Thursday, March 27, 2014

The gift of Love freely given

                                                 Christ heals the blind beggar

"For if you give, you will get! Your gift will return to you in full and overflowing measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use to give—large or small—will be used to measure what is given back to you." Luke 6:38, TLB.

Keeping the Ancient Faith

The Old Roman Catholic Church is rooted in Orthodox Christianity as found in the early Church before the great schism of 1054. It is deeply rooted in the Orthodox Faith passed down through the ages "handed once to the saints" (Jude 3). It is with that unalterable Faith rooted in Holy Tradition (not traditions of men) but that which has been Divinely Revealed through the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, namely Christ our Saviour and the Deliverer of our souls.

The Old Roman Catholic Church, in virtue of its 1911 Statement of Faith with Orthodoxy, continues to transmit this Holy Tradition, as given to the Church by Christ, transmitted to the holy Apostles and faithfully passed down through the ages without any additions or subtractions. Those claiming to be Old Roman Catholic, yet maintaining traditions of men or innovations of doctrine and dogma are not to be considered properly as Old Roman Catholic. One is Old Roman Catholic in virtue of the profession of the Orthodox Christian Faith, as continuing to be expressed in a Western culture and heritage in the Old Roman Catholic Church.

The purpose of the Old Roman Catholic Church and our adherence to authentic Orthodox Christian Faith is the salvation that has been afforded to every person by the death of Our Saviour on the Cross and His Glorious Resurrection. The Church is the refugium peccatorum (the refuge of sinners) and the hospital for our souls. Our Orthodox Christian Faith as Old Roman Catholics is available to everyone. Christ desires us to be united through Him by being united to His Church, allowing ourselves to be transformed by His life-giving Grace and the power of the All Holy Spirit.

It is by this reality, the Old Roman Catholic Church is truly evangelical because we adhere, without exception to the ancient Christian Faith; we adhere to the Good News that Jesus is the Messiah, the only Messiah and Savior of Mankind; that Jesus died for our sins, and that He triumphed over death by His Death, and Gloriously Resurrected from the dead.

The Old Roman Catholic community of St. George - Archdiocese of the United States of America.

Adapted from Christ: Light of the East, Msgr. Joseph Thomas, PhD

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Western Rites?

     In recent time there has been a lot of buzz about Western Rites parishes found among the Eastern Orthodox Churches. Some of the Eastern Orthodox Churches have worked to accommodate the clergy and laity that have desired to express the Orthodox Faith according to a Western liturgical practice. Some of the Orthodox Western Rite parishes have flourished while others continue to struggle.

     The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) has just recently disbanded an entire group of clergy and is now working to build up a new Western Rite that will be more collaborative with its Eastern counterpart in the same Church? This may prove to be an almost impossible task based on the negative mind set of a large number of the current ROCOR bishops. What may well occur is the surviving Western Rite priests and parishes will, over time, be absorbed into the Eastern Rite worship.

     Some Western Rite clergy and laity have sought to find shelter under the umbrella of the Anglican Church. Orthodoxy and Anglicanism co-existing? How can this be possible when historical Anglicanism professes a creed that does not include all that is preserved by the Orthodox Christian Faith as passed down to us by Christ God to the Apostles? Secondly, for those seeking shelter under the mantel of the Continuing Anglican Church there appears to be no shred of a canonical Orthodox affiliation, just assuming the mantel of being Orthodox?
   The Western Rites of today are an accommodation in the Eastern Orthodox Church; they certainly are not historically the norm. It is very much like the Roman Catholic Church and its recent accommodation of the Anglican Ordinariate.

     The Old Roman Catholic Church is not and has never been a Western Rite of Orthodoxy. Our Church is Orthodox in her Faith, expressed in a Western Catholic culture and heritage. We are a Western Church maintaining Orthodox Christian Faith.

     As the various Western Rites continue to try to find themselves some stability among their Eastern counterparts and the Anglican Protestants, the Old Roman Catholic Church marches onward...

Sunday, March 09, 2014

The Church exists for nothing else !

C.S. Lewis, the noted Irish author and devout Christian had the wonderful capability of captivating the minds of children and declaring to the world the depth of his strong Anglo-Catholic faith.

In addition to his career as an English professor and an author of fiction, Lewis is regarded by many as perhaps one of the most influential Christian apologists of his time. He authored the classic, Mere Christianity, which was voted best book of the twentieth century by Christianity Today in 2000.

All being said it is due to Lewis's approach to religious belief as a skeptic, and his following conversion, he has been called by many, "The Apostle to the Skeptics."

We submit that the following  is perhaps one of the most salient of his offerings.

  “The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became man for no other purpose. If it even doubtful, you know, whether the whole universe was created for any other purpose.
- Clive Staples Lewis

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Help us Lord! As Seen in a Cartoon

As we wander through all the offerings found on the web one occasionally comes across a piece so to the point that it needs to be shared. Such is the article below by Msgr. Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington.

There was a tendency in ancient plays in Greece and Rome to introduce something that was called a deus ex machina solution (literally “God from a Machine”). For very often, the playwrights had concocted a plot so complicated, with so many subplots and difficult situations, that they themselves really couldn’t resolve the mess they’d written. Thus, “gods” (marionettes or actors really) would be lowered down onto the stage from above, using winches and other machines. These “gods” would simply and magically solve all the problems. Hence the expression deus ex machina (god from out of a machine) has come in English to mean “a contrived or unlikely solution.”

Somehow, I thought about that as I saw the cartoon below. I also thought a lot about the mess that we’re currently in in our culture, and throughout the whole world. For where, really, aren’t things just an awful mess. Marriage, family, sexuality, and the meaning and purpose of life, are all confused. Social order, self-restraint, and any moral consensus, let alone the practice of virtue or even common sense, are becoming hard to find.

How are we ever to clean up this mess? The depth of confusion and increasing social chaos, along with base and reprehensible behavior that many actually celebrate, make it hard to imagine that we’re going anywhere, except to a very bad place, and with increasing rapidity.

Yes, it’s a little bit like the ancient playwrights of Greece and Rome who had written themselves into such a chaotic corner that they had to use fake gods to bail themselves out. As for us, only the one, true God can snatch us out of the quicksand.

In the cartoon below, there is a secret agent man who seems to think he has everything under control. But even as the cartoon opens, we can see he’s a bit foolish, unsteady on his feet, and can barely cross the street without getting killed. Let’s call this secret agent man “Modern Man.”  He thinks he amounts to something, but he ain’t all that.

There comes into “Modern Man’s” life a pesky pigeon that he just can’t beat. Let’s call the pigeon “Consequences.” For all Modern Man’s gadgets and apparent smarts, the pigeon Consequences just keeps outsmarting Modern Man. In fact, it is exactly Modern Man’s technology that the pigeon, Consequences, is able to exploit. In effect, the pigeon hoists Modern Man with his own petard.

And though utter disaster is ultimately avoided by Modern Man, as the video draws to its conclusion the pesky pigeon is still there. He’ll never go away! Then comes a surprise ending, a kind of deus ex machina solution.

What does all of this have to say to us modern men (and women)? Well, very much like “Modern Man” in the cartoon, we too have been hoisted with our own petards. Despite our bravado and our prideful self-assurance, we ain’t all that. We can barely cross the road without getting killed.  In other words, it is only by the sheer mercy of God that we have not annihilated ourselves with nuclear weapons, etc.

But like Modern Man in the cartoon, we are increasingly dogged by the consequences of our many bad choices. Like the man in the video that just can’t beat the pigeon, we just can’t seem to get away from the consequences that afflict us. And it is often our modern way of life and technology that are the very things that cause the greatest harm.

And while we have somehow avoided complete disaster, it becomes increasingly hard to imagine how we can ever get out of this mess that we are in. Yes, only a solution from above, only God, can save us.

How he will do it? I don’t really know. I am afraid that the only way I can see of pressing the “reset button” in a world gone mad would be for some awful calamity to happen that would so rock us back on our heels that we would actually have to start living ordered lives again.

But of course, I am not God, thanks be to God! God has in the past effected great reforms, seemingly out of the blue. For example, even as the Roman Empire crumbled in the 4th Century and the Church lost all of North Africa to the Muslims in the 7th Century, God worked the miracle that the Barbarian tribes of the north suddenly began to embrace Christ.

At another great crisis in the “Dark Ages,” when much seemed lost to plague and social disorder, suddenly people like Francis of Assisi and St. Dominic appeared on the scene. And later came St. Bernard, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. John of the Cross, ushering in great reforms in response to the Protestant Revolt. And when millions walked out of the Church in Europe, nine million came in in Mexico, through Our Lady of Guadalupe.

We can only pray that God will do it again; namely, effect a great reform, as if out of the blue. Lord knows we were in an awful mess emerging from the Satanic 20th-century. It’s going to take a miracle, or a calamity (I hope not), to reset and restore the modern world seemingly gone mad.
For the sake of Thy sorrowful passion, have mercy on us, and on the whole world.

Anyway, enjoy the cartoon. It’s a good little allegory about a prideful secret agent who thinks he’s all that, but he ain’t; and how a little pigeon practically pecks him to death. Only a solution from above can save him from the awful bird called “Consequences.”


Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the season of Lent. This is the day when Roman Catholics traditionally apply an ashen cross on their foreheads. Marking with ash is a symbolic reminder that we come from the dust and that so much of what we do, and are, will return to dust one day.

You may use the ashes to make a cross on your forehead, or merely hold some in your hands to get a feel for it. Lent is about remembering why Jesus died. He died because we think and do evil things. These things anger God, and such evil is destined to be reduced to ash one day.

By: David Maddalen

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Where am I?

"Truthfully, it is the fear of exposing my own ignorance which constrains me from mentioning the object of my search. For, to begin with, I cannot even answer this, the simplest and most basic of all questions: Am I, in my search, a hundred miles ahead of my fellow Americans or a hundred miles behind them? That is to say: Have 98% of Americans already found what I seek or are they so sunk in everydayness that not even the possibility of a search has occurred to them?
On my honor, I do not know the answer.” 
― Walker Percy, The Moviegoer