Saturday, July 21, 2018

A Blog Post Designed to Literally Make You Pee Your Pants Laughing


Happy Saturday!  We made it to the weekend! After a week of Ora et Labora.  Or odds are working in today's "live to work, vs. work to live" proletariat culture, it was oppressively heavy on the Labora.  

It seems very stressful for us traditional Catholics in today's world.  We have to pay the bills like anybody else, but under the pressure of subtle or even overt disenfranchisement for our Catholic identity, not to mention being gas-lighted by the Catholic hierarchy for our attachment to Tradition. No wonder some trads fall into puritanism.  This includes me at times in the past, mea culpa.

So this Saturday morning tonic is just for you. 

Goal:  make you laugh so hard you literally pee your pants, to help us uncoil.  

It's something called "urge incontinence."  When you experience a truth on an emotional level (example: the truth that we live in a dark age), sometimes it arouses the region of the brain responsible for laughter -->  which results in laughter --> which stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system --> which relaxes the bladder muscles.  Hence how humor can shed light on truth, to the point of you literally pee your pants. Or at least a trickle.

Here goes:

To make you pee your pants laughing, it is vital you follow my advise, otherwise you may not laugh, at least out loud, or actually pee your pants. You may be tempted to set aside my instructions, to see what is so funny, but then I promise you, you won't get the full, therapeutic effect.

This video is a discussion between a liberal priest/bishop/nun, who are members of what is called the Independent Catholic Movement.  In the first 15 minutes, they discuss how they are similar to Roman Catholics, but are inclusive of the divorced-and-remarried, gays and lesbians, transgenders, yada yada, even praising our beloved Pope Francis' approach to ministry several times.  It is a window into the mind of religious liberals, both outside and inside the actual Catholic Church.

Instruction:   

First, you have to rewind to the beginning.  DO NOT fast forward to Time 15:04.  You may be tempted to, but please wait, and I assure you, when you reach that point, you will thank me for maintaining the suspense, which will make the moment of humor even more intense.  I encourage just watching the first 15 minutes, 3 seconds.  It will pay off.  If you are stretched for time, you could fast forward through parts of it, but slow down to hear their liberal views.  Notice the priest and bishop are up to that point oddly dominating the conversation, the nun not saying a word.  After Time 15:04, the humor begins but there is more suspense.  The peeing should actually commence at Time 15:26.  Okay, here is the video.  





So...did I make you pee your pants laughing, as I did?  I hope at least I made you laugh out loud!  Let me know in the comments section, where we can laugh about the video.  

The times we live in.  We laugh lest we cry, is the approach I try to take here at this blog!





Thursday, July 19, 2018

Random Midweek Thoughts

Blue Hole Spring.   In the general vicinity of Locust Grove, OK.  Went there Sunday after going to the Maronite rite (somewhat traditional, but love the priest).
Wow and double wow.  55 degree spring water will lower your body temperature for hours, which feels relaxing.   Highly recommend it for your next summer, family outing.

Arby's curly fries.  Man those are good, but I really need to get back on strict low carb.  Best way to loose weight, imho, if you're horizontally challenged like me. But their curly fries are literally the best.  So crispy and well seasoned.  Deo gracias.  All things in moderation, right?

Pope Francis.   Too busy to read the headlines.  Would rather be canoing the Illinois River.  Who is game?   We can leave real early one Saturday morning, canoe just a short trip, and be back after lunch.

That blog post about trads and alcohol.  People, it was hyperbole.
I don't literally think you should "spike the baby bottle." But I suspect you all knew that.   The two alcoholic contrarian commentators, absolutely yes, don't drink alcohol, but do something to unravel the tightened cords of religiosity and scrupulosity.   How about an enema?  Just ask your local pharmacist what aisle.

It's almost the weekend fellow Okie Trads and Beyond!  Thinking of all you who read this little weekly log of my thoughts.


Friday, July 13, 2018

Traditionalist Catholics need to Drink more Alcohol! I agree!

Disclaimer: If you struggle with past or present alcohol abuse, I encourage you to seek the counsel of a good, traditional priest.  

I tip my hat to Okiepapist, past contributor here, for his observation many trads need to drink more spirits, figuratively was my point, but his point was we need to literally be drinking more!  Not in excess, but that trads would greatly benefit from upping our consumption of fermented beverages.  I'm compelled to raise my glass in agreement as I ruminate and reflect on this intervention.  I've heard the same admonition before from within other trad quarters.  It seems to be a recurring theme, that begs the question about the religious temperament of the Latin Mass community as a whole.




Ja, Das ist richtig, Okie Trad!

This advise goes for yours truly as much as any ecclesiastically gas-lighted, over-wound Catholic out there trying to keep the Faith (and our sanity).

Start 'em young I say, spike the baby bottle! Nothing will teach a little youngster as much about the virtue of moderation, and indirectly all virtues, than by learning the value of moderating drink. A few ounces of wine at the Sunday dinner table will help your eight year old appreciate the fruits of the Earth, and that alcohol, like all other sources of nutrition, is not sinful but sustaining.

When Jr. has received the sacrament of Confirmation, and is able to endure the physical hardship of carrying a heavy backpack for a ten mile mountain trek, he should be handed the whiskey bottle when it is, later that night, passed around the campfire.




My Current Go-To

He will be far less likely to become an adult alcoholic, or addicted to anything. I guarantee Our Lord enjoyed some local brew with his foster father St. Joseph, at the end of a hot Mediterranean day of hard physical labor.

The next time your church circle is tempted to form its own informal parallel parish within a parish (I've heard too many stories of intra-parish trad rebellions to shake a stick at), instead turn your basement into a bar lounge, and invite your clique over to theologize, laugh, and play. Stock up on vodka, whiskey, wine, and beer, and invite Padre over for a drink, to respectfully hash out issues.

The next time your trad priest preaches a seemingly watered down sermon, or swings the other way and chastises families from the pulpit by name for owning televisions (I've witnessed this), don't rush home and stew in your chair in anger. Instead, hit up the local Irish pub on your way home from Mass, and make it a tall Guinness. Let your anger be quenched by ethanol and fermented, nutrient-dense grains!  Far more healthy than the toxic, defensive, anti-social tactics that you'll see play out within trad circles.  



Kilkenny's Irish Pub in Tulsa. 
Minutes from any local Latin Mass.

Are your church gatherings growing stale? Mixed with boredom, petty quarrels, or insularity? Nothing will open up the group, get the sphincter muscles to relax, and the stress hormones to dissipate more than installing a full bar in your parish hall!  I'll be the first to volunteer to bartend. "Father, can I convince you to have another beer?"

There's no better cure for pseudo-Catholic religious fundamentalism (or Jansenism, or whatever you want to call it), than a Boiler Maker. Stop abusing the gift of language, please, and instead of chastising the seeming worldlings among your ranks beneath you for not following Amish rules of conduct, drink that tall beer. At the bottom of the glass is a shot of whiskey you gulp down.  Grace builds upon nature, after all.  




Let us trads install full, liquor bars in our home, to accompany our family altars, libraries, wood burning stoves, and pianos.  The next time you go to the bookshelf to read yet again another book about the evil New World Order, take a break and read The Rule St. Benedict, with classic commentary.  The Rule was/is a tonic for all things extreme in Catholicism.  It prescribes daily wine for the monk, after all.  Or at least make yourself a White Russian to go with your next conspiracy theory.




Planning to buy something like
this in a few months

After all, St Paul recommends drinking wine everyday. It's right there in the Bible folks. And old St Paul could get pretty hard core.

Tomorrow night I'll be relaxing with my favorite R&R whiskey, and checking the comments below to see if you agree.

Have a good weekend. Cheers!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

I am a Traditionalist; and I am NOT a Traditionalist

First off, happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans, and those who reside in territories governed by the USA.  Happy 4th of July!




First, I am a Traditionalist:

I adhere to the canon law that states "custom is the best interpreters of laws."   Ecclesial tradition rules supreme over all particular laws drafted for a certain period.  The rule of ecclesial tradition of 2000 years of Church history stands above as a commander and guide to all new laws.   As a traditonalist, I adhere completely, and explicitly to this eccesial tradition.




The Beauty and Wonder of Ecclesial tradition

At the same time, in so far as this ecclesial tradition (distinct, but not inseparable from the divine "upper-case 'T'" Tradition of divine Revelation) is now universally undermined by the modernists and progressivists since the wake of the revolutionizing Second Vatican Council, I absolutely oppose their universal movement in the Church.  

Simultaneously, I continuously support with reservation what is called the "traditionalist Catholic movement," which promotes the so-called Tridentine Latin Mass (the truly "extraordinary form" of the Mass), and all those traditionalist societies, parishes, and chapels that do the same, in so far as they avoid schism to the right and indifference to heresy/banality to the left.

But, secondly, I am NOT a Traditionalist, in the following senses:

1.  I absolutely reject traditionalist parishes and chapels acting like closed-off private clubs/enclaves, treating newcomers with irrational suspicion and fear, and their own community like a society for the religious elite and enlightened.  That is snobbish hogwash.   I have my own mini-library/shelves of traditionalist literature, mixed with The Joy of Gardening and Grimm's Ferry Tales, but the wonder of Catholic tradition is still for me as much an open book to discover and enrich as it was the first time I stepped foot at a Traditional Latin Mass.  Catholic tradition is a heritage and birthright to be OPENLY shared with every newcomer.  Hello.




Whatcha talkin' 'bout Okie Trad?


2.  I completely reject the psycho-social-extreme dimension of Traditionalism, in so far as it turns the Latin Mass movement into a secret society of individuals chosen by divine fate, accessible to those who happened by chance to learn about the traditional Mass, and directly or indirectly embraces the errors of pseudo-Jansenism and rigorism.  In short, I absolutely reject anything that overtly resembles a "Catholic fundamentalism."  You know it when you see it, and it is everywhere in Traddom, just according to degrees.


3.  That said, my quiet observation, ironically, is that the majority (over 50% at least) of trads have the same thoughts and perspective.   They are sick and tired of the fundamentalism/cliquishness, and looking to the trad clergy to remedy it, or better yet for the universal hierarchy/papacy to one day re-normalize the Church, rooting it again clearly in ecclesial tradition.  

Until that time, I am a traditionalist, while also shunning traditionalist fundamentalism in all its shapes and sizes!

Going swimming today, then BBQ, then fireworks, then two more days of super-focused, hard work.  Again, Happy 4th!  Deo gracias.


Saturday, June 30, 2018

Email Question about Clear Creek Monastery & 3rd Order Oblates. My Thoughts.

Got a cordial email inquiry from a New York man who is at this moment attending with his wife the Idea of a Village Conference out at Clear Creek monastery here in Eastern Oklahoma. 

He reads the blog, and my blog post about that event perked his interest, wanting to pick my brain about the Third Order Oblates of Clear Creek.  So I thought that would make a good Saturday blog post, per his suggestion, to hit two birds with one stone.  Just finished some work, and I'm in need of some good weekend R&R.  Blogging usually does the trick.

Clear Creek.  Third Order.  Oblates.  Laity attached to Clear Creek.  To benefit from their spirituality, if not also to become an associate member of the wider community of Villagers (Abbot Anderson's term he used in his conference talk HERE).  

Okay, here goes.

The devil has struck the shepherd; the sheep are scattered.  We cannot presently trust the person of the Pope, Bishops, and Priests under them.  Generally speaking, ANY of them.  We are the sheep looking up from the rocky, lifeless soil of the "conciliar church," which was once a fruitful pasture of "amber waves of grain"

Patriotic, 4th of July song reference intended. 

We look up to the hilltop where the attentive, sober, serious, and authentically pastoral shepherd once sat.  In his place is a listless, somnolent, disoriented, servile, clericalist who is not consistently leading as Christ commanded in Sacred Scripture, or in a Christ-like way.


Instead, traditional, faithful Catholics, look for alternative sources that run contrary to the norms of Church history.  We look away from the parochial hierarchy to traditionalist societies of priests, and traditional orders of monks and nuns for guidance.  



The traditionalist/conservative religious and priests are, by default, leading by example, at least in their orthodoxy, devotions, and external attachment to ecclesial traditions.  In the case of an Abbot, he pastors not only the members of his monastery, but 3rd Order lay members attached to it.



I personally think it is a good idea for some laity to be 3rd Order lay members of a traditional monastery or other religious institute, including Our Lady of the Annunciation at Clear Creek Abbey in Hulbert, OK, as long as their reasons are balanced.  I would also recommend considering being an Oblate under Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery in Silver City, NM, which, in my opinion, is even more faithful objectively to the Sacred Tradition of the Church.

Or for that matter, perhaps consider being a THIRD ORDER member of the Society of St. Pius X, or a member of the Confraternity of the Fraternity of St. Peter.

But flip the coin to the other side, as I often do on this blog.  The Crisis is everywhere, including trad circles.  I absolutely do not support laity trying to escape the world as if they were monks in the Egyptian deserts of the Early Church, which some are doing who try and set up homesteads in the deep woods around Clear Creek.  

If that is the mindset, then I personally would discourage the person from becoming a lay Benedictine.   Better just to have morning and evening prayers, go to Mass on Sundays, while offering your daily humiliations according to the demands of work in the world of men.

But I'm just one individual with a blog.

Okay, I'm off to the pool for a swim, and then an evening of beer, Netflix, and lap time with my canine buddy Peanut.  Tomorrow a group of us go swimming/picnicking out at Blue Hole Spring oasis.

My next blog post will be patriotic, on the 4th of July.


Thursday, June 28, 2018

More Random Thoughts

Every person is an onion.   You really have to peel back the layers before you can even begin to understand them.   Their temperament,  personality,  personal life. 
In short,  we need real personal connections with eachother.   I think the final nail on the coffin of human relations,  replaced by transhumanistic,  existential absurdity,  was the advent of social media and the smartphone. 

Case in point.   I sat in the cafeteria for lunch today where I work.   I made eye contact and said hello to the people around me.   And after eating my lunch, I just sat back and watched the crowded room of people.   Most of the people were spending the majority of the time looking at their smartphone screen.   I don't expect a congress of philosophical discourse,  but every social interaction in the room was at best shallow and artificial. 

My dog Peanut.   Loyal,  obsessively attached to me wherever I go,  giving me deep,  longing looks every day,  locking eyes with me,  conveying genuine love.   Her will is not free,  but she has a will,  and ironically this little mortal animal is more genuine and caring than 95% of Homo sapiens I encounter in the mainstream. 

I remain mystified and detached.  I continue to work hard and progress.   But only the likes of poetry,  music,  whiskey,  and sitting in front of a fire can give clarity and perspective about the wasteland.

Can you relate? 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Some Random Thoughts

It's Saturday evening, and I'm enjoying a whiskey while I sit back in my Okie armchair.   I started a couple different blog posts on subjects I'm interested in of late:  how alcohol can help trads who suffer from fundamentalism overcome that ailment, and the integral importance of a parish in the life of a Catholic.  But those will take some time to ruminate and reflect about.  So I'll just throw out some random thoughts for now.  Various ponderings that have entered my mind as of late.

Nursing homes.  In my opinion, 70 percent or more of bed-ridden residents could be enjoying a relatively active life, moving around, walking, doing some little chores and hobbies, going on field trips, if they had the proper physical therapy, more nurse aides, and better paid to provide more activity for the resident.  I've never heard of such a place.   It seems virtually every nursing home is at best a place to take care of the basic needs of the body--bed mobility, transfers, dressing, grooming, and feeding.  At best, most of the residents are left in a stupor pretending to play Bingo.   It's a shame, and something needs to be done about this culture of death for our old, sick loved ones.

Blue Spring swimming hole.  Bar none, the most idyllic, refreshing place to go swimming in eastern Oklahoma.  A large spring.  Very cold water. And nice, shaded picnic spots.  If you're in Tulsa, head east on 412, take the Locust Grove exit, go north through that town to Salina, take a right at the first stop sign, and drive through the hills a few miles until you get there.  It's an oasis, and we're thinking maybe to go tomorrow after Mass.

Okies.   The love-hate dichotomy I have for this place has lately been pressing on my frontal cortex.  Hillbilly-speak and idiotic drivers on the Tulsa freeway haven't irritated me lately.  It's been the complete lack of humility and civility that often accompanies ignorant and backward behavior.   I can tolerate ignorance, but when you combine it with overt, cantankerous pride, it is like trying to cover up gasoline smell on your gym uniform with cologne (a 9th grade memory).  It makes the foul smell even more strange and offensive.  Okies.  Technically, geographically, I am one of them.

R&R Whiskey.  $12 a bottle.  Not bad for a decent Canadian whiskey. Wishing you could have one with me tonight.

Cheers.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Midweek Observations from the Heartland

Thank God for AC.   Last summer was the lowest circle of purgatory driving around Tulsa without it;  this summer is heaven in comparison.   Our new car puts out arctic-like air.  Deo gracias.

The city of Tulsa is like a wild sea of idiocy.   I won't call my fellow Tulsans idiots,  but the daily life is simply,  plainly,  truth be told,  idiotic.  Case in point,  traffic.   1 out of 5 drivers makes driving across town an exercise in high level defensive driving and the local circumstance to develop heroic levels of the virtue of patience,  and the cardinal virtues that bind together all the particular virtues. 

Looking for an easier, more pleasant road to heaven, that guarantees your own Catholic world of justice and moral order?  Then I suppose you could try living in the deep woods near Clear Creek, which is very tempting. 

But Providence has placed us in the thick of idiocy,  incivility,  narcissism as the status quo,  and substandard practices almost everywhere in the market place. 
I shake my head at God once in a while,  with due reverence,  at the absurdity of living in today's world,  cursed everywhere, not only in the world of work, but in our own home,  social circles,  and churches (including trad). 

Is what it is, this life God gave us to work out.  Onward and upward. 

PS.   If you're initials are DB,  please email me at JosephOstermeir@gmail.com.

Your phone # is no longer in use. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

So I Learned the Other Day I am Jewish, and that My Great-Grandfather (a Christian and Jew) Died at Auschwitz


So I learned recently from an aunt that my great-grandfather, who was half Jewish by race, but a Christian by faith (Lutheran), was murdered by Hitler's Nazi regime at Auschwitz for publicly protesting Hitler in the public square of his local village.

True story.  My mom is from Germany.




Six months after his arrest, my great-grandmother got a knock on her door.  The postman was delivering her a box.  When she opened it, there were ashes and a note that read "Your husband died of natural causes." 

He was middle-aged and in good health.  The note did not say what "natural cause" did him in at the same concentration camp where St. Maximilian Kolbe gave his life.   It was also at Auschwitz where some of my boyhood pastors managed to survive, later immigrating to the US (Broken Arrow, OK outside of Tulsa).  They were Polish Capuchins.  I'll never forget one Sunday after serving Mass for Fr. Robert Dabrowski, OFM, he showed us a tattoo on his forearm.  It was his number the Nazis gave him as a prisoner at Auschwitz.




So it turns out The Okie Traditionalist is a Jew!  Which is cool since Our Lord and Savior was a Jew too!  ;) Since my great-grandfather was 1/2 Jewish, my maternal grandmother 1/4th, and my mom 1/8th, then I am 1/16th Jewish!

I have to admit, this revelation about my great-grandfather made me later angry.  I am angry that Hitler killed millions of Jews.  The exact number doesn't matter.  The merits of nationalism for any country, including Germany, or any exaggeration of war crimes against the Jewish people, are irrelevant to the absolutely established historical fact that Adolf Hitler tried to use his power to wipe out the Jews.

So if you want to deny the holocaust in the comment section, then be warned I'll delete it.  

On the other hand, I am also angry when the mass murder at Nazi concentration camps is presented as just being about the Jews.  My great-grandfather had a racial and ethnic background as a Jew, but he was a Christian, as was his wife and children.

Like St. Maximilian, or Pope Pius XII, or Fr. Robert, it was people like my great-grandfather, at least heroes for God's just order, i.e. Christians, who defended the Jewish people.  



 

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Why is It? Thoughts on Society and Anthony Bourdaine's Suicide


My Saturday morning moment of pause to reflect on society,  friendship,  and the suicide of Anthony Bourdain.  

Why is It? 

Why is it modern man so superficially judges one another?  Based on attractiveness, fitness,  and socio-economic status?   It has always been so,  but never before in such global, epidemic proportions.   When Victorian,  19th Century,  British elite picked eachother to pieces about who was most fit to marry or invite to their banquet,  they now look humble and unprejudiced compared to contemporary Westerners.   If Jane Austen were alive today,  she could make a killing writing satire about modern social cliques, or she may find today's insanity beyond words.




For me,  I never much fitted into social cliques here in Oklahoma.  Providence placed me in the awkward position of being a religiously conservative and traditionalist Catholic,  in terms of religion and culture,  a white European/European-American masculine man,  an idealist and introvert by temperament, and of a lower economic background.  Just about every personal trait contemporary culture hates as an enemy of progress.  Imagine being in those categories,  surrounded, in your work place no less, by at-heart pagan liberals,  evangelical Protestants in background and disposition,  and almost the most uneducated people in the US (Oklahoma is 48th in the nation for education).   If you're reading this,  odds are you can relate.

Why is It? 

Why is it sincere, authentic, sustained,  and virtuous friendship,  in all its varieties and forms, is today practically dead and obsolete?   Poets have always waxed and waned about how good friendship is precious when you find it,  but I'm as certain real,  natural,  genuine friendship today is as uncommon as it was once common just a few decades ago.


For me,  I was far more fortunate having good,  loyal,  sustained friendships throughout my formative years,  than in adulthood.   And in my observation,  that seems to hold true for many men.   When CS Lewis wrote about the modern problem of friendship in particular for modern men,  in his book The Four Loves,  it seemed even more a prognostication of the de-evolution of modern friendship now, than a diagnosis for his own time.




And, Why is It? 

Why is it Anthony Bourdain, internationally renowned food critic, two days ago hung himself to death in a Paris hotel room?

And likewise,  why is the media response to eulogize a man who just murdered himself?   Who was an unashamed, professed hedonist and drug addict?

CNN painted him as an object of admiration, and his suicide as incidental to the fact he is now gone.  Meanwhile,  the Netflix TV show,  "13 Reasons Why," which critics say is actually encouraging suicide,  remains at the top of their list of most viewed shows.

I have Netflix,  and I've appreciated Bourdaine's food shows, but his marriage,  family,  friendships,  wealth,  and status in the end was not enough for him.

My impression is that suicide in all its forms and reasons is becoming increasingly a politically correct topic, because modern man is finding fewer reasons to value human life.   Before, we had to tolerate a suicide, and provide a normal,  public burial full of eulogy.   But now, my sense is we are being pressured to ACCEPT self-termination of one's life as moral.  I expect that euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide will eventually become a universal,  constitutional right.

May Anthony rest in peace,  and may God have mercy on his soul. 


Conclusion:

Despite the sun still being in the sky,  and electrical lighting,  we live in a Dark Age.  
The Christian social order,  and even the most basic natural law,  common sensical level of human society has been inverted,  destroyed,  thrown away,  and incinerated,  but replaced with an artificial,  materialist, godless,  collectivism, the momentum of which is leading to more world war, totalitarianism,  and desolation.

We have only one hope.   If you follow this blog,  you have discovered what this "one hope" is. 

Pax vobiscum,  and have a restful weekend.  Thus ends my Saturday morning musing.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Journal Entry.

Long, hard day,  but a good one.  Still on my 2 month sabbatical from writing more polemical posts about the errors of modernism to the left,  and jansenistic fundamentalism to the right (yup), to doubly focus on work. 

I read from the invaluable Canon212 news conglomerate, that the good Latin-Mass-offering Texas Bishop,  Bishop Gracida, is still calling for a new papal conclave.   To me,  the whole affair is still a complex,  convoluted test of mental gymnastics,  but only the Cardinals have the canonical authority to make an intervention.   Is what it is. 

Anyway,  back to my evening R&R.  Looking forward to summer activities,  time permitting:  swimming, canoeing,  BBQs, fireworks,  plus of course plenty of fluids,  sunscreen,  and AC. 

God bless,  and have a good rest of your week.  Talk to y'all on the weekend. 

Thursday, May 31, 2018

One traditional Catholic's Protest of Ecclesial Silence about Irish Abortion Referendum.

Preface:  the recent referendum that approved of legalized abortion in Ireland got "my Irish up," so I'm breaking my 2 month sabbatical from more polemical posts to voice Catholic protest. 

After Roe v.  Wade,  the blame for the widespread American culture of death rests partly with the American bishops being too silent.  Meanwhile 40 million unborn American children have been slaughtered. 

When abortion soon becomes legalized in the once Catholic country of St. Patrick,  the future blood of aborted Irish children of God will cover the hands of all those bishops and priests who either supported the referendum,  or now yield to the pro-abortion government. 




I am half Irish American.  My ancestors came to America in the late 1700s from southeast Ireland.   When I read about the referendum,  with 2/3rds of voting Irish rejecting the right to life of the innocent and vulnerable,  I was angry. 

I think it was St. Frances De Lasalle,  who once dealt with major anger issues which he overcame through intensified prayer,  who said it is equally sinful not to be angry about gross moral injustices,  as it is to be angry over petty differences. 

So I am today angry at the Irish clergy who are going along with this.   Their silence will contribute to murder,  and to plunging Ireland deeper into the Culture of Death. 




Solutions? 

1.  Conferences,  pilgrimages,  public protest by all faithful Irish Catholics, not only in response to the pro-abortion politicians,  but to the hierarchy there in so far as it is supporting legalized infanticide,  in utero. 

2. Realize now is the hour.   Imagine how many lives might have been saved starting in 1973 if we had organized protest and crisis pregnancy services strongly in the beginning. 

3. Pray for the conversion of the Irish government to the pro-life position,  and especially the Irish hierarchy to enforce it. 

Human life begins at conception,  and must be protected until the moment of natural death. 

Please share. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Finding Peace as a Traditionalist Catholic

Re-posting this post I wrote in 1/17.   Some thoughts of which I think most if not all fellow trads can relate.  Edited for brevity.


peace-be-still-james-seward.jpg (448×322)









So I just finished watching an old 2003 EWTN interview of then Cardinal Ratzinger about the troublesome state of the Church.  At the end Raymond asked how we can maintain hope in the Church during this period of Crisis. His answer was, like the good Bavarian that he is, very simple, to maintain our "faith in the Lord, especially in the Eucharist."


I'll be the first Trad to confess this is difficult in today's Church.  There are constant temptations to despair over the Faith today, and I do give in now and then, at least to discouragements. 
Do you ever? 

Looking down deep inside, I have to admit to myself I am not entirely at peace being alive during this time in Church history, both as a Catholic within the Universal Church, and also as a traditionalist member in the Latin Mass movement.

I have to challenge myself, has my necessary adherence to Catholic tradition been drawing me closer to God?   Has attendance exclusively at the TLM and almost exclusive interaction in traditionalists circles in in Church given me greater peace, a deeper spiritual life?  Catholic tradition is integral to a living faith, but being a traditionalist in itself does not necessarily equate to a vibrant faith.  I think you would agree.  These are questions I ask myself from time to time as I navigate the Latin Mass movement itself, since attending the truly extraordinary form of the Mass beginning nearly two decades ago.  

When by all appearances the authentic liturgical, spiritual, and theological life of the mainstream Church has been largely set aside, it becomes a very relevant question--how to maintain one's faith, peace of mind, and sanity during this time, even when, as any trad priest will admit, the traditional movement itself is fraught with division and dysfunction?


I think most trads are aware of this,  but not all are okay about openly discussing it.

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The Seven Sacraments

But I'm finding myself more and more lately reminding myself that our faith is not in men, or priests, or eachother,  or the traditionalist movement,  but as Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) said, our "faith is in the Lord, especially in the Eucharist."  Focusing on the errors in the Church today, being overly preoccupied with traditionalist polemics, about which traditionalist Society is worthy of support, on the problems of Vatican II or the new Mass, one can weaken their faith in God.  I've fallen into that mentality before, and I can report firsthand that Yes, that does weaken your faith.

Traditionalism can be paradoxical.  As a movement it is necessary, for access to a lived Catholic tradition, but in my experience sometimes the focus is on the wrong things.  Just follow the threads in trad forums; they often obsessively delve into polemical topics being discussed for the umpteenth time, like a broken record. 


Or consider your experience joining a TLM parish or chapel.  Perhaps your experience is the exception, but from my own experience, and most trads I've talked to about this (online and in the flesh), the TLM community has a tendency sometimes to be semi-closed off or even privatized.  Nice people who can sometimes pick up their pitchforks in fear of the newcomer, easily explained by years of ecclesial shellshock.  When a stranger jumps into the trenches, it's understandable to raise your rifle, but later discover they share the same faith and values,  despite differences in temperament and character. 


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The trad parish/chapel is a semi-strange phenomenon to me, growing up in the parochial system.  In my experience, the group dynamic very understandably tends to turn away from the drowning,  institutional Church to private devotion, from the diocesan structures to separatist-like enclaves, or from treating the parish (or potential parish) as a "private association of the faithful" rather than what the Church says it really is/should be: a "public association of the faithful."

In general though, I don't think this is deliberate.   As individuals, I find your average traditionalist Catholic to be more virtuous than your average non-traditionalist Catholic.  After all, most are really there at the TLM with the clear intention of being a faithful, orthodox, practicing, and therefore virtuous Catholic.


But traditionalism can become a distraction.  I think of wasted mental time I myself have used up dwelling too much on the problems in the Church and the inner workings of the traditional movement. Haven't many of us trads focused too much time on these things?  


When your vocation is to being a husband, father, and professional, your priority is--or should be--daily work and prayer according to your domestic and work life. 


I guess what I'm confessing in this post is that I am not exactly 100% at peace as a traditionalist Catholic, in any sector of the Church,  which is as much my own fault as it is of our church lesdership.  Finding spiritual peace during this period is a major challenge.   Perhaps you can relate. 


I've come full circle more than once in my journey of faith.  As a teenager I studied Catholicism seriously before deciding to be confirmed, which was a kind of conversion experience.  Later embracing Tradition was another step.  Embracing the advice/point of view of Archbishop Lefebvre was another.  But, something has been stirring in me for a while to take another step.  Its hard to put in words.

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Let's put it this way.   Here's a crazy idea I'll throw out there, for a rad trad that I am: according to canon law, I belong to my territorial parish.  As liberal as it is (and it is!), there ARE jewels of traditional Catholicism to be found on its grounds.  What is stopping me from going to Adoration there, getting to know the pastor (imagine the conversations I could have with him about Catholic Tradition) or going to the occasional parish Bingo or Fish Fry?  There's normalcy in those kind of things, and true normalcy is an essential nutrient to sustain human nature.

I must admit, I've never quite fit into a traditionalist mold, or tried to.  If a guy at Mass likes wearing baby blue suit coats or green suspenders to Mass, I'm A-ok with that.   Odds are if you follow this blog and can appreciate my point of view,  for what it's worth,  you are too. 


So my final thought is, perhaps my fellow Okie Trads can relate to what I'm putting out there in this post.  Our love of Catholic tradition and the traditional liturgy is what binds us together in a special kind of friendship.  We do tend to be a bit crazed and anti-social at times (that includes yours truly), but usually its no more than mild neurosis and difficulty coping with the ecclesial situation.  My personal goal, which I'd wish for all my fellow trads, is to be at peace during this time in the Church.


Thus ends my soliloquy. Pax vobiscum!


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Monday, May 28, 2018

The Allure and Danger of Eastern Orthodoxy

Re-posted from last Fall.  This one is on the longer side. 

The Allure and Danger of Eastern Orthodoxy


Preface: this here post is written as a sign of appreciation to OkiePapist, who loaned me a laptop, which right now is saving my right thumb from developing osteoarthritis. I take my Sooner Cowboy hat off to OkiePapist. Thank you kind sir. He chose this topic, which I hope you’ll find fun and thought-provoking...



And as a Resource to Share with Catholics Considering Orthodoxy.

Intro.                                                                                                                  
I welcome Fall. It is my favorite season. As an outdoors-man, of course there’s the Fall colors, cool evenings that warrant the beloved campfire, and an excuse to switch from coffee to hot chocolate. Well who needs an excuse for hot chocolate? Especially if you spike it.

And there are the Fall events I love to attend. The Fair, Oktoberfest, Halloween hayrides, All Saints Day bonfires, and the Thanksgiving dinner.

But Fall would not be the same without a requisite stop at

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma in downtown T-town, for the annual Greek Festival. Its the first weekend in October. As in next weekend!


Interestingly, I believe at one time—being then less ecumenical—they called it the Greek Orthodox Festival, which I personally would actually prefer. Less P.C. I think. That is after all what they are celebrating. Yes, their Greek culture. I love their buttery, nutty baklava. But I also do appreciate their Orthodox Faith. Which is basically very close to the Catholic Faith btw, doctrinally speaking, more or less.

Side Note.

As a side note, it is a shame most Catholics haven’t an inkling of knowledge about the Eastern Church, or perhaps that it even exists. As for me myself, I wouldn’t have an inkling either had I not stumbled upon Eastern rites in Tulsa. I remember a trad friend from OKC once got his boxers in a bunch when I brought up going to the Byzantine Mass. He asked if it was valid or Catholic, and didn’t seem to accept my thorough explanation, as if in his mind, only the western, Latin Church has existed these past 2000 years.


Anyway, I like to drop in for an hour or two to listen to the Greek music--think the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding--and take a tour of their church, usually led by one of the bearded, married Fathers, wearing his long, wide, black robe, and large chain and cross, across his chest.

Though I have yet to see one of their bad-ass, cool-looking bishops, with the super-manly beard and the tall, wide, black hat with a kind of black veil going down the shoulders. Which reminds me of the Lithuanian Orthodox priest in Seinfeld, who tried to instruct George. Remember that episode?

               So the tour group settles into the back pew listening to the priest’s talk. Those sentimentally gazing at all the Icons, I imagine to be Catholics from the diocese. The rest look perplexed, who I imagine to be Evangelicals. But I lean forward, mystified by the priest’s talk about Icons.

The Icon. A Metaphor of Eastern Christianity.

According to Orthodox--and Eastern Catholic, btw--Iconography, the Icon is not a mere, pretty symbolic reminder of someone in heaven. Something to sentimentally gaze at. The painted Image is also a “sacramental,” which itself mystically connects us with the person that it represents, by means of us venerating it. Especially kissing it. Yup, kissing it. Saliva and all. Men and women alike.

The symbol calls to mind indirectly the presence of the person in heaven, but get this, not my idea, the image also signifies directly the saint, being literally manifested in a mystical way through that very iconographic image. Yes, it blows my mind too, and it is hard to articulate being a modern Westerner, but the same basic theological principles of sacred images are also in the Latin Church. Its just that the theology of sacred images, especially controversial in the first millenium of Christianity, were more worked out in the East.

The holy Icon is the sacred work of a Church-commissioned artist, who first meditated on the holy person they are trying to manifest on canvass. They are instructed to first meditate on the life of the Saint, or Our Lord.

On the Scriptures, Patristic writings, and theological treatises of Iconography, and the canon laws on sacred images, before meticulously and spiritually transmitting in two-dimensional form the sacred image. The end game is to represent as accurately as possible, historically and theologically, the religious reality of that person, for veneration and imitation.

Eastern Orthodoxy is Alluring.


Eastern Orthodoxy is alluring, especially for certain disenfranchised Catholics who attend the Latin Mass. There does seem to be a trend of certain trads going Orthodox. This article is partly written for them.

I know of one family that were very committed traditional Catholics, of the SSPX-persuasion, who suddenly left their chapel and joined a kind of traditionalist, “Old Calendar” version of a Russian Orthodox Chapel, that just happened to be a few miles from their neighborhood. Maybe this article might reach them.

                                                                               In fact, what they joined was a schism, on top of a schism, on top of more schism. Eastern Orthodoxy has always been divided not as much by liturgical rites and episcopal jurisdictions, as by national-politico-cultural lines and petty disputes about things like liturgical calendars. And when I say “divided” I mean certain “schisms” between Orthodox Churches. Ask an Orthodox, and I think they will say that yes that’s how it’s been since they broke with Rome around 1000 A.D.

This family joined the “true” Orthodox Church because it used the old calendar and did not participate in ecumenism. To them, almost all the mainstream Orthodox Churches are not true Churches. Kind of a sedevacantist version of an Orthodox chapel.

They were considered in schism from the mainstream Russian Orthodox Church, which itself is the subject of separation from a # of other Orthodox Churches. This family is also in schism from the mother of all Orthodox Churches, headed by the Patriarch of Constantinople in Turkey, who is considered the “first among equals” of all Orthodox bishops. It seems to have replaced for the Orthodox the Apostolic tradition of the Church of Rome having pride of place. It is an odd paradox. And not according to the teaching of the Early Church Fathers.

Another short anecdote. Recently a well respected young man converted to traditional Catholicism, but very quickly and suddenly vanished, re-converting to Eastern Orthodoxy, which I hear left people scratching their heads why. Hey guy, if you’re reading, this post is written for you too!
                 Is the Byzantine Chapel still in the Basement at St. Augustine's in north Tulsa?                                                    

I also remember attending the Byzantine Mass in Tulsa, and suddenly one Sunday there were no acolytes to serve the Divine Liturgy.  These two brothers, who were discerning a religious vocation, objected to Latinizations that had still remained despite post-conciliar liturgical reform to the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostum. That is basically the Mass (Divine Liturgy) handed down from the Apostles, in Greece, to the Eastern Catholic Church, which is also almost identically used by the Eastern Orthodox. The brothers joined the Greek Orthodox Church in downtown Tulsa, and I don’t think it was for the baklava.  Though cute Greek girls wearing skirts may have drawn them in, I wonder.

I wonder if they wound up novice monks at Mt. Athos in Greece, the spiritual, monastic Mecca for the Eastern Orthodox.  It is the Fontgombault of the Eastern Church. It almost seems like a particular phenomenon for tradition-minded Catholic men to join the Orthodox with visions of becoming a Mt. Athos monk. I suspect most end up getting married. After all, there is only so much space in that venerated monastery on the rocky hill overlooking the sea. 


                  
And this phenomenon has been talked about over and over in the online traditional Catholic forums the last 17 years that I’ve read them. Threads about this aren’t as frequent as they are about the new Mass or Pope Francis. Tbh, those threads make me yawn. 


But they pop up every couple months or so.   Often it is a young Catholic man flirting with Orthodoxy, challenging the supposedly spiritually dry Latin Rite Catholics in the forum on points of doctrine that were already settled by the Early Church Fathers themselves. Hello.

A short perusal of the classic 3 volume set The Early Church Fathers, along the lines of convert Cardinal Newman’s own inquiry about the Papacy, will verify that the original Sacred Tradition of the Church always recognized the Bishop of Rome as having “Pride of Place,” but also Universal Jurisdiction over all bishops. Yup. Universal. Jurisdiction. Those historical facts are as plain as a round Earth, or gravity causing falling objects.

The Context.

I find that any religious conversion has a context, and from what I gather that context is the declining state of the Roman Catholic Church, in particular its practical loss of ecclesial Tradition as a three-dimensional, organic dimension of church life.

The Catholic-converting-to-Orthodoxy is disillusioned and confused, as is everyone else. They yearn for the sacred, the mystical, the timeless. They want a theology, spirituality, and liturgy that transcends ideology. Something that goes above and beyond the more human, naturalistic, and rationalistic mindset that has sometimes taken over parts of the Latin Church. They rightfully are turned off by the dry, Thomistic “manuals,” the short-sighted focus on St. Thomas himself in contrast to his Wisdom, all Scholastic and Patristic writers, and the very quick, drone-like way the traditional Roman rite could sometimes be celebrated in the past. And sometimes still today, to be honest.

The Catholic-converting-to-Orthodoxy is fatigued by church politics, and polemical writings. The Pontifical Magisterium is not what the first thing they tend to think of when they think of the Faith; rather, the Gospel of Jesus Christ pops up on their screen. It is a false dichotomy, but I can understand it. Considering the state of the Latin Church, I sympathize with them.

The Alluuure.

While turning away from a perceived Western rationalism, they turn toward the Allure of the East. Part of that allure is obvious to the Latin Mass Catholic. The Eastern Liturgy is out of this world beautiful, enchanting, and spiritually penetrating. It is stable, without liturgical dancers, incense bowls, or clown Masses. It is basically how St. Paul worshiped with the first Christians in the first churches in Antioch, Greece. They used sacred images, what would become the Eastern chant--which sounds quite haunting, in a good way--and tons of candles.

Listen to some Eastern Christian chant HERE.



It was/is a sacred festival of the senses, culminating in receiving the Eucharist under the appearance of leavened bread, placed on a little spoon, which is dipped into the Precious Blood, and consumed by the worthy believer. I can tell you from my Byzantine rite experience, Holy Communion in that manner is most edifying.

Btw, let’s call Msgr. Brankin and bring it back to Tulsa already! If it was once at the FSSP-shared parish church before, how about support it being offered on occasion at least at Most Precious Blood? I would so be there. Fr. Sherman, the former celebrant of this rite, can only do so much, considering he has now passed on to the hereafter. RIP, Fr. Gary!


“Wisdom be attentive!”

- a common prayer in the Divine Liturgy.


The Danger.

But I think part of the allure of the Christian East, is a hypnotic gravitation to the East itself. To the Oriental, Mystical, and Esoteric, if not also Gnostic. It reminds me of secular Americans turning to the East, that is towards Eastern, Asian religion. And lets face it, if your soul is churning over and over in search of the transcendental, Buddhism, while horribly pagan, is also very mystical, humanly speaking.

John Senior meditated on this drift to the East in his must-read-for-all-trads-who-dare-call-themselves-trads, The Death of Christian Culture (its a must read folks). Modern, western man has fallen into a perpetual state of “Ennui,” or deep, lifeless boredom over existence itself. The Catholic-converting-to-Orthodoxy is probably wrestling with this same sort of Ennui. They want to come alive spiritually. And sometimes they may not find that at some Latin Mass chapels where the main Mass is a Low Mass, or spiritual piety might gravitate to a 1950’s-ism form of externalistic piety. These Catholics on the verge of schism from the Apostolic See, are violently reacting to modernity everywhere they experience it. And I don’t blame them for that internal reaction.

But flip the coin over, and truth be told, the simplistic ideology ingrained into the catechumen to Orthodoxy is this:

1. It is said, the Church of Rome is bad, bad, and bad. And bad. It is a dry well of heresies and worldliness. And this was centuries before Vatican II.

2. It is said, the True spirituality is in the East. Just Eastern liturgy and spirituality, and monks and families. Roman liturgy? The spirituality of St. Theresa of Avila or St. Ignatius of Loyola? Wha? A variety of religious orders with varying degrees of contemplative vs. active emphasis, to meet the varying needs of the Church? Too complex. Keep it simple silly. The Desert Fathers didn’t form Societies of Apostolic Life, man. They just retreated and prayed the psalms, as every good Christian should do. Well, you get the picture.

3. So repudiate the Holy Father, confess your heresy, embrace only the first 7 Ecumenical Councils (forget about the other 16), and shazam, you’re Orthodox.

Yet the divide is a little deeper than that. Yes, there is the bad, false, and ugly in the West; but there is also the good, true, and beautiful. Likewise, yes there is the good, true, and beautiful in the East; but there is also the bad, false and ugly too. That needs to be admitted and looked at.

Heresies.

Where do I begin? If there are sins against the divine Church within the Church itself, as in heresy, then of course there is going to be heresy in the Eastern Church. But what remedied the problem and cut off the dead vines from the tree? When Eastern Christians were/are united to the Church of Rome, the answer to that question is divinely simple and divinely inspired.

The answer is the Christ-instituted Pope. The central authority. The Father who properly orders the Household, while the Mother and children submit and obey. It is a principle of nature and human nature, as the Greek philosophers taught, that for a household to survive and be properly ordered and united, it requires a Final authority to make certain decisions that only one person can make, not two or three or the many. But for certain critical, life-preserving executive decisions which require some kind of formal, God-instituted, central authority, the buck must stop with one man.
                                                                F
or the Church instituted by Christ, that man is the Pope, the Holy Father, the Bishop of Rome, the Patriarch of the West, the Servant of the Servants of God. He is is the Vicar of Christ whose final word solves very tough doctrinal and disciplinary questions and restores unity. And thank God He gave our Church this source of authority and unity. 

But there is no such thing that truly corresponds to what we call Pope, in the Eastern Orthodox Church. There is a Coptic Patriarch who uses the word in his title, but the meaning is very general in the sense of “Father.” “Pope” comes from “Papa” meaning “Father.” He is the Father of Egyptian Orthodox Christians.

But consider this, in the Eastern Orthodox Church, as it is called, there are many unsolved doctrinal conflicts that for 1000 years remaine unsolved and divisive. Artificial birth control--something intrinsically contrary to the natural law design of the procreative act--is allowed in certain circumstances. Well, its not like their parish priest is asking how often parishioners use condoms. Wide use of birth control is tacitly permitted. If you thought Pope Francis was contradictory about the Church’s teachings for the “Communion-for-the-Divorced-and-Remarried-without-Annulment-living-in Adultery” category, look at the Orthodox Church.

Remember, Our Lord ended Old Testament divorce and forbade it. His teaching clearly means “til-death-do-us-part.” About every Orthodox bishop will admit that in theory. But in pastoral practice nearly every Orthodox bishop publicly allows in their parishes a man to divorce his wife and remarry another woman in a state of adultery, and still receive Holy Communion in good standing with the community. Divorce-and-remarriages are in fact allowed. They are allowed up to 3 “marriages.” The 2nd or 3rd aren’t considered sacramental, but they are publicly blessed by the Orthodox Church.

Btw, this is probably what is in store in the future for us Catholics, after the next couple Synods or so.

But what any good Pentecostal will tell you--which trads often are compared to--marriage is for life. A man leaves his wife for another woman, that is what the bible calls adultery. And by allowing this 3 times, and to still receive the Holy Mysteries, objectively that is officially permitting and condoning adultery and Eucharistic sacrilege. Kyrie eleison (use of Greek intended).

Even if I were to be allured by Orthodoxy, those glaring contradictions would stop me in my tracks.

And while Eastern spirituality to a certain depth is refreshingly spiritual, it is because of the nature of autonomous, conflicting, Orthodox Churches, and that whole, fractionated, 1000 year old, ecclesial paradigm (before 1000 A.D. East and West were united under the Apostolic See), that the most bizarre and strangest notions of piety and spiritual practice reveal themselves.

Without one central authority representing Christ on Earth, nutty, pharisaical religious practices, that all religious and non-religuous people dislike, will grow and spread through the mainstream. Just as pietism or quietism or charismaticism represent the nuttiness of Protestantism, so the world of Orthodoxy also has its special monk gurus, hidden secret theology books that the elect are privileged to discover, and extreme forms of asceticism that St. Anthony of the Desert would have thought were whacked out.

This is not my opinion by the way. It is a historical, religious reality in Orthodoxy that any recognized theologian or academic of religion will describe.


Solutions?

I am already being long-winded, so I’ll just enumerate a few ideas.

1. Promote Eastern Catholicism. The Byzantine Liturgy under Rome. Compared to the Latin church, the Eastern Catholic side of the Catholic Church is pretty darn traditional, even with their somewhat watered down, conciliar liturgical reforms, and ethnic enclaves.

2. Reform the Latin Church. Bring back Tradition so religious, believing Catholics will have something to sink their teeth into, and a reason not to leave. Especially the traditional Roman rite. And no matter how millenial or trans-human people today may have become, the primordial need in human nature for the sacred and mystical will kick in. Many young people will fall in love with the traditional Mass. They already are.

3. Use “true ecumenism” to reunite the Orthodox to Rome. Now is the hour. This is the 100th Anniversay of Our Lady at Fatima’s Apparitions, where she wanted a conversion specifically of Russia. It was no coincidence that Russia was and is the largest contingent of Eastern Orthodox. I heard that the famous Fr. Gruner (RIP) Fatima Center is heading to Moscow!!! They want to bring the message of Fatima to the doorsteps of the Kremlin (or whatever the former Soviet Union calls it now).


Well this has been a fun piece, and a pleasure to accommodate OkiePapist’s requests, without whose laptop loan certainly this verbose piece would not have been possible. Thanks again OkiePapist. 

Saturday, May 26, 2018

The movie "Catholics"


Edit:  re-posting this from a year ago.  Taking a break from writing at the moment.  Good, long work week, but exhausted.  Resting, swimming, drinking my low carb go-to fermented beverage of choice.   Sunday will be High Mass and lunch at Ollie's Restaurant in Berryhill near the FSSP parish.  We'll visit cemeteries Monday, then chill (in the literal sense of the word) at the must-go-to Oklahoma oasis Blue Hole Spring.  

I was chatting today in the comment section of yesterday's post with my fellow Trad Blogger Oakes Spalding about the cinematic history of Martin Sheen.  I'm musing about this as I sit here another night running the next Netflix episode of The West Wing.  Sheen is about as liberal as they come, but he has some deep Catholic roots, at least culturally, and I respect his style and gravitas on screen.  That includes an old movie from the 1970s he starred in called "Catholics," later renamed "Conflict."


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I agree with Oakes the end leaves something to be desired, but I think this film almost qualifies as a much-watch for trad families, or at least it deserves a spot in the dvd collection.  I picked up a few copies once at the dollar store to hand out.

For those who haven't seen this picture, it is about an Irish monastery that refuses to say the New Mass and sticks to the Latin Mass.  Sheen's character is a liberation theology, secularist Vatican priest investigating the traditionalist stance of the community.

One favorite scene from the movie shows the laity gathered on a hill while one of the priest monks offers the traditional Mass on a rock altar.   It is a stoic but heroic scene as Irish trads gather in cloudy, rainy climate typical of Ireland, solemnly observing the ancient rite.   I also liked the scene where they carry out a large, baked salmon into the refectory as the monks relish sharing a piece of newly caught fish.  The best scene to me is when the abbot, the liberal priest, and an old priest monk are talking in a stable as the old monk gently feeds a baby lamb while admonishing the young liberal Sheen about a secularized Mass facing the people in the vernacular.

Let me know what you think of it if you've seen it, or check out some clips here: