Saturday, December 28, 2013

I'm Alive...

2013,.....The year of two Popes, the so-called Quebec values Charter, and GSP's retirement.  Where to begin?  First off, yes, I've been away, more like very busy and regular blogging has become a wish, more like a fantasy.   So that being said, guess I'll start with what I've been up to, and where I'm headed! It will be a short post, but a post to let you all know that I'm alive and well!

My second year as an internal seminarian(external my first year) and to tell you the truth, I couldn't be happier!  The priesthood and seminary life offers many challenges and Our Lord is holding up a mirror to see all my inadequacies, deficiencies and weaknesses.  This year has been ripe with emotional turmoil, friends getting married, always being 'on call' for everybody, and living my diocesan assignment as part of the PAVO.  (Pastorale des vocations)  Loneliness can at times set in, (even other desires, girls, and money) but trusting in God has been an incredibly fulfilling experience.  I hope to return to more consistent blogging in the future, and I promise that I will issue a post on this Quebec Charter,..(Every time I speak of it, I get the urge to go to the bathroom..)

In the meantime, I wish everyone a very happy and Holy Christmas season!  May the joy of Christ, born a new in our hearts and lives continue to be the source of Grace for a troubled world!  Continue praying, continue training!

God bless!

-Marco

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Blogosphere debate,...

Time to weigh in on what is (in my opinion), a high end pissing contest between Catholics in/on the blogosphere.  Three questions that I, the man beast Optimusmastro will address are 1.  Does hell exist?  2.  Do people ‘go there?’  and 3.  Can we reasonably hope that hell is empty?  Before I answer, let me give the pretext that I, and most men with testosterone were force fed during the ‘Cabbage Patch Jesus era’ that we grew up with!  Remember going to a funeral where Fr ‘Nice’ complete with a colourful stole (no chasuble!  Too Roman!!! ) with pictures of butterflies and other crap on it, delivered his sugary coated ‘homily’ of our loved one who died, in Heaven cheerfully feeding squirrels and singing with Mary Poppins…   Then freely accepting money to offer Masses for him!  I mean, why Fr McFruitloop?  He’s in Heaven, he doesn’t need prayers.  It wasn’t a funeral Mass, it was a canonization!  (Even though he died suddenly in a car crash, while coming back from a drug deal..) A little harsh?  It needs to be.

The purpose of priesthood, the meat and potatoes is to shepherd souls, that God entrusts to them.  As seminarians, we are training to prepare for that reality.  Priests sherpherd by assisting the local Bishop to administer the Sacraments of Christ, Offer Holy Mass, preach the Word, and lead people to Jesus.  It is Jesus who Saves!  However, when the above scenario takes place, (it used to regularly throughout the 1970s and 80s..) We should stop and ask the priest point blank;  ‘What does Jesus save us from?’  Think about it,.. If universal Salvation is the norm, then why would we need the Mass?  Morals?  What kind of sicko psychologically unbalance freak would give up sex for nothing?  Who cares!  That generation turned the Christ of the Gospels, Our Ressurected Lord, into a bubblegum pink unicorn who wants to hug you.  (Unless you pollute,..don’t ever pollute or question pollution and global warming climate change.)….

My friends, the battle is real, Salvation is at stake.  Jesus calls men to be priests.  To offer Sacrifice, the one Sacrifice, Calvary made present in our time and space.   OF Mass, EF Mass, Maronite, Anglican Ordinariate, Eastern Divine Liturgy,…ALL have the Sacrifice!  Why?  Because Heaven and hell are at stake!

One player, (We will call him the Intellectual Thomist) while doing a video, states that we can have a reasonable hope that hell is empty.  This notion, often attributed to Hans Urs Von Balthasar, can be mis-interpreted to mean Universal Salvation.  The reality is, that no…(despite the fact that it could lead someone to believe that,especially in this day and age.  The anecdote regarding Fr McFruitloop’s canonization/funeral was/is a reality that far too many of us experience.  That being said, it is true that many Saints and Mystics have been shown visions of hell and yes, there are souls there.  The question of ‘hope’ though seems absent.  To ‘hope’ is an entirely different story. 

The second player, (Magic Hair Man) responds with videos criticising the content of the former (Intellectual Thomist) saying that ‘Hoping’ that hell is empty is unreasonable.  Again, in context, this goes back to the post Council insanity, and Fr McFruitloop’s canonization.  From a pastoral perspective, what would magic hair man say to a mother who lost her son?  Perhaps the son didn’t live a holy life?  We cannot pronounce the soul in hell, but we can recourse to God’s mercy.  This won’t change the reality of the soul in question, as at the moment of death, judgement is pronounced.  It will however give recourse and comfort to the loved ones. 

I believe that this issue if one of competing extremes, and I can easily sympathize with both points of view.   Does hell exist?  Yes, Jesus spoke of it.  Do people go there?  Yes, as a consequence of free will, God accepts the choice of those who do not follow His commandments.  Can we reasonably hope that hell is empty?  Hope?  Yes, we must hope!  Reasonably,…ughhh,.. sorry.  Although God is merciful, I highly doubt that it is empty.  (Not to pronounce judgement.)

My friends, we need to be united… EF, OF whatever, be Faithful to Christ and His Church, then let the chips fall where they may.   I am reminded of the prayer to Our Mother of Perpetual Help,..



Our Lady of Perpetual Help,…………………………….ora pro nobis!


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Prayer, Pigeons and Injury,...

Sometimes I feel as if I’m in a vacuum.  My thoughts, erratic, my posture broken.  Alas, an injury, a hyperextension of my elbow from being trapped in an armbar.  My prayerlife a little shaken, can’t train, just let my body heal.  Ahh the ego, that bit of male pride stuck in me… Now?  Gotta heal and take it easy, can’t lift….Rooaaaarrrr!  You see, this is my break, a reading week.  My plan was to pray, study, train and repeat.  This injury forced a detour...

God uses this moments to calm me down.  The enemy if he can’t get to you, will keep you busy and away from prayer life.  God is a jealous God, and wants let me really spend time with Him in prayer.  Message received.  


A short post, some odds and ends… Discernement is going well, although the ‘What ifs?’ seem to pop up especially during times of injury or inactivity.  Mass, Breviery, Rosary, all good, yet sometimes I feel as if the sky is closed. Not being able to train though is frustrating,..  This squirrel out my window is annoying me greatly, so do pigeons....(sky rats)  Seeing old friends has been good... Therapeutic in a sense.  

I will return with something a little more substantial later,..

Chillin' with my old Seminarian brother Xavier,..another dude who needs action... 

St Jude.......................................................ora pro nobis!




Monday, October 14, 2013

But uhhh 'Bro,.' All u do iz Pray Bro,..'

What’s it like?  What do you guys do all day?  Are there women in your classes? Are you guys allowed to have women visitors?  All awesome questions, and all questions that I will hope to answer a little bit within this post.  Obviously my experience is from my particular lens, so in a sense this is a very subjectivist blog post.

My day begins usually between 4:15 – 4:30am.  After a quick visit to the third floor Oratory chapel, I say ‘Goodmorning’ to Jesus and offer Him my day.  I usually stay for about 5mins.  Then I go outside for my morning jog.  Usually I’m back by about 5am, shower, shave, and brush my teeth, check my email/facebook then head to the ‘refectory’ for a morning coffee where I meet two other ‘morning’ confreres.  Usually around 6:20am we go our separate ways, I will go outside and pray my Rosary or just contemplate Jesus.  (In the winter, I’m usually before the Blessed Sacrament).  By about 7:20am, I head to the main chapel where the community gathers together to pray Laudes or assist at Mass.  (The Seminary tries to mirror a parish setting, so that sometimes Mass is in the morning, and sometimes at 5pm the afternoon.)

At 8am, more or less, the community heads to the refectory for breakfast, whereby we sit at table, laugh and joke, sometimes even stress about whatever awaits whether it be a class or otherwise.  Classes start at 9am and last until noon.  Then it is midday prayer, followed by lunch.  Our classes fall into two categories, philosophy and Theology, with seminars on psychology and human relations.  We have several committees in the house, the Co-ordination committee, basically the president of the seminarian student body and members, who act as a link between the directors and the seminarian life.  We have the Liturgy committee, essentially which plans the in house Liturgies, the Service Committee (general maintenance) and the Welcoming committee, who handle visitors. We also have the Sports Committee which plans the Thursday afternoon hockey match. The afternoons can be taken up with meetings and planning, or pastoral work while at times they are also open.  Does that mean there is nothing to do?  In my case, during the free time, I will study and hit the gym.  We gather again around 5pm for either a Rector’s conference with a theme. (or Mass) Supper at 6pm, then Vespers at 7pm, followed by a music practice, lectio Divina, or any other small workshop or another pastoral work such as ‘café trottoire’ (sidewalk café,..an outreach to the homeless and marginalized, drug addicts, etc…).  I usually go to bed by 10:30pm if I don’t have Café Trottoir, or any other work.  Sometimes I will study, then go back to the third floor oratory, say goodnight to Jesus, pray Compline and retire. 

As far as women in our classes?  YES!  The academic wing is called the ‘Institution de formation Theologique de Montreal.’  It functions as does any other University so there are external students. (I was once one of them!  When I was negotiating with God not to go into the priesthood! Lolol!!!)  Back then, I was seeing a great girl, and worked as a trainer, so good money too.
Within the Seminary, we can have visitors, (many of my friends have come by) and YES, we can have women visit us as well.  As an aside, it is important for future priests to have female friendships, even the guys like me, (who ‘had a life’ so to speak…) in order to maintain a proper balance anthropologically speaking.  There is, however, a difference between a girl visiting you at the seminary in your room ‘cell’ with the door closed at night. 

Life in the Seminary is about living in community, and while we all pray together, study and eat together, you also have to deal with personality clashes,.. The above examples need to be counterbalanced with burping together, farting together and getting on each other nerves together.  My life is prayer, community, study, training and pastoral works.  Do I miss my old life?  At times, of course!  Through it all, it is nothing compared to what Jesus is giving me now.  Discernement is tough, priesthood is tough, and we need men to step up to the plate and accept.  Be willing to follow that ‘itch’ inside you, until it can be truly scratched.  A calling is Supernatural! 





Same guy in all the pics,. Pastores Dabo Vobis= healthy balance!


St Jean Viannay..................................................Ora pro nobis!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Take a Breath, Reflect, and don't React...

Sometimes it can become easier to throw in the towel and just give up.  The gains that ‘we’ the more Traditional minded acquired over the last two Pontificates, (Opus Dei prelature, Motu Propio Ecclesia Dei and Motu Propio Summorum Pontificum) it would seem are now in danger especially according to some current trends of thought(paranoia) freely whirling about in different Sacristies throughout the world.  Gentle Pope Francis is gonna undo everything, turn back the clock to 1975 and resurrect the clown ‘Mass.’  To be fair, I sincerely believe that not to be the case, still I sincerely believe that this is an excellent opportunity to undergo Sanctification.  What can we do to further the Universal Call to Holiness (Vatican II)? 

Well for one, we can stop acting like the most arrogant and hardened ‘I know better than the Pope crowd’ that sometimes we can all fall into.  We can pray for our Holy Father, obey and use that to unite our sufferings to the Cross of Christ.  We can, as the Holy Father requested, ‘Go out and make a mess!’  So here is a battle plan!  When news (usually a slanted editorial) disturbs you, take it to prayer!  The enemy uses occasions like this to make us fall into sin. For some it can be booze, women, drugs, etc… Gentlemen, you know what I’m talking about, high level stress = Pornography/masturbation.  Then when it’s over (the act), we are angrier than ever at the latest Liturgical abuse, seek to blast the hierarchy and claim that we, and others who think like us know better.  We fall into depression and despair, and forget that the Holy Spirit is still in charge, and Pope Michael, Pope Gregory the 17th, the brothers Dimond, Pope Pius 13th, the sedevacante, the sedeimpede, the SSPX, even the Stay Puffed Marshmellow Man, all look like like a salvific end for our own sanity. The end result?  We are deep in mortal sin and cut off… The cure?  The Sacrament of Reconciliation and a great Spiritual Director.  To use a personal anecdote, I too questioned an awful lot of stuff, (especially recently) and without hesitation my Spiritual Director asked when my prayer life was cut off.

Prayer.

The oxygen of the soul!  No doubt about it.  A prayer life is constantly bookending your day (as St Paul says, To pray constantly…) with Laudes and Vespers.  Daily Mass if you can, Adoration (even prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament) and of course the Rosary!  A trick that I use, is to meditate before the Blessed Sacrament upon the Gospel of the day.  My day is then given its orientation in God and thus when a ‘down’or a disturbance in my soul interferes, I can tell the thought is not from God.  (Think of St John of the Cross, and discern.)  In prayer is where we praise and thank God for our very being, and whereby we can ask for the Grace to understand.  I am reminded of the prayer attached to Our Lady of Perpetual Help,..’If it be your Will that we should suffer longer,..’ 

Work

In my case, academics and Pastoral works.  Sometimes listening to a person tell us their problems can shed a light on our inadequacies.  People are hurting, and an absence of Faith sees the confessional empty, but long line ups at the made for profit ‘self help psychological guru of the day.’  What’s most perplexing is that even practicing Catholics who claim a relationship with Jesus, will justify seeing a ‘shrink’ but not confession, even though they will still spill their souls to these people.  The sad part is that the guru can’t offer Absolution.  Back to the work dynamic, sometimes keeping busy, can be therapeutic, yet again, we can’t go too far.  If the devil can’t tempt you, he’ll keep you busy. (and thus, too busy for prayer.) 
I truly believe that the Pope when critiquing pelagianism, did so after critiquing the other extreme, about making the Church an NGO.  He went after extremes, a point that Benedict also went after!  A great strategy for the more Traditional minded, (myself included) is to show the Holy Father that despite our love of Liturgy, that we do have a heart for social issues.  If we love through the eyes of Jesus, then we need to show it!  Sure, we are mobilized on Life and Family issues, but what can we do to show the ‘social justice’ crowd, that we too care for the poor?  We pray Rosaries, but can we not set up a soup kitchen?  Give a little or our time?  The question is not ‘Either ‘or’ but rather a ‘Both’ /And!’…

Exercise

Well, in my opinion, this is crucial!  In a day and age when we take better care of our cars than we do our bodies.  Training is good for you, it makes you stronger and can train the Will as well.  How many times are you tired and your psychology takes over, you gotta get it in!  That is training!  Resistance, weights, heavy bag, kettle bells, battle ropes, sled dragging, bench pressing and squatting!  If you can take care of your body, your discipline will grow along with your will power!  Those days when you live a down, are frustrated?  Take it out in the gym!  Leave it all there, hit the irons and hit them hard!

A few years back, I lambasted an arch liberal who disrespectfully used to refer to Pope Benedict XVI as ‘Papa Ratzinger’ or ‘Pope Ratzinger.’  It was one of the most disgusting and harsh treatments of an office, (a Divinely instituted one at that! St Matt 16:18) that I had ever heard.  Now ‘we’ the most Liturgically minded find within our ranks people criticizing Pope Francis, even calling him ‘Papa’ Bergoglio?  C’mon!  The Holy Spirit chose him and regardless of what happens, we can offer it all to God in reparation for our own sinfulness!  The battle plan of prayer, penance, and exercise is a no brainer and has been offered to us down through the ages. 

To borrow a line from ‘Big’ John McCarthy; ‘LET’s GET it ONNN!!!


Sacred Heart of Jesus,……………………….Have Mercy on us!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Lumen Gentium(A walk through), Mary and Francis

                              
I guess this blog will be more of a walk through the recesses of my own thoughts, trying to speculate and piece together what is my opinion.  To be sure, it is just that, my opinion. 

I think I’ve resisted writing a full post about Vatican II as it was intended, however I fully believe that the time has come in order to shed some light and a ‘How to’ so that it reads in continuity with the previous Councils of the Church.  While everyone remembers Pope Emeritus Benedict, in his final address to the priests in Rome, distinguished between the actual Council and the Council of the media, people forget that a major point of contention dear to many Catholics is the hermeneutic of continuity and the role of Mary in the Church.  ‘Lumen Gentium,’ The Dogmatic Constitution of the Church, is the first written text to address specifically Mary.  Before we begin, let’s set the stage.  First off, there are no dogmatic definitions and it is written in what is a ‘pastoral’ language.  Secondly, the sexual revolution is in full swing, women going to work in the wake of the second world war, and thirdly, especially in the west, the Communist threat is building.  (Cuban missile crisis).  As well the teachings of Vatican II do not use ‘ex’ cathedra language because that was not its intent.  Vatican II is meant to reach the world, and presupposes that the Truths do not change.  See the opening address by Pope John XXIII.  The reality that this hasn’t happened yet is not because of Vatican II, ‘ambiguities’ or ‘Spirit of VII’ or whatever, it is because of sinful people with an agenda, demolishing the Church from the inside.  It took 300 years for Trent to be implemented fully in Quebec, it shouldn’t shock anyone that Vatican II is only just beginning.  The issue today is one of Mass media, and many more ‘freemasons.’ (Even Pope Francis acknowledged that,..)  Did Vatican II cause a priest shortage and demolish the Church?  No, but an argument can be made that it served as a cataclyst launchpad for an agenda ridden ideology to hijack the Church.

Let us begin with a base schema of the Textual Corpus of Vatican II, basically how we can read it.  We begin with God who reveals Himself in Jesus Christ through Revelation.  This comes to us by transmission in a Document called Dei Verbum.  It affirms both Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture as having both the same font of Truth as its source.  For our protestant friends, this means that Vatican II affirms and explains the Catholic position that the Bible didn’t and couldn’t fall out of the sky, all wrapped up with a leather bound ‘Divine’ Table of contents. 

From this document, we can now understand, our two Constitutions on the Church, namely Lumen Gentium and Sancrosanctum Concilium.  The first is composed of eight chapters, each with a specific point to address;  ‘Lumen Gentium’ means ‘Light of the World!  Already the Church in Her Divine Constitution presupposes a Christocentric approach.  Let’s go through them, shall we? 

1.      Church as Mystery
2.      Church as ‘People of God.’ (All the baptized)
3.      Church as Hierarchical.  (The favorite of the heterodox crowd)
4.      Church as Laity
5.      Church ‘Universal Call to Holiness’
6.      The Religious
7.      The Eschatological dimension
8.      Mary

I think it is important to highlight the Marian dimension.  If there was a ‘hot button’ topic at the Council, this topic was akin to speaking about the benefits of Marxism while attending a Bible tent revival in the deep south of the USA.  Mary was formally given the title ‘Mater Ecclesia’ as a compromise.  One school of thought was that ‘Co-redemptrix’ and ‘mediatrix’ as titles (5th Marian dogma?) were not ready to be accepted at that time.  This is where this walkthough becomes a little personal, not as Optimusmastro but as Marco, a seminarian. 

Mary, in the economy of Salvation already co-operates with Christ, by simply saying ‘Yes’ to God by her ‘Magnificat.’ (St Luke 1)  In this light, can now be read, not only her Immaculate Conception but all the way to Her Assumption and eventual crowning as Queen of Heaven.  Mary participates by suffering with her Son.  She stands at the foot of the Cross and was given to us by Jesus Himself. (St John’s Gospel.)  She intercedes at Cana, and She appears with a Crown in the Apocalypse of St John (Revelation.)  Regardless of these realities, our current ecumenical situation finds ourselves in dialog with protestants. That being said, defining as Co-redemptrix would have fundaMENTALists doing handstands frothing at the mouth, as they would hear ‘Co-equal’ instead.  Can you picture the CNN interviews with such ‘scholars’ as Bob Jones III and Benny Hinn?  It would be entertaining,..(I digress).  Since Biblical times, then there have been countless apparitions of Our Lady, from Our Lady of the Pillar, (To St James) all the way to Our Lady of Fatima, (1917).  One constant, is that throughout all of the CHURCH APPROVED apparitions, the message is always Christocentric, she points to Jesus! 

At Fatima, Our Lady gave three ‘secrets’ with which, depending upon who you listen to have either been completed, not fulfilled or somewhere in between.  A sticking point has been Russia.  Has Russia been consecrated?  Pope Pius XII consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart, subsequently, Pope John Paul II did the same.  One theory is that consecrating Russia by itself would cause an Ecumenical nightmare from the perspective of the Russian Orthodox Church.  Another theory is that this consecration must take place in communion with the world’s bishops, and in this light, it is safe to assume that back in the 1980s, not everyone was on the same page.  Now what does any of this have to do with Pope Francis?

Well,…since his election to the chair of Peter, his first visit was to the Church of St Mary Major in Rome, bringing flowers to the high Altar.  He has since asked that he be consecrated to Our Lady of Fatima, he will consecrate the world this coming October 13th  to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Now knowing this, according to the media, he has approved gay actions (nope) thinks abortion is okay (nope) and believes atheists are going to Heaven. (nope.)  According to Catholic sources, he has since his Papacy began;

-Reaffirmed Church Teaching against women’s ordination.  (same airplane interview where he supposedly was open to homosexual marriages.  Sadly the media must of all went to the washroom at the same time when he cited Ordinatio Sacerdotalis?)
-Publically rebuked the LCWR in the USA, thereby backing the CDF findings.
-Has mentioned the presence of ‘masons’ and a homosexual lobby in the Vatican.
-Has mentioned satan more than any other Pope in recent memory.
-Consecrated the Vatican (invited Pope Emeritus Benedict) to St Michael the Archangel.
-Publically criticized Archbishop Mueller’s personal opinions of ‘Liberation Theology.’
-Publically endorsed and reconfirmed Msgr Guido Marini, against the wishes of the Italian bishops who wanted him gone.  Warned of extremism but nothing that Pope Benedict XVI didn’t already say either.
-Theologically endorsed by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (‘Theologically we are in agreement.’) 
(To be fair, I doubt that Liturgically they are,…)
-Excommunicated a dissident priest in Australia who promoted women’s ordination, pro choice pro gay marriage, and gave Communion to a dog.  (Again, certain media outlets didn’t openly wonder how he is so fluffy, smiley and cuddly, yet did something like this.)
-Finally, Cardinal Raymond Burke still at the Apostolic Signatura.…nuff said!

Perhaps as some people on the extreme right are wondering, he is a Pope of contradictions, or maybe he is a crafty old school Jesuit? 

How do we tie in Lumen Gentium, Mary and Francis all together? Well, after some prayer, this is my OPINION, nothing more.  It stems from my Faith in the Church, that the Holy Spirit  guides Her and that ultimately, the Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph.  I believe that Pope Benedict resigning means that the 2nd Vatican Council has been given its proper orientation within the hermeneutic of continuity.  Pope John Paul II, gave us and reasserted the Catechism, when dogmas such as ‘Purgatory’ were called into question.  Pope Benedict XVI corrected and set into motion proper Liturgical understanding and reform.  Pope Francis will usher in the real Vatican II the way the Holy Spirit wants, not the way Fr McFruitloop and his merry band of lesbian universalists want it. 

Back to Lumen Gentium,.. I think I'll need a dozen more posts to develop it more!

I smell Co-Redemptrix…

Just sayin’



Our Lady of Fatima,…………………………….ora pro nobis!











Thursday, September 12, 2013

Vatican/Wag the Dog...

Catholic Church declares salvation for atheists!  Yup, that was one headline, and I won’t even bother cite the source because it is so completely ludicrous that it doesn’t warrant a backlink to a news outfit so completely left of center and agenda ridden that it can make George Orwell green with envy.   In 2000, the Vatican released ‘Dominus Iesus’ a theological document clarifying certain positions with regard to person’s outside the visible Communion of the Catholic Church, while under the Pontificate of John Paul II signed by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and thus began a flood of ‘Catholic Church changes’ headlines complete with spin doctoring par excellence!  (And you thought I was gonna reference Pope Francis!,.;)) 

‘Dominus Iesus’ was released to reign in certain ecuMENTALists relativising everything.  It contained nothing new, and still maintained that the Catholic Church possesses the fullness of Salvation.  Still, the media, complete with its editorial lapdogs rushed to interview every protestant, muslim and Buddhist they could find, in order for them to comment on the mean old Catholic Church once again being medieval. 

In 2005, then Pope Benedict invited his buddy Hans Kung to the Vatican for a private 3 hour chat.  Similarly, the headlines began with ‘God’s Rottweiler getting soft’ and ‘Pope Ratzinger develops his ‘pastoral’ side.  Again, this time in 2006, then Pope Benedict made an academic  comment in an academic setting (Regensburg) referencing an 11th century Caliph… It took the media blitz of 48hours and lo and behold, worldwide protests calling for the Pope to be beheaded.  Sigh,..

Enter Pope Francis.  On an airplane coming back from World Youth Day, he cites the Catechism of the Catholic Church with regard to people suffering from homosexual orientation.  ‘If they seek God and to do good, who am I to judge? (paraphrased.)  He did not say, that the Church will reconsider gay marriage, or any of Her other teachings.  Recently, he wrote a letter to the Italian Press, and well, I’m happy that I understand Italian!  You would have thought the Pope canonized atheists!  The Church’s teaching regarding all those outside communion is the following!

First from the Church Fathers;

Ignatius of Antioch:  (Letter to the philedelphians)  Those outside visible communion.

Clement of Alexandria:  (Miscallenies 1:5 208)  Speaks of philosopher attempting to find Truth. (Arche)

Point through all of this?  That all religions are not equal.  The Catholic Church is the means to Salvation, and those outside of Her, should they attain Heaven, are not saved by their protestant faith, but by those Catholic elements in it those communities that are a means of Salvation.  Can one set sail for Europe on a rowboat?  The short answer is YES!  However, there chances of getting there are greatly reduced.  The fact remains that all the available Grace open to them in the ordinary sense will not be there.  So in common speak,..an 8 year old boy living in the southwestern Pacific island of yet undiscovered Klpxgs, speaking the language of ‘mookmook’ yet seeking to achieve the good that his conscience, in conformity with natural law desires can attain Salvation by Christ, in a way known only to Himself.  I firmly believe this, The Church believes this, and St Thomas Aquinas believed this!  We are Saved by Grace!  The ordinary form of this is found in Jesus’s ONE HOLY CATHOLIC and APOSTOLIC Church.  God will be our judge. 

My friends, Pope Francis said absolutely nothing new, and yes atheists can be Saved.  Invincible Ignorance.  Are they free, and in clarity?  Two questions to ask when presenting the Gospel.  On a side note, let’s have some fun with the mass media, who is clearly pitting Pope Francis against Pope Emeritus Benedict,…Here we go!  Muahahaha!!! By the way, I read, and receive an awful amount of email, but always make time for Pope Francis' homilies;

On the 'ordination' of women?  Gasp! He's 'conservative! Quite hide that and don't publish it!   Gosh that Pope Francis likes to smile but he's against women's ordination?  I just can't believe it... hehehe...

On the Hierarchy/Magisterium of the Catholic Church?  Gasp! He's called out the heretic nuns on the bus!! I need to brew myself another pot of Sanka, by jove!  We were supposed to have elected in a 'Pope' who wouldn't 'Pope' in such an ideological way!  He was supposed to be the anti-Ouellet!!!  Get me Peter Parker and have him take more pictures of Spiderman, because we can't publish that!

Consecrating the Vatican to St Michael?  No,..Angels are mere literary devices, and well, that's soooo pre Vatican II!!  This Pope was supposed to concentrate solely of the plight of the Argentinian humming bird headed for extinction!  

Joining the Pro-Life March in Rome?  Again,..we can't publish that mainstream! What will our current democratic lesbian editorial staff think? That we are anti woman?  This Pope is supposed to relax and be pro choice, because well, he smiles alot and cares for the poor.

Consecrating his Papacy to the Blessed Mother?  Noooo,..don't you dare publish that, that sounds like something Wojtyla would have done!  Pope Francis, the 'progressive' and Mary... Because everybody knows that a hallmark of heterodoxy is devotion to the Rosary.

I think you get my point.  Oh yeah,...He has also finished Pope Emeritus Benedict encyclical on Faith (which is beautiful and shows,..gasp!  Continuity!)  He has mandated a worldwide Adoration vigil, (another hallmark of social justice 'catholicism' sarcasm...) and recently pleaded for a worldwide prayer vigil and fasting to avoid a war.  (The last two weren't covered by the mainstream media!)

His new Secretary of State (Parolin) is a solid theologian, Archbishop Ganswein remains prefect of the Papal household.  To my American friends, Cardinal Burke is still head of the Apostolic signatura. (He recently ordained some Institute of Christ the King priests. )  

For my fellow Liturgy lovers?  Despite a reprimand regarding the EF Form of Mass for the Franciscans Friars of the Immaculate (a move that I agree with by the way, as they used the Mass as a political tool...) The Summorum Pontificum Celebration/Anniversary is still taking place this October.  As well, in an address to the Italian Bishops, specifically with regard to this issue, 'The old Mass is not to be touched!'  It should be noted that Jesuits are/were never known to be great Liturgists...(See Msgr Guido Marini's aging the last 6 months..)

The media is clever and they are being told to divide Francis from Benedict.  The latest assault is that he is now friendly to Liberation Theology.  Some of it is good, while the Marxist stuff isn't.  So before anyone goes crazy; What are then Cardinal Bergoglio views on it?

'Though he is averse to liberation theology, which he views as hopelessly tainted with Marxist ideology, Cardinal Bergoglio has emphasized outreach to the impoverished, and as cardinal of Buenos Aires he has overseen increased social services and evangelization in the slums.' (The Conservative Touch)



Our Lady of Fatima,.............................ora pro nobis!






Sunday, September 8, 2013

Useless Division leads Nowhere

Social media has been quite lively especially within Catholic circles with regards to hostility between 'Conservative' Catholics as opposed to 'Traditional' Catholics.  This unfortunate battle, (authored by satan) is sadly dividing a camp that in theory should be united.  This trend has taken shape especially in light of the last 6 months.  Ironically, since the start of the Papacy of Pope Francis.

To be fair, I have never hidden the fact, that I am more of a Traditional mindset.  I have said before on this blog, that there is a disctinction between being 'Traditional' and being a 'Traditionalist.'  The latter presupposes an ideology.  While I generally tend to avoid labels, preferring Catholic as opposed to not Catholic.  (When I hear a person call themselves progressive Catholic, I ask them what they think of fluffy goldfish or three sided circles to illustrate my point.) I believe in the Church's teachings, (all of them) and affirm them when questioned about them.  My methodology with regards to apologetics, is to try and teach.  Using philosophy (metaphysics) and Theology, to show the 'Why' of controversial teachings.  Truth in itself can be confrontational, and the intellect then must make a choice to accept truth or not.  As Aquinas said, though,..'Information will only be received by the mode of the receiver.'

Conservative Catholics, the EWTN type, produce an incredible amount of solid television, apologetics and from what I can tell seem to act as a bridge especially for former protestant pastors on the way into Holy Mother Church.  This is a good thing, but perhaps the danger of being a 'professional' Catholic never set in.  You see, much of their staff have turned their 'guns' on Michael Voris, founder of Church Militant.TV.  Why?  Because in one of his Vortex episodes, he critiques the salaries of some of the people over at the establishment Catholic media.  It is true, that perhaps, Mr Voris could have gone to them in private first, yet nonetheless, these outlets have been constantly critical of him.  As far as I', concerned, I've met Michel Voris and found him to be quite charitable and accomodating.  A dude who sincerely cares for Holy Mother Church, and wants to do right by God.  The question is, when both groups, conservative and traditional start attacking each other, the question remains Why?  Sooo,..That being said, lets try to distinguish them.  A conservative Catholic accepts all teachings of the Magisterium, all papal encyclicals etc.  They will be more or less open to 'altar girls' and Extraordinary Ministers of Communion.'  A Traditional Catholic sees 'altar girls' as an exception to the norm (what it is)  See here .  Along with other 'exceptions' that are seen for what they are.  Tradtional Catholics usually prefer the Ad Orientum posture in Liturgy, in both Ordinary and Extraordinary Form of Mass.  The 'Conservative' is content with the 'Versus Populem.'  Both Conservative and Traditional are loyal, prayerful and have great devotions.  They both love and seek to do what is right by Holy Mother Church.  While both 'groups' are solidly orthodox, the Traditional will protect the identity a little more.  The error they can fall into is phariseeism and can come off as having a lack of love.  The 'conservative' will go with the flow, and the danger of their error is that they will accept the status quo and play ostrich.  A just middle must be found, still, why all the bad blood?

The short answer, as highlighted by Michael Voris, can be summed up by explaining that the crazy heretic crowd is heading into extinction.  So, there can only be two left.  As I've prayed about this shift, the reality is that the mainstream Catholic crowd, which takes on elements outside the Church is hesitant about exposing things inside.  Pope Paul VI, mentioned the smoke of satan, and well, we need to acknowledge it.  To defend the mainstream groups however, we need to see the Church as a family.  Nobody wants to admit mom and dad are fighting especially to the outside world.  While this may be noble, I feel that the time is coming to expose those inside the Church who are silent or complicit.  Pope Francis has thundered against 'career' ism, and can we not heed his call?

My friends, Traditional, Conservative, whatever,.. I believe the question is one of reverence and identity.  Our world is in a mess, and we, Catholics need to be together with regard to life issues and protecting Natural law.  Liturgical style? Ad orientum, Versus Populem, Byzantine, Melkite,.. All good, as long as we follow the rubrics set out.  The Liturgy is God's work, not our attempt at theatre.  I think all of us need a reminder.  Finally, we have to stop kidding ourselves that everything is fine, especially seminarians.  Pray for us, we need it!

God bless!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Year 2!

A short blog today,..not as Optimusmastro, but as Marco.  This coming Monday begins the 2nd year of formation at the Grand Seminary and to speak bluntly,..I can't wait!  The summer allowed me to recharge my batteries, focus more on my prayer life and showed me a weakness with regards to kids ministry!  (Put me in a jail, a men's conference,.etc.. But the Day Camp?  Yeeeesh.... Still came out of it with a little more experience.  Carlos Gracie, once remarked that with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, you never lose, you either win or gain experience.  Essentially that was the attitude that I took by week 3, and well I've since had time to 'land.'

The summer though showed me a lot about myself.  Maintaining the daily meditation was awesome, and so was the Office of Readings/Breviery.  Daily Mass especially on the days I was working was a little difficult, and to speak frankly,..I looonged for the Eucharist those days when I couldn't get to Mass.  Summer is the battleground for one's vocation.  As we return (in a certain sense) to the world whereby old friends, family and yes even old girlfriends can become a temptation.  These 'storms,' however,.do pass.  They are quite normal, especially when it comes to thinking that a few years back, you were working, had money, girls,..seemingly everything,.. with the exception of Jesus (and by extension, your smile!)

My life has four corners, and it seems that these four corners are becoming a foundation for my Faith and vocation.  Prayer, Training, Nutrition and Silence.

-Prayer.  Specifically the Holy Mass.  Also the Breviery, the Rosary and Eucharistic Adoration.

-Training.  Regular exercise, weights, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, CrossFit, swimming,..

-Nutrition.  Right habits in eating will prevent disease and increase energy...

-Silence.  While it can be considered private prayer, there is nothing better than morning silence to just focus yourself and let Jesus speak to you.

As year 2 begins, I ask you all to sustain me in prayer.

God bless!



St Jean Viannay,..............................ora pro nobis!


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sunshine and Creepy hippies,...

 So the summer camp is over and my experience will be chalked away and evaluated.  Have I grown? Not sure...I will say that the call to serve Our Lord as His priest is consistently on my heart.  For that I give thanks, especially to the Blessed Mother for sustaining me through this adventure as well as all the kids, my fellow seminarian confrere (Word up Catman!) and especially the monitors would stuck with an inexperienced co-coordinator who really had no clue what he was doing!  I'm speaking of course of me!   These monitors, mostly in their late teens and early twenties taught me more than I taught them.  First off,..for kids in their early twenties,..they were,..RESPONSIBLE!  Who were these kids?  From what planet did they come from?  Hard working, efficient and all around responsible!  I love all you guys and girls, you monitors are forever 'my kids.' (and hearing '2 seconds' will never be the same for any of you! lololol!!!) Thank you for the experience.  All in all, by the grace of God, we made it!

Now on to some Optimusmastro bizzzzness!  I have hobbies.  That is no shock.  My hobbies do not include flowers, ballet, opera, theatre, or any other activity whereby men prance around in spandex (unless its WWE!).   I have never judged these people, however they love to render judgement on me!  You see when I get together with my cousin on my Mom's side, we like to shoot guns, hunt, fish, etc.... This doesn't bode too well with the weirdo 'Jesus, for me is like watching a sunset' crowd.  Soooo, in the spirit of the moment, may I present you a little something!




Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati,.................................ora pro nobis!




Thursday, June 27, 2013

It's Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood,....

A few years back, if somebody had randomly walked up to me and said ‘Marco (Optimus),..’X’ number of years from now, you will be inside the seminary discerning priesthood and your summer will be spent co-ordinating a children’s day camp, ‘  - I would most likely have laughed myself so nutty, that I would have probably busted my spleen…

Yup, myself and my brother seminarian have been sent to a local Parish in the Montreal Italian community and have been given the responsibility of co-ordinating a day camp!  Well to be fair, it is actually training us to be better Pastors, by providing not only a secure and safe active environment but assuring that we are able to speak to kids, something that I am deathly afraid of,…as they are probably afraid of me!  Being a seminarian offers so many cool chances to present the Risen Christ to any and all, but we often forget that children can be molded a little more easily than adults.  As Optimusmastro, yes, I do have a charism (I’ve been told) for young men.  But kids???  Yeeeesh!  So Optimusmastro turned into Mr Rogers and began sugaring up the four year olds!  (By ‘sugar’ I mean speak about love bunnies and squirrels and whatever else,…)

Sooo, here goes, I broke my Catechical blockage and spoke with the younger kids.  My brother seminarian looked at me, said I did okay,….For my first time.  Well, I was shy, (actually terrified,..) but I guess with time, I will learn to settle it in.  Speaking to kids can be the most challenging thing ever.  I can’t speak about the Hypostatic Union, or any high Theology, Christology or metaphysics.  I need to learn to speak in simple basic language, which for a seminarian can be brutal.  My own learning experience saw me experience humility (as I was and am a highly competitive person.)  Once again Jesus held up a mirror and showed me a weakness, a huge one with regard to an impending priesthood.  I can say I got through it, but still, with some psychological bruises.  I can now only hope that the 5 year olds don’t go home and speak about the Arian heresy that had gripped the early Church forcing the Council of Nicea to define the Trinity.  The parents will think that I got choked for too long in Jiu Jitsu cutting off too much air to my brain!

To reiterate, a few years back, this event would have been so far removed from my radar that I would have thought travelling to the planet Cybertron a much higher probability.  Well, clearly Jesus sees things differently!




Our Lady of Consolatta,……………………………………………..ora pro nobis!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Vocation Struggle,..

'The world needs priests because the world is in need of Jesus Christ!' - So are paraphrased the words from my Archbishop Christian Lepine as Jesus created two new priests for the diocese of Montreal.  I had the honour and privilege of acting as Cross bearer at this amazingly Spiritual event.  Fr Alexandre Tran and Fr Alfred Moubayed were ordained this past Friday.  Both awesome holy men, faithful to Holy Mother Church!

The ordination caused a flood of emotions in me, from Joy to unworthiness to complete anxiety, all of which are completely normal.  It seems since my entrance into the seminary, I sometimes break down, trying to figure out my complete unworthiness to even discern this Sacrament.  God calls all of us to a vocation, some to the married state, some to religious life and yes some to priesthood.  Perhaps I'm repeating myself in writing this blog post, but I've never been truly happier in my life.  I guess this is an open letter to any young man out there, or even old man, have you considered priesthood?  There is a special place in my heart, for the dude out there, who thinks he doesn't fit the mold,..well nor do I, and neither did any of the disciples.  Are there scandals?  Yes!  Every facet and aspect of humanity is laced with scandals, betrayal, and general wounds, but through it all, the Church survives!  God calls imperfect men to 'Come follow Me!'  However, are you listening?  Perhaps you were like me?  Partying, playing around, wanting money, girls, none of it permanent... the Charlie Sheen lifestyle.  Well, here is a news flash!  Our Lord won't stop tugging on your heart, He will put people on your road, and when the time comes, and you still haven't said yes,..He'll light a match,..actually more like a fuse right up your ass!  Then you can still say no, and what will happen?  Well, you'll marry (maybe?), have kids? (maybe) and have a mid life crisis at 40, then more than likely start cheating on your wife, get a divorce, and end up miserable and alone!  Why did this happen?  You'll ask in whimpery tone of voice!  Because that is where you weren't supposed to be!  Period!  Obviously this message is for the guys that are called, and you know who you are.  Why?  Because Jesus knows where you will be truly happy!  That's why!

Some of you feel unworthy, well guess what?  So do I!  Some of you will argue with Jesus, that you'll give Him the permanent diaconate,..then you find out that telling God what you'll do is insane.  Some of you will eventually give in, and say, well,..I will give it a try, (hoping that it is not your place!)  and secretly 'angry' that you are finding yourself at peace.  Some of you will fall with a woman, or another vice and satan will begin to play games in your mind, but guess what?  The Sacrament of Reconciliation is there, that little light is the most welcome sign you could ever imagine!  The devil fears priests!  They are God's holy warriors!  No priest equals no Eucharist, its that simple!

For the men coming in this coming August, I say God bless you for accepting to discern!  Already that's the first step, telling God, 'I'm here, I'm available, What do You want me to do?'  (Shout out to Fr Bertand Montpetit for that one! BTW, an awesome holy priest who is is real!)  Do not get discouraged, Do not be afraid, give it all to Jesus, and all will be made clear to you!  God Bless you and may Mary keep you!




St Jean Viannay,.............................................ora pro nobis!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thought Chaos...

'God come to my assistance, O Lord make haste to help me.'  The opening line from morning Prayer, whether you are a machine and pray 'Matins' or just begin with 'Laudes.'  It seems that I repeat this line often throughout the day without recourse to any Psalm.  The reason?  More often than not I meditate upon my potential impending priesthood and society's current 'metaphysical crisis.'

I have blogged before about 'Truth.'  What is Truth?  To paraphrase Pontius Pilate's words to Christ.  Yet, today nobody seems to want to search for Truth anymore.  Well a ray of light happened this morning, that before training, myself and two of my teammates had a conversation regarding Philosophy, from the pre Socratics, to the Greeks (Plato and Aristotle) to Aquinas (Woohoo!)  all the way to the so-called modern era, as in Descartes, Spinoza right up to contemporary, Heidegger and Schelling.   As I've mentioned before, (you can search the archives..) I have always divided thinkers into those seeking objective Truth and those who look at things through their own particular lenses, subjectivists and phenomenologists.  Whether or not we agree is a different story, but the fact is that the conversation took place outside of a traditional intellectual arena, but three guys about ready to train chokes, armlocks, and other takedowns.

Leaving Gracie Barra, and assisting at Mass, saw me especially meditate upon today's First Reading. (2 Corinthians 11: 1-11)  St Paul speaks and warns again of how easy it is for people to preach another 'Jesus.'   The Holy Spirit has a habit of sometimes winking at me, (in my case smacking me upside the head..)  This new 'Jesus' is the result of subjectivist thought.  How many of our generation grew up in the 1980s?  Our experience in the Parish was at times painful, Fr 'Nice' talked about how 'nice' Jesus is and that He is our friend, and we love crayons and bunnies and blah blah blah,.. The other type of priest was the so-called 'social justice' (closet marxist) preaching a false liberation theology turning Jesus into a revolutionary.  Their formation reflected the times, so they were taught Karl Marx, Fuerbach,..etc,.but Maritain?  Nooo, that's too rigid!  Today's heresy is more along the lines of rehashed gnosticism, and voila!  Oprah's Jesus, (who I believe is a creation of satan.)  The problem through all of this was that there was no anchor.  Meaning that these false 'Jesus's' and false Gospels are due to lack of proper intellectual training.  So us, the younger guys are called 'rigid' and 'Traditionalist' and all sorts of buzz words because in the end, we believe that objective Truth does exist and that reason can lead you there!  (Aristotle, Aquinas, Maritain, Gilson...)  Philosophy properly ordered will always be the handmaid of Theology.

Our generation drank the kool aid, and we have been in recovery since.  It is by Grace that I can make it through the day.  I am a sinner, a sex addict, a drunkard and tempermental, yet through it all it is Jesus who Redeems me.  If I fall, I get back up and frequent the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  I will not however let my experience override Truth!  Truth just is!  We don't make it up.  We can't decide that gravity doesn't exist because we (our ego) possess a desire to fly on our own.



My ADD kicked in, so I'll stop writing for now.


St Thomas Aquinas,...........................ora pro nobis!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Msgr, You Stay! (smiling!) But Holy Father, please let me go,..(squeeky voice)


Guido Marini, the Liturgist/Papal Master of Ceremonies who lately, has been the butt of many jokes and remarks.  He was appointed by Pope Benedict in 2007 to succeed Piero Marini, whose ideas of Liturgical vestments sometimes came out of Star Trek episodes.  Upon the election of Pope Francis,(and he not wearing the Papal mozzetta for the first blessing,) we all assumed Msgr Marini's days were numbered.  That calendar on his wall, taken down as Pope Francis has confirmed everyone for now. (despite his prayers?)  Clearly Pope Francis is a holy man, a man who is in love with Truth, has been issuing homilies warning of the ‘Evil one’ and has recently laid the smackdown on the liberal nuns in the States. (LCWR)  He has also called for a true implementation of the Second Vatican Council, and remember all this has to be read contextually.  What that means is (to paraphrase Fr ‘Z’) one needs to see all that Francis is doing.  He cannot change doctrine!  Ever!  Evvver!  He does, however have his own style, (which isn’t mine,..) and for that we need to bite our tongues and trust in the Holy Spirit.  (Assuming the majority of my readership shares my Liturgical preference.)

Liturgically Pope Francis is a Jesuit.  Very Jesuit.  Very Verrrry Jesuit.  An order of missionaries and educators founded by Ignatius of Loyola who have produced giants of the Faith, including many martyrs and founded many schools.  Fr Mitch Pacwa SJ, an EWTN mainstay and apologetical powerhouse comes to mind, as does Fr Joseph Fessio SJ, or still the late great Fr John Hardon SJ.  They have a formation of about ten years before ordination and where they are faithful to the Magisterium, they still produce solid men.  They have though, in recent times produced some ‘not so solid men.’  Cardinal Bergoglio was the Jesuit, that went to war with Liberation Theology, and that according to Fr Fessio SJ, is the reason other Jesuits don’t like him.  Nonetheless, with liturgy, the joke goes as follows,..’What is the definition of a good Jesuit liturgy????  (wait for it,…) One where no one gets hurt! (yuk yuk yuk yuk,..lolol!!!) 

So about two weeks ago, it happened.  Traditional Catholics held their breath, then let out a sigh of relief, as Pope Francis told the Italian Bishops that Summorum Pontificum is not to be touched and that Msgr Marini will stay on as the Papal MC.  The Pope continued that he wishes to learn from Msgr Marini, and that in turn, Msgr Marini may also benefit from him.   As well, the annual celebration of Summorum Pontificum will continue to take place at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.


‘We must put the treasure of Tradition to good use!’ – Pope Francis



 St Jean Viannay,.............................................................ora pro nobis!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Optimusmastro and the Catman!

A little vid on myself and my brother, the Catman.  Frank has been nothing short of my big bro, guiding me through the emotive waters of discernment!  Offer this guy prayers, cause he's gonna be a true priest of Jesus, not to mention an intellectual ass kicker par excellance! (he says words like 'pontificates')  Pure awesomeness!,.. Enjoy!  (and yes,..chairs on wheels, sooooooo rock! )  God bless!


Sacred Heart of Jesus,........Have mercy on us!