February 2021: Admonition To Traditional Minded Catholics

February 2021: Admonition To Traditional Minded Catholics

"Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that cleaveth to me, saith the Lord of hosts: strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn my hand to the little ones." (Zacharias 13:7)

One interpretation of the shepherd here is the Pope and the sheep are the Bishops of the Church. Two Popes, Benedict XIV and Pius IX mentioned this in reference to John 21:15-17, where Jesus commands Peter to feed the lambs and sheep. They state that the lambs are the faithful, whereas the sheep are the Bishops.

When the shepherd is struck, the sheep are scattered to the four winds. Traditional minded Catholics believe that this has happened in some manner, although they may disagree on details.

What does the Holy Ghost tell us through Zacharias? When the shepherd has been struck and the sheep scattered, God will turn His hands to the little ones. What we should take away from this is that we should be those 'little ones'. Jesus puts it this way: "Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3)

Let us continue further in the holy Gospels and learn how to be little: "At that hour the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Who thinkest thou is the greater in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus calling unto him a little child, set him in the midst of them, And said: Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:1-4) We must be as humble as a little child.

Proverbs (9:4): "Whosoever is a little one, let him come to me."

How do we become little, when we must educate our self on deep matters in order to make sure we are worshiping God as He wills and not as other people will? We need to humbly come before God and ask Him to guide us and our studies. "Pride goeth before destruction: and the spirit is lifted up before a fall." [Proverbs 16:18] All of these studies we are making can tempt us to be proud of what we have accomplished. This is especially true of those who have received Holy Orders in this time. Unfortunately Holy Orders does not bring knowledge or wisdom. These are gifts of the Holy Ghost we stand in great need of. Let us ask the Holy Ghost for these graces, remembering: "God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble." [James 4:6]

Let us step back and ask our self: "Why am I doing all of this deep study?" In normal times, when questions arise, we simply went to our pastor. If it was more complicated, we would go to our Bishop. Indeed, our pastor is advised to take deeper matters to our Bishop or even to the Pope himself.

By undertaking this study our own selves, we are admitting that we do not have a pastor to go to for true guidance. We may have men, who call themselves our pastor, but deep down we know they are not. Consider why people abandon one traditional minded priest for another. Have you made this choice in the past? Jesus founded His Church on a rock, as we well know. (Matthew 16:16-19) By Divine Law Jesus instituted the offices of Pope and of Diocesan Bishop. The Church has added other offices, the most important is that of Pastor of a parish. Typically everyone lives in a parish. That parish is in a diocese. Missionary territories are somewhat different, but the principles are the same. Our Pastor has the authority to teach and guide us on the road to heaven. We look to our Bishop to do the same. We do not parish hop, but assist at the Preaching of the Word of God and the Mass in our own parish. We confess to our Pastor or one of his assistants. We receive spiritual guidance in our own parish.

What has happened is that the Shepherd (Pope) has been struck and the Sheep (Bishops) have scattered and left us without a Pastor. And so we have taken things into our own hands and decided where we will go to hear the Word of God. Some have accused traditional minded Catholics of being Protestant, who go church shopping to find the pew that is comfortable for themselves. Traditional minded Catholics don't want to be Protestant, but by trying to preserve the validity of Mass and Sacraments, people have lost sight of what is more important, as Saint Athanasius says: "It is a fact that they have the premises, but you have the Apostolic Faith. They can occupy the places of worship, but the faith dwells within you. Let us consider: what is more important, the place or the faith? The true faith, obviously. Who has lost or who has won in this struggle, the one who keeps the premises or the one who keeps the faith?" It is the Faith that matters, even if we do not have buildings in which to worship.

Let us look back to the Constitutional clergy in France, who were excommunicated for compromising with the government. They had valid Masses, but Catholics were forbidden to go. More is required than validity. Priests and bishops must have been sent by Almighty God through His holy Church: "He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you." (John 20:21) Note well this happened after the Resurrection and therefore after the Apostles had already been ordained. The Pope, Diocesan Bishops and the Pastors receive authority to preach the Word of God and administer the Sacraments to their flocks. Other priests can be delegated some authority to administer the Sacraments legitimately as well as validly.

"Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that cleaveth to me, saith the Lord of hosts: strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn my hand to the little ones." (Zacharias 13:7)

The main thrust of the ministry of the Church is to help you become a saint. Sanctity includes reverence for the Sacraments. The Sacraments do not make us saints, although received properly they are a very great help. The Cure of Ars says that the preaching of the Word of God is more important than the reception of the Holy Eucharist. Saint Paul asks: "And how shall they preach unless they be sent," (Romans 10:15) The answer is they may talk about the Word of God, but without being sent God is not going to bless their words as much, although God does sometimes work in strange ways to perform His mysteries.

You may be here, trying to find out just where the pastor is. We hope you find out how to become a saint, because without sanctity these questions are hard, if not impossible to understand. Let us put first things first. Let us learn to live the Gospel, because this is most important. After we have learned to live the Gospel, God will help us figure out where the Pope truly is.

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