A Key to Saving Our Soul
by Father Nicholas Gruner, S.T.L., S.T.D. (Cand.)
In a previous article I explained just how dangerous our times are for everybody who wants to save their soul. We are living in a time of general apostasy and many people, including family and friends, have lost their faith because of various personal reasons, but also because of the apostasy coming from today’s Vatican. This apostasy is being promoted to them at their parish church level.
The apostasy is further promoted by Hollywood, advertising, the secular media, political parties and the overall general culture that we live in, whether we live in Europe or North America or South America.
Africa and Asia suffer their own problems as we do, especially through the post-conciliar novelty of enculturation wherein voodoo rites are incorporated into Catholic liturgies in Africa, and Hindu rituals are incorporated into Catholic liturgies in India. Various bishops in these countries actually approve of this scandal.
Thus, Catholics are now deceived by the apostasy because it seems to be almost everywhere and because it comes to them through channels that in the past, they were taught were "trustworthy."
In other words, in the past, you could follow the example and the teachings of the Pope, the Cardinals, the bishops, the chancery offices, the priests and the religious orders. We knew, of course, that the secular media was not necessarily the friend of Jesus Christ or the Catholic Church. You knew the political parties were more interested for the most part in advancing their power than in advancing the kingdom of Christ the King.
But today, almost all our parish priests, our bishops and our religious orders are promoting worship services that have not come to us through Sacred tradition. What some of them promote today would have been explicitly rejected before the Vatican II Council, such as various manifestations of the Pentecostal movement (the Charismatic movement) which, in today’s climate within the Church they give an appearance of being Catholic, but are not.
All those in power, whether the chancery offices or the Vatican or religious superiors, who are promoting the new religion in its new expressions, have scandalized the little people into believing that it must be okay because their "superiors" are going along with it.
Therefore, we live in most difficult times for saving our soul because of all the scandal around us, whether the people who scandalize us do it out of malice, ignorance, weakness or laziness.
Some do it out of ignorance. They don’t know that what they are doing is contrary to the faith and good morals.
Some do it out of malice. They know it is wrong to do. They have learned enough in their studies but they want the power, the prestige, the positions inside the Church that going along with the false religion, the conciliar religion, gives them.
Some do it out of weakness. Although they dont like the "new religion", they are afraid to stand up lest they lose their salary or lose the little things in life that going along gives them. Or they are afraid to stand up to people who are more powerful than themselves and tell the truth frankly and plainly and simply.
Some do it out of laziness. Even though they are not afraid of their superiors and they are not ignorant. They know what they are doing is wrong. They know what they are promoting is wrong. They do it not through ignorance or weakness, but through laziness. They know that if they stand up, that it will be work. It will be a great effort. It will require themselves to be more vigorous in their own life style. It will draw upon themselves enemies who are now neutral towards them.
Whether it is from ignorance, or weakness or malice or laziness, the fact is that the great apostasy is upon us. The fact is that the present orientations are leading souls to deny the Catholic Faith that there is only one religion Jesus Christ founded — the religion we must belong to in order to save our souls.
The fact is, that we must hold onto the Catholic Faith, whole and entire in order to save our soul. We know this because the Athanasian Creed tells us. We must worship God in the Catholic Faith and according to the Catholic rites that have been handed down to us from the apostles. This true Catholic worship is to be found in the received and approved rites.
The received and approved rite that cannot be taken away from us is the Tridentine Mass. We know from the Papal Bull Quo Primum of Pope St. Pius V, which states:
"And in perpetuity We grant and permit that they may by all means use this Missal (the Tridentine Missal) in singing or reciting Mass in any church whatsoever without any scruple of conscience, without incurring any penalties, sentences, or censures; in order that they may be able to do this and be able to use this Missal freely and lawfully, We by virtue of Our Apostolic Office, and by virtue of the present document, We grant and permit this forever."
"No one may be required to offer Holy Mass in another way than has been determined by Us; no one, neither Pastors (Praesules), Administrators, Canons, Chaplains, and other secular priests of whatever Order; and We likewise determine and declare (i.e. officially command) that no one be compelled or pressured by anyone to change this Missal, or that this letter should ever be recalled or its effectiveness be restrained (moderari) but that it may always stand firm and strong in all its vigor (in suo existent robore)."
It is about this Tridentine Mass which Pope John Paul II had a Commission of 9 Cardinals meet in 1986. It was unanimously agreed that this Mass is still allowed to be celebrated by every Catholic priest. We also know this from the Council of Trent that states:
The "received and approved rites of the Catholic Church" may not be changed "by any pastor in the Church of any rank whatsoever (per quemcumque ecclesiarum pastorem) to other new rites". (See Council of Trent, Session 7, Canon 13.) (Dz. 856)
We must resist those who would have us do otherwise. We must resist, at least passably, by not going along with the new rites, with the new doctrines, with the new practices, with the new way of speaking which causes confusion. To the extent that we have the ability and the opportunity, we must resist actively, by defending the Catholic Faith and the Catholic rites, against those who would attack our Faith and our bastions of the Faith, against those who would promote the new religion.
Be On Guard:
We Must Also be Humble
But we are presented with another problem besides. We must also resist the cunning of the devil. We must be on our guard spiritually against pride. For whatever reason, God has shown us the truth of the traditional Catholic Faith and pointed out to us that the false conciliar religion is opposed to the Catholic Faith. But we must realize it is not by our merits, our efforts, that we have this grace. No one by his own power alone could not be deceived — not even the predestined, the elect. It is because of the mercy of God and God’s grace we are able to see clearly. "Even the elect would be deceived if that were possible," said Jesus of times such as ours.
We must realize that it is by God’s grace, not through some merit of our own. Because God has given us this great grace, He expects a return on His investment in us. God expects us, first of all, to become saints. So, in our defense of the Catholic Faith, in defense of the Catholic practices and sacraments, we must never lose courage, never lose charity. But we must not become proud.
We need, first of all, to have a program for our own spiritual welfare. That program was outlined by Our Lady of Fatima. And that program consists of adoring the One True God; not just in theory but in practice.
That is why we must often pray the prayer that the Angel taught the children in the spring of 1916. We must adopt, when we are alone, the posture that the Angel taught them to use while saying this prayer. That is, to pray this prayer while prostrate on the ground or on the floor, and put ourselves in the presence of God wherever we are and saying:
"O my God, I adore Thee, I believe in Thee, I hope in Thee and I love Thee. I ask pardon for all those who do not adore Thee, do not believe in Thee, do not hope in Thee and do not love Thee."
We should follow the advice that the Angel gave in the summer of 1916 by praying frequently to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, remembering that They are waiting to hear our prayers. As Our Lady requested, we should offer sacrifices for the conversion of sinners; we should let everything we do be a sacrifice we offer to God for the conversion of sinners.
Above all, we should accept all the contradictions, the inconveniences, the insults, the lack of understanding and consideration, the work, the weather, the trouble that is given to us either by friends or enemies; offering it all up to God and to Jesus and Mary for the conversion of sinners.
We must pray the prayer that the Angel taught them in the autumn of 1916, especially in front of the Blessed Sacrament. We should also pray it in the privacy of our room, putting ourselves, at least in our imagination, before the Blessed Sacrament present in the tabernacle of our nearby chapel or church. We can also pray this prayer prostrate on the ground or on the floor, when no one is around, as the three children did and repeat what the Angel said, namely:
"O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore You profoundly and I offer up to You the most Precious Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the Tabernacles of the world, in reparation for all the blasphemies, outrages and indifferences by which He is offended. And I draw upon the infinite merits of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary that You might convert poor sinners."
Humility: Is Necessary
We must be on our guard against pride. It is the capital sin of all the capital sins. It is from pride that every other sin comes. And pride has a particularly sneaky nature of hiding itself from the very person who has pride. We must pray often, "Jesus, meek and humble of Heart, make my heart like unto Thine."
Everyone who reads this article, including myself, has pride. We must all fight against it. You must learn the various forms of pride that you have. And you must continually strive to fight against it.
To assist you, we have printed in this issue "Pride: The Sin Most Hated by God", the chapter on Pride, from the booklet The Seven Capital Sins.
To overcome pride, we must humble ourselves. The first way to humble ourselves is to accept all humiliations that God allows us to endure; to suffer even those that we do not deserve. This does not mean we never defend ourselves, but it does mean that we acknowledge to ourselves, ‘if I am not guilty of this matter, or this accusation, there are others that I have committed that I should humble myself for’.
We must pray for humility. We must especially pray the Rosary because as Our Lady promises us, the Rosary will help us overcome vice, decrease sin and overcome error. We cannot receive these gifts without increasing in humility. We must receive the sacraments frequently, especially going to confession at least once a month, preferably once a week, to a good confessor.
The other virtue we must practice above all others is the virtue of charity. If we have received gifts from God (in fact, we all have), especially the gifts of faith and knowledge and understanding, we must use these gifts to help save souls from the fires of hell and offer sacrifices and prayers for their salvation.
We must also express our love for Jesus by making reparation for the offenses, the sacrileges, the outrages and the indifferences by which He is offended.
We must make reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for those who: blaspheme Her Immaculate Conception, Her perpetual virginity, Her Motherhood of God; for those who attack Her in Her sacred statues and images; and for those who seek to take away from the hearts of children, devotion to such a good Mother. These are the particular offenses for which Our Lord and Our Lady asked us to make the Five First Saturdays of Reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
What then must we do now, right away?
1. Humble ourselves before God and say, "O God be merciful to me a sinner." (Luke 18:13)
2. Let us stop now and pray three Hail Marys and promise Our Lady we will do that every day for the rest of our lives. Let us promise to form the habit to do it the first thing every morning when we get up.
3. Let us resolve now to pray the Rosary (at least five decades) every day. If we have so resolved already, let us renew our resolution.
4. Let us put our Brown Scapular on, wear it every day, always and everywhere. Get an extra one or two to have to replace the one we wear now when it breaks.
5. Let us learn how we are proud by reading about the different kinds of Pride. See "Pride: The Sin Most Hated by God" and resolve to combat our pride every day.
6. Let us resolve to resist the apostasy as it tries to ensnare you, your family and friends.
7. Let us resolve to attend the Mass as it was always said before Vatican Council II. Read Catholic books that were approved before Vatican II and get others to do the same. Do spiritual reading, the kind recommended by the saints. Do not follow or read books inspired by the new theology. Get others to do the same.
8. Re-read this article and ask Our Lady to show you what else you can do and must do.