Catholic Candle note: We recommend that readers copy the following article and keep it handy, as we live “in the Catacombs” and as we and the Church follow Christ to Calvary. We all need to keep its contents in mind and in practice until the “Resurrection” (viz., the restoration following the pope’s and bishops’ consecration of Russia to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart).
A similar statement was first expressed in 1970, after the destructive Second Vatican Council. The only difference is that things are much worse now. The Catholic Church is going through a Passion similar to that of Christ. So be ready to help carry His Cross as the Cyrenean did.
Rome has had a series of bad popes who teach heresies and have taken the Faith from most Catholics. Rome has succeeded in establishing the anti-Catholic conciliar church by making it appear that there is no longer any need for the traditional Catholic Church, when they:
1. Eliminated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that gave grace, and replaced it by a service that does not give grace – and without grace a Catholic loses his Faith.
2. Re-wrote all seven Sacraments to make them acceptable to non-Catholics.
3. Taught (and teach) that everyone goes to Heaven (i.e., universal salvation).
4. Give the impression that Mass attendance on Sunday depends on if you really want to go, and have nothing better to do.
5. Say that there is no need for confessing your sins to please God; you must reconcile with your fellow man.
6. Imply that all faiths are the same and that salvation is assured regardless what faith (or no faith) you choose with your complete “religious liberty”.
The above points are just a few of the many anti-Catholic actions used by Rome to establish the anti-God, humanist, conciliar church. These actions effectively center everything on man and focus on solving his earthly problems with little thought of God and our duties to Him.
Well, what is an uncompromising traditional Catholic to do?
First, realize that Our Lord will not abandon you. He will give you many graces to ensure a holy and happy life during this current crisis in the Church, even though we have no Mass to attend because there are no uncompromising priests, at least in most places in the world. We do as the early Christians did: move to the Catacombs.
In the Catacombs we can live our lives without a priest, but with the fruits of the four Sacraments so necessary for a fruitful spiritual existence and salvation.
4. Holy Communion
Let’s consider how we receive the fruits of these necessary Sacraments for that spiritual existence and salvation, beginning with Marriage. The baptized Catholic couple marry each other with words they pledge to one another and this marriage is blessed by a priest, if this is possible.
(T)he marriage contract is not a mere promise, but a transfer of right, by which the man actually yields the dominion of his body to the woman, the woman the dominion of her body to the man; it must therefore be made in words which designate the present time, the force of which words abides with undiminished efficacy from the moment of their utterance, and binds the husband and wife by a tie that cannot be broken. … [T]he consent of the parties, expressed in the manner already explained, is sufficient to constitute a true marriage.
See, Catechism of the Council of Trent, section: The Kind of Consent Required in Matrimony, subsection: The Essence of Marriage Constituted by the Consent.)
Next, we consider Baptism of the offspring of the above marriage.
The matter of this sacrament is true and natural water; and it is indifferent whether it be cold or hot. The form is: I baptize thee in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
See, 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. II, article: Baptism.
Next, we consider the need for the fruits of the Sacrament of Penance, when there is no uncompromising priest to confess to.
Perfect Act of Contrition Without a Priest. The prospect of dying without confession would be horrifying were it not for the knowledge that a merciful God has provided for this with a perfect Act of Contrition. This prayer, said sincerely and with God’s help, is literally a God-send. United with a pledge to go to confession when available, this heartfelt prayer restores the dying person to grace at once.
See, Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, 1908, article: Contrition, article subsection: Perfect Contrition Without the Sacrament.
Of course, all of us should strive to make perfect acts of contrition even many times per day, just as frequent sacramental confession is important wherever God gives the opportunity to receive this sacrament without compromise.
And finally, we consider receiving the fruits of Holy Communion, in frequent Spiritual Communions, i.e., receiving the Holy Eucharist in spirit.
A person receives the Holy Eucharist in spirit when he, “inflamed with a ‘lively faith which worketh by charity’, partake in wish and desire of that celestial bread offered to them, from which they receive, if not the entire, at least very great fruits.”
St. Thomas Aquinas teaches about the efficacy of a Spiritual Communion in these words:
The effect of the sacrament can be secured by every man if he receives it in desire, though not in reality. … So likewise, some eat this sacrament spiritually before they receive it sacramentally.
Summa, III Q.80, a.1, ad. 3.
If a person sincerely wants to receive Holy Communion, Our Lord will see to it that he receives the beneficial fruit of the Sacrament. He assures us of our reward from a Spiritual Communion. Here are the words in the Imitation of Christ:
The Voice of Christ:
When he is indeed unable to come, he will always have a good will and pious intention to communicate and thus he will not lose the fruit of the Sacrament.
The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas `a Kempis, Book IV, ch. 10.
Another fruit of a worthy Holy Communion is the preservation from mortal sin and the remission of venial sin.
Although we should make Spiritual Communions every day, we should especially prepare well for our Sunday Spiritual Communion and make this Act at the appropriate time when reading our Sunday Mass prayers at home. One way to add special meaning to the Sunday Spiritual Communion, we recommend that you consider fasting from midnight.
So, you can see, a spiritual, holy, and fruitful life is possible in the Catacombs without a priest during this very serious crisis. Some say we are in the most serious crisis ever, in the Catholic Church. God has created us to live now and He wants us to help Catholics to return to the full Traditions of the Church.
Life in the Catacombs is not easy, but with the daily help and graces from Our Lord, it can be holy, fruitful, and spiritually beneficial with our full cooperation and with much prayer.