Catholic Candle Note: The article below is one man’s account of his fight for Catholic Tradition throughout the decades, as this fight was punctuated by periods (including the present) when he had no priest because of his refusal to compromise.
My family and I have carried the cross of having no priest on multiple occasions throughout the decades as we strive for salvation.
We were without a priest the first time after the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. Mercifully, it didn’t last too long as we found a few uncompromising “independent” priests and then, later, the Society of St. Pius X came to America.
Before Archbishop Lefebvre brought his fledgling Society, we had what we called family “meetings” with our children, to explain why we didn’t attend the local church but why we still dressed in our Sunday best to read the Mass prayers at home. It was all part of training them to know and retain traditional Catholic morals and virtue.
However, many others accepted the Liberalism and Modernism and said Our Lord will understand if they went along to get along. (No, Our Lord will not understand!) He expects us to cherish our Faith and do our best to keep it perfect as Our Lord intended. He knows what we need and will always provide it. But we have to understand and use what He provides for happiness on earth, and greater happiness in Heaven.
But sadly, after the Archbishop died, the SSPX gradually became more and more liberal and we had to leave the “new” SSPX in September of 2015. We were still able to find uncompromised Masses for another three years, although not every Sunday. Thus, we have been without a priest for the past five years.
The question is how are we managing to stay on track and profit in the spiritual life for our salvation? Well, I’ll tell you.
As you know, only saints go to heaven. So, we must become saints to go there. We must love God and not sin. Plus, we must live our life preparing for our personal judgment by Christ, during which every one of our thoughts and actions will be judged. We must develop such a great love of God that any sacrifice we must endure is a joy, and to sin is unthinkable.
To increase our love for God, we should study the life of Christ and increase our understanding of what He has done for us. He created us. He keeps us in existence. He came to earth and suffered and died for us. He now gives us both actual grace and sanctifying grace in order to make us happy on earth, and after death, happy with Him in Heaven forever. Wow! What a gift!
So, we must not sin – not even a venial sin. This is not as hard as it sounds when a person loves God greatly. We feel the responsibility for our salvation much more keenly now. We wouldn’t even want to fall back on our previous sluggish practice of our Faith, such as misusing the old “Saturday afternoon Confessions.” My impression living back then, is that the Saturday Confession was taken advantage of – many “Sunday Catholics” had a “good time” amidst the voluntary occasions of sin, thinking that they would just go to Confession Saturday, and that “would take care of” what they chose to do the evening before. “No problem”, they thought.
But now we begin to understand that this newer, closer relationship with God cannot depend upon going through a priest and receiving the Sacraments. We now understand better that our salvation hinges about us and what we do.
This is not the first time that large numbers of souls have been without a priest and the Sacraments. Japanese Catholics suffered through 300 years of spiritual aridity, without the sacraments.
We are being tested to prepare for Eternity. We must refuse to accept Liberalism and Modernism although “everyone else” accepts them.
The longer I live, the more I realize that the “misfortune” God sends us turns out to be a “life saver” toward our goal of salvation. He knows best.
We must use Advent and Lent for the spiritual strength we need in the fight against evil.
Hang a picture of Our Lord in your home and foster devotion to His Sacred Heart in order to obtain the promises of Our Lord. (Although these Promises were published in Catholic Candle recently, they are so important that we should remind ourselves about them again now)
The Promises of Our Lord
To St. Margaret Mary for Souls Devoted to His Sacred Heart
1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2. I will establish peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their difficulties.
4. I will be their secure refuge during life, and more especially at the hour of death.
5. I will shower down abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in My Heart a Source and boundless ocean of Mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
9. I will bless every place in which the picture of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored.
10. I will give to priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts.
11. Persons who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, and they shall never be effaced therefrom.
12. I will grant the grace of final repentance to all those who shall communicate on the first Friday nine months consecutively. They shall not die in mortal sin, nor without having received the last Sacraments, for My Divine Heart will become their secure refuge at that last moment.
What else should we do? Start reading each night a religious book such as Lives of the Saints, or Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence, etc.
Of course, praying the 15 decades of the Rosary daily is a great way of becoming closer to Our Lord and His Blessed Mother.
You will learn to talk to Jesus many times during the day as you would with a good friend Who always has the wise answer to your daily problems. You should seek uncompromising Traditional Catholic friends when possible.
Don’t forget our Guardian Angels who are given to us by God to preserve us from the many serious dangers in life. We should converse with our angels; ask for their help. They want to help us to fulfill God’s plan for us.
Finally, we can receive great strength by frequently and devoutly reciting three prayers: 1) the Our Father; 2) the Apostles Creed; and 3) the Spiritual Communion. St. Augustine stated that praying devoutly the Our Father will gain forgiveness for venial sins.
A final word: Be Patient. The Sacraments will be provided when God wills it. Meanwhile, we must stay strong and fight for Christ the King!