid communal standards emerge that exclude all but the most zealous, the most rigorous.  Those types of situations have a long history and almost universally end in extremes of opinion and action and communities dividing into hostile camps that eventually disintegrate.  There have been several attempts at utopian Catholic enclaves in the past 200 years and they have all ended badly.

I think prudence is the key.  If you see a lady in a short skirt and stilletos, but wearing a veil, and you’ve never seen her before, maybe cut her a break.  Don’t say anything.  But pray for that person.  If they keep coming and you get to know them a bit, perhaps that relationship will be a grounds to make a very charitable comment some weeks or months down the road if the person does not self-correct.  You and I may think homeschooling is practically the only way to raise a child in this moral sewer but you don’t have to unload that opinion on every soul you encounter.  Prying questions into one’s background and purity tests are not a good way to make an acquaintance.  The examples could go on endlessly, but I assume you get the point.

I would close by saying, if you fall more to one side or the other – the welcoming souls willing to look the other way at times, or the militant defenders of the sanctity of the community – also try to have some charity for those who feel differently from yourself.  If someone thinks it’s better to be more accommodating and less rigorous, that doesn’t make them a bad Catholic.  And those with strong personalities who feel standards should be enforced at all times and who do not shy away from correcting others, they are not necessarily the stereotypical bad rad-trad.

Yes this is another “can’t we all get along” post.  But maybe that’s not such a bad thing, for a group that is already surrounded on all sides and hopelessly outnumbered.  I’ve been reading about some of the failed Crusades to stop the spread of islam of late, and it is heart-breaking the degree to which Catholic division and in-fighting aided the spread of the demonic religion of Mohammad.  Different groups of Catholics refused to aid one another in the Fall of Acre in 1289.

Related.  End trad-Cath circular firing squads!

Briefest Reminder Posts – Assumption and Kolbe Novenas August 7, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Novenas, Our Lady, Saints, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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The Assumption Novena properly started yesterday, but you can start today and finish on the feast.  The Novena for Maximilian Kolbe started Saturday but better late than never.

Brief Assumption Novena below:

Mary, Queen Assumed into Heaven, I rejoice that after years of heroic martyrdom on earth, Thou hast at last been taken to the throne
prepared for Thee in heaven by the Holy Trinity.

Lift my heart with Thee in the glory of Thy Assumption above the dreadful touch of sin and impurity. Teach me how small earth becomes when viewed from heaven. Make me realize that death is the triumphant gate
through which I shall pass to Thy Son, and that someday my body shall rejoin my soul in the unending bliss of heaven.

From this earth, over which I tread as a pilgrim, I look to Thee for help. I ask for this favor:

(State your intention here…)

When my hour of death has come, lead me safely to the presence of Jesus to enjoy the vision of my God for all eternity together with Thee.

Novena to St. Maximilian Kolbe:

O St. Maximilian Kolbe,

faithful follower of St. Francis,

inflamed by the love of God

you dedicated your life to the practice of virtue

and to works of the apostolate.

Look down with favor upon us

who devoutly confide in your intercession, especially for:

(here mention your special requests)

 

Having consecrated yourself to the Immaculate Virgin Mary,

you inspired countless souls to a holy life

and various forms of the apostolate

in order to do good to others

and to spread the kingdom of God.

Obtain for us the grace by our lives and labors

to draw many souls to Christ.

 

In your close conformity to our Divine Savior

you reached such an intense degree of love

that you offered your life to save a fellow prisoner.

Implore God that we,

inflamed by such ardent charity,

may through our living faith and our apostolic works

witness Christ to others,

and thus merit to join you in the blessed vision of God.

Amen.

Praying as a family has such enormous spiritual efficacy!  Perhaps you could have as an intention for your Novena the conversion of this nation and our fallen world – or maybe better yet the conversion of the leadership of the Church and the restoration of the Church’s human element.

Whatever your intention, Novenas as a beautiful aspect of Catholic Tradition!