Words to Live by – from Catholic Tradition

The Holy Rosary, indicating our future salvation or damnation

St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort writes:

Here is what our Blessed Lady revealed to Blessed Alan de la Roche as recorded in his book, The Dignity of the Rosary: “Know, my son, and make it known to all, that lukewarmness or negligence in saying the Hail Mary, or a distaste for it, is a probable and proximate sign of eternal damnation, for by this prayer the whole world was restored.”  …

On the other hand, we know from experience that those who show positive signs of being among the elect, appreciate and love the Hail Mary and are always glad to say it. The closer they are to God, the more they love this prayer, as our Blessed Lady went on to tell Blessed Alan.

I do not know how this should be, but it is perfectly true; and I know no surer way of discovering whether a person belongs to God than by finding out if he loves the Hail Mary and the Rosary.

Quoted from True Devotion to Mary, by St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, ¶¶ 250-251.

 

CC in brief — October

Catholic Candle note: Catholic Candle normally examines particular issues thoroughly, at length, using the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas and the other Doctors of the Church.  By contrast, our feature CC in brief, gives an extremely short answer to a reader’s question.  We invite readers to submit their own questions.

Q:  In the Our Father, it says “lead us not into temptation”.  Why would God lead us into temptation?  (And if these words do not actually mean “lead us”, why does the Our Father say “lead us”?)

A: Sacred Scripture sometimes speaks of God doing what He permits to be done.  For example, in the Book of Exodus, God says He will harden Pharao’s heart, whereas God permitted Pharao to harden his own heart.  Exodus, 4:21.  In these words of the Our Father, we are asking God to not permit us to be conquered by temptation and so to commit sin.

Before and After Death, Without an Uncompromising Priest

Catholic Candle Note:  The following article is a ready reference for end of life issues.  We recommend you keep it handy.

 

                                                           

The following is a short summary of final arrangements to be made before and after death in our current circumstances where there is no uncompromising priest available (at least in most places in the world).

 

This article (with links) is divided into eight sections.  It condenses into four pages, material which has been gleaned from 63 pages of more detailed information.  Except for Section 4, where there is a source footnote, other sections have links for information from earlier Catholic Candle articles. 

 

 

Section 1:  Medical information to be given prior to death[1]

                   

If I should have an incurable and irreversible injury, disease, or illness judged to be a terminal condition by my attending physician who has personally examined me and who considers that even with maximum medical treatment, I have less than three months probable, foreseeable life expectancy, I direct that I not be kept alive artificially through major surgery, chemotherapy, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.  However, in no case do I wish to be deprived of food, fluids, oxygen, and common medications such as any antibiotics.

 

 

Section 2:  Our duty to use ordinary care to preserve life even as a person is dying[2]

 

We are free to choose (or not choose) to make extraordinary efforts to preserve our life.  However, there is a minimum, ordinary effort we must make, in order to avoid the sin against the Fifth Commandment, of failing to protect our life.  As St. Thomas teaches:

 

God commands man to sustain his body.  Otherwise he would be his own killer…By this commandment man is bound to nourish his body and do those other things without which his body cannot live.[3]

 

Father John Slater, in his Moral Theology, describes this minimum effort to preserve our life:

 

We are obliged to take ordinary means to preserve our lives, for to do otherwise would be virtually to commit suicide.  There is no obligation to take extraordinary, unusual, or very painful or expensive means to preserve our lives.  And so, one in feeble health, who will probably die if he spends the winter in England, is not bound to expatriate himself and go and live in a milder climate.  Nor am I bound to undergo a painful and costly operation in order to save my life; I may if I like choose rather to die, unless my life is of great importance for the common good, for then the public good must be considered first.  Except in such a case as this, a superior could not oblige a subject to undergo a very painful operation or to submit to the amputation of a leg; obedience to human authority does not seem to extend to such matters as these.[4]

 

 

Section 3:  How to assist a person in dying a holy death[5]

 

Dying persons are often aware even when they are non-responsive and apparently unconscious.  Because a dying person needs our help in his final spiritual battle, we should persevere helping until we are as certain as we can be, that he is dead and no longer needs our help.

 

We cannot know with certainty when this separation of soul and body (death) occurs, so we should “err” on the side of remaining longer to assist the person in dying a holy death.  A person might be non-responsive to stimuli and apparently not breathing, yet fully aware and undergoing a final spiritual battle for his soul.

 

Do your best to give the dying person strength, encouragement, and human moral support.  Remember that love “divides” sorrows, including the sorrows of death.  Human contact with a dying person is very important.  Hold his hand.  Reduce (divide) his sorrows of death, as much as you can.  Give him frequent strokes/touches so he knows we are still there.  (Without movement, we easily lose awareness that something/someone is touching us.)

 

 

Section 4: Perfect Act of Contrition without a priest

                  

The prospect of dying without (an uncompromising priest for) 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 (an uncompromising priest for) confession when available, this heartfelt prayer restores the dying person to grace at once.[6]

 

 

Section 5:  The Catholic Church permits a dying person to confess to a compromising or bad priest[7] 

 

In the 1917 Code of Canon Law, Canon #882 states, “In danger of death, any priest, even one not otherwise approved for hearing confessions, may validly and licitly absolve any penitent from whatever sins”.

 

The Council of Trent is the origin of this permission (viz., quoted immediately above) for a dying person to confess to a compromising or bad priest.

 

 

Section 6:  A traditional Catholic funeral and burial when there is no uncompromising priest available[8]

 

Part A:  We must avoid a compromise wake, funeral, and burial.  But God lovingly placed us in this time of Great Apostasy, for His greater glory and for our good.  He does not want us to have a Requiem Mass for our funeral when no uncompromising priest is available to offer one.  Such a compromise funeral (viz., with a compromising priest) is a sin.

 

Part B:  How do we conduct a wake, funeral, and burial of our loved one without a priest?  After our loved one’s death, we plan the schedule and invite/announce the schedule in a manner similar to the customary way for any funeral and burial.  Everyone is welcome!  Praying together is an occasion to benefit from our Lord’s promise: “Where there are two or three gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.”

 

 

Section 7:  Our duty not to “donate” our vital bodily organs or accept one donated[9]

 

“Harvesting” a person’s vital organs is premeditated murder.  Your organ donor card might be your death warrant.  Catholics should be careful to opt out of organ “donation” in those countries such as England, where permission to “donate” organs is assumed unless a person opts out.

 

 

Section 8:  Guidance concerning a Medical Power of Attorney[10]

 

Granting a “power of attorney” simply means giving a person the legal authority to act for you in certain matters.  In other words, granting a “power of attorney” merely makes that person your agent.  It does not refer to the person being a licensed attorney for the practice of law.  A Power of Attorney for Healthcare (also known as a Medical Power of Attorney) is a document through which you grant to your agent the legal authority to make medical decisions for you, when you cannot do so yourself.

 

As you know, God will not allow you to be tempted to sin beyond your ability to resist, and He also will not allow you to lose your soul without the Sacraments, beyond your ability to secure a happy death.  God will give you the necessary grace for that happy death.

 

St. Francis de Sales says that to wish to do the will of God is of unspeakable merit.  He states that if a Christian learns of his impending death and accepts it because it is God’s will, he may go straight to heaven.

 

Pope St. Pius X seems to have had this doctrine in mind when he granted a plenary indulgence at the hour of death when this prayer is said:

 

O my God, from this moment forward I accept with a joyful and resigned heart the death Thou will be pleased to send me, with all its pains, sufferings, and anguish.[11]

 

Is it not wonderful that you love God and accept His will completely, and all that happens is for the best?  God knows what you need.  He will not abandon you in this time of crisis in the Catholic Church.

 

 

 



[3]           Words of St. Thomas Aquinas, quoted from his Commentary on II Thessalonians, 3:10, ch.3, lecture 2.

 

[4]           A Manual of Moral Theology, Rev. Thomas Slater, SJ., Vol I., Fifth and Revised Edition, Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., London, ©1925, Part 5, The Fifth Commandment, Ch.1, On Suicide.

 

[6]           Catholic Encyclopedia, 1908, Vol. 4, article on Contrition, page 339.

[11]         From the book How to Be Happy, How to Be Holy, by Father Paul O’Sullivan, O.P.

 

The Importance and Need for Stay-At-Home Moms

… to ensure happy families on earth and in heaven.

The importance of having mothers at home was recognized for thousands of years.  It was just common sense.  The fathers earned a living, while the mothers were home tending the home fires.

This was not seriously challenged until World War II, and in a major way, later, by feminism.  (More on this later.)  

It was not easy to pry the American woman out of her home.  Her contributions (as nurse, teacher, cook, baker, cleaner, nurturer, etc.) had always been recognized as essential to the well-being and happiness of the family.  However, the push for women to get the vote in the 1920s was used as a push to get women out of the home.  If it wasn’t very successful then, its time arrived in the ‘40s when World War II called millions of American men to fight for their country.  This must have been the moment the Left had been waiting for: a logical call for American women to replace their husbands in the factories for patriotic reasons.

“Rosie the Riveter” was the symbol.  In posters and billboards everywhere, curls stuck out of her red kerchief while she took her husband’s place on the production line, making it clear she was a female “doing her part.”  And the media loved it.  Even when the war ended, they encouraged women to “seek fulfillment” in their lives, not so subtly suggesting that, of course, they couldn’t expect to find fulfillment as housewives.  Thus, when the men came home from the war, some women weren’t in any hurry to return to the domestic scene, and many were persuaded that it was more exciting to work outside the home.  It was only later that the women were bombarded with the idea that being a housewife was just a job – and that what she wanted was a CAREER.  You had to have a career or you were a dull, boring person who didn’t have this exciting other dimension to you.

But overlooked in the scramble to get a job was the question of who would take her place at home?  Who would take care of the children?  In the beginning, grandma.  However, the advent of the commercial daycare centers greatly reduced having to ask grandma to care for her grandchildren so mom could work outside the home.

(The other side of the coin was the devil’s other solution: to use birth control and have fewer children.  This contributed to the birth rate being way down across the world.)

 

Even so, daycare was not the perfect solution, of course.  Not only does daycare cost so much that it takes a serious bite out of the extra income that mom brings in, but it is notorious for passing on sickness from one child to another.  The problems of the daycare centers have been widely documented.  Some are sub-standard, unsanitary, poorly regulated, and run by incompetents, as well as those that are ably and reasonably proficient.  There was (and is) a huge disparity between them. 

But if the daycare centers provided the illusion that the little ones were adequately cared for, then that seemed to solve the major impediment to mom getting an outside job.

A second major reason that some women left their homes for the job market was the lure of a second paycheck.  Where their parents’ and grandparents’ generations had been willing to wait for those extras like new carpeting, nicer homes, and new cars, most of today’s families were persuaded that they didn’t have to wait to have a boat or fancier vacations if the mother of the family was bringing in a paycheck too.

And as to this paycheck, women were told they should expect to earn the same as men.  This brought things like the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) into being, opening the door for multiple other items on the liberal/feminist agenda.  (Side note for younger readers, perhaps:  The ERA might have sounded like a fair and just amendment, but in reality, it would have caused great havoc with our society, negatively impacting American life in general, and the well-being of women in particular.)

Here are just a few of the ERA’s harmful consequences:

1.    The ERA would be used to overturn all restrictions on abortion;

2.    The ERA would be used to mandate taxpayer funding of elective Medicaid abortions;

3.    The ERA would remove gender designations from bathrooms, locker rooms, jails, and hospital rooms;

4.    The ERA would not give women any more rights than they currently have; and

5.    The ERA would overturn laws and practices that benefit women because they would be viewed as showing preferential treatment to women.

For example:

  Workplace laws that provide special accommodations for expectant mothers;

  State labor laws and guidelines which benefit women who do heavy, manual labor;

  Social Security benefits for stay-at-home mothers based on their spouse’s income; and

  Exemption of women from the military draft and front-line combat.

 Here is the ERA’s history in a nutshell:

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the ERA in 1972, but by law, it had to be ratified by ¾ of the states within seven years in order to be a part of the Constitution of our country.  After untold Conservative efforts to educate people on the dangers of this amendment, the ERA failed to be ratified. 

Unfortunately, the Left was able to get a three-year extension, which (thankfully) ended in 1982 without the required number of states ratifying it.  (Also, five states that had approved it, rescinded their ratification after better understanding the dangers of the proposed amendment.) 

Currently, there is a new push to entice additional states to ratify, with Nevada succumbing in 2017, Illinois in 2018, and Virginia in 2020.) 

End of this brief history lesson. 

Let’s get back to our look at women and how they were enticed out of their homes.  What had been (disastrously) overlooked was how important the mother was to the family and how the family would suffer in her absence.

Yes, this article focuses on the absence of mothers in the home, but for just a moment let us digress and talk briefly about the absence of fathers in the home.  This move was facilitated by a huge change that was thrust on the American ethos with the idea of “single mothers.”  This was a new term that was introduced and repeated to legitimize the idea of women “voluntarily” raising their children by themselves.  The gradual acceptance of the idea of “single mothers” contributed to the assault on marriage by the huge increase of couples temporarily living together without the benefit of marriage.  The removal of the stigma attached to this sinful way of life accomplished the disastrous objective of making it so common that it spread far and wide.

What greatly contributed to the rise of “single mothers” was the destructive welfare system, which increased the monthly check for every baby she bore out of wedlock.  It was a money-maker for some.  (What does that teach the next generation?) 

 

Another evil result of the absence of fathers in the home was that boys lacked a male role model, and thus, many tended to become feminized, (which may contribute to the confusion in so many young minds as to whether they should use the boys’ or the girls’ bathrooms, for example.)

Returning to our subject of women being absent from the home.  Women moved from factory jobs into offices, stores, industries, etc.  Home life suffered.  Many tried to “do it all” but found it impossible, merely a step along the path toward frustration, exhaustion, and ulcers.  Seemingly, common sense would tell you that working at an outside job for 40 hours a week is hardly compatible with a smoothly-running home where laundry is done in a timely manner, beds are changed regularly, nutritious meals are the norm; where children can be listened to, instructed, guided, monitored, etc

(Note to widows or mothers involuntarily in circumstances where they are doing the job by themselves: You are not included in this disparagement.  The valiant job you find yourselves required to do needs no explanation or justification.) 

However, it might be instructive to consider some of the possible consequences of women taking jobs outside the home:

1.    As mentioned above, the cost of hiring a sitter or paying for daycare is formidable.  It swallows a big chunk of that extra paycheck;

2.    There is little or no supervision of the children after school.  This can’t be a good thing.  The children become part of that sad world of Latchkey Children coming home to an empty house;

3.    Second car expenses must be figured into any financial cost;

4.    More money spent on more clothes for the women;

5.    Rushed meals, in many cases more expensive meals, thrown-together with increased fast food elements and convenience foods; not particularly healthy meals;

6.    The time crunch leaves little or no time for problem-solving family discussions around the dinner table (where problems often are first recognized and resolved);

7.    Guilt at spending less and less time with the children.  (There’s always so much to do she doesn’t have time to sit and find out how things are going in their lives, at school, in the neighborhood, etc.)  This is also where some strange idea that the student picked up might come to light and be explored, explained, and debunked, if necessary.

8.    It often precipitates arguments about whose job it is to (fill in the blank here, e.g., empty the dishwasher, throw the next load in, make the lunches);

9.    Frequently can’t scrutinize the children’s friends;

10. Often hasn’t the time to follow up on whether homework is finished or chores completed;

11. Discipline usually suffers;

12. No time for a kneel-down family rosary; and

13. Impossible to monitor children’s time with entertainment, as well as a tendency toward laxity in using entertainment such as TV, video games, social media, or electronic devices.

 Now, if you are a traditional Catholic home-schooling family, you may be way ahead of the game because you may not have to worry about most, if not all, of those 13 problem areas listed above.  For example, you may not have a TV.  And the home-schooling family tends to have a closer eye on who their children are playing with. 

And the children don’t need latchkeys, and a rosary always begins the class day, etc.  But let’s get real, right?  Can being a stay-at-home mother guarantee life will be a bed of roses?  Frankly, no.  But learning what works (and what doesn’t) goes a long way toward making your load easier.  And having the mother in the home is a huge step toward successfully raising and educating your family.

Now it is not pandering to women to point out how indispensable they are in the family.  When I hear someone speak condescendingly about women wasting their time (and talents) changing diapers, and making snarky remarks about the “little woman” baking her chocolate chip cookies, I want to sit her down and explain the facts of domestic life to her.  (Because it’s almost always “working women” – often guilt-filled – who attempt to disparage the stay-at-home mom.)  I want to point out to her that it isn’t vacuuming the house, shopping for groceries, doing the laundry, etc. that make that mother’s job important, essential as those things are.  It’s being there:

·         to comfort a child with a skinned knee;

·         holding her daughter’s hand when she gets her first shot;

·         listening to her son’s grievance against the neighbor kid;

·         taking him to the orthodontist;

·         instructing her daughter how to write a thank you note to her grandmother;

·         listening to her spelling-words;

·         teaching her son his Mass server’s Confiteor;

·         helping her daughter on her first sewing project;

·         guiding her son’s preparation for the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test);

·         etc., etc

And that doesn’t even include the obvious things like: making a child’s special birthday dinner, taking the dog to the vet; and two of the most important things: – recognizing that that kid from the end of the block is up to no good, and guiding her son away from him; and also, welcoming home at the end of the day the father of the family.

To sum up, the mother’s job is one of the most important jobs in the world: to create a happy, God-centered family, to make a home that is a good place to be.  

The Exquisite Blessings of Possessing the Truth

Objective truth series Reflection #15

Our reason is such a wonderful faculty given to us by God.  By our reason we come to the knowledge of truth as we discussed in the last Reflection.  In this Reflection we intend to consider the moral obligation we have to use our reason, and to see how by using our reason and the light of our Faith, God directs and protects our souls. 

One way we can learn about our moral obligation to use our reason is by looking at the Principal and Foundation from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God, Our Lord, and by this means to save his soul.  All other things on the face of the earth are created for man to help him fulfill the end for which he is created.  From this it follows that man is to use these things to the extent that they will help him to attain his end.  Likewise, he must rid himself of them in so far as they prevent him from attaining it [viz., his end].  

Our Lady teaches us through St. Ignatius how crucial it is for man to use his reason to make the proper distinctions between what creatures are good for man – which help him attain his end – and what creatures are harmful to man in attaining his end.

God expects us to use our reason because He created us rational.  For Our Lord says, “… some fell upon good ground; and being sprung up, yielded fruit a hundred-fold.  Saying these things, He cried out: He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” St. Luke’s Gospel, 8:8.

We know we are obliged in conscience to use our reason.  In fact, when we use our reason, we can know God’s Will for us.  One example of this is that the errors of our times become self-evident.

It is almost as if God rewards us for using our reason.  Nevertheless, it is His Will that we use our reason.  We should value the fact that God made us with the use of reason.  God intends that we perfect our intellects by learning more and more about Him and His wonderful creation.

Consequently, we are properly humbled when we learn more because we see how very small we are compared to God, His creation, and particularly His holy angels.  We begin to count knowledge as a blessing which we are so unworthy to have.  How great God is!  We know that we are so blessed to have the truth!

In our times of great apostasy, seeing reality is a precious blessing.  Many souls do not see the obvious.  As Our Lady of Fatima said, “Many souls are going to hell because they have no one to pray for them.”  Hence, we can see that truth is a gift from God and He is not obliged to give it to us.

As we said in the previous Reflection, “Truth is the mind’s conformity to reality.” What is the highest reality man can know?  It is in the realm of theology and knowing about God Himself.  Where can we discover this knowledge about God?  Of course, the answer is from our Holy Catholic Faith.  In our Baptism we received this priceless treasure – our Faith.  With our Faith, we must be vessels of truth.  We must be apostles of truth in this pagan world.  We would not want to trade the Faith or any of the truth we hold, for anything in the world!  We cannot thank God enough for the Faith and the truth!

The following words of Our Lord are so consoling, “And you shall know the truth: and the truth shall make you free.”  St. John’s Gospel, 8:32. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No man cometh to the Father, but by Me.” St. John’s Gospel, 14:6.

And as we know from what Our Lord told us, “For many are called, but few are chosen”,[1] and “How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it!”,[2] that Our Lord is telling us strongly how few is the number of the elect.  Therefore, to save our souls is a tremendous blessing and gift of God.  We know we must pray fervently to God to beg Him to allow us to be in the number of the Elect.

We cannot presume that we will be in the number of the Elect.  Yet, God wants us to remember through the virtue of hope, that He will not abandon us if we do not abandon Him.  Hence, we must pray earnestly to Him to help us never give up through proud despair.

We can easily conclude that when we simply ponder the fact that we do not deserve the gift of Faith, we see that God is lovingly protecting us in these times of dark apostasy.  All the more should we want to use our reason to the best of our abilities, cling to our God-given Faith, and pray for the gift of final perseverance.  But in addition to these, we should desire to stand up for the Faith and spread the Faith, remembering also Our Lord’s words, “And the unprofitable servant cast ye out into the exterior darkness.  There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”.  St. Matthew’s Gospel. 25:30.  Remembering also that Our Lord says, “Unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required”[3], we would certainly want to show God our sincerest gratitude for the blessing of the use of our reason, and the tremendous gift of the Faith.  We really cannot thank God enough for these exquisite blessings.  Knowing that words cannot go far enough to express our gratitude, we might try, with something like the following:

Our use of reason, oh what joy!

God wants us, this tool, to employ.

Deeper and richer truths to know,

Can our intellect perfect grow.

 

Created our we, our souls to save,

For this end, our reason God gave.

 Countless benefits by good use,

And evil snares, we can deduce.

 

In these dark times, in which we live,

Grateful to God, that He doth give,

A way to see, more what He wills,

Thinking clearly, this improves skills.

 

Sadly, so few, try to inspect,

Deeply into, any subject,

They, at the surface, content stay,

With the flow of the breeze, they sway.

 

Thanks be to God, we know not to

Do the things that, the worldlings do,

Much farther we search and can see,

How God does not, want us to be.

 

Caught up in, the world’s silly mess,

Making little things, our distress,

 But to have, an eternal view,

Our souls are of the most value!

 

With reason, by Faith, perfected,

And praying to be elected,

We can know that our gifts are rare,

Of God, others seem, not to care.

 

We cannot give God enough thanks,

To be counted in the Faith’s ranks,

Undeserved are these, many gifts,

By which our soul, up to God, lifts.

 

Let us pour out our hearts and souls,

Praise God for giving us true goals,

Thankful for all the benefits,

Of our Catholic Faith and wits.



[1]           St. Matthew’s Gospel, 22:14.

 

[2]           St. Matthew’s Gospel, 7:14.

 

[3]           St. Luke’s Gospel, 12:48.

The Similarity of the Present Great Apostasy to Arian Times

We are in a state of war in the human element of the Catholic Church.  Although the Gates of Hell will never prevail against the Church,[1] the current crisis is an all-out combat between the faithful members of the Church Militant and the modernist enemies of Christ.

Our fight is similar to the war in the Fourth Century, between Catholics and the Arian heretics.  The great historian, Cardinal Newman, tells us that during this Arian crisis, the pope, the bishops, and General Councils of the Church hid the truth and compromised the Catholic Faith.  Here is how Cardinal Newman recounted these events:

[I]n that time of immense confusion the divine dogma of our Lord’s divinity was proclaimed, enforced, maintained, and (humanly speaking) preserved, far more by the ‘Ecclesia docta’ [i.e., the laity] than by the ‘Ecclesia docens;’ [i.e., the hierarchy]; that the body of the Episcopate was unfaithful to its commission, while the body of the laity was faithful to its baptism; that at one time the pope, at other times a patriarchal, metropolitan,[2] or other great see, at other times general councils, said what they should not have said, or did what obscured and compromised revealed truth ….[3]

The same is true now, in the present Great Apostasy.  Pope Francis and the rest of the Church’s hierarchy as well as the Second Vatican Council, have hidden, compromised, and falsified the truths of the Catholic Faith.

St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church, recounts how only heresy was loudly professed during Arian times and how true Catholics avoided the church buildings because those buildings were places of evil.  Here are St. Basil’s words:

Religious people keep silence, but every blaspheming tongue is let loose. Sacred things are profaned; those of the laity who are sound in faith avoid the places of worship as schools of impiety, and raise their hands in solitudes, with groans and tears to the Lord in heaven.[4] 

What was true during Arian times, is also true during the current Great Apostasy.  Faithful and informed Catholics are marginalized and ignored, while the so-called Catholic leaders in the civil and ecclesiastical spheres let loose their “blaspheming tongues” (as St. Basil called them). 

Moreover, as was true during Arian times, so it is also true now.  Faithful and informed Catholics would never go into a conciliar church (or other compromise church) to pray because those churches are “schools of impiety” (as St. Basil called them).[5]

St. Basil the Great recounts how, because they were driven out of the churches (which were occupied by a false religion), faithful Catholics sanctified the Sunday wherever they could worship in solitude, despite their sufferings.  Here are St. Basil’s words:

Matters have come to this pass: the people have left their houses of prayer, and assemble in deserts, — a pitiable sight; women and children, old men, and men otherwise infirm, wretchedly faring in the open air, amid the most profuse rains and snow-storms and winds and frosts of winter; and again in summer under a scorching sun.  To this they submit, because they will have no part in the wicked Arian leaven.[6] 

Again, what was true during Arian times, is also true during the current Great Apostasy.  Faithful and informed Catholics sanctify the Sunday in their homes or wherever else they can pray in peace and solitude, wishing to have no part of the wicked conciliar leaven.

St. Basil the Great recounts how Catholic Tradition was banned but anything else was accepted.  Those Catholics who were faithful to Tradition were deprived of the churches and altars for Mass.  Here are St. Basil’s words:

Only one offence is now vigorously punished — an accurate observance of our fathers’ traditions. For this cause the pious are driven from their countries, and transported into deserts. The people are in lamentation, in continual tears at home and abroad. There is a cry in the city, a cry in the country, in the roads, in the deserts.  Joy and spiritual cheerfulness are no more; our feasts are turned into mourning; our houses of prayer are shut up, our altars deprived of the spiritual worship.[7]

As was true during Arian times, the same is true during the current Great Apostasy.  Anything is permitted except Catholic Tradition, and it alone is “vigorously punished” (to use St. Basil’s description).  Faithful and informed Catholics are deprived of their churches and altars for Mass.  We are also, in effect, “driven out” of the churches of liberal groups because it would be a compromise to enter there.

Just as in Arian times, so also now in the present Great Apostasy, the conciliar Catholics have the churches but we have the Catholic Faith.  Here are the words of St. Athanasius, Doctor of the Church, consoling his flock during the Arian crisis:

May God console you! … What saddens you … is the fact that others have occupied the churches by violence, while during this time you are on the outside.  It is a fact that they have the premises – but you have the apostolic Faith.  They can occupy our churches, but they are outside the true Faith.  You remain outside the places of worship, but the Faith dwells within you.  Let us consider: what is more important, the place or the Faith?  The true Faith, obviously.  Who has lost and who has won in this struggle – the one who keeps the premises or the one who keeps the Faith?

True, the premises are good when the apostolic Faith is preached there; they are holy if everything takes place there in a holy way …  You are the ones who are happy: you who remain within the church by your faith, who hold firmly to the foundations of the Faith which has come down to you from apostolic Tradition.  And if an execrable jealousy has tried to shake it on a number of occasions, it has not succeeded.  They are the ones who have broken away from it in the present crisis.

No one, ever, will prevail against your faith, beloved brothers. And we believe that God will give us our churches back some day.

Thus, the more violently they try to occupy the places of worship, the more they separate themselves from the Church.  They claim that they represent the Church; but in reality, they are the ones who are expelling themselves from it and going astray.

Even if Catholics faithful to Tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ.[8]

To quote St. Athanasius, who consoled his flock during the Arian crisis, we should also be consoled in the present Great Apostasy:

  We remain Catholic, whereas the conciliar revolutionaries “claim that they represent the Church, but in reality … are the ones who have broken away … in the present crisis”;

  Although small in number, “even if Catholics faithful to Tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ”.

 

  As in Arian times, so now in our time, “we believe that God will give us our churches back some day.”

Why are/were Faithful Catholics willing to suffer greatly, both in Arian times and during the present Great Apostasy?

The spiritual life is inherently aimed at espousal of our souls as brides of Christ.[9]  For those Traditional Catholics who love Our Lord more, their sufferings during this present Great Apostasy are a joy because they suffer for the Bridegroom of their souls, Who is Christ.  This joy in suffering is explained in the Traditional Catholic Exhortation before Marriage, in these words:

Only love can make suffering easy; and perfect love can make it a joy. We are willing to give in proportion as we love.

However, even for the rest of us, we see that this suffering and ostracism from (the human element of) the Church is much better than committing a sin – even a venial sin – not to mention the grave sin of joining with the Masses or sacraments of the compromise groups.  Here is how Cardinal Newman states this truth:

 

The Catholic Church holds it better for the sun and moon to drop from heaven, for the earth to fail, and for all the many millions on it to die of starvation in extremest agony, as far as temporal affliction goes, than that one soul, I will not say, should be lost, but should commit one single venial sin, should tell one willful untruth, or should steal one poor farthing without excuse.[10]

Conclusion

Let us Traditional Catholics bear our tribulations with joy – if our love for Christ makes us joyful in our sufferings, through the extra graces He gives during this present Great Apostasy.

Otherwise, let us at least firmly bear our sufferings with a strong heart and with peace of soul, “knowing that the same affliction befalls [our] brethren who are in the world.” 1 Peter, 5:9.



[1]           St. Matthew’s Gospel, 16:18.

[2]           Patriarchs and metropolitans are positions of leadership in the Catholic Church.

[3]           The Arians of the Fourth Century, by John Henry Cardinal Newman, Seventh Edition, Longmans, Green & Co., London, 1890, pp. 466-67 (bracketed words added for clarity; emphasis added).

 

[4]           The Arians of the Fourth Century, by John Henry Cardinal Newman, Third Edition, E. Lumley, London, 1871 (Epistle 92) pp. 467-8 (emphasis added).

 

[5]           For a more in-depth explanation why we should not go into conciliar churches, read this article: https://catholiccandle.neocities.org/faith/evil-praying-conciliar-church.html

 

[6]           The Arians of the Fourth Century, by John Henry Cardinal Newman, Third Edition, E. Lumley, London, 1871, p.468, quoting St. Basil’s epistle 242 (emphasis added).

 

 

[7]           The Arians of the Fourth Century, by John Henry Cardinal Newman, Third Edition, E. Lumley, London, 1871, p.468, quoting St. Basil’s epistle 243 (emphasis added).

 

[8]           Letter of St. Athanasius to his flock (emphasis added), available here: https://onepeterfive.com/the-church-is-like-the-light-of-a-dying-star/

[9]           To read more about the goal of the spiritual life, read this article: http://www.catholiccandle.org/2019/06/20/our-souls-should-be-docile-brides-of-christ/

 

 

[10]         Apologia Vita Sua, by John Henry Cardinal Newman, Image Books, Doubleday, Garden City, New York, © 1956, p.324.

 

Excuses for Compromise Confessions

Our Lord permits the current Great Apostasy in which we are living.  It is for our good: “All things work together unto the good for those who love God.”   Romans, 8:28.

Further, we must remember that Our Lord can never be outdone in generosity.  He gives extra graces to Catholics in the catacombs, who stand firm against compromise.  He does not abandon them but merely changes His methods of blessing and sanctifying them.  Our Lady of Fatima informed us about God’s approaching change of method.

For example, we don’t have Mass and Holy Communion because there are no uncompromising priests (at least in most places in the world).  Instead, Our Lord gives much greater efficacy than ever before, to the Holy Rosary, so that it fills all needs.[1]  

Similarly, the lack of uncompromising priests also means we don’t have confession (at least in most places in the world).  But again, our generous Lord knows our needs and He does not abandon us.  He only uses alternate means to sanctify us.  He gives great power to alternatives which are within our power during these apostate times.  St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, tells us the important use we can make of good works to blot out sin during the current Great Apostasy:

There is no sin which almsgiving does not blot out.  It is the fitting remedy to heal every wound.  But almsgiving does not only mean giving money, but also refers to every other good work helping others, including a physician healing the sick or a wise man giving good counsel.[2]

There are some people who call themselves “Traditional Catholics” yet who accept compromise confessions under the appearance of good.[3]  They rationalize their compromise by excuses such as:

  Excuse #1: “We are sinners and so we can’t be without confession”.  This is a false humility and a lack of trust in God.

 

·         A Catholic with true humility would say: “God is in charge and I will do His Will.  When He permits me to be without the Sacraments out of love for Him and for the uncompromising Catholic Faith, I won’t presume I know what I need better than God does.”

·         A Catholic who trusts in God would say: “God will not abandon me, if I don’t abandon Him.  He will take care of me and give me the means for my salvation, if I don’t abandon (and offend) Him by compromising and going to compromise priests.”

 

  Excuse #2: “We need to go to the Sacraments to show our children how important the Sacraments are.”  This is a false piety.  True piety would reject compromise Sacraments because they offend Our Lord and thus are against true piety.  When parents compromise in this way, they are merely teaching their children the life-long lesson that the Faith is “negotiable” and can be compromised for the Sacraments.  Beginning in the 1960s, conciliar Catholics taught their children the same lesson when they stayed in their local parishes for the sake of the Sacraments.

Our Lord is offended and angered by such compromise confessions!  Let us remain faithful to Him and use the means of salvation which He sends us, rather than the means which we choose, thinking we know better than He does.



[1]               Sister Lucy, seer at Fatima, revealed this truth in the following words addressed to Fr. Fuentes:

 

God is giving two last remedies to the world: the Holy Rosary and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  …  Prayer and sacrifice are the two means to save the world.  As for the Holy Rosary, Father, in these last times in which we are living, the Blessed Virgin has given a new efficacy to the praying of the Holy Rosary.  This in such a way that there is no problem that cannot be resolved by praying the Rosary, no matter how difficult it is – be it temporal or above all spiritual ….

 

Words of Sister Lucy, seer at Fatima, from her December 26, 1957 interview by Fr. Augustin Fuentes, vice-postulator of the cause of beatification for Francisco and Jacinta.  (Emphasis added.)  This interview can be found at: http://radtradthomist.chojnowski.me/2019/03/is-this-interview-that-caused-her.html

[2]           St. Thomas Aquinas quoting and following St. John Chrysostom, in the Catena Aurea on St. Luke’s Gospel, Ch. 12, section 9 (emphasis added).

[3]           St. Ignatius of Loyola received the Spiritual Exercises from Our Lady, in a cave at Manresa, Spain, in 1522.  In these Spiritual Exercises, here is how Our Lady warns us about committing sin under the appearance of good:

 

Fourth Rule: It is proper to the evil Angel, who forms himself under the appearance of an angel of light, to enter with the devout soul and go out with himself: that is to say, to bring good and holy thoughts, conformable to such just soul, and then little by little he aims at coming out drawing the soul to his covert deceits and perverse intentions.

 

Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Rule Four for the Discernment of Spirits, Second Week.

Why did Rome beatify and canonize the evil-doers?

Rome had (and has) a problem after the Second Vatican Council.  How do you give credence to – and make believable – the anti-Catholic results of the Council?  Well, the Masons and the Church leaders in Rome decided that if the popes at the time of and after the Council (1962-l965) were beatified/canonized, it would go a long way to convince gullible Catholics that the Council results were good and holy.

It worked, because most Catholics now believe and accept the following evils of the Council (whether those Catholics have ever heard of Vatican II or not):

1.    The replacement of the Tridentine Mass with an anti-Catholic service (i.e., the Novus Ordo mass) that does not give grace.  Without grace, you lose the Faith.  The Blessed Mother stated at La Salette, France, on Sept. 19, 1846, that “Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of the anti-Christ.”

2.    Religious liberty (i.e., you can choose any faith and be saved).

3.    Universal salvation (i.e., everyone will go to heaven).

4.    The adulterating of the Catholic Sacraments to have them more in line with Protestant false “sacraments”.

5.    “Catholic divorce” – annulments for false or doubtful reasons.

 

6.    Maintaining that the Council was necessary to update the Catholic Faith to make it more relevant in the modern age.  (If you believe that was necessary, you have already lost the Faith – because the Faith does not change.)

 

7.    The establishment of a new anti-Catholic conciliar church to replace the Roman Catholic Church.

 

8.    Rome also had to make many changes in the beatification/canonization process in order to make it fit the less-than-saintly lives of the popes involved in and after the Council.  The following disastrous changes were made:

 

a.    Reduced the number of miracles required,

b.    Shortened the time before declaring the heroic level of virtue,

c.     Allowed the beatification and canonization processes to be influenced by popular emotions and public opinion,

 

d.    Gave diocesan bishops the right to instruct the trial and to judge.  Therefore, since bishops are making the determination on the canonizations, these decentralized decisions are less consistent, lack the quality control and uniformity of the Vatican’s prior decisions.

e.    Accepted lower standards of life unworthy of canonized saints – many of these conciliar “saints” are so far from heroic sanctity that in many cases there is not even reasonable assurance that such “saints” even died in the state of grace.

 

f.     Eliminated the Devil’s Advocate (who is similar to a prosecutor and is the one who challenges the evidence), thus changing the canonization proceedings into an academic process rather than a courtroom-style procedure.

 

g.    Accepted doubtful “miracles” without serious investigation.

These changes give Catholics a great uncertainty they did not have in the past, and cause much doubt concerning the beatifications and canonizations after Vatican Council II, now and in the future.   

The following popes were involved in the conciliar church, during and after the Council, and their causes for beatification/canonization were or will be moving through the process.

  “St.” John XXIII, who initiated the Council and agreed with and promoted the anti-Catholic changes.

  “St.” Paul VI, who agreed with and fostered all of the anti-Catholic changes.

  “St.” John Paul II, who also agreed with the changes of the Council and enacted additional anti-Catholic changes.

  Former Pope Benedict XVI, who agreed with the changes but was so pressured that he chose to abdicate the papacy in order to make room for a more liberal pope (i.e. Pope Francis), who will increase the number of heresies to be accepted.   I believe Benedict will be beatified and canonized in due time for his efforts to promote the evils of the Council.[1]

  As for Pope Francis, the conciliar church is already talking about the need to beatify and canonize him.[2]

As stated above, the plan is to make the anti-Catholic Council seem holy, accepted, and believable by beatifying and canonizing all the popes involved in it or promoting it, during or after.  Who would have believed 60 years ago that the human element of the Catholic Church would be so completely destroyed?  Believe it also because the Blessed Virgin foretold this at La Salette. 

Have faith!  An all-powerful God is in charge, so all is not lost!  We must pray and do penance following Our Lady’s request at Fatima.  The human element of the Catholic Church will come back strong and holy. 

God will raise up uncompromising Traditional Catholic leaders from among unworthy men, just as He is able to raise up sons of Abraham from the stones on the banks of the Jordan River.[3]



[1]           In connection with Pope Paul VI’s supposed “canonization”, and in an apparent joke masking an underlying truth, Pope Francis quipped, “As for Benedict XVI and myself, we’re on the waiting list” for sainthood.  https://news.abs-cbn.com/overseas/02/18/18/pope-says-hes-on-sainthood-waiting-list

 

 

[2]           See, e.g., Pope Francis documentary: A film that could buttress the case for sainthood, found here: https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/film/pope-francis-documentary-a-film-that-could-buttress-the-case-for-sainthood-1.3582228

 

[3]           On the banks of the Jordan River, St. John the Baptist declared to the Jews:

 

Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of penance; and do not begin to say, “We have Abraham for our father”.  For I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham.

 

St. Luke’s Gospel, 3:8 (emphasis added).

Words to Live by – from Catholic Tradition

The Voice of Christ:

Do not consider yourself forsaken if I send some temporary hardship, or withdraw the consolation you desire.  For this is the way to the kingdom of heaven.

The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis, Book III, Chapter 30.

Guidance Concerning a Medical Power of Attorney

Catholic Candle note: Recently, Catholic Candle examined the permission the Church traditionally gives to a person who is in danger of death, to confess to a priest whom an uncompromising Catholic could not otherwise support (or confess to) because that priest is a compromiser, an apostate, or someone whom it is otherwise impermissible to support.  Find the article here: http://www.catholiccandle.org/2020/01/01/using-a-compromised-priest-when-dying/

Catholic Candle also addressed how uncompromising laymen can bury their dead in these times of great apostasy when an uncompromising priest is not available.  Find the article here: http://www.catholiccandle.org/2020/04/02/a-traditional-catholic-funeral-and-burial-when-there-is-no-uncompromising-priest-available/

Between this last confession (discussed in the first of those articles) and the burial (discussed in the second article), is the crucial moment of death.  We gave recommendations how to assist at a person’s death, based on the experience of some of the Catholic Candle Team, who recently assisted at the deaths of two uncompromising Traditional Catholics.  Find the article here: http://www.catholiccandle.org/2020/06/01/how-to-assist-a-person-in-dying-a-holy-death/

Also, in our last days of life, we must continue to give sufficient care to sustain our life – even as it is waning – and must not yield to the culture of death, which promotes euthanasia.  Therefore, we examined the minimum care we are obliged to provide to sustain our life even when we are dying.  Find the article here: http://www.catholiccandle.org/2020/07/01/use-of-ordinary-care-even-as-we-are-dying/

Again, because we live in a culture of death, part of our using sufficient care to sustain our life – even as it is waning – we must never acquiesce in being murdered by having our vital organs removed to be “donated” to another person.  Further, we must never accept the “donation” of a vital organ from someone else, as we would then become complicit in his murder.  Therefore, we examined the evil of such murder by the “donation” of a vital organ.  Find the article here: http://www.catholiccandle.org/2020/08/01/our-duty-not-to-donate-or-accept-donated-vital-bodily-organs/

Finally, it is sometimes advisable to appoint a wise and virtuous person to make decisions concerning our medical treatment when we cannot do so ourselves at some future time.  This goal is accomplished in many jurisdictions through a document called a Power of Attorney for Healthcare, or a Medical Power of Attorney.  Below, we examine this type of document and offer guidance (which would apply in many jurisdictions) based on the past experience of some of the Catholic Candle Team.

We recommend that you save all of these articles for future reference and use.

 


What is a Medical Power of Attorney?

Granting a “power of attorney” simply means giving a person the legal authority to act for you in certain matters.  In other words, granting a “power of attorney” simply means making a person your agent.  It does not refer to the person being a licensed attorney for the practice of law.  A Power of Attorney for Healthcare (also known as a Medical Power of Attorney) is a document through which you grant to your agent the legal authority to make medical decisions for you, when you cannot do so for yourself.


Why should you grant someone a Medical Power of Attorney?

Living, as we do, in a pagan world, we are surrounded by people urging us to make sinful decisions.  But we have a non-delegable duty to resist evil pressures and to do our best to make correct Catholic decisions.[1]  To help us make those Catholic decisions, we must have recourse to prayer, to study/research, and to advice from wise and virtuous persons.

Some of those Catholic decisions concern our medical treatment.  Further, it is foreseeable that the time might come when we cannot make medical decisions for ourselves because we are delirious, in a coma, or are otherwise unable to make them.  Therefore, it is prudent to provide for that possibility now by deciding who could best make the correct Catholic decisions for us then, in the event we cannot do so.

Below, we provide a draft Power of Attorney for Healthcare document.  This draft might need to be revised based on the laws of your particular jurisdiction. 

However, first let’s consider the type of person you should select for this important responsibility of holding your power of attorney for your medical treatment.


Selecting an agent to hold this medical power of attorney

You should select carefully the person to whom you give a medical power of attorney.  This person should be:

1.    Willing;

2.    Available;

3.    Sufficiently instructed in the Catholic principles which must be applied to your condition;

4.    Sufficiently intelligent to understand your condition;

5.    Decisive enough to make a decision without unreasonable delay; and

 

6.    Strong and steadfast in the face of opposition.

Below, we discuss each of these important conditions needed to make a person a suitable agent to hold your medical power of attorney.

1.   Your agent should be willing

Depending upon your future medical situation, it might be a substantial burden on a person to be responsible for making your medical decisions.  Therefore, common courtesy demands that you do not impose this burden on someone without first asking his permission.

Further, you will get better, more diligent decisions from a person if he has voluntarily accepted the responsibility for making your medical decisions and is willing to do it (if/when you cannot make the decisions).

2.   Your agent should be available

Even if a person is very willing to help you and accepts the responsibility for making your medical decisions if/when necessary, he would be a poor choice as your agent if it were foreseeable that he would likely not be reachable when urgent medical decisions must be made.

With the ubiquity of cell phones, this is usually not a problem.  However, if a person is foreseeably often unreachable, that would make him a poor choice as your medical agent.

A person who is in your area is preferable to a person who would need to make decisions without being able to actually assess your condition in person and meet in person with your doctors and other caregivers, when necessary.

For whatever agent you do choose, place all of his contact information (i.e., all ways to reach him) right into the form you use to grant him the power of attorney to make your healthcare decisions.  In this way, every caregiver who has a copy of your medical power of attorney would also have all of your agent’s contact information.

Because the future comes with many uncertainties, it is possible that your agent will not be available despite your best-laid plans.  Therefore, it is prudent that your medical power of attorney document would designate an alternate agent who would act in the event that your first agent is unavailable.

3.   Your agent must be sufficiently instructed in the Catholic principles which must be applied to your condition

Even if a person is willing and available, he would be a poor choice to act as your agent if he does not understand the Catholic principles controlling the medical decisions which must be made.  To take two examples:

  Your agent must understand that so-called “brain death” is not real death[2] and that he has a continued duty to take all reasonable measures to preserve your life and health even if the hospital declares that you are dead (meaning that you are so-called “brain dead”).

&#10070  Your agent must understand that the assertion that your life lacks “dignity” is not a basis for failing to sustain your life.


4.   Your agent must be sufficiently intelligent to understand your condition

However willing and available a person might be and however well-instructed in the relevant Catholic principles, he would be a poor choice as your agent if he cannot understand your medical condition and clear-headedly apply those Catholic principles to your medical condition. 

For example, Catholic principles require that a person be given sufficient fluids (and not be killed by dehydration).  However, if a patient’s organs have shut down and the patient is internally drowning in his own fluids because his body can no longer expel those fluids even with the aid of diuretics, then your agent should understand that the requirement of giving the patient hydration no longer applies (because it will no longer help sustain his life).

 

5.   Your agent must be sufficiently decisive so that he can make a timely decision

However willing and available a person might be and however sufficient his understanding, a person would be a poor choice as your agent if he was not able to make a reasonably prompt decision when necessary – even when the consequences of that decision are grave. 

A crucial decision should not be made through inaction and so your agent must be capable of being decisive when necessary.

6.   Your agent must be strong and steadfast in the face of opposition

However well a person might otherwise fit the requirements to be a good agent to hold your medical power of attorney, he would be a poor choice if he is not strong enough to remain steadfast in the face of opposition from medical personnel and emotional relatives.

Hospitals and doctors sometimes apply tremendous pressure on a decisionmaker if he seeks to prolong a patient’s life.  They might declare they refuse to provide the additional treatment – waiting to see how your agent will react to that declaration. 

Or, the caregivers might selectively disclose information to your agent, seeking to steer him into the medical decision they wish him to make.  This situation might require unusual tenacity in your agent to investigate and to insist upon treatment which would be in your best interests.

In extreme situations, to protect your life or welfare, your agent must be willing to threaten to hire an attorney and file a lawsuit to ensure your medical care or to prevent you from being murdered.  This lawsuit could either be you seeking a judge’s order to restrain medical caregivers from harming you,[3] or you threatening to hold them personally liable for medical malpractice.

Similarly, your medical agent must be strong enough to withstand the opposition of emotional family members who cry and plead: “How can you be so cruel and make Mom suffer?”, or relatives who shout or say: “Let Dad die with dignity”.

How not to choose a medical agent

Do not choose as your medical agent an unsuitable person because that person would have hurt feelings if he were not chosen.  Similarly, do not choose an unsuitable agent because of love or friendship.  The selection of your agent can literally be a matter of life and death for you.  Hurt feelings or emotional attachment should not be a consideration in the selection.

Generally, it is not a good idea to select a group, e.g., all of your adult children, to jointly make decisions concerning your medical treatment.  “Committees” are inefficient decisionmakers.  Further, sometimes medical decisions must be made quickly.  The more decision makers there are, the larger the potential delays in both successfully contacting the group and in their reaching a consensus decision.

Generally, a single decisionmaker is best.  However, if multiple decisionmakers are used, an even number of decisionmakers is a bad choice unless there is provision for breaking a deadlock (a tie) if there is a disagreement.  Although an even number of agents is generally a bad idea, it is a good idea to have a single agent with provision for an alternate agent if the first agent is unavailable.

We recommend that your medical power of attorney document has features similar to this draft form:


                   
Draft durable power of attorney for health care

I, [name], residing at [address and other contact information], hereby appoint my close friend, [name and all contact information], as my attorney in fact (“Agent”) to act for me and in my name, in any way I could act in person, to make all decisions for me concerning my personal care, medical treatment, hospitalization, and health care. 

If at any time and for any reason [insert agent’s name here] is unable or unwilling to act as my Agent, then I hereby appoint [alternate agent and all contact information here], as the then-successor Agent.

The powers I grant to my Agents do not include the power to direct or consent to withholding food or nutrition, water or hydration, oxygen, IVs, or common medicines such as antibiotics, which might be necessary or helpful for my well-being or for sustaining my life.  The powers I grant to my Agents do not include authorizing cremation or donating any of my organs to anyone, for any purpose.  My Agents shall have the same access to my medical records that I have, including the right to disclose the contents to others.

My Agents shall also have full power to authorize an autopsy and full responsibility for selecting the funeral home and choosing the “hard goods” (casket, etc.) and services related to my funeral, to be paid for through my [identify will or trust here].  I wish to be buried in the grave plot [information here concerning the cemetery, plot number, etc.].

I designate my Agent to have all authority to make all decisions concerning the religious aspects of my funeral and burial, including selecting the priest, if any, for the funeral and burial, etc.  All expenses related to these decisions shall be paid by my [identify will or trust].

I ask that at no time, including at my wake, that I be eulogized or that it be suggested that my soul is known to be already in heaven.  I would like the five Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary to be recited at my wake (not the Glorious Mysteries).     

If a guardian of my person is to be appointed, I nominate my Agents acting under this power of attorney as such guardian, to serve without bond or security.

I understand the full significance of the broad powers I am granting to my Agent in this instrument.  This is a durable power of attorney which has no expiration date and is not rendered null or void by the passage of time or by my disability or my declining health.

 

Date:                                  Signed:   _________________________________________                  

                                   

The principal has read this instrument and signed it in my presence.

 

Witness:                              Residing at:  _____________________________________                          

 

Witness:                              Residing at:                                 ____________________

 

Specimen signature of my Agents              I certify that the signatures of my Agents are correct.

 

______________________________            _______________________________________                                                         

[1st Agent’s name typed here]                   [name of person granting power of attorney]

 

______________________________            _______________________________________                                                         

[2nd Agent’s name typed here]                  [name of person granting power of attorney]

Note: Obviously, this medical power of attorney should be modified according to your circumstances.  For example, this form should be modified to reflect your prepayment of your funeral expenses, if you have prepaid them.

Final consideration – what should I do with my Medical Power of Attorney after it is signed?

After your medical power of attorney is completed and signed, do not merely put it with your important papers or in a safety deposit box at a bank (although those are good places to leave a copy). 

Broadly disseminate your power of attorney to your family, friends, and caregivers – because when you have a medical emergency, they are going to be focused on your treatment, not focused on searching through your important papers to find your medical power of attorney.

Give your power of attorney to your hospital, your family doctor, your specialist doctors, your oral surgeon, your assisted living facility, your medical rehabilitation facility, etc.  The more broadly you spread your power of attorney, the more likely it will be that it will be known and used in an emergency because more people will know about it and have access to it. 


Conclusion

In the culture of death in which we live, it is foreseeable that we might be harmed (or killed) by our treatment not corresponding to the requirements of Catholic principles.  A medical power of attorney is a tool to help us to prevent potential harm and to obtain help making those decisions when we are unable to do so.

It is prudent to provide now for a capable and virtuous agent who can make treatment decisions for us, according to Catholic principles, at that future time. 

We recommend that you give your agent a copy of the articles in this series on end-of-life matters.

 

False Human Respect: The Deceit of the Devil vs. The Desire of Pursuing the Truth

Objective Truth Series – Reflections Article #14

In our last reflection we considered how God wants us to seek His help in our problems.  However, we must also consider that God intends that man have a desire for Him especially as our last end.  Because we were created to be with God, it is built into our nature to want to have knowledge of Him. Hence there is a natural seeking or desire to know God and truth.  It is God’s Will that we pursue this desire.  God wants to satisfy this thirst for the knowledge of the truth.

God wants us to perfect our intellects and He uses this way to draw our souls to Him.  Of course, He wants us to learn more about Him for His glory and not our own.  God captivates our minds while we are thinking about Him or any aspect of truth. 

Humans are created with the ability to ponder the facts about something and have a sort of mental discussion about these facts. Thus, we come to concrete conclusions and acquire knowledge of the truth.  In this way, God also sparks our desire to know Him more and more.   We then desire more Truth and we love Truth more, and, consequently, we’ll want God more and more.  “Thy Word is Truth,” says Our Lord in His prayer to His Father in St. John’s Gospel (Ch. 17:17).

St. Thomas defines truth as “the mind’s conformity to reality.”  When our minds are conformed to reality, we are seeing how the facts fit together to make a proper conclusion.  We indeed discover the truth.

God puts the delight of truth in our minds and hearts.  The soul has an excitement about truth within itself.  Therefore, our hunger and thirst for truth, once sparked, should grow and grow. “They that eat me, shall yet hunger; and they that drink me, shall yet thirst” [Eccl. 24:29].

So, with this hunger and thirst for the truth, there naturally comes a greater love for truth and a desire to spread the truth. “Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house.  So, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father Who is in heaven” [Matt. 5; 15-16].  Our Lord is telling us that we should not be ashamed of the truth. We should not be afraid to stand up for the truth.

“And I say to you, whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God.  But he that shall deny me before men, shall be denied before the angels of God,” says Our Lord in St. Luke’s Gospel [Luke 12; 8-9].   Here Our Lord is saying again to not be afraid of standing up for the truth, and to rejoice, to glorify God by spreading the truth.

The devil, on the other hand, hates the truth.  He tempts us to have a fear of standing up for the truth.  Of course, this fear is a false and irrational one.  This temptation is a typical tactic of the devil.  It is using shame in the wrong way.

When we just do things to please others and/or when we do not stand up against errors or unreasonable behavior because we are afraid to stick out, then we are betraying the truth.  This is a way of betraying Our Lord.  This betrayal comes from what is called false human respect or human respect pride.

Our Lord warned His Apostles of the way the world will view them, and, for that matter, us too. “You shall be hated by all men for My Name’s sake: but he that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved” [Matt. 10; 22].  And Our Lord says also, “Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” [Matt 5; 10] Further, “If the world hates you, know ye, that it hath hated Me before you.  If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” [John 15; 18-19]

Our Lord tells us not to worry by saying, “And I say to you, My friends: Be not afraid of them who kill the body, and after that have not more that they can do.  But I will show you whom you shall fear: fear ye him, who after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell. Yea, I say to you, fear him” [Matt 12; 4-5].

Our Lord consoles and reassures us, “In the world you shall have distress: but have confidence, I have overcome the world.” [John 16; 33]

We live in neo-pagan times of the great apostasy.  Common sense, reason, and truth are attacked viciously everywhere.  Political correctness is the modern world’s term used to describe exactly what Our Lord forbade, namely, speaking and doing the things and actions which the world favors, but which are against God and His commandments.  

In our times there is a tremendous pressure and tension throughout the world for all humans to succumb to the modern world’s immorality.  It really reminds us Catholics of what is referred to in the Apocalypse 13; 15, “And it was given him to give life to the image of the beast, and that the image of the beast should speak; and should cause, that whosoever will not adore the image of the beast, should be slain.”

However, when we read the following in the Apocalypse:  

Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to render to every man according to his works.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.  Blessed are they that wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb: that they may have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city.  Without are dogs, and sorcerers, and unchaste, and murderers, and servers of idols, and every one that loveth and maketh a lie ….  Apocalypse 22:12-15.

We should be terrified to not tell the truth.

These quotes should make us long for the truth all the more.  Likewise, they should urge us to stand up for the truth, fully knowing that this is what Our dear Lord expects of us.  They also fill us with the fear of human respect pride and make us want to humbly speak out to tell the truth.

Besides praying for the grace of final perseverance, we should pray for the love of the truth – that we have a deep devotion to the truth; that we always seek the truth; and that God gives us the fortitude to be willing to suffer and die for the sake of the truth.  With all of the powerful words of Scripture to remind us about truth, and the delight we take in learning the truth, maybe our hearts would swell to say the following:

Oh, the science of truth, Divine,

Thou, man is made to know, by design,

Thou, the First Cause, Thou, Our Last End,

Thou, to learn, our life, we must spend.

 

By pondering, of facts we find,

Proper conclusions, come to mind.

One’s seeking Thee, becomes desire,

And, an ever-increasing fire,

 

E’er thirsty and hungry, are we,

To know more and more, about Thee.

To fill the soul, more with Thy light,

Becomes now, our only delight.

 

Oh, then Truth, becomes our sole love,

Humility, a proper fruit of,

Only truth can make us replete,

Our satisfaction to complete!

 

 No wonder, we wish to adore,

We do seek, ever more and more,

Oh, Truth, for Thy own sake alone,

We want to possess for our own.

 

‘Cause for this end, didst Thou us make,

Thus to live and die, for Truth’s sake,

That Thy truth, we ever pursue,

To Thee, keep our hearts, ever true.  

 

And if we the whole world could gain,

By smearing the truth with false stain, 

Then our friendship with Thee, would cease,

And would destroy, our inner peace.

 

Friend of the world, and friend of Thee

Could never reality be,

To focus on how we are viewed,

To worry e’er, how we’re construed.

 

E’er trying with the world to fit,

With our conscience, does not well sit,

This nightmare’s easy, to deflect,

Put aside, false human respect.

 

Only Sin alone, should we fear,

Not say things, just to please the ear,

May we the courage to ne’r seek,

To agree with fads, from week to week.

 

‘Cause truth does not change, nor should we,

With error in harmony be,

We must e’er pray, ready to fly,

The worldlings who want us to lie.

 

With Truth may we ever abide,

And long to stay, on Our Lord’s side,

In this earthly sojourn, truth love,

Desire to be with Truth above!

The Benefits of Home Schooling

Educating your Children – Part 4

Catholic Candle note: This is the Fourth Part in a series on EDUCATING YOUR CHILDREN during the current crisis in the Church.  There can be no more important concern for traditional Catholic parents today than how to best educate their children since it is so intrinsically connected to helping them save their precious souls.

     Part I:  Reflects on how one traditional Catholic family approached the gargantuan responsibility of this formidable task.  Part I can be found here: http://www.catholiccandle.org/2020/06/01/approaching-the-responsibility-of-homeschooling/

     Part II:  Investigates what choices were available to the next generation of our family, and how they met the challenge.  Part II can be found here: http://www.catholiccandle.org/2020/07/01/educating-your-children-part-2/

     Part III:  Examines what is involved in Home Schooling.  Part III can be found here: http://www.catholiccandle.org/2020/08/01/educating-your-children-part-3/

     Part IV (this present article): Looks at some of the Benefits of educating your children at home.

What are the benefits of Home Schooling?  There must be some, right?  Well, it turns out there are countless extraordinary benefits, and we will examine some of them in this last installment of the Educating Your Children series.

But first, let’s take a quick look at the elephant in the school room.  You know, the parent who is quick to say that she/he never taught before, doesn’t have a college degree, and isn’t sure she can handle it.  How valid is that concern?  If you find yourself assailed by that doubt, remember that God intended parents to be the primary educators of their children.  He will help, for sure.

Practically speaking, with the pitiful condition of schools today, it would be hard not to have your Home School be an improvement over them.  And if you think that you couldn’t teach everything that your children need to know, remember that the “outside” schools can’t do that either.  The key here is that your teaching can give them the tools they need in order to succeed in life, but more importantly, to get to heaven.

One of the small points often overlooked is that the Home School teacher can and does (re)learn a great deal as she goes along.  It was probably some years earlier that she mastered compound fractions and the provisions of the Bill of Rights, etc., and refreshing her memory with the daily school assignments might sometimes seem like re-connecting with old friends.

In Part III we talked about how it can be a means for developing a greater family unity.  Once you get your Home School up and running, it tends to promote a closeness within your family.  Not an us-against-the-world mentality, but a feeling that you can count on each other.

Let me digress a bit to enhance that point.  Once when visiting the rural home of one of our daughters in another state, her two boys, about 7 and 9, took their younger sisters for a walk in the woods (on their property).  They didn’t know I was watching, but I saw them help the girls over logs and tangled brush, and just generally make it safer and easier for them.  You could easily see that it was the most natural thing in the world to them.  I marveled what good brothers they were, and my daughter said, “Do you know why?  It’s because they’re home-schooled.  They don’t have anyone from school looking over their shoulders and whining, “How come you have to take your little sisters with you?”

Now this doesn’t mean, of course, that squabbling siblings will never disagree or argue, but it does mean that they tend to get along with each other; after all, these are their closest companions and friends.  As a matter of fact, I have been greatly impressed over the years with how well the homeschoolers treat each other – with kindness and more like a friend than a sibling.

This brings up another subject.  Some of your friends and acquaintances, well-meaning or not, will inevitably bring up the subject of “socializing” your children, meaning how will they learn to interact with other children if they don’t attend “outside” schools?  There are several answers to this.  First, is that they have family to socialize with, as mentioned above.  And this includes cousins, good old (traditional Catholic) cousins.  Our families were fortunate in having dozens of that precious commodity.  There was hardly a week went by that some of them didn’t “exchange” children after Stations of the Cross on a Friday, for example, and “reclaim” them after Mass on Sunday.  (Of course, that was when we could still attend the SSPX under Archbishop Lefebvre.)

(Now it’s true that not every family has “dozens” of traditional Catholic cousins, or for that matter, can devote one room in their house to “the school room,” or can fly off to a foreign country to check out their schools/churches, but if you’re trying your best to educate your children to be truly “children of God,” the good Lord will send you other methods of accomplishing this.  For example, instead of flying off to Portugal or Ireland to learn the truth about the status of the Church, you have The Catholic Candle!  Something that did not exist in those earlier days.)

Another means of socializing is sports.  Playing Little League baseball or football (if so inclined) is generally feasible.  Music, hiking, and chess club are also potential activities.  Or a Science Club with other home schoolers.  Of course, the corruption of bad companions can come from any direction, so potential companions should be thoroughly scrutinized these days.  (This is not a “home school issue” as such.)

Another HUGE benefit of teaching your children at home is that you get to control the flow of information that finds its way into their minds.  Thus, instead of learning about evolution and global warming, they will learn about God’s creation of the world and His control over the weather for these thousands of years.  And you can see that your children learn American History and Geography, and they won’t think New Mexico is a foreign country.

One more substantial benefit is that your children are being taught by people who love them and are totally invested not only in their temporal welfare but, more importantly, in the salvation of their souls and their happiness. 

However, as important as it is to see how your children can benefit from homeschooling, there is another benefit to consider.  Grandparents make pretty good adjunct teachers in many home schools, so they are a good resource for the teacher-parents.  But an additional advantage to homeschooling must not be overlooked.  It is to the grandparents themselves!  I have been helping to homeschool my grandchildren for many years, and I can’t stress enough how much benefit I have received from this.  You get to know them wonderfully well.  You build a loving relationship with them, a true closeness that can remain even after they are no longer “your” students.

Now it is an unfortunate truism that many parents may not be able to call on their parents to give them a hand in this most important endeavor for a variety of reasons, e.g., a job, poor health, or distance.  But to those who are able, I can guarantee that the time and the effort could not be better spent.

A further benefit that probably might not be appreciated until you’re knee-deep in homeschooling is the satisfaction it brings to you, knowing you are doing your best.  The peace of mind alone is incalculable.

Home-schooling is challenging and rewarding labor.  Is it easy?  Not so much.  But is it worthwhile?  You bet!

With God’s help it has worked for our family and others, and it will work for you if you will not settle for less than a solid traditional Catholic education for your children.

 

Should you choose to take this path, please know that you will be in our prayers every day. 

Catholic Candle note: To assist parents in homeschooling, we call your attention to a new Traditional Catholic homeschool which is now accessible worldwide.  Here is some information from this homeschool:

Angelic Doctor Academy

We would like to introduce Angelic Doctor Academy, a Traditional Catholic homeschool for grades 9 – 12 (lower grades coming soon).  We think careful Catholics will appreciate our solid Traditional Catholic high school curriculum, which contains many new textbooks written across the subjects because we have had enough of problematic books.  But even more, busy Catholic parents – especially mothers! – will appreciate our unique grading system which corrects everything – even the daily / weekly coursework – for the parents, so they can concentrate on teaching, explaining, and keeping order.   Please visit https://www.ada.school to learn more.

Yours in St. Thomas,

The Angelic Doctor Academy Staff

 

CC in brief — September

Catholic Candle note: Catholic Candle normally examines particular issues thoroughly, at length, using the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas and the other Doctors of the Church.  By contrast, our feature CC in brief, gives an extremely short answer to a reader’s question.  We invite readers to submit their own questions.

Q.  We call Our Lady the “Mother of God”.  But God is eternal and has no beginning.  Why don’t we call her the “Mother of Jesus” instead?

A.  Although it is correct to call Our Lady the “Mother of Jesus”, she is also truly the Mother of God.  Our Lord is a Divine Person, not a human person.  Mary is the mother of a Person – and that Person is God.

Words to Live by – from Catholic Tradition

If all fathers fulfilled their duty of watching over the education of their children, we should have but few crimes and few executions.

St. Alphonsus de Liguori, Sermon 36, On the Education of Children, First Point, section 4.