Friday, December 09, 2005 is live!

While I am not one for shameless self promotion, I am willing to make an exception this time. Over the past few months I have been working on compiling my writings together to one site, and is the fruit of that labor. From apologetics to the liturgy to Catholic Social teaching to politics, this site will attempt to encompass a wide variety of writings from the perspective of a young Ecclesia Dei Traditionalist known for not walking particular party lines. Hope it can be of benefit to people.


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Points to Ponder:
(A Prayer for the Government)

We pray, Thee O Almighty and Eternal God! Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy Name.

We pray Thee, who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, Pope n., the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own bishop, n., all other bishops, prelates, and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise amongst us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation.

We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.

We pray for his excellency, the governor of this state , for the members of the assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.

We recommend likewise, to Thy unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.

Finally, we pray to Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives, and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation, and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of divine worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen. [Bishop John Carroll (circa 1791-1798)]

[Note: This material was posted to Rerum Novarum earlier today. And with some minor adjustments, this prayer can also be used by our Canadian brethren as well. -ISM]


The Case for Traditional Principles Part VII: Called to be Saints

With all the talk I've done lately about what it means to be Catholic, I would be negligent if I did not cover this important topic. To be Catholic is to be a saint. "Tierney, isn't one of the great problems in today's Church that we canonize everyone as a saint, how can you say we are all saints?" From a certain point of view, this is no doubt correct. The problem comes when we touch upon the issue of language. Normally, when we hear the word saint, we think those canonized by Holy Mother Church, those individuals of heroic virtue, yet signified by their simplicity in loving God. They led such a life of holiness, they are given special recognition as a saint.

Yet the cause for this honor is not because they were something different than we are. No, we are saints just like them. The cause for that honor was the dignity in which they lived out their life as a saint. So much so, we are called, as saints, to emulate those individuals, to honor them as heroes of the faith. One of the positive developments of the past 40-50 years is an emphasis on that call of sainthood that we all share. While at times being prone to excesses just like any young movement, the Charismatic movement's emphasis on the "universal call to holiness" to each and every individual in the Church should give even us Non-Charismatics pause to reflect upon that call. Yet I am getting ahead of myself.

When it comes down to it, what is a saint? The word "saints" appears 95 times in Scripture. The Greek word for saint is hagios, meaning a most holy thing. So far that translates into the most popularly understood concept of "saint." Yet there is a deeper meaning, and one that is well understood throughout the Old Testament. That is understood as those called from God. The saints are God's people, called from this world, and joined to him in the Covenant. By virtue of baptism, we are all saints.

As with the name Catholic, saint also has several responsibilities to the name. There is a standard of behavior one is to adopt since they are a saint. We are not like the children of the world, without hope, in slavery to sin. Baptism frees us from this bondage. Since we have freedom from this bondage, we are to act accordingly. Part of this involves practical measures, such as those St. Paul gives to the Ephesians in Chapter 5:

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becometh saints: Or obscenity, or foolish talking, or scurrility, which is to no purpose; but rather giving of thanks. For know you this and understand, that no fornicator, or unclean, or covetous person (which is a serving of idols), hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words. For because of these things cometh the anger of God upon the children of disobedience.

We get the understanding from St. Paul that there is some behavior that we cannot do just because by our very nature as Christians it is not proper. By the very name "saint", this behavior can't even be named amongst us, much less committed. Our moral example is to be so high, if such an accusation were ever brought forth, the reaction would be "far be it for him to commit such!" Furthermore, we must live up to the namesake of saint to have the benefits of being a saint, the inheritance in heaven. There were those who were set apart from this world, and called to heaven, but violated the covenant with God. They engaged in all the sins St. Paul mentions here, and were "the children of disobedience."

Despite the common misconceptions of Protestants and others, this call to holiness is not just for your clerics, or your religious. It is for all of us, every last one of us baptized. It is the call of the saints, and the call we are asked to answer.

God Bless,
Kevin M. Tierney


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Points to Ponder:
(On Some Catholic Bloggers)

I have noticed a mentality among some Catholic bloggers which I usually describe to myself as "auto-magisterial." It seems to me to derive from the attitudes and practices of Evangelical Christianity.

Evangelical Christians, not having a magisterium, tend to become easily convinced by their own opinions and to treat them as definitive. This is characteristic of Protestantism as a whole, of course, and is the reason why it has splintered and continues to splinter into multifarious sects and parties.

Once Evangelical Christians become Catholics, some of them tend to keep the habit of mind. And some bloggers--not all converts from the Evangelical churches--tend to exhibit these or similar attitudes which seem proud and intellectually arrogant. Often, they are just trying to be good and loyal Catholics, but they are led to a sort of neo-Ultramontanism which can't see the difference between binding Magisterial teaching (even the non-infallible kind) and explanatory glosses or prudential judgments or even personal opinions...

[T]here is something about the easy and often adulatory audience on the net, combined with the authoritative note that tends to creep into their pronouncements that breeds a sort of hothouse pride that seems unhealthy. ["Jeff" (circa 12/04/05)]

[Note: This post is a slightly revised version of what was posted to Rerum Novarum on December 5, 2005. -ISM]